worship

The Whole Year for Ramadan

It is reported that Muʿlā b. Al-Faḍl – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

They (the Salaf) used to supplicate to Allāh for six months asking Him to get them to the month of Ramaḍān; and they used to supplicate for six months that Allāh accept [their fasting and other worship in Ramaḍān].

Abul-Qāsim Al-Aṣbahānī, Al-Targhīb wa Al-Tarhīb article 1761.

Required Learning [What is a Muslim Required to Study?]

It is reported that Hasan b. Rabī’ asked ‘Abdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him – about the meaning of the hadith, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim”. He replied:

It is not [the expert knowledge of hadith and fiqh] you are seeking. Seeking knowledge is an obligation when a man comes to something concerning his religion (dīn): he is to ask about it until he knows it.

Al-Khatīb Al-Baghdādī, Al-Faqīh wa Al-Mutafaqqih article 162.

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Al-Hasan b. Shaqīq asked ‘Abdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him, “What knowledge is considered obligatory upon people to learn?” He replied:

A man must not proceed to do anything except upon knowledge, He is to ask and learn. This is what is obligatory upon people as regards learning knowledge.

He explained further:

If there is a man who has no wealth, it is not obligatory upon him to learn Zakāh. When he has 200 dirham, it becomes obligatory upon him to learn how much (Zakāh) he has to pay, when he has to pay, and who he has to pay. This is also the way with everything else.

Al-Baghdādī, op. cit. article 163.

It is reported that Ibn Wahb once mentioned knowledge, to which Imām Mālik – Allāh have mercy on him – commented:

Knowledge is surely good, but look to what is binding upon you from the beginning of your day to its end, and from the end of your day to the following morning, adhere to that and do not give preference to [learning] anything else.

Al-Baghdādī, op. cit. article 165.

It is reported from ‘Abdullāh b. Ahmad b. Hanbal that he asked his father (Imām Ahmad) – Allāh have mercy on him – whether it is obligatory upon a man to seek knowledge. He replied:

As for [the knowledge] through which he can uphold his prayers, and other matters of his religion like fasting, Zakāh – and he mentioned the other main aspects of the religion – then a man should know about that.

Al-Baghdādī, op. cit. article 166.

Mixing or Withdrawing for Gain

It is reported that Wahb b. Munabbih – Allāh have mercy on him – used to say:

The believer mixes with others in order to learn, keeps quiet to keep safe (from sinning), speaks in order to understand, and secludes himself for the attainment (of good).

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-‘Uzlah article 99.

Ignorance and the Sword

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

One who acts without knowledge is like one who travels off the path; and the one who acts without knowledge corrupts more than he rectifies. So seek knowledge in a way that does not harm your worship, and seek to worship [Allāh] in a way that does not harm [your seeking of] knowledge. For verily, there were people (the Khawārij extremists) who sought to worship [Allāh] but abandoned knowledge until they attacked the Ummah of Muḥammad – Allāh’s praise and peace be upon him – with their swords. But if they had sought knowledge, it would not have directed them to do what they did.

Quoted by Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm wa Falihi article 905.

The Best of then and Now

It is reported that Mujāhid – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Those who strive and exert themselves (al-mujtahid) amongst you today are like those who used to play around amongst those before you.

Wakī’ b. Al-Jarrāh, Al-Zuhd article 221.