15 Nov Studying and Learning.Part4
The Qur’an mentions the adab of sitting in the gatherings where a scholar or spiritual guide is teaching to increase one’s faith and knowledge:
O you who believe! When you are told, “Make room in the assemblies (for one another and for new comers),” do make room. God will make room for you (in His grace and Paradise). And when you are told, “Rise up (and leave the assembly),” then do rise up. God will raise (in degree) those of you who truly believe (and act accordingly), and in degrees those who have been granted the knowledge (especially of religious matters). Surely God is fully aware of all that you do. (Mujadila 58:11)
When knowledge, which leads one to greater piety and a better religious life, and allows others to benefit, is added to faith, God will exalt its owner by many ranks.
God commanded the Prophet, “(O Muhammad,) Say, ‘O my Lord, increase me in knowl- edge!’” (TaHa 20:114).
In full submission to this Divine order, the Prophet prayed,
“O God, make the knowledge You have taught me benefit me, and continue to teach me knowledge that will benefit me. Increase me in knowledge. God be praised at all times.”
This prayer in which Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, asks God to make his knowledge beneficial to him is also complemented by another prayer in which he sought refuge in God from knowledge that would not prove beneficial.
Why do humans learn?
Why should knowledgeable people be so highly regarded above all others? The answer to these questions can be found in the Qur’an:
“Of all His servants, only those possessed of true knowledge stand in awe of God…” (Fatir 35:28).
So it can be said that one reason for this is that scholars make it possible for others to know God better and to better understand the message of the Prophets of God.
God’s Messenger taught that it was worthwhile to envy two things. One of these is when someone takes the possessions God has bestowed on them and spends them in the way of God. The other is when someone blessed with knowledge and wisdom becomes a teacher and shares that wisdom with others.This means that when one acquires knowledge, one should then teach it to others; it is not wrong to “envy” (desire to be like) a person who does this.
The Prophet said the following regarding studying, literacy, education, making our knowledge a source of good for others, and educating others:
“It is incumbent upon all Muslims to acquire knowledge.”
As we can see, studying and learning are of critical importance in Islam. These hadith confirm the Prophet’s teaching,
“Knowledge and wisdom are the common property of every believer; wherever they are found, they should be acquired.”
The technology we have today is without a doubt the product of knowledge. It is easy to understand, looking from the perspective of the heights of knowledge, from the science and technology that have been achieved in the modern world, why Islam emphasizes knowledge and education so strongly. Is it possible to ignore its importance when we are surrounded by all the useful fruits and products of intellectual inquiry?
Certainly we must listen well to the teachings of Islam on this matter and show greater concern for educating the next generation if we are to solve some of the current harmful trends. Instead of leaving them material possessions, we should spend our money to make sure they receive opportunities to become truly “rich” in knowledge.
Ali ibn Abu Talib said,
“Someone who has money will have to protect it, whereas a person who has knowledge will be protected by it. Knowledge is a king; possessions are captives. And when possessions are spent they diminish, while knowledge increases when shared.”
Highlighting the excellence of knowledge Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“Be of those who teach or those who learn, those who listen, or those who love knowledge. If you are not in at least one of these groups, you are headed for destruction.”
The adab of learning applies not only to those who are teaching and learning religious studies but all types of useful knowledge. Here we give some details for our younger brothers and sisters who are students, regarding the adab of learning to add to what has been quoted above:
- If at first you don’t succeed do not lose heart.
- Classes should be entered with a mind that is prepared and willing.
- Listen to a teacher with your spiritual ears.
- When you don’t understand something, always ask.
- Try to make friends with successful students and get tips from them.
- Always plan and organize your time.
- Always try to be the best.
- Don’t go on to something else until you have understood what you are working on.
- If what you are studying is practically applicable, learn it through application.
- Do not maintain ties with people who discourage you from learning or dislike your studying.
- Be respectful and humble towards your teachers.