The Importance of Knowledge
Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim. (Sunan Ibn Majah 224)
Through the stigma of the media portraying all religions as tools of blind faith, it is easily forgotten that Islam is anything but. History has overlooked the fact that two of the oldest Universities, Al-Qarawiyyin and Al-Azhar, an environment of advanced education, were founded by Muslims who were adamant to follow that which our Prophet s.a.w. has entrusted us as a duty. We are blessed to live in a time where information is abundant and easily accessible for us, however, as Muslims, what are we doing with this wealth of information in order to enrich our Ummah? The reality of the matter is that most of the discoveries are being done by non-believers. Rarely do we see, if ever, scientific discoveries intertwined with Islam. Children are being sent to school to be educated, to attain knowledge of this dunya but that knowledge is disconnected from their faith and it is upon us to build that connection so that they may not become misguided. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
Have you not seen the birds glide in the open sky? None holds them up except for Allah. Surely in this are signs for those who believe. (16:79) Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example – that of the mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say ‘What did Allah intend by this as an example?’ He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And he misleads not except the defiantly disobedient. (2.:26)
Ignorance is the ally of Sheitan and the only way to take away this tool from the accursed is through following that advice of our Prophet s.a.w.
Verily, the only cure for ignorance is asking questions.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 336) \n\n The importance of knowledge is further emphasized in the following hadith: Whoever follows a path seeking knowledge thereby, Allah will make a path to Paradise for him.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 2647) However, knowledge does not entail just the natural sciences. On the contrary, the greatest knowledge that a Muslim can obtain is that of the Qur’an. When Allah wills good for a person, He grants him understanding of the religion. (Jami' at- Tirmidhi 2645) As Muslims we should be striving to understand the word of God by reading his book, meditating and contemplating over it as well as by learning about the tradition of our Prophet s.a.w. and that of his companions. Through understanding, our actions will reflect that which Allah has ordained for us and strengthen the faith in our hearts and hopefully, through sharing our knowledge with others, by the will of Allah, they will also be guided."