The question arises ‘What is Ilm'?
Ilm is that asset which not only increases one's knowledge and respect in his community, but it also makes his heart pure and keeps it protected from evils. It also teaches the heart and soul to live according to the commands of Allah Taa'la.
The knowledge of Allah is the best of all knowledge and to seek this knowledge is compulsory on each and every Muslim, be they male or female.
A Hadith states, “To seek knowledge is compulsory on each and every Muslim”
Abu Zar narrates that the Prophet once told him that, ‘O Abu Zar, if you go in the morning and learn one ayah (verse) from the book of Allah, it will be better than offering 100 rak'at nafl Salaah. And if you learn one chapter of knowledge, it will be better than offering one thousand rak'at nafl Salaah.'
In one Hadith, it states, “An Alim enforces a much greater task upon Shaytaan than one thousand pious men.”
You may be asking yourselves why this is?
The answer to this is that Shaytaan will find it relatively easier to lure pious men away from Islam than an Alim who has studied and learnt Islam..
Once an argument took place in Basra about Ilm. Some people said that Ilm was better than wealth while others disagreed saying wealth is worth more than Ilm. Eventually they asked Hazrat ibn Abbas who agreed that Ilm was worth more. When he was asked why this is the case he replied, “Ilm is a safeguard for man whereas man has to safeguard his wealth.”
Allah gives wealth to his beloved and non-beloved, but only gives knowledge to his beloved. When a man dies, he leaves all his wealth behind in the world. Whatever he has done with his wealth only comes to use if he spent it in the path of Allah, he will be rewarded for it. On the other hand, if he spent it wrongly, he will be punished for it. When a learned person passes away, his knowledge goes with him. For every Hadith a man learns, his status in Paradise gets higher and higher.
Always remember that no matter how hard life becomes and how many difficulties a man has to face in life, his Ilm is always there for him to turn to. Whereas his wealth is here today, gone tomorrow and may never return.
May Allah give us the ability to learn true Ilm and accept us with this Ilm. Ameen