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Chapter 7. Whoever Pursues A Path Seeking Knowledge, Allaah Will Make The Path To Paradise Easy For Him

Pursuing a path seeking knowledge includes actually traversing a physical path such as walking to the gatherings of the scholars, and it also includes pursuing a figurative path in that any means leading to the acquisition of religious knowledge would be considered pursuing a path to knowledge.

 

Examples would be memorization, studying, reviewing, research, writing, comprehension, and any other way of obtaining knowledge. And his  statement, “Allah will make the path to Paradise easy for him,” could mean that Allah will make the knowledge he seeks easy for him to learn and the path or means of obtaining it easy too. Surely, religious knowledge is the path leading to Paradise. This ease and facilitation is similar to the verse:

 

“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” [Surah al-Qamar, 54:17]

 

Some of the Salaf have said that anyone who seeks knowledge, Allah will help him. It may also be understood that Allah will make it easy for the student of knowledge if he intends by his learning for the pleasure of Allah, seeking only His face  and the benefit from it and act upon it. In that way, it becomes a means of his guidance and his entry into Paradise.

 

Allah may also facilitate other areas or sciences of knowledge for the student that may be other than what he initially seeks to learn, thereby benefiting him and becoming the means to leading him to Paradise. It is said, “Whoever acts upon what he knows, Allah will cause him to learn more than he had previously known.” Similarly, it is also said, “The reward of a good deed is another good deed after it.” The statement of Allah  supports this:

 

“And Allah increases those who were guided with (more) guidance.” [Surah Maryam, 19:76]

 

And His  statement:

 

“And those who are guided, He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness.” [Surah Muhammad, 47:17]

 

Also included in this Hadith is that Allah will make the actual pathway to Paradise easy, which is the bridge (over the Fire) leading to it. He will also make the severe and terrifying circumstances before it and after it easy. So, He may help the student of knowledge with these things due to his benefiting from his knowledge.

 

Undoubtedly, religious knowledge is one of the foremost ways leading to Allah. So whoever traverses His path without deviating from it, he will reach Allah  and His Paradise by the nearest and easiest path.

 

So we understand that the paths leading to Paradise will be made easy upon him, all of them (the actual and figurative paths), in this life and the hereafter. There is no way of leading a servant to know Allah and to His pleasure, to success by drawing near to Him, and to conversing with Him in this life and the hereafter except with beneficial knowledge – that which Allah sent His messengers with and revealed His books with. It is this evidence and support which leads to Allah. By it (this knowledge), the person becomes correctly guided amidst the darkness of ignorance, doubts, and false beliefs. For this, Allah has referred to His book as a light because He guides therewith through the darkness. Allah says:

 

“There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear book. By it, Allah guides those who pursue His Pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out of darkness into light, by His Permission, and guides them to a Straight Path.” [Surah al-Maaidah, 5:15-16]

 

The Prophet  likened the carrier of religious knowledge to the one who uses the stars for guidance and direction throughout the night. If the stars become overshadowed, the travelers would lose their direction. So as long as there is the correct religious knowledge remaining on earth, the people will be guided. And knowledge remaining is dependent upon its carriers and possessors remaining. If those with knowledge and those who support it depart, people would fall back into misguidance as has been mentioned in “Sahih al- Bukhari” and “Sahih Muslim” from Abdullah Ibn Umar  that the Prophet said:

 

“Indeed, Allah does not take away knowledge by removing it all at once from the servants. Rather, He takes knowledge away by taking the scholars (in death) until there remains no scholar; people will accept ignorant leaders. They will question them and they will give religious verdicts with no knowledge, thereby being misguided and misguiding others.”

 

 And one day the Prophet mentioned that knowledge will be raised up. So he was asked (by Ziyad Ibn Labeed), “How will it be taken from us while we have read the Quran? By Allah, we certainly read it and encourage our women and children to read it?” The Prophet said:

 

“Here is the Torah and the Bible still with the Jews and the Christians; what prevented them?”

 

Ubaadah Ibn As-Saamit  was asked about this Hadith and he said, “If you want, I will inform you of the first thing of knowledge to be taken from people: humility.”

 

Ubaadah Ibn As-Saamit said this is because knowledge is of two types:

 

  1. That knowledge, the fruits of which are produced within people’s hearts. It is the knowledge of Allah , His names and attributes, and His actions which instill within a person a sense of fear of Him, honor of Him, submission to Him, and love of Him, hoping in Him, the willingness to call upon Him and rely upon Him. This is the beneficial knowledge.
  2. The second type of knowledge is that which is merely upon the tongue. It is Allah’s evidence in support of you or against you. So the first thing to be removed of knowledge is the beneficial knowledge which is that inner awareness which resides in the hearts and sets them straight. So when this is removed, knowledge will remain only upon the tongue as evidence. People will begin to belittle it and not act in accordance with it, neither the possessor of such knowledge nor others. Then this type of knowledge will also be removed by the removal of those who carry it. At this time, nothing will remain except the Quran, and only in books. At such time, no one will know its meanings, its rulings, or its laws. Finally, towards the end of time, even the Quran will be removed. Nothing of it will be found, not in the books or within hearts. Afterwards, the final hour will be established as the Prophet said:

 

“The (final) hour will not be established except upon the worst of people.”

 

And He said:

 

“The (final) hour will not be established until it is not even said on earth, ‘Allah, Allah.’”