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Picture of the National Library of China

“Go in quest of knowledge even unto China.:





Photograph by Tian-yu Xiong, National Geographic Your Shot


“As a local born and raised in Beijing, I love to capture the historical moments that arise in the capital city,” says Your Shot contributor Tian-yu Xiong. “This photograph was taken in the National Library of China, which resides in the middle of Haidian, also known as the educational district of Beijing. As I was wandering the hallways of the library I noticed the astonishing view and repetitive lines present in the architecture. The massive amount of people reading books and studying quietly with electronic devices by their sides also drew my attention to this stunning moment.”Tian-yu Xiong,






Learning = Prayer


  • He dieth not who giveth life to learning.

    Whoso honoreth the learned, honoreth me.

    The Messenger of God was asked, “What is the greatest vice of man?” He said, “You must not ask me about vice, but ask about virtue;” and he repeated this three times, after which he said, “Know ye! The worst of men is a bad learned man, and a good learned man is the best.”

    Verily god doth not taketh away knowledge from the hands of His servants; but taketh it by taking away the learned; so that when no learned men remain, the ignorant will be placed at the head of affairs. Causes will be submitted to their decision, they will pass sentence without knowledge, will err themselves, and lead others into error.

    An hour’s contemplation is better than a year’s adoration.

    Philosophy is the stray camel of the Faithful, take hold of it wherever ye come across it.

    Go in quest of knowledge even unto China.

    Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

    The knowledge from which no benefit is derived is like a treasure from which no charity is bestowed in the way of the Lord.

    Do you know what sappeth the foundation of Islam, and ruineth it? The errors of the learned destroy it, the disputations of the hypocrite, and the orders of kings who have lost the road.

    To spend more time in learning is better than spending more time praying; the support of religion is abstinence. It is better to teach knowledge one hour in the night than to pray all night.

    Whoever seeketh knowledge and findeth it, will get two rewards; one of them the reward for desiring it, and the other for attaining it; therefore, even if he do not attain it, for him is one reward.

    That person who shall die while he is studying, in order to revive the knowledge of religion, will be only one degree inferior to the prophets.

    One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshippers.

    The pursuit of knowledge is a divine commandment for every Muslim; and to waste knowledge on those who are unworthy of it is like putting pearls, jewels, and gold on the necks of swine.

    That person who shall pursue the path of knowledge, God will direct him to the path of Paradise; and verily the superiority of a learned man over an ignorant worshipper is like that of the full moon over all the stars.

    He who knoweth his own self, knoweth God.

    Verily the best of God’s servants are just and learned kings; and verily the worst are bad and ignorant kings.

    To listen to the words of the learned, and to instil into others the lessons of science, is better than religious exercises.

    The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

    He who leaveth home in search of knowledge, walketh in the path of God.

    One hour’s meditation on the work of the Creator is better than seventy years of prayer.

    God hath treasuries beneath the Throne, the keys whereof are the tongues of poets.

    The acquisition of knowledge is a duty incumbent one every Muslim, male and female.

    Acquire knowledge. It enableth its posessor to distinguish right from wrong; it lighteth the way to Heave; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless; it guideth us to happiness; it sustaineth us in misery; it is an ornament among friends, and an armour against enemies.

    With knowledge man riseth to the heights of goodness and to a noble position, associateth with sovereigns in this world, and attaineth to the perfection of happiness in the next.

    Learn to know thyself.

    The calamity of knowledge is forgetfulness; and to waste knowledge is to speak of it to the unworthy.

    Who are the learned? They who practise what they know.




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