One distinguishing factor which is intrinsic with Islam, is the emphasis that it puts on acquiring knowledge. It is an accepted fact that the Muslims enjoy a rich intellectual tradition which spans centuries. So why do we find that the Muslims are so negligent in this regard? It is solely because we have lost connection with Allah.
It is because we lack knowledge that we are so far from Allah, he states: “Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed.” (39:9) Here Allah is explicit in comparing those with knowledge and without it. He is trying to show us the importance of understanding who he (Allah) is. Naturally, if a person knows more about the magnificence of Allah, his benevolence, his might, the uncountable bounties that he has bestowed upon us; then how can this person disobey him?!
In fact Allah says: “In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Forgiving.” (35:28) Look at how Allah forges a link between knowledge and fearing him. Unfortunately we have little knowledge and even less fear. Do we study the Religion we claim to follow? We spent countless years pursuing knowledge that will give us a paycheck at the end of the month; but we do not learn the beautiful message that our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) came with… We do not want to learn what Allah has stated in the Quran. We make excuses that it is in a different language, but when it comes to Bollywood movies or Korean songs then the same excuse seems non-existent.
We should always make supplication that Allah bestows us with the light of knowledge as he has instructed his Messenger: “And say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (20:114) This should illustrate the value of knowledge, that even Allah instructs the greatest of creation to ask for it. If this is the state of the creation that is closest to Allah then what should our state be? We should be asking for this even more due to our measly status. We ask for the most ludicrous of things, but somehow knowledge is seldom mentioned in our prayers.
We should be crying over the fact that many of us know more about celebrities than we know about our own Prophet. We know more about athletes than we know about the Companions (Allah be pleased with them). We can spend hours upon hours, discussing TV series, sports, movies but when it comes to our religion we find ourselves dangerously lacking. The knowledge of your favorite Footballers or Singers will not benefit you in your grave as the Prophet has stated: “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); knowledge which is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” (Muslim) These things will benefit you, the knowledge you have learnt and taught; not the favorite food your Boy-bands like.
We should try to seek knowledge regardless of our situation, especially in his day and age where it is so easily accessible. And if you are upon the path of knowledge then know that Allah has chosen you and that he has honored you as he states: “Allah will raise to higher ranks those of you who have faith and knowledge.” (58:11) Whatever Allah says is undoubtedly the truth, even if you do not see your high rank in this world most definitely you will see it in the Hereafter.
Allah increase us in Knowledge. May he give us the ability to act upon that Knowledge. May he forgive our sins and ease our affairs. Ameen.