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April 18, 2012


Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 1

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

As I mentioned in this post, the first few posts of the Ramadan 2012 Prep series will focus on seeking knowledge.


Well, we were created to worship Allah alone. We’re supposed to do this in Ramadan and outside of it. Obviously, due to the virtues of Ramadan, we increase in ibaadah (worship) during it.

However, we need to worship Allah based on the correct knowledge, not our desires. So, if we want to worship Him properly, we need to get the required knowledge first.

[Later on in this series, insha-Allah, I’ll give you various examples about how correct knowledge can really improve our Ramadan.]

Which knowledge is being referred to?

As the scholars pointed out, when the word knowledge is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, it refers to Islamic knowledge.

Why seek knowledge?

As I mentioned above, knowledge is sought in order to worship Allah. Due to this, it (i.e. the act of seeking knowledge) is itself an act of worship.

Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) pointed out that knowledge was sought to raise ignorance from oneself and others.

So, subhan Allah, we’re supposed to be seeking this knowledge in order to worship Allah properly, to know Him, to get closer to Him and to gain His Love.

In the survey, I asked “If you seek knowledge, then what motivates you to do that?”

From the answers, it became apparent that some people did not know the real reason for seeking this knowledge. I would divide the answers into three categories:

1) The ones who got it right, alhamdulillah

They were doing it to get closer to Allah 

2) The ones who were sort of in the middle

The answers varied: reminding one about Islam, reminding one about the hereafter, to improve oneself, etc.

These answers weren’t wrong but they didn’t quite hit the target.

3) The not-so-right ones

Some of them were:

[Note: To the ones who filled out the survey, I’m not discussing the answers in order to put you down but rather so that everyone can benefit.]

– Just for the sake of seeking knowledge

Variations of this included thirst/yearning/desire for more knowledge

– To know/feel the beauty of the Quran or Islam; the sadness about not knowing about Islam

– Greater understanding in order to answer other people’s questions

– To do ijtihad on day to day issues

Now, many people might be a bit confused at this point because, on the face of it, these answers sound fine.

And they sound similar to No. 2 (the group who wasn’t wrong but wasn’t that accurate).

So, what’s the difference between No. 2 and No. 3?

And what’s wrong with the answers in No. 3?

Well, I’m going to answer that in the next part, because I want everyone to ponder over this issue.

For those who may disagree with my grouping, that’s fine. I’m not infallible. However, please wait for Part 2 so that I can explain.

[I would have asked you to post your thoughts but I’ve come to realise that 99% of you really don’t like to do that so…]

To be continued…

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maria
    Apr 19 2012

    I think calling the no 3 set of answers “not so right” is a bit unfair as ultimately people are still doing it to get rewards and therefore doing it to please Allah(swt), which means doing it to get closer to Allah(swt).
    Apologies if I have jumped the gun before a further explanation from your side.

    • Umm Muawiyah
      Apr 19 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      [Well, first let me confess that I know that one of the answers was yours. You mentioned me and Dubai so I put it all together.]

      What I understand from No. 3 was that the PRIMARY reason was incorrect. And the primary reason needs to be for the reward, nothing else. As secondary reasons, they were mostly okay, but not as a primary reason.

      Are they “ultimately” doing it for the reward? This is one of the reasons why I differentiated between No. 2 and No.3.

      Does this mean that those in No. 1 and 2 are more “sincere” than No.3? Not necessarily.

      Insha-Allah, I’ll explain all of the above in the next part.

      And no apologies needed. As I said, I’m not infallible.

      PS. I was being very polite when I said “not so right”. You know how blunt I generally am….

  2. R
    Apr 19 2012

    I think they were well justified after all some people can lost in the pursuit of the means and consider it the real Goal! Thus minimising their rewards, we need to keep each other in check every once a while. They will thank you in the hereafter if anything its a good sincerity recheck. Why am I doing this? A conscious question that needs to be asked at every instance, as it helps to build taqwa. Love all your posts.


  3. R
    Apr 19 2012

    I meant goal not God!

    • Umm Muawiyah
      Apr 19 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      I edited the post. Don’t worry….

  4. Diana
    Apr 23 2012

    Masha Allah, keep up the good work cuz its reeaally useful!!

    • Umm Muawiyah
      Apr 23 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum Sister.

      Jazakillahu kheira for the encouragement.

      I’m glad that it was useful for you, alhamdulillah.


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