Prophet Muhammad: The Beacon of Knowledge – Part 1

The writer, Al-Hajj Khalil Champsi (Toronto, Canada) is a professional engineer, PMP certified, and a community volunteer.

This article forms part of the series ‘ Muhammad – A Beacon of Hope, a Shining Star’ – an initiative to recall and appreciate the messages and lessons behind the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, its relevance, and connection to life today, for both Shi’a Muslims and the rest of the global population.

2:151 A similar (favour have ye already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge.

Allamah Tabatabai in his book ,’’Exgesis of Quran’’ has briefly explained beautifully the meaning of this verse :

He recites to you Our communications: “al-Ãyãt” verses, signs – translated here as communications)obviously refers to the verses of the Qur’ãn, because it is the words (not the meanings) that are recited;‘at-tazkiyah”) =to purify is to remove dirt, filth and blemish. The Prophet(saw) cleansed them thoroughly – from wrong beliefs like polytheism and rejection of true faith, from vile and base character like pride and avarice, and from evil and immoral actions and things like murder, fornication and intoxicants.

In Islam, it is regularly stressed that all things come from Allah. In some cases, such as the revelation of the Quran, they come directly from Him. In others, however, they come indirectly. Education is a good example of this. Although we may be taught by a teacher in the classroom, it is Allah who put the teacher in a position to pass on their knowledge. Even though that teacher likely learned the information they are sharing from their own teacher and so on, the original revelation of the facts came from Allah.

This is stressed in the passages 1 – 5 of the Quran’s 96th surah. They read as follows:

[Shakir 96:1] Read in the name of your Lord Who created.

[Shakir 96:2] He created man from a clot.

[Shakir 96:3] Read and your Lord is Most Honorable,

[Shakir 96:4] Who taught (to write) with the pen

Although this verse does not appear until late into the Quran, it was actually the very first to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(saw). From the moment Allah began to speak to his people, He sought to stress the role He plays in education and the sharing of knowledge. It is also worth taking note of the first word in the passage, which provided the foundation upon which the entirety of the Quran was built: “Recite”. Originally, this was a commanded directed towards the Prophet Muhammad(saw) exclusively. Today, however, it is a command to all Muslims. To be a dedicated follower of Islam, one must recite the Quran. In order to do this, of course, one must read the Quran. Reading and reciting the Quran both require proficiency in Classical Arabic. Classical Arabic is not actually the mother tongue of anybody – even native Arabic speakers – and so requires diligent study to master. The Quran contains a number of additional passages referencing the importance of learning Classical Arabic so that one may fully understand its message. These include:

“And thus We have inspired unto you (O Muhammad) an Arabic Qur’ân that you may warn the mother of the towns (Makkah) and all around it”

    – Quran, 42:8

Verily we have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ân in order that you may understand”

    – Quran, 12:2

“And truly this (the Qur’ân) is a revelation from the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists), which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibreel) has brought down upon your heart (O Muhammad) that you may be (one) of the warners, in the plain Arabic language”

For example, when one visit children, sitting in classrooms and being directed to study algebra, we all had the thought, “When is this ever going to be useful in the real world?”

According to the Prophet Muhammad(saw), the onus is on the individual to find an output for such knowledge at some point in their life. Speaking to his followers, he has been documented as saying:

“Knowledge from which no benefit is like a treasure out of which nothing is spent in the cause of God.”

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About the author

Al-hajj Khalil Champsi was born in Zanzibar ,Tanzania. His father Al-Hajj Hassan A P Champsi was a well known reciter of Duas and Ziyarats and mother Hajiani Maryam Champsi (Dr.Gulamhussein) was a Reciter and served her community in Zanzibar selflessly and her love of ahlulbayt was imprinted in herself and her family. His Great grand father Marhum Gulhussein M W Dharsi started a Gujarati monthly magazine and his pen name was Salsabil and his brother Marhum Kassamali Mammu Walli Dharsi (Bha Kassamali) who was an ardent Azadar and personally spent his fortune and establish Taziyakhana (Husssainiya ). Al-Hajj Khalil Champsi would frequently attend and visit Masjid and Mehfil/Hussainiya around the neighborhood.

Al-Hajj Khalil Champsi has taken keen interest in learning Islamic studies especially in exegesis of Quran by renowned Scholar like Allama Hussein Tabatabai. He has interacted with Many scholars to learn of various aspects of Religion. He also has been attending Fiqh and Jurisprudence classes under the esteem Scholar Hujjatil–Islam Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi.

Al-Hajj Khalil Champsi has been lecturing, teaching in Madrassah and participating in TV Shows as well .Tabligh is one the areas he always re-emphasis and participates actively .He has paid several visits to Khatmul Anbiya, a school which teaches National camp; Islamic curriculum and serves the Masai communities in the outskirts of Arusha located Tanzania in of support the great work done by Al-Hajj Ghulamhussein Mukhtar in area.

Al-Hajj Khalil Champsi is Professional Project Manager and Mechanical Engineer with several years of experiences in different countries. He has always found time to give back by participating in community projects especially in Building; Renovation of Masjids and Imam Hussainiya earlier in Dubai and now in Toronto.

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