IT is obligatory upon every one of us to obtain knowledge of Allah, the Prophet and the religion of Islam with evidences. These three matters are those which we will be asked about in the grave. These matters need to be studied, understood and implemented.
We must know who Allah is as well as His rights upon us. We must know who our Prophet is, as he is the one who conveyed the message of Allah to us.
We must know from the religion what is obligatory upon every individual to learn like the two shahaadas (testimonies of faith), salah (prayer), zakah (obligatory charity), sawm (fasting) and Hajj.
Acting Upon It
IT is obligatory to implement what we learn. Actions are the fruits of knowledge. Knowledge without action is like a tree without fruits, having no benefit.
For an action to be correct in Islam, it must be based upon the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ and be done sincerely for the sake of Allah. If any one of these conditions is not met, the action will be null and void.
It is a must that action should follow knowledge, for the one who does not act upon their knowledge resembles the Jews, thereby earning the wrath of Allah. As for the one who acts without knowledge, they resemble the Christians.
Calling To It
AS for the one who is blessed with knowledge and action, they must embark upon the path of the prophets, which is da’wah for the sake of Allah. Knowledge is a trust which must be taught to others.
Da’wah can be carried out in various forms like writing, delivering lectures, giving classes and so on. Da’wah must be based upon knowledge and insight, as Allah says:
قُلْ هَـٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say: This is my way: I call to Allah upon insight, I and those who follow memorization , and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the mushrikeen.” [Surah Yusuf: 108]
One must also call to Allah with wisdom and fair preaching, and debate in a good manner.
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the rightly guided.” [Surah An-Nahl: 125]
Being Patient Upon Harm In Its Cause
WHEN one gains knowledge, acts upon it and calls to it, they are bearing a great task.
It requires patience, and they must bear the harm they may encounter in this path with patience.
Patience is of three kinds:
1. Patience in doing what Allah ordered,
2. Patience in refraining from what Allah prohibited, and
3. Patience in accepting the decree which Allah ordained.
These four matters are given in Surah Al- ‘Asr:
I swear by the time,
إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ
Most surely man is in loss,
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience. (Surah Al-‘Asr: 1-3)
Belief is not possible except with knowledge, and it is followed by action. Enjoining one another to follow the truth is da’wah for the sake of Allah.
Finally, we must enjoin patience on one another. Those with these four traits are the successful ones.
Ref: Summarised from the explanation of ‘Thalaathatul Usool’ by Ibn Baaz, Ibn Qaasim, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Al-Fawzaan and Saleh Aal-ash-Shaykh.