By Editorial Staff
No one can deny the exalted position that Islam has placed knowledge and its seekers in. The very beginning of revelation was an order to read, which implies a motivation to learn and educate. Knowledge in Islam is a creedal issue because through knowledge one can know God, understand His Existence, implore His Majesty, realize His Magnificence, venerate His Sublimity, follow His Orders, obey His Messenger, etc. Thus, Almighty Allah praises the people of knowledge in the Qur’an in numberless places such as,
Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Mujadilah 58:11)
Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses). (Az-Zumar 39:9)
Not only the Qur’an did extol the people of knowledge, but also the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) had shown them high esteem. Abu Ad-Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi]
However, the more exalted ones among scholars are the ones who put their knowledge into practice and follow the information they had. The best scholars are those who do not withhold their knowledge from others but pay much attention to educating people and enlightening them. The best of scholars are those who do not feel proud of themselves over others but show them much veneration and humbleness.
Therefore, Almighty Allah has blamed the Jews because they had the knowledge of Turah (Torah) but they neglected it and did not put it into action. The Qur’an likened them to a donkey that carries volumes of books but benefits with nothing about them. God says,
The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books]. Wretched is the example of the people who deny the signs of Allah . And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. (Al-Jumu`ah 62:5)
Enjoy watching this video by Sheikh Bilal Philips in which he talks about the excellence of knowledge in Islam and importance of putting it into practice.
Source: Bilal Philips Youtube Channel