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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 03: Knowledge (Summary of the Chapter)


Chapter 03:
Knowledge (Summary of the Chapter):


While faith brings about the spiritual and moral development of man, knowledge brings about his intellectual development, and therefore stands next in importance to faith. In Bukhari's arrangement therefore "knowledge follows faith." The first revelation that came to the Holy Prophet is admittedly the first quotation given above. These verses not only lay stress on both reading and writing but also speak of the Lord of Honour in this connection, showing that man can attain to honour only through knowledge. This is expressly stated in v. 2. The Holy Qur'an even directs the Holy Prophet to seek more and more knowledge (v. 3). It is in fact full of praise for knowledge : the words ya'lamun (they ponder), yatafakkarun (they reflect), yatadhakkarun (they meditate) and other similar expressions occur on almost every page of the Holy Qur'an. V. 4 speaks of knowledge as great wealth. Such is also the import of the very first hadith quoted in this chapter, which speaks of both wealth and knowledge as things which man desires naturally to seek and in which all men should try to emulate each other (h. 1). The Holy Prophet made it incumbent on those who came to him to seek knowledge to impart the same to others (hh. 2, 3), and desired even those who were considered to be in the lowest strata of society to be uplifted to the highest level through education (h. 4). Islam, in fact, lays the basis of mass education, education of men as well as women, of children as well as adults. The Holy Prophet himself made arrangements for the education of women (h. 5). Writing was encouraged (hh. 5-9), and acquisition of knowledge was made the standard of excellence (h. 10). It is spoken of in the highest terms of praise (hh. 11-14), and this explains the unsatiable thirst for knowledge of the Muslims of earlier days. H. 15 makes it incumbent upon every Muslim, man or woman, old or young, that he should acquire knowledge, and thus introduces the principle of compulsory education. A warning is given that when a nation gives up the acquisition of knowledge, its downfall is sure (h. 16).

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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 03: Knowledge (Summary of the Chapter)

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