"The Most Honorable Knowledge, and the Greatest Knowledge, is the Knowledge of Allah."

"The Most Honorable Knowledge, and the Greatest Knowledge, is the Knowledge of Allah."

Dr Saleh as Saleh

Based upon the work of Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Uthaymeen
Explained by Dr Saleh As-Saleh, rahimahumaa Allaah

The most honorable and greatest knowledge is the knowledge of Allaah, whom there is no God except Him, the true God, the Lord of all that exists. And the knowledge of Allaah is the basis of every other knowledge, for the one who knows of Allaah knows other than Him.

The one who knows of Allaah knows other than Him, and the one who is ignorant of Allaah is therefore by all means ignorant of every other thing.

Allaah says,

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

‘And be not like those who forgot Allaah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.’ {Suraah Anfaal 8: 47}

And don’t be like those who forgot Allaah- because of their disobedience, so He let them forget their own selves- for they were not able to do righteous deeds.

If you contemplate this aaayah, you will find a noble and honourable meaning and a great one implicated in this verse that anyone who forgets Allaah, Allaah will make him forget his own self, and therefore will not realise his reality nor would he realise that which benefits or harms him.’

So he will be crippled like cattle, even cattle could be more knowledgeable of its benefits in this sense. What is meant is that the knowledge of Allaah is the basis and foundation of every other knowledge and it is the basis of the slave of Allaah to know of his happiness, and to perfect his affairs and to work for his other life.

Therefore he would properly estimate Allaah, the proper estimation He deserves. And it will lead him to be shy of Allaah, out of love and magnification- his heart being attached to Him, yearning to meet Allaah and be close to Him, turning His affairs to Him and having awe and fear of Him. And mankind, with this respect, differ in such an estimation of Allaah.

The prophet  said in invocation to Allaah,

…لا أحصي ثناء عليك أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك

[صحيح مسلم و غيره]

‘I cannot enumerate praising You, as You (o Allaah) are as You have praised Yourself’ [Muslim and others]

The prophet  indicating those most knowledgeable of Allaah, even invoke Allaah with this saying:

…لا أحصي ثناء عليك أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك

‘I cannot enumerate praising You, as You are as You have praised Yourself (O Allaah)’

Love and eagerness are matters that follow the knowledge of Allaah, so the knowledge of Allaah brings forth and leads to love of Him and yearning to meet Him.

And therefor the knowledge of Allaah, is the most great and honorable knowledge and this leads to the proper estimation of Allaah, loving Him and eagerness to meet Him. The more a person is knowledgeable of Allaah, the more perfection he is in his love of Him.

Ad therefore ‘whoever believes in Allaah and His names and attributes’ and knows of Him in this respect will love Him more, and then he would achieve a state of sweetness in his heart, and this sweetness puts him in a state whereby he will always love to meet Allaah and be close to Him, and to sense and look at His Face, and listen to Him and to His words.

The knowledge itself leads to the proper estimation of Allaah.

Maalik ibn Dinaar rahimahullaah said ‘the people of this life they left it and didn’t take the best of it,’ they said to him, ‘and what is it o Abaa Yahya?’ He said, ‘knowing  of Allaah The Most Mighty and Majestic.’

Those who know of Allaah are the ones who have really tasted what is best in this life, and that is the knowledge of Allaah in this life as Maalik bin Dinaar stated.

وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ إِذْ قَالُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ بَشَرٍ مِّن شَيْءٍ ۗ

‘And they did not appraise Allaah with true appraisal when they said, “Allaah did not reveal to a human being anything.”’ {Suraah Al-An’aam 6: 91}

‘They (kuffar) did not estimate Allaah with the estimation due to Him’ when they said that Allaah sent nothing down to the human being- so what is meant by saying what is due to Him is what is meant by the proper estimation of Him.

When the knowledge of Allaah is strengthened then his eagerness for Allaah also strengthens.

Abdullah ibn Masoud radhi Allaahu anhu said, ‘the believer will not feel at rest without the meeting of his Lord Allaah, therefore anyone who sets his resting coat in this life in the meeting of Allaahسبحانه و تعلى, then it is as if He has reached that.’

Meaning the believer would not have any real rest without being keen about the matter of meeting Allaah, yearning so that he can reach Him. As Allaah سبحانه و تعلى says,

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allaah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allaah hearts are assured.” {Suraah Ar-Ra’ad 13: 28}

This is what ibn Masoud was speaking about in his saying that there will be no real rest for the believer unless he meets Allaahسبحانه و تعلى; therefore this matter should be alive, as mentioned in the aayah in Suraatur Ra’ad, they will achieve that.

Allaah gave the prophets عليهم السلام the choice between increasing their stay on earth or death, and they would choose the meeting with Allaah the most High.

As Imaam Bukhaari entitled the chapter in his saheeh – “the one who loves to meet Allaah, Allaah will love to meet Him”. Under this chapter he gave the situation with the prophet  from his wife,

حدثنا بشر بن محمد حدثنا عبد الله قال يونس قال الزهري أخبرني سعيد بن المسيب في رجال من أهل العلم أن عائشة قالت كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول وهو صحيح إنه لم يقبض نبي حتى يرى مقعده من الجنة ثم يخير فلما نزل به ورأسه على فخذي غشي عليه ثم أفاق فأشخص بصره إلى سقف البيت ثم قال اللهم الرفيق الأعلى فقلت إذا لا يختارنا وعرفت أنه الحديث الذي كان يحدثنا وهو صحيح قالت فكانت آخر كلمة تكلم بها اللهم الرفيق الأعلى

موطأ مالك, صحيح البخاري, صحيح مسلم, مسند أحمد

Aisha (رضي الله عنها) who said, ‘Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم used to say, ‘no prophets soul will be taken by Allaah until he sees his seat in Paradise then he will be given the choice’ so when he صلى الله عليه وسلم  became ill and the moment of death approached and his head was on my thigh, when he صلى الله عليه وسلم used to go into the state of unconsciousness and woke up, finally I saw him gaze in the direction of the roof and said ‘O Allaah, the Highest companionship.’ Aisha said, ‘so I knew he didn’t choose us, and I remember the statement he  صلى الله عليه وسلم used to say to us and it is true. And the last words he spoke was ‘Allaahumma rafeequl a’laa.’ (O Allaah, the Highest companionship)

[Muwatta of Maalik, Bukhaari, Muslim and Ahmed (with slight difference in wording)]

So how is it that these rough hearts and stone hearts are able to accuse other Muslims when they speak about knowing Allaah’s names and attributes and defending them in the proper way, as Allaah intended and as Allaah affirmed for Himself, and by the prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم .

Knowing Allaah: Through His Beautiful Names
Dr Saleh As Saleh رحمه الله d.1421AH

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