Seeking Knowledge in Islam
Heidi Mahmoud Kheyamy
19 Jan 2018
Learning is considered an individual responsibility for every Muslim according to the religion of Islam. It is also recommended to improve your knowledge through your lifetime and this is revealed in Quran when Allah says, “And say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge." [Taha, 114]. In addition to this, education is regarded as a way to get to paradise. The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge." [Muslim, 2699]. Owing to the fact that everything is divided into levels, religious knowledge is the best among the different types of knowledge, and the scholars of this field are highly praised as they are the main source of the teachings of Islam. Allah says, "And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed (Our message). So ask the people of the message if you do not know." [An-Nahl, 43]
There is a great blessing for learning Quran in particular and teaching the holy book to others as the Prophet (PBUH) said, "The best among you is he who learns and teaches the Qur'an." [Al-Bukhari, 5027]. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the teacher, ordered some of the captives of the battle of Badr to teach ten Muslims reading and writing in order to be released.
Some Muslims recognized the importance of education. For instance, Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy merchant named Mohammed Al-Fihri, a Muslim Arab woman, was an education pioneer who founded the first university in the world in 859 AD in Fez, Morocco. It was called Madrasa (literally meaning a place where one takes lessons) and it has been associated with Al Quaraouiyine mosque since then. This shows that praying and learning are connected with each other.
Ibn Al-Haytham set a great example as a Muslim scientist and mathematician. He made major scientific discoveries that served the whole world which lead to various modern innovations, such as high-tech cameras.
In conclusion, Muslims are required to seek knowledge and be well educated because this will make them better Muslims. It will also give them the chance to contribute to their community. Adding to this, the influence of knowledge lasts forever and could be a blessing to its contributor after he/she dies, as the Prophet (PBUH) said, "When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased)."[Muslim, 1631].
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