Monday, July 4, 2011
But, I am a born muslim!
''I am not a convert to Islam, I am a born Muslim hence I don't need to *seek* knowledge, it is for new muslims''
Many of us, most often, if not out loud then subconsciously live under the belief that seeking knowledge is only for the people who were not raised as muslims. Most certainly those who were raised in proper muslim households without any innovation being entertained have slightly more knowledge than the new reverts but that does not mean that we know EVERYTHING. What? We don't? Yes. We don't.
We might like to think that we do but unfortunately we don't. Plus, there are many countries where everyday a new biddah (innovation) is attributed to the sunnah of the Prophet Muhmmad (saws) and many people each day follow it without looking for the proper evidence. If you question some of them, they might give you answers like ''But i am not asking them to do a bad deed, i am asking them to do a good deed for a certain reward'' ... To such people ''Did the prophet Muhammad (saws) used to do that? Did He mention that a person will get such and such reward?''
It may come as a shock, but even if you start a *good deed* which is not found in the Quran or the Sunnah. Then Guess what?! It is a biddah regardless that it is a good act. To make it more simple, Last night I had a message from someone reminding about ''Ramadan and how its on its way'' and it said ''Forward this to 3 muslims and get the reward of 7 years of worship'' ... So I just ended up asking that particular person, whats their evidence for claiming such a reward, is there a hadith relating to it? or in Quran? well.. what happened after that you wouldn't wanna know. My point being that when we even receieve islamic information in our emails, without proper references then we either must look for the reference or we must refrain ourselves for forwarding it to other people.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) states in another Hadith: 
طلب العلم فریضة علی کل مسلم
The seeking of knowledge is a religious duty [mandatory] on every Muslim
(Usool Al-Kaafi, Vol. 1, Page 30. Also Ibn Maajeh Vol. 1, section 17, Hadith 224).
This hadith is confirmed by a chain of more than 50 narrators.
So no, it is not just the scholars who must seek knowledge about Islam, it is also people like you and I. For there are different levels in seeking knowledge too, the scholars spend their entire lifetime just studying about 1 area of fiqh. Also, when we start seeking knowledge by attending a course or two, and reading books on fiqh we do not become fuqaha. So there's absolutely no place for boasting about it and this is a reminder to myself before anyone of you.
Being raised as a muslim does not guarantee us a confirmed first class ticket to paradise, I know that we all are aware of this fact yet it is quite astonishing that our actions do not reflect what we know about.
Think about this, we read Surah Fatiha (the opening chapter) a minimum of 17 times. What do we ask for in the Last verses?
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ
Show us the straight way,
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
The Scholars have commented that the ''Maghdhoobi'' those who went astrayed are the Jews who had the knowledge about the coming of the prophet (saws) but when he actually came they denied him. Meaning they had knowledge yet they refused to act upon it. Now, most of end up thinking ''Damn those jews how could they be so arrogant''... Wait, lets think about us. Now that we know that seeking knowledge is important how are we going to deal with it? We KNOW, enough of knowledge being raised as muslims but how little is that we act upon? So after knowing something, if we are not acting upon it. Isn't it also a form of denial?
The ''Dhalleen'' are the ignorant ones who the scholars comment are the christians. The problem is when we don't seek knowledge we are left in ignorance, Its quite an obvious fact. And I can assure you from my experience that you cannot do a bigger harm to yourself than living in Ignorance. Some of us begin to think Ignorance is bliss, *as long as I don't know about it, I cannot be held responsible for it*. But think now, what are we asking of Allah 17 times a day? Who don't we want to be like?? We are asking him thats for sure, but are we taking any measures from our end? to not to be of those ;
1. Who have knowledge but do not act upon it
2. Who are ignorant
Okay, so we are getting a bit serious about seeking knowledge what must we do? There are 2 pre-requisties for it;
1. It should be ONLY for the sake of Allah SWT : How often is that sometimes we may be reading Quran and the minute someone walks in on us the tajweed gets a bit loud and clear, when we are praying and realize someone's watching us the sujood becomes a little longer? How often is it that we flash our knowledge cards to prove someone wrong in an argument? Subhanallah, I don't know about any of you, but sometimes without even realizing it I fall under such error because we as humans love it when we get attention. So, Let's CLEAR THE INTENTION, Do it for the sake of Allah SWT, Our reward is with our creator, the creation is of NO BENEFIT to us.
2. It should be from the Quran & Sunnah : No, we do not have to seek knowledge about something which is not mentioned in the Quran or the books of Sunnah. So before seeking knowledge from any source, do a quick check about them.
As I was googling a particular hadith I stumbled upon this beautiful article written by this fantastic sister that i know. You must definitely give it a read, here it is.