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The fruit of knowledge

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Islam is a religion of knowledge. Hence, knowledge is an integral part of Islam. Its importance can not be overemphasised because it is essential to knowing Allah as accurately as possible.

The first aayah of the Qur’aan to be revealed enjoined reading, which is the key to knowledge.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
He has taught man that which he knew not

[al-Israa’ 17:36]

The messenger of Allah, may the peace and blesaings of Allah be upon him, was reported to have said in a hadithul Qudsi that,

for everything, there is a path, and the path to Jannah is knowledge…

If that is the case, shouldn’t we then strive to acquire knowledge that would benefit us in this dunya as well as the Aakhirah? Yes, of course, we should. But is that it?

What becomes of the knowledge we have acquired? Does acquiring knowledge become an automatic guarantee that we would enter Jannah, since it is narrated that the messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will makea path to Paradise easy for him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, 10)?

Is that it?

Does this mean that the path is already cleared for those who have knowledge and their tickets to Jannah is guaranteed? Is the knowledge we seek then simply meant to grant us the title of being knowledgeable?


While seeking knowledge is important, putting it into action is even more important for its benefits to be unlocked!

Sahl bn Abdullah al-fustaani said:

The world is foolishness and barren except knowledge, and all of knowledge is a proof against him, except what is acted upon and all action is useless, except with sincerity and sincerity is in great danger until sealed by action.

SubhanAllah! This goes to show us that, while we must act upon that which we have learnt, we must accompany it with sincerity, otherwise our efforts are wasted.

It is also reported that Ibn Mas`ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“True knowledge is not measured in relationship to how much you memorize and then narrate, but rather, true knowledge is an expression of piety [protecting oneself from what Allah prohibited and acting upon what He mandated].” Also, “Study and act upon what you learn.”

What then is knowledge without action?

The virtues of acting upon knowledge are numerous. From amongst them is the attainment of the fear of Allah, which may be achieved by knowing His signs and creation. The knowledgeable are those who know that, hence Allah praises them by saying (interpretation of the meaning):

It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh

[Faatir 35:28]

It is recorded by Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, in his ‘Jaami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm’, that Mu’ad Ibn Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

Aquire knowledge, for indeed seeking it for Allah (develops) fear. Seeking it is worship; studying it is glorification; researching it is striving; teaching it to the one who does not know is a charity. Humbling towards its people is a drawing nearness, and it is an illuminated path to Paradise. It is a comfort in times of loneliness; a companion in times of strangeness; and it provides comfort in times of solitude. It is a guide in times of prosperity and adversity, a weapon against the enemy; an adornment among (close) friends. With it Allah raises up a group of people, placing them among the best of leaders and imams, whose stories (of achievement) are followed and actions emulated. Their opinions are always sought; the Angels are eager to touch them with their wings; and every moist and dry patch (on earth) seeks forgiveness for them. The fish and creatures in the sea; animals on land all seek blessings for him. Because knowledge gives life to the hearts from ignorance; brightens eyes in the darkness [and strengthens the body from weakness]. Through it, the slave (of Allah) reaches ranks of the righteous and pious, and a high status in this world and the Hereafter. Reflecting (upon knowledge) is as (voluntary) fasting and studying it equates to standing (in prayer). Through it the ties of kinship are kept, the lawful and unlawful are known. It is the leader of actions; and the one who acts is inspired by the successful and ignored by the wretched.


Take a look at all the merits this Sahaba and pious predecessor – who is also known as the leader of the ‘Ulama, has mentioned for the one who possesses knowledge.

However, we must be reminded that this is not referring to just any knowledge, but that which is put into good practice.

From the virtues of acting upon knowledge is that it also increases the possesor in wisdom and understanding, which in turn, leads to having istiqamah as mentioned by various salaf.

Ibn al-Qasim said, Wisdom is to reflect on the Orders and Commands of Allah and those who follow them.

He also said that, Wisdom is obedience to Allah and having fiqh of the Deen and performing deeds accordingly.

Rabi’ ibn Anas said,

Wisdom is (having) fear – in that the awe and overwhelming sense of duty towards Allah enables one to see and do the right thing that pleases Allah without falling negligent (and taking disobedience lightly).

Zayd ibn Asalm narrated that Al-Hasan al-Basri said that,

Wisdom is (having) Al-Wara [an acute sense of insight into reasons to refrain from whatever takes one away from piety and Allah’s pleasure].

Acting upon that which is learnt is also a means of strengthening the memory. Most of the pious predecessors mentioned that they used to seek aid upon memorising ‘Ilm by acting upon it.

When one practice’s whatever one learns, he/she is very unlikely to forget that which he/she has learnt.

Seeking knowledge solely for the purpose of practise is a way to achieve humility and dispel the dust of arrogance from one.

Malik Ibn Dinar was reported to have said,

When a servant seeks knowledge for practise, his knowledge humbles him, and when he seeks it for other than that, it increases him in immorality and pride.

Knowing that “whosoever has an atom weight of pride in his heart would not enter Jannah”, one should strive to purify his intentions for acquiring knowledge, so that it cleanses and humbles him.

Another excellence of acting upon that which is learnt is that it saves one from specific punishments, especially garnered for those who have knowledge yet do the opposite of that which they know or tell others to do.

It is narrated on the authority of Usamah ibn Zayd, radhyAllahu ‘anhu, that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying,

A man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and thrown into the Fire. His intestines will be hanging out, spilling onto the ground, and he will go around like a donkey goes around a millstone. The inhabitants of the Fire will gather around him and say: “O so and so! What is your affair? Didn’t you used to order us to do good deeds and forbid us from doing bad deeds?” He will reply, “Yes I used to order you to do good deeds, but I did not do them myself, and I used to forbid you from doing bad deeds, yet I used to do them myself”

(Reported by al Bukhari , Engl. trans. vol.4, p.315, no. 489; Muslim and others).

May Allah protect us and increase us in beneficial knowledge. May He grant us the ability to act upon that which we acquire. Allahul Musta’an.

Author: Halimah Sadiyyah Muhammad (Umm Abdir-Rahman)

Editor: Umm Naml

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