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Posts tagged ‘Seek knowledge’

14
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 8

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.]

[Important note: I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention this one more time. I do not like any men unnecessarily submitting comments. By “unnecessary” I mean anything other than offering required constructive criticism or a needed clarification on a post. As for advice or resources, then they should ask another brother. This should have been obvious but it seems that some people need to be told before they can understand. 

From now on, I’ll delete all comments from those who are obviously brothers (sometimes their usernames don’t hint at the gender) unless, as mentioned above, it is required constructive criticism or a needed clarification on a post. This is to avoid any sort of fitnah (trial).]

Some examples of how knowledge benefits us during Ramadan

[Okay, so this part is where I finally link the “Ramadan” to the “Seek knowledge” part.]

So here are some different ways that knowledge can change a so-so Ramadan into a great Ramadan:

[Note: Once again, I’ll be summarising the issue and won’t be mentioning some of the proofs due to time constraints. I have linked to some fatwas though. If you need a particular proof, please do ask.]

1) A “normal” act can be changed to an act of worship by changing one’s intention.

– The intention can make or break a good act.

[Please note: I said “good” act. We can’t disobey Allah and say “But our intentions were good!” Disobedience is disobedience. Allah does not accept evil actions, rather he only accepts the good ones.

إن الله طيب لا يقبل إلا طيبا

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2214]

So, I am only referring to halal (lawful) acts and not haram (unlawful acts) when I say “normal” act.]

إنما الأعمال بالنية ، وإنما لامرئ ما نوى ، فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله ، فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله ، ومن كانت هجرته إلى دنيا يصيبها ، أو امرأة يتزوجها ، فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه

Narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 51]

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4
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 7

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.]

What should knowledge do for us?

I spoke about the importance of applying one’s knowledge in the previous parts so in this part, I’d just like to summarise what this knowledge should do for us:

-It should increase us in our knowledge of Allah i.e. His Names and His Attributes.

– It should improve us as people – both from the perspective of ibaadah (worship) and good manners.

– It should soften our hearts.

Yes soften, NOT harden because sadly, some people let their hearts get hard even though the knowledge has come to them.

– It should make us aware of our deficiencies and ignorance.

– It should make us humble, not arrogant. Basically it needs to break us and pour into our pores (if you will).

The following two ahadeeth should clarify the above points:

إن المؤمن يرى ذنوبه كأنه قاعد تحت جبل يخاف أن يقع عليه ، وإن الفاجر يرى ذنوبه كذباب مر على أنفه ، فقال به هكذا . قال أبو شهاب بيده فوق أنفه

Narrated Al-Harith ibn Suwaid: Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) related to us two narrations: One from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the other from himself, saying: A believer sees his sins as if he were sitting under a mountain which, he is afraid, may fall on him; whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this.” Abu Shihab (the sub-narrator) moved his hand over his nose in illustration. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 320]

أن عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه أتي بطعام ، وكان صائما ، فقال : قتل مصعب بن عمير ، وهو خير مني ، كفن في بردة : إن غطي رأسه بدت رجلاه ، وإن غطي رجلاه بدا رأسه . وأراه قال : وقتل حمزة ، وهو خير مني ، ثم بسط لنا من الدنيا ما بسط ، أو قال : أعطينا من الدنيا ما أعطينا ، وقد خشينا أن تكون حسناتنا عجلت لنا ، ثم جعل يبكي حتى ترك الطعام 

Narrated Ibrahim: Once a meal was brought to Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) and he was fasting. He said, “Musab ibnUmair was martyred and he was better than I and was shrouded in his Burd (a black square narrow dress)  and when his head was covered with it, his legs became bare, and when his legs were covered his head got uncovered. Hamza was martyred and was better than I. Now the worldly wealth have been bestowed upon us (or said a similar thing). No doubt, I fear that the rewards of my deeds might have been given earlier in this world.” Then he started weeping and left his food. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 2, Hadeeth No. 365]

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was one of the greatest companions and he was one of those who was granted Paradise in his lifetime. Subhan Allah, look at how much he feared Allah!

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2
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 6

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.]

Some of the problems with the way knowledge is sought today (contd.)

5) Not submitting oneself to Allah

It might seem strange that I’ve put this here so let me explain.

The whole purpose of life is to worship Allah, which means we need to submit to His orders. So, if we seek knowledge, that means we want to increase in worship and submission.

The people of the past differed AFTER the knowledge came to them. Before that, they were one big happy family following falsehood. After the truth came, they split up into two parties: one following the truth and one opposing it.

Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ بَوَّأْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدْقٍ وَرَ‌زَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ فَمَا اخْتَلَفُوا حَتَّىٰ جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ ۚ إِنَّ رَ‌بَّكَ يَقْضِي بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

“And indeed We settled the Children of Israel in an honourable dwelling place , and provided them with good things, and they differed not until the knowledge came to them. Verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection in that in which they used to differ.” [Surah Yunus (10) : 93]

[You can read Imam As-Saadi’s tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse) here.]

So, this knowledge needs to make us submit to the truth, even if it opposes our “logic” and desires. [By the way, not a single aspect of Islam contradicts the SOUND intellect.]

Allah has warned us against those who follow their “logic” and desires:

فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ‌ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? Verily! Allah guides not the people who are dhaalimoon (wrong-doers, disobedient to Allah, and polytheists).” [Surah Al-Qasas (28) : 50]

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26
Jun

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 5

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.]

Some of the problems with the way knowledge is sought today (contd.)

4) Seeking knowledge in the 21st century way and not the way of the salaf (predecessors)

Okay, I wasn’t sure how to phrase this.

First, let me explain how the earlier generations used to seek knowledge and then I’ll mention what we (21st century humans) do instead.

[Please note: I’m NOT referring to using the Internet and such stuff. What I’m referring to is the mentality that we have today towards seeking knowledge.]

a) They learnt the knowledge of Islam in ARABIC because the Quran, Sunnah and books of the scholars are in ARABIC.

What do many of us do today? We wait for the books to get translated so that we can study them!

Listen, I have to say this. It’s going to sound nasty and rough but it’s for your own good:

Please learn Arabic. If you don’t then it won’t matter if all the books of Islam were translated, because they are ALL dependent on the language.The Quran, for example, is a linguistic miracle. The language that carries this miracle is Arabic. How can you translate that??? Ever heard of the term “lost in translation”?

You don’t have to be able to speak or write but you should be able to read books and listen to lectures. It’s okay if the whole process takes two decades. Let it. How many years have you wasted just dreaming about learning Arabic and waiting for books to get translated?

And no, Arabic is not hard. Allah said it was easy so that’s that.

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْ‌نَا الْقُرْ‌آنَ لِلذِّكْرِ‌ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ‌

“And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?” [Surah Al-Qamar (54) :17]

If the Quran is easy to understand, then obviously the language of the Quran is also easy to understand. [By the way, Allah repeats this ayah (verse) FOUR times in this Surah. Ponder away.]

[I’ve already proven this silly notion (about Arabic being difficult) wrong in this post.]

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18
Apr

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

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.

Why?

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…