In this episode Shaykh Yahya Rhodus highlights the preeminence of scholars in Islam. He quotes Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “One beneficial scholar is better than a thousand worshipful devotees.” Shaykh Yahya begins by explaining that the beneficial scholar referred to in the narration is primarily one who has knowledge of the religion (shari’a). The knowledge of the scholar benefits many people by guiding them, as opposed to the worship of the devotee which only benefits himself. Shaykh Yahya emphasizes that our religion is a religion of knowledge, and one should seek to increase in knowledge everyday of their life. He also provides the overarching principle of what shari’a is about. It is about acquiring benefit and warding off harm, in this life and the next. So in that sense, knowledge of the religion is like an army that helps one overcome their lower self and the devil, and their army of desires. This knowledge helps us learn about the subtle faults of our own soul, the destructive vices, the nullifiers of our actions, the true nature of this world, the true bliss of the next world and how our hearts should be. This is the true meaning and reality of the knowledge of religion (fiqh).
The Content of Character is a remarkable collection of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Chosen by the scholar, Shaykh Al-Amin Ali Mazrui and translated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, this book was published to great critical acclaim.
Shaykh Al-Amin intended to show that progress among Muslims required not the abandonment of Islam but the recovery of the original spirit of Islamic enlightenment.
In this podcast series for SeekersHub, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus does a commentary on these concise and yet comprehensive sayings, with a special focus on character-building, morals, good manners and ethics.
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