Assalamu alaykum waRahmtullah waBarakatuh dear brothers.
Soldiers of the light versus the soldiers of darkness: Knowledge opposing Ignorance
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said: "God, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge."
The Prophet also said: "Acquire knowledge and impart it to the people."
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said: "If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, God 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 (even) the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned 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 (no monetary inheritance), they leave only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion. -
There was one great master, a Buddhist master. A thief came to him. The thief had never seen such a beautiful person, such infinite grace. He asked the man: "Is there some possibility of my growth also? But one thing I must make clear to you, I am a thief. And another thing, I cannot leave it, so please don't make it a condition. I will do whatsoever you say, but I cannot stop being a thief. That I have tried many times--it never works, so I have left the whole sport. I have accepted my destiny, that I am going to be a thief and remain a thief, so don't talk about it. From the very beginning let it be clear."
The man said: "Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about you being a thief?
The thief said: "But whenever I go to a monk, to a religious priest, or to a religious saint, they always say, 'First stop stealing.'"
The man laughed and said, "Then you must have gone to thieves; otherwise, why? Why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!"
The thief was very happy. He said: "Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master."
The man accepted him and said: "Now you can go and do whatsoever you like. Only one condition has to be followed: be aware! Go, break into houses, enter, take things, steal; do whatsoever you like, that is of no concern to me, I am not a thief--but do it with full awareness."
The thief couldn't understand that he was falling into the trap. He said: "Then everything is okay. I will try."
After three weeks he came back and said, "You are tricky--because if I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix."
The man said, "No more talk about your being a thief and stealing. I am not concerned; I am not a thief. Now, you decide! If you want awareness, then you decide. If you don't want it, then too you decide."
The man said, "But now it is difficult. I have tasted it a little, and it is so beautiful--I will leave anything, whatsoever you say. Just the other night for the first time I was able to enter the palace of the king. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world--but you were following me and I had to be aware. When I became aware, diamonds looked just like stones, ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I waited and did this many times. I would become aware and I became like a Buddha, and I could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid--just stones, what am I doing? Losing myself over stones? But then I would lose awareness; they would become again beautiful, the whole illusion. But finally I decided that they were not worth it."
The life of the world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid:20)
Imam Ali (a.s) used to say: "O seekers of knowledge, knowledge (in a personified form) has a great deal of virtues. Humbleness is his head, freedom from jealousy forms his eyes, proper understanding shapes his ears, truthfulness constitutes his tongue, research and investigation produce his memory, optimism stands for his heart, the knowledge of facts and affairs strengthen his intellect. Intelligence and kindness are his hands, visitation of the scholars builds his legs, safety and peace emerge from his stamina, chastity develops his wisdom, salvation is his head quarters, good health and tranquillity are his lead, loyalty will provide him his conveyance, politeness in communication gives him weapons, consent frames his sword, yielding to the truth stands for his bow and arrow, communication with the scholars establishes his army, proper discipline treasures his wealth, avoiding sins preserves his savings, uprightness institutes his supplies, amicable dealings supply him water, guidance determines his direction and love of virtuous people is the archetype for his friends."
"Once I mentioned a certain person’s intelligence, worship and religion before Imam Abu ‘Abdullah (a.s) The Imam (a.s) asked: "How is his intelligence? The man replied: ‘I do not know.’ The Imam then said: "The degree of reward is based on the degree of intelligence. A man of Bani Israel worshipped Allah on an island in the ocean. The island was lush green, with many trees and abundant water. Once an angels passed by the worshipper and asked Allah to show how much reward and blessings would the worshipper receive for his good deeds. Allah showed the rewards due to the worshipper to the angel and the angel considered it very little. Allah then told the angel to stay with the worshipper as a companion. The angel then appeared to the worshipper in the form of a human being. The worshipper asked: "Who are you?" "I have heard about your great worships and your spiritual position at this place and I wish to join you to worship Allah along with you." The angel said. He spent that day with the worshipper and the next day the angel said to the worshipper, "Your place is beautiful and it should only be used for worship." "Yes, it is but it has one shortcoming." The worshipper responded. "What is that?" The angel inquired. "Our Lord does not have an animal. I wish He had a donkey so that we would look after the donkey to graze all the grass around. All these grass is a waste." "Does your Lord have no donkey?" Asked the angel. "Had our Lord had a donkey all this grass would not have turned into waste." The worshipper answered with sadness. Allah then revealed to the angel, "We reward everyone according to the degree of his/her intelligence."
The Messenger of Allah (pbuhap) said: "Seeking knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim. Let it be known that Allah loves those who seek knowledge."
Abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) said the following: "Whoever teaches something good he will receive a reward for each time his student would practice such knowledge." Abu Basir asked the Imam, "Would this apply to the student if he would teach other people?" The Imam (a.s) replied, "Yes, it will apply to him even if all people would teach it." I then asked, "Would it apply to him if he would already be dead?" The Imam (a.s) responded, "Yes, even if he would be dead."’
Abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) said: "Whoever acquires knowledge and practice what he has learned and teach it to others for the sake of Allah, among the angels of heavens he will be called a great personality. It will be said there: 'He learned for the sake of Allah, practiced for the sake of Allah and taught it for the sake of Allah.'"
Imam Ali (a.s) said: "Allah is worshipped better by no means other than intelligence. No one’s intelligence reaches perfection until therewith is found various qualities. Disbelief and evil should not emerge therefrom. Wisdom and goodness should be expected to exist therewith. The extra of the property of a person of intelligence is given in charity, the extra of his words is restrained and his share of the worldly things is only the basic necessities. He never considers himself as to have learned enough. To be with Allah, although in a very humble state, is far better to him than to live very much honored with others. Humbleness is more beloved to him than being taken as a dignitary. He considers virtuous deeds of others a great deal and his own virtuous deeds as insignificant. He considers all the other people better than his self and his own self as the worse of all and this is the totality of all things."
"O Hisham, a man of intelligence never speaks a lie even though it may satisfy his desires."
"O Hisham, one who does not maintain honorable kindness he has no religion and one can not have such noble character without intelligence. A person of the greatest value among people is one who does not consider the worldly gains his fortune. Nothing can become an adequate price for your bodies other than paradise. Do not sell it for any thing other than paradise.
"O Hisham, the commander of the true believers, Imam Ali (a.s) said: "Three noble qualities in man are of the signs of the existence of intelligence. He replies when questioned and he speaks up only when everyone else fails to speak and offers his advise when it is beneficial to his people. One who has none of these qualities is a fool." He also has said, "No one other a person who has all of the above or some of such qualities should chair a gathering and if one does so without any of such qualities he is a fool."
Imam Ali (a.s) said: ''Submission to Allah’s Will is the best companion; wisdom is the noblest heritage; theoretical and practical knowledge are the best signs of distinction; deep thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem.'' Nahjul Balagha
He (a.s) also said: Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations (Nahjul Balagha).
''Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees; and Allah is Aware of what you do.'' (Surah Al Mujadilah 58:11)
''Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable, Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.'' (Surah Al Alaq 96:1-5)
The Messenger of Allah (pbuhap) said: "Almighty God has endowed upon mankind nothing better than reason (wisdom). Sleep of a wise man is better than the waking hours of an ignorant. Rest of a wise man is better than the movement (journeys for Hajj or Jihad) of ignorant. God has not sent any prophet or messenger without first perfecting his reason; and his reason stands superior to all the reasons of (the people of) his community. What the Prophet has wished is preferable to all the Jihad (striving) of the Mujahedeen (those who strive). No creature can ever discharge his obligations to God unless he comprehends those (obligations). All the worshippers weighted together cannot reach the height of excellence of a wise man. The man of reason who are the possessors of understanding minds about whom Allah said:
"He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind. (The Holy Quran 2:269)"
"Glad tidings unto My servants! Those who hear the sayings and follow the best of it; those are who Allah has guided and those who are the possessors of understanding minds. (The Holy Quran 39:17-18)"
Imam Al-Rida (a.s) said: "The friend of a person is his/her Intelligence and the enemy of a person is his/her ignorance."
Amir al- Mu’minin Ali (a.s) who has said the following. "Of the most intensely disliked men before Allah, the Majestic, the Most Glorious, are two kinds of people: A man whom Allah has left all to his own soul and he deviates from the path of justice and is intensely attracted towards the words innovation. He seems a master in performing prayer and fasting but is a mischief to deceive people; he has strayed from guidance of the people before him and misleads those who may follow him in his lifetime and after his death. He carries the responsibility for others sins and is the hostage of his own sins.
The other man is one who collects ignorance among the ignorant, himself a captive of darkness of the mischievous. The, humanoids, people who look like people, consider him a scholar but he has not been even for a complete day with scholars. He has made an early effort to accumulate something that its being of a smaller quantity is better than in larger quantities and in this way he has quenched himself with polluted water and has treasured what is of no use. He sits among the people as a judge to carry the responsibility of what is confusing and uncertain to others. He may even oppose the ruling of the judge before him. One can never tell whether his judgment will remain valid or a judge after him will overturn it just as he has done to the judgments of the judges before him. If he would face one of the complex and difficult issues he comes up with a heap of his personal opinions and then he shapes it up as a clear-cut judgment. In fact, he has dressed himself up with doubtful issue the way a spider waves his fragile web. He is not sure if he has done the right thing or the wrong one. He does not consider the fact that in an unknown case to have proper knowledge is necessary and does not see that beyond his opinion there is a school of law. He analogies one thing to the other but it does not matter to him if his opinion will turn out to be a lie. If an issue is dark (not known) to him he hides it to hide his own ignorance so that people will not say he does not know. He then boldly judges and thus he is the key to hazards, a rider of doubts, perplexed in ignorance and never regrets his lacking knowledge. The level of his knowledge never rises to clear-cut certainty so that he would benefit. He blows out Hadith like winds that blow away hay. The legacies weep from him, the bloods (judging the case of murder) shout against him. The lawful marital relations become unlawful because of his judgment and unlawful ones become lawful. He has no confidence in the judgments issues he can never be trusted for his judgments that he may make nor was he qualified for what he may have done in the matters that he claimed to have true knowledge."
And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, "This is lawful and this is unlawful," to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed. (The Holy Quran 16:116)
Abu Jafar (a.s) said the following: "The angels of mercy and the angels of wickedness condemn those who give to people fatwas without knowledge and guidance. Such people will be held responsible for the sins of all those who have followed such fatwas."
"Imam Abu ‘Abdullah (a.s.) has said that the Holy Prophet (pbuhap) said: ‘Those who work without knowledge they destroy more than what they gain.
They call a lie something that is beyond the limit of their knowledge and whose interpretation has not yet been revealed . . ." (The Holy Quran 10:39)
In a gathering of followers, a discussion on intelligence and ignorance began to emerge among them. Thereupon Imam Abu ‘Abdullah (a.s) said, "You, first, must recognize intelligence and its army and ignorance and its army only then you would find proper guidance." I then asked, may Allah make my soul of service to you, we only learn what you teach us." The Imam (a.s) said, "Allah, the Glorious, the Majestic created intelligence and it was the first creature of spiritual world on the right side of the Throne from His light. He then told him to move backwards and intelligence moved backwards. He then told him to come forwards. Intelligence came forwards. Allah, the Sacrosanct, the Most High said, "I have created you a great creature and honored you above all others of my creatures. The Imam (a.s) continued, "Allah then created ignorance from a salty dark ocean and told it, "move backwards and did move backwards. He then called it to come forwards but it did not come forwards. He then said to it, ‘Did you shun coming forwards?" He then pronounced it condemned. He then assigned seventy-five armies for intelligence. When ignorance saw all the honors Allah has granted to intelligence it bore hidden animosity towards intelligence and said, "Lord this creature is just like me. You created and honored it and gave it power. But I have no power against it. Give me also likewise armies. The Lord then said, "I will give you also an army but if you would disobey Me I will then expel you and your army from My mercy. Ignorance then said, ‘I agree.’ Allah gave it seventy-five armies and it was out of the army of intelligence. No one other than a prophet or his successor or a true believer the strength of whose faith Allah has already tested can have the whole army of intelligence with all such characteristics. However, some of our followers and friends may acquire some of such characteristics so that they may reach perfection and repulse the army of ignorance and purify themselves from evil. In such case they also will step at the high degree and level of the prophets and the successors of the prophets. This progress can only be made after knowing, with certainty, intelligence and its army and ignorance and its army. May Allah provide us and you the opportunity to obey Him and work to please Him.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuhap) said, ‘O Ali, no poverty is more severe than ignorance and no property is more Profitable than intelligence
Someone asked Imam Abu Jafar (a.s) this, "What are the rights of Allah on people?"
The Imam (a.s) replied, "They must say what they know and abstain from saying anything that they have no knowledge of.’"
Imam Al-Rida (a.s) saying, "The friend of a person is his/her Intelligence and the enemy of a person is his/her ignorance."
"Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful." (The Holy Quran 39:9)
Allaahumma salle ala Muhammad wa Ale Muhammad al Aemma wal Mahdyeen wa salem tasleeman Katheera