Oh Allaah, Benefit Me By That Which You Have Taught Me"!
[ 'Insha Allah' ]
On the authority of Anas ibn Maalik (radi Allahu 'anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) used to say:-
"Oh Allaah, benefit me by that which you have taught me, teach me that which will benefit me, and provide me with knowledge that will benefit me)."
[ an-Nasaa'ee in al-Kubraa:7868 and al-Haakim: 1:510]
"Allahumman fa'nee bi-maa 'allam-ta-nee wa 'allim-nee maa yanfa'u-nee war zuq-nee 'ilman yanfa'u-nee"
At-Tirmidhee has a similar hadeeth on the authority of Abee Hurayrah (radiAllahu 'anhu) where the Messenger
(sallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) says at the end of it:-
"Wa zid-nee 'ilman al hamdulillah 'ala kulli haal wa a'oothu billahi min haal ahlin naar" .
"And increase me in knowledge. All praise is for Allaah in all circumstances and I seek refuge with Allaah from the condition of the people of Hell."
[Saheeh at-Tirmidhee (3599). Authentic excluding-
"all praise for Allaah....." unto the end.]
"Oh Allaah, benefit me by that which you have taught me…"
This is because~~
A person could have knowledge of something but not gain any benefit from it and his knowledge (would then) become a proof against him. He would become like a donkey carrying books, carrying around knowledge but not receiving anything from them. So the intent is not merely to gain knowledge.
However, the intent is (to gain) knowledge and action, the knowledge that benefits it's possessor.
As for knowledge that isn't beneficial, then this doesn't aid the person at all. Rather, he will be from the foremost to be roasted in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection as it is authenticated in the hadeeth.
"Teach me that which will benefit me…"
Because if Allaah doesn't teach an individual, he will not learn anything. Just as the angels said:-
"Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us."
So you are asking Allaah to teach you what will benefit you and benefit you by what He teaches you.
"And provide me with knowledge that will benefit me."
He (sallaahu 'alayhi wasallam)
didn't just say "knowledge"only. Rather he said "knowledge which will benefit me."
Knowledge that is of no benefit will be a proof against the one who has it.
So in this (hadeeth) there is a very important regard for (beneficial) knowledge and that the Muslim should ask Allaah to teach him what will benefit him and to make his knowledge beneficial for him and not a proof against him.
This hadeeth proves that knowledge is connected to action.
So there is no benefit in action/s without knowledge instead it will be a cause for misguidance.
And likewise there is no benefit in knowledge without action. Rather that would enrage Allaah,
[ Glorified be He and Most High ]
This is why we supplicate daily:-
"Guide us to the straight path. The path of those whom you have bestowed your grace upon."
They are the people of knowledge and action.
"Not the way of those who earned your anger." [Quran-1:7]
They are the people of knowledge without action.
"Nor those who are astray."
They are the people of action without knowledge.
Hence there isn't any benefit in knowledge without action nor action without knowledge.
They must be united with one another.
"And increase me in knowledge…"
This comes in the Qur'aan.
"And say: Oh my Lord increase me in knowledge."
No matter how much a person attains of knowledge he is still ignorant. That which he is ignorant of outweighs that which he has knowledge of by far.
So no one should have the audacity to say:-
"Im finished (seeking knowledge),
I've gained an abundant amount of 'ilm."
No, let him ponder over the statement of the Most High:-Subhan Allah-
"But over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allaah)."
So (in this du'a) you are asking Allaah to be increased in beneficial knowledge.
"All praise is for Allaah in all circumstances and I seek refuge with Allaah from the condition of the people of Hell."
This is praising and exalting Allaah in all situations. Therefore the Muslim praises Allaah in all situations. In good times he praises Allaah and in bad times he still praises Allaah, and he seeks refuge with Allaah from the condition of the people of Hell.