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:
“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.’”
Whoever Helps A Believer With A Hardship
...Hardship From The Hardships Of The Day Of Resurrection
Whoever Shows Leniency Towards Someone In Difficultly, Allah Will Show Him Leniency In This Life And The Hereafter
Whoever Conceals (the Faults Of) A Muslim, Allah Will Conceal Him In This Life And The Hereafter
And Allah Will Continue To Aid The Servant As Long As The Servant Aids His Brother
Whoever Pursues A Path Seeking Knowledge, Allaah Will Make The Path To Paradise Easy For Him
No Group Of People Gather In One Of The Houses (mosques) Of Allah Reciting The Book Of Allah And Studying It Amongst Themselves, Except That Tranquillity Will Descend Upon Them, Mercy Will Cover Them, The Angels Will Surround Them, And Allah Will Mention Them To Those With Him
And Whoever Is Prevented By His Deeds Will Not Be Hastened Forward By His Lineage