I’m so so sorry for the delay:( I seek Allah’s Forgiveness for not keeping my promise to you. I hope you can forgive me for not keeping my promise:(
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
8 February 2013 / 27 Rabiulawal 1434
Emulating the Diligence in Pursuing Islamic Knowledge – Lessons from the Story of
Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf
Dear blessed Jemaah,
From this week till the end of this month, I will be sharing several lessons from the stories of the Companions r.a., as a continuation of last week’s khutbah. Hopefully, by learning more about the noble Companions, we will be inspired to follow their footsteps and strengthen our taqwa. Let us increase our taqwa toward Allah, carry out all His commandments and leave behind all that He has forbidden upon us.
My brothers blessed by Allah,
Today I will share with you the story of a Companion of Rasullah s.a.w., who placed the importance of pursuing religious knowledge above his personal needs. It is a story about a Companion who worked hard and did not simply depend on the help of others; a Companion who sought knowledge tirelessly, despite having a busy lifestyle.
He was one of the first among the Companions who embraced Islam. Much of his wealth was sacrificed for Islam and donated to help the poor and needy. When he migrated to Madinah Al-Munawwarah, he was without any wealth. The Companion who was paired with him was Sa’ad Ibn Al-Rabi’ and he offered to give the Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf half of his wealth. However, this noble Companion refused and instead uttered these words which have now become well-known:
“Show me the way to the market.”
Dear brothers in Islam,
The Companion we are referring to is Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf, an excellent and well-respected Companion among the Companions of Rasulullah s.a.w. He was a diligent man who earned his wealth and success through sheer hard work, and without seeking anyone’s sympathy. That was how noble Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf, as well as the other Companions r.a., were. And Allah s.w.t mentioned them in the Quran, in surah An-Nisaa’ verse 69:
Which means: “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the Prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.”
My dear brothers,
Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf was not only an earnest merchant and a sharp businessman, but he was also a Companion who was pious and very knowledgeable. He applied the same degree of diligence at work in pursuing knowledge.
Let us reflect on what has Abdullah Bin ‘Abbas r.a. narrated on him:
“We were sitting together with Umar r.a. and he asked: “Have you heard Allah’s Messenger tell a Muslim who has forgotten an action in his prayer, what he should do? What should be done?” And I replied: “In Allah’s name, never. Have you also not heard about it from Rasulullah s.a.w., O Amirul Mukminin?’ Umar said: ‘In Allah’s name, I have never.’
Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf then came along and said to us:
‘I heard Allah’s Messenger say: ‘When anyone of you is in doubt about his Solat (prayer) and does not know whether he should increase or decrease, if he is in doubt whether it is one or two (rakaat) then he should decide on one. If he is in doubt whether it is two or three, then he should decide on two. If he is in doubt whether it is three or four, then he should decide on three, and cast aside his doubt by adding (the rakaat). Then, he should perform two prostrations (sujud) before salam), and then give salam.’ ” Hadith narrated by Imam Tirmidzi.
My dear brothers blessed by Allah,
Several important lessons are unveiled in this story, which are beneficial to all of us:
Firstly, our hectic work schedule should not prevent us from pursuing religious knowledge.
Just like all of us here, Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf was busy with his daily activities and appointments. He worked hard expanding his business and became a wealthy man. But he did not neglect his responsibilities as a humble servant of Allah s.w.t.
Whatever spare time he had, he used it to seek knowledge and deepen his understanding of Islam, to a point that he knew several matters that were not known by the other Companions. This could not have happened if he was not driven by a strong desire and ambition to deepen his religious knowledge.
And as employees or students, we also have to shoulder many daily responsibilities. Thus, we must plan well and manage our time accordingly, to ensure that we set aside some time, maybe two hours per week, to increase our knowledge of Islam by attending classes at the mosques or any institutions of Islamic education, regularly.
Insha Allah, with diligence, persistence and consistency, our efforts to increase our understanding of Islam will pay off handsomely.
Secondly – To ensure that the knowledge we acquire is from a trustworthy and accurate source.
The Companions of Rasulullah s.a.w. were extremely careful in ensuring the sources from whom they learn about Islam and the narrations they hear. They wanted to ensure that it comes from an authentic source that can be traced to Rasulullah s.a.w. Thus, we must also be as careful in acquiring knowledge.
In our zeal to seek knowledge, we must ensure that we are learning from trustworthy, accurate and qualified sources. We must also be extremely careful in ensuring that we do not fall prey to deviant teachings.
Seek religious knowledge by attending public talks and classes held at the mosques or any Islamic education centres that have the qualified asatizah. Should we want to attend classes conducted in the privacy of homes, refer to the accreditation site for asatizah, the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (or ARS), to ensure that the asatizah conducting the classes are accredited and teaching a subject that fit their qualifications.
May we be able to learn from Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf, and eventually emulate his diligence and dedication. Hopefully it will inspire us to deepen our religious knowledge. Amin.