Khutbah- Knowledge

18Mar10

إن الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا من يهده الله فلا مضل له ومن يضلل فلا هادي له وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون

يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة وخلق منها زوجها وبث منهما رجالا كثيرا ونساء واتقوا الله الذي تساءلون به والأرحام إن الله كان عليكم رقيبا

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا . يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم

ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما

أما بعد

قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” (Az-Zumar 39:9)

يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ

Allâh will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. (Al-Mujadilah 58:11)

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء

It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh. (Fatir 35:28)

Indeed, there are many benefits to seeking knowledge, but first, we need to clarify and establish that whenever Allah or His Messenger, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, tell us of the virtues of knowledge, they are referring to knowledge that increases your awareness of Allah, strengthens your emaan in whatever lies in the unseen and knowledge that helps you get closer to Allah and His pleasure and stay far away from Shaytaan and punishment.

And of course, the best of this knowledge is the knowledge of Islam, for Rasulallah, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said, “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of his religion.”

We can categorize seeking knowledge into two broad categories:

The first is knowledge of what Allah loves, so that we may enjoin it upon ourselves and others

And the second is knowledge of what Allah hates so that we may forbid it for ourselves as well as others.

But before we DO anything in Islam, we are first ordered to KNOW what to do, and that is why Allah commanded us in the Quran,

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ

KNOW Laa ilaaha ilAllah, not merely say it.

And we know that actions without knowledge lead to both extremism and bid3ah.

For how many people are there who gain just a small fraction of knowledge regarding a certain matter, and not only act upon it in the wrong way, but might even start to admonish those who actually have the correct understanding of it?

For example, you’ll have people who make du’aa to prophets and people lower than them such as Ali or Hasan and Husain radhiAllahu anhum to fulfill their needs and grant them their wishes.

And on top of that, they might even start to criticize or admonish those who make du’aa solely to Allah and forbid people from making duaa to anyone else.

But if these people had gained the proper knowledge of their religion, they’d know that to make du’aa to anyone other than Allah is to commit shirk and leave Islam.

And they would also know that Muhammad, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, himself was commanded to say,

قُل لاَّ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلاَ ضَرًّا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ

Say: “I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allâh wills. (Al-A’raf 7:188)

So if Muhammad himself, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, couldn’t bring benefit to his own self while he was alive, how can he benefit us in this manner after he died?

So we can see how dangerous it can be to be ignorant of our religion.

And even more dangerous to one’s emaan is to worship Allah in a manner that isn’t prescribed for us by Allah or His Messenger, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, thus committing bid3ah, or innovation in the religion.

For how many people are there who have a strong desire and fervor to worship Allah and do good deeds, but they do so outside the boundaries given to us in the Quran and Sunnah?

As a result of this we have various deviant sects form around these newly invented methods of worship.

For example, we have some extreme deviant Sufis who instead of saying “Laa ilaha ilAllah” they say “Allah Allah Allah.”  And when you ask them why, they say, “Well if we say laa ilaha ilAllah, and we die before reaching the word Allah, we would die on laa ilaaha and thus die upon kufr.”

Likewise, we have some of the common Muslims who all of a sudden want to do good deeds and worship Allah, but they don’t seek the guidance of Allah or His Messenger in doing so, so they end up committing deviant acts for the sake of Allah.

For example, they’ll attend an event such as some sort of interfaith prayer day, or a concert or, on an individual scale, someone might sing and dance for the sake of Allah.

Deeds such as these will be rejected by Allah and the one who does them will have to answer to Him on the Day of Judgment as to why he lied against Allah by saying that those deeds are loved by Him when in fact, they are the worst of deeds.

And that is why Imam Ahmad said that the most evil person of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama3ah is better than the most pious of Ahlul Bid3ah, because the sinner of Ahlus Sunnah knows that what he’s doing is wrong and he may eventually repent from it, but the person of innovation and bid3ah not only lies against Allah by claiming that what he’s doing is pleasing to Allah, but he’ll never repent from his deeds because he thinks he’s doing good all his life.

And that is why Sufyaan ath-Thawree, rahmatullahi ‘alayh, said, “Shaytaan is more pleased with bid3ah or innovation than sin, since one can repent from sin whereas one cannot repent from innovation because he thinks he is doing something good.”

It is important to clarify a common misconception.  There are many idiots today who think so long as your intention is good, you’ll be excused from any wrongdoing.  They say you can join the kuffar in their prayer with a good intention (e.g. for the sake of unity).  They say you can miss your salaah with a good intention (e.g. for the sake of helping another).  They say you can lie against Allah with a good intention (e.g. for the sake of dawah).  Heck, if that was the case then there’s no reason to be Muslim since almost every follower of the other religions has a good intention for believing in what they believe and doing what they do.  Rasulallah salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam never said or implied that!  What he stated was the following,

إنما الأعمال بالنيات ، وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى ) متفق عليه

“Actions are but by intentions, and each man will have but that which he intended” (Agreed Upon)

So what is the difference between this statement and the common perception of “actions are judged by intentions?”  Actions are but by intentions means if your action is good, then by default, your intention is good.  If your action is bad, then by default, your action is bad.  Our actions are “judged” by our shari3ah, not by your worthless intention!  So if you’re actions do not coincide with our shari3ah, then it will be rejected no matter how sincere you are in doing it!

وفي الصحيح عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( من عمل عملا ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد ) رواه مسلم

In al-Saheeh it is narrated from ‘Aa’ishah radhiAllahu ‘anha that the Messenger of Allaah salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” Narrated by Muslim, 1718

Ibn Mas’ood radhiAllahu ‘anhu denounced those who gathered to remember Allaah (dhikr), they gave the excuse that their intention was good and that they did not mean anything but good, and he said to them: “How many of those who intend good do not attain it?!” Narrated by al-Daarimi, 204.

Therefore, it is highly important that we seek as much knowledge as we can about how we worship Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, and the deeds we do for His sake, so as to protect ourselves from these disastrous consequences.

Likewise, another benefit to seeking knowledge is that you will learn about the numerous things you can do to both increase your good deeds and erase your sins.

For example, Rasulallah, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, asked the Sahaabah, “If there was a river in front of one of your houses and he took a bath in it five times a day, would there be any dirt left on him?”  They replied, “No, there wouldn’t be any dirt left on him.”  Then he said, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, “That is the five daily prayers.  Allah obliterates all sins as a result of performing them.”

Also, there are many athkaar that Rasulallah, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, enjoined upon us that have tremendous rewards.

For example, Rasulallah, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, told us that whoever says SubhanAllahi wa bihamdihi one hundred times a day, his sins will be forgiven even if they are like the foam of the sea.

Also, Rasulallah, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, once asked, “Is anyone of you incapable of earning a thousand Hasanaat in one day?”  And someone in the gathering asked, “How can anyone of us earn a thousand Hasanaat?”  He said, “Glorify Allah, meaning say SubhanAllah, one hundred times and either a thousand Hasanaat will be written for you, or a thousand sins will be wiped away.”

And this is all due to the mercy of Allah, ‘aza wa jal.

PART II

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of seeking knowledge of your religion, we can briefly discuss the gravity of being ignorant about Allah and His religion.

In surat Taha, Allah describes a person who will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement blind, unable to see, and this person will ask, “Oh Allah, why am I blind now but I was able to see in the past?”

Allah will respond to him,

قَالَ كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا وَكَذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنسَى

“Like this, Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allâh’s Mercy).” (Ta-Ha 20:126)

So we should take any reminders we get about our religion seriously and strive to better understand our religion and act accordingly.

Likewise, we should know that being ignorant about our religion is worse than being ignorant in your field of study.

For example, in your studies, if you just do what you gotta do to pass your classes and get a job after graduation, in the real world, when you get a job related to your field of study every single deficiency in your knowledge will be exposed.

Similarly on the Day of Judgment and even before that in your grave, every uncertainty you had about your religion will be easily exposed and you will suffer its consequences.

When the scholars commented on the verse,

يُثَبِّتُ اللّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الآخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللّهُ الظَّالِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللّهُ مَا يَشَاء

Allâh will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allâh Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allâh will cause to go astray those who are Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), and Allâh does what He wills. (Ibrahim 14:27)

They said that depending on how firm your belief in Allah was in this world, that is how firm Allah will make you in the grave when the angels ask you the three most important questions you’ll ever be asked, “Who is your lord?  What is your religion?  Who is that man who was sent to you?”

So we ask Allah to increase us in knowledge of His religion, to keep us firm on his religion in this world and to protect us from the trials of the Hereafter.

والحمد للّه أولا وآخراً. والله وليّ التوفيق وصلى اللّه على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

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One Response to “Khutbah- Knowledge”

  1. 1 Imran Tayyab

    Excellent Article. Right to the Point.


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