Two Ways Knowledge Comes from Allah

What are the two ways in which knowledge comes from Allah?

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

"Lo! Indeed the world is cursed. What is in it is cursed, except for remembrance of Allah, what is conducive to that, the knowledgeable person and the learning person.” [1]

That is a very heavy hadeeth, everything is cursed, except the teacher and the student. The student is in very special place, and this is related all the way back to Adam.  Allah taught Adam the names of all things, Adam was first student, taught him knowledge of the things of this world. This elevated him to a position superior to angels to the point that angels had to accept it. Whatever they imagined about Adam could not be dependent upon, knowledge come from Allah in two ways There are two ways in which knowledge comes from Allah

  1. Revealed knowledge: Revelation, Allah communicates His will to the Prophet, through the angels then to His creatures through books of revelation. Hence we call it revealed knowledge.
  2. Acquired knowledge: we acquire it through efforts, you research study, think, try this out and that out and something works and you have real knowledge of the world. Though you made this effort is still Allah who made you find that out. There are many people who try to do invent a particular thing, but only one was successful, in inventing these things. When you look at most of major discovers, How do they invent these things, is it because they have plan direction or research and finally came to the end? Sometimes this happen but most of the time it is accident. They call it is by accident. For example madam Curie, who discovered radium accidentally which is used in X-rays. How did she find that out? She was in her lab doing something that had some radium in corner, she had some exposed film to radium and her hand was in between and she found on the film the bones of her hand. She was not planning to see the bones of her hand, nor was she trying to find a metal which will reveal the bones of her hands. She happened to find it by accident. Allah revealed it to her at that time and point.

The biggest one we have of revealed knowledge and acquired knowledge is what is compulsory on us, that it primarily revealed the knowledge of what is obligatory for you to know. Knowledge of the religion to know what is required of you and to know what is the right thing. If you had to seek all knowledge then our grave would be filled and dirt thrown over it and still you hadn’t found it because knowledge is huge ocean. What is required of you is what you need, what Allah has required of you.

For example, you have to go on Umrah so you just make it there, mumble around, ask people, do something and then come back asking the sheikh, “Was I right in doing it?” Is that the way it is supposed to be done? This is not the way it is to be done. What we do is, if we are supposed to go and make Umrah, then we need to know about Umrah first, sit under a scholar and learn everything you can about Umrah, then go out. This what we do for all things. If we start our business, then we have to go about surveying the market, make plans and then we start a business. We don’t buy anything we like set up business and see whether it sells. If you don’t plan then you will not end up where you were, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Very basic principle. When we talk about, that is what we are talking about, the knowledge necessary for you to do what you have to do. There are books available and lectures being given on knowledge. Suppose a boy of twelve, does not need to read books on marriage or listen to lectures on it unless he is planning to get married. Thought it is part of Islamic knowledge it is not required for you for the time being, , but when it is time for you to marry, you should read about it. This is how we approach knowledge of Islam, whatever we need to do, properly in the way that is pleasing to Allah we need to get that knowledge. As a student in school, you need to have certain knowledge, the knowledge to get you through, as a student who pleased Allah. Not necessarily that one should get the top mark, but remember, it may happen that it went to the person who happened to be Muslim and cheated. Cheating is big business, people pay a lot of money, do all kinds of things. They cheat to get the best mark. You might not get the best mark, because you didn’t engage yourself in what is displeasing to Allah, but you know that you graduated and whatever you have learned, learnt honestly, then you have succeeded in the sight of Allah.

Reference:

[1] [Graded Hasan, Book 36 Hadeeth 19,Jami- at- Tirmidhi 2322]

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