Sub-Index for: Personal Improvement

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Question

Could you please clarify for me the relationship between knowledge (`ilm) and action (`amal) in Islam?

Answered by

Sheikh Sa`d al-Shithrî, professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh
In Islam, knowledge (`ilm) and action (`amal) are intrinsically an inexorably tied together, complementing one another. For any action to be correct, it has be based on true knowledge. At the same time, knowledge that is not put into practice is of no benefit, regardless of how correct that knowledge might be. This is why the best among people are those whom Allah guides to successfully bring together knowledge and action in their lives.

When we recite Sûrah al-Fâtihah in our daily prayers, we beseech Allah and ask him: “Guide us to the straight way; the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your grace; those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray.”

When we ask to be among “…those on whom You have bestowed Your grace”, we are asking to be among those who have knowledge and act upon it. This becomes clear from what we ask next

When we ask to be among: “…those whose (portion) is not wrath”, we are seeking refuge from being among those who have knowledge but do not act upon what they know.

When we ask: “…and who go not astray”, we are seeking refuge from being among those who act without knowledge.