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In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful SIGNIFICANCE & CHALLENGES OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE (ILM) Imam Luqman AbdurRaheem Usrah Lecture, Leicester,

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Presentation on theme: "In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful SIGNIFICANCE & CHALLENGES OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE (ILM) Imam Luqman AbdurRaheem Usrah Lecture, Leicester,"— Presentation transcript:

1 In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful SIGNIFICANCE & CHALLENGES OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE (ILM) Imam Luqman AbdurRaheem Usrah Lecture, Leicester, UK 31/03/2013

2 AL-Qur’an: Source of Knowledge

3 Overview Thematic Meaning: What is knowledge? Significance: Qur'an Evidences Significance: Ahadith Evidences Contributions of Early Muslims Challenges and Implications Suggested Solutions Conclusion

4 What is Knowledge (ILM) Dr. Sayyid Wahid Akhtar describes 'Ilm as referring to 'light' (nur), and Allah is the ultimate Nur. In the general sense, the 'light' of Allah liberates people from ignorance, superstations and doubt. Ilm also refers to information, skills and understanding, and natural laws. It is needed to dispel conjecture and false belief. Ilm is the first gift to Adam soon after his creation. He was taught 'all the Names‘ because Allah is the First and Ultimate Teacher. He taught Adam, what Angels do not know. Allah is still teaching!!!!

5 What is Knowledge (ILM) Dr. Sayyid Wahid Akhtar assert that: ‘Alim (scholar) was used in 140 places in the Qur’an; ‘Ilm alone used 27 places in the Qur’an. ‘Ilm (knowledge), its derivatives and similar words are used 704 places; Kitab (Book) is used 230 verses, while facilities aiding knowledge such as book, pen, ink occur in 319 verses. Qalam (pen) alone occurs in two places. Qur’an was called al Kitab in 81 verses. It is important to note that pen and book are essential for knowledge acquisition. In fact Pen was the First to be created (Surat al Qalam:1-2).

6 Meaning of Knowledge (ILM) In addition, Shaykh Yusuf Qardawi in his book ‘The Islamic Movement In The Field Of Intellect and Knowledge’ noted that the word "fiqh” appear often in Qur’an, twice in Q16:65-98; it is a core reference to Ilm “An in-depth understanding of the unchanging practices of Allah in souls, minds and horizons, and His creation and of the punishments in store for those who stray from the right path preordained by Him.” ‘Ilm leads to attainment of ultimate truth (Haqq) and certitude (Yaqeen). Other attainments in science, technology and art et cetera are temporal benefits arising from knowledge. This is the quest of philosophers

7 Meaning of Knowledge …… Ancient Arab lacked knowledge, hence Allah raised a teacher (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) for them. Allah says: هُوَ الَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى الأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولاً مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَلٍ مُّبِينٍ He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Ayat (verses), purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah (wisdom) (Q64:2-3). Allah warns in Q7:179, that majority of the Jinns and Humans are destined for hell. They have hearts, yet do not learnt with it, they eyes they could not see, and they have ears, they could nit hear with it. They are like cattle.

8 Types of Knowledge I Imam Abu Hamid al Ghazali classified knowledge into:  Sacred/Revealed Knowledge;  Profane/Non-revealed Knowledge;  Compulsory Knowledge: (Fard ‘Ayn wa Kifaya);  Praiseworthy knowledge: It is not compulsory, but commendable – like medicine or arithmetic etc.;  Blameworthy knowledge: The condemned (Haram) like magic, gambling, alcohol; and The neutral (Makruh) like poetry, football, history of your town, unseen world etc.

9 Types of Knowledge II Abu Isma’il Al Ansari classified knowledge as:  Shari’ah Knowledge: This is the revealed knowledge.  Literary Knowledge: This covers branches of language like etymology, grammar, the study of metaphors, rhyme, speech making, Ilm at-tajweed.  Empirical Knowledge: This covers knowledge gained from spiritual or other rigorous exercises.  Intellectual Knowledge: This includes logic, the principles of jurisprudence, medicine, the study of time and astronomy.

10 Significance: Qur’an Evidences 1. Knowledge is the theme of the first verse revealed to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah reveals: اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ - خَلَقَ الإِنسَـنَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ - اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الاٌّكْرَمُ - الَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ - عَلَّمَ الإِنسَـنَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ Read! In the Name of your Lord Who created. He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not. (Q96: 1-5.). 2.The unbelievers will blame themselves on account of ignorance and refusal to reason on Allah’s signs and revelation. Allah says: وَقَالُواْ لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِى أَصْحَـبِ السَّعِيرِ And they will say: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire! (Q67: 10).

11 Continuation….. 3. Allah exalted knowledgeable folks over ignorant folks. He says: قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُو الاٌّلْبَـبِ "Are those who know equal to those who know not'' It is only men of understanding who will remember ????????? (Q39:9). 4. Allah enjoins sitting in the gathering of sages, intellectuals and philosophers who celebrate knowledge. He says; وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنْتُم لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ And We sent not as Our Messengers before you any but men, whom We sent revelation. So ask Ahl Adh-Dhikr, if you know not (Q16: 43). 5. Allah exalts the knowledgeable: يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ Allah will raise the status of those who believe among you and who are given knowledge by degrees (58:11]

12 Significance: Ahadith Evidences I Mu’awiya reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ If Allah intends good for someone, He bestows understanding of the religion (Sahih Bukhari 71) Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah makes easy for him a path to Paradise (Sunan At -Tirmidhi 2646)

13 Significance: Ahadith Evidences II Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ When the human being dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him (Sahih Muslim 1631). Abu Umamah Al-Bahili reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: فَضْلُ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أَدْنَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ وَأَهْلَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرَضِينَ حَتَّى النَّمْلَةَ فِي جُحْرِهَا وَحَتَّى الْحُوتَ لَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النَّاسِ الْخَيْرَ The superiority of the scholar over the worshiper is like my superiority over the least of you; verily, Allah, His angels, and the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth – even the ant in his hole, even the fish – send blessings upon the one who teaches people to do good (At-Tirmidhi 2685).

14 Significance: Ahadith Evidences III Abu Ad Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَطْلُبُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَلَكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا مِنْ طُرُقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَإِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَتَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا رِضًا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, then Allah will easy for him the path to Paradise. Verily, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge.. (Sunan Abu Dawud 3641)

15 Contributions of Early Muslims Scholarship and Halaqah, Madrasah Model  Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught in the mosque.  Khalifah Umar ibn al Khattab (RA): Sent teachers to mosque to teach people;  Companions male and female searched for knowledge/taught. Aisha possesses HALF OF DEEN;  Tabi’in (Those who learn from the companions);  Taab’ at Taabi’in ( Those who learn from Tabi’in) A khalaf - Abū ʿ Uthman ʿ Amr ibn Ba ḥ r al-Kinānī al- Ba ṣ rī (al-Jā ḥ i ẓ ) was born and died in the library.

16 Contributions of Early Muslims Scholarship and Schools  Khalifah al Mansur established the Darul Hikmah (765 CE) in Baghdad  Great universities emerged in North Africa (Fez, Qairuoun),  The Fatimids established Al-Azhar in Egypt,  Citadels in Spain (Toledo, Cardova, Seville),  Tus, Tabriz, Nishapur, Samarqand and Bukhara.  University of Sankore at Timbuktu, Mali

17 Contributions of Early Muslims Scholarship and Books Ishaq bin Ali Rahawi, wrote the Adab al-Tabib (Conduct of a Physician), Ali ibn Sahl Rabbani al-Tabari wrote Encyclopedia of Medline called Firdous al-Hikmah (Paradise of Wisdom) Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (Rhazes) wrote Kitab ul Kamil at-Tibbiyya (Comprehensive Book of Medicine), Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi (Haly Abbas)'s Kitab Kamil as-sina'a at-tibbiyya (Complete Book of the Medical Art),

18 Contributions of Early Muslims Scholarship and Books Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) wrote on medical surgery a treatise called Kitab al-Tasrif ("Book of Concessions") 30-volume. Ibn Sina, a Hanbali scholar of medicine wrote Qarnun fi al- Tibb (Canon of Medicine) and Al-Kitab as-Shifa (The Book of Healing), Ibn al-Nafis wrote Ash-Shamil fi al-Tibb (The Comprehensive Book on Medicine), Mansur ibn Ilyas wrote Tashrih al-badan (Anatomy of the body) Al-Biruni wrote on pharmacology, Kitab al-Saydalah (The Book of Drugs),

19 Contributions of Early Muslims Scholarship and Scholars Jabir Ibn Haiyan (Geber) - Great Muslim Alchemist) Al-Khwarizmi (Algorizm) - Mathematics (Algebra, Calculus), Al Balkhi - Geography (World Map) Al-Farghani, Abu al-Abbas (Al-Fraganus) - Civil Engineering Ikhwan A-Safa (Assafa) - (Group of Muslim Scientists) Al-Kindi - Physics, Optics, Metallurgy, Oceanography Abbas ibn Firnas - Mechanics, Planetarium, Ibn Al-Haitham (Alhazen) - Physics, Optics, Mathematics Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni - Astronomy, Mathematics, History Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi - Astronomy, Non-Euclidean Geometry Ibn Rushd (Averroe's) -Philosophy, Medicine, Astronomy

20 Challenges to seeking Knowledge Lack of clarity of Adaf of knowledge Confrontation with differing ideologies and belief systems – Letter to Muslim Students Worldly affluence: Dilemma and Distraction Separation Thesis - Adam Smith’s Wisdom Funds and Hunger for sustenance – All ages Waning of determination while on the path Celebration of mediocrity by the society - Nigeria Application and Assimilation – Fiqh of Balance

21 Solutions to the Challenges Have a goal on knowledge seeking Be guided by Islamic norms and ethics while learning as Muslim Students Discard worldly affluence especially haram sources Separation Thesis – Pick a path of honour Patience, Reliance on Allah and contentment are the lessons from poverty and hungers while seeking knowledge. Celebrate merit through scholarship Apply and Assimilate Ilm – Fiqh of Balance

22 Separation Thesis “To deserve, to acquire, and to enjoy the respect and admiration of mankind, are the great objects of ambition and emulation. Two different roads are presented to us, equally leading to the attainment of this so much desired object; the one, by the study of wisdom and the practice of virtue; the other, by the acquisition of wealth and greatness. Two different characters are presented to our emulation; the one, of proud ambition and ostentatious avidity, the other, of humble modesty and equitable justice. Two different models, two different pictures, are held out to us, according to which we may fashion our own character and behaviour; the one more gaudy and glittering in its colouring; the other more correct and more exquisitely beautiful in its outline: the one forcing itself upon the notice of every wandering eye; the other, attracting the attention of scarce anybody but the most studious and careful observer.” – Adam Smith (1790:54)

23 Concluding Remarks Islam there is no such distinction. Ma'rifah is ultimate knowledge and it springs from the knowledge of the self. The scholars of Tasawuf assert: Man ‘arafa nafsahu faqad 'arafa Rabbbahu (One who realizes one's own self, realizes his Lord). Thanks for listening. As-salam alaykum

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