The pleasures of seeking knowledge

science_islam3_ic~125x175The rise of Muslims to the zenith of civilization in a period of four decades was based on lslam’s emphasis on learning. This is obvious when one takes a look at the Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad which are filled with references to learning, education, observation, and the use of reason. The very first verse of the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet of Islam on the night of 27th of Ramadan in 611 AD reads:

  • “Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not.” (Quran, 96:1-5)

    “And they shall say had we but listened or used reason, we would not be among the inmates of the burning fire.” (Quran, 67:10)

    “Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. ” (Quran, 39:9)

    The Qur’an encourages people towards scientific research:.

    “And whoso brings the truth and believes therein such are the dutiful.” (Quran, 39:33)

    Every Muslim man’s and every Muslim woman’s prayer should be:

    “My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge..” (Quran, 20:114)

    The pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason, based on sense and observation is made obligatory on all believers.

    The following traditions of the Prophet supplement the foregoing teachings of the Qur’an in the following way:

    Seek knowledge “even though it be in China.”

    “The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female.”

    “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.”

    “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

    “God has revealed to me, ‘Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven.’

    “The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge.”

    “Scholars should endeavor to spread knowledge and provide education to people who have been deprived of it. For, where knowledge is hidden it disappears.”

    Some one asked the Prophet : “Who is the biggest scholar?” He replied: “He who is constantly trying to learn from others, for a scholar is ever hungry for more knowledge.”

    “Seek knowledge and wisdom, or whatever the vessel from which it flows, you will never be the loser.”

    “Contemplating deeply for one hour (with sincerity) is better than 70 years of (mechanical) worship.”

    “To listen to the words of the learned and to instill unto others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises.”

    “Acquire knowledge: it enables its possessor to distinguish right from the wrong, it lights the way to heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless – it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament among friends and an armor against enemies.”

    – See more at: http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=IC0601-2883#sthash.cuToJyKG.dpuf

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  • Path to Paradise made Easy

    25220_385951619495_80816334495_3705871_2304899_nThe Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever follows a path seeking knowledge thereby, Allah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” [Sahih Muslim]

    When Muhammad, a new teenager, set out from Makkah to further his Islamic learning, he was dirt poor. When he returned eight years later, his horses and mules were laden with grain, exquisite outfits, gold and silver coins; gifts just received from his teacher, mentor and friend, Imam Malik.

    Fatimah was overwhelmed with happiness to see her only child return. She had raised him single-handedly since his father died when he was two, migrating from Palestine to Makkah for his better upbringing. She put him beneath the scholars as a boy. He had the Quran memorized at age seven, and Malik’s Muwatta at age ten, at which time his teacher, Imam Muslim Az-Zanji, the Mufti of Makkah, deputized him to teach in his absence. His teacher told him to issue Fatwa when he was only fifteen years old.

    But seeing what he had arrived with wiped the smile off Fatimah’s face. “Son, do you remember when I saw you off, I had only two old sheets of Yemeni cloth that I could give you as provisions. I bade you farewell with them while you were my only belonging in the world, in the hope that you would return rich in the knowledge of the Ahadith of Rasool-Allah. I didn’t send you to gather this wealth. Son, this is the capital from which arrogance breeds.” [Imam Shafi’i Ka Ilmi Safar, by Dr Akhtar Husain Azmi]

    So he distributed everything among the indigent of Makkah, such that there was nothing left with them when evening fell, except reliance on Allah once again.

    Muhammad bin Idrees is well-known as Imam Shafi’i, the Mujaddid of the second century.

    Let the purpose of your education be success for eternity too. When the objective of an education is Dunya, it is wasted if it doesn’t convert to cash. Livelihood, Allah has guaranteed, but Paradise, He hasn’t. So instead of focusing on what is guaranteed, focus on what you have been told to earn!

    This hadith has been sent to me by dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com

    Our mother Hazrat Aisha’s (ra) knowledge

    Although Hazrat Aisha (ra) was still very young when our beloved Prophet (saas) died, she was one of those who best knew, understood and committed to memory  the Holy Qur’an and the Sunna of our Prophet (saas). Hazrat Aisha (ra) began memorizing the Qur’an from an early age and made enthusiastic use of our Prophet’s (saas) learning.

    Leading members of the community in both the time of the Prophet’s (saas) Companions, and of those who had spoken to and learned from them, sought Hazrat Aisha’s (ra) advice on a great many matters. Many jurists consulted with our mother Hazrat Aisha (ra) in order to benefit from her legal knowledge.

    Hazrat Aisha (ra) used Arabic very well, and due to her clear and accessible way of speaking and the way she preached in the manner most suited to the person concerned, she had a great impact on those to whom she spoke.

    In addition to being our Prophet’s (saas) wife, Hazrat Aisha (ra) was also a worthy student of his, and occupies a special place in the field of learning. She corrected errors made by many scholars in the field of canonical jurisprudence and issued perfect interpretations of a number of hadiths. Hazrat Umar (ra) always sought the opinions of Hazrat Aisha (ra) on legal issues regarding women. This learning on the part of our mother Hazrat Aisha (ra) is related as followes in Islamic reference sources:

    Abu Musa al-Ash’ari says: “When we had difficulty understanding a hadith from Rasulullah (saas), we would ask Hazrat Aisha (ra) what it meant and we always received an answer from her “. (www.beyan.com.tr)

    Hazrat Urve says of Hazrat Aisha (ra) that, “I never saw a woman more learned than Hazrat Aisha (ra) in the fields of canonical jurisprudence, medicine and poetry.”

    Ata bin Abî Rebâh said, “Hazrat Aisha (ra) was one of the members of the Ummah with the best knowledge of religious law and who held the very soundest opinions.”

    Because of her remarkable  memory and her close attention to every move made by our Prophet (saas), the information provided by our mother Hazrat Aisha (ra) is of the greatest value. Hazrat Aisha (ra), one of the Companions who related most hadiths,  handed down a total of 2,210 hadiths from our Prophet (saas). Continue reading “Our mother Hazrat Aisha’s (ra) knowledge”

    Does God Exist?

    From the movement of the galaxies to the complexities of the interaction of molecules, from the dynamics of eco-systems to the intricacies of DNA, all lead to the obvious fact of the existence of the great Wisdom, Knowledge and Power that allows our Universe to exist and function.

    Some people said that the only form of knowledge available to humans is experimental knowledge, gained primarily by the use of outer senses. This led to the belief that human beings are constituted in such a way that the knowledge of reality is always unavailable to them. The knowledge of here and now became the only object of human knowledge and concern. Thus from this point of view, the Belief of seeking knowledge of reality behind appearances is abandoned, because it is beyond the scope of human understanding.

    The claim that something does not exist, because you haven’t seen or heard it, is unacceptable. When we consider the limitations of our sensual perception and of our reasoning powers, it is not necessary that we understand everything. We can speak meaningfully about everything simply on the basis of our perception.

    As for Man, there are two dimensions to his existence: One of matter and the other of spirit. To the level of material existence, Man becomes a machine or a mere animal at the best case.

    But think about yourself:

    ·        Your eyes with which you see.

    ·        Your ears with which you hear.

    ·        Your tongues with which you taste and talk.

    ·        Your hands, and feet, your heart and brain.

    At the level of spirit, what is it that makes man rebellious, angry, disappointed, frightened or hopeful?

    What is his dimension that gives him his imagination, his artistic genius, his creative urge?

    Why does he have nightmares and sweet dreams?

    Look around you:

    ·        at the beautiful sunset on a summer evening.

    ·        at the moon and the stars on a cloudless night.

    ·        at the water that you drink.

    ·        at the trees and how they grow from tiny seeds.

    The Holy Qur’an says in Surah 2, verse 164, the meaning of the following:

    (Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- [Here] indeed are signs for a people that are wise)

    That is to say the signs we see in ourselves and in the universe around us   should necessarily lead a wise person to the Ultimate Reality behind it all. And that is how we arrive at the realization that God Almighty is the Moving Power behind all life and all existence.

    By: Nouran Radwan

    References:
    http://www.themodernreligion.com

    http://www.Islamonline.net

     

    Source : http://www.factofarabs.net/ERA.aspx?Id=152&TID=35

    Islamic universities + Humanity

                                    (AlAzhar University Mosque .Cairo.)

    Seeking knowledge is obligatory in Islam for every Muslim, man and woman. The main sources of Islam, the Quran and the Sunnah (Prophet Muhammad’s traditions), encourage Muslims to seek knowledge and be scholars, since this is the best way for people to know Allah (God), to appreciate His wondrous creations and be thankful for them. Muslims were therefore eager to seek knowledge, both religious and secular, and within a few years of Muhammad’s mission, a great civilization sprang up and flourished. The outcome is shown in the spread of Islamic universities; Al-Zaytunah in Tunis, and Al-Azhar in Cairo go back more than 1,000 years and are the oldest existing universities in the world. Indeed, they were the models for the first European universities, such as Bologna, Heidelberg, and the Sorbonne. Even the familiar academic cap and gown originated at Al-Azhar University.

    AlAzhar University, Cairo. The world’s oldest university and Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning.

    Waheda Golamaully

     

    Rise And Fall Of Muslim Scientists

    Holy Quran

    O you who believe! remember Allah’s favor on you when a people had determined to stretch forth their hands towards you, but He withheld their hands from you, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and on Allah let the believers rely.
    [Holy Quran 5:11]

    Rise And Fall Of Muslim Scientists
    By Ibrahim B. Syed

    Islam & Science

    The rise of the Muslims to the zenith of civilisation in a period of four centries was based on Al-Islam’s emphasis on learning. This is obvious when one takes a look at the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which are filled with references to learning, education, observation, and the use of reason. The very first verse of the Quran revealed to the Prophet on the night of power (Laylathul Qadr) in the month of Ramadhan in 611 CE reads:

    “Read: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, Taught man that which he knew not.” (Translation of Quran 96:1-5)

    “And they shall say had we but listened or used reason, we would not be among the inmates of the burning fire.” (Translation of Quran 67:10)

    “Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.” (Translation of Quran 39:9)

    The Quran exhorts the Muslims to scientific research: “And whoso bringeth the truth and believeth therein such are the dutiful.” (Translation of Quran 39:33)

    Every Muslim man’s and every Muslim woman’s prayer should be: “My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.” (Translation of Quran 20:114)

    The pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason based on sense of observation is made obligatory on every Muslim man and woman.

    The following traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) supplement the foregoing teachings of the Quran in the following way:

    “Seek knowledge even though it be in China”.
    “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”
    “The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge.”
    “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.”
    “The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female.”
    “Thinking deep for one hour (with sincerity) is better than 70 years of (mechanical) worship.”
    “Seek for knowledge and wisdom, for whatever the vessel from which it flows, you will never be the loser.”
    “God has revealed to me, Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven”.
    “Worship without knowledge has no goodness in it and knowledge without understanding has no goodness in it.”

    “To listen to the words of the learned and to instil unto others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises.”
    “Scholars should endeavour to spread knowledge and provide education for people who have been deprived of it. For, where knowledge is hidden, it disappears.”
    Someone asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) : “Who is the biggest scholar?” He replied: “He who is constantly trying to learn from others, for a scholar is ever hungry for more knowledge.” And the recitation of the Quran, which is not thoughtful has no goodness in it.
    “Acquire knowledge: it enables its possessor to distinguish right from the wrong, it lights the way to heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament among friends and an armour against enemies.” Continue reading “Rise And Fall Of Muslim Scientists”

    Women and True Education

    Women and True Education
    By UmAmir

    Women as Mothers Revisited: A mother is the first teacher of the child. It is through women that the next generation of Muslims learn about Islam and our duties towards our Creator.

    Women were inspired to study the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the Arabic language in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. ‘A’isha radi Allahu anha said, “In the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, whenever any verse was revealed, we used to memorize the lawful and the unlawful contained in it even if we did not memorize its exact words.” (al ’iqd al-farid vol. 1 p 276) This fact may seem small, but it has great bearing on the Muslim Ummah as well as to the rest of the world, for we become bearers of the Truth, al haq.

    Living in the west, we find ourselves looking at handbooks on parenting and even motherhood. Why should anyone, let alone a mother, need a handbook for the care of an infant? Mothers are supposed to be a guide to the nature of human nature itself! One would think that manuals were only for new pieces of machinery or new cars, but certainly not for newborn infants! It’s a bizarre fact of life nowadays at the thought that one needs lessons on how to raise a healthy child. It is more so a symptom of some sickness in society, or in the ways of the world.

    As Muslims, our definition of education is to increase in knowledge in Islam in order that we may strengthen our faith and understanding of our purpose in this life. Education begins at the breast. It is the only way it could begin. Allah said in the Qur’an: “And we have enjoined on man to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years– give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” 31:14

    “The carrying of the child to his weaning is a period of thirty months.” 46:15

    These verses indicate the importance of the role and function of the mother in Islam. The following may shed some light on the verses. While nursing, the infant is held close, talked to or sang to. All five senses in the infant come alive simultaneously. As the baby remains attached to his/her first teacher, the learning process affects not just the baby’s future ability to speak, but in its potential to listen in a rhythmical way as a result of the mother’s heartbeat and breathing. These are ingrained on the infant’s consciousness.

    Notice that inside the home on one ever teaches language to an infant? It does not matter whether it is an Arabic speaking or a Chinese speaking home. An infant learns by listening to the articulation of sounds being in close contact with the mother’s heart. The mother’s words and sentences are embedded in the infant’s mind. Each time the mother utters something, the infant mirrors those sounds. Each time the mother responds to the infant’s plea for aide, the infant absorbs his or her mother’s response as a form of trust. How is this related to education one might ask? Hikma, or wisdom, is highly dependent on trust, for a true wisdom can only be imparted through the trustworthiness of the teacher. This is learned for the very first time between mother and child.

    Historically, we notice that as the mother increasingly moved out of the home especially during the arrival of the industrial revolution, institutions gradually took over the mother’s role in the child’s life. For example, by the late 19th century a kindergarten movement was already in full effect while preschool activity took place in World War II. In both time frames, mothers left the home for the workplace, an occurrence completely alien to Islamic tradition. This paved the way for the breakdown of literacy and what it meant to be truly literate. With the mother gone from the home, a disastrous break occurred. A crucial piece connecting the child to its ultimate development in learning falls apart. How could a teacher and a bottle possibly replace the mother and the breast?

    Certainly Muslims have not been exempted from this disastrous break up between mother and child. Many Muslim countries have likewise befallen to the arrival of the industrial revolution. Therefore, we as Muslim women need to bear this in mind before we speak of seeking secular education. We need to re-examine our purpose in life and put before us a goal greater than to satisfy our never ending drive for recognition as being a “successful woman”.
    Continue reading “Women and True Education”