Every religion comes up with its own teachings and instructions for its followers. Most of them recognize the great importance of worshipping One true God. Whether it is a mosque, temple, or a church, the idea of adoring a Worthy Lord is a common practice throughout the world. These faiths also have their own sacred books which provide them with respective guidelines about living on earth. But every ordinary person can in fact learn about them by just reading them. For this, they have their own spiritual intellectuals who after carefully analyzing revered scriptures, spread their knowledge further. Islamic scholars are usually known as “Ulama” who study Quran and wisdom of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and extend gained insight to fellow Muslims. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“The superiority of the learned over the devout worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you (in good deeds). Allah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth, even the ant in its anthill and the fish (in water) supplicate in favor of those who teach people knowledge.” [Tirmidhi]
The above mentioned Hadith relates to the higher status of knowledgeable ones in religious matters over those who spend most of their time only in worshipping the Almighty Lord. Prayer or supplication is a subject that concerns only the one who is carrying it out and who is the sole receiver of the benefit in this case. While on the other hand, the one who attains useful information and passes it on to others serves as a source of helping many. That is why Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ has referred the latter in this case as being higher in importance from a strict disciple of sanctified duties just like the Messenger ﷺ Himself being better in rank than the least doer of noble deeds.
Now let us discuss some of the great significance of acquiring understanding of things in Islam in detail:
First Quranic Revelation Being About Acquiring Knowledge
Every Prophet was sent in order to reorganize lives of their nations to remembrance of One Allah SWT and about imparting enough comprehension of adopting morals in their existence. All of this was made possible through their ability to teach people with either Heavenly Revelations or being a role model in their own lives. The Holy Prophet ﷺ was also taught about gaining familiarity with the importance of gaining knowledge first and then educate others through it. The earliest disclosure of the Quranic Verses is as follows:
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clinging substance. Recite and your Lord is the most Generous – Who taught by the pen – Taught man that which he knew not.” (Quran, 96: 1-5)
If the worship of the Almighty Lord was ever enough to regulate the living of the masses, then He would not direct His Messenger ﷺ about getting insight through reading and reciting. It shows that every Prophet has been always been a learned person who taught his followers regarding God`s Instructions in the best way.
Revelation To Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, To Acquire Complete Knowledge:
No one was more dutiful to the religious compulsions than Rasulullah ﷺ Himself, Who would also use to pray Nafl (non obligatory) Salahin His spare time. But His primary goal was to teach others about the Quranic Ayats in the most desired manner. That is why Allah SWT says:
So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (Quran, 20: 114)
In this verse, the Almighty lord directs Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ to first acquire absolute insight of the revelations and not to convey them before they are completely received by Him. The Most Merciful also tells the Prophet ﷺ that He should pray to Him for enlargement in rightful acquaintance with His commandments. It means that Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ was required to be at His best in knowledge of the Islamic teachings, only then He would be able to benefit others with His insight.
Avoiding Things Which One Has No Information About:
Islam is a religion with comprehensive teachings about all matter of existence. That is why all the Muslims are required to first attain sufficient insight of the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺin order to refer to them in all walks of life. Allah SWT says in His Sacred Book:
“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (Quran, 17: 36)
It means that gaining awareness about the Consecrated Manuscript has always been set the first priority for the Muslims so as to be qualified concerning affairs of religious responsibilities and daily life. It also includes avoids acting upon any kinds of contradictory religious actions that were added over the period of time and adhering to the correct way of life as prescribed by the Almighty Lord, and the Messenger ﷺ and His righteous companions.