The Excellence Of Knowledge

The prophet (saw) said:

The excellence of knowledge is greater than optional actions and the best of your religion is piety.

[Saheeh At-Targheeb Wat Targheeb, 65]

Aboo Dardaa said:

“Whoever holds that going off in the morning or going off later in the day to gain some knowledge is not jihaad, then he is deficient in his intellect and deficient in his opinion.”

Ka’b al-Ahbaar said:

“The student of knowledge is like the one who goes off in the morning, or later in the day to fight in the way of Allaah, the Mighty and the Majestic.”

Indeed some of the Salaf have clearly stated, amongst them Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’ee and Imaam Ahmad, and it is stated word for word by Aboo Haneefah that:

“…The most excellent of actions, after the obligatory duties, is seeking knowledge.”

Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned:

“… Optional knowledge is better than the excellence of extra and optional worship. This is because the benefit of knowledge is general, it benefits its possessor and it benefits the rest of the people as well. Whereas the benefit of worship is particular to the person who does that worship.

Also because with the scholar, his benefit and knowledge remains after his death. Whereas worship is cut off from him at his death.”

[Miftaah daaris Sa’aadah, 1/120]


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