Allah Subhanahu WaTa’ala says in Surat Adh-Dhariyaat,
وذكر فان الذكرى تنفع المؤمنين
And remind, for verily reminder benefits the believers
What many fail to take from this ayah is that Allah SWT does not command to “teach”, rather the majority of ayaat in the Qur’an revolve in reference to revelation and ‘ilm are of تذكير – reminding.
The act of reminding indicates that the issue/concept had already been taught, and that al-insaan (comes from the word nisyan to mean forgetful) are in need of constantly being reminded, more than the need to be taught new things.
There is a current trend where when an ayah, hadith or an islamic concept is being reminded of or brought to attention, some respond with “Oh I already know that” or “I heard/read that before”. One can’t help but wonder why is it so difficult for one to simply heed the reminder and to try to internalize and reflect on why Allah swt may have caused it to be re-iterated, in hopes to extract the benefit. This should be the ideal response than to shoot down the reminder with boasting it as being an already existing knowledge.
Is it fear of not knowing, or the fear of seeming unknowing which could possibly be the true image that we are hiding behind a bunch of memorized ahadith and sayings that causes to respond in such an unbefitting manner to ‘ilm?
How then can we compare to the scholarly giants to whom people would travel across countries only to receive the answer “Allahu alam” (Allah knows best).
Point being, it is ok to be ignorant (so long as one is constantly seeking clarity) and it is ok to hear things over and over again, even if it gives off the image of not knowing. At the end of the day, ilm isn’t an image or a title, it is what the heart takes in for His sake and what is reflected in our actions in response to it.
There are scholars whose full names and bios aren’t even known (ex. Imam Bayquni Rahimahullah, author of Al Bayquniyyah), yet their works continue to light their graves with generated on going-good deeds, InshaAllah.
Allah made them known by being unknown.
يرفع الله الذين امنوا منكم والذين اوتوا العلم درجات