Benefiting From Knowledge

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

An inspiring reminder of the importance of acting upon knowledge.
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Stated the noble Imām of Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jamāʿah,Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah: “I have met many mashāyikh and the affair of one was different from the other, and their knowledge capacities were of varying levels. And the one whose company I benefited from the most was the one who used to apply what he knew, even though there were those who were more knowledgeable than him.

I met a group from the people of ḥadīth who memorised and knew a lot, however they would permit backbiting under the guise of jarḥ wa-al-taʿdīl (criticism and accreditation), they would take monetary payment in return for narrating ḥadīth, and they would be hasty in giving answers, even if they are wrong, lest their status diminishes.

I met ʿAbdul-Wahhāb al-Anmātī, he used to be upon the methodology of the salaf. One would never hear backbiting in his gatherings nor would he take payment for teaching ḥadīth. Whenever I read a ḥadīth that contained in it a heart-softener, he used to cry continuously. I was very young at that time, (but) his crying affected my heart. He had the tranquility of those whose description we hear about from the narrations.

…guiding people by one’s action is more inspiring than doing so by words. So by Allāh, one should implement what he knows for it is indeed the greatest foundation.

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

I met Abū Manṣūr al-Jawāliqī, he was very quiet, very careful about what he said, precise and scholarly. Sometimes he would be asked a question, which may seem easy; one that our young ones would rush to answer, however he would withhold from answering until he was certain. He used to fast a lot and remain quiet often. Thus, I benefited from these two more than I benefited from the others, and I understood from this that, ‘guiding people by one’s action is more inspiring than doing so by words’. So by Allāh, one should implement what he knows for it is indeed the greatest foundation. And the miskīn, the true miskīn is the one who wasted his life learning that which he does not practice, thus he looses the pleasures of the dunyā and the goodness of the ākhirah, coming forth bankrupt (on the Day of Judgment) with strong evidences against himself.”

Published: March 8, 2004
Edited: January 6, 2022

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