Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari relates that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The similitude of guidance and knowledge that Allah has sent me with is like heavy rain that fell on a land. Some spots had good soil; they absorbed the water and brought forth much grass and herbs. Other spots were solid; they held the water. Allah thus made them useful to people: they drank, watered, and grew plantation. Some of the rain, however, fell on plane spots that retained no water and produced no herbage. Such is the likeness of the one who understood the religion of Allah and benefited from what Allah has sent me with; he learned and taught others. It is also the likeness of the one who did not raise his head to it (that is, he was too arrogant to learn and benefit) and thus did not accept Allah’s guidance with which I was sent.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ likens the divine guidance and knowledge revealed to him to heavy rain that fell on land. Some land was good enough to absorb water and grow plants, so the people made use of them. Other spots served as containers of water; it served the purposes of drinking and irrigating plants. And further spots neither held water nor produced plants.

Likewise, people receive guidance in different ways. Some understand, learn and teach it to others. Other people carry knowledge without having insight into it. And yet other people do not pay any heed to the guidance, and turn away from it.

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