The first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was, “Read!” SubhanAllah, what more do we require to appreciate the importance of Knowledge in our beautiful religion?
An incident that happened not too long ago, compelled me to bring to light the importance of knowledge to every Muslim.
I met a Danish Christian woman currently living in Dubai. After formal greetings, she almost immediately asked me why a young girl, would be covered in hijab. She found it very odd and peculiar for a teen, not to show her beauty. The norm in today’s society is to parade beauty, to be the centre of attraction. I seized the opportunity to tell her about Islam. I explained to her the many benefits the hijab serves and she even agreed to them.
Mistakes are our greatest teachers. Personally, I didn’t appreciate the importance of knowing the current state of Muslims and I didn’t know the right approach to da’wah either. After the incident, I consoled myself thinking I was young and therefore was in no knowledgeable position, but that was just an excuse; one of the excuses many of us make to shy away from the obligation of seeking knowledge.
I realised, da’wah begins with Tawheed. Introducing someone to the concept of Tawheed is the only correct way; otherwise they will not be able to comprehend the teachings of Islam, nor why so many Muslims practice Islam at different levels.
Additionally, I learnt that Muslims are too in need of education; myself included. We need to learn and understand the foundations, fundamentals and rulings of our deen. When we are ignorant of Islam’s teachings, it’s easy to find ourselves treading down the wrong path quite quickly.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“Read! In the name of your Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) Who created— created man, out of a leech-like clot: Read! And your Rabb is Most Bountiful Who has taught (the use of) pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Qur’an, 96:1-5)
Allah unceasingly reminds us, humankind, of his infinite mercy, and until our last breath we are blessed to have endless opportunities to learn from our mistakes and work to be better Muslims than we were the day before. Knowledge, in essence, is nourishment for our souls, a means of helping us get closer to Allah.
“Those to whom We have given the Book (the Qur’an) study it as it should be studied: they are the ones that believe therein: those who reject faith therein the loss is their own.” (Qur’an, 2:121)
A summary of the knowledge obligatory for Muslims is:
- The knowledge of our deen; Islam.
- The current affairs of the Muslim world.
- A basic overview and understanding of other religions and faiths.
Lastly, know this: “If Allah wants to do good to a person, he makes him comprehend the religion and of course knowledge is attained by learning.” (Bukhari 1/67)
I hope that all our Muslim brothers and sisters will aspire and remain steadfast in their seeking of knowledge.