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Chapter 38. Learning Sacred Knowledge For The Sake Of This World, Or Concealing It

Allah Most High says,

Those truly fear Allah among His servants who have knowledge, for Allah, is Exalted in Might, oft-Forgiving. (Fatir: 28)

This verse clearly refers to the scholars who are acquainted with Allah, Most High. Ibn Abbas said, "What is meant, are those who are well acquainted with Allah's Might, Dignity and Power and (will) fear Him more than all other people." Mujahid and Al-Shabi said, "The men of knowledge are those who fear Allah."

Al-Rabi said further, "Whoever has no fear of Allah, he will never be decreed to be a scholar."

Allah Most High also said,

Those who conceal the clear signs we have sent down, and the Guidance, after we have made it clear for the people in the Book, on them shall be Allah's curse and the curse of those entitled to curse. (Al-Baqarah: 159)

This verse was revealed as a condemnation to the Jewish scholars. The clear signs refer to the Divine prescriptions, rules and penalties.

The Guidance means the prophecies of Muhammad (pbuh) and his features in their book. After we have made it clear for the people refers to the children of Israel. The Book refers to the Torah. On them means those who conceal the truth. And the curse of those who are entitled to curse refers to all of creation except jinn and mankind as Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) stated. Ibn Masud said, "When two Muslims indulge in cursing, their curse would return to the Jews and the Christians who conceal the prophecies of and features of Muhammad (pbuh) in their books."

Moreover, Allah Most High states,

And remember Allah took a covenant from the people of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made. (Al-Imran: 186)

Al-Wahdi stated, "These verses were revealed concerning the Jews of Medina whom Allah commanded to publicize the prophecies, features and the mission of Muhammad (pbuh) as stated in their Book, the Torah.

To make it known and clear to mankind,

refers to Allah's Covenant with the Jewish scholars to make clear to the people what was in their book, including the prophecies of Muhammad (pbuh) as Al-Hasan stated But they threw it away behind their backs. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said, "They broke their commitment" "And purchased with it some miserable gain!" They preferred valueless and mean interests over explaining the truth. And vile was the bargain they made. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) commented, "They made a miserable trade and gained nothing except loss and damnation."

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) declared,

"Will never smell the fragrance of Paradise, the one who seeks sacred knowledge for the sake of worldly-gain.” [Abu Dawud]

The hadith reported by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), that was previously mentioned, explained that one of the three men who would be dragged to Hell-fire is the person who sought knowledge in order that people would call him a scholar.

Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Anyone who seeks sacred knowledge to vie with scholars, argue with fools, or win people's hearts will go to Hell.” [Tirmidhi]

He (pbuh) also said,

"Whoever is asked about an issue of knowledge, and conceals it, on the Day of Judgment he would be held by a rein of fire.” [Abu Dawud]

By the same token, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to supplicate to Allah saying,

"O Allah! I seek refuge in you from knowledge which is of no use.” [Abu Dawud]

He (pbuh) also said,

"Whoever seeks knowledge other than for the sake of Allah, let him await his abode in Hell-fire.” [Tirmidhi]

Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) commented, "The more the scholar does not behave according to his knowledge, the more arrogant this scholar will be."

On the authority of Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"On the Day of Judgment, the immoral scholar will be thrown into Hell where he would be rounded with a reed like a donkey which round with quern. People would wonder saying, "You are so and so, the scholar who guided us to the straight way!" He would reply, "I used to contradict what I taught you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Hilal Ibn Al Ala said, "Seeking sacred knowledge is arduous, learning it is harder than seeking it, applying it is harder than learning it, and remaining safe from it is even harder than applying it."


Chapter 1

Ascribing Associates To Allah, the Most High (Shirk)

Chapter 2

Killing A Human Being

Chapter 3


Chapter 4

Not Performing The Prayer

Chapter 5

Not Paying Zakat

Chapter 6

Breaking One's Fast During Ramadan Without An Excuse

Chapter 7

Not Performing the Hajj when Able to

Chapter 8

Showing Disrespect to One's Parents

Chapter 9

Severing the Ties of One's Relatives

Chapter 10


Chapter 11


Chapter 12

Accepting Usurious Gain

Chapter 13

Wrong Consuming An Orphan's Property

Chapter 14

Lying About The Prophet

Chapter 15

Fleeing From The Battlefield

Chapter 16

The Leader Who Misleads His Followers, The Tyrant And The Oppressor

Chapter 17

Arrogance, Pride, Conceit, Vanity And Haughtiness

Chapter 18

Bearing False Witness

Chapter 19

Drinking Alcohol

Chapter 20

Gambling (qimar)

Chapter 21

Accusing A Woman Of Adultery

Chapter 22

Misappropriating Spoils Of War, Muslim Funds Or Zakat

Chapter 23


Chapter 24

Highwaymen Who Menace The Road

Chapter 25

The Engulfing Oath

Chapter 26

Taking People's Property Through Falsehood

Chapter 27

Collecting Taxes

Chapter 28

The Consumption of Haram

Chapter 29


Chapter 30

Telling Lies

Chapter 31

The Dishonest Judge

Chapter 32


Chapter 33

Women Imitating Men And Vice Versa

Chapter 34

The Pimp and the one Who Permits His Wife to Fornicate

Chapter 35

Marrying Solely To Return To The Previous Husband

Chapter 36

Not Freeing Oneself Of All Traces Of Urine

Chapter 37

Showing Off In Good Work

Chapter 38

Learning Sacred Knowledge For The Sake Of This World, Or Concealing It

Chapter 39

Breach of Trust

Chapter 40

Reminding Recipients of Ones Charity To Them

Chapter 41

Disbelieving In Destiny (qadar)

Chapter 42

Listening To People's Private Conversations

Chapter 43

The Talebearer Who Stirs Up Enmity Between People

Chapter 44

Cursing Others

Chapter 45

Breaking Promises or Pledges

Chapter 46

Believing Fortune Tellers And Astrologers

Chapter 47

Wife Rebelling Against Her Husband

Chapter 48

Picture Making