Respect For Knowledge

Respect for Knowladge


My dear respected elders, brothers and friends in Islam. Hazrat Hasan Al-Basri Allah have mercy on him, a very pious and famous saint, mentions that if knowledge was to be given a face, was to be given a description or if someone was to sit there and draw a picture of knowledge  then knowledge is so great, and knowledge  is so beautiful that it would outshine every single thing inside this world. It would be more beautiful than the sun, it would be more beautiful than the moon and the stars put together. Knowledge is such a thing that when a person brings it inside his life and he lives his life according to the knowledge he has learnt then through that knowledge his life will also become beautiful.


Hazrat Muaz, Allah be pleased with him, a very great companion of  the prophet peace be upon him about whom it is said that he was the most knowledgeable on Halal and Haram used to say that knowledge is source of light for the hearts. When a person’s heart becomes dead then he attains knowledge , the knowledge  becomes a source for his heart to become alive again. And he says that knowledge is a form of light for the eyes.


Hazrat Imam Bukhari Allah be pleased with him in one of his sub headings with in Saheeh ul Bukhari mentions that knowledge should come before a person starts doing an action. For example many people before going for hajj or before fasting in the month of Ramadhan ask the knowledgeable people amongst them how do I do this certain action. Before Ramadhan we see that in masajid they talk about the rulings of Ramadhan. Before the time for Hajj comes  many Hajj programs take place


If a person does a certain action with the required knowledge as to how that action should be carried out then that actiont he does correctly. If a person doesn’t have any knowledge, for example a person has no knowledge of how to fast, or how to pray Salah and he starts praying the fajr salah at the time of isha, and he starts reading isha at another time, then that action that his doing without any knowledge is not going to benefit him. That’s why before a person does a certain action it’s very important to learn knowledge. To learn how to do these actions correctly. Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) has made knowledge very accessible for us. It is mentioned regarding  Imam Ahmed bin hambal Allah have mercy on him that he was very restricted by the people of his time and was forbidden from giving lectures of hadith. No one could come to him and it was like he was under house arrest. Anyone that use to come to him for knowledge would be arrested. So a person travelled from far and came and knocked on the door of Imam Ahmed bin Hambal. He said that he had come from such and such a place only for the reason of learning knowledge. Imam Ahmed bin Hambal said to the man do you not know that if I say anything it will be trouble for both of us? The best thing is for you to come back once this condition is lifted from me. The person said to Imam Ahmad bin Hambal that I have come from so far and have travelled solely for the purpose of hearing  hadith from you and learn some knowledge from you. He asked Imam Ahmad bin Hambal if people come to you to beg for money? Imam Ahmad bin Hambal replied yes they do and they come to everyone’s doors daily. The person then said he will join those beggars and come to Imam Ahmad bin Hambal’s door daily and requested that instead of asking for money he would like to have one hadith from the imam every time he knocks on the Imam’s door. It is written that the person then used to come to the imam’s door daily to ask for a hadith. People would think he is begging for money but in reality he would come to learn a hadith. Imagine how much sacrifice these people went through for the sake of Knowledge.


It comes about another pious person that for the sake of knowledge he sold every single thing he had, so much so that a time came when he did not attend his class one day and his ustaad and other students knew it is very unlikely for this person not to come to his class because he has gone through so much hardship already. They went and knocked on his door. He said that he had sold everything he had in his house for the sake of knowledge and now  only had one pair of clothes left and as he had not eaten for so many days and was so hungry he was forced to sell the last pair of clothes he had left. Now he didn’t have enough clothes to cover his body and  come and sit in class.


So much hardship people went through for the sake of knowledge.


Like I said earlier by the blessings and grace of Allah all high, knowledge has been made so easily accessible for us. Where ever we go there’s Madaris, where ever we go there’s Masajid where lectures takes place on a weekly basis and some places on a daily basis. Talks take place in so many cities and Alhamdullilah the city we live in (Leicester) there’s so many places. There’s Madaris, Masajid, Darul-Ulooms. On top of that there’s the internet. Allah’s made it so easy and if a person wanted to learn knowledge and goes through the correct websites he can learn knowledge in the comfort of his home. Despite of all these ways for us seeking knowledge there is still so much ignorance and out there today.


At the time of the Prophet peace be upon him there was only one book and that was the Quran. Even that was not in a book form, certain companions had  certain amounts and others had another amount. It was written in different places. Yes there were the sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him but they were not in a book form. Today since the time of the Prophet peace be upon him imagine how many books have been written but at that time there was only one book and still Knowledge was at its peak. To seek knowledge then was so easy because people of that time had value for knowledge. Now because it has become so accessible and so easy for us the value for knowledge and the value for the people of knowledge has decreased.


Hazrat Allama Yusuf binoori Allah have mercy on him, a very famous pious person that passed away who had a Madrasa in Karachi, Pakistan which many of you have been to. A very pious saint, he says that in my whole life I cannot remember facing my feet towards a person who has memorised Quran. That’s how much value they had for knowledge.



Hazrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmed Gongohi Allah be pleased with him, a very pious saint from India who many of us have heard about. There are books that have been written about him. He use to give lectures outside. Once he was giving a lecture to his students and it started raining. When it started raining the students quickly covered their books and went inside. The Moulana realised that all the students have gone inside with their books but have left their shoes outside. He thought these are the students who read the Quran and Hadith on a daily basis so how can I leave their shoes outside in the rain. He took all their shoes inside. So much respect they had not only for knowledge but for the people of knowledge too. Because that respect has gone out of us now, knowledge has become so difficult for us to learn. Those of us that learn it then to act upon the knowledge has become so difficult for us.


Unfortunately the mentality we have today is that knowledge is only for the youngsters to go and learn. We should all go and learn knowledge every single one of us. With the mentality we have today we rarely see a person with full beard going to sit in a Madrasa or go and learn a certain amount of knowledge, or go and ask a question. Some times for many reasons we feel shy, or for whatever reason it is. Allhamdullilah we send the kids and that has been the case for many years. But knowledge is such a thing that we should be learning it from the cradle to the grave. You hear about certain people who have beards and are pensioners in this country, this city and they still going to learn and spend hours and hours a day learning Hadith and Quran.


My dear respected brothers someone once came and asked Imam Abu Hanifa Allah be pleased with him one day that How did you become such a great Imam? Imam Abu Hanifa replied whatever Knowledge I learnt I never felt proud about it and used to pass on the knowledge to anyone that came to me. If there was a certain ruling I didn’t know I didn’t feel shy to ask others for clarification. I never thought that how can I as an Imam ask a certain person about a ruling. Once Imam Abu Hanifa  asked a person that use to clean toilets that when does a dog reach the age of puberty? The person who used to clean the toilets answered this question for Imam Abu Hanifa and said that when a dog raises its feet to urinate that’s when a dog reaches that age. After this when ever Imam Abu Hanifa  use to come across this person he use to give him a lot of respect because he tought him such a thing.


Imam Bukhari Allah be pleased with him has mentioned in his book a saying of Imam Mujahid Allah be pleased with him that a shy person and a person with pride can never learn knowledge.


It’s written that Imam Abu Yusuf who was one of the students of Imam Abu Hanifa  had great difficulty learning knowledge at a young age because he was from a very poor family. His father wanted him to learn the art of trade so he can quickly start earning and supporting the family through the difficult times. For this reason his father never used to encourage him to sit in the gatherings of Imam Abu Hanifa. As Imam Abu Yusuf had a burning desire to seek knowledge what he use to do is help his father out with work but whatever time he had he would sit in the company of Imam Abu Hanifa(RA). A certain time came when Imam Abu Yusuf did not sit in the gatherings for a few days so Imam Abu Hanifa asked about him. When the message reached Imam Abu Yusuf he came and explained his situation to Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam Abu Hanifa gave him a bag which had some money in it and said whenever you need some more come and ask me for more. He went through so much hardship for the sake of knowledge and a time came after the death of Imam Abu Hanifa that people would come to Imam Abu Yusuf for questions. Then a time came when he became the chief justice of his time. So Knowledge is such a thing my dear respected brothers that every single one of us no matter how old we are need to go and learn.


People before us would go through so much hardship to seek knowledge and today Alhamdullilah we see that we have many Madaris and Masajid where one can go and learn knowledge. Today with the emphasis that has been put on knowledge we believe that if we see a child going to madrasa between 5 O’ clock and 7 O’ clock then that is sufficient. Whereas knowledge is such a thing that we should start from home. The first teachers should be our Mothers and fathers at home. We see so many times a person comes to the Madrasa and he starts learning the Quran and starts acting up on the things he has learnt but when he gets home his parents will feel that their child is missing out. When Children are encouraged to do certain actions for example to pray two rakats salah before going to sleep and making dua to Allah, the Parents sometimes feel that my child is missing out on spending time with his/her Siblings. My dear respected brothers Knowledge will only be gained if we turn the environment inside our homes into an environment of imaan and an environment of Knowledge as well.


Imam Abu Hanifa mentioned that if a person wants to learn Knowledge and he wants knowledge to be in his family like his children, wife, etc. then he needs to have respect for the people of knowledge too. Only if he has this respect he will see the benefit and the fruits of it will be that Allah will bring knowledge in not only his life but in to the lives of his children as well.


It comes in a Hadith of the Prophet that on the day of Judgement Allah will say to the people of Knowledge that ‘O People of Knowledge I did not give you knowledge so that I can give you punishment. I only gave you knowledge so that you can propagate to peopl.Enter Paradis, there is no punishment for you today’. The people of Knowledge have such a great status in the eyes of Allah that once a companion came to the Prophet peace be upon him and said ‘I have come to you to learn Knowledge’  and our Prophet peace be upon him said ‘You’re welcome O Person who has come to learn Knowledge’. The person who goes out to learn knowledge, the angels spread their wings for this person and they climb on top of each other until they reach the Arsh (throne) of Allah. Knowledge my dear respected brothers is important for each and every single one of us and not just for our children.


Just to conclude today I will repeat the saying of Imam Abu Hanifa that a person came and asked him ‘how did you become such a great Imam?’ and Imam Abu Hanifa said that ‘I never felt shy and never had pride in asking for knowledge’. Something similar is mentioned in a saying of Imam Abu Mujahid that ‘A Person that is shy and a person that has pride can never be able learn knowledge’. May Allah give us all the ability to act upon what has been said and give us the ability to act upon the knowledge we learn because knowledge withoul (action) has no benefit my dear respected brothers.


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Tayyib HMC FInder

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