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Ignorance is not Acting upon Knowledge

Ignorance is
not Acting upon Knowledge


Shaykh ‘Allama AbdurRahman bin Nasr as-Sa’adi

Translated by

Abbas Abu Yahya

Shaykh ‘Allama AbdurRahman bin Nasr as-Sa’adi mentioned from the benefits of the story of Yusuf –alayhi as-Salaam:

That ignorance – just as it applies to not having knowledge – it also applies to not having gentleness) and it applies to committing sins, due to the saying of Allaah:

وَإِلَّا تَصۡرِفۡ عَنِّي كَيۡدَهُنَّ أَصۡبُ إِلَيۡهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ ٱلۡجَٰهِلِينَ

<< And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant. >> [Yusuf: 33]

And His saying:

هَلۡ عَلِمۡتُم مَّا فَعَلۡتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذۡ أَنتُمۡ جَٰهِلُونَ

<< ‘Do you know what you did with Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?’ >> [Yusuf: 89]

Here it does not mean not having knowledge rather it is not acting upon that knowledge and plunging into sinning.

And From that is the saying of Musa –alayhi sallam:

أَعُوذُ بِٱللَّهِ أَنۡ أَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡجَٰهِلِينَ

<< ‘I seek refuge in Allaah from being among the ignorant.’ >> [Baqarah: 67]

And Allaah’s saying:

إِنَّمَا ٱلتَّوۡبَةُ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلسُّوٓءَ بِجَهَٰلَةٖ  ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٖ

<< The repentance accepted by Allaah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after.>> [Nisa’: 17]

Everyone who disobeys Allaah is an ignorant person with regard to not acting upon knowledge, because a person continues to have ignorance of real knowledge (i.e. the more a person learns the more he realizes he is ignorant.) however it still obligates acting upon the knowledge he has.’

[Taken from: ‘Benefits from the Story of Yusuf’, from Chapter 7 The Soul Inclines Towards Evil]