Learning in Islam

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If any of you listeners are like us, working adults, wives and mothers, you will understand how we feel when we say we are ALWAYS tired. If you’re like me, you will say you simply have NO TIME.

So between juggling all our daily activities, we still have to keep learning because the first revelation received by Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is:

“Read in the name of the Lord, Who is the Creator, Who created the whole universe and everything in it. Recite: and your Lord is Most Generous, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know.”

Surah Al-‘Alaq 96:1-5

I guess my experience with learning when I was younger is working while studying for a part-time degree, travelling from one end of Singapore to the other, taking several public transports just to get to school and then back home.

Then when older, having to keep myself awake on Friday nights for Quran classes. Eventually, I stopped for certain reasons but of course, even with Tadabbur the learning never stops.

So if you feeling weary and unmotivated to learn, there are 4 pieces of advice by Syaikh Muhammad bin Shalih Al-‘Utsaimin, a Saudi Arabian scholar, when seeking knowledge.

Firstly, whoever seeks knowledge will indeed get a reward, and they are included in the words of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,

لَكَ ا لْتَمِسُ لْمًا، لَ اللهُ لَهُ ا لَى الْجَنَّةِ

“Whoever follows a path to seek knowledge, Allah Ta’ala will make easy for him the path to heaven.”

HR. Muslim no. 2699

For some people who studies overseas, they will have endured the weight of travelling (long distances), separated from their families and hometowns. But inshaallah Allah will make it easy for them.

Two, someone who trains (accustoms) himself to endure difficulties while studying is a form of ibadah that draws him closer to Allah Ta’ala. Because it is included in the word of Allah Ta’ala,

ا ا الَّذِينَ ا اصْبِرُوا ابِرُوا ابِطُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ لِحُونَ

“O you who believe, be patient and strengthen your patience and stay firm in your faith and fear Allah, so that you may be successful.”

SuraH Ali ‘Imran 3:200

Three, You will benefit from the knowledge gained, but (more important are) the benefits of practicing and (changing) morals. Because the purpose of having knowledge is to put it into practice. It is not the intention of knowledge as an argument (hujjah) to show people you are better than them.

It is obligatory on you to do good deeds with all the authentic knowledge that has reached you, so that it is useful, stuck and solid in your hearts. Therefore it is said,

العلم العمل، اب لا ارتحل

“Knowledge calls for practice. If the call is welcomed, knowledge will remain. But if the call is not answered, knowledge will go away.”

This saying is true. Because if you practice your knowledge, then it will strengthen knowledge and be more useful. Verily, Allah Ta’ala will add to you knowledge, light, and also blessing.

Fourthly, students who seek knowledge, when seeking knowledge, should help their brothers according to their abilities and have no ill will towards them. Don’t say, “If I teach him knowledge, I’m afraid he will become more knowledgeable than I am.” In fact we say, “If you teach your brother, you become more knowledgeable than him.” Because Allah Ta’ala has given you knowledge that you did not know before.

There is a hadith from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, he said,

اللهُ الْعَبْدِ ا انَ الْعَبْدُ

“And Allah will always help His servant when His servant helps his brother.”

HR. Muslim no. 2699

If you help your brother by teaching him a problem (chapter) of knowledge, Allah Ta’ala will help you by teaching him other knowledge that You do not have. So don’t be jealous with your brothers, spread knowledge among them, want for them as you want for yourself.”

When seeking knowledge, we should choose an appropriate time for learning. Choose an appropriate method for studying at that time. Because putting something out of place is a waste of time and a waste of energy. The following are some advice of the Salaf scholars regarding this matter.

“The best time for memorizing is the time of sahur, in the middle of the day, then in the morning. Memorizing at night is better than during the day. And a time of hunger is better than a time of fullness”.

Al Faqih wal Mutafaqqih , 2/103

Imam Ibn Jama’ah said,

“(including a student of knowledge) is to divide the time of night and day, and take advantage of his age. Because the remaining life is priceless to him. The best time for memorizing is sahur, morning for research, midday for writing, and night for studying and mudzakarah (repeating)”.

Tadzkiratus Sami’ wal Mutakallimin

Hope this helps in your learning journey!


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