Hadhrat Moulana Zakariyya Khandalwi Rahmatallahi Alaihi states in Fadhaail-e-Sadaqaat:
The fifth question to be asked on the Day of Resurrection (as mentioned in the Hadith of Tirmidhi- و ماذا عمل فيما علم) will be how far did one practice the knowledge bestowed by Allah Ta’ala on a person. Ignorance about a crime is no excuse and ignorance of law is not accepted as a valid excuse in any court of law. For, it is one’s duty to have knowledge of the law. And, ignorance of the Commandments of Allah Ta’ala is itself a crime and a sin. Therefore, Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, “The search for knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim”. Obviously, committing a crime knowingly, in sheer defiance of law, is a far more grievous offence. Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Keep giving good counsel to one another in the light of the knowledge you possess. For, dishonesty in matters relating to knowledge is worse than dishonesty in financial matters and you will have to account for knowledge”. There are numerous Ahaadith to the effect that: “Whosoever is asked about something he knows and conceals it, a bridle of fire will be thrust into his mouth on the Day of Resurrection’.
Once Rasulullah (Sallallhu alaihi wa sallam) delivered a sermon, in the course of which he praised certain tribes. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) then said,
“What is the matter with the people who do not instruct their neighbouring tribes in Deen, nor give them good counsel; they do not inculcate in them proper understanding of ‘Deen’, nor persuade them to do good deed; nor do they forbid them to do evil deeds? And why is it that some people do not wish to learn knowledge from their neighbouring tribes, nor do they desire to have a proper understanding, nor do they take counsel from their neighbours. Let those (who are learned) instruct their neighbours in Deen, admonish them and inculcate in them in them all these things from the learned ones. I swear by Allah, if they failed to do so, they would be punished severely even in this world (in addition to the punishment in the Hereafter)”.
Saying this, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) got down from the pulpit. People began to talk about the tribes which he (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) meant. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said that he (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was referring to the Ash’arites (people of the al-Ash’ari tribes) who possed knowledge and a proper understanding of Deen, while the tribes living in their neighbourhood were ignorant of religous knowledge”
When the news reached the Ash’arites, they came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and submitted, “O Rasulullah we have come to know that you praised certain people but you said such things about us”. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) repeated his words before them: ‘Let them instruct their neighbours in Deen, admonish them, and inculcate in them a proper understanding of Deen, persuade them to do good deeds and forbid them to do evil deeds; and let the others learn all these things from the learned ones. If they failed to do so, I should punish them severely even in this word’. They submitted, ‘O Rasulullah! How should we inculcate an understanding of ‘Deen’ in their minds? Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) again repeated the same words. The tribesman asked the same question the third time and Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) reiterated the same admonition. Then they submitted, “O Rasulullah, grant us respire for a year, so he (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) granted them a years time for the education of their neighbours (Targheeb & Majma’-uz-Zawaaid)
This Hadith, containing the severe admonition of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), clearly indicates that it is incumbent upon those who possess knowledge and understanding of ‘Deen’ to educate the ignorant people living in their neighbourhood. It does not absolve them of their responsibility to presume that those who really want it will acquire knowledge themselves. True the ignorant will be questioned about their negligence in learning ‘Deen’, which is a sin in itself. But it is also the responsibility of those who know to instruct the ignorant in ‘Deen’. They should, therefore, make efforts and adopt proper means for the Islamic education of the people. In doing so, they will be making a practice use of their knowledge. For, man’s practice of his own knowledge partly consists of his imparting it to others.
In the above text, Hadhrat Moulana Zakariyya Khandalwi Rahmatullahi Alaihi teaches us a practical approach of bettering our societies. In this way, once neighbours are encouraging each other to earn Halaal and then to eat halaal and wholesome food, to recite the Quraan Majeed, to make the dhikr of Allah Ta’ala, to eliminate evil from our lives, the menfolk should encourage each other to have a practical plan to increase our presence in the Masaajid, practicing the laws of Hijaab according to the Shari’ah, the womenfolk to stay indoors during this time of fitan and fasaad so that they can be the powerhouse of their respective families producing the likes of Salahuddin Ayyoobi Rahmatullahi Alaihi then we are contributing positively to the situation in Gazzah.
Notes: One should take great care in who one seeks knowledge from as scholars are using the name of Islam for their worldly benefits. Moulana Zakariyya Khandlawi Rahmatullahi Alaihi stresses upon this too which will be presented here inshaa Allah under the category of ‘Knowledge’.