The Holy Quran is said to be "the highest miracle of Islam". But why would a book turn out to be the proof of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) prophethood? What does it reveal about Islam's attitude toward the issue of learning or seeking knowledge? How does a true Muslim seek knowledge?
There are many verses in the Quran about acquiring knowledge. The very first verse of the Quran that was sent to our Prophet starts with an imperative form of the verb "read" (Ighra) . Literacy and having knowledge is so important in Islam that Quran equals illiteracy to being in darkness [i]. Accordingly, it is the duty of any Muslim to try to learn. Besides, many Islamic scholars advise Muslims to strive for achieving knowledge. One of them is a quotation (hadith) from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP): “Seek knowledge, even if it is in China”. Considering the distance between the Arabian Peninsula (where the Prophet lived) and China as well as the lack of transportation 14 centuries ago, one can imagine how arduous it was to travel there. In addition to many life-threatening dangers, it is no exaggeration to say that it took several months to arrive there. This shows the emphasis on the importance of learning.
When the prophetic mission of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) started, most people in his land were illiterate, so, he asked the literate ones to teach Muslims; even prisoners of war were granted freedom provided that they taught literacy to at least ten Muslims. It has been said that once, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) entered a mosque and saw two groups of people; one group was praying and the other was sharing knowledge. He stated that both of them were doing a good job, and then continued his speech by saying that he was sent to people by God “to teach” them. So he went and sat in the second group . When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was alive, there were places like schools where both women and men had the freedom to take part in classes. And, different fields of knowledge were learned including religion, literature, poetry, rhetoric, medicine, astronomy, etc .
A human being is curious by nature. We have been created with an inquiring mind. It has been said that all human beings are bestowed a gift, that is the brain as well as the desire for learning. The desire to learn is in our nature . In Islamic instructions, there is a huge emphasis on the value of seeking knowledge. It has been quoted from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP): “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”. It is a must for every Muslim regardless of their age, race, or gender . All people must have the ability and liberty to learn, teach, exchange, and share information. It does not matter from whom you are learning. As long as they have the knowledge, it would be perfect. There is an Islamic hadith from the fifth Imam of Muslims, Imam Muhammed Al-Bagher (AS), quoted from Jesus Christ (AS) saying that: “Learn knowledge from someone who has it and does not look at their deeds.” There is no kind of prejudice whatsoever in choosing the teacher. The only important thing is the learning itself. Besides, ignorance has been known as the root of many miseries; and knowledge is like a vast amount of treasure that never runs out.
- Ahamiyate Danesh-Andoozi az Nazare Eslam Akhlagh va Irfan
- Morteza Motahari, "Talim va Tarbiyat Dar Eslam [Education in Islam]", Sadra, p. 22, 2008.
- Soheyla Jalali, Derakhsheshe Zanane Mosalman Dar Arseye Elm va Farhang Dar Sadre Eslam Pajooheshgahe Oloom va Farhange Islami
- Morteza Motahari, "Moghadame'I bar Jahanbiniye Eslami. [An Introduction to Islamic Ideology]", Sadra, p. 274, 2004.
- Faeze Azimzade Ardebili, Hghe Amoozeshe Zanan Dar Eslam va Gharb [The Right of Learning for Women from Islamic and Western Viewpoint
Each fruit of the tree you have planted will be appreciated by a reward from Allah.
Kanz al-Amaal, vol.12, p.341.
What is learned during youth, like an engraving on a stone, will never be forgotten.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1, p. 222.
Heaven lies beneath the feet of mothers.
Mizan al-Hikmah, hadith no. 22691.
Respecting a Muslim elderly is like showing respect to Allah.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.165.
The elderly are the sources of mercy and divine blessing.
Nahj al-fasaha, p.222.
The most generous among you is the one who spreads what he has learned among people.
Mizan al-Hikmah, hadith no. 13825.
The faithful are tied in kindness and affection together like members of a body, one’s pain and hardship affect the others.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.58, p.150
The one who gets married has completed half of his/her religion.
Kanz al-Amaal, hadith no.44403.
Indeed, I have been sent to revive the virtues and good morals.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.16, p.286.
Playfulness during childhood will elevate one in wisdom in his/her adulthood.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.564, Hadith no. 1940.
The kindest, most amiable, generous, patient, and just among you is the closest to me in manner.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.240-241.
Be childlike with children.
Man la Yahduruhu al-faqih, vol.3, p.483.
Love children and be kind to them and keep your promises to them since they only know you as their providers.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.6, p.49.
Allah’s love and praise be upon the one who helps his/her children by doing good to them, caring for, and educating them.
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.15, p.169.
There are five activities that I won’t leave off till I’m alive so that they would become part of my tradition. [One of them] is greeting children.
Makarem al-Akhlaq, vol.1, p.251.
Being like your father is one of the best blessings of Allah to you.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.71, p.84.
The kind look of a child to his/her parents is as praying in Allah’s regard.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.46.
The best among you is the one who treats his family best, and I am better than all of you for my family.
Nahj-al fesaha, p.472, Hadith no. 1520.
Whenever Allah desires the best for a family, He raises their awareness about the religion. The younger ones respect the elders, they observe moderation in their expenses, and they would know about their faults to make them right.
Nahj-al Fasaha, p.181, Hadith no. 147
Whoever delights his/her parents, has delighted Allah and the one who displeases them has displeased Allah.
Ali ibn Abd-al-Malik al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, vol.16, p.470.
Whomever I am his/her leader (Mawla), then Ali is his/her leader (Mawla).
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.4, p.370.
Women are held dearer in Allah’s regard than men, and Allah will highly reward any man who brings joy to his Mahram women.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.6, p.7.
Martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) has ignited the hearts of believers with a pain that will never be subsided.
Jami al-Ahadith al-Shia, vol 12., p.556.
When Allah wants to pour His blessings upon you, He endows you with a Good Friend.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.776.
When Allah chooses to favor someone, He makes him the source of satisfying other people's needs.
Fatima is of my flesh, who is the light of my eyes and the warmth of my heart.
al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p.486.
If a Muslim plants a tree or any plant and a human, bird, or any other animals use it, Allah counts it as an act of charity.”
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.13, p.460.
Lying would negatively influence your livelihood.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.373, Hadith no. 1087.
On the Day of Judgment, those who were most honest in their words, steadfast in their promises and kindest in their manners, will be the closest ones to me.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Al-Amali, p.229.
Praying has seventy parts, the most important and biggest of which is lawful (Halal) earning.
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.13, p.12.
The most praised deeds in Allah’s regard is performing prayers (Salat) on their due time.
Kanz al-Amal, vol. 7, Hadith 18897.
The most desired companion is like a perfumer; his/her perfume would reach you, even if he/she didn't give you anything.
Kanz al-Amal, vol.9, Hadith 24676.
Eating less results in a healthier body and a more tender heart while overeating makes one sick and hard-hearted.
Mizan al-Hikmah, Hadith 579.
The words of “I love you,” said by a man to his wife, will forever be engraved upon the woman’s heart.
Wassail al-Shia, vol. 14, p.10.
36. Causing Harm
Causing harm to yourself and others is forbidden in Islam.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.5, p.292.
There are two blessings to which no one gives thanks: security and health.
The most grateful person is the one who thanks people most.
Nahj al-Fasaha, Hadith no. 312.
Love and kindness are two of the main components of Islam. To the extent that Allah regards Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) as kind and benevolent towards people of all nations in the Holy Quran: “We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations (21:107).” And says that if he had not been gentle to people, they would have surely scattered from around him. (3:159)
Imam Hussain (AS), following in his grandfather’s footsteps, also placed particular emphasis on this prophetic trait and ethic. He was not only gentle and affectionate towards his children, family, and relatives, but also showed great care, compassion, and respect towards others, even his enemies. The whole Fifty-seven years of Imam Hussain (AS)’s life are replete with such exemplary behavior. He did not give up this attitude towards others even in the hardest situations, like when he was at war with his enemies in the desert of Karbala.
Here we will see only a few examples of Imam Hussain’s (AS) love and affection towards others in the last days of his life:
Imam Hussain (AS)'s Attention to Children:
During the battle, in Karbala, Imam Hussain (AS) would sympathize with his family and children and treated them with love and care whenever possible.
At the night before Ashura, Imam Hussain (AS) refers to his relatives and companions as the best ones ever: “It is a fact that I am not aware of any companions more faithful and honest than my companions and any relatives more righteous and kind than my relatives.” Imam Hussain (AS) then permits all his companions to leave him without any restrictions to save their lives, but they don’t accept. On several occasions, such as the morning of Ashura, he addresses them with the most respectful titles like “the nobles.” Also, it is narrated that during the battle, Imam (AS) would be present near his martyred companions himself, and wept and prayed for them one by one, even for the African slave, Jawn.
Imam Hussain (AS) never used foul language or even one wrong word against his enemy. He would not hesitate to take advantage of any opportunity to stop the violence and invite his enemies to peace. For instance, when Imam Hussain (AS) and his companions came across Hur, and his army, who were supposed to intercept Imam Hussain (AS) outside Kufa, Imam Hussain (AS) quenched their thirst. He, along with his companions, also even gave water to their horses.
Another example of Imam Hussain’s compassion for the enemy is his encounter with Umar ibn Sa’ad and the other commanders of the enemy’s army on the day of Ashura, and his effort to persuade them to stop the war. In fact, Imam (AS) did not want them to commit an unforgivable sin- i.e., killing the innocent Imam (AS) and his companions- that would make them end up in hell.
So, it was only Imam Hussain's (AS) love and mercy towards humankind that touched every one’s heart, even his enemy to the extent that some of whom, like Hur, would surrender to righteousness, accompany Imam Hussain (AS), perform their prayer in congregation behind him, fight against his enemy and finally be martyred along with him.
This is Imam Hussain’s (AS) lesson of tolerance and benevolence towards all human beings, which is beyond any religion or sect; that if one does not want to follow a particular religion, he/she can at least live a human life .