1) Knowledge leads to fearfulness of Allaah.
2) Acquiring knowledge is a great act of worship which has transcending benefit.
3) Life is dispraised except for the good in it, which especially includes knowledge.
4) Ahaadeeth regarding the virtue of knowledge and scholars.
5) Plagues of knowledge are,
b. Concealing it.
c. Negligence in seeking it.
d. Not conveying it if one feels that his knowledge is not a lot.
e. Abandonment of applying it.
f. Not having wisdom in conveying it.
g. Relying on their understanding without referring to scholars.
h. Not being explicit in explaining it.
i. Forgetting knowledge.
Slaves of Allaah! Fear Allaah and know that knowledge is the way to obtain fearfulness of Allaah, and this fearfulness leads to gaining His pleasure, as Allaah says what means, “And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allaah from among His servants who have knowledge. Indeed, Allaah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving” (Faatir: 28). Moreover, it is more likely that Allaah wills good for the one who acquires knowledge, as the Prophet sallallaahu’ alaihi wasallam said, “When Allaah wishes good for someone, He will bestow upon him the understanding of religion” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
It is through knowledge that people become guided, and this guidance results in a great reward, as the Prophet sallallaahu’ alaihi wasallam said when he told ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, “I swear by Allaah! If a single man is guided by Allaah through you, it will be better for you than obtaining a large number of red camels” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
If a person is looking for the path leading to Paradise, he will definitely find it through knowledge, as the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said, “Allaah makes the way to Paradise easy for him who pursues the path in search of knowledge” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
No one is ever envied (the good kind of envy where one only wishes to have the good which others have, without wishing for this blessing to be taken away from them) as scholars are, as the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam said, “None except two types of people may be envied, a man to whom Allaah has given wealth which he spends in good cause, and a man to whom Allaah has given wisdom (knowledge) by which he judges between people and teaches it to others” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
This world was cursed by the best of all creatures, our Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam, when he said, “Indeed, this world, with all it contains, is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allaah and what follows it from deeds pleasing to Allaah, scholars (of religion) and seekers of knowledge” (Tirmithi).
There is a great Hadeeth which contains treasures, because it shows the way to acquire knowledge. It explains the relation between the seeker of knowledge and the angels and fish which are in the depth of the oceans. It also clarifies the difference between a scholar and a devout worshipper, and the connection between Prophets and scholars. Perhaps you know by now which Hadeeth I am referring to. Abu Ad-Dardaa’, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allaah will make the path of Paradise easy for him. The angles 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 a scholar over a devout worshipper is like that of the full moon over the rest of the stars (in brightness). Scholars are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither gold nor silver, but only knowledge; and he who acquires it (knowledge), has in fact acquired an abundant portion” (Abu Daawood & Tirmithi).
It is evident what great virtue knowledge, scholars and seekers of knowledge have, but in order not to miss out on this great reward, we must beware of the following plagues related to knowledge.
· Not being sincere while teaching or seeking knowledge, by doing it to obtain a certain job, or becoming honored among people, or so that people may say that so and so is a scholar, a Shaykh, a doctor; this will has a very bad consequence, as the Prophet sallallaahu’ alaihi wasallam said, “He who acquires knowledge to gain the frailties of the world, and not with the intention of pleasing Allaah, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection” (Abu Daawood) and also, “He who acquires knowledge to compete against scholars, to boast in front of the ignorant or to draw people’s attention, Allaah will admit him into Hell” (Tirmithi).
· Concealing knowledge and not teaching it to others, either out of laziness, stinginess, or out of fear of authorities are other plagues related to knowledge, the Prophet sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam said, “He who is asked about knowledge and conceals it, will be bridled with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection” (Abu Daawood & Tirmithi).
· Negligence of learning how to read and write, which are means and tools of seeking knowledge. The Prophet sallallaahu ’alaihi wasallam made the ransom, for those who could not pay it in money from the prisoners of war in the battle of Badr, to be the teaching of ten Muslims how to read and write. However, many scholars do not know how to read or write for a legitimate excuse, like being blind for example, and in the case of the Prophet sallallaahu ’alaihi wasallam, it was necessary that he remained illiterate for his proof of prophecy to be stronger and more convincing.
· Some people think that in order to convey knowledge, one should have a great deal of knowledge before he may convey it, which is wrong. When a Muslim learns something, he should convey it to others even if it is little, because the Prophet sallallaahu ’alaihi wasallam said, “Convey on my behalf even if it is only one verse of the Qur’aan” (Bukhaari).
· Abandonment of applying knowledge is a great lesion, because practice is the fruit of knowledge.
· Not having wisdom in conveying knowledge is very dangerous, because wisdom is something beyond knowledge. Allaah says what means, “He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding” (Al-Baqarah: 269). Some of the aspects of not having wisdom in conveying knowledge are partiality regarding one's opinion, harshness, arrogance and not conveying what suits people, whether due to difficulty of the topic, or the amount or level of the subject being taught. Generally speaking, each situation calls for a suitable approach and certain knowledge to be conveyed.
· Relying on books only, without referring to scholars for the proper understanding. This a contemporary problem we suffer from, which results in some people basing their opinions on weak narrations and adopting odd opinions regarding various issues.
· Not being explicit in conveying knowledge is a dangerous practice. The Prophet supplicated for the one who explicates while conveying knowledge, as he sallallaahu ’alaihi wasallam said, “May Allaah make the affairs of a person prosper who hears something from us (the Prophet) and communicates it to others exactly as he heard it (meaning and words). Many a person to whom something is conveyed, retains it in his memory and understands it better than the one who has originally heard it” (Tirmithi).
· Being arrogant and refusing to learn or ask about that which benefits a person, especially if one has to ask who is younger than him, or lower in rank within the community.
· Forgetting knowledge is one of the greatest problems which cannot be overcome except through continuous revision, teaching and application of this knowledge.
· A new problem which has appeared in our time is associating knowledge with academic degrees. Some people think that knowledge cannot be obtained except through this channel. Although this is something which might be important, it is not the only way to obtain knowledge. There are many study circles in mosques which people may attend, and it is a very beneficial and fruitful method to learn. Additionally, following what is broadcasted at times through some radio channels is another useful means of acquiring knowledge. Connecting knowledge (which is the objective) with degrees and certificates (which are means) makes people desert the study circles of scholars.