Know the Meaning of Seeking Knowledge, Obligations, and Their Priorities

The Meaning of Demanding Knowledge, Obligations, and Their Virtue – Knowledge is a key to all goodness and knowledge. Knowledge becomes a means to be able to carry out what Allah commands us to do. Faith will not be perfect and charity will not be perfect except with the primacy of a science. With knowledge Allah is worshiped, with it Allah’s rights are exercised, and with knowledge His religion is also spread.

This is what makes the need for knowledge greater than the need for food and drink, because the survival of religion and the world depends on knowledge. Humans will need more knowledge than food and drink. Because food and drink are only needed two to three times a day, while knowledge is needed every time.

Some of us might think that in law seeking religious knowledge is only a sunnah, which means that those who do it will receive a reward and there will be no sin for anyone who leaves it.

Even though there are many conditions where in law seeking religious knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim (fardhu ‘ain) so that those who leave it are sinful.

Definition of Demanding Knowledge

Seeking knowledge has the meaning of an endeavor or an effort in learning a science, both worldly knowledge and knowledge of the hereafter with the aim that this knowledge can be beneficial for oneself and also for others.

World knowledge serves to make it easier to live in the world, while knowledge of the afterlife itself is sought so that humans can have demands and not get lost in an evil. Because in humans the ultimate goal is the afterlife, and to be able to get the hereafter, of course, you need to study religion.

From Abu Dzar radhiallahu anhu, Rasulullah shallallahu alaihi wa sallam said,

“O Abu Dharr, in fact, when you leave in the morning to be able to learn one verse from the Book of Allah, it is better for you than you to pray one hundred cycles of prayer. And in fact, in going out in the morning to learn one chapter of a science, whether practicing it or not, it will be better for you than praying a thousand cycles of prayer.”

Obligation to Seek Knowledge 

There are not a few verses in the Qur’an and the hadith of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam which emphasize the obligation to study. Even in the position of a person who is studying knowledge is equated with a person who is engaged in jihad.

Quoting in the Class X Islamic Religious Education (PAI) book, take a look at the first revelation that Allah Subhanahu wata’ala sent down to the Prophet Muhammad Salallahu ‘alaihi wassalam which means:

“Read in (mentioning) the name of your Lord who has created. He is also the one who created humans from a clot of blood. Read, in the name of your Lord, the Most Honorable. Who teaches (man) with a pen. He taught man what he did not know” (Surah al-‘Alaq/96:1-5).

In that verse, there are a number of words that reinforce the commandments in learning and seeking knowledge, namely ‘Read’, ‘Those who teach with a pen’, and ‘Teach what is not known’. Seeking knowledge will not be limited to men only, because women also have the same rights in studying.

All genders have rights and obligations because they are both caliphs and representatives of Allah on earth, as well as being obedient servants.

As a caliph, of course humans will need knowledge to be able to uphold the Shari’a of Allah Subhanahu wata’ala. Likewise, as a servant, you need adequate knowledge so that you can become a good and obedient servant (‘abid).

It is impossible to become a caliph without sufficient knowledge to be able to manage and engineer life on this earth, so that one can carry out God’s laws.

For example, to pray alone, one needs knowledge of finding the Qibla, then finding the right time when to perform the five daily prayers, as well as knowledge in building the right mosque, as well as building a good place for ablution, and so on.

There is no limit to the place and time in the process of seeking knowledge, there is even an Arabic saying that says ‘Seek knowledge all the way to China’.

Islam, of course, also teaches ‘Seeking knowledge begins from birth to the grave’, so learn from childhood until the end of your age. Do not feel ashamed in learning even though you are old.

Law in Demanding Knowledge 

What kind of knowledge should and must be learned by Muslims? Certainly not a science that is not useful for the life of the world and the hereafter. There is knowledge that is not obligatory to learn, even if it is illegal and sinful to learn it.

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For a science that is useful, then learning it will provide a reward consequence. The following are some of the laws demanding compulsory knowledge as reported on the kemdikbud.go.id page:

Fardu kifayah

This fardhu kifayah law applies to knowledge that is necessary among Muslims, so that not only non-Islamic people can master this knowledge. For example, such as medical science, falaq science, industry, linguistics, communication science, nuclear science, computer science, and others.

Fardu ‘Ain

This law will apply if the knowledge in question is forbidden to be abandoned by Muslims in all situations and conditions. For example, Islamic religious knowledge, knowledge of knowing Allah Subhanahu wata’ala with all His attributes, as well as knowledge of procedures for worship, as well as those related to obligations as a Muslim.

Adab studying in Islam

It means:

“Learn the science of adab before learning a science”

In the message, it can be seen that it is very important when studying a culture first before someone can study knowledge. The following are the manners that demand knowledge that we need to know:

  1. Lillahi ta’ala’s intention.

When we want to seek knowledge, our main intention must be because of Allah. As in the word of Allah in surah Al Bayyinah verse 5:

It means:

“Even though they are not ordered except to worship Allah by purifying their obedience to Him while (carrying out) the straight religion, and so that they establish prayers as well as pay zakat; And that is the true religion.”

  1. Always pray when studying.

Like the Prophet Muhammad who often prayed in seeking knowledge, as follows:

It means:

“O Allah, benefit from what You teach me, teach me things that are beneficial to me, and increase my knowledge.”

  1. Be serious about studying.

When in studying we should be serious and always enthusiastic to be able to get useful knowledge. Demand knowledge as if you were never satisfied with all the knowledge you have, you should always wish to continue to increase your knowledge.

Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “There are two people who are greedy who are never satisfied: namely for people who are greedy for knowledge and are never satisfied with it and people who are greedy with the world are also never full with it.” (Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi)

  1. Stay away from immorality.

It means:

From Abu Hurairah, from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “A servant who makes a mistake, a black spot will be placed in his heart. If he leaves it and asks for forgiveness as well as repents, his heart will be cleansed. If he returns (to commit immorality), then the black dot will be added until it covers his heart. This is what is termed the name ‘ar raan’ which Allah mentions in His word (which means), ‘Absolutely not, actually what they always try to cover their hearts’.”

So that we can get knowledge that is useful and full of blessings, so that we must stay away from immorality, because it is immorality that will make it difficult for our brains to be able to concentrate so that the knowledge we capture will be difficult to understand.

  1. Do not be arrogant when studying.

If you want to get a useful knowledge, we should be humble. Do not feel arrogant when we are satisfied with all the knowledge we already have, as Imam Mujahid said below:

It means:

“Two people who do not learn science, namely shy people and arrogant people” (Narrated by Bukhari muallaq)

  1. Pay attention to the teacher when studying.

It means:

“And when the Quran is recited, then listen carefully, and pay attention quietly so that you will receive mercy.”

Listening to the teachings of the teacher or someone who is teaching us knowledge becomes an adab in studying knowledge. Don’t talk or do other things that are completely unrelated to the flow of lessons delivered when studying, meaning we need to focus on listening and listening.

Priority of Seeking Knowledge

In the Qur’an itself, Allah SWT says “So know for Allah’s knowledge! That there is no AIlah (god who has the right to be worshiped properly) except Allah and ask forgiveness for all your sins …” (QS Muhammad: 19).

Therefore, there are many advantages of seeking knowledge for everyone who is serious about doing it. Because in having very big and noble virtues, among them the virtue of seeking knowledge is

1. Knowledge is the legacy of the Prophets

Rasulullah SAW said: “And in fact the Prophets never bequeathed gold nor silver money, but for those who have passed down knowledge (ilm syar’i) whoever has taken over the inheritance then in fact he has taken part of it. a lot.” (Reported by Ahmad).

This shows that the virtue of studying is higher than money and gold which are material in nature. Because, when someone has knowledge and teaches it, then in that case it will be a charity that continues to flow even when that person has passed away.

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2. Seeking knowledge is a way to heaven

Heaven is a dream for every Muslim. In fact, it has also become a promise from Allah SWT for the many good deeds that many Muslims do. So, when Allah SWT makes this knowledge the main way to the path of heaven, then this shows the great priority in seeking knowledge.

This has also got a syar’i basis, because based on a hadith when Rasulullah SAW said: “… Whoever follows a path in order to study knowledge, Allah will also make it easy for him to go to heaven…” (HR Ahmad).

3. Allah SWT Will Elevate Degrees

Related to the virtue of studying this one, in the Koran itself Allah SWT will say: “Allah raises the believers among you and those who are given knowledge by several degrees.” (Al-Mujjadi: 11).

Regarding the interpretation or meaning in this verse, Imam Syaukani said: “And the meaning of this verse is that Allah will elevate those who believe from those who do not believe, and raise several degrees for those who have knowledge (and believe) from those who are people who just by faith. So whoever combines faith and knowledge, Allah will raise him several degrees over his faith, then Allah raises his rank over all his knowledge.

4. Allah SWT wants to give good

It is a virtue of seeking further knowledge, regarding this matter in a hadith Rasulullah SAW said: “Whoever Allah wants for him goodness, Allah will make him understand his religion.” (HR Bukhari and Muslim).

Shaykh Abdul ‘Aziz bin Baz interpreted: “Understand (implied meaning) from this hadith that a person who does not understand his religion means that person is one of those people whose goodness is not desired by Allah and we ask Allah for protection from something like that.”

5. Benefits that will continue to flow even after death

Rasulullah SAW said: “When Adam’s children and grandchildren die, his deeds will be cut off except by three channels: sadaqah jariyah, useful knowledge and pious children who will always pray for him.” (HR Bukhari and Muslim).

Who doesn’t want to continue to be able to get rewards even though he has died. This will be obtained by people who have been serious when studying. Because, this knowledge is not only beneficial for himself, but also has an effect on others.

The priority in this knowledge should be because every Muslim is always enthusiastic and earnest in the journey of seeking knowledge.

Shaykh Az Zarnuji also said that among the important things in studying knowledge that need to be considered is fil jiddi or sincerity. If something is done with sincerity, then Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will give success in it. In addition to sincerity (al jiddu), which also needs to be accompanied by an attitude of sincerity which is then continuous (al muwazobah) and commitment (al muzallimah) to study. These three attitudes must continue to exist within a student and go hand in hand, you cannot just live one of them.

It is obligatory for every student, who is serious, continuous, and committed, not stopping if his goals in studying knowledge can be achieved. As in the word of Allah QS. Maryam: 12 which means, “O Yahya, take the book firmly”, and in QS Al Ankabut: 69 which means, “And to those who struggle, to be able to seek our pleasure, surely We will show them the ways towards us”.

Az Zarnuji said, whoever is looking for something and does it with seriousness, they will definitely get it. And whoever knocks on the door continuously, can definitely enter. He also said that according to his sincerity, someone will definitely be able to get what he hopes for.

In the meaning of this seriousness, Az Zanurji explained that in the difficulties faced, a person will be able to finish in earnest, especially when the difficulties that have been faced during the learning process. Allah will be able to give help to someone if Allah wills. Difficulties can be resolved with sincerity to be a gift from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and in His power.

Seriousness in learning and deepening knowledge is not only from a student, but in this earnestness also requires the sincerity of three (3) people, namely students (students), teachers, and parents. If students, teachers, and parents are serious, God willing, this will be successful, difficulties in studying, learning will be completed.

Humans are commanded by God to learn and seek knowledge. It’s just that the quality of the human mind is with different capacities. Seriousness is the key. With such sincerity, something that is difficult will be made easy by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

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