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In the Name of God بسم الله

Hadiths about secular knowledge

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  • Advanced Member

As salamu aleikoum,

As a law student, I would like to know if there is any hadith (shia if possible) about acquiring secular knowledge. 

I know there are a lot of hadiths about acquiring knowledge but I wonder if these hadiths only speak about religious knowledge.

I recall a mollah talking about one of our Imams (as) giving a long chemistry lesson to someone though. Also, I heard that one is not considered a true shia if there is anyone better/more successful in their village. Again, I don't know what exactly this hadith means. The mollah stressed that as a muslim/shia you should be the best at everything you do, although he didn't mention any narration about that (starting from 7:30).


Edited by kashif.h
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  • Advanced Member

As you already know there are plethora of Hadith about seeking knowledge and seeking wisdom etc.  but what kind of knowledge?

there are numerous ahadith that talk about staying away from “knowledge that is of no use”.  In ASR dua, for example, we ask God to literally protect us from a knowledge which is of no benefit.

there are therefore two categories of knowledge, beneficial and non-beneficial knowledge.  

What makes something beneficial is that which serves a higher purpose.  Something that is not an ends for itself but a means towards not just any end but a higher or better end.  

“Much” of the news is non-banaficial when we know we don’t need to know about it and or when it distracts us from more important things.  Some people, for example, watch news for entertainment and keep their TVs on the whole day not realizing that they are polluting their minds and distracting themselves from the dhikr of Allah.  

The same may be said about seeking “secular” knowledge.  It should be acquired only because you need to learn it so that you can, for example, get a job!  Bearing in mind all the while that the purpose of the job is so that you can first and foremost take care of yourself and your family financially so that you can worship God.  If you keep the goal, “worship Allah”, then the seeking of knowledge, the job, the taking care of family, will all be an ibada”.  The best goal to always keep in mind is “to worship God”. 

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