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The 6 Foundations: Knowledge and The Knowledgable

The 6 Foundations: Knowledge and The Knowledgable

All praise is due to Allah and may the peace and mercy be upon the Messenger of Allah. To proceed: As we discussed before, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has emphasised to us His greatness and wisdom by revealing to us 6 foundations that He (SWT) has made abundantly clear. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has explained these foundations in a way that makes it easy for common people to understand so that there is no doubt in the matter. With the exception of a blessed few, most people do not respect these principles. These foundations are:

· First: establishing Tawheed (Monotheism) and sincerity to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as well as separating Tawheed from anything that opposes it.
· Second: the order to unite in religion and prohibition of splitting away from the Ummah. This unity is achieved by using the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).
· Third: obeying the leaders who have been installed upon us. 

Today we will talk about the fourth foundation, which is declaring knowledge and the knowledgable people. This also includes declaring those who liken themselves to these knowledgable people although they are not from them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: ‘O Children of Israel, remember My favour which I have bestowed upon you and fulfil My covenant [upon you] that I will fulfil your covenant [from Me], and be afraid of [only] Me.’ (Al-Baqarah: 40) He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says: ‘O Children of Israel, remember My favour that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds.’ (Al-Baqarah: 47)

The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) also explains this foundation, but people were still led astray from this foundation until innovations and deviations in Deen became a normal act. Mixing of the truth with falsehood became the trend and those who only use the knowledge that was bestowed upon them by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) were called crazy! Moreover, those who would oppose the pious people and their knowledge and warn people against them now become the knowledgable jurists!

The knowledge mentioned here refers to the doctrine knowledge revealed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to His Messenger (peace be upon him). Allah SWT says: ‘Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.’ (Az-Zumar: 9). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘whomever Allah wants good for, He gives him knowledge of the religion’. (Agreed upon from the Hadith of Muawiya Ibn Aby Sufyaan) It was also related by Ahmed and Ahl- Asunan from the wording of the Tirmidhiy that Qais Ibn Kathir said: A man came from Madinah to Abu-Dardaa in Damascus. He asked the traveller what brought you to me, brother? He said: a Hadith that I received that you tell of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He asked him: did you not come for something? He said no. He said: did you not come for trade? He said no. I only came asking for this Hadith. Abu-Adrdaa said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: he who follows a path to seek knowledge, Allah (SWT) will seek a way for him to paradise. And angels willingly put their wings down for the knowledge seekers. And the scholars have everyone in the heavens and the earth seeking forgiveness for them from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) even the whales in the water. And the favour of the scholar on the worshipper is like the preference of the moon over the rest of the planets. Scholars are the inheritors of prophets. Prophets did not pass on Dinars or Dirhams, but they passed on knowledge and whoever takes from it, he has taken a lot’. (Corrected by Al-Albani) Prophets inherited the doctrine knowledge. Ibn Al-Qayyim said: ‘knowledge means knowing guidance through evidence. That and copying are not the same. Ignorance is a killing disease and its cure is 2 components that are agreed upon, verses from the Quran or from the Sunnah. And the doctor is the scholar’.

This does not mean that Islam belittles other sciences such as medicine, engineering, architecture, astronomy. However, the benefits of these sciences are a 2-edged spear; if they lead to obeying Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), victory for His religion and the benefit of the Ummah as a whole, they are allowed and may even become an obligation. However, if they help in disobeying Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and corruption, it is evil and is prohibited. Some scholars have indicated that learning these trades is on the basis of sufficiency obligation (only when needed) although this opinion is under debate. In any case, the knowledge that was mentioned with glowing references, and about which praise was given to its seekers is the knowledge of the Book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him). For all other sciences, if it leads to good, then it is good and if it leads to evil, then t is evil. If it does not lead to either good or bad, then it is a waste of time and energy.

Doctrine knowledge has many advantages including: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) elevates those who learn it and teach it in this world and in the hereafter. In the hereafter Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) elevates them according to their application of this knowledge in calling for Allah and (in applying it for) their other deeds. In this world Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) elevates them above others as Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: ‘We raise in degrees whom We will, but over every possessor of knowledge is one [more] knowing.’ (Yusuf: 76) Yazid Ibn Salim explained: ‘It is the knowledge. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) elevates whomever he wills with it in this world’. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will elevate those with knowledge over others, especially if they are scholars who work using the knowledge and they teach it to others sincerely. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) makes such people the leaders of others so that others may observe their actions and follow their deeds and words (provided that they are sincere). It was narrated that Nafi Ibn Abd-Alharith met Omar Ibn Al-Khattab in Osfan. He used to work for Omar as a governor of Mecca. The man asked Omar:’ who are you using now to run Mecca?’ Omar replied:’ Ibn Abzah’. The man asked:’ who is Ibn Abza?’ Omar replied: ‘a former slave of ours’. He said:’ you have made a slave the leader of Mecca?’ Omar said: ‘he is a reader of the Book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) (Hafith)’. ‘He is knowledgable of the obligations’. Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:’ your Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘Allah elevates some people with this book and puts down others with it’’. The slave became the leader of Mecca because of his knowledge.

Another advantage of doctrine knowledge is that it becomes one of the things that man can leave behind after his death. Related by Muslim in his Saheeh from the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenegr of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘once a man dies his deeds stop except for three: a continuous charity, knowledge that can be benefited from and a pious son who supplicates for him’.

From its advantages is that the Messenger of Allah has made it only one of the 2 bounties that we can be jealous of. In the Saheehain from the Hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Masoud that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘no jealousy except for 2: a man whom Allah has given wealth and he used it for the truth, and a man whom Allah has given wisdom to and he uses it to and teaches it’. Memorising Quran, learning it and teaching it are the most noble of sciences and deeds. Also from the advantages is that this knowledge is a light that the slave can use to learn how to worship his Lord and how to treat others. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: ‘So is he who is on clear evidence from his Lord like him to whom the evil of his work has been made attractive and they follow their [own] desires?’ (Muhammad: 14) And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says: ‘Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.’ (Az-Zumar: 9) From the advantages is that the scholars are there to lead people from ignorance to the light. The more scholars we have, the less is the level of ignorance. Abdullah Ibn Amr narrated: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: ‘Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from people, but he holds it by taking away the scholars. Until if there are no scholars left, the public uses ignorant people as their leaders. They would ask them and these scholars would give a verdict without knowledge and that leads to them being misguided and misguiding others.’

To proceed:

It is enough honour for the knowledgable that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) mentions their testimony with His own in His Book when He says: ‘Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.’

Abu Musa Al-Ashary narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘the example of what Allah (SWT) has sent me with (guidance and knowledge) is like the heavy rain that hits the earth. Some parts of the land accept the water and grow many plants, herbs and grass. Other parts accept the water and keep it (as reservoirs) for the use of other people for drinking, growing crops. And some parts of the land do not hold the water nor use it. That is the same as those who were blessed with the understanding of the deen, used it to their advantage and they learned it and taught it, and like the one who did not bother and did not accept the guidance of Allah with which I was sent.’

Imam An-Nawawy explained that guidance is likened to rain in this Hadith and there are 3 types of earths representing 3 types of people. The first is the one who receives the knowledge and he studies it and learns it until his heart becomes alive with it. He works with this knowledge and teaches it to others. The second type of people is the one who has a heart to learn the knowledge but not the mind to interpret the meanings and the rulings. They do not have the urgency to work with this knowledge and benefit from it, but when those who ask for the knowledge come to them, they pass it on. The third type represents those who have no hearts willing to learn the knowledge, nor do they have minds that think about using the valuable knowledge, and this is used to encourage people to actively seek knowledge and use it, and discourage them from turning away from it. (Indeed Allah knows best).

Who are the real scholars, then? They are the pious scholars who teach people from the doctrine knowledge that came from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Some people pretend to be from them and they dress and talk like scholars, but their hearts conceal their motives. They mix the truth with falsehood and use words that people take as words of pious people. These so-called scholars often attack the people of Sunnah and accuse them of being extremists and backwards, or that this Sheikh only talks about innovations or Tawheed, etc. And these signs should not be taken as a way to wrong someone as these are important messages and teachings that have to be done by some scholars. Indeed Allah knows best

Last Updated ( Monday, 14 February 2011 21:31 )