PATIENCE IN THE PATH TO PARADISE
Learning knowledge is something which must be done, but it need not be done so all at once, as the great scholar az-Zuhri said:
“Whoever seeks knowledge in one go, it will leave him at one go. Rather, knowledge is only sought through the passing of nights and days.”
One should make a firm intention, and have patience throughout their search. Some aspects may be easy, but some might be harder to achieve. Bear in mind that when one tries to learn while it is hard for him, they will receive a double reward from Allah due to the effort they spent in seeking it, and Allah’s bounty is indeed limitless. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever reads the Quran and stutters while reading, due to its difficulty, will receive a double reward.”
There are many ways to learn the religion, the best being directly learning it from a knowledgeable and righteous Muslim. But as they are not always available, one must look for other ways, such as good books, cassettes, and websites to fulfill this goal. Do not try to tackle those issues which require much study in the beginning; rather, prioritize the material of study in order of importance. Do not be concerned about the time it takes for you to fully understand the material, for you are gaining reward for each second you spend while doing it. Learning your religion will make easy for you the path to Paradise, as Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever treads a path in seeking knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise.”
KEENLY SEEK KNOWLEDGE
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, said:
“When Allah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.”
The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, were very keen on gaining knowledge. Look at how keen Abdullah ibn Abbas (RadiyAllahu Anhu), the cousin of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), was to seek knowledge. He devoted himself to acquiring knowledge in a wide variety of fields. He had a special admiration for persons like Zaid bin Thabit (RadiyAllahu Anhu), who was one of the scribes of the Quran, the leading judge and jurist in Medina, and an expert in the laws of inheritance and in reading the Quran. Once when Zaid (RA) intended to travel, the young Abdullah (RA) stood humbly at his side, and taking hold of the reins of his mount he adopted the attitude of a humble servant in the presence of his master. Zaid (RA) said to him: “Don’t do this, O cousin of the Prophet!”
“This is how we were commanded to treat the learned ones among us,” Abdullah (RA) replied.
Zaid (RA) said in return, “Let me see your hand.”
Abdullah (RA) stretched out his hand. Zaid (RA), taking it, kissed it and said: “This is how we were commanded to treat the members of the household of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).”
FRUITS OF KNOWLEDGE:
To conclude, seeking knowledge is an act of worship that requires you to keep your intention sincerely for Allah alone and none else, seeking His Pleasure and reward. Do not seek knowledge to show off or compete with others, or to enliven one’s gatherings. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever seeks that knowledge which is (usually) sought to seek the pleasure of Allah in order to gain some worldly benefit, he will not sense the scent of Paradise on the Day of Judgment.”
Also know that knowledge is of no importance if one does not reap its fruits, which is to practice the religion of Islam as Allah loves. So one should try to practice what one learns as living Islam is what takes a person to Paradise.
We close with some supplications which the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) himself made in regards to seeking knowledge.
“O Allah! Bring us benefit by what You taught us, and teach us that which brings us benefit, and increase us in knowledge”
“O Allah, I ask you to grant us beneficial knowledge, good, pure and permissible sustenance, and deeds which are accepted by You.”
“O Allah I seek refuge in you from knowledge which does not benefit, a heart which does not humble itself in fear, an insatiable desire, and supplications which are unanswered.”