In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Surah Al- Furqan (25:47) “ It is He who has made the night as a covering mantle for you and (who has made) sleep for (a short) rest (as well as a sign of eternal rest – the death), and (has made) the day for rising up and going about (to seek livelihood and also a sign of Resurrection)”.
From the above verse, Allah specifically mentioned “rising up and going about to seek livelihood”. This therefore implies that Allah enjoins us to seek our daily bread by engaging in lawful activities that will fetch us money to take care of our daily needs. Whether we decide to impart knowledge on others as a way of livelihood or decide to be a lawyer to get our daily bread, Allah enjoins us to seek a source of livelihood.
The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was reported to have said “Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than that which one has earned by working with one’s own hands”. (Sahih Al- Bukhari).
From the above hadith, the Prophet (S.A.W.) wasn’t quoted to have said that because I have just graduated from Markaz A- Taleem Al- Arobiy Al- Islaamiy (popularly called Morcas) in Agege, Lagos, then I shouldn’t learn a trade or vocation to pay my bills. Since I have arrived, I can stay in my one room apartment and become the Ustaz that fasts and prays for everyone as a source of livelihood.
The Ummah is in a sorry state today because of the hypocrisy being displayed by most of those knowledgeable about Islam. This is because most of the Alfas, Ustazs and Sheiks have turned themselves to errand boys of the rich. You see something going wrong in the society and instead of speaking against it, you cover it up and smile with the Alhaji or rich young lady. Why, because he/she pays your bills and telling him/her the truth marks the end of the source of your livelihood. When our Alfas, Ustazs and Sheiks cannot tell us the truth to our faces, then we are in serious trouble.
My knowledgeable brother, why don’t you get a job or learn a vocation so that you can have the confidence to tell me the truth. In the current situation that we find ourselves, we require knowledgeable people who can speak the truth no matter whose ox is gored. My dear Alfa, Ustaz or Sheik, why don’t you just save yourself from this embarrassment and get a job. You sit at a corner in your home and look through a bowl of sand and you can predict what will happen in the future.
While it is understandable if you run an Islamic organization where you impart knowledge in a school-like environment and you make your livelihood from that. What I do not understand is a Muadhin thinking he doesn’t need a job as praying and fasting on behalf of people is now a job.
What I expect right now, as it is so glaring that there is a dearth of islamically-knowledgeable Muslim youths, is that the Alfas, Ustaz and Sheiks would embark on promos to teach youths how to read the Quran and explain the contents of the hadith. I do not expect them to be hoarding knowledge at this critical moment. I would expect that they will know better the amount of hassanat gained for teaching someone the words of the Quran.
A young man comes to you and ask you for nakali (I hope my spelling is correct). You should be asking him if he knows how to read the Quran, if yes, he should refer to the Quran, if No, teach him how to read.
It is so sad today that even the Alfas are in a rush to buy Prado Jeeps, how? All by telling the Alhaji you can pay us to pray and fast for you and all your prayers will be answered. Alfa, even you do not know if your prayers have been answered.
In conclusion, It was narrated by Anas Bin Malik that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said “Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters) and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam”|.
So are you giving the knowledge freely or are you selling it to the highest bidder.