On every Wednesday, I will share a part of the translation of the book Kitab Al-Kasb (the book of Earning a Livelihood) written by Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani.
Part 23: The Importance of the Quest for Knowledge and the Manner of Its Need.
Imam Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani says, “If the quest for knowledge was not obligatory, people would not have a way out from wrongdoing.”
This means that safeguarding oneself from committing wrongdoings is obligatory. Allah says. “My Lord has only forbidden indecencies, whether open or concealed; and sin, and unjust oppression; and your associating with Allah anything for which no authority has been revealed; and your saying of Allah what you do not know” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 33]. This safeguard cannot be attained except by knowledge.
Imam Muhammad says, “If people had abandoned the quest for knowledge, they would not have differentiated between truth and falsehood, and right from wrong, and goodness from futility.”
This means that differentiating between truth and falsehood is the foundation of the religion, and this is not attained to except through knowledge. Allah says, “And Allah obliterates the false and verifies the true” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Shura, verse 24]. And He says in another verse, “To verify the truth and to nullify falsehood” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Anfal, verse 8].
There is no doubt that it is incumbent on every addressee to differentiate between what Allah has verified and what Allah has obliterated of falsehood. Likewise, it is incumbent on everyone to hold fast to what is right and to be on guard against what is wrong with his utmost endeavour, and the path to (all) that is knowledge.