Taqwaa - The Key to Learning
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Author: Shaikh Abu Anas Hamad-ul-'Uthmaan

Translator: His book Nubadh Fee Aadaab it-Talab (pp.12-15)

All Allaah - the Most Perfect, Most High - said: "O you who Believe! Have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah and believe in His Messenger; and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His Mercy and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk." [Quran Al-Hadeed 57:28]

Allaah - the Most High - also said: "O you who Believe! If you have taqwaa of Allaah, He will give to you a Furqaan (criterion to judge between right and wrong)." [Quran AI-Anfaal 8:29]

AI-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.777H) - rahimahullaah - said: Ibn 'Abbaas, as-Suddee, 'Ikrimah, ad-Dahhaak, Qataadah and Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan all said about Furqaan "that it means: a way out (from difficulty)." Mujaahid added: "A way out (from difficulty) both in this world and in the Hereafter."

In a narration from Ibn 'Abbaas he said it means: salvation; and in another narration from him: being helped. Muhammad ibn Ishaaq said that it means: "a criterion to judge between truth and falsehood." This explanation from Ibn Ishaaq is the most general of what has already preceeded and it is a necessary consequence of it. Since whoever has taqwaa of Allaah by obeying His command and abandoning what He has prohibited, will be given the ability to recognise truth from falsehood.

This will be the cause for his salvation, his being helped; and the cause for his worldly affairs being made easier and his happiness on the Day of Judgement. It will also be the cause for his sins to be expiated by Allaah, and his being granted forgiveness and Allaah shielding him from the people.

It will likewise be the cause of him being the recipient (if a great reward from Allaah, as He - the Most High - says: 'O you who Believe! Have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah and believe in His Messenger; and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His Mercy and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk.' [Quran AI-Anfaal 8:29]

lbn Mas'ood - radiallaahu anhu - said:

"Indeed I hold that a person forgets knowledge that he used to know because of sins that he commits." -Related by Wakee in oz-Zuhd (no.329) and its isnaad is Saheeh. Wakee' (d.197H) - rahimahullaah - said:

"I seek help in memorization by abandoning sin and disobedience." -Related by Ibn Hibbaan in Rawdatul Uqulaa (p.39).

Maalik (d.179H) said to ash-Shafiee when they first met:

"Indeed I see that Allaah has placed a light upon your heart so do not extinguish it with the darkness of disobedience and sin." -Alaam ul-Muwaqqieen (4/258) uf Ibn al-Qayyim.

Imaam ash-Shaaf'ee (d.204H) - rahimahullaah - said:

"Whosoever loves that Allaah Should open up his heart for him and grant light to him, then let him abandon speech about that which does not concern him, and abandon sins and turn away from acts of disobedience. Then there will be between him and Allaah a hidden treasure of good actions. So if this is done, then Allaah will open up such knowledge for him, that will pre-occupy him. And indeed in death is the greatest pre-occupation." -Related by al-Bayhaqi in Manaaqib ush-Shafiee (2/171).