Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reflection - For those who seek knowledge

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to seek Allah’s refuge from knowledge that did not bring any benefit. (Sahih Muslim) He used to say, “allahumma inni a`udhu bika min `ilmin la yanfa`“.

Our mind is a tremendous blessing from Allah Most High, and He created it with a tremendous wisdom. The wisdom behind the creation of our mind is that it should lead us to the worship of God. Any knowledge that takes us to this goal is beneficial; any knowledge that misses the mark of this goal is not.

One might wonder why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) sought refuge in Allah from knowledge that didn’t lead one to the worship of God. What danger can a benign factoid possibly bring for one to seek refuge in Allah Himself from it?

Perhaps one danger is the danger of arrogance. “I was only given this because of what I know,” as Qarun said. (Quran, 28:78)

This is a useful insight because it can help you gauge whether or not you are benefiting from a religious class. The usefulness of a religious class–be it a halaqa, a khutba, a course, or something else–is not the number of facts that you learned. Its usefulness was whether it brought you closer to Allah.

When you get up from a religious class, you should get up with a feeling of servanthood to Allah, a feeling of gratitude to Allah for blessing you with what you learned, and a determination to use this blessing to help you draw closer to Him. If you find that you get up instead with a feeling of self-satisfaction, self-admiration, or contempt for others, then you probably didn’t benefit very much from the class, no matter how many facts you learned.
-Shaykh Hamza Karamali