Is ilm compulsory
Mu' meneen Brothers
As Salaam Aleikum wa
Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be
upon all of you)
One of our
brothers/sisters has asked this question:
which Ayat of the Koran says that to attain ILM is compulsary. What type of ILM, please clearify in detail.
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Is ilm compulsory?
In the name of Allah, We praise
Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can
misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We
bear witness that there is no one (no idol,
no person, no grave, no
prophet, no imam, no dai,
nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that
Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
In general terms, ‘ilm’ or knowledge can be divided into two
- Knowledge of the deen
- Knowledge of the world (duniya).
Knowledge of the deen
Knowledge of the deen can be
further divided into two parts:
a. Basic Knowledge of the deen
The basic knowledge of the deen
is the ‘ilm’ that is absolutely obligatory on every human being. Basic knowledge would be the recognition of
one’s Creator through His Attributes,
the Oneness of the Creator, the
acceptance of His Prophets, the purpose of one’s creation, the obligatory duties of a believer, the concept of the Hereafter, and the basic
knowledge of the Divine Message, etc.
To learn the basic knowledge of the deen, one need not attend fancy classes, schools, or
universities; but what is rather needed
is the earnest search for the Truth and one’s true application of one’s common
sense and intelligence devoid of any bias or prejudice.
b. Detailed Knowledge of the
The detailed knowledge of the
deen is voluntary. This would mean the
intricacies and legalities of the Islamic Law or Jurisprudence, the detailed study and learning of the Quran
and Ahaadiths, the Fiqh, the detailed study of the Seerah, etc.
Ref: Knowledge of the duniya (worldly knowledge)
The worldly knowledge is indeed
obligatory and is known as ‘fard-kifaayaa’ in Shariah. If no muslim strives to gain worldly
knowledge, then the whole muslim
community will be in sin; but if some
muslims strive and attain this knowledge,
then it would suffice for the whole community. This knowledge is not obligatory for every believer, if some believers attain this
knowledge, it would suffice. The worldly knowledge can be the study of
sciences, medicine, engineering, modern technology, finance, etc.
The Glorious Quran is full of
Aayahs, whereby Allah Subhanah guides
mankind to use their intelligence and basic common sense to determine,
recognize, and accept the Truth. The importance of the gaining of this
basic knowledge of the deen can be determined by the number of times the term
‘ilm’ (and all its manifestations) are mentioned in the Quran. The only term that is mentioned more times
in the Glorious Quran than the term ‘ilm’,
is the blessed name of Allah Subhanah!
Whatever written of Truth and
benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error
is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He
is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in