Hadeeth Fourteen: Knowledge for Knowledge


From Jaabir (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger () said:

Do not acquire knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, nor to argue with the ignorant, nor to gain mastery over the gatherings. Since whoever does that, then: The Fire! The Fire![1]


The Muslim does not seek knowledge in order to gain mastery of the gatherings nor to contend with the ignorant, nor to harass the scholars! This is not from the personality of the Muslim. Rather he seeks knowledge for Allaah, having no partner. He does not do so far any personal gain, nor is there any share for anyone else in that.

Consider, may Allaah have mercy on you, the admonition and the lesson contained in what Ibn Abee Haatim ar-Raazee narrates, he said: I entered into Damascus upon the students of hadeeth and I passed by the circle of Qaasim al-Joo‘ee. I found a group sitting around him and he was speaking. Their appearance amazed me and I heard him saying: ‘Seize the benefit of five things from the people of your time: when you are present you are not known; when you are absent you are not missed; when you are seen your advice is not sought; when you say something your saying is not accepted; and when you have some knowledge you are not given anything for it. I also advise you with five things: when you are treated unjustly then do not behave unjustly; when you are praised then do not become happy; when you are criticised do not be upset; when you are not believed then do not become angry; and if they act deceitfully towards you do not act deceitfully towards them.’ Ibn Abee Haatim said: So I took that as my benefit from Damascus.

So consider, may Allaah protect us and you from the evils of the soul, how sincere desire for knowledge and benefit led him to listen to one who certainly possessed less knowledge than himself in order to benefit his understanding and to acquire some knowledge. Another matter that must be mentioned here is that:

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[1] Reported by Ibn Maajah (no.254), Ibn Hibbaan (no.90 of az-Zawaaid), al-Haakim (1/86) and al-Aajurree in Akhlaaqul ‘Ulamaa (no.126) its chain of narration is weak due to ‘an‘anah (reporting without definitely saying it was from the previous narrator) of Ibn Juraij and Abuz-Zubayr, who despite their being reliable are both mudallis (one who sometimes fails to mention the immediate source from who he narrates). However the hadeeth has a witness from the hadeeth of Ka‘b ibn Maalik reported by at-Tirmidhee (no.2654), al-Haakim (1/186) and al-Aajurree in Akhlaaqul ‘Ulamaa (no.127). Its chain is also weak due to Ishaaq ibn Yahyaa ibn Talhah. It also has a further witness from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurairah reported by Ahmad (2/338), and Aboo Daawood (Eng. Trans. 3/1039/no.3656), Ibn Maajah (Eng. Trans. no.252) and others and its chain of narration is acceptable as a support.