Acquiring of Knowledge
Islam is a religion of education and knowledge; it requires of Muslims that they should seriously endeavor in acquiring knowledge. Islam considers the worth of individuals in accordance with their education and knowledge; it considers acquiring of education as a general obligation upon all Muslims. Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an:
“Are those who know equal with those who know not?” (The Holy Qur’an, 39:9)
And say that:
“Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks.” (The Holy Qur’an, 58:11)
The Holy Prophet (S)1 has said that: “Acquiring education and knowledge is compulsory upon every Muslim man and woman.”2 And he also said: “The most intelligent person is the one who could utilize from other’s knowledge and information and thus increase his own knowledge. The most worthy people are those whose deeds are more and the most unworthy person is the one who is more illiterate than others.” The Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.)3 said: “No treasure is more superior than knowledge.”4
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “I do not like seeing your youths except in one of these two conditions: ‘Either they should be scholars or students. If it is not so they are negligent, if they are negligent their life would be wasted, whoever wastes his life is a sinner and would enter hell.’”5
Imam al- Baqir (a.s.) said: “Whoever is busy in acquiring knowledge is under the blessing of Allah.”6 The Holy Prophet (S) said to Abudharr: “Sitting for one hour in a meeting of education and knowledge is superior in nearness to Allah than one thousand nights of prayer that in each night one thousand units of prayer is offered.”7
This world has a God Who has created it and manages it:
None of the phenomenon occurs by itself without a reason. For example if we see a newly built structure we are certain that it has an engineer, mason and laborers and it has been created due to their efforts and endeavors; we never assume that it has been created by itself without any reason.
If we placed a white paper and pen upon our writing table, went outside of the room, and upon returning found that the paper has writing on it, we are certain that during our absence someone came to the table and wrote on it. If a person says that the pen has moved by itself and has written those lines, we would laugh upon his words and consider his statement as illogical.
If we see a painting that contains beautiful illustrations, and attractive scenes that make the viewer fascinated with it, we would say to our own self that: “A skilled artist through his intelligence, art, and powerful hand has turned this worthless page into a precious and valuable work.” We are busy talking with a group of our friends in an automobile which was moving speedily towards its destination, suddenly its engine ceases working causing the vehicle to stop; the driver is certain that the engine has not stopped by itself and the stopping of the automobile is not without a reason.
None of the passengers inside the automobile have a slight contradiction about it. Because of this reason the driver steps down from automobile and looks at the engine to find out the cause of its stoppage and how to fix the problem, and never says: “Very well, let us wait for an hour or so, perhaps the engine would be fixed by itself and would start working.”
If your wristwatch stops working, you do not have any doubt that its being stopped is not without a reason, as the movement of its needles was not without a reason, therefore its not working is also not without a reason. Overall you know that no phenomenon is created without reason and a creator and the curiosity of finding its cause is a natural tendency of all human beings.
Now I ask you a question: do you believe in the possibility that this vast world does not have a God or Creator and could have been born by itself? No, such a thing is never possible. This vast world, this land, large oceans, these stars and great suns, all these wonderful animals, all these beautiful and colorful trees and mountains, and ultimately this large world of existence could not be without a Creator and God.
Order and Discipline of World
If we see a building that has been built carefully with extreme accuracy possessing a complete coordination and arrangement between its various components; for its commissioning everything has already been considered, it does not have any fault and defects, it has water and electricity, a dining room, drawing rooms and bedrooms and its bathrooms are equipped with appropriate ventilation systems and heaters. Piping has been done with extreme accuracy, and water taps and sinks have been provided at appropriate locations.
The principles of hygiene have been considered and the sunlight has been used to its maximum advantage; our faculty of reason orders that this well-planned structure has not been created by itself; instead it has a competent and skilled builder who has executed its construction accurately in accordance to the blueprint prepared by the architect and engineer.
After the description of this example, we would like to draw your attention toward a portion of our own daily lives; in order to survive and for the continuation of life a human being requires food and water in order to quench his thirst and satisfy his hunger and to provide necessary requirements for his body cells. So that the mechanism of our body cells remain alive, thus to continue our lives; they must be provided different sorts of food to have plenty of ingredients at their disposal, and their shortage or loss of each one of them would cause problems to our soundness.
A human being is in need of air and through this means he absorbs useful portion of air and exhales poisonous gases from the body. Right now let us pay attention to how all these requirements and necessities of our bodies exist outside. If we want food it exists outside, if we want different sort of foods they exist outside, if for our life we need wheat, rice and vegetables, all of them exist outside.
If we want air and water they are present; we have feet in order to go to arrange food, have eyes in order to find out suitable foods, have hands in order to pick up food. Our hands have been created in a manner that it could easily be used to provide all our requirements; they are completely at our disposal, we could move them in every direction, wherever we want, they open and close at will and can go up and down.
The precise accuracy and delicacy of our fingers and surface of the hands are truly amazing. We pick up food from our hands and place it in our mouths, our mouth has been designed in a manner that it opens and closes in accordance to our intention. Lips have been created in a manner that they could close to prevent a morsel of food from falling back out.
The basic problem is that even though all of the bodily necessities and various kinds of food exist, it is not so that with their apparent shape they could be utilized by the body’s cells; instead changes, work, and precise physical reactions should be performed on the food in order to enable it to be used. The digestion system of the body digests food in four stages and here we would summarize them as follows:
First Stage: Through the means of teeth we chew morsels of food and make them smaller; the teeth which are given to us possess complete coordination with the type of food; the tongue moves inside the mouth and places morsels under the teeth in order to make them very soft. In addition to that like a proactive worker of Customs, it checks and controls of the food, distinguishes good from bad and fresh from the spoiled; salivation glands excrete special fluids so that morsel could become very soft and could be eaten easily; in addition to that, the saliva of the mouth helps to digest food and provides significant chemical effects.
Second Stage: When a morsel is chewed well it enters from the mouth inside the throat and from an unseen path enters inside the stomach; while the morsel goes down, the nasal path is closed and a special curtain closes the respiratory tract or windpipe so that the morsel does not enter inside the respiratory tract.
Third Stage: Food must stay inside the stomach for a time in order to be digested. There exist thousands of minor glands in the stomach wall that excrete special juices and through its means food is digested and turned into something like a flowing fluid.
Fourth Stage: Food enters into the small intestine; the gall bladder and a large gland called the pancreas excrete a special juice upon food which is necessary for its digestion. Thousands of glands exist inside the walls of the intestine and their juices are useful for the digestion of food. In the small intestine the food turns into a diluted form.
Then food material is absorbed through wall of the intestine and enters into the blood that carries it to the entire body. The heart through its steady beat pumps blood into the entire body and in this manner each live cell of the body receives suitable food for its proper functioning.