One of the distinctive features of Islam is its mphasis on knowledge.The Holy Qur’an and the Islamic Tradition (Sunnah) invite Muslims to seek nd acquire knowledge and wisdom and to hold men of knowledge in high esteem.

The first few verses of Holy Qur’an that were revealed to our oly Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mention the importance of eading, pen, and teaching for human beings.

Hence, it is a beautiful prayer for every Muslim to ask always: “O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (20:114)

The only limit set to the acquisition of knowledge in Islam is that Muslims should seek useful knowledge. Our great Prophet (pbuh) is reported as having said: “My Lord, save me from the useless knowledge.”

Any knowledge helping man in performing his God assigned role in this world is useful, other than that is considered useless knowledge.

Example of useless knowledge:

Abul Hikam (Father of Wisdom) was the title of Amr Ibn Hesam, one of the bitterest enemies of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) nicknamed him Abu Jahl (Father of Ignorance) because of his uncompromising attitude towards Islam.

From the above example we can see, how much our Holy Prophet (pbuh) disliked ignorant and at the same time we can learn from the following example, how much our Holy Prophet (pbuh) liked to learn.

The mosque of Medina was not only a place of worship. The believers assembled here to learn. When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was present they heard his words of wisdom, his elucidation on the verses of the Holy Qur’an and benefited from his counsel. And when he was not present, other faithful companions taught what they had heard from the Prophet of Almighty God.

Once our Holy Prophet (pbuh) entered the Mosque before the prayer time. He found two groups in the Mosque. One group was busy with its own act of worship; some were reading the Holy Qur’an while the others were supplicating. The other group was in a corner busy learning. They learnt how to read and write and discussed the teachings of Islam and their application to their daily lives.

Looking at both, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “They are both engaged in useful pursuits. But I am a teacher. I shall join the group assembled to learn.” So he (pbuh) sat with the group of students.

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