The goal in our life should be, "I want to go to Jannah (Paradise)." It should be written in bold letters so that it serves a constant reminder for us. Prophet Muhammad (saw), who is the best of the creation, said," Whoever goes down a path/road searching for Knowledge, Allah Ta’ala will make easy for him the road to Paradise." [Saheeh Muslim, Vol.3 Hadith No. 99]
The Prophet (saw) did not leave behind any money, rather his inheritance was Deeni (Islamic) knowledge. The high status of knowledge has been established very strongly in Islam through explicit texts in the Qur'an and the Hadith as well as in the writings of the scholars of Islam. Allah Ta’ala said in Surat Al-Mujadalah, Ayah 11:
يَرْفَعِ اللهُ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ
“Allah Ta’ala raises the ranks of those among you who believe and those who were granted the knowledge”.
The Prophet (saw), in his hadith related by at-Tirmizi, said:
فَضْلُ العالِمِ على العابدِ كفَضْلِي على أدناكُم
“The virtue of the scholar over the worshiper is like my status over the status of the lowest Muslim”. The difference in virtues between the Prophet and the lowest Muslim is extremely great and likewise is the difference between the scholar and the worshiper.
Knowledge brings a great reward. The one who points the way to some thing good is like the one who does it. When the knowledgeable person dies, his reward with Allah Ta’ala does not cease when he dies, rather it continues to increase so long as people benefit from his knowledge. The Prophet (saw) said: “When a man dies, all his deeds come to an end except for three things: an ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous child who will pray for him”. (Muslim)
Knowledge is the ROAD to Paradise, and Islam is the vehicle that takes you to this destination of Paradise. Just like you get in a car to go from one destination to another, but how? By finding out the directions to get there, either by seeing a map or asking someone. Similarly, our Qur’an and Hadeeth are our maps, and our scholars are the people who give the directions from this map to get to our ultimate destination, Paradise.
In conclusion, we need to get our "cars" (Islam) fixed and focused on the right direction to our destination of Paradise. We need to pick up the "maps" (Qur’an & Sunnah) and ask knowledgeable people (scholars/imams) for directions (road/path) to Paradise.