Have you ever bought an item of clothing; a shirt, trouser, or even a hijab, and noticed the change in color after having washed it repeatedly? On the first day of purchasing it, it looks stunning in our eyes, but after having worn it a few times and many turns in the washing machine, the color begins to fade and the embroidery begins to wear away.
The Prophet used the same scenario to draw a parable of Islam. In the hadith reported by Hudhaifah Ibn Al-Yaman , the Prophet said:
“Islam will wear out as embroidery on a garment wears out, until no one will know what fasting, prayer, (pilgrimage) rites, and charity are. The Book of Allah will be taken away at night, and not one verse of it will be left on Earth. And there will be some people left, old men and old women, who will say, ‘We saw our fathers saying these words: ‘La ilaha illallah’ so we say them too.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah; 4049]
This hadith illustrates a scary reality that will take place in the future closer to the Day of Judgement, by which Islam will fade away so much, that the basic pillars and tenets of this religion will disappear from the minds of people.
Help Us End 2020 with 1000 Supporters!
Alhamdulillah, we’re at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before 2020 ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.
The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small.
Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you’re supporting without thinking about it.
Our righteous predecessors would instill the importance of the Qur’an within their children, by making them memorize the Qur’an from a young age before they would learn any Sciences. That was the ‘ABCs’ and ‘123s’ for them. This is why the title of ‘Hafidh’ was given to those who memorized large amounts of hadith; because the majority of people would memorize the Qur’an regardless of their profession and job. Fast forward to our youth today, and we see many of our young children struggling to recite the Qur’an fluently!
The Prophet prophesized that before the Day of Judgement is established, a number of signs will appear pertaining to knowledge and education. In a hadith, the Prophet stated:
“Just before the Hour, the greeting of peace will only be given to specific people, trade will proliferate to the point that a woman will help her husband in his business, family ties will be severed, the pen will spread, false testimony will prevail, and truthful testimony will be concealed.” [Adab Al-Mufrad;1035]
The hadith in its outset seems contradictory; how can knowledge be lost when people are becoming more literate? Should not literacy spread by the pen increase one’s knowledge?
The scholars of Islam explained that the loss of knowledge being referred to here in this hadith pertains to knowledge of Islam (i.e., knowledge of this religion will be lost), but as for knowledge pertaining to the dunya, people will become more literate in those areas. Many of our forefathers and grandparents could not even speak English, yet today we are fluent in English and pursing education to its highest degree. So even though literacy will increase, knowledge of this religion will decrease.
The question now arises, how much do these signs apply to me? I may be well-educated, have a good job, and earning a decent salary, but how much knowledge of Islam do I have? How much more knowledge of my deen do I make an effort to learn? This should be out biggest fear; that day by day, Islam will fade away.
One of the ways Allah will take away knowledge of Islam is through the death of the scholars, as the Prophet said: “Verily, Allah does not withhold knowledge by snatching it away from his servants, but rather he withholds knowledge by taking the souls of scholars, until no scholar remains and people follow ignorant leaders. They are asked and they issue judgments without knowledge. Thus, they are astray and lead others astray.” [Sahih Muslim;2673] For that reason, when a scholar of Islam would pass away amongst the companions, they would become worried as they realized that knowledge is being taken away. When the great scholar-companion Zayd Ibn Thabit passed away and was being lowered into his grave, Ibn Abbas stood over his grave and said:
“Whoever would like to see how knowledge is lost, this here is the loss of knowledge.” [Tārīkh Dimashq; 18053]
Just because the Prophet prophesized something that will take place closer to the Day of Judgement, does not mean we have to be actively be a part of what is yet to come. On the contrary, one of the objectives of these ahadeeth explaining the signs of the Day of Judgement is to warn us to not be from among them. The purpose of this article too, is in no way a means of discouraging the study of secular Sciences such as medicine, mathematics, or law, but what about our knowledge of the Qur’an, Hadith and Fiqh? We do not need to become scholars, memorize Sahih Bukhari, nor give the Jumu’ah khutbah every week; but what we do need to do is acquire at least the bare minimum of knowledge to worship Allah , with the aim to consistently raise our goals and lift ignorance out of ourselves and families.
Our religion is one which is complete; the beauty of Islam is that it covers every single aspect pertaining to our dunya and akhirah. Should we then not embrace this wonderful faith -which is unlike any other- by learning more about it and studying it? Our Prophet said: “Whoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for them a path to Paradise” [Jami At-Tirmidhi; 2682]
In our era of technological advancements, seeking knowledge has never been made easier. With the click of a button, there are so many resources at our disposal on the internet that we can utilize to learn more about our deen. Not everyone has been blessed with the ability to offer extra voluntary prayers or keep voluntary fasts to come closer to paradise, but just by dedicating a few minutes every single day towards learning about any aspect of Islam, I as a Muslim man or woman can come that extra step closer to paradise; just as those who offer extra voluntary prayers and fasts by embarking upon this noble pursuit of knowledge to which even our Prophet expressed that the angels supplicate for the seeker of knowledge.
Allah has made the supplication of angels and paradise within our grasp from the comfort of our own homes. The question is: will we take the opportunity?