Quran, Hadith and Knowledge

muslimheritage-quran-hadith-and-knowledge-quran1-0“Read: In the name of your Lord Who creates – creates man from a clot. Read: And your Lord is the Most Bounteous, Who teaches by the use of the pen, teaches man that which he knew not.” Quran 96:105

First and foremost, the Quran, repeatedly calls on the believers to seek knowledge, whilst at the same time it makes a number of observations on phenomena that stimulate intellectual effort such as creation, and the planets. Some verses among many work in this sense:

“Say [unto them, O Muhammad]: Are those who know equal to those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed” (39: 9)

“In time, we shall show them our signs [ayatina] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within their inner selves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things.” (41:53)

“And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are signs indeed for those who reflect.” (45: 13)

The Quran repeatedly uses the expressions: `Why do they not reflect? Why do they not ponder?’ It constantly encourages the use of intellect and invites people to think, investigate and analyse. Muhammad Iqbal argues that by repeatedly reminding mankind to reflect and ponder, the Quran aims to `awaken in man the consciousness of that of which nature is regarded as a symbol.'(endnote 13) And in the words of Al-Faruqi `God created the world and implanted in it His immutable patterns that make it a cosmos. He designed it in a way calling for wonder: perfect, orderly, malleable, its parts causally and theologically bound to one another… He invited the man to study and investigate nature, to make the necessary deduction, and thus recognise, worship, and serve Him’.

The Quran calls upon `this widest possible scholarship, confident that men will find Islam’s claims for God and His providence, for nature, for man and history, confirmed. It made a point of faith to discern the patterns of God in nature, an act of piety to articulate those patterns correctly and adequately, and an act of charity to teach them to others.'(endnote 14)

There are scores of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) in which the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) enjoins Muslims to seek knowledge. Here is a couple:

“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

“Seeking Knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim male and female.’

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