18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Gaining Knowledge to Revive Islam

Hasan Al-Basri narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He whom death overtakes while he is engaged in acquiring knowledge with a view to reviving Islam with the help of it, there will be (only) one degree between him and the Prophet in Paradise.” [Tirmidhi and Darimi]

When Islam first came, society was so corrupt that the teachings of Islam appeared strange. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) foretold that there would once again come a time when people would have gone so astray that the teachings of Islam would appear strange to them.

This hadith promises a fantastic reward to those who exert themselves in acquiring the knowledge of Islam for the sole purpose of reviving Islam again. Before one may revive Islam in oneself or in society, one must first know what Islam is exactly. It is therefore necessary to study Islam in order to cleanse our understanding of it from the cultural and whimsical beliefs and practices that we have added to it.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will bless, with one of the highest levels of Jannah, the Muslim who is engaged in acquiring knowledge to ultimately revive Islam with it. Our efforts are within our control, whereas the results of our efforts are not. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in His mercy has not made what a Muslim is able to achieve by his/her efforts the basis for reward. Rather, it is our desire, intention, and effort which Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) values and rewards.

When one’s efforts for the Deen are going well and many appear to benefit by it, it is easy to feel content. It is important then not to let worldly recognition of the effort become the goal, rather than Allah’s pleasure. On the other hand, it is easy to get disheartened when one sees that one’s efforts are not bearing fruit. In Allah’s system of assessment, each effort for His sake is rewarded fully, regardless of its worldly outcome. We need to stay focused on seeking only Allah’s pleasure with whatever we do.

Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) has the highest level in Jannah. To be only a degree away from him is the greatest success.

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