Adorning Knowledge With Actions - Monday January 31st 2000 - [As-Sahar al-Islamiyah]
Innal-Hamdalillah was-Salaatu was-Salaam `alaa Rasoolillah
as-Salaamu `alaykum wa-RaHmatullahi wa-Barakatuhu
ADORNING KNOWLEDGE WITH ACTIONS
Sheikh Husayn al-Awaayishah
1. Verses of the Qur'an Regarding the Rewards of Actions
Allah swt says in the Qur'an:
"Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to." (52:19)
"And it will be cried out to them: This is the Paradise you have inherited for what you used to do!" (7:43)
"Thus Allah rewards the pious, those whose lives the Angels take while they
are in a pious state saying: Peace be upon you, enter you Paradise because of
that which you used to do." (16:32)
"(It will be said in the Hereafter): O you disbelievers! Make no excuses this Day!
You are being requited only for what you used to do." (66:7)
"And whoever brings an evil deed they will be cast down on their faces in the Fire
(and it will be said to them): Are you being recompensed for anything except for what you used to do?" (27:90)
"On the Day when the torment shall cover them from above them and from underneath their feet and it will be said: Taste what you used to do." (29:55)
"This day none will be wronged in anything nor will you be requited in anything except that which you used to do". (36:54)
Allah swt makes clear the destination of all created beings. Their different ascending and descending ranks will only be in accordance with their actions. Thus man will either be in a state of happiness or misery as a result of his righteous or evil deeds.
On the authority of Ibn Mas'ud (ra) who said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters) about his life - how he spent it; about his youth - how he took care of it; about his wealth - how he earned it; and where he spent it and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge he acquired." (at Tirmidhi, and others, see Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi, no. 1969, and as Silsilah as Saheehah no. 946).
So there is no escaping for the servant from being questioned about certain things: About his life - how he spent it; was it in righteousness and piety or in sin and transgression? About his youth - how he spent it, was it in acts of obedience or acts of sin? About his wealth - how he acquired it, was it from that which is halaal or from that which is haraam?
These things, very sadly, are seldom asked about, nor is any weight given to them. Rather, the greatest concern is to gather wealth, whether it is halaal, haraam or doubtful. Just as soon as a person looking for work hears of a position in a usurious bank, he hurries tot ake it, or of that in a cigarette factory, he strives to obtain it. He rushes without hesitance for any type of work which brings in money; and as for the legal verdicts allowing that, one could go on mentioning them!
I would like to take this opportunity to remind with this hadeeth, every person that took a wage for work that he did or for a post that he was commissioned to, that his feet won't move on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about his wealth and how he earned it.
You will see the most surprising things in official agencies and establishments around the world. Maybe you will see that tea, coffee and newspapers are the main aspects of work so that a worker will delay visitors without any consideration or concern. He dislikes the sight of them because they trouble his comfort and cause him disturbance. He searches for procedures that cause complexity and means of obstruction, so that he may say to a visitor: We're short of such and such athing, come back tomorrow".
They announce that all dealings stop one hour or more before the end of their work time. Maybe some of them wake up late by two hours or more for work, because of which people get set back from their jobs. Perhaps some workers fail to execute transactions willingly, or they stall them in order to receive bribes. So we should all fear Allah as regards to our work and duties - starting work on time and leaving at the right time, dealing with people with politeness and ease, being patient upon hardships of work, seeking by that the reward from Allah swt.
Then, you are answerable, O servant of Allah, about the way you spent your wealth - in obedience or sinfulness and about the knowledge that you possess and how much of it you acted upon. So this being the case, it is essential that knowledge is converted into actions and (correct) conduct.
Maybe a question springs to mind here: Would the absence of seeking knowledge be a cause for salvation, as little knowledge requires little action? To this, I say:
* FIRSTLY: Verily Islam elevated the people of knowledge over others. The texts pertaining to this are numerous, among them are the Sayings of Allah swt:
"Say, are they alike those who have knowledge and those who dont have knowledge?" (39:9)
"Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe
and those who have been granted knowledge" (58:11)
Also the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Whoever treads a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise". (part of a sahih hadith reported by Ibn Majah and others, fulfilling the conditions of Imam al Bukhari and Imam Muslim)
* SECONDLY: Deliberately intending not to seek knowledge is haram and everyone is accountable for seeking knowledge according to his capacity and capability.
* THIRDLY: There are some Islamic fields of knowledge which the learning and teaching of are obligatory upon every individual and some which are obligatory upon certain individuals only, so this should be taken into consideration, and every person is accountable according to his ability.
* FOURTHLY: A person may fall into a violation of the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) whilst he is seeking knowledge, due to his lack of knowledge of a particular ruling, in this case it is hope that Allah would forgive him. As for deliberately intending to remain ignorant, this contradicts the saying of the Most High:
"So ask the people of knowledge if you know not" (16:43)
When a group of the Companions passed a ruling, without knowledge, to the wounded man that he should have a full bath - which eventually lead to his death, the Messenger of Allah (saw) supplicated against them saying: "They killed him, may Allah kill them, should they not have asked if they didnt know?! Verily the cure of all ignorance is to question! It would have been enough for him had he performed tayammum". (1)
(1) The author is pointing here to the hadith of Jabir (ra) who said: "We set out for a journey and along the way a man from amongst us injured himself on a rock and split his head, after which he had a wet dream and required a bath so he asked his companions, "Do you find any concession for me in that I make tayammum? They replied, "We do not find any concession for you as you are able to use water." So he bathed and died as a result. This was mentioned to the Messenger (saw). He (saw) then replied as is mentioned above. (Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 1 p.59, hadith no.336)