Knowledge acquisition is significant in one’s life. It does not matter you are young or old, rich or poor, you are required to seek knowledge because it brings many benefits and rewards. Knowledge lead human to the easier way of life. According to Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), knowledge is defined as “justified true belief” (87). Meanwhile, in Islam, knowledge was conceptualized as a journey in achieving light and understanding (Tahir-ul-Qadri,2007). When it comes to Muslim, it is obligatory for them to seek knowledge because it is counted as a part of religious worship (ibadah) in their life. The Prophet (PBUH) said “seeking knowledge is an obligation on every muslim.” Furthermore, in doing something, knowledge must be put in the first list of priority because everything requires knowledge. For instance, in performing five times prayer, first things first, Muslim need to know what prayer is all about, how to performing it so that their prayers will be accepted by their God. In brief, without knowledge, success cannot be achieving in one’s life.
In acquiring knowledge, there are actually many sources in acquiring it but the most important sources are revelation and ‘aql. Denffer (1983) defined revelation as God sent down guidance to His creation through Prophets and the Prophets received the message from God through inspiration, speech hidden away, words (speech) and Angel Gabriel. Definition of ‘aql according to Quran is the ability in reasoning, intellection, valuable property and power in a particular person (Dalhat, 2015). So, it seems that the process of acquiring knowledge is relatable with revelation and the ‘aql (reason).
The first revelation that Prophet Muhammad receive guidance from Allah is around 610 years in the cave of Hira’. One of the reason why Allah sent down revelation upon Prophet Muhammad is because Allah wanted His vicegerent to think and find the wisdom behind it. Allah wants His servants to be the generation of ulul-albab. The term ulul-albab refers to those who think, find the wisdom and at the same time, remembering Allah too. Allah is the Omniscient. Thus, Allah knows every single thing that happen in this life including the revelation mentioned above. The Holy Quran which is the greatest miracle was the first to reveal to Prophet Muhammad. The revelation comes directly from God, not anyone else. The content of the first revelation is “Recite in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clinging substance. Recite and your Lord is the most Generous – Who taught by the pen – Taught man that which he knew not.”
Al-Quran is one of the source of knowledge because Al-Quran is comprehensive. It includes about manners (akhlak), belief thought (aqidah), worship(ibadah), understanding(fiqh) and so forth. It includes all aspects in man’s life. Besides, Al-Quran has every solution for every problem that exist in this world. Nevertheless, as a servant of Allah, the arrogance and selfishness must not have in someone’s heart. It is because the knowledge is all from Allah, it is not from human being. Hence, human being should turn back to The Creator and being humble. This is supported with qur’anic verse which Allah says “taught man that which he knew not.” This beautiful qur’anic verse shows that human being have nothing at first but Allah provides us all the thing. According to Daud (1989), knowledge in the Quran does not cover intellectual and reasoning matters only, but it also includes spirituality and the action of human.
As revealed in the Quran, Allah sent down Prophet Khidir in order for Prophet Moses seek knowledge from him. Prophet Moses learned so much wisdom and lesson from the events that happened when he is with Prophet Khidir. He learned what is actually patience in seeking knowledge. One of the event is Prophet Khidir holed a boat while they are on it and there were passengers on the boat too. As a result of that, it drowned the passengers. In point of fact, Prophet Khidir did that because he knew that there was a king coming after them seizing every boat by force.
Moreover, the revelation is one of the medium that Allah creates to introduce to Prophet what knowledge is all about. Even Prophet sacrifices a lot for his ummah from the day he receives the revelation until his final day on the earth. At the time of Prophet Muhammad and his companions, many obstacles and challenges that they had to face in spreading the guidance from Allah. Daud (1989) mentioned that the acquisition of knowledge is same level as jihad because it requires a lot of sacrifices and effort. Hence, Muslims as agent of Rahmatan li’l-Alamin should continue Prophet’s journey in seeking knowledge and spreading the teachings of Islam throughout the world.
According to Dalhat (2015), the term ‘aql refers to those who acquire the knowledge and act upon it. On the other hand, the term ‘aql may not suit for those who is not practicing the knowledge that he or she has. Allah has bestowed countless blessings upon human being and one of the blessings is the intellect or the ‘aql. The ‘aql is such a great gift that Allah has given to human being. The ‘aql is also one of the thing that differentiate human being from other creatures like animals and plants. Unlike human, the other creation does not have an ability given by Allah to think. Thus, the servants of Allah need to use this amazing gift and utilize it very well by seeking useful knowledge. They said, “Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what “You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.” This qur’anic verse explained about angels also proclaimed that they have no knowledge except for what Allah has taught them and it is clearly stated that He is The All-Wise.
Daud (1989) stated that knowledge is not limited to human knowledge only, but it comprises divine knowledge too. Divine knowledge is knowledge about omniscience, prophecy and so on. The unlimited knowledge is clearly explained in Quran which states that above every person of knowledge, there is one more learned. This verse shows that all knowledge that human being have in this world is come from Allah. Allah is the Greatest and the Powerful while human being had nothing at all. Therefore, the knowledge in this world will never has a stop ending because it is unlimited. That is why Allah command His servant to keep on seeking knowledge until the last breath of life. In contrast, one’s ability in reasoning is unlimited. Man need to get use of his ‘aql wisely and use it in the best and proper way. In consequence, it will lead to the right faith and belief and prevent oneself from getting into the wrong way of religious teachings. Nowadays, specifically, a lot of misguided teachings spreading throughout the world such as Wahhabi and Shi’a. Hence, man need to strengthen their core, which is tawhid in order to be in the true pathway. Allah says “The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked Your anger or of those who are astray.” Additionally, knowledge should produce true belief (iman), while iman should produce good deeds (amal salih), therefore knowledge should produce amal salih (Daud,1989).
Besides, the ‘aql also allows human being to distinguish between the good and bad things in everyday life (Abdullah, 2018). So, it will purify one’s heart and in consequence, the knowledge obtaining by his or her is exactly true knowledge. Thus, the true knowledge can be convey all round the world and it can create a better future of nation.
To conclude, knowledge is a key to success and seeking knowledge is valuable and it is better than any value in the world. Thereupon, the vicegerent need to grab these golden opportunities that Allah has given to them by acquiring all useful knowledge in this world. Knowledge protects human being from many difficulties and lead oneself to the ease way of life. Knowledge not only benefits human being in world, but also in the hereafter
In addition, Islam is a religion of knowledge and it stresses on human being in obtaining valuable knowledge because it has many advantages. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge” . Equally important, honesty and sincerity should include in oneself in acquiring knowledge. Narrated by Umar bin Al-Khattab, I heard Allah’s Messenger (?) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended” . So basically, in everything that human do, they need to have a sincere intention in order for Allah to accept their deeds. “Allah raises of those who believe and those who have been given knowledge many levels.” Allah promised to all mankind that He would grant high ranks in this world and the Hereafter for those who are keen in seeking knowledge.
The Messenger of Allah said: “When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity (sadaqah jari’ah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him” . Based on this hadith, the benefits and the reward of one’s knowledge will keep on flowing even he or she already passed away. Last but not least, the revelation and the ‘aql must be listed at the top in acquiring knowledge because those two are the great blessings from Allah The Almighty.