There are two important subjects in this lesson; first, knowledge, second, zikr (that is, remembrance of Allah).
There are so many sayings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) which stress the utility and distinction of these two things. For instance, a hadith says, “Beware! This world, and whatever is in it, is cursed by Allah, with the exception of prayers, and zikr, and the religious scholar, and the religious student”.
Therefore, every Muslim should try his best to achieve the high standard of knowledge and zikr.
Only that knowledge is appreciated by Allah, which takes a man nearer to Him, and enables him, to observe His commandments. So much knowledge of the religion of Islam, as would purify and strengthen one’s faith, is obligatory for every Muslim man and woman. When a servant of Allah has entirely submitted himself to Allah, and has promised to observe His commandments, it is indispensable for him to know all His commandments, and the method of worship. Yes, he should have a perfect knowledge of prayers, fasting, poor-rate, hajj; of mutual dealings B .X f in everyday life, the true Islamic culture, and other important aspects of Islamic way of living. Every Muslim should particularly know those basic things about Islam, the ignorance of which is likely to commit sins; and when he has got the knowledge of these things, he must observe them in a practical form, for it has been mentioned in a hadith,
“Verily, the worst punishment of Allah will be inflicted on those on the Day of Judgement, who have been scholars of religion, but did not practice it themselves”.
The distinction of a scholar and a student
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has said in a hadith, “Anyone who shows the Right Path to a Muslim, is like one who has already observed Allah’s commandments”.
Another hadith says, “A thousand worshippers are not so annoying and deadly to Shaytaan, as one person who has achieved perfect knowledge about Islam”.
Another hadith says, “Anyone who died during the period of attaining knowledge about Islam, his class in Jannah will be only one stage below the Ambiyaa”.
Another hadith says, “The best person among you is he, who has learned the Holy Qur’an and then teaches it to other Muslims”.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) says in another hadith, “May Allah keep that person fresh and healthy who listens to my instructions, and then delivers them to others, exactly as I have spoken”.
To leave home for the sake of knowledge
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has said, “Whoever left his home for the sake of knowledge (about the Holy Qur’an and Islam), he will be honoured as one, who has entirely devoted himself to Allah”.
The service and help for a student of Islam
It has been mentioned in a hadith, that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) while addressing his followers said, “Undoubtedly, the coming generation will follow you, for you have followed me. After me people will come to you from remote places to attain the knowledge of Islam. So, when they visit you, it is my will, that you should entertain them well”.
That is, when the student of Islam visit you, serve them properly, sit in their society, and be courteous to them.
The use of scholarly meetings
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) says in a hadith, “When certain people gather together in the House of Allah (that is a musjid), and they read the Book of Allah (i.e., the Holy Qur’an) to one another, they are blessed with spiritual consolation and Allah’s mercy, the Angels assemble around them, and Allah remembers them among His courtiers (Angels)”.
The second part of the third lesson is zikr. The highest degree of zikr is that a believer should be entirely devoted to Allah, and should never forget Him. This standard of zikr is achieved by constant spiritual exercise, and by continuous remembrance of Allah. Those who have realized the spiritual benefits of zikr, they do not neglect it for a single moment of their life. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) instructed a companion of his with the following words, “Keep your tongue always busy with the remembrance of Allah”.
In another hadith he says, “When some people gather together in an assembly, and then get up without remembering Allah, be sure that they sat around the dead body of an ass, and left it; therefore such an assembly will be a sorrow to them on the Day of Qiyaamah”.
The true believers should remember Allah most often, and by contemplating the wonders of His creation, they should glorify Him, and thereby strengthen their love for Him. The more they remember Allah, the better will be their good deeds, the stronger their faith and knowledge.
Then, they will have more and more love for Allah, and their service to Him will be more sincere and realistic. Particularly, during the Tabligh journey they should not forget Allah for a single moment. If all the daily prayers, which are mentioned in the hadith, viz, prayer for going to sleep and waking up, prayer at the end of a meeting, prayer for the beginning and the end of the meals, prayer for entering home and going out, prayer for starting a journey, and prayer for returning from it, prayer for riding an animal (or any other transport), prayer for entering a new town or a city etc., are remembered well, and are read on the relevant occasion, naturally the exercise of the remembrance of Allah can be improved to a great extent. No amount of time is sufficient for a sacred thing like zikr, yet most spare time should be devoted to the same; but the least thing that every Muslim can do, is to read the kalimah, and Durood Sharief, and Istighfaar (each a complete Tasbeeh) every morning and evening; moreover, a time should be fixed for the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. Even some worldly loss can easily be tolerated for the boundless boons of Allah, that are going to be granted to a believer in the next life!
The preference of zikr
It has been mentioned in the hadith that zikr purifies and enlightens the heart. Another hadith says that nothing saves a Muslim from the chastisement of Allah, more than zikr. Another Hadith says that amongst the negligent, one who remembers Allah most often is like a glowing lamp in a dark house. A hadith of Bukhaari says, “One who remembers Allah, is remembered by Him among His courtiers (Angels)”.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in another hadith says, “Anyone who remembers Allah most often is so much preferable to a person, who distributes a great amount of money in the way of Allah”. (Targheeb)