True knowledge is not ornamented words

Knowledge is the noblest pursuit and the most important gain. Indeed it is, since knowledge is the condition for realizing the worship of none but Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

A person who has acquired knowledge has, in fact, gained great blessings; our Lord (Exalted and Glorified be He) has negated the equality between those who have knowledge and those who do not in His Words:  Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” [Qur’aan Surah al-Zumar 39:9]

Knowledgeable people are more apt to be more fearful and mindful of Allaah (Exalted and Glorified be He) because of the knowledge they have attained about His signs and creation, and also because they realize the Rights of Allaah (Exalted and Glorified be He) upon them. Allaah (Exalted be He) says:  “It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah.” [Qur’aan Surah Fatir 35:28]

Shar`y (Islamic legal) knowledge is the legacy of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and all the other previous Prophets (peace be upon them); our Prophet (peace be upon him) said:  “Scholars are the heirs of the prophets. The prophets did not leave behind Dinars or Dirhams; rather, they left behind knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share.” [Musnad Ahmad 5/196, Sunan Abu Dawud 3641]

To speak about the merits of knowledge, one finds no difficulty clarifying its excellence. All people, the knowledgeable and the ignorant, agree to this. Moreover, an ignorant person dislikes the trait of ignorance and feels displeased to be described as such, and should they be described as having knowledge, they would be pleased. This is only because they know the merit and excellence of knowledge.

True knowledge is to know Allaah (Exalted and Glorified be He), His Names, Attributes and Rights; to meditate upon His creatures; to ponder over His Divine Law and to act accordingly, i.e., by following the commands and avoiding the prohibitions; and then to invite people to adopt the same and spread it among them.

It is this knowledge that increases the believer’s Iman (faith), leads them to attain the Good Pleasure of their Most Merciful and Most Compassionate Lord, and a lofty place in Paradise.

True knowledge is not ornamented words, embellished phrases, elegantly arranged sentences, choosing sophisticated structures, odd words, and rarely used expressions, which make it difficult or almost impossible for the reader to catch the meaning or understand the point being discussed. A given sentence may also be ambiguous, carrying several possible meanings without clarifying or hinting at the intended meaning. Rather, true knowledge, according to the words of the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him), is: “Well-verified research or authentic report; other than this is embellished nonsense.

This was the way of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (nation based on one creed) and the pious followers after them. It was characteristic of their knowledge to the extent that the words of the Salaf were described as “few but very beneficial”. The scholars of this Ummah followed the very way of their Salaf.

Source: Extracted from an essay on Knowledge by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Al-Shaykh.

Arabic Text:

فإن العلم هو أجل ما طلب، وأهم ما اكتسب، كيف لا والعلم هو شرط تحقيق التوحيد لله رب العبيد .

ومن كان من أهل العلم، فإنه مؤهل ليكون أخشى لله عز وجل وأتقى له سبحانه، لما يعلمه من آياته ومخلوقاته، ولما يعرفه من حق الله تبارك وتعالى عليه، يقول سبحانه:  ، والعلم الشرعي هو ميراث نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم، بل هو ميراث الأنبياء عليهم السلام جميعا، كما قال نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم:  وإن العلماء ورثة الأنبياء، والأنبياء لم يورثوا دينارا ولا درهما وإنما ورثوا العلم فمن أخذه أخذ بحظ وافر .

والمتحدث عن فضل العلم لا يجد عناء في بيان فضله، إذ الجميع متفق على ذلك العالم، والجاهل؛ فإن الجاهل ينفر من صفة الجهل ولا يرضى أن يوصم بها، وإذا ما وسم بالعلم فإنه يفرح بذلك، وما ذاك إلا لإقراره بمكانة العلم وفضله، والعلم الحقيقي، هو العلم بالله عز وجل وأسمائه وصفاته، وما يجب له من حق على عباده، والتفكر في مخلوقاته، والنظر في آياته الشرعية للعمل بما فيها من الأوامر اتباعا ، والنواهي اجتنابا، ومن ثم دعوة الخلق إلى ذلك ونشره فيهم فإن هذا العلم هو الذي يورث العبد زيادة في الإيمان، ورضا من ربه الرحيم الرحمن، ومنزلة عالية في الجنان .

والعلم الحقيقي ليس بتزويق الألفاظ، وتنميق العبارات، ورصف الجمل، واختيار التراكيب المعقدة، وحوشي الكلام، والألفاظ نادرة الاستعمال، مما يجعل طريق الوصول إلى المعنى وعرا، ومن ثم يكون فهمه متعسرا إن لم يكن متعذرا، وربما كانت العبارة حمالة أوجه، بلا بيان يسفر عن الوجه المراد، ولا مرجح يمكن من اعتماد أحد معانيه، وإنما العلم الحقيقي كما قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية – رحمه الله -: ( بحث محقق، أو نقل مصدق، وما سوى ذلك فهذيان مزوق ) .

 وهذا ما سار عليه سلف هذه الأمة، وأخذ ذلك عنهم الخلف الصالح، حتى كان سمة بارزة في علمهم، حتى قيل عنهم: كلام السلف قليل، كثير الفائدة، وعلى هذا سار علماء الأمة يتبعون في ذلك آثار سلفهم .

Author: Islamic Treasure

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