the hadiths of Prophet Mohammad
Science, Knowledge and Belief quoted translations by Nahid Angha, Ph.D. selections and introduction by Hamid Edson From the very beginning, the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, emphasized to followers of Islam that the way of religion revealed in the Qur’an is followed through the pursuit of knowledge. The Prophet explained in numerous hadith, a few of which are presented below, that pursuit of knowledge in a learned and scientific manner is a duty for all Muslims. Thus, the culture of Islam has distinguished itself as a religion in which science has been celebrated and depicted as a intetral with spirituality. In Islam, scientific inquiry has always been supported and advanced by spiritual teachers. Importantly, the Prophet’s hadith make clear that science, knowledge and belief are available through such inquiry to all people, men and women, rich and poor, native and foreign. In the same manner, the pursuit of science, knowledge and belief is not to be limited by prejudice or even physical restrictions. Ultimately, the discoveries of science help humanity to better understand the principles governing spiritual development. In this way, the foundation of belief is built on understanding instead of ignorance.
“Knowledge is the life of Islam, the pillar of belief. Whoever learns a science, to him Allah will give a perfect reward; and whoever learns and acts according to his learning, Allah will teach him whatever he does not know.” “Knowledge is the storehouse of many treasures and its key is questioning and asking.’ So ask till Allah blesses you and gives you mercy. The knowledge of four kinds of people is rewarded: the one who asks, the one who teaches, the one who listens, and the one who loves these three.”
“The greatness of a scholar over a simple worshipper is like the light of the moon over the stars.”
“One hour of seeking knowledge is better than one night of prayer, and one day of searching for knowledge is better than three months of fasting.” “There are people from Fars (Persia,) that could find knowledge even if it were hidden in far away galaxies.” “One hour of truthful thinking is better than sixty years of worshipping.”
Tr. Nahid Angha, Ph.D., Deliverance, Words from the Prophet Mohammad. International Association of Sufism, 1995, pp. 15, 19, 35, 69, 76, 78, and 86.
Hamid Edson is a student of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar and a board member of the Institute for Sufi Studies. He is also an author and an attorney-mediator whose practice is devoted to helping families navigate change and conflict. His books include The Declaration of the Democratic Worldview and a volume of poetry, A Brave New Worldview.
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 1