Kitab Da’aim-ul-Islam

(Regarding the acquisition of Religious Knowledge)
Translated By: - Saiyedi Hatim Zakiyuddin Saheb

1. Concerning this matter, it is related from the Imams on the ultimate authority of the Prophet, who said: Four things are compulsory on every member of my community who possesses keen understanding and wisdom. The hearers asked: And what are these, O Messenger of God? And he said: To pay careful attention to (the teaching of) knowledge; to remember it; to act in harmony with it, and to publish it.

2. From Maulana ‘Ali (a.s.). He said: There are four things following which the riders were to urge their mounts so vigorously as to exhaust them utterly, yet, this would be of little consequence: Let not man have hope in anyone except his Lord; let him not fear anything except his sin; let not the ignorant one be ashamed of acquiring knowledge; and let not the learned one be ashamed of admitting ignorance when questioned about something of which he has no knowledge.

3. From Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.). He said: Seek knowledge and add beauty to it with gentleness and self-respect. Show decency to those whom you teach; do not be proud (with your pupils) otherwise falsehood will overcome the truth you teach.

4. From Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.). He said: If I were to come across a youth belonging to our party who did not know the law, I would instruct him to attain skill in it.

5. From Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), and from his father Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.), and ultimately from Maulana ‘Ali (a.s.) that the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) said: The people of my Household (Ahlul Bait) are like Ark of Noah; he who boarded it was saved, and he who turned away was lost. And he said: Gain knowledge from a learned man belonging to the People of the House (Ahlul Bait). Those who obtain knowledge from such a person will save themselves from the Fire.

6. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) and his ancestors. He said: There is no (true) joy in life except for the learned man who explains knowledge, or the hearer who preserves it. Two traits will not be found in a person who thinks himself to be more virtuous than what he is; correct understanding of religion or honesty in behaviour.

7. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), on the authority of the Imams: When God desires a man’s well being; He makes him knowledgeable in religion.

8. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.). He said: When a man goes out in the interest of learning, God grants him the plenty of good works, and when such a person after knowledge meets a learned man and talks with him about God’s orders, the angels cover them (with their wings), and God says: “I have forgiven your sins”!

9. On the authority of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) and his ancestors. The Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) said: The beginning of knowledge is silence; the second is hearing it with attention; the third is action in accordance with knowledge, and the fourth is the spreading of knowledge.
10. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), on the authority of Imam Ja’far and his ancestors. The Prophet (s.a..w.a.) said: When a man instructs himself in his youth, it is as if his learning is carved upon the stone; but when a man of advanced age acquires knowledge, it is like something written on the face of water.

11. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), on the authority of the Imams. He said: The fear of the time after death leaves from the heart of him who loves the world. When God grants knowledge to a man, and yet the man increases his attachment to the world, God never fails to increase His anger on him.

12. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), on the authority of the Imams. He said: The best minister of faith is knowledge; the best minister of knowledge is gentleness; the best minister of gentleness is affection, and the best minister of affection is leniency (to be lenient).

13. From the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.), on the authority of the Imams. He said: It is the children of a learned man that take the least (advantage of his learning); then, his relations; and then, his neighbours (in that order), for they say: We can obtain knowledge from him whenever we wish it (and fail to obtain it). Now the man of learning is like a spring of water; the people come to it and take the water (as they please). But, of a sudden, when the spring dries up, the water disappears and the people lament.

14. From Maulana ‘Ali (a.s.). He said: Nine things are ugly, but in nine persons, they are even uglier than in others. In kings, miserliness; in the rich, desire to acquire more wealth; in the noble, pride (self importance); in judges, falsehood; in physicians, habit to postpone the things; in womenfolk, misbehaviour; and in those that possess authority, carelessness.

15. From Maulana ‘Ali (a.s.). He said: Excessive praise is not the mark of a true believer; nor envy, unless it is in the gaining of knowledge.16. From Maulana ‘Ali (a.s.). He said: The interest of knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim. 

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