Are you eager to learn as much as you can about Islam?
Do you want to have a strong understanding of what the Qur’an and the Sunnah teach?
Do you want to become the best Muslim you can be by practicing what Allah and his Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded us to do?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all 3 questions then you’re in the right place.
Here’s an infographic that will give you 6 easy tips you can follow that will help you on your journey to seeking knowledge:
Here are more details about what was covered in the infographic above:
1. Have a Sincere Intention (Ikhlaas)
An example of a good intention to seeking knowledge is gaining knowledge for intellectual gain as well as to benefit your friends, family, and the Ummah.
It is very essential that we have good intentions because it is narrated that Umar bin al-Khattab (RA) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say:
“Actions are (judged) by intention (Niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (Hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.” 1 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
2. Be Consistent
Grand intentions require grand efforts, therefore we must strive to study to the best of our ability and aim for excellence. But keep in mind success is most often attained by way of small yet consistent steps. Imam Az-Zuharee said, “…knowledge is attained a hadeeth or two at a time.”
3. Stay With The Scholars (‘Ulama)
Allah states in the Qur’an:
This verse marks the importance of the people of knowledge. This verse also highlights how they are amongst those who are in the best position to teach the Ummah about their religion.
We know from the famous hadith that the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that the prophets inherit nothing of dinars and dirhams except knowledge. The scholars are those who explain to us the revelation that has been sent to us of the Qur’an and Sunnah. A great example as to why the student of knowledge must be keen upon seeking knowledge from the true and qualified scholars is that of the parable of a doctor.
In order for an individual to become a doctor they must go through years of schooling and practice. It is only after an investment of many years that a person earns the distinguished qualifications of a doctor.
Your average citizen cannot put on a white lab coat and wear a stethoscope around their neck and expect others to call them a doctor. They certainly can’t read a couple medical books in the local library and then rent a space to start accepting patients!
That would be absurd.
We trust doctors with the health and well being of our bodies because of the qualifications and medical knowledge they possess. But we do give the same level of trust to our scholars just like how we trust our doctors? They have qualifications and greater levels of Islamic knowledge than we do. Our scholars fulfill an important role in our community, they are our spiritual doctors. This is an example for us all to reflect upon.
Let’s look to the sayings of the salaf (righteous predecessors) such as the one from Muhammad ibn Sireen: “Indeed this knowledge is your religion, then be wary of who you take it from.”
The student of knowledge should be extra wary and cautious of who they take their knowledge from.
4. Start With The Qur’an
Upon starting your journey of knowledge, one must begin with the Qur’an because it is the foundation of all knowledge. A student of knowledge should busy himself or herself with finding a qualified teacher who can help them memorize Qur’an and review what they learn continuously.
The student of knowledge should always remember that not only should we begin with the Qur’an, but also realize that it must be a fundamental focus for the rest of our lives. Merely memorizing the Qur’an is not enough, rather establishing a lifelong relationship with the Qur’an is what we should aim for.
5. Act Upon What You Learn
The purpose for attaining knowledge is for us to act upon it and seek the pleasure of Allah. What use is it for someone to know there is danger around the corner yet still walk straight into harm’s way?
Allah has not revealed the Qur’an and Sunnah to only be recited melodiously and memorized meticulously. Rather Allah has revealed this religion for us in order to live according to what He has decreed. Allah says in the Qur’an:
[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be remindedQur'an: Chapter 38, Verse 29
When the student of knowledge learns of something haram, they abstain from it and when they learn of a command from Allah, they act upon it. And when the student of knowledge learns of something beneficial for himself or herself self in this life and the next, they hasten to the best of their ability to do it.
6. Ask for Forgiveness (Istighfaar)
A student with the right mindset understands the importance of seeking forgiveness from Allah in their journey of seeking knowledge. Knowledge cannot truly be sought by the persistent, neglectful sinner. Imam Shafi’i said in his famous poem that “knowledge is light and the light of Allah does not reach the sinner.”
Therefore the student of knowledge should be persistent in asking Allah to forgive his or her sins in order to be able to truly benefit from the knowledge they gain. This is especially important when the student encounters phases of difficulty in their studies where certain topics or issues become hard for them to understand.
The student must seek forgiveness in order to have those matters lightened for them as was seen in the life of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah. He was known to seek forgiveness of Allah profusely when any matter of knowledge would become hard. Afterwards the matter that was once hard would become easy upon him.
Final Thoughts on Seeking Knowledge
Here are 6 easy tips you can follow that will help you on your journey to learning more about your religion so you can become the best Muslim you can be:
- Have a sincere intention – Imam Ahmad once said: Before you do anything, check your intention (niyyah) – ask yourself before performing an action: “Is it for the sake of Allah?”
- Be consistent – some of the best deeds we can do are those that are done consistently.
- Be with the scholars – the most knowledgeable people in our community are our scholars.
- Learn the Qur’an – You should start by memorizing and learning the Qur’an. All other branches of knowledge are studied to help one to reach a correct understanding of the Qur’an.
- Take action – It is only after we apply what we learn do we start to see the benefits of seeking knowledge.
- Seek forgiveness (Istighfar) – People often forget about the power of supplication and asking Allah for forgiveness. Repentance opens the doors of productivity, knowledge, mercy, and so much more.
1. Narrated by Bukhari