Chapter of Islamic Manners

Lesson 7 : The Merit of Knowledge and Abiding By It


The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ

Talabul-^ilmi faridatun ^ala kulli Muslim.

Which means: “Seeking the [obligatory] religious knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy.)

Learning the Religious knowledge is among the best things that one may spend one’s time doing. The safe path that protects a person and his family from Hellfire is by learning the Islamic knowledge, i.e., learning what Allah made obligatory upon us and learning what Allah ordered us to avoid.

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:

يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ

Yarfa^illahu-lladhina amanu minkum walladhina utul-^ilma darajat.

Ayah 11 of Suratul-Mujadalah means: {Allah raises to higher ranks the believers and those of (Islamic) knowledge.}

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

مَنْ يُرِدِ اللهُ بِهِ خَيْراً يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ

May yuridillahu bihi kayray-yufaqqihhu fid-din.

Which means: “The one for whom Allah willed goodness, Allah guides him to become a knowledgeable person in the Religion.” (Narrated by al-Bukhariyy.)

Knowledge and good manners: One will not become pious except by learning and practicing that which one learned. This means that one must learn the matters of the Religion and follow what one learned. The one who does this is the person who knows how to use one’s heart and other organs to obey Allah. By this, one will have good manners. One uses one’s hearing to obtain the knowledge, and one’s tongue to review and teach what one has learned.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

بَلِّغُوا عَنِّي وَلَوْ آيَةً

Ballighu ^anni walaw-ayah.

Which means: “Convey from me, even if it was one verse.” (Narrated by al-Bukhariyy.)

The sins of the tongue: Among what one must avoid are the sins of the tongue. Among the sins of the tongue are giving an Islamic judgment without knowledge, refusing to teach the Islamic obligatory knowledge while there is a student who wishes to acquire it, and refraining from ordering with ma^ruf (obligations) and forbidding munkar (prohibitions).

1- Giving judgment without knowledge: It is sinful for one to give judgments in the matters of the Religion out of one’s own opinion. This harms the one who does it. For example if someone says: “Such and such is allowed or not allowed,” while one does not know the Islamic judgment of whether it is allowed or not, one commits a major sin.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

مَنْ أَفْتَى بِغَيْرِ عِلْم ٍ فَعَلَيْهِ لَعَنَتةُ اللهِ وَالْمَلاَئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِين

Man afta bighayri ^ilmin fa^alayhi la^natullahi wal-mala’ikati wan-nasi ajma^in.

Which means: “Let the damnation of Allah, the angels, and all the people be on the one who gives an Islamic judgment without knowledge.” (Related by As-Suyutiyy.)

2- Refusing to teach the Islamic obligatory knowledge while someone wishes to acquire it: This is one of the sins of the tongue. An example of it is refusing (without a religious excuse) to teach the personal obligatory knowledge to a person who needs to learn it.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ فَكَتَمَهُ أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مَنْ نَارٍ

Man su’ila ^an ^ilmin fakatamahu uljima yawmal-qiyamati bilijamim min-Nar.

Which means: “The one who is asked to teach the religious [obligatory] knowledge and refrains from it (with no excuse) will be bridled with a reign of fire on the Day of Judgment.” (Related by Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, Ibn Hibban.)

3- Refraining from ordering with ma^ruf (obligations) and forbidding munkar (prohibitions): This is among the sins of the tongue only if one is able. So, if someone sees another person, who listens to advice, leaving out the prayer, one is obligated to order him to pray.



1. State a hadith from the Prophet that encourages acquiring the knowledge.

2. What is the safe way to protect oneself and one’s family from Hellfire?

3. Give an ayah and a saying of the Prophet (hadith) that tell about the merit of knowledge.

4. Give a hadith that requires one to teach the knowledge. Who related it?

5. List some of the sins of the tongue.

6. State a hadith prohibiting to give judgments without knowledge.

7. State a hadith that prohibits refusing to teach the knowledge.


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