- Almighty Allah says: �And of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, diverse hues? The erudite among His bondsmen fear Allah alone. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.� (35:28)
- Almighty Allah says: �Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks. Allah is informed of what you do.� (58:11)
- Almighty Allah says: �And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware�. (9:122)
- Almighty Allah says: �Say (to them, O Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed�. (39:9)
- Almighty Allah says: �Allah commands men to invoke in this way: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.� (20:114)
The above quoted Quraanic verses indicate the special status of those who attain knowledge to serve the Cause of Almighty Allah.
Sayyiduna Mua�wiyyah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: �If Allah wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah. (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims) will keep on following Allah�s teachings strictly and they will not be harmed by any one going on a different path till Allah�s order (Day of Judgment) is established.� (Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Abu Musa (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: �The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. And another portion of it was hard and held the rainwater and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. And a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah�s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah�s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land)�.
Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: �From among the portents of the Hour are the following:
- Religious knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men).
- Religious ignorance will prevail.
- Drinking of alcoholic beverages will be very common.
- There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse.� (Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported: �I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than I will tell you bout after it. I heard Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) saying, �From among the portents of the Hour are the following:
- Religious knowledge will decrease.
- Religious ignorance will prevail.
- There will be prevalence of open sexual intercourse.
- Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man.�� (Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Ibne-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that Allah�s Apostle (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: �While I was sleeping, I saw that a cup full of milk was brought to me and I drank my fill till I noticed (the milk) its wetness coming out of my nails. Then, I gave the remaining milk to Omar Bin Khat�taab (radi Allahu anhu). The companions of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) asked, �What have you interpreted about this dream?� He replied, �It is religious knowledge��. (Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) said: �You should preach to the people according to their mental calibre so that they may not convey wrong things about Allah and His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)�. (Bukhari)
Knowledge is essential to develop a true sense of fearing Almighty Allah. Indeed, the wider a person�s knowledge, the more likely he is to be God-fearing, provided that his knowledge is based on sound faith. It is certainly true that both men and women need to fear Almighty Allah, and to develop that sense. Hence, they need knowledge. Moreover, people need to know what duties are required of them and how to discharge these duties. To do so, they need knowledge. In this, men and women are equal. To start with, they have been required to fulfill the same duties. As such, they stand in the same position with regard to their needs of knowledge. Anyone who thinks that a woman could fulfill her duties, which Almighty Allah has imposed on her without knowledge, while man needs such knowledge for fulfilling his duties, does not know what he is talking about.
It is said that the woman�s duty is to look after the house and the children. Even if we say that it is true, she is in need of education to discharge her duty properly. How do we expect an ignorant woman to look properly after her children? In this day and age, it has become increasingly clear that an educated woman can look after her children better. It is not only that she could look after their own education, but she can also look after them from the health and nutrition points of view, making sure that they are vaccinated, watching their growth, ensuring that they have proper nourishment, etc.