IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM
MJ Mohammed Iqbal
Islam, the religion of peace and wisdom gives foremost importance for the knowledge and intellect. The first revelation to Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) itself (which was revealed during the night in one of the odd numbers of last 10 days of Ramadhan) gave clear utmost importantance for knowledge, wisdom and learnings.
"Read in the name of your Lord who has created.
He has created man from a clot of blood.
Read! For your Lord is the most Honorable.
He who taught the use of the pen.
Has taught man what he knew not" [96:1~5]
In the above verses, we can see the words ‘reading’, ‘teaching’, ‘pen’, which are all related with knowledge & wisdom. Holy Qur'an further declared "Are those who know and those who know not alike? Only men of understanding mind" [39:9]. Hence Islam clearly insists its followers to progress by requiring them to pursue knowledge and learning with special attention. In another verse Holy Qur'an says that the people who posses knowledge and wisdom are placed in ranks in the presence of their Lord and they are more favored than others: "God will raise up, to ranks (and degrees) those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge. [58:2]
Kasir-b-Qais reported: I was seated with Abu Darda'a (one of the companions who collected traditions) in the mosque of Damascus when a man came to him and enquired: O Abu Darda'a! I have certainly come to you from Madina of the Messenger of Almighty for a tradition. It has reached me that you narrate it from the Messenger of Allah. I have come for no (other) necessity. He said: surely I heard the Messenger of Allah say :Whoever treads a path seeking knowledge therein, Allah will lead him to tread a path of the paths of heaven, and surely the angels spread out their wings out of pleasure for the seeker after knowledge; and as for the learned man, whatever is in the heavens and the earth and also the fishes in the fathom of water beg pardon for him (to Allah), Certainly the superiority of a learned man over the pious worshipper is like the superiority of the full moon at full moon-lit night over the rest of the stars; and verily the learned are the heritage of the Prophets, and the Prophets left for the heritage no silver or gold coins, but they left learning. So who so acquires it, acquires a sufficient fortune"
Abu Sayeed al-Khodri reported that the Messenger of Allah Muhammad(pbuh) said: "People will be your followers and people will come to you from different parts of the world to acquire learning in theology. So when they will come to you, admonish them with good". From the following sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), one can realize the importance of Intellect.
"God has not created anything more honorable than intellect. When a man comes close to the doors of religion and good deeds, he comes close to intellect. The Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) said to a companion Abu Darda'a : “Increase intellect, then your nearness to Lord will increase”. Abu Darda'a said to Prophet: “May my parents be sacrified to you, how will it be in my case?” The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said : “Avoid illegal things prohibited by God and fulfil the obligatory duties ordered by God, you will then become a man of intellect. do good deeds, your honour and fame will increase in this world and you will gain for that proximity to your Lord and honour in the next world".
Once, Prophet (PBUH) at the end of a long sermon described the Throne and stated that the angles asked God: O God, hast Thou created anything greater than the throne? He said: Yes, intellect. they asked: How great is it? He said: Alas, your intellect cannot grasp it. Can you count the number of sands: They said: No. God said: I have created intellect in different minds as numerous as sands. Some men have been given one grain, some two, some three, some four, some over one fraq, some one Excess(wasq) and some more.
Excellence of Knowledge
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was once asked: O Prophet of God, which action is best? He said: Knowledge. He was then questioned: Which knowledge do you mean? He said: with your knowledge of God a few actions will suffice, and your ignorance about God will not suffice even though, actions are ,numerous.
Hazrat Ali (May Allah and His Prophet be Pleased with Him) said that knowledge is better than wealth, knowledge guards one, knowledge dispenses justice while wealth seeks justice. Wealth decreases with expense while knowledge increases with expense. A learned man is better than one who prays and fights in the way of God. When a learned man dies, such a calamity befalls on Islam which cannot be removed except by his successor. Hazrat Ali said in Poem:
"Glory is due to none other than to learned;
Guided are they and proofs to the seekers for guidance.
Everybody is honored proportionate to his knowledge;
But the illiterates are disgraced as enemies of the learned.
Acquire knowledge, you will be immortal;
All men are dead, only the learned are alive."
Courtesy: Gulf Today