Knowledge is very important is Islam, however it needs to useful knowledge. Unnecessary knowledge is a waste of time and we’ll be asked about what we did with it.
In Islam, it is mandatory for all (male and female) to acquire knowledge and be in a place of being well-informed. For this post I have gathered a collection of hadith about knowledge.
The scholars of old were the true beacon and led the Ummah in all aspects of life. They studied the Islam deeply with the aim of furthering it to the entire world, only to gain the pleasure of Allah. Not only did they have the knowledge they backed it up with their actions, of course knowledge without action is useless.
There are many ahadith that mention the virtue of having knowledge, one verse from the Quran explicitly mentions knowledge with worshipping Allah.
Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding. Quran 39:9
If you ever needed some motivation to acquire knowledge read through the rest of this post and see the importance of knowledge with these ahadith about knowledge.
Hadith about Knowledge
A lot of the hadith about knowledge can be found in the Book of Sunnah, in Ibn Majah’s Sunan. Most of the ones below are from there.
As you’ll see from below it is very important to gain knowledge for the right reasons. It can have severe consequences if not practised correctly.
I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. The angels lower their wings in approval of the seeker of knowledge, and everyone in the heavens and on earth prays for forgiveness for the seeker of knowledge, even the fish in the sea. The superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like the superiority of the moon over all other heavenly bodies. The scholars are the heirs of the Prophets, for the Prophets did not leave behind Dinar of Dirham, rather they left behind knowledge, so whoever takes it has taken a great share.” Ibn Majah
Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “People will come to you seeking knowledge. When you see them, say to them, ‘Welcome, welcome,’ in obedience to the injunctions of the Messenger of Allah (saw), and instruct them in knowledge.” (One of the narrators said) “I said to Al-Hakam: ‘What is Iqnuhum?’ He said: ‘Instruct them.’” Ibn Majah
The Prophet (saw) said: “Do not seek knowledge in order to show off in front of the scholars, or to argue with the foolish, and do not choose the back seat in a gathering, due to it (i.e. the knowledge which you have learned) for whoever does that, the Fire, the Fire (awaits him).” Ibn Majah
One of the supplications that the Prophet (saw) used to say was: O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that is of no benefit, from a supplication that is not heard, from a heart that does not fear (You) and from a soul that is not satisfied. Ibn Majah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Allah will not take away knowledge by removing it from people (from their hearts). Rather He will take away knowledge by taking away the scholars, then when there will be no scholars left, the people will take the ignorant as their leaders. They will be asked questions and they will issue verdicts without knowledge, thus they will go astray and will lead others astray. Ibn Majah
Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim, and he who imparts knowledge to those who do not deserve it, is like one who puts a necklace of jewels, pearls and gold around the neck of swines. Ibn Majah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Let the one who has most knowledge of the Book of Allah lead the people in prayer. If they are equal in terms of knowledge of the Quran, let the one who emigrated first (lead them). If they are equal in terms of emigration, let the one who has more knowledge of the Sunnah (lead them). If they are equal in terms of knowledge of the Sunnah, let the one who is oldest (lead them). Do not lead a man in prayer in his place of authority, and do not sit in his place of honor, unless he gives you permission. Sunan Nasai
Abu Huraira said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Who will be the luckiest person, who will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?” Allah’s Apostle said: O Abu Huraira! “I have thought that none will ask me about it before you as I know your longing for the (learning of) Hadiths. The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.” And Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote to Abu Bakr bin Hazm, “Look for the knowledge of Hadith and get it written, as I am afraid that religious knowledge will vanish and the religious learned men will pass away (die). Do not accept anything save the Hadiths of the Prophet. Circulate knowledge and teach the ignorant, for knowledge does not vanish except when it is kept secretly (to oneself).” Bukhari
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘You must acquire this knowledge before it is taken away, and its taking away means that it will be lifted up.’ He joined his middle finger and the one that is next to the thumb like this, and said: ‘The scholar and the seeker of knowledge share the reward, and there is no good in the rest of the people. Sunan Ibn Majah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: May Allah cause to flourish a slave (of His) who hears my words and understands them, then conveys them from me. There are those who have knowledge but no understanding, and there may be those who convey knowledge to those who have more understanding of it than they do. Ibn Majah
Ibn Abbas: Once the Prophet (saw) embraced me and said, O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Quran). Bukhari
… [Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Quran. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: ‘And what did you do about them?’ He will say: ‘I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Quran for Your sake.’ He will say: ‘You have lied – you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: ‘He is learned.” And you recited the Quran that it might be said [of you]: ‘He is a reciter.’ And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. … Hadith Qudsi
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Whoever is asked about knowledge that he has and he conceals it, will be bridled on the Day of Resurrection with reigns of fire. Ibn Majah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “O Abu Hurairah. Learn about the inheritance and teach it, for it is half of knowledge, but it will be forgotten. This is the first thing that will be taken away from my nation. Ibn Majah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Faith is knowledge in the heart, words on the tongue and action with the physical faculties. (limbs of the body). Ibn Majah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: knowledge is based on three things, and anything beyond that is superfluous: a clear Verse, an established Sunnah, or the rulings by which the inheritance is divided fairly. Ibn Majah
The Prophet (saw) said: The best charity is when a Muslim man gains knowledge, then he teaches it to his Muslim brother. Ibn Majah
The Prophet (saw) said: Whoever teaches some knowledge will have the reward of the one who acts upon it, without that detracting from his reward in the slightest. Ibn Majah
Ibn Masud: The Prophet used to take care of us in preaching by selecting a suitable time, so that we might not get bored. (He abstained from pestering us with sermons and knowledge all the time). Bukhari
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘The best things that a man can leave behind are three: A righteous son who will pray for him, ongoing charity whose reward will reach him, and knowledge which is acted upon after his death. Ibn Majah
That brings us to the end, there are various narrations highlighting the importance of gaining knowledge, I hope this helps us to seek the pleasure of Allah and return Islam once again to the forefront leading from darkness into light.
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