And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided…(3:103)

Educational Tour of Hazrat Musa (A.S.)

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فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَاۤ اٰتَيْنٰهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِنْدِنَا وَعَلَّمْنٰهُ مِنْ لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا (65) قَالَ لَهٗ مُوْسٰى هَلْ اَتَّبِعُكَ عَلٰٓى اَنْ تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا (66) قَالَ اِنَّكَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيْعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًا (67) وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلٰى مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِه خُبْرًا (68) قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِىْۤ اِنْ شَآءَ اللّٰهُ صَابِرًا وَّلَاۤ اَعْصِىْ لَكَ اَمْرًا (69) قَالَ فَاِنِ اتَّبَعْتَنِىْ فَلَا تَسْـَٔـلْنِىْ عَنْ شَىْءٍ حَتّٰٓى اُحْدِثَ لَـكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا (70)

Quran Ayah Data not found….for Surah:18, Ayah:65 and Translation:24

Quran Surah:18 Ayah:65-70

“Then they found one of Ourservants whom We blessed with mercyfrom Us and whom We gaveknowledge, a knowledge from Ourown. 66. Musa said to him, “May I haveyour company so that you teach mesome of the rightful knowledge youhave been given.” 67. He said, “You can never bear withme patiently. 68. And how would you keep patientover something your comprehensioncannot grasp?” 69. He (Musa) said, “You will find mepatient, if Allah wills, and I shall notdisobey any order from you.” 70. He said, “Well, if you follow me,do not ask me about anything unless Imyself start telling you about it.”

In the verses appearing above, there has been mentioned an account of the educational tour of Hazrat Musa (A.S.) and his successor, Yusha Bin Noon (A.S.). There are indeed many an important points of guidance for those who are from educational background. They are as follows:

  • The first and foremost thing is that knowledge has no limit. No matter how knowledgeable one is, there is always a room for diving in the deep ocean of knowledge wherefrom a learner picks up precious pearls of knowledge. Despite the fact that Hazrat Musa (A.S.) was bestowed with the highest position of prophethood, still he was in need of acquiring further knowledge.

It appears in ‘TafseerIbneJareer’ that it is narrated on the authority of Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (R.T.A.) he says: ‘When asked by Hazrat Musa (A.S.) who is the greatest Alim, he was replied that the greatest Alim is one who remains always in pursuit of more knowledge so that he gets more guidance through it or any way out of misguidance. When asked again by Hazrat Musa (A.S.) if there was any one else among Allah’s servants possessing more knowledge than him on the surface of this earth, he was replied in positive. When asked who was it, he was replied that it was HazratKhidar (A.S.). When again asked where he could meet him, he was told that he could find him by a stone on the bank of river from where a fish runs away. It was then that Hazrat Musa (A.S.) set out in search of him.

  • Through this course of action of Hazrat Musa (A.S.) we also come to know the fact that there is no limitation of age for seeking knowledge, rather one should be in pursuit of it for his life instead of being content with it just in childhood as it is no appropriate at all. It is the same fact pointed out by the Holy Prophet ﷺ in these words:

اطلب العلم من المھد الی اللحد (بیھقی)

“Keep on seeking knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

  • Another fact is revelaed through the same event of Hazrat Musa (A.S.) is that one should be opt to seek knowledge from whomever he can. It is for this reason that the one to whom Allah, the Almighty guided Hazrat Musa (A.S.) for this purpose is described as ‘عبداً’ meaning ‘ a slave’ which refers to HazratKhidar (A.S.) as also appears in an authentic tradition of Bukhari.

What is worth-considering here is that the slave to whom he was guided was a messenger as generally conceived, it means that he was equal in his status and it was from him that he tried to seek knowledge, while in contrary to it, these days it is considered to be an insult.

Similarly, if we regard him to be a pious one as conceived by some of us, it means that he was lesser in status than Hazrat Musa (A.S.) even though he travelled to him with view to seek knowledge from him. It indicates that there is no harm in seeking knowledge from one who has a specific knowledge even if he is lesser in status as compared to one, while these days even our betters are not ready to acknowledge this fact, on the top of it, they are ready to face any possible harm rather than referring to such man. We indeed need to reconsider on this fact since it appears in a number of traditions that “Wisdom is like a lost treasure, you must seek it wherever you find it as you deserve it more.” (Tirmizi)

  • Travelling for seeking knowledge is an old practice. Hence, the more one travels for it the more he benefits from it and the higher status he gets as also established from examples found in the annals of history.Rather, the educational travelogue of many of us is considered to be classical one such as that of Imam Safi (R.A.) which is regarded to be a golden chapter. Even these days, those students are more successful who set out for seeking knowledge and quench their educational thirst through benefitting from every knowledgeable person just like a honey bee which sucks the juice of every flower.
  • In fact, humbleness and humility is something that suits a seeker of knowledge more. When Hazrat Musa (A.S.) went to HazratKhidar (A.S.), he neither put any demand before him nor spoke of his favour.

The very pattern of these days with regard to so-called demand of fees is giving rise to the tendency of speaking favours which is a great hurdle in the sincere way of seeking and imparting knowledge. Even the teachers are opt to teach only to the extent they are paid which is really affecting the education standard badly.

  • The way Hazrat Musa (A.S.) requested to HazratKhidar (A.S.) contained the words:

هَلْ اَتَّبِعُكَ عَلٰى اَنْ تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا

“May I have your company so that you teach me some of the rightful knowledge you have been given.”

So to speak, Hazrat Musa (A.S.) were aware of the fact that seeking knowledge requires obedience and company. Hence, he sought his permission first. Raising questions and getting their replies is not something which guarantees the acquisition of authentic knowledge. If we really aspire to seek authentic knowledge, we must obey and accompany someone as a guide. The history stands as witness that those who obeyed and benifited from a guide’s company had been more successful and safer, while those who avoided it were deprived of it.

  • The request made by Hazrat Musa (A.S.) doesn’t contain only the words of request for teaching him, rather he used the word ‘رشداً’which refers to a specific knowledge guiding toward the right path. It indicates that the acquisition of mere knowledge is not sufficient, rather it demands it real purpose i.e. an ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Is it the same purpose we have in our mind while seeking knowledge?
  • The saying of HazratKhidar (A.S.):

اِنَّكَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيْعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًا

“You can never bear with me patiently.”

…does points out a fact that seeking knowledge is a difficult task. It requires the characteristic of patience, hardworking, forbearance and fortitude and only then one can be successful in this noble cause. These are the facts which should be brought home to the students so that they are mentally prepared for it before they step in this field as also done by HazratKhidar (A.S.).

  • وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلٰى مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِه خُبْرًا

“And how would you keep patient over something your comprehension cannot grasp?”

The saying of HadratKhidar (A.S.) appearing above does indicate to the acknowledgment of the fact that a teacher or guide must confess that there are possible chances ofimpatience on the part of a learner or seeker of knowledge due to his lacking in knowledge and experience, since it is but natural. Hence, a guide or teacher must not be annoyed at this time, rather he should find out some solution in a beautiful manner to it and try to keep the students preserving and make them aware of the ups and downs in this noble way, develop in them self-confidence and keep them in control through some convents as also done by HazratKhidar (A.S.). For this purpose, the things beyond learners’ comprehension should be explained as and when required as HazratKhidar (A.S.) did not do it in its very initial stage, rather he explained all things when it right time arrived. It is the only thing that can remove the objections in a learner’s mind and he is fully satisfied.

  • فَلَا تَسْـَٔـلْنِىْ عَنْ شَىْءٍ حَتّٰٓى اُحْدِثَ لَـكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا

“Do not ask me about anything unless I myself start telling you about it.”

Through this commandment of HazratKhidar (A.S.), we come to know the fact that it is not necessary for a guide or teacher to reply to each and every question asked by a learner or seeker of knowledge. It is dependent on teacher’s discretion, he might reply to it if deems it appropriate or may keep silent seeing the ability and status of a student as the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

انزل الناس علیٰ منازلھم (نسائی، احمد)

Thus, it is a guidance so that one guides another man seeing his status. Even the Holy Prophet ﷺdid not reply to each and every question, rather he forbade to reply certain questions such as regarding the questions pertaining to Allah’s person and destiny, since it is something a man’s comprehension can’t grasp. Similarly, if the same case is with a learner, it is not necessary to reply his each query and question. If done so, it should not be misunderstood as a lack of teacher’s knowledge nor something avoiding it, rather itis an effective source to realize and make someone realize his disability. There is hardly one who acknowledges this fact and safeguards himself from being misled through replying to each and every question. May Allah, the Almighty protect us against it!

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