The Muslim man does not speak or act without knowledge. Allah subhana wa ta’la said:
“Know there is none worthy of worship except Allah, then seek forgiveness for your sins.” (Muhammad:19).
So Allah commands us to know and understand His Oneness (tawhid) before we seek forgiveness from Him.
The scholars of Islam summarize this principle with a catchy phrase, “Knowledge precedes speech and action” (the title of today’s post). This important principle applies to every aspect of a Muslim man’s life, but is especially important for religious affairs. To speak about Allah or His religion without prior knowledge is a major sin. Allah said:
“Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): “The only things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, fornication, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.” (Al-A’raf:33)
If you speak about Allah or His religion without knowledge and you are wrong then you are effectively slandering Allah and spreading falsehood and misguidance about Islam, and if anyone follows you in that then they will be misguided and you will have a share in the sin of their misguidance.
What if a person makes a false statement about Islam on Facebook to his 100’s of friends and they follow this misguidance and repost it for their 100s of friends. Speaking without knowledge in this age of social networking can easily snowball into something huge and out of control.
When the Muslim man is about to embark on a task he prepares himself for the task by researching and learning how to complete that task in the best, most efficient way possible, because he knows that “knowledge precedes speech and action.” Despite common belief, it is not manly to put a cabinet together and then have to return it to Ikea, because you didn’t read the instructions and you put the doors on upside down and back to front.
When the Muslim man speaks on a subject, he knows all there is to know about it. And if he is asked about something he doesn’t know, he is not embarresed to say that he does not know about that subject.
The Muslim man studies the things that Allah has obligated upon him, because without knowledge of these things he cannot hope to perform the actions correctly. This leads to another important principle, and that is that if something is needed to perform an obligation then that thing is also obligated. So if you want to pray you have to first learn how to do that correctly.
May Allah bless us all to be men whose actions and speech are all based on knowledge.