Importance of seeking religious knowledge in Islam
It is not possible to lead the nation without religious knowledge. When a nation is involved in injustice and misdeeds, then Allah has sent a Prophet to that nation with the knowledge of revelation. In the age of ignorance, the Arabs were involved in all kinds of unrighteous and sinful acts including looting, robbery, tribal strife, and adultery. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in his long 23 years of prophetic life guided the people from the darkness of ignorance to the right path through the knowledge of revelation.
In today’s world, usury, bribery, murder, snatching, robbery, adultery, strikes, sieges, disappearances, etc. are triumphant. In the name of establishing so-called democracy, people are drowning in horror today. The only way to get rid of this is real education. Below the importance and necessity of acquiring knowledge are highlighted.
Definition of Ilm (knowledge)
‘Ilm’ is an Arabic word that means to understand, to comprehend. The technical meaning is, ‘It is the light that Allah pours into the hearts of His beloved Prophets. Then they can know the theory and mystery of matter by it.’
Importance of religious knowledge
The first word revealed by Allah to the Prophet (SAW) through Gabriel was, ‘read!’ The Prophet (SAW) then said, ‘I do not know how to read’. Then Gabriel grabbed him. After this same scene happened three times, the first five verses of Surah Alaq were revealed to the Prophet (SAW). Merciful Lord taught the Prophet (SAW) the knowledge of revelation. So the importance of knowledge to remove injustice and misdeeds from our society and country is immense. As an instruction to acquire knowledge, the Messenger (SAW) said, ‘It is obligatory on every Muslim to seek knowledge.
Allah’s encouragement to acquire religious knowledge
This is the claim of Allah that man will acquire knowledge, act accordingly, and spread knowledge among himself. And that is why Allah has encouraged the acquisition of knowledge,
“So why doesn’t it happen that a small group will come out of each of their big groups so that they can acquire religious knowledge. And that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may be warned” (9:122).
Men come into the world ignorant. Allah says, “I have taught man that which he did not know” (’96:5). Good and evil can be determined by knowledge. By this, it is possible to prevent injustice and establish justice. Therefore, Allah bestows valuable knowledge on those whom He wills to benefit and by whom the realization of righteousness is possible. Since Allah is the owner of knowledge, Allah gives this knowledge to whomever He wills.
“He gives wisdom to whomever He wills, and whoever is given wisdom is given abundant goodness, and only those with understanding receive instruction” (2:269). In this regard, the Prophet (SAW) said, “Allah gives the knowledge of religion to whomever He wills.”
Islamic Scholars inherit the prophets
A person can inherit the wealth of another person due to a blood relationship or marital relationship. But knowledge is such a valuable resource that whoever acquires it, Allah will make him the heir of the Prophets. So those who gain the right knowledge about Allah are basically the inheritors of the prophets. And inheritance can be achieved through knowledge.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. Prophets do not inherit dinars or dirhams. Rather, they inherit knowledge. As a result, the person who accepted it accepted the majority.” Therefore, if one acquires religious knowledge, he can inherit the prophets.
The dignity of acquiring knowledge
The status of acquiring knowledge is too high. In this regard, Allah says,
“Those of you who believe and those to whom Allah has given knowledge will be exalted. Allah is fully aware of what you do.’ (56:11)
Abu Huraira (R) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said,
“Allah will make the way to Paradise easy for the person who will follow the path of gaining knowledge.”
In another hadith, Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever takes a path for the purpose of acquiring knowledge, Allah will guide him to one of the paths to Paradise by it, and the angels will spread their wings over the seeker of knowledge. Besides, all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth pray and supplicate to Allah for that scholars. Even fish living in the water (praying for them).”