Assalamualaikum wrm.wbt. Is it sahih the rewards of seeking knowledge are the same as performing hajj?
Waalaikumussalam wrm. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Learning or seeking knowledge is an obligation and commandment for every individual. The reason is knowledge is the benchmark in our lives in determining whether something we are doing is correct or otherwise, in accordance with what Allah SWT and the Prophet PBUH wanted. Furthermore, Allah SWT honours those who are knowledgeable and increase their status based on His statement:
يَرْفَعِ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ
“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees.”
Surah al-Mujadalah (11)
Considering the above statement of Allah SWT, the believers are raised above the disbelievers and the knowledgeable above the ignorant. Ibn Mas’ud RA said Allah SWT praises scholars in this verse, when Allah SWT raises the believers who are granted knowledge compared with believers not granted knowledge by several degrees. (See Tafsir al-Qurthubi, 17/299)
According to the above question, we would like to state that there is a hadith which states that the rewards for those who went out to the mosque in search of knowledge, then he will be rewarded with the rewards of a perfect hajj. The hadith meant is as the following:
- From Abi Umamah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ غَدَا إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ لَا يُرِيدُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَتَعَلَّمَ خَيْرًا أَوْ يَعْلَمَهُ، كَانَ لَهُ كَأَجْرِ حَاجٍّ تَامًّا حِجَّتُهُ
Whoever went to the mosque with the purpose of learning something good and teaching it, then for him is the rewards of a person who performs a complete hajj.”
Narrated by al-Thabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir (7473)
The Status of the Hadith
Among the scholars who evaluated this hadith are:
- Imam al-Munziri (656 H) said that Imam al-Thabarani narrated the hadith with a sanad with having no problem (good sanad). (See al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, 59/1)
- Imam al-Dhimyathi (705 H) also stated that there is no problem with the sanad. (See al-Muttajir al-Rabih, 22)
- Imam al-Iraqi (806 H) evaluated this hadith as good. (See al-Mughni, 1740/1)
- Imam al-Haithami (807 H) stated that the narrators are trustworthy. (See Majma’ al-Zawaid, 245/2)
- Syeikh al-Albani (1420 H) ruled the hadith as hasan sahih. (See Sahih al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, 145/1)
Considering to the above evaluations by scholars, we would like to state that the hadith is sahih. Furthermore, Imam al-Hakim (405 H) also narrated this hadith with a different sanad in his book which can support the above hadith:
مَنْ غَدَا إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ لَا يُرِيدُ إِلَّا لِيَتَعَلَّمَ خَيْرًا أَوْ يَعْلَمَهُ كَانَ لَهُ أَجْرُ مُعْتَمِرٍ تَامِّ الْعُمْرَةِ، فَمَنْ رَاحَ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ لَا يُرِيدُ إِلَّا لِيَتَعَلَّمَ خَيْرًا أَوْ يُعَلِّمَهُ فَلَهُ أَجْرُ حَاجٍّ تَامِّ الْحِجَّةِ
“Whoever went to the mosque with the purpose of learning something good and teaching it, then for him is the rewards of a person who performs a perfect umrah and whoever went back to the mosque with the purpose of learning something good or teaching it, then for him is the rewards of a person who performs a perfect hajj.”
Nararted by al-Hakim (311) [Imam al-Zahabi stated the hadith fulfils the conditions of Imam al-Bukhari]
To conclude, there is a sahih hadith which states the advantages or rewards of hajj is for those who went to seek knowledge. This attribute should be exemplified by every individual who loves knowledge. Besides, it is among the important matters in learning which is to right one’s intention so that it would not due to wanting to be famous or known as the most knowledgeable when compared with others. Once again, we would like to state that the hadith related to seeking knowledge is sahih. However, it should be understood that the rewards do not abrogate the obligation of hajj on a person. Lastly, may Allah SWT grant us beneficial knowledge and give us understanding in this religion so that we are able to convey it to others. Amin.