Home Tafseer Surahs The Demand of Knowledge

The Demand of Knowledge

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مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ اللَّـهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُوا عِبَادًا لِّي مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَلَـٰكِن كُونُوا رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ

It is not (possible) for a man that Allah Ta‘ala give him the Book, wisdom and prophethood, and he then begins saying to the people “Become my worshippers, rather than Allah’s”. Rather, (he would say), “Be men of the Rabb; for you have been teaching the Book, and you have been learning it.” (Surah Aal-‘Imraan v79)

The Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) were blessed to be the special representatives of Allah Ta‘ala on the earth, they were blessed with divine knowledge from Allah Ta‘ala and they were given divine scriptures. The mission of these divinely selected Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) was to invite towards Allah Ta‘ala – not to invite towards themselves. It does not make sense that any man, after enjoying such favours from Allah Ta‘ala and gaining such recognition of Allah Ta‘ala, would invite people to himself instead of Allah Ta‘ala. This verse refutes the belief of the Christians who claim that Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) instructed the people to worship him.

The purpose of knowledge is to guide a person to the truth and prompt him into action, not to entertain a person or help him to pass time. Hence, every type of knowledge is not beneficial for every person. Rather, it is necessary for each person to acquire the knowledge that he requires e.g. every Muslim should know the masaa-il of salaah, a businessman should know the masaa-il of business, etc.

Nevertheless, a knowledge that will assist every person in his Deen is the knowledge of virtuous actions and the rewards that one will earn through these actions (known as Fazaail A‘amaal). By one studying and reading of these virtuous actions and the rewards gained through them, one will become motivated to carry out righteous works.