Class 1




Allaah created man and provided him with the tools for acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sight and wisdom. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And Allâh has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allâh)[al-Nahl 16:78]

Islam is the religion of knowledge. The first aayah of the Qur’aan to be revealed enjoined reading which is the key to knowledge. Allaah says in Surah al-‘Alaq [96:1-5] (interpretation of the meaning):

  • “Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
  • He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
  • Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
  • Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
  • He has taught man that which he knew not”

In Islam, knowledge comes before action; there can be no action without knowledge, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):“So know (O Muhammad) that Laa ilaaha ill-Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women”[Muhammad 47:19]

Allaah warns every Muslim against speaking without knowledge, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allâh)”[al-Israa’ 17:36]


The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” (Ibn Majah, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani). What is meant by knowledge here is knowledge of sharee’ah (Islamic knowledge). Al-Thawri said: “It is the knowledge for which no person has any excuse for not knowing.”

Seeking knowledge – which a Muslim needs in order to establish what is binding on him from worship of his Lord – is an obligation that is compulsory on him (fard ayn). Like how to offer Salah, make Wudoo & Ghusl, rulings of fasting, how & who to give Zakah to, Hajj etc knowing about these are an obligation for all of us. Similarly a business man should learn about the rules of trading to ensure he does not indulge in Riba. As for what exceeds those limits, then acquiring knowledge of that falls under the collective obligations (fard kifaayah), and it is something recommended and extra for the student of knowledge.

Acting without Knowledge

It is reported that Imâm Muhammad b. Sîrîn – Allâh have mercy on him – said: There were people who abandoned knowledge and sitting with the scholars, and [instead] took to their chambers and prayed until their skin dried [from exertion in worship]. Thereafter they began to contradict the Sunnah and thus were destroyed. By Allâh, never does a person act without knowledge, except that he spoils and corrupts more than he fixes and rectifies. (Al-Asbahânî, Al-Targhîb wa Al-Tarhîb 3:98)


Islam calls us to seek knowledge. The Messenger ﷺ made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge in many ahadeeth.

A person of knowledge is like the Moon in the sky in front of other stars, he is better than a devout worshipper because he not only learns, he spread and benefits others, the Prophet ﷺ said

  • The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars.(Abu Dawood, classed as Sahih by Albani)
  • The superiority of the learned over the devout worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you (in good deeds).” [At-Tirmidhi, classed as Hasan]. 

Proper understanding of Islam is one of the best of good characteristics with which a Muslim may be honoured, The Prophet ﷺ said: “When Allaah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 69)

It is only one of two things for which being envious is permitted. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Envy is permitted only in two cases: A man whom Allah gives wealth, and he disposes of it rightfully, and a man to whom Allah gives knowledge which he applies and teaches it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It is the best fruit that we can take from this world, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The world, with all that it contains, is accursed except for the remembrance of Allah that which pleases Allah; and the religious scholars and seekers of knowledge.” (At- Tirmidhi, classed as Hasan).


Their ranks are raised in the sight of Allah

“Allah will raise those who believe among you and those who were given knowledge, by many degrees. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do”.(Surah Al-Mujadila, 58:11)

It is Inheritance of the Prophets

The Prophet ﷺ said “The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion”. (Abu Dawood, classed as Sahih by Albani)

The Path to Paradise is made Easy

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, 10)

Rewards of spreading the Knowledge

There are many rewards for Dawah like we are rewarded the same as the person who learns it from us and implements it, it is amongst the best form of Sawab-e-Jaariya (continuous rewards) and the angels along with living beings including the fish & ants supplicate for the one who learns, implements and spreads.

Ignorance is NOT bliss

“No, stop! I don’t need to know,” interrupted a friend not wanting to discuss religion. “I’m not ready to practice just yet and Allah is too kind to punish anyone for things they are unaware of.” This is one of the Tricks of Shaitaan, as one could indulge in its sinfulness without carrying the burden of any guilt. After all, you can’t be held responsible for something you didn’t know about in the first place, says the clear enemy – The Shaitaan. By choosing to remain in ignorance we end up giving ourselves up to the devil and allow him to steer us along a blinded path and consequently live a life we hardly have any control over. Is this how we want to continue to live until ultimately death pushes us into the realm of the afterlife? And especially no when we see so many sudden deaths even young ones dying of sudden heart attacks.

When it comes to the hereafter, the outcome rests exclusively on our ability to keep to the fundamentals. Like everything else, religion is composed of a set of rules too; a guideline for all to follow if we want to achieve a state of true peace and tranquillity. There are only two possible ends to our existence; heaven or hell. One is a result of confusion, doubt, negligence and disregard of the divine principles; the other an outcome of knowledge, understanding, realization and complete obedience. Hence, we have to stop living in this shared delusion of ours and instead of choosing to remain ignorant, strive for knowledge and understanding. The more we learn and the more we struggle to follow the divine laws, the better will be our chances of attaining immortality in a state of indescribable ecstasy rather than chaotic wretchedness. I’d rather be aware and in control of my future than take the foolish risk of losing paradise—for there is not a soul that would ever knowingly trade absolute bliss with eternal damnation.

So, think again; is ignorance really bliss? We say Ignorance is NOT bliss, it is a weapon of Iblees.


Islam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. Branches of knowledge vary in status, the highest of which is knowledge of sharee’ah (we read above the virtues of Islamic Knowledge), then knowledge of medicine, then the other fields of knowledge.

The ummah needs knowledgeable people at all times and in all places. A nation without knowledge and scholars will live in illusions and sink in darkness and if a person learns what Allaah has prescribed, then whoever conceals this knowledge and deprives the ummah of it.

The Fatwa of the scholars who say that it is permissible to give zakaah to a seeker of worldly knowledge emphasises that a person is to seek both kind of knowledge as much as he can ofcourse giving precedence to Islamic Knowledge atleast enough to fulfil his obligations.

– Al-Mardaawi says in al-Insaaf (3/218): Shaykh Taqiy al-Deen favoured the view that it is permissible to take zakaah in order to buy books that he needs including books of knowledge that is indispensable for his religious and worldly affairs. End quote. And this is the correct view. End quote.

The Muslims achieved great things in theoretical and practical spheres of knowledge, and other civilizations followed the Muslims in their progress and knowledge. Some prominent western universities still acknowledge this and teach it as part of their curricula.

The French philosopher Gustave le Bon stated in his book The Civilization of the Arabs: “We must bear in mind that the Arabs – and the Arabs alone – are the ones who guided us to the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans. European universities, including the University of Paris, based their curricula on translations of their books for six hundred years and used their methods of research. The Islamic civilization was one of the most amazing that history has ever known”. End quote.

We have seen how some western researchers have been fair towards the Muslims and their religion, and have acknowledged that the Muslims were pioneers in various fields of worldly science. There follow some of their comments so that we may see the position of Islam in relation to other civilizations, and understand how Islam urges its followers to look, ponder, strive and invent. We will quote comments from thinkers of different backgrounds.

  • 1 – The French thinker Gustave le Bon says in his famous book The Civilization of the Arabs (translated into Arabic by ‘Aadil Zu’aytar): If the Arabs had taken over France, then Paris would have become like Cordova in Spain, a centre of civilization and knowledge, where the man in the street was able to read and write, and even compose poetry, at a time when the kings of Europe did not even know how to write their names!
  • 2 – The German Orientalist Sigrid Hoeneker said, concerning the spread of libraries in the Arab and Muslim world: The libraries grew in every place like plants in good soil. In 891 CE a traveller put the number of public libraries in Baghdad as more than one hundred.
  • 3 – In the field of medicine and surgery, the Muslims played an undeniable role. The British writer H. G. Wells says in his book Milestones in Human History: They advanced in medicine far beyond the Greeks, they studied science and the functions of various parts of the body, and preventative medicine. Many of the treatment methods that they used are still used by us until today. They used anaesthetics for their operations and they used to perform some of the most difficult surgeries that are known. At a time when the church used to forbid the practice of medicine in the expectation that a full recovery could be achieved through religious rituals performed by the bishops, the Arabs had a true knowledge of medicine. End quote.

He also said: Every religion that is not suited to civilization should be rejected. I have not found any religion that is suited to civilization except Islam. End quote.

The testimonies are innumerable. We wanted to quote a few of them to show that non-Muslims have said the same as we say. All of those whom we have quoted pointed to the progress and success achieved by Muslims in material sciences, and leading mankind to advancement in many fields. Whilst the Muslims achieved distinction in these fields, they also achieved great things in the fields of religious sciences, worship and obedience to their Lord. The history of this religion bears witness to the great achievements in the field of writing books of shar’i (religious) knowledge, which is based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah (prophetic teachings). History also tells us of prominent figures whose worship and asceticism did not prevent them from being scholars in the religious or worldly sciences.

There are names of numerous Muslim scholars in many fields whose knowledge and progress cannot be denied except by one who is ignorant or arrogant, such as Ibn al-Nafees and al-Zahraawi in the field of medicine, Ibn al-Haytham in the field of vision and light, al-Khawaarizmi in the field of mathematics, and many, many others.

The intention plays a major part in anything we do, if we study the worldly sciences and strive towards it with the intention of helping the ummah or earning Halal income to provide your families and help your kith & kin the studies can also be an Ibadah.

Categories of People Regarding ‘Ilm (knowledge)

The Prophet ﷺ said, “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophet) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)” [Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadeeth 79].

In his commentary on this hadeeth, Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) concluded in his book (Muftahu-daris-Sa’aadah), that the Prophet ﷺ categorized people into three types with respect to their acceptance and readiness to memorise, understand and deduct the wisdoms and benefits of knowledge.

  1. The First Category: Ahlul-hifthi-wal-Faham (People of Memorization and Understanding).
  2. The Second Category: Ahlul-hifth (People of Memorization Only)
  3. They are the ones who have no share in memorization nor in understanding.

The similitude of the third category in the hadeeth is that of the barren land, which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. Hence no produce (no benefit), and these are the wicked ones. The first two categories, those who memorised, learned and understood, and the others who memorised without being able to understand, share the knowledge and teach, each in accordance with the extent he may have received and accepted. The latter knows the wording of the Qur’aan, teaches it and memorises it, while the former knows the wording, the meaning and the ruling and teaches them. The third category has no knowledge nor teaching.

May Allah make us amongst the first two categories, May Allah be pleased with us and grant us beneficial knowledge – one that we are able to learn, practice and preach.

In the upcoming classes we will study about…

  • Etiquette of gaining knowledge
  • Signsof Beneficial & Non-Beneficial Knowledge
  • Responsibilities
  • Rewards


  1. Do not have to memorise the ayahs or hadeeths word for word and their references, but remember their meanings and the message being given.
  2. Remember the virtues & rewards