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What is the purpose behind worldly knowledge?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

What should be the real purpose behind gathering worldly knowledge? Should it only be used for earning a livelihood? What is the correct explanation of the hadith regarding gathering ilm? Someone quote the phrase โ€œif you need to go as far as China to gather ilm then goโ€. Should this be solely for worldly knowledge or should it also be for Deeni knowledge? Please help me, I am utterly confused.ย 


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salฤmu `alaykum wa-rahmatullฤhi wa-barakฤtuh.

Knowledge is to acquire information about something that was not known to you before.

This could be of worldly issues or of religious issues.

Both forms of information are praiseworthy.

We are living in a world of asbaabs (world of means). We can only fulfill our needs through the correct information.

All the basic information of worldly needs commenced through revelation.

It is permissible for one to acquire worldly information to earn an income if it complies with Shariah.

It is a necessity for one to earn an income and he may adopt a means for doing so by acquiring knowledge.ย  Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) says seeking an income comes next in line after performing obligatory acts.[1]

Therefore one can become a Doctor, an Engineer or undertake any profession that is in line with the principles of Shariah.

Another form of information is regarding Deen.

One should learn how to worship Allah (Subhana Wa Taโ€™ala) as He should be worshipped.

This involves educating oneselfย  on ย 

  • wudu
  • salat
  • perform the obligatory Hajj and when does it becomes ย compulsory upon a person.
  • recite the Quran
  • doing business according to Shariah
  • The payment of zakat. How should the zakat be calculated. To whom should it be paid and so on.

One should seek knowledge on how best to serve and fear Allah (Subhana Wa Taโ€™ala ) adequately, so that he may get closer to Allah and gain the pleasures of Allah.[2]

The hadith in the enquiry is in reference to Deeni Knowledge.

And Allah knows best.

Mawlana Saeed Ahmed Golaub
Westmoreland, Jamaica, West Indies
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved
Mufti Ebrahim Desai


[1] ุนูŽู†ู’ ุนูŽุจู’ุฏู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุจู’ู†ู ู…ูŽุณู’ุนููˆุฏู ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ: ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุฑูŽุณููˆู„ู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุตูŽู„ู‘ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ูˆูŽุณูŽู„ู‘ูŽู…ูŽ: ยซุทูŽู„ูŽุจู ูƒูŽุณู’ุจู ุงู„ู’ุญูŽู„ูŽุงู„ู ููŽุฑููŠุถูŽุฉูŒ ุจูŽุนู’ุฏูŽ ุงู„ู’ููŽุฑููŠุถูŽุฉูยป . ุฑูŽูˆูŽุงู‡ู ุงู„ู’ุจูŽูŠู’ู‡ูŽู‚ููŠู‘ู ูููŠ ุดุนุจ ุงู„ู’ุฅููŠู…ูŽุงู† ( ู…ุดูƒุงุฉ ุงู„ู…ุตุงุจูŠุญ (2 / 847):2781 -[23] )

[2] ุญูŽุฏู‘ูŽุซูŽู†ูŽุง ูŠูŽุญู’ูŠูŽู‰ ุจู’ู†ู ู…ููˆุณูŽู‰ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ: ุฃูŽุฎู’ุจูŽุฑูŽู†ูŽุง ุฃูŽุจููˆ ู…ูุนูŽุงูˆููŠูŽุฉูŽ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ: ุฃูŽุฎู’ุจูŽุฑูŽู†ูŽุง ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽูŠู’ุซู ู‡ููˆูŽ ุงุจู’ู†ู ุฃูŽุจููŠ ุณูู„ูŽูŠู’ู…ูุŒ ุนูŽู†ู’ ุฒููŠูŽุงุฏูุŒ ุนูŽู†ู’ ุฃูŽุจููŠ ู‡ูุฑูŽูŠู’ุฑูŽุฉูŽุŒ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ: ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุฑูŽุณููˆู„ู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุตูŽู„ู‘ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ูˆูŽุณูŽู„ู‘ูŽู…ูŽ: ยซู…ูŽุง ู…ูู†ู’ ุฑูŽุฌูู„ู ูŠูŽุฏู’ุนููˆ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ูŽ ุจูุฏูุนูŽุงุกู ุฅูู„ู‘ูŽุง ุงุณู’ุชูุฌููŠุจูŽ ู„ูŽู‡ูุŒ ููŽุฅูู…ู‘ูŽุง ุฃูŽู†ู’ ูŠูุนูŽุฌู‘ูŽู„ูŽ ูููŠ ุงู„ุฏู‘ูู†ู’ูŠูŽุงุŒ ูˆูŽุฅูู…ู‘ูŽุง ุฃูŽู†ู’ ูŠูุฏู‘ูŽุฎูŽุฑูŽ ู„ูŽู‡ู ูููŠ ุงู„ุขุฎูุฑูŽุฉูุŒ ูˆูŽุฅูู…ู‘ูŽุง ุฃูŽู†ู’ ูŠููƒูŽูู‘ูŽุฑูŽ ุนูŽู†ู’ู‡ู ู…ูู†ู’ ุฐูู†ููˆุจูู‡ู ุจูู‚ูŽุฏู’ุฑู ู…ูŽุง ุฏูŽุนูŽุงุŒ ู…ูŽุง ู„ูŽู…ู’ ูŠูŽุฏู’ุนู ุจูุฅูุซู’ู…ู ุฃูŽูˆู’ ู‚ูŽุทููŠุนูŽุฉู ุฑูŽุญูู…ู ุฃูŽูˆู’ ูŠูŽุณู’ุชูŽุนู’ุฌูู„ู’ยป . ู‚ูŽุงู„ููˆุง: ูŠูŽุง ุฑูŽุณููˆู„ูŽ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ูˆูŽูƒูŽูŠู’ููŽ ูŠูŽุณู’ุชูŽุนู’ุฌูู„ูุŸ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ: ” ูŠูŽู‚ููˆู„ู: ุฏูŽุนูŽูˆู’ุชู ุฑูŽุจู‘ููŠ ููŽู…ูŽุง ุงุณู’ุชูŽุฌูŽุงุจูŽ ู„ููŠ ” ุณู†ู† ุงู„ุชุฑู…ุฐูŠ (5 / 583)

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