Islamiat Notes Knowledge and its islamic Concept Lecture No. 9

Lecture No. 9

Topic:           knowledge and its Islamic Concept

Definition Of  Knowledge 

According to religious terminology and usage in Qur’an and Hadith, knowledge is only that which Allah has sent down through His Prophets for the guidance of mankind.
            The first obligation on man, after he has believed in Allah’s Prophet and Messenger and his mission, is to try to learn and find out the teachings and guidance of Prophet, and the do’s and don’ts. The entire edifice of religion depends on this knowledge. Hence, the first obligation after Iman (or Belief) is to learn it and teach it.
            The learning and teaching may be accomplished by oral conversation and observation as the companions did in the times of the Prophet and the immediate years after his death. They acquired all their knowledge in this manner. They heard the Prophet’s saying, observed his deeds and actions, or acquired it in the same manner from those of his companions who had benefited from him.
            The same may be said of the knowledge of most of the Tabi’een (the successors of the companions). They received it through companionship and hearing.
            Knowledge may also be acquired through reading and writing, and books. This had become the method of imparting knowledge in times thereafter. Books were read and prescribed, as they are today.
            Allah’s Messenger has said, “It is Fard (an absolute obligation) for every man who believes in me as Allah’s Messenger and accepts Allah’s religion, Islam, to acquire necessary knowledge of religion.” The Prophet also said that the effort of a man in acquiring this knowledge is a kind of Jihad in the path of Allah and a means to attaining nearness to Him. He also said that neglect in this regard and carelessness was a punishable crime. This knowledge is a legacy of the Prophets, particularly Allah’s Messenger and it is the dearest and most precious asset of the universe. Thus, the fortunate ones who acquire it and give its rights are indeed heirs of the Prophets. All creatures, including the angels in the heavens, the ants on the earth and fish in the oceans, love them and pray for them. Allah, the Exalted, has created them with that nature. As for those people who use this sacred legacy of the Prophets for wrong ends, they are the worst criminals who deserve Divine displeasure and wrath.

             (We seek refuge in Allah from the mischief of our souls and from our evil deeds.)
            After this brief introduction, let us now read the following Ahadith of Allah’s Messenger on the subject of knowledge and learning and teaching.

What happens if Knowledge is Devoid of Faith?

One can only realize the impact of knowledge on human life, on all levels and in every field by comparing a first-class scholar with an illiterate person living in a jungle away from any educational outlet. Undoubtedly, the differences between them will be much greater than the resemblances, and the conclusion must be that it would be next to impossible for these two people to coexist in the same environment.
It is one of the signs of the mercy Allah extends to the human race that he has taught us how to acquire knowledge in various fields and has provided us with the means to do so. Allah has given us hearing that allows us to listen to scientific information and to learn; sight that we can use to search and to read, and an intellect that enables us to ponder, meditate, and reason.

Allah says,

"Allah has delivered you out of your mothers' wombs without knowledge of anything, and provided you with hearing, sight, and intellect that you may be thankful." (16:78).

            Moreover, Allah taught people how to find their way to Him. He has sent them Messengers inspired with Books, and has revealed to them signs of His greatness and wonders of His power which testify to His Lordship and Divinity.

            Allah has also put the Earth and all that it bears and contains at the disposal of human beings. He has provided them with the means to benefit from it, and made the benefits they derive proportional to their research, experimentation, labor, and diligence. The rationale behind giving them such full control is that it serves as the means to arrive at the great objective that leads to Allah's pleasure and Paradise.

            Knowledge is a great ocean that is bound by no shores. It includes both the knowledge that brings benefit in this world and that which brings benefit in the Hereafter. Nobody can encompass all knowledge, and regardless of how much knowledge is acquired by people, there is always one who is superior in knowledge and that is Allah, the Most Sublime.
 He says,

 "We raise whomever we will several degrees, and there is above everyone with knowledge, One who is more knowing." (12:76).

            The Qur'an says that knowledge should be derived from those who have it, and that everyone who is deficient in knowledge should seek it. When the polytheists of Makkah declared their unwillingness to acknowledge that Muhammad, (S.A.W), a true prophet, their argument was: "Allah is too great to send a human being as a messenger; could He not send and angel?
In response, Allah inspired His Prophet with the verse that says,

"We only sent men before you, so ask people with learning if you do not know, with clear signs and with written rules." (16: 43-44).

            This was an invitation to the people of Quraish, telling them that if they had any doubts, they should ask people who have knowledge of the Old and New Testaments, and the latter would tell them that all prophets were mortals.
            An important fact that the Noble Qur'an draws to our attention, is that unbelievers only failed to follow the true creed because true knowledge was unavailable to them.
 Allah, says:

 "Indeed most of them know not the truth and therefore turn away." (21:24).

            This implies that the Islamic nation has a great responsibility, and this is to make all people aware of the truth and to invite them to follow it. In their ignorance, many of those who worship idols, animals, (such as cows or calves) or objects (such as the crucifix), have the conviction that their worship brings them closer to Allah, but they actually worship something other than Allah.
The same is true about those who worship matter or the human intellect. These believe that there is no God and that matter is the essence of life, and therefore, they tend to their worldly affairs and ignore concerns of the Hereafter. What they lack in true knowledge makes them ignorant of the truth about the Hereafter.
How can these groups be rescued out of their polytheistic beliefs and guided to the worship of Allah alone without being taught the truth about this world, the Hereafter, and what belongs to each, thus having the chance to learn the evident truth and find their way to the Straight Path.
On the other hand, unless guided by faith, knowledge would be destructive and evil, rather than beneficial and benign. Such knowledge makes people too vain to admit the truth, even when they know it in their hearts, and they deny what Allah has blessed them with.

            Allah tells us stories of past nations that acquired a great share of knowledge, but were devoid of faith, and therefore, failed to acknowledge the blessings of Allah because they had too much vanity to acknowledge the evident truth.
 Allah says:

"When their messengers brought them clear signs, they rejoiced at the knowledge they had, and they were enveloped by what they had been ridiculing" (40:83).

Qaroon is an example of such people; he was ungrateful for Allah's favor and attributed the wealth he had to his own knowledge and
"he said:

 'I was given it because of the knowledge I had.'" (28:78).

            Today's culture is described as scientific but secular, which means that it is non-religious and devoid of faith. It does not accommodate any belief in the Hereafter
And does not accept any belief in the unseen world. It is a culture that supports construction and endeavors on earth, and gives exclusive attention to life in this world, without any concern for death and what follows death. Proponents of this culture, as described by Allah, the Most Sublime

"Know what is apparent of life on earth and are unaware of the Hereafter." (30:7).

            A question could be raised at this point: Has this kind of culture, which is based on the disciplines of knowledge that focuses on this world alone and completely excludes any knowledge of the Hereafter, brought satisfaction and happiness to mankind? The answer is negative. It has been observed by many that the more advanced man gets in his secular knowledge, the greater the number of people who frequent the offices of psychologists and psychiatrists.

            People are unanimous that simple life brings more happiness than material life with all its complications.

Ambitions to rule and control the world have made knowledge destructive, threatening to wipe out the earth and its creatures. Human beings have lost control of the branches of knowledge they had acquired, and in the absence of faith, they have become the most dangerous of tools that threaten the world with destruction.

            Physical science enabled scientists to make atomic, nuclear, and biological bombs, in spite of the fact that the discoverers of the principle on which these bombs are based were fully aware that millions of people will be killed should these bombs be used. The same thing is true of the experts who make rockets to carry such bombs. Yet the bombs have been, and continue to be made by people.

            Science and knowledge are responsible for the pollution of seas and rivers and for the transformation of plants and trees. Fruits and vegetables have become tasteless, due to the chemicals used to prematurely ripen them, and to increase their size and yield. In all this, the consumer is the victim. Worse than that, is that people now eat their own refuse, after subjecting it to chemical treatment, thus imitating certain types of animals.

            Knowledge has been used to promote immorality. Obscenities and pornography are aired on television. People have been very innovative, provoking desires and reducing humans to the level of beasts, and even below. They are forever seeking new ways to stimulate desires.

All these things have a predestined duration in this world and on the Day of Judgment we will all be faced with our decisions in this life. Will they then allow their secular knowledge and worldly sciences to be tempered by belief in the unknown and in the life after this life?.

Post a Comment





Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.
Javascript DisablePlease Enable Javascript To See All Widget