The Excellence of knowledge

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

241. Chapter: The Excellence of knowledge

Allah says, "Say: 'My Lord! increase me in knowledge," (W20:111; H20:114)

and He says, "Say: 'Are they the same – those who know and those who do not know?" (W39:10; H39:9)

The Almighty says, "Allah will raise in rank those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge," (58:11)

and the Almighty says, "Only those of His slaves with knowledge have fear of Allah." (35:28)

1376. Mu'awiya stated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When Allah desires good for someone, He gives him correct understanding in the deen." [Agreed upon]

1377. Ibn Mas'ud reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You can only have envy for two things: for a man to whom Allah has given wealth which he spends in the way of the truth, and for a man to whom Allah has given wisdom and he acts by it and teaches it." [Agreed upon]

1378. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The metaphor of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is the abundant rain which strikes the earth. Some of it is fertile and accepts the water and brings forth plants and grass in abundance. Some of it is hard and holds the water enabling Allah to let people make use of it. They drink from it, water their animals and irrigate. Some of the land it strikes is level and barren and does not retain the water nor produce plants. The first is a metaphor for someone who understands the deen of Allah and benefits from that with which Allah has sent me and learns and teaches. The last is a metaphor for someone who pays no attention to it for the sake of the Allah and does not accept the guidance with which I have been sent." [Agreed upon]

1379. Sahl ibn Sa'd reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to 'Ali, "By Allah, for Allah to guide one man by you is better for you than red camels." [Agreed upon]

1380. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Transmit from me, even if it is only an ayat, and you may relate from the Children of Israel without harm. Anyone who deliberately tells a lie regarding me will take his seat in the Fire." [al-Bukhari]

1381. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah will make the path to the Garden easy for anyone who travels a path in search of knowledge." [Muslim]

1382. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who calls others to guidance will have the same reward as those who follow him, without that decreasing their reward in any way." [Muslim]

1383. Abu Hurayra is that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When the son of Adam dies, his actions are cut off except for three - an on-going sadaqa and knowledge which brought benefit and a virtuous son who makes supplication for him." [Muslim]

1384. Abu Hurayra said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'This world is cursed, and everything in it is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allah Almighty and obedience to Him, and a scholar or a teacher.'" [at-Tirmidhi]

1385. Anas stated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who goes out in search of knowledge is in the way of Allah until he returns." [at-Tirmidhi]

1386. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A believer will not have his fill of good until he reaches the Garden." [at-Tirmidhi]

1387. Abu Umama reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah and His angels and the people of the heavens and the earth, even the ants in their rocks and the fish, pray for blessings on those who teach people good." [at-Tirmidhi]

1388. Abu'd-Darda' said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Allah will make the path to the Garden easy for anyone who travels a path in search of knowledge. Angels spread their wings for the seeker of knowledge out of pleasure for what he is doing. Everyone in the heavens and everyone in the earth ask forgiveness for a man of knowledge, even the fish in the water. The superiority of the man of knowledge to the man of worship is like the superiority of the moon to all the planets. The men of knowledge are the heirs of the Prophets. The Prophets bequeath neither dinar nor dirham; they bequeath knowledge. Whoever takes it has taken an ample portion.'" [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

1389. Ibn Mas'ud said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'May Allah bless a man who hears something from me and transmits it as he heard it. Many a person to whom something is transmitted retains more than the person who first heard it.'" [at-Tirmidhi]

1390. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who is asked for knowledge and conceals it, will be bridled with a bridle of Fire on the day of Rising." [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

1391. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who learns knowledge which should be learned for the sake of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, only to obtain by it goods of this world, will not experience the scent of the Garden on the Day of Rising." [Abu Dawud]

1392. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Allah will not take away knowledge from His servants, but knowledge will be taken away as the men of knowledge are taken away until there is not a single man of knowledge left. Then people will take ignorant men for their leaders who will be asked something and give a fatwa (decision) without any knowledge. They will go astray and lead others astray.'" [Agreed upon]