By Shaykh Abdul Qayum | 17 May 2024

Addressing the congregation during yesterday’s sermon, I emphasised the paramount importance of seeking knowledge in our lives as Muslims, drawing upon the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Qur’an and the sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him). I sought to underscore that the pursuit of knowledge is not merely commendable, but obligatory, a duty that must be fulfilled throughout our lives.

The significance of knowledge and the duty to pursue it is reiterated numerous times in both the Qur’an and Hadith. One renowned Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas encapsulates this obligation succinctly: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim,” our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is reported saying.

In another well-known saying, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever goes out in the morning to the mosque to teach or learn two verses from the Book of Allah, it is better for him than getting two large she-camels without being guilty of sin or without cutting the ties of kinship.” This hadith serves as a powerful reminder of the immense value that Islam places on education, suggesting that even a small amount of learning is far more precious than worldly possessions.

It is from the infinite wisdom of Allah that our tradition teaches us that learning is not something we should confine to our childhood years, but rather it should be a lifelong pursuit. It is a duty that we owe to Allah, and one that we must prioritise in our lives.

I reminded the congregation of the diverse roles and responsibilities that we all hold as Muslims. Whether we are spouses, parents, or members of society, we have obligations that require a deep understanding of Islamic principles. Even in matters of worship, such as prayer and Hajj, having proper knowledge is crucial to ensure that these acts are performed correctly. We cannot simply go through the motions without understanding their significance and the proper way to carry them out.

To further illustrate the elevated status of those who possess knowledge, I quoted a verse from the Qur’ab, Surah Al-Zumar, verse 9. “Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’” Allah asks us to ponder: “It is only those who have understanding that take heed.” This verse suggests that true understanding is not merely a matter of accumulating facts, but of internalising the lessons and wisdom that knowledge provides.

Let’s not settle for the basics we learned in childhood. Instead, let us dive deeper into the ocean of Islamic knowledge throughout our lives. I urge you, just as I urged the congregation, to make seeking knowledge a regular part of your life-journey.

Join me in actively seeking ways to deepen our understanding of Islam. Attend study circles, read extensively, and seek wisdom from those more knowledgeable. Let's seize every opportunity to enrich our minds and strengthen our faith. I acknowledged that the path of learning is not always easy and that we all face challenges and obstacles that can make it difficult to prioritise our education.

Obstacles, however, must not cause us to feel defeated in the pursuit of knowledge. Seeking knowledge is not just a personal benefit, but a sacred duty that we owe to Allah. By dedicating ourselves to lifelong learning, we can deepen our faith, fulfil our responsibilities, and draw closer to our Creator.

Concluding the sermon, I called upon the congregation to recommit themselves to the pursuit of knowledge. I urged them to make it a central part of their lives and to strive to be among those who truly understand and take heed of the teachings of our faith. I prayed that Allah would bless us all with the knowledge and wisdom to live our lives in accordance with His will and guide us on the straight path to success in this world and the hereafter.

It is my sincere hope that the message of yesterday’s sermon will resonate with the congregation and inspire them to embark upon a lifelong journey of learning and spiritual growth. As Muslims, we have a sacred duty to seek knowledge and to use that knowledge to fulfil our obligations to Allah and to one another. May Allah grant us the strength, wisdom, and perseverance to pursue this noble goal, and may He guide us all on the path to success and salvation.

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