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Story 117: In The Presence Of Scholar

A man from "Ansar" the helpers came to the Holy Prophet (S) and asked him: “O Messenger of Allah! If it happens to me to choose either to attend the funeral and burial ceremonies of a corpse or to take part in a literary circle which benefits us, and there will be no other opportunity to participate in both, for participation in either of them deprives me of the other, which one of those two will you advise me to take part in?”

The Holy Prophet (S) said in reply: "If there are some other people accompanying the corpse and burying it, attend the literary circle. In fact, the participation in a literary circle is better than the presence in one thousand funerals, visit of one thousand ill, worship of one thousand nights, fasting of one thousand days, giving the alms of one thousand dirhams, performance of one thousand obligatory “Hajj” and unobligatory "Jihad". There is no comparison between this and the attendance in the presence of a scholar. Don't you know that the Almighty Allah is obeyed by knowledge, and He is worshipped by the knowledge? The goodness of this world and the hereafter is coupled with knowledge just as the evil of the world and that of the hereafter is coupled with it.1

  • 1. Bihar ul-Anwar, v. 1, p. 204.