Islamic Sciences

moon-scenery-night-skyMu’aadh Ibn Jabal (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) on knowledge:

“Knowledge is a comforting friend in times of loneliness, it is the best companion during travels, and it is the inner friend who speaks to you in your privacy.

Knowledge is the discerning proof of what is right and what is wrong, and it is the positive force that will help you surmount the trials of comfort, as well as those of hardships.

Knowledge is your most powerful sword against your enemy, and finally, it is your most dignifying raiment in the company of your close companions. Through knowledge, Allaah, blessed be His Name, raises some people in rank, and He makes them leaders in righteousness and models in morality. The vestige of their faith is avidly sought, their deeds are emulated perceptively, and people will seek and sanction their opinions solicitously and unequivocally. The heavenly angels seek their company and anoint them with their wings, every fresh or withered life they pass by implore Almighty Allaah to forgive them their sins, even the fish in the oceans, the beasts of the lands and every bird of prey and migratory bird pray and solicit the mercy of Almighty Allaah on their behalf.

This is because knowledge revives the dead hearts and drives them out of darkness into light, and because knowledge is the light of the inner eyes that cures one’s blindness and restores his inner sight.”

Source: Narrated by Abu Nu’aym [r] in Al-Hilyah.

learnlead-300x199I know of a number of people who led a generation of practicing young men and women in the 90s, without having studied Shari'ah formally anywhere or with anyone properly. Due to this they failed to appreciate the nuances in the Islamic Law, and polarized the community with their rigid stance on views that were subject to scholarly difference at best, or utterly absurd at worse. They burnt many bridges, broke up families, turned relatives and best of friends against each other, for a decade or more.

Once they saw a new generation of preachers with some background in academia introducing a more nuanced approach, which challenged their dichotomy and threatened their leadership, they lost grip of the core values that had defined their purpose for a significant portion of their lives. This triggered a radical transformation in them, and as they were going through this transformation, a number of loyal well-wishers tried to engage with them politely, but to no avail. Their response – if there was one – was cold, and often contained sentiments like,

'You were still young when I was teaching this book or that... You used to be my student... You are merely a product of my efforts... I, me, mine...'

It was clear. For them it was a leadership and ego crisis. They were, and had been leaders, for more than a decade, and could not get themselves to accept that others have left them far behind. Their insecurity prevented them from opening any channel of communication with the 'new young shaykhs', except in a capacity of, 'you still have much to learn from me, son'. Finally, they reversed polarity and sharply drifted towards liberalism – literally the other end of the extremism spectrum. At least two of them have now come out of the closest and declared their new found faith, secularism, taking their faithful flock with them.

And the cycle continues. Often I see people who have absolutely no formal education in Islam, reading a few books here and there, and perhaps learning some Arabic, becoming leaders of a small group of people, by merely sharing with them the little they have picked up. Once they get a taste of public appreciation and praise 'JazakAllahu Khayran brother! MashaAllah you have a lot of knowledge!' they find it a serious blow to their ego if someone, out of good will, humbly suggests, 'dear brother, you should formally study the topic before writing anything on it.'

Had they studied and learned before dishing out their half-baked ideas to the public, only to be blown into smithereens by someone who knows slightly better, they would not have subjected themselves to such humiliation, and ruin the lives of so many of their followers who had blindly put their trust in them.

And hence, Umar b. al-Khattab's advice:

Learn before you become leaders...

sistersletschillWe find many speakers rising amongst the ranks of the people discussing issues of the religion that they may or may not be ready for, to the extent that the value of a person is not held in what he says, but how he says it. Basically, his knowledge is not the point of benefit or value, but the way he speaks. This goes against the pure Islamic teachings, as Allah mentions the people who have the most awareness of him are the scholars [of the religion], and that they are the ones who we are commanded to turn to in times of trials and tribulations and our questions, and they are the ones who are praised in the Quran and in many ahadith of the Prophetic Sunnah (salalahu alaihi wa sallam). The reality is that knowledge is acquired, while speaking is a gift, and the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) described it as a type of magic, and unfortunately we have seen its effect, to the point they've fallen into another warning from him (salalahu alaiihi wa salam) about taking the ignorant as their leaders, be it in their masjid, concerning their religious affairs, giving fatwa, or other than that.

The question then arises: who are the people of knowledge and how do I connect myself to them?

As for who they are, then there are books written about the characteristics of the scholar and his etiquettes, but these books help us recognize a scholar, not proclaim scholarship for an individual. In essence, the scholars are recognized by scholars. The same way a person, when he is ill, asks his friends for a good doctor, they will direct him to who they feel is most knowledgeable concerning medicine. When this individual reaches that recommended doctor, he will in turn direct him to a specialist. Why? Because a professional in a field knows his peers, so how much more a person who has dealt with other teachers and educators in Islam?

Is there a set curriculum an individual has to go to, in order to ascertain scholarship? Not necessarily, but scholarship is usually attained in two ways, after tawfeeq from Allah:

1. Academically, by going through a curriculum focused in different Islamic sciences, focusing on a particular science, be it Fiqh, Hadeeth, Aqeedah or other than that.

2. Apprenticeship, in which an individual accompanies a scholar for a long period of time taking most of the sciences from that particular scholar.

In our time, the first is what is most prevalent, and a combination of the two also take place (which is the best), but in times before the establishment of universities and learning institutions most scholars became such via the second way.

This is not so strange, as in previous generations, and even in some parts of the world today, including certain fields in the West, apprenticeship has and still takes place. Before universities, if a man wanted to become a blacksmith, he would go to a blacksmith and be his apprentice and learn the trade from him, similar to medicine, masons, carpenters, and other than them. So why is it so backwards if it's done concerning Islamic sciences?

Similarly, just as a scholar is known by other scholars, these scholars also know the students of knowledge, who in turn know other students of knowledge. So if an individual claiming to be a student comes up to your community, there is no harm in asking for his credentials and his recommendations either from his teachers and/or peers, just as you would in any other science, actually this is even important than that because this is about your religion!!

Concerning connecting yourself with these individuals, be they scholars or students, then it is upon the Muslim to keep righteous company, as the Messenger of Allah (salalalhu alaihi wa salam) said a person is on the religion of his close friend, so what better friend to make except from the scholars and their students?! As for how it's done, then we have to realize they are humans just as we are, so you will find some easier to approach than others, but Allah has given them the tawfeeq of learning and preserving His religion, so it is upon us, no matter how friendly we are, to respect and honor them and to keep boundaries concerning them, similar to our relationships with our parents, granted the boundaries are different but still there. So it not upon us to venerate them to the point of perfection, or pure innocence, but at the same time we do not bring them down to our levels, as Ahlus Sunnah, we keep our affairs on the middle path.

And Allah knows best.


المكتبة الشاملة

Description and Features

1) A library containing an initial amount of 5300 books on the various Islaamic sciences [only Arabic] organized into appropriate categories and identity cards for many of the books and authors.

2) Highly advanced searching capabilities, including choosing single or multiple books to search in, ignoring or including the various forms of the letter Hamza, searching for book titles, searching within the books, searching in the comments section of the books, searching for the authors, and searching for multiple words either by “and” or using “or” criteria.

3) Ability to edit books, bookmark favorite locations, open multiple books at the same time, remove or keep the Tashkeel (Arabic punctuation marks) from texts (when available), and to associate books of Sharh (commentaries) with their respective Matn (text – when available).

4) Ability to change background image of the application, and changing the font and color of various levels of text and background in the software (e.g. main text, comments, titles, footnotes, etc.).

5) Ability to export the books to HTML files, (.doc) files (requires Microsoft Word on the device), and (.bok) files (requires the empty version of the library) with various export options.

6) Ability to update the library and download new books from within the software.

Main Screen of the Library:



Download the Library

Download the library from this link:

Alternative links: Archive | IslamWay | darcoran | almktba | More…


1) The file that you download is a zip file. Open the file.

Downloaded library zip file:


2) Run the (.exe) file within the zip archive.

Run the executable file:


3) A dialog box should appear. Click “Browse” to choose the location where you want to extract the files of the library then click “Install” to begin extraction.

Note: Choose a drive where there are at least 4 to 6 Gigabytes of free space.

Extract the library files:


4) Wait for the files to be extracted to your desired location.

Wait for the extraction of the files to finish:


5) After the extraction is done, go to the destination folder that you chose in Step 3) above and you should see a folder named “Library“. Open that folder and run the “Setup.exe” file in it.

Run the "Setup.exe" file:


6) A dialog box should come up. Click the button “إستعراض” to choose a location to install the setup and shortcut files of the library to. This installation requires only about 20 MB of space. Then click “موافق” to begin installation.

Choose a location to install the setup files to:


7) Wait for the installation to finish.

Wait for installation to finish:


8) After the installation finishes, the library should run.

Main Screen of the Library:


Adding More Books

There are four ways by which you can add new books:

A] Adding New Books from within the Library:

1) After you upgrade to the latest edition, as shown in the above steps, open the library. Click on the menu item “ترقية حية” then click the submenu item “ترقية البرنامج والكتب الآن“.


2) A dialog box should come up. If there is internet connection, it should search for new program upgrade and new books. If there are any new books, it should show them as checkbox items. Choose the items that you want and click “تحميل تلقائي” to begin downloading them from within the library.

Choose and begin downloading new books:


3) After you begin downloading the book(s) you chose, wait until the download finishes.

Wait while the book download finishes:


4) After the download is finished, restart the library and the new books should be added to the library.

B] Downloading New Books from

1) Visit the website

The website:


2) Choose a category of books. Then choose the book you want to download. You can also search by book title or author name. The books are in (.bok) format that is recognized by the library. However, what you download is compressed in a zip archive. So, after you download, extract the content of the zip archive to get the (.bok) file.

The downloaded book after it is extracted:


3) Now go open the library itself. Click the menu item “شاشات” then click the submenu item “استيراد ملفات“.


4) A new window should appear. Browse to the location where you extracted the new book in (.bok) format. Click on the book (or books) you want to import, and drag it over to the bottom list. Then click the lightning icon at the bottom-right side of the screen whose comment reads

"استيراد الكتب إلى البرنامج".

Import the new book(s) to the library:


5) After that, a confirmation message should come up telling you that the import was successful.

C] Downloading Books from

1) Visit the page

Visit the IslamPort website.


2) Choose a category. Then download a book. You can also search by book title or author name. Extract the content of the zip file. Then follow the same steps as discussed for the website above.

D] Downloading Books from

1) The website hosts a massive collection of books, encyclopedias, and programs, as well as other services, for free. Visit the page

Visit the website.


2) Browse through the different categories and download the book(s) you want. If it is book designed for the Shaamila library, follow the same steps as those described for above to import them to the library.

sisterstudying99Everyone wants to be ascribed to knowledge, even the most ignorant of people would wish for others to talk of him as a person of knowledge.

This is why in today's world people love titles such as Haafidh, Taalib al-'Ilm, Shaikh etc. But wanting knowledge is not itself a bad thing, rather it is one of the most noble things a person could aim for in life.

However sometimes certain hurdles might appear, obstacles if you like, that often come in the way of most people. Here I will try my best to mention some of the main problems most people face whilst seeking knowledge in order to help us all avoid them.

#6 Shyness

Shyness will prevent you from greatness.

Have you ever attended a class? Only to find the teacher talking and explaining whilst using a particular word, be it in Arabic or your own native tongue (it might even be in Klingon for all you know), and you think to yourself, 'I wonder what that means?'

But of course instead of raising your hand and cutting the teacher off, you just sit there smile and nod your head whilst remaining ignorant. I mean everyone else in the class seems to understand the teacher, you can't embarrass yourself and make everyone think your dumb or something right?

Little do you know though that it is highly likely that half of the class you are sitting with are all sitting there with the same goofy looking smile not understanding the teacher. So now you really only have one of two options, either you remain ignorant and let this shyness get in the way, or you man-up (woman-up if you're a sister of course) and ask.

What is the worst that could happen? Most teachers are good people, and won't make you feel silly (even though it is fun to tease students, no lie), and in truth, you only came to benefit and not show the people in the class how goofy you look when smiling all clueless.

Also, think of the Sahaabah, how they asked very embarrassing questions at times (even female Sahaabiyaat) in order to benefit, even Jibreel asked the Prophet 'What is Islaam'! So please never feel shy when it comes to learning about your religion, whether it be how you pray, how you make Wudhoo' etc. People wont turn around and say, 'What! You're twenty-two and you are asking me now!' I promise you it is all in your head.

#5 Arrogance

The sin of Iblees himself.

This is the opposite of the previous point, in this case the person seems to think of themselves as a scholar, anything you tell them they wave off as, 'Oh yeah I knew that already' and this is a very bad trait.

This will lead the person to stop going to local classes because he/she feels like that stuff is below them, granted they might attend when or if a big scholar comes and visits the city but other than that they tend to look down upon weekly classes held at the Masjid.

They might even think of it as 'cute' that brothers and sisters are studying '40 hadiths by Imaam an-Nawawee' or 'Al-Osool ath-Thalaatha' and when invited to such a class they will quickly blurt out, 'Yeah no, I studied those books a gazillion years ago, memorized them and plus I was buddies with Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) too...'

This type of attitude towards knowledge will never benefit the individual, rather it will only stop them and prevent them. What is the harm in studying one book twice? If anything you'll only increase your own knowledge, and if not even that, you will gain the tremendous reward of sitting in a gathering where Allaah is remembered.

So do not belittle any knowledge dear brothers and sisters.

#4 Qeel wa Qaal - Busying yourself with hearsay

I ain't trigger happy, I am just loading the gun.

This is a BIG problem amongst students of knowledge, especially those who are new to seeking knowledge.

Instead of busying themselves with memorising books and sitting with knowledgeable people, they fish around for the latest dirt as if Islaam was something from Hollywood where you get the latest gossip in tabloids.

And if you were to ask these very same individuals to recite Surah Al-Faatihah they might stutter, or if you ask them about Tahaarah they will tell you: 'Akhee (my brother) ask a Shaikh, I'm no Shaikh' yet when it comes to labelling individuals he/she is Shaikh-ul-Islaam himself!

However with all due respect, this is not to be confused with those sincere individuals who report on the behalf of the real scholars, warning people against innovators. These blessed people call mankind back to the scholars and the pure form of Islaam, the way the Companions and those after them understood it.

What I am mentioning here are those people who lack knowldege and are trigger happy when it comes to issuing a Fatwah concerning whether or not a person is a upon the right Manhaj or not (without any evidence from any scholar). This leads us to our next point.

#3 Not prioritising

You mean I shouldn't start with this book?

By this I mean, a student might be eager to seek knowledge and rightfully so, but he does not have a schedule, he starts by listening to Kitaab At-Tawheed one day and then gets bored, only to move on and study Buloogh al-Maraam the next day.

And if you were to stop him and ask, 'Brother what about the Qur'aan?' He will tell you 'I'm doing it bro, I am doing it!' And this is one of the main problems with people, they seem to always go for the big books, as if they want to prove to people 'look at me, I study Saheeh Muslim, oh you're still memorising juzz 'amma sis? Poor you!'

But the truth of the matter is, the one who starts from the bottom and works their way up towards the top, that person is the one who will benefit the most. Focus on yourself, you're seeking that knowledge for your own benefit first and foremost.

Let the people laugh if they see you walking around with a book teaching you the Arabic alphabet, don't pay attention to them if they happen to be carrying Tafsir Ibn Kathir. It was never about the people in the first place, so why bother? Which leads us to our next point.

#2 Riyaa' - Showing off

This is not only a problem for those who seek knowledge but a problem for anything you want to do in life.

Allaah does not accept Riyaa' in any form it might take, and those who fall into Riyaa' will have their good deeds nullified. And since today being a student of knowledge has become the new fashion, this has become more dangerous than ever.

So with all this it becomes crucial that you seek knowledge for the sake of Allaah and Him alone. The punishment of not doing that is very severe, and the Ahaadeeth actually tell us that such individuals will be burnt in the hell fire before the Mushrikeen (those who commit Shirk)!

The scholars warn us again and again, and say that whoever tries to show off with his/her knowledge, Allaah will not only punish them in the hereafter, but even in this world they will be prevented from seeking true beneficial knowledge. So you will see these type of people, always trying to show off in the gatherings, they love to appear as students of knowledge but it is all for show.

Do not be from amongst these people dear brothers and sisters.

#1 Giving up

This is because as human beings we are very impatient, we want everything right now. We think if we attend one class for a month or two, we become students of knowledge if not scholars.

We want to become Ahmad Ibn Hanbal over night, Imaam al-Bukhaaree in a week and so on. And when this doesn't work out we look at ourselves and get disappointed. Yet the true scholars sought knowledge for 60 years if not more! How can you attain what they did within a year or two?

Not to mention that seeking knowledge is an ever lasting quest, it is not like becoming an engineer or a doctor, you dont 'graduate' and say now I am a Shaikh rather you keep seeking knowledge until the day you die.

So do not overwhelm yourselves, take it one step at a time, it is a very long road ahead, and it is not as glamorous as you might think it is. Many nights will be spent reading and memorising and fighting with ones own intentions.

You will quickly notice that if your intentions weren't correct, like if you're seeking knowledge to make you the most popular sister around the block, you will soon quit because your intentions were never for the sake of Allaah to begin with.


muslimahindesertIn our times seeking knowledge seems to have become something only for men, women’s chores involve cooking food and producing children.

This has led to the frustration of many teenage girls, specially in the west. They might have great ambitions in seeking knowledge and teaching it to others, and it is mainly for these sisters I decided to post this.

First of all people have to realise that seeking knowledge is not a glamorous thing to do, I realise that in our time it has sometimes come across as something popular to do, reading about different stories maybe on this blog or other places you think, 'wow I want that too!' But truth be told, the nitty-gritty bits or behind the scene stuff is very hard to say the least.

Seeking knowledge full-time, is not something for everyone, can you really manage sitting for a few hours just repeating and memorizing or reading arabic grammar books over and over again? Some of you might think, 'yes of course I love Islaam!' But when it comes to studying Islaam a lot of people seem to be able to talk the talk without any action.

Ask yourself dear Sister, how much Qur’aan have you actually memorised? You might be in your late teens or early twenties, do you actually take time out and look for study circles? Be it in your local Masjid or the neighbouring Masjids.

Many people tell themselves, if only I had a chance to study abroad I would have sat in the Masjid twenty-four hours a day and studied and studied. But truth be told, if you aren’t a good student in Toronto [as an example] chances are you wont change much in Madeenah.

I do not mean to demoralise my sisters by saying this, all I wish to do is to make them realise that they have to be serious, and if you show Allaah your sincerity in this then He will surely aid you.

Having said that, the main issue that stands between sisters and seeking knowledge is that they do not have any Mahram to travel with and seek knowledge.

Or that they might have a Mahram but that person would never want to travel with them to some dry humid country just for her to read some books,'you can study Islaam here' they will most likely tell you.

And to be quite frank there is no real way of getting around this, since it is a law put down by Allaah Himself, and if you start your quest for knowledge by going against a command of Allah then there will most likely not be any blessings at all in that search.

My best suggestions to young sisters, is to try to get married to a brother who share their views and is equally serious about seeking knowledge, or marry a brother who is already seeking knowledge.

The other option is for you to try to convince your brother or maybe even uncle or any other mahram to help you.

The next problem usually is, ok but where do I go and study? Here is a very rough list for places to go and seek knowledge Inshaa'Allah:

Saudi Arabia:

This is without doubt the best place in our time to seek knowledge. It is good in that it will teach you the right 'Aqeedah and Manhaj and plus it has universities that give away scholarships to students.

The University of Madeenah is opening up a branch for sisters soon and this will be for the wives of students providing them with an opportunity to study.

The University of Makkah, Ummul-Qurra already has a branch for women, which enables both husband and wife to study side by side.

Then there is the new University called Nourah bint ‘Abdirahmaan, this university is for women and they accept international students as well.

One of the main conditions is that the female has a Mahram residing in Riyadh.


I would not advice sisters to travel there at the moment, since there is a big security risk with battles being fought against Shi’as, etc.

Also life generally is rougher there. The government usually give foreigners abit of a tough time, and ask questions etc, but if you are originally Yemeni or Somali, this is a good place since you will be able to blend in with the population easily.

Places to study are many, there is the famous Dammaj which was founded by Shaykh Muqbil (rahimahullaah). There is also places in Macbar where you can learn the basics of Islaam and memorise Qur’aan etc.

But again the situation is not stable in Yemen at the moment.


This country is mainly good for two things, when it comes to the Arabic language and memorizing Qur’aan. The Egyptians are very good in both these fields.

It is also good in that it provides flexibility for people to come and study. The people in Egypt are very friendly and welcoming, and a person usually picks up the language quickly.

The main places for studying are in Cairo, Al-Ibaanah is a good institute which will teach you Arabic and Islamic subjects.

There is Al-Fajr institute which has grown very big recently which teaches a similar syllabus. In Cairo you will find many different institutes and it is up to you to pick which one suites you the best, all of these institutes cost money.

There is a place up in the north, Qortoba Institute I have heard good things about it but I am not sure if they provide services for females. You can read more about them here


This wouldn’t be very ideal for non-Pakistanis or non-Indians, since the circumstance in Pakistan has changed dramatically within the past few years.

However if you happen to be Pakistani or Indian it might be something worth looking into.


This is really not a place for westerners to go, let alone women. Life is very tough there and students are required to be very tough and serious.

To make your way there you will have to have contacts and know which Shaykhs to study underneath and which ones to avoid.

These are few of the places that comes to mind, may Allah guide to that which pleases Him.


niqab788Shyness or modesty is a branch of faith

It should be noted that shyness or modesty (Haya’) is an Islamic characteristic which is strongly encouraged, and is a branch of faith as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Modesty (Haya’) is a branch of faith.” (A Saheeh Hadeeth which was narrated by the six from Abu Hurayrah (RA). The opening words of the Hadeeth are: “Faith has seventy-odd branches.)

But shyness should not prevent a Muslim woman from asking about things that will help her to understand her religion properly, and fulfil her obligatory duties which cannot be waived and which, if she does not do them, she will be sinning thereby.

For example, she may ask about erotic dreams, and how to purify herself and perform Ghusl in the case of Janaabah (impurity following sexual activity). Although asking these questions may cause some embarrassment, not asking them may lead to some shortcoming in the way she does her duties. It is stated in Usool Al-Fiqh that whatever is essential to the performance of an obligatory duty is also obligatory, so asking about the rulings on duties is obligatory, because those duties are obligatory, and because they cannot be fulfilled without knowing their rulings and conditions.

How the women of the Ansaar asked about religious matters that concerned them


The Mother of the Believers ‘Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) praised the women of the Ansaar because they used to ask about their religious duties and did not let shyness stop them from doing that.

She said:

"What good women the womenfolk of the Ansaar were! They did not let shyness prevent them from seeking to Understand their religion.” (A Saheeh Hadeeth. It was narrated by Muslim (1/261), Abu Dawood (316), Ibn Maajah (642), via Ibraaheem ibn Al-Muhaajir, from Safiyyah bint Shaybah, from ‘A’ishah. A similar report is also narrated by Al-Bukhaari)

These words of’ 'Aishah are supported by the words of the Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: Umm Sulaym came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and said: "Allaah is not too shy to tell the truth. Does a woman have to do Ghusl if she has an erotic dream?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Yes, if she sees water.” (A Saheeh Hadeeth. lt was narrated by Al-Bukhaari (6/6), Muslim, (1/251), Al-Tirmidhi (122), Al-Nasaa’i (1/114) and Ibn Maajah (600) via ‘Urwah ihn Al-Zubayr from Zaynab bint Abi Salarriah, from Umm Salamah)

The mistake of those who say, “There is no shyness (Hayaa’) in Islaam.”

Once this is understood, you will clearly see that those who say, “There is no shyness {Haya’) in Islaam” are mistaken, for shyness and modesty are part of Islaam, and Haya’ is one of the branches of faith. However, there should be no shyness in asking questions and seeking to understand Islaam.

But the Muslim woman should pay attention to an important note which is: if she wants to ask about these matters such as intercourse, purification, erotic dreams and so on, she should put the question in writing and not speak it out loud, and she should not give any specific names which may be a cause of Fitnah (temptation) and provocation of desires, especially in this day and age.

She should fear Allaah and ask only what she needs to know in her own situation, and she should not ask too many unnecessary questions or indulge in arguments.


muslimah-at-sunset2Women are accountable just as men are, and they are obliged to seek the knowledge that they need in order to fulfil their duties in matters of worship such as purification, prayer, fasting, Zakaah if they have wealth, Hajj if they are able to do it, and other matters which they need to know and of which they cannot afford to be ignorant.

Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim, male or female. The amount of knowledge which each individual must learn varies according to each individual’s Shar’i obligations.

Ibn Al-Jawzi (rahimahullaah) said:

”A woman is an accountable individual just as a man is. She is obliged to seek knowledge of her duties so that she may perform them properly.”

Conditions of a women going out to seek knowledge

It is permissible for a woman to go out to seek what she needs of Islamic knowledge, so long as she meets the following conditions:

(i) That she has a specific and individual need for that Knowledge.

For example, if she cannot perform her Islamic duties properly because she is unaware of the rulings concerning them.’ Aishah (ra) said; 'Faatimah bint Hubaysh came to the Prophet (saw) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I am a woman who suffers from non-menstrual bleeding (Istihaadah) and I never become pure. Should I stop praying?” He said:

“No, rather that is blood from a vein and it is not menstruation. When the usual time of your period comes, stop praying, and when that time is over, then wash the blood from yourself and pray.”

With regard to a woman going out to seek knowledge for which she does not have a specific and individual need, such as seeking general Islamic knowledge – including study of Hadeeth sciences, deeper knowledge of Aqeedah, Tafseer and Arabic language – this is not obligatory for them, and the ruling on that depends upon a weighing up of the pros and cons. If it serves a greater interest and there is no fear of Fitnah in their going out, then it is permissible for them to do so. But if it will lead to problems, such as if their going out is a cause of Fitnah, or if a woman’s husband has not given her permission to go out then it is obligatory for them to stay at home, because Allaah says:

‘And stay in your homes.” (Qur’aan 33:33)

And the Prophet (saws) said:

“Do not prevent your womenfolk from going to the mosque, although their houses are better for them.” (Saheeh Hadith)

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said:

“The woman is ‘Awrah, and if she goes out of her house the Shaytaan gets his hopes up (that he will be able to tempt her and tempt others through her), then she says, ‘Nobody saw me but he liked me.’ The closest that a woman can be to Allaah is in the innermost part of her house.”

(ii) That there be no one among her Mahrams who can sufficiently answer her questions about things that she does not know.

Such as her brother, husband or father.

Ibn Al-Jawzi said:

"If she has a father, brother, husband or other Mahram who can teach her about her obligatory duties and how to perform them, that should be sufficient for her."

(iii) That there should be no fear of Fitnah if she goes out i.e Fitnah (temptation) to herself or to others.

(iv) That she should be careful in looking for someone from whom she can learn or whom she can ask.

First of all she should look for knowledgeable women; if she cannot find anyone then she may ask knowledgeable elderly men, and she should give precedence to older men over younger men.

Ibn Al-Jawzi said:

"If she can find a woman who knows that, she should learn from her; if not, she may learn from shaykhs and elderly men without being alone with them, and stay only as long as she needs to. If a question about her religion occurs to her, she should ask it and not be shy, for Allaah is not too shy to tell the truth.

(v) She should observe proper Islamic Hijab when going out.

She should not go out wearing adornments, wearing perfume or scented with incense.

Similarly she should not speak in a coquettish or flirtatious manner when speaking to a Shaykh or the one whom she is asking a question. She should restrict it to questions and answers and not get involved in a lengthy discussion. When she gets the answer that she wanted, she should go back home and pray for forgiveness for a sin that she may have committed unwillingly.

We have quoted the evidence for that in full in our book "Al-Adaab Al-Shar'iyyah Fi Talab Al-‘Ilm Lil-Nisa’"   (Islamic Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge for Women) and there is no need to repeat it here. This is simply a reminder.

The religious knowledge that women need

Individual obligations (Furoodh ‘Ayn)

With regard to what women need to know of religious knowledge, as stated above it is everything that she needs to know in her situation.

That includes matters of purification that are obligatory for her, such as doing Ghusl following menstruation and janaabah (impurity following sexual activity); Wudhoo’ and Tayammum, and what invalidates them; and other matters of which she cannot afford to remain ignorant.

She also needs to know about prayer, how to pray, the times of prayer, the regular Sunnah prayers, rulings concerning prayer when travelling and not travelling, and so on.

And she needs to know the rulings on fasting; obligatory and Sunnah fasts; when not to fast; how to make up missed fasts; how to expiate for a broken fast; and other related rulings.

Similarly she needs to know about Zakaah if she has wealth; she needs to know the conditions of giving Zakaah; how to pay it; the kinds of wealth on which Zakaah is due; and to whom Zakaah is to be given.

And she needs to know about Hajj if she is able to do it.

She needs to know her duties towards her husband; the rights that he has over her; the obligation of obeying him; the fact that she cannot disobey him unless he tells her to do something sinful; the fact that she should not leave his house without his permission; and that she should not fast when he is present without his permission.

Similarly she should also learn the duties that she has towards her children, such as a sound upbringing and education.

Communal obligations (Furoodh Kifaayah)

With regard to communal obligations (Furoodh Kifaayah), such as learning various aspects of Fiqh that she does not need to know, or studying matters of ‘Aqeedah in depth, or studying Usool Al-fiqh, Tafseer, Hadeeth and the rulings on narrators, and other branches of Islamic knowledge that she does not need in her situation, it is not obligatory for her to learn them, but if she does so she will be rewarded for that, subject to the condition that this does not lead to her neglecting one of her duties, such as not taking care of her husband or going out without his permission, or that her going out to seek this knowledge does not lead to Fitnah or some evil that will outweigh the good she is seeking.

A large number of Muslim scholars were women, such as the Mother of the Believers’ Aishah bint Al-Siddeeq (RA) and all of the wives of the Prophet (SAW) and ‘Amrah bint’ Abd Al-Rahmaan who narrated Hadeeth from’ Aishah.

Another example is Mu’aadhah Al-‘Adawiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on her) - read about her here.

Female scholars of later generations

Among later generations, there was Faatimah Al-Jawzdaaniyyah, who had the best knowledge of Isnaads and the best memory of any scholar of her era.

And there was ‘Ajeebah Al-Baaqdariyyah, who was the only one in the world in her time to narrate certain reports. This is something that many male scholars of Hadeeth did not achieve. (See the biographies of both women in Siyar A’laam Al-Nubala’, 19/104 and 23/232.)


Ahmad Ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-'Ijlee said,

“Abdul Waleed (Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik) was a reliable and sound narrator of hadeeth in Basrah.He narrated from seventy women, and students used to travel to him after (the death of) Aboo Daawood At-Tayaaleesee.”

Who Was He?


Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik was born in 133H and was a great Scholar of Islaam.

Those he narrated from include great Islamic figures, such as,

  • Imaam Maalik,
  • Imam Layth,
  • amongst others.

Those who narrate from him include,

  • Imaam Bukhaaree,
  • Aboo Daawood,
  • Ishaaq Ibn Raahawaih,
  • Adh-Dhuhlee,
  • Aboo Haatim,
  • amongst others.

Statement of Scholars About Him

Imaam Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“Abdul Waleed (Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik) is precise.”

And also said about him,

“Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik is the Shaykh of Islaam today. Today I do not give precedence to any of the narrators of hadeeth over him.”

Aboo Zur’ah said about him,

“He converyed half of Islaam, and he was an Imaam in his time, having great standing with the people.”

He died in 227H, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Dear Sisters, it not a small matter that such a great Scholar narrated from seventy different women. We should consider what a high standing and rank these women enjoyed within the realm of knowledge and in comparison, where do we stand today in this regard? How few are the Muslim women today who even know of the legacy of the Muslim women of the past!

Source: Siyaar 'Aa'laamun-Nubulaa, Vol. 10, Pp. 341-347.


book87Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says in the Noble Qur'aan: {Allaah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (Oolul-'llm) (also bear witness to this; (He is always) maintaining His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He. the All-Mighty. the All-Wise.} (Soorah Aal-'Imraan (3):18)

This verse shows the superiority of knowledge ('ilm) and its people; the following points can be inferred from this verse:

1. Allaah chose the people of knowledge (Oolul 'ilm) to bear witness to His Oneness (Tawheed) over and above the rest of His creation.

2. Allaah honoured the people of knowledge by mentioning their testimony along with His testimony.

3. He raised high the status of the scholars by associating their testimony with the testimony of the angels.

4. This verse bears witness to the superiority of those who possess knowledge. Allaah does not make any of His creation bear witness except the upright amongst them.

There is a well-known narration from the Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam), who said: "The upright in every generation will carry this knowledge, rejecting the distortions of the extremists, the false claims of the liars, and the (false) interpretations of the ignorant." (hasan)

5. Allaah, the One free from all defects. Himself bears witness to His Oneness, and He is the greatest of witnesses. Then He chose from His creation the angels and the scholars - this is sufficient to show their excellence.

6. Allaah made the scholars bear witness with the greatest and the most excellent testimony and that is, {None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah.} Allaah, the One free of all defects and the Most High, does not bear witness except to matters of great importance and only the greatest from Allaah's creation bear witness to this.

7. Allaah made the testimony of the people of knowledge a proof against the rejecters. Thus they are its proofs and its signs, indicating His Oneness (Tawheed).

8. Allaah, the Most High, used a single verb (shahida) to refer to His testimony and the testimony of the angels and the scholars. He did not use an additional verb for their testimony; thus he connected their testimony to His. This shows the strong link between their testimony and Allaah's testimony, as if He himself bore witness to His Oneness upon their tongues and made them utter this testimony.

9. Allaah, the One free from all defects, made the scholars fulfil His right (that none has the right to be worshipped but Him) through this testimony and if they fulfill it then they have fulfilled and established this right of Allaah upon them. Then it is obligatory upon mankind to accept this testimony which is the means to reach happiness in this life and in their final return (to Allaah). Whosoever takes this guidance from the scholars and accepts this truth because of their testimony, then for the scholars there is a reward equal to them. And none knows the value of this reward but Allaah.


niqaab1The gates of knowledge are open to the Muslim woman, and she may enter whichever of them she chooses, so long as this does not go against her feminine nature, but develops her mind and enhances her emotional growth and maturity. We find that history is full of prominent examples of remarkable women who sought knowledge and became highly proficient.

Foremost among them is the Mother of the Believers 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who was the primary source of Hadeeth and knowledge of the Sunnah, and was the first Faqeehah (Female Jurist) in Islam.

Imaam az-Zuhri said,

"If the knowledge of 'Aa'ishah were to be gathered up and compared to the knowledge of all the other wives of the Prophet (PBUH) and all other women, 'A'ishah's knowledge would be greater."[1]

How often did the greatest of the Sahaabah refer to her, to hear the final word on matters of the fundamentals of Islam and precise meanings of the Qur'an.

Her knowledge and deep understanding were not restricted only to matters of religion; she was equally distinguished in poetry, literature, history and medicine, aswell as other branches of knowledge that were known at that time. The Faqeeh (Jurist) of the Muslims, `Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, was quoted by his son Hisham as saying,

"I have never seen anybody more knowledgeable in fiqh or medicine or poetry than 'Aa'ishah."[2]

Imaam Muslim reports that she heard her nephew al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (RAA) make a grammatical mistake, when he and his (paternal) cousin were talking in front of her, and she told him off. Imam Muslim commented on this incident by writing, "Ibn `Atiq said, `Al-Qasim and I were talking in front of 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), and al-Qasim was one who made frequent mistakes in grammar, as his mother was not an Arab. `Aa'ishah said to him,

"Why do you not speak like this son of my brother? I know where the problem comes from: he was brought up by his mother, and you were brought up by your mother . . ."[3]

Among the reports in which the books of literature speak of the vast knowledge of 'Aa'ishah is that which describes how 'Aa'ishah bint Talhah was present in the circle of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik, where the shaykhs of Banu Umayyah were also present. They did not mention any point of Arab history, wars, stars and poetry but she contributed to the discussion. Hishaam said to her, "As for the first (i.e., knowledge of history etc.), I find nothing strange (in your knowing about it), but where did you get your knowledge about the stars?" She said,

"I learnt it from my (maternal) aunt `A'ishah."[4]

'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had a curious mind and was always eager to learn. Whenever she heard about something she did not know, she would ask about it until she understood it. Her closeness to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) meant that she was like a vessel full of knowledge.

Imaam Bukhaari reports from Abu Mulaykah that if 'A'ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) ever heard anything of which she did not know, she would keep going over it until she understood it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever is brought to account will be punished." `A'ishah said, "I said, `But does Allah (the Most High) not say {Soon his account will be taken by an easy reckoning} (Qur'an 84:8)" He said, "That refers to al-`ard (when everyone is brought before Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgement); but whoever is examined in detail is doomed."[5] In addition to her great knowledge, `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was also very eloquent in her speech. When she spoke, she captured the attention of her audience and moved them deeply. This is what made al-Ahnaf ibn Qays say,

"I heard the speeches of Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali and the Khulafaa' (Caliphs) who came after them, but I never heard anyone's speech more eloquent and beautiful than that of 'Aa'ishah's."

Musa ibn Talhah said:

"I never saw anyone more eloquent and pure in speech than 'Aa'ishah."[6]

Also, another woman who achieved a high level of knowledge was the daughter of Sa'eed ibn al-Musayyab, the scholar of his age, who refused to marry his daughter to the Caliph of his time, 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, and instead married her to one of his righteous students, 'Abdullah ibn Wada`ah. Just married, 'Abdullah went to his wife, and found her to be one of the most beautiful of women, one of the most knowledgeable regardiing the Qur'aan, the Sunnah and the rights and duties of marriage. In the morning, 'Abdullah got up and was preparing to go out. His wife asked him, "Where are you going?" He said, "To the circle of your father Sa`id ibn al-Musayyab, so that I may learn." She said,

"Sit down; I will teach you what Sa`id knows."

For one month, 'Abdullah did not attend Sa'eed's circle beacuse the knowledge of this beautiful young girl, which she had learnt from her father was sufficient for him.

Another of these prominent female scholars was Faatimah, the daughter of the author of Tuhfat al-Fuqaha', 'Ala' ad-Din as-Samarqandi (d. 539 AH). She was a Faqeehah (Female Jurist of Islaam) and scholar in her own right. She had learned Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) from her father and had memorized his book al-Tuhfah. Her father married her to his student 'Ala' al-Din al-Kasani, who was highly distinguished in the fields of al-Usool (Islamic Principles) and al-Furoo' (Its Branches). He wrote a commentary on Tuhfat al-Fuqahaa' entitled Bada'i' al-Sana'i', and showed it to his Shaykh, who was delighted with it and accepted it as a mahr (dowry) for his daughter, although he had refused offers of marriage for her from some of the kings of Byzantium.. The Fuqahaa' (Jurists of Islaam) of his time said,

"He commentated on his Tuhfah and married his daughter."

Before her marriage, Faatimah used to issue Fatwah (Juristic Rulings) along with her father, and the Fatwah would be written in her handwriting and that of her father's. After she married the author of al-Bada'i', the Fatwah would appear in her handwriting and that of her father and husband's. Her husband would make mistakes, and she would correct them.[7]

flower'Aa'ishah, the other wives of the Prophet (PBUH), the daughter of Sa'eed ibn al-Musayyab, Fatimah as-Samarqandi and other famous women scholars were not something unique or rare among Muslim women. There were innumerable learned women, who studied every branch of knowledge and became prominent in many fields. Ibn Sa'd devoted a chapter in his book, at-Tabaqaat, in which he included reports of narrations transmitted by women, in which he mentioned more than seven hundred women who reported Hadeeth from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and/or from the trustworthy narrators from among the Sahaabah. In turn, many prominent Scholars and Imaams narrated from these women of knowledge.

Al-Haafidh ibn 'Asaakir (d. 571 AH), one of the most reliable narrators of hadith, who was so trustworthy that he was known as Haafidh al-Ummah, counted eighty-odd women among his Shaykhs and teachers.[8] If we bear in mind that this Scholar never left the eastern part of the Islamic world, never visited Egypt, North Africa or Andalusia - which were even more crowded with women of knowledge - we will see that the number of learned women he never met was far greater than those from whom he did receive knowledge.

One of the phrases used by scholars in the books of hadith is:

"Ash-Shaykhah al-Musnidah as-Saalihah, so-and-so, the daughter of so-and-so told me . . ."

Among the names mentioned by Imaam all-Bukhaari are, Sitt al-Wuzara' Wazirah bint Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn As'ad ibn al-Munajji al-Tunukhiyyah and Karimah bint Ahmad al-Marwaziyyah. They are also mentioned by Ibn Hijr al-'Asqalaani in his introduction to Fath al-Bari.[9]

The position of these great women is enhanced by the fact that they were sincere and truthful, far above any hint of suspicion or doubt - a status that many men could not reach. This was noted by Imam al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabi in Mizaan al-I'tidaal, where he states that he found four thousand men about whose reports he had doubts, then follows his observation with the comment,

"I have never known of any woman who was accused (of being untrustworthy) or whose hadeeth was rejected."[10]

The modern Muslim woman, looking at the magnificent heritage of women in Islamic history, is filled with the desire for knowledge, as these prominent women only became famous and renowned throughout history by virtue of their knowledge.

Our minds can only be developed, and our characters can only grow in wisdom, maturity and insight, through the acquisition of useful, beneficial and correct knowledge, just as they did.


1 al-Isti'ab, 4/1883; al-Isabah, 8/140.
2 Tarikh al-Tabari: Hawadith 58; al-Samt al-Thamin, 82; al-Isti'ab, 4/1885.
3 Sahih Muslim, 5/47, Kitab al-masajid, bab karahah al-salat bi hadrat al-ta'am.
4 Al-Aghani, 10/57.
5 Fath al-Bari, 1/196, Kitab al-'ilm, bab man sami'a shay'an fa raji' hatta ya'rifuhu.
6 Reported by Tirmidhi, 5/364, in Kitab al-munaqib, bab min fadl 'A'ishah; he said that it is hasan sahih gharib.
7 Tuhfat al-Fuqaha', 1/12.
8 Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyyah, 4/273.


bookinkIslam gives importance to the acquisition of knowledge

Islâm stands as the most rational and precise religion that Allâh [az] has given to the whole mankind.  It gives importance to the acquisition of knowledge.  In fact, the first revelation that Allâh [az] has revealed to His Messenger [saws] for the guidance of mankind pertains to reading.  Allâh, the Most High, commands: {Read! In the name of your Rabb (Only God and Sustainer) Cherisher, Who created — created man, out of a leech-like clot: Read! And your Rabb is Most Bountiful. He Who taught (the use of) the Pen, taught man that which he knew not.} (Qur’ân 96:1-4)

When we follow the divine commandment to read,  we learn in the Qur’ân  that  aside from reading Allâh  commands us:  to know (e.g., 2:194, 196, 203, 223, 235, 14:52) to learn (e.g., 6: 151,  9:122, 12:2,  22:46 also 54,  40:58 and 68:37), to understand (e.g., 2:44,  6:32,  7:169,  10:16,  11:51,  12:109,  21:10,  40:67,  43:3,  47:24, 57:17), to ponder (4: 82 and 23:68) or contemplate (38:29), and even to ask questions (i.e., 10:94 and  43:45)

The Prophet Muhammad [saws], Allâh's Messenger to the whole mankind (34:28), also enjoins us to acquire knowledge.  He  even stresses that it is our obligation to search for knowledge.  We read the following authentic Ahâdîth: Anas Ibn Malik [ra] reported that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Seeking of knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim....” (Ibn Majah 1/224 and Tirmidhi  218)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh 's Messenger [saws] said, “Learn the obligatory acts and the Qur’ân and teach them to the people, for I am a mortal.” (Tirmidhi  244)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said to me, “Acquire the knowledge and impart it to the people.  Acquire the knowledge of Fara'id (laws of inheritance) and teach it to the people.  Learn the Qur’ân and teach it to the people; for I am a person who has to depart this world.  And the knowledge will be taken away and turmoil will appear to such an extent that two people will not agree in regard to a case of inheritance distribution and find none who would decide between them.” (Tirmidhi  279, Darimi and Daraqutni)

In line with the divine injunctions to acquire knowledge of Islâm, Allâh's Messenger [saws] inspires us to do our best to seek knowledge.  We should, therefore, spend time, efforts, money and other resources to seek knowledge of Islâm.   We should take guidance and inspiration from the following prophetic teachings:

Anas ibn Malik [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said: “One who goes out to search for knowledge is (devoted) to the cause of Allâh till he returns.” (Tirmidhi  220)

'Abdullah ibn Abbas [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Acquiring knowledge in company for an hour in the night is better than spending the whole night in prayer.” (Tirmidhi  256)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, "Learn and recite the Qur’ân, for to one who learns, recites and uses it in prayer at night, it is like a bag filled with musk whose fragrance is diffused everywhere.  And he who learns it and goes to sleep having it within him, is like a bag with musk tied up in it." (Tirmidhi  2143 Nasa'i and Ibn Majah)

Religious knowledge is the most important knowledge to be learned

Islâm as a complete religion, does not limit the acquisition of knowledge into the field of religion. It also encourages us to seek other knowledge, which are beneficial to us. However, it stresses that knowledge of the Qur’ân and authentic Ahâdîth and prescriptions rightly deduced from the two constitute the essential knowledge:

‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Amrreported that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Knowledge consists of three things: the decisive verses (Qur’ân), authentic Ahâdîth and prescriptions rightly deduced from the two. What is beside them is superfluous.” (Ibn Mâjah 1/54)

‘Abdullah ibn Amir ibn Al-Asn narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “Knowledge has three categories; anything else is extra; a precise verse, or an established Sunnah (practice), or a firm obligatory duty.” (Abu Daawood 2879)

Mu’adh ibn Jabal [ra] narrated that some companions of Mu'adh ibn Jabal [ra] said, When Allâh's Messenger [saws] intended to send Mu'adh ibn Jabal [ra] to Yemen, he asked: “How will you judge when the occasion of deciding a case arises?” He replied, “I shall judge in accordance with Allâh's  Book.” He was asked: “(What will you do) if you do not find any guidance in Allâh's Book?” He replied, “(I shall act) in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allâh.” He [saws] asked, “(What will you do) if you do not find any guidance in the Sunnah of Allâh's Messenger and in Allâh's Book?" He replied, "I shall do my best to form an opinion and I shall spare no effort.” Allâh's Messenger [saws] then patted him on the breast and said: “Praise be to Allâh  Who has helped Allâh's Messenger [saws] to find something which pleases Allâh's Messenger.” (Abû Dâwûd, 3585)

Moreover, it is for our benefit that we learn Islâm as it is the knowledge that leads us to truth against ignorance.  Islâm teaches us to learn wisdom:

{Say: `Come, I will rehearse what Allâh has (really) prohibited you from: join not anything with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want, We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not nigh to indecent deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allâh has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.  Thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom.} (6:151)

{A.L.R.[1][4] These are the Verses of the Perspicuous Book. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ân in order that you may learn wisdom.} (12:1-2)

{Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear?  Truly it is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts which are in their breasts.} (22:46)

The Prophet [saws] inspired those who acquire knowledge of Islam

Mankind must seek knowledge of Islâm because Allâh the Almighty has obliged us to obey His Messenger [saws].  Prophet Muhammad [saws] as Allâh’s Messenger to all mankind also serves as the teacher and educator of all mankind.  This is a fact which the Prophet [saws] himself has made clear to us as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abdullah ibn Amir [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] happened to pass by two groups (of Muslims) in the mosque and he said: "Both of them are good, but one is superior to the other. One group is supplicating Allâh and praying Him. If He so wills He will confer upon them and if He so wills He will withhold. So far as those who are acquiring the understanding of religion and its knowledge and are busy in teaching the ignorant, they are superior. Verily I have been sent as a teacher.” He then sat down amongst them. (Tirmidhi  257 and Darimi)

The world’s Great Teacher and Educator inspires those who acquire knowledge of Islâm and those who are knowledgeable.  He [saws] says in the following Ahâdîth: Abu Musa [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said,

“The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allâh has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allâh benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allâh's religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allâh has revealed through me (the Prophets and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allâh's guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.).” (Bukhari 1/79)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “Those who were the best in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance will be the best in Islâm provided they comprehend the religious knowledge.” (Bukhari 4/572 and Muslim)

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “... He who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allâh will make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in one of the houses of Allâh (mosques), recite the Book of Allâh and learn and teach the Qur’ân (among themselves). There will descend upon them tranquillity, mercy will cover them, the angels will surround them and Allâh will mention them in the presence of those near Him. He who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (long) descent does not make him go ahead.” (Muslim 6518)

Abu Umama [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said: “A learned person is as much above a worshipper as I am above the least of you. He added: Allâh, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even the ants in their hills and the fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct people in beneficial knowledge.” (Tirmidhi: 1392)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said, “Verily what a believer continues to receive (in the form of reward) for his action and his virtues after his death is the knowledge which he acquired and then disseminate;  the pious son that he left behind him, or a copy of the Qur’ân which he left as a legacy, or the mosques that he had built, or the inn that he had built for the wayfarers, or the canal that he caused to flow, or a sadaqah which he gave out of his property in the state when he was healthy and alive. (These are the acts of goodness the reward of which) reaches him even after his death.” (Tirmidhi  254 and Ibn Majah)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said, “There are two avaricious people who are never contented: the man of learning and the man of the world, but the two are not equal. The man of knowledge increases in submission to Allâh, and as for the man of the world, he becomes headstrong and defiant.” Abdullah then recited: {Nay man is surely rebellious when he sees himself free from want.} (46:6). Concerning the other he recited the verse: {Surely those of His servants who are possessed of knowledge, fear Allâh.} (35:28).” (Tirmidhi 261 and Darimi)

Abu Darda [ra] narrated that Kathir ibn Qays said: "I was sitting with Abu Darda' in the mosque of Damascus.  A man came to him and said: “Abu Darda, I have come to you from the town of the Allâh’s Messenger [saws] for a tradition that I have heard you relate from the Allâh’s Messenger [saws]. I have come for no other purpose.” He said: “I heard Allâh's Messenger [saws] say: ‘If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allâh will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion..’” (Abu Daud 3634)

Anas ibn Malik [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said: “Do you know who is most generous?” They said: “Allâh and His Messenger know best.” Whereupon he [saws] said: “Allâh is the Most Generous, then I am most generous to mankind, and the most generous people after me would be those who will acquire knowledge and then disseminate it…” (Tirmidhi  259)

Hasan Al-Basri [rah] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said: “He whom death overtakes while he is engaged in acquiring knowledge with a view to reviving Islâm with the help of it, there will be one degree between him and the Prophets in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi  249 and Darimi)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that he heard Allâh's Messenger [saws] as saying: “He who comes to this mosque of mine and he comes only to learn or teach a khayr (good, i.e. the Qur’ân and the Sunnah),  his status is like that of one who strives in the cause of Allâh. He who comes for any other motive, his status is like that of a person who covets the property of another.” (Tirmidhi  742, Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi)

Allâh [az] commends those who are endowed with knowledge and promises them everlasting rewards

Allâh [az] not only commands the whole mankind to seek knowledge but also commends those who are knowledgeable.  He encourages the learned by promising them rewards. The following ayât state: {He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding.} (2: 269)

{...Allâh will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and have been granted Knowledge.  And Allâh is well-acquainted with all you do.} (58:11)

Allâh [az] has honored and extolled the people who possess knowledge of Islâm.  He I has raised their status high by including them among with those who bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh [az].  He the Almighty says: {Allâh bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (also bear witness to this); (He is always) maintaining His Creation in justice.  None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Almighty the All-Wise.} (3:18)

In another verse, Allâh [az] tells us that: {Only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh...} (35:28).

In return for their being god-fearing, Allâh is pleased with them.  They receive Allâh's [az] admonition. Allâh [az] the Exalted tells us in His Book: {On the other hand for those who fear their Rabb are gardens with rivers flowing beneath therein are they to dwell (for ever) a gift from the presence of Allâh and that which is in the presence of Allâh is the best (bliss) for the righteous.} (3:198)

{O you who believe!  If you fear Allâh, He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong) remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you and forgive you: for Allâh is the Rabb of grace unbounded.} (8:29)

{As for those who fear their Rabb Unseen, for them is Forgiveness and a great Reward.} (67:12)

{Are then one who does know that, that which has been Revealed unto you from your Rabb is the Truth, like the one who is blind?  It is those who are endowed with understanding that receive admonition;  those who fulfill the Covenant of Allâh and fail not in their plighted word; those who join together those things, which Allâh has commanded to be joined, hold their Rabb in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning; those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Creator; establish regular prayers, spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) Home.  Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation) “Peace unto you for  that  you persevered in patience!  Now how excellent is the final Home!} (13:19-24)

When we acquire knowledge of Islâm we learn not only the divine purpose why Allâh [az] has created us but also understand the meaning of this temporary world, and how we should prepare our lives to enjoy the everlasting life in the hereafter.  We know that only when we peacefully and completely submit to Allâh, believe and fear in Him, follow His commands, do righteous deeds for the sole purpose of pleasing Him alone, and subsequently refrain from committing sins do we attain salvation.  When we acquire knowledge we are assured of Allâh's [az] everlasting reward. We gain Allâh's [az] protection from the terrible punishments in the hell-fire that await those who do not believe because they are devoid of wisdom.  For our benefit we should strive to acquire knowledge because Allâh  makes it very clear that those who know are not equal with those who do not know.  He [az] tells us: {Is one who worships devoutly uring the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his God — like one who does not)?   Say: 'Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?”  It is those who are endowed with understanding that receive admonition.'} (39:9)

Islâm teaches us how to sincerely pray to Allâh to bestow us beneficial knowledge

Knowing the importance of acquiring Islâmic knowledge, it becomes imperative, therefore, for mankind to seek knowledge of Islâm.  We must think of our everlasting life by knowing the Truth and adhering to it for our guidance and supreme success.  We must sincerely pray to Allâh  to bestow us knowledge of Islâm.  We should bear in mind that Allâh, the All-Knowing, All-Wise (4:26), the exalted in power, full of Wisdom (31:27), is the One Who grants wisdom to whom He pleases: {He (Allâh) grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will receive admonition but men of understanding.} (2:269)

We must pray to Allâh the All Knowing, All Wise to bestow upon us knowledge of Islâm.  Both the Qur’ân and the Sunnah guide us to seek Allâh’s guidance through prayers or supplication.  Let us include in our prayers the following supplications:

{O my Rabb! Increase me in knowledge.} (20:114)

{O my Rabb!  Bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; grant me honorable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations); make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss.} (26:83-84)

Umm Salamah [rah] narrated that the Prophet [saws] used to say after the dawn prayer, “O Allâh, I ask You for beneficial knowledge, acceptable action, and good provision.” (Tirmidhi  2487,  Ahmad and  Ibn Majah)

‘Aishah [rah] narrated that when Allâh’s Messenger [saws] would awake at night, he said: “There is no god but You, glory be to You, O Allâh, I ask Your pardon for my sin and I ask You for Your mercy. O Allâh!  Advance me in knowledge: do not cause my heart to deviate (from guidance) after You have guided me, and grant me mercy from  Yourself; verily  You are the Grantor.” (Abu Daud 5043)

We must  pray to Allâh [az] for knowledge of Islâm and other knowledge that would benefit us not only in this temporary world, but most important is in the eternal world to come. When we pray to Allâh [az] for other knowledge outside of Islâm, we should pray that such knowledge is beneficial for us. The knowledge that we seek outside Islâmic knowledge must strengthen our understanding and application of Islâm.  It should make us better Muslims and not to be out of Islâm.   We must, therefore, refrain from knowledge that does not benefit us.  We should take admonition from the following Ahâdîth:

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “It is part of the excellence of a person’s Islâm that he should discard that which is of no benefit to him either in this world or the Hereafter.” (Tirmidhi  67)

Abu Darda [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “The worst of men in the eyes of Allâh on the Day of Resurrection will be the scholar who does not derive benefit from his knowledge.” (Tirmidhi  268)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “The knowledge from which no benefit is derived is like a treasure out of which nothing is spent in the cause of Allâh.” (Tirmidhi  280)

As much as possible, we must seek Allâh’s protection from the knowledge that will just destroy our faith.  We must include in our prayers and supplications to Allâh the Almighty that He will protect us from such knowledge that does more harm than good to us and to others.  This is a guidance that we must follow from the Prophet [saws] as narrated in the following Ahâdîth:

Sa’id ibn Arkam [ra] narrated: “I am not going to say anything but only that which Allâh's Messenger [saws] used to supplicate: ‘O Allâh, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, from sloth, from cowardice, from miserliness, decrepitude and from torment of the grave. O Allâh, grant to my soul the sense of righteousness and purify it, for You are the Best Purifier thereof.  You are the Protecting friend thereof, and Guardian thereof. O Allâh, I seek refuge in  You from the knowledge which does not benefit, from the heart that does not entertain the fear (of Allâh), from the soul that does not feel contented and the supplication that is not responded.’” (Muslim, 6568)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Messeger of Allâh [saws] used to say: “O Allâh, I seek refuge in  You from four things: Knowledge which does not profit, a heart which is not submissive, a soul which has an insatiable appetite, and a supplication which is not heard.” (Abu Dawud 1543)

Islâm encourages us not only to learn Islâm but also to teach it to others

Islâm as a rational religion enjoins mankind not only to acquire authentic knowledge of Islâm but also encourages us to teach Islâm to others.  We should be inspired to teach what we know of Islâm with the following Ayâh and authentic Ahâdîth:

{But teach (the Message): for teaching benefits the Believers.} (Qur’ân 51:55)

‘Abdullâh ibn Mas‘ûd [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Do not wish to be like anybody except in two cases: The case of a man whom Allâh has given wealth and he spends it in the right way;  and that of a man whom Allâh has given religious wisdom (i.e., Qur’ân and Sunnah); and he gives his verdicts according to it and teaches it to others i.e., religious knowledge of Qur’ân and Sunnah.” (Bukhâri 9/419)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz [rah] wrote to Abu Bakr bin Hazm, "Look for the knowledge of Hâdîth and get it written, as I am afraid that religious knowledge will vanish and the religious learned men will pass away (die). Do not accept anything save the Ahâdîth of the Prophet . Circulate knowledge and teach the ignorant, for knowledge does not vanish except when it is kept secretly (to oneself).” (Bukhari 1/98)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said to me, “Acquire the knowledge and impart it to the people.  Acquire the knowledge of Fara'id (laws of inheritance) and teach it to the people.  Learn the Qur’ân and teach it to the people; for I am a person who has to depart this world.  And the knowledge will be taken away and turmoil will appear to such an extent that two people will not agree in regard to a case of inheritance distribution and find none who would decide between them.” (Tirmidhi  279, Darimi and Daraqutni)

Abu Umamah [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “A learned person is as much above a worshipper as I am above the least of you. Allâh, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even the ants in their hills and the fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct people in beneficial knowledge.” (Tirmidhi  1392)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “May Allâh be well pleased with the servant who heard our words, remembered them, retained them well and then passed them on to others. How many scholars are there who are the scholars of religion without having an understanding of it, and how many scholars of religion are there who convey knowledge to those who are well versed compared with them. There are three things on account of which no rancor enters a Muslim heart: the sincerity of purpose for Allâh’s sake, seeking goodness for the Muslims and adhering to their main body (jama'ah), for their prayers encompass them all round.” (Tirmidhi  228)

Al Hasan Al Basri [rah] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said, “The superiority of a scholar, who observes the prescribed prayer and then sits down to teach people goodness, over the worshipper, who observes fast during the day and worships during the night, is like my superiority over the lowest in rank amongst you.” (Tirmidhi  250)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said: “Learn the obligatory acts and the Qur’ân and teach them to the people, for I am a mortal.” (Tirmidhi  244)

We must further know that Islâm warns the learned among us from concealing our knowledge.

The Prophet [saws] admonishes us as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, "He who is asked about knowledge and conceals it will be bridled on the Day of Judgment with a bridle of fire." (Abu Dawud  3650, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja)

In line with our obligation to teach what we know of Islâm, the Prophet [saws] encourages us to teach and be good teachers:

Abdullah ibn Amir [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws  happened to pass by two groups (of Muslims) in the mosque and he said: "Both of them are good, but one is superior to the other. One group is supplicating Allâh and praying Him. If He so wills He will confer upon them and if He so wills He will withhold. So far as those who are acquiring the understanding of religion and its knowledge and are busy in teaching the ignorant, they are superior. Verily I have been sent as a teacher.” He then sat down amongst them. (Tirmidhi  257 and Darimi)

Abu Humamah Al- Bahili [ra] narrated that mention was made to Allâh's Messenger [saws] of two persons: the one being a devout, and the other being a scholar. Thereupon Allâh's Messenger [saws] said: “The superiority of the scholar over the devout is like my superiority over one who is of the lowest rank amongst you." Then Allâh's Messenger said: “Verily (for the scholars) Allâh and His angels, the dwellers of the Heavens and of the Earth, even an ant in its hole and fish (in the depth of water) invoke blessings on one who teaches people goodness.” (Tirmidhi 213)

For our benefit, we must acquire knowledge of Islâm and teach it to others.   We must always remember that Islâm is the right religion but most men do not know it.  It is therefore mandatory that we share our knowledge to others in order to guide them to righteousness.  We have to teach Islâm to others, especially the non-Muslims, to the best of our capacity.  We must remember that when we guide others to Islâm, we expect rewards from Allâh the Almighty.  The Prophet [saws] says:

Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “…One who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer.” (Muslim  4/4665)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “He who called people to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect.” (Muslim  4/6470)


[1] Allah is an Arabic term, which connotes the One and Only True God.  Even among Christian Arabs, they always use the word Allah when they mean God.  Allah is not only the God of the Muslims.  Allah is the true God of the whole mankind (114:3).  He is the universal God of all.  The term Allah has no plural word unlike the word God.  It signifies absolute Oneness of God.  Hence, it is a must to use the word Allah instead of God.

[3] Traditions or practices of Prophet Messenger , which include his Ahâdîth  (Teachings and Sayings).

[4] A.L.R. is one of the “abbreviated letters" prefixed in some verses of the Qur’ân. Only  Allâh knows its meaning (3:7).


raisinsIt is human nature to be forgetful, as the Arab poet said:

“He is only called man (insaan) because of his forgetfulness (nasiyaan),

and it is only called the heart (al-qalb) because it changes so rapidly (yataqallib).”

In the past they said that the first one to forget (awwal naasin) was the first man (awwal al-naas), meaning Adam, peace be upon him. Forgetfulness is something that varies from person to person according to each individual’s nature; some may be more forgetful than others. Some of the things that may help to combat forgetfulness are the following

1. Keeping away from sin, because the bad effects of sin result in a bad memory and the inability to retain knowledge. The darkness of sin cannot co-exist with the light of knowledge. The following words were attributed to al-Shaafi‘ee, may Allah have mercy on him:

“I complained to [my shaykh] Wakee’ about my bad memory, and he taught me that I should keep away from sin. He said that knowledge of Allah is light, and the light of Allah is not given to the sinner.”

Al-Khateeb reported in al-Jaami‘ (2/387) that Yahya ibn Yahya said: “A man asked Maalik ibn Anas, ‘O Abu ‘Abd-Allah! Is there anything that will improve my memory?’ He said,

‘If anything will improve it, it is giving up sin.’”

When a person commits a sin, it overwhelms him and this leads to anxiety and sorrow which keeps him busy thinking about what he has done. This dulls his senses and distracts him from many beneficial things, including seeking knowledge.

2. Frequently remembering Allah, may He be glorified, by reciting dhikr, tasbeeh (saying ‘Subhan Allah’), tahmeed (‘Al-hamdu Lillaah’), tahleel (‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah’) and takbeer (‘Allahu akbar’), etc. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): {…And remember your Lord when you forget…} [Qur’an al-Kahf 18:24]

3. Not eating too much, because eating too much makes one sleep too much and become lazy, and it dulls the senses, besides exposing one to the risk of physical diseases. Most of the diseases which we see result from food and drink.

4. Some of the scholars have mentioned certain foods which increase the memory, such as drinking honey and eating raisins and chewing certain kinds of gum resin.

Imaam al-Zuhree said:

“You should eat honey because it is good for the memory.”

He also said:

“Whoever wants to memorize hadeeth should eat raisins.” (From al-Jaami‘ by al-Khateeb, 2/394)

Ibraaheem ibn [sth. omitted] said,

“You should chew resin gum, because it gives energy to the heart and gets rid of forgetfulness.” (From al-Jaami‘ by al-Khateeb, 2/397)

As they mentioned, too much acidic food is one of the causes of laziness and weak memory.

5. Another thing that can help the memory and reduce forgetfulness is cupping (hijaamah) of the head, as is well known from experience.

(For more information please refer to Al-Tibb al-Nabawi by Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim).


jannah21This should be our goal in life, "I want to go to Jannah ( Paradise )." It should be written in bold letters on our foreheads so that it serves a constant reminder for us. The Prophet (saw) has left with us a very small key to Jannah, which we muslims today have become oblivious of. Just like you need a key to open your car's door, or house door, or office door; similarly you need a key to open Jannah to you. What is this key?

The Prophet (saw) said,"Whoever goes down a path/road searching for knowledge, Allah will make it easy for him the road to Paradise." [Saheeh Muslim, Vol.3 Hadith No. 99]

Travelling on the path to knowledge refers both to walking or driving along an actual road/pathway, such as going to Conferences, etc..or going to your local Masaajids whenever there is either an international scholar/speaker or a local scholar/speaker speaking. Searching also entails, a metaphysical road, such as studying and memorising Quran and Hadeeth. Not merely memorising like a parrot, but understanding it first and then memorising it.

The above hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) means that Allah makes learning the useful knowledge that is sought after easier for the seeker, clearing the way for him, and smoothing his journey to Paradise. This is why some of our pious predecessors used to say,

"Is there anyone seeking knowledge, so that we can assist him in finding it?"

So brothers and sisters, be LOVERS of Knowledge, be seekers of Knowledge. "Yes, where is my Quran, where is the Hadeeth..." Getting up every morning with a purpose: to seek Jannah by seeking Knowledge! Knowledge is also the shortest path to Allah. Whoever travels the road of knowledge reaches Allah and Paradise by the shortest route. Knowledge also clears the way out of darkness, ignorance, doubt and scepticism. It is why Allah called His Book, Quran, "Light." 

Knowledge is the ROAD to Paradise, and Islam is the vehicle that takes you to this destination of Paradise. Just like you get in a car to go from one destination to another, but how? By finding out the directions to get there, either by seeing a map or asking someone. Similarly, our Quran and Hadeeth are our maps, and our scholars are the people who give the directions from this map to get to our ultimate destination, Paradise.

Ask yourself, "Is Paradise easy?" Have you ever seen, how easy it is for our Hafidhul-Quran brothers and sisters, who memorize the whole Quran by heart? Have you ever seen how easy it is for some of us to study Quran and hadeeth for hours and hours, whilst others cannot even open the Quran or Hadeeth at least once a year or month? Why?

Narrated Ali ibn Taalib(raa), While the Prophet (saw) was in a funeral procession he picked up something and started scraping the ground with it, and said, "There is none among you but has his place written for him either in Hell-Fire or Paradise." They said,"O Messenger of Allah! Shall we not depend upon what has been written for us and give up deeds?" He (saw) said, "Carry on doing (good) deeds, for everybody will find easy to do such deeds as will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created. So he, who is destined to be among the happy (in the Hereafter) will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of such people, whle he who is destined to be among the miserable ones, will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of such people." Then the Prophet (saw) recited the following verses:

{As for him who gives and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him,
And believes in Husna (the best).
We will make smooth for him the path of Ease (goodness, ie. Paradise )
But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient,
And gives the lie to Husna.
We will make smooth for him the path for Evil (ie. Hell-fire).}
[Surah Al-Layl(92), Verses 5-10]

[Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Vol.6, Hadith No.474]

Numerous examples of this above hadeeth and verses of Allah are prevalent in our societies today, yet we don't learn any lessons from them. For example, how easy it is for some to fast the fast of Dawud, meaning fasting every other day, or doing voluntary fasts of Shawwal, Muharram, Rajab, etc. Whereas for some it is even hard to fast in Ramadhan, Why? ever notice how easy it is for some to get up in the middle of the night and talk to their Lord in private in Salat-ul-Tahajjud, while for others it is hard to even make the Obligatory (Fardh) prayers? Why?

How easy it is for some to remain single and yet guard their chastity and protect themselves from fornication, while others are married and yet still indulge in adultery. Why? How easily some memorise ayaats (verses) of Quran and Hadeeth, while others memorise the latest songs in the market and memorise the latest cuss words used on streets. Why?

You see brothers and sisters, for some of us it is very EASY to practice Islam, as Allah wants to practice, while for others it is very HARD to practice. The answer for this are the verses of Surah Al-Layl, because for those whom it is easy to practice Islam, Allah is making it EASY the road to Paradise, whilst for those whom it is hard to practice, Allah is making it EASY for them the road to Hell-Fire. So why is it easy for some to practice Islam? It is because they are lovers and seekers of Knowledge and not only that, but also act upon that knowledge, and thus Allah is making it easy for them their destination of Paradise.

Knowledge is the key and that is why our Prophet (saw) used to supplicate in every prayer,"Allahumma Innee Auzubikaa Min Illmin Laa Yanf'aau [O Allah! I seek refuge in you from Knowledge that does not benefit]."

It doesn't benefit you brothers and sisters... For hours and hours you are sitting in front of that T.V. and its not benefitting you as its not leading you to Paradise. For hours and hours you waste time on bed-time novels or on magazines and newspapers in a month and yet it doesn't lead you to Paradise. All that time you could have been studying Qur'aan and Hadeeth or reading Islamic books instead of bed-time story novels and yet making easier for yourself the road to Paradise, and achieving it Inshaa' Allah.

Not only does it not benefit you, but moreso it harms you. Hours and hours of those T.V. programs are not teaching you Quran and Sunnah, rather teaching you how to date, or how to hook someone from the opposite sex, or teaching you violence or foul language. Thus instilling evil and wicked ideas and things into your mind and heart, just for the pleasure of this temporary world, and making you further away from your destination of Paradise.

In conclusion, I say this brothers and sisters. We need to get our "cars" (Islam) fixed and focused on the right direction to our destination of Paradise. We need to pick up the "maps" (Quran & Hadeeth) and ask knowledgeable people (scholars/imams) for directions (road/path) towards Paradise.


miscarriageHer name was mentioned with respect and admiration all over the Arabian Peninsula. She had memorised over 2,000 hadith and was an expert in Islamic law, ibaadat (rituals), the Quran and the ways of the Prophet (saw). Her knowledge was sought by those years younger and decades older than her, thus she enriched a generation with her advice and guidance. Known for her eloquence, as well as her wisdom, she inspired thousands of men in battle through her poetry and pearls of wisdom. Her name was A’isha bint Abu Bakr (ra), the first female scholar of Islam at age 18.

He was appointed commander of the Muslim army by none other than the Messenger of Allah (saw). His position as Amir of an army of Jihad was above some of the most senior sahabah; the likes of Abu Bakr as-Saddique (ra) and Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra). He earned this position by displaying strength of mind; in military tactics, body; in physical fighting and most importantly, unbreakable faith in his Creator. His name was Usamah ibn Zaid (ra) and this was his reality at a mere 17 years old.

His average day commences with him going to high school. Unfortunately his bad grades are due to lack of concentration because he is too busy ‘checking out’ the girl sitting next to him. After school he usually goes to town and ‘chills’ for a couple of hours with his mates. Of course he isn’t a total drop out and so spends half an hour on his homework in the evening. After that strenuous thirty minutes he relaxes himself by watching TV and if motivation for pushing the limits knocks on the door, he actually reads a book. He is teenage by-product of Western culture.

Western Societies view of the youth

Although many people do not realise it, there is a considerable degree of ageism in the society we live in today. This ageism affects the old and young – but many overlook the youth when talking about ageism. In the West youngsters, especially those under 16 are seen as not intellectually mature enough to be able to handle certain responsibilities, for example having the vote, getting married or running a business. Since the laws originate from man’s mind, they tend to change over time and vary from place to place. Some states in America allow people to vote at 16, whilst others require it to be 18. Similarly, in the UK the debate continues as to whether people at 16 are able to handle to responsibility of a vote. Obviously, there will always be disagreement when the laws are man-made as they have no founded basis to them, unlike the laws that Almighty Allah has laid down in his infinite wisdom.

Socially often when over 18’s are speaking they would not usually respect or take into consideration the opinion of those under 16. Imagine a group of 30 year olds discussing serious matters like world politics or a situation in the family and a 12 year old contributing to the discussion and being taken seriously. The assumption is that youngsters are unable to contribute productively to serious discussions and are just kids. Although in many cases in the West it may be true that many of the youth are spoilt brats who cannot handle serious issues, let alone responsibilities. However, this is due to the environment they are brought up in and is not necessarily linked with their age.

If we look at history and at different parts of the world, we can see that teenagers do indeed have to potential to make important decisions; be intellectually mature; responsible and to have area specific skills which outshine many adults thus contributing positively to society. In certain parts of Africa and Asia young boys and girls provide for their entire families by working and even look after their siblings and parents.

If we look at Western societies even people in their twenties sometimes act as spoilt school children who run away from responsibility. Some would rather be playing Counter-Strike on their computer, watching The Simpsons or listening to 50 Cent rather than facing up to the responsibilities of life.

The reason for this is simple – the attitude of society about the youth has given them the excuse to be teenagers and just ‘chill’ – the youth of today know this to mean - do as little as you can possibly can without dying from laziness. This may sound ludicrous and far fetched but this lazy-crazy culture is extremely popular amongst the youth today. In class rooms you can hear youths boast about how little they did on the weekend and how many hours they spent in town with their friends, not accomplishing anything except the delusion that they are doing something productive with their time.

Because society gives the youth this mentality that they are too young to comprehend this, or too young to handle the stress of that, they are giving youth the excuse not to think, not to fulfil their full potential. Unfortunately this is also the reality for many amongst the Muslim community.

What does Islam say?

What is Islam’s view of maturity and what the youth can accomplish? Islam views the people as adult once they have reached physical maturity i.e. puberty. There are no set ages for this as different people reach puberty at different ages - the average age for girls being 12 years old and for boys being 14 years. Of course Islam takes into consideration that young people have less experience than those who are aged and so Islamically one must respect their elders.

'Amr b. Shu'ayb (ra) narrated from his father whose grandfather narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “He is not one of us who shows no mercy to our younger ones and does not acknowledge the honour due to our elders.” [Reported by Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad.]

However this does not mean that youngsters who have reached the Islamic age of maturity should be treated as children. As soon as someone reaches physical maturity in Islam they become accountable to Allah (swt) for every single action that they perform.

‘Ali Ibnu Abi Talib narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “Accountability is lifted off three persons: The dormant until he awakes, the boy (adolescent) until he reaches maturity and the deranged until he regains his mind.” [Abu Dawud]

In Islam someone who has reached the age of maturity is legally an adult and is therefore given all the rights of one such as they allowed to get married (of course in accordance with the shariah rules), can set up a business, can vote in the elections of the Khalifah and Majlis al Ummah (consultative council) under an Islamic state (which is not existent today).

Socially the opinions of young Muslims should be respected and given weight; not ignored as is the case often today. Young Muslims should be active da’wah carriers who even give to da’wah to those older than themselves. As in Islam the best amongst people are those who are better in their piety not their age, colour or sex. Allah (swt) says: {The most honoured in the sight of Allah are those who have the most Taqwa (piety).} [TMQ 49:13]

Youth in the past

In the past young Muslims were given important responsibilities and positions in the past under the Islamic state. Nowadays when you think about the head of a delegation sent to a ruler today the image that comes to mind is of a fifty-something with grey hair. However look at the example of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (ra) who was only 20 years old when he headed the delegation of Muslims to the King of Abysinnia in order to present their views. Some Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia with the permission of the Prophet (saw) to avoid the oppression of Quraysh.  When the Quraysh saw that they could not stop the Muslims exodus to Abyssinia, they sent a delegation to the Negus to request their extradition back to Makkah.  Before agreeing to their extradition the Negus asked what the Muslims had to say for themselves.  It was Ja'far ibn abi Talib, who spoke on behalf of the Muslims. Just reflect upon a portion of what Ja'far said to the Negus, consider the maturity in his words and the profound understanding he displayed:

"O King!  We have been a people of ignorance worshipping idols, eating the flesh of dead animals, committing abominations, neglecting our relatives and doing evil to our neighbours.  The strong, among us would oppress the weak.  We were in this state when Allah sent us a Messenger from among us whose descent and sincerity, trustworthiness and honesty were known to us.  He summoned us to worship the One True God and to reject the stones and idols we and our fathers had been worshipping in addition to Allah.  He ordered us to be truthful of speech, to fulfill all the duties that were entrusted to us, to care for our relatives, to be kind to our neighbours, to refrain from unlawful food and consumption of blood. He forbade us to engage in lewdness and lying, the devouring of the money of the orphan and the defamation of married women.  He commanded us to worship the One God and to assign no partners unto Him, to pray, to pay the purifying tax and to fast. We deem him truthful and we believed him, and we accepted the message he brought from Allah".

Another example is the brother of Sa'd Abi-Waqqas (ra), Umayr. One day this young teen wept heartedly. Not because he didn’t have the latest Nintendo or mobile phone but because wanted to be allowed to accompany the Muslim army at Badr. He wept longing for the honour of upholding the banner of Islam. His wish was granted and he fought and died not on a computer game screen but in battle as a Martyr (Shaheed) at the age of only sixteen.

Even friendship and scholarship in Islam are not restricted to age, often young companions of the Messenger of Allah (saw) were close friends with elder companions like Abu Bakr and Hamza. Imam Shafi (rh) was a scholar at the age of 14 and used to give fatawa (legal verdicts) to young and old alike.

Applying this today

By Islam, the most noble of youth were brought from the trifling life of ignorance (Jahiliya) to the prosperous life of Islam; from the corrupt pride of tribalism to the dignity of Universal Islam. They commanded the armies, ruled the provinces and states, and became judges and scholars. But even more important than all of that, they became the obedient slaves of Allah, who satisfied Him and so they deserved His satisfaction.

The reason that we had such youth in Islamic history was due to the implementation of the Islamic ahkam (rules). Due to this they were treated as adults from the age of puberty; they had a sense of responsibility and accountability to Allah (swt) for all their actions. Such youth are not restricted to the past, today many of the da’wah carriers in the Muslim world such as in Uzbekistan are youngsters, some as young as 12 years old have been imprisoned due to their carrying the Islamic call. In occupied Islamic lands such as Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan we have also witnessed young Muslims defending their lands, property and honour with bravery and courage.

All Muslims, young and old have the obligation of carrying the call of Allah and for that they need to first acquire the knowledge and be responsible in their outlook in life. Living in non-Muslim lands, the youth will undoubtedly face prejudices such as “young, free and irresponsible” but as Muslims we need to look beyond this phrase because we know that we have responsibilities on our shoulders which aren’t necessarily age-bound. Sometimes this is a challenge that they have to face – a test to prove that they aren’t aimless in life but rather they can be the future leaders of our community. The youth need to stand up against the misguided stereotypes and bow down only to their Lord and wake up to their responsibilities to the Ummah.

How can we do this one may ask? In today’s reality how can we even begin to emulate the generation of sahabah and once again raise the banner of Islam to the lofty heights that it deserves to be at? The banner now lies dusty and enshrouded in the weary battlefields or just as much, in a heap at the bottom of our cupboards. Only a few hands protect this banner today, whilst the rest shy away from responsibility and retreat into the catacombs of our own pleasures and desires. To gain the strength to carry the amanah of dawah placed upon us, the stories of our predecessors should be remembered to give us courage and hope even when the banner of islam is buried over so much dust, we can barely make out the shahadah written on it. But inspiration alone isn’t sufficient to carry this trust as we must see how the sahabah were qualified to carry the dawah, how did they shield themselves? With knowledge. Knowledge of our religion allows us to become spokesmen, rather than mere shadows of the religion. If we lack this knowledge, ambition is hindered due to lack of sight and guidance. The sahabahs studied Islam comprehensively to be able to be a living example of its rules and etiquettes and to spread the Haqq by word and by deed.

Is this generation of youth the generation that will lift the Banner of Allah into the fluttering wind of the future of Islam? Will we learn from the mistakes of our recent past and look to the examples of the rightly guided? Time will be a testimony as to whether we are worthy enough to bring back Islam as a pillar of light because if we do not, it goes without saying that Allah will replace us with a better generation that will.



O Muslim Women of legacy
O Women of knowledge, honour and dignity
The books on the shelves lay
Pleading to their Lord out of disarray
The term ‘liberation’ lies in decay
For you the shelves cry out each day
The world awaits your way
To pick up the heritage lost, forgotten and withered away… 

They define Islaam’s Scholars as Misogynist
Yet they have not enjoyed our history nor lived within its midst
So come with me and explore the lists
Hearts throbbing, their presence is truly to be missed…
When will you come forth to brighten the gloom?
Amidst the so-called ‘progressive’ doom,
Where are you O Women who carried knowledge within your hearts?
And did not play with it like darts…
Come again! Rise again! And once again rule the hearts.

O Women of Knowledge
O beautiful lakes from which only good flowed
Your examples are alive and within the dark glow
Causing Muslims to love your way
And search for your example today
Many sought knowledge within your presence, zealous
Within Masjids that truly needed to be spacious…

For you many stood from around the globe in a line
To gain knowledge which you did refine and define
Sahih Al Bukhari, Muslim and others full of light
Are waiting for the female scholars once again to come and hold them tight
Where is the knowledge that made men come
Even if they possessed knowledge of great Height?
Sincerely seeking knowledge for Allah alone,
To whom belongs all might,
- Humbly, meekly and standing in front of their Muslim Sister out of sight…

The Niqaab was your shield
And did not cause you to yield
You spread the Words of the deen
So they flocked from all corners so keen

Your voices you did not decorate and manipulate
Today, scarcely to be found
Are characters so sound
And such sincere knowledge spreading wide and far,
Without tape recorders, internet or even the microphone!
For the pursuit of knowledge you did not travel alone
But with your mahrams or within the paradise of your homes

We ask Allah to forgive us
Since we are truly witnessing times which are tough
The enemies of Islaam are becoming even more rough
Making excuses to target Muslim Women and to have a laugh
Because we have forgotten our legacies
We have fallen into jeopardy
Becoming targets for this kind of monopoly

Let’s seek knowledge and defend our stance
Using knowledge as our lance
So as they watch and dance
The legacies of our female scholars we bring back,
Imitate… and enhance.



“It is only those who have knowledge among Allah's servants who fear Him.” [Qu'aan, Sûrah Fâtir, verse 28]