For Friday April 8, 2011
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(Az Zumar, 39:9)
Our exalted religion of Islam has not decreed that those who know and those who do not are one, and consequently, its first command was, “Read.” Islam views the pursuit of knowledge as more valuable than voluntary worship. It is not possible to observe the value placed on knowledge and men of knowledge in Islam in any other religion.
In various verses of the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty tells us: “Proclaim! (or, Read!) In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher…”; “…So be not thou amongst those who are swayed by ignorance (and impatience)!”; “And among His servants, it is only the scholars who respect Allah (adequately).”; “Say: Oh Allah, increase my knowledge.” All of these verses not only advise, but command the procurement of knowledge and abstention from ignorance.
My esteemed brothers and sisters!
Our Prophet (p.b.u.h.) had freed the disbelievers taken hostage following the first war of Islam, at Badr, in exchange for their agreement to teach 10 illiterate Muslims how to read and write.
When we examine the sources of hadith, we see many statements by our Prophet (p.b.u.h.) regarding knowledge and the people of knowledge:
-- A scholar among the ignorant is like a living person among the dead.
-- Scholars are the successors of the prophets.
-- The scholars on earth are like the stars in the sky.
-- Whomsoever takes care of those who gain knowledge, Allah will provide for them subsistence.
-- Surely for those who have knowledge, everything in the heavens and even on earth, even the fish in the sea, make supplication and ask for their forgiveness.
-- Knowledge is the lost possession of a believer. He must look for it everywhere.
In the verse I recited at the beginning of my khutbah, Allah the Almighty states, “…Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?” -- encouraging Muslims to seek knowledge.
In that case, my esteemed brothers and sisters:
Let us educate ourselves and facilitate education. Let us learn Islam and teach it. Let us help the travelers of knowledge. Let us not forget that we can only look to the future with hope when we raise a generation that bears the love of knowledge, faith, and zeal for worship in their hearts.
I would like to conclude my khutbah with a supplication from the Messenger of Allah: “Oh Allah! I seek refuge in you from useless knowledge, a heart which does not fear, a self which is not satiated, and supplications that are not accepted.”
 Surah Alaq, 1.
 Surah Alaq, 1-2.
 Surah An’am, 35.
 Surah Fatr, 28.
 Surah Taha, 114.
 Kashful Hafa, V.2, p. 43.
 At-Taj V.1, p. 97.
 Kashful Hafa, V.2 Hadith No. 2762.
 At-Tirmidhi, Zuhd 33.
 At Taj V.1 p. 97-99.
 Kashful Hafa, V.2, p. 68 Hadith No. 1776.
 Surah Zumar, 9.
 At Taj, V.5, p. 124.