Gaining the Knowledge of the daily Shariah rules necessary for life is an individual obligation (fard Ain) on every Muslim. This is because the Muslim is commanded to carry out his actions according to the Shariah rules, not according to interest and desire. وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ “It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” [Al-Ahzab: 36]
The speech of the Legislator to the people that assigned the actions (takleef) and addressed the believers by is decisive. There is no choice in the matter, whether in belief or in the action of man. Allah (swt) says ءامِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ “Believe in Allah and His Messenger” [An-Nisa’: 136].
And His (swt) saying وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا “But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest” [Al-Baqara: 275].
Both are speech of assignment. As for the extra knowledge to what is required in the life of the people, of the Shar’i rulings, it is a fard of sufficiency (fard Kifayah) not an individual obligation (Ain); If it is undertaken by a few, the rest are exempt from performing them.
In order to worship Allah in the manner He (swt) chose, we must learn the rules of His Deen. We need to know what are the obligations, so that we carry them out, and we need to know what are the prohibitions, so that we abstain from them. Therefore the first step after people entered into the Deen of God is that they were taught by the Prophet ﷺ the rules of Islam and taught the Qur’an. He ﷺ used to meet them secretly in Dar al-Arqam ibn Abi al-Arqam during the secret stage of the Call, which lasted three years. Also the Sahabah taught each other Islam in their homes, as was the case of Khabab with Saeed bin Zaid and Fatima Bint al-Khattab may Allah be pleased with them all.
When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ sought the support (Nusra) of the tribes to establish the state, and Al-Aus and Al-Khazraj responded to Him and gave Him the Bay’ah (pledge) of the first pledge Aqaba, he ﷺ sent with them Mus’ab bin Omair to Medina to teach them Islam; this is reported in the Seerah (biography) by Ibn Hisham: “Ibn Ishaq said: When the people left, the Prophet ﷺ sent with them Mus’ab bin Omair bin Hashim bin Abd Manaf bin Abdul Dar bin Qusay, and ordered him to teach them the Qur’an, and teach them Islam, and teach them the Deen. So the reciter of the Qur’an in Medina was called “Mus’ab”. When Musab said to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that Islam entered every household and a number of the people embraced it, and when the force was facilitated to Musab, he returned to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and suggested that the people of power come the next season and meet the Prophet and he lays down his conditions, because they were ready to answer.
Even after Allah granted by His grace the Muslims the establishment of the state, he ﷺ did not stop teaching Muslims the rules of His Deen, but he began to teach them rules concerning their new life after the establishment of the state, such as the rules of jihad, Hudood and other rules, and he continued to send delegations from the companions to teach people the rules of Islam and to invite them to Islam, like when the Messenger ﷺ sent Mu’adh bin Jabal and Abu Musa al-Ash’ari to Yemen. On the authority of Mu’adh, he said: the Messenger of Allah ﷺ sent me to Yemen, he said: «إِنَّكَ تأْتي قَوْماً منْ أَهْلِ الكِتَابِ، فَادْعُهُمْ إِلى شَهَادةِ أَنْ لا إِله إِلاَّ اللَّه، وأَنِّي رسولُ اللَّه، فَإِنْ أَطاعُوا لِذلكَ، فَأَعْلِمهُم أَنَّ اللَّه تَعالى افْتَرَض عَلَيْهِمْ خمْسَ صَلواتٍ في كلِّ يَوْمٍ ولَيْلَةٍ، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوا لِذلكَ، فأَعْلِمهُم أَنَّ اللَّه افْتَرَض علَيْهِمْ صَدقة تُؤْخَذُ مِنْ أَغْنِيائِهم فَتُردُّ عَلى فُقَرائِهم، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوا لِذلَكَ، فَإِيَّاكَ وكَرائِم أَمْوالِهم وَاتَّقِ دَعْوة المظْلُومِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ بَيْنَهَا وبيْنَ اللَّهِ حِجَابٌ» “You will go to the people of the Book. First call them to testify that ‘there is no true god except Allah, that I am (Muhammad (ﷺ)) the Messenger of Allah.’ If they obey you, tell them that Allah has enjoined upon them five Salat (prayers) during the day and night; and if they obey you, inform them that Allah has made Zakat obligatory upon them; that it should be collected from their rich and distributed among their poor; and if they obey you refrain from picking up (as a share of Zakat) the best of their wealth. Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” [Agreed upon]
The Muslims in the conquests conveyed Islam to the people when they opened their lands and taught them the Qur’an and Hadith and the rules of the Deen and taught them the Arabic language too. Just as our Messenger taught us Islam and its rulings, he also taught us the method of how to perform these rulings. Islam linked knowledge with action, and each idea has a method of implementation. If a Muslim wants to pray, he must learn the rulings of purity and prayer, and the way to perform them according to the Shar’iah. The Prophet ﷺ said: «صَلُّوا كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُونِي أُصَلِّي» “Pray as you have seen me praying.”
If his money reaches the nisaab and the year is passed on it and Zakat is obliged on it, he has to know what he needs to pay and how much he owns. If he wants to do Hajj, he should learn the rites of Hajj «خُذُوا عَنِّي مَنَاسِكَكُمْ» “Take your rites (of Hajj) from me.”
If he workes for the establishment of the Islamic state, he must learn all that establishes the state based on the Seerah of the Prophet ﷺ.
Islam came with rules dealing with the individual, and rules related to the group, because it is not a Deen of the priesthood, it is rather a Deen which a state emanates from. Its laws were revealed to be implemented in life, and to bring people out of the darkness to the light. As it is required of the Muslim to have Iman (belief) and taqwa (piety), and abstain from Kufr and sin, it is required of him to carry Islam as a message of guidance and a light to the world, and to work to establish the entity that protects the believers’ creed and taqwa, protects them from falling into the traps of Kufr and sin and propagates the message to the rest of the nations and people. The Prophet ﷺ did not ask those who believed with him to just have Iman and taqwa, and to learn the Shar’i rulings that are required for their daily lives only, but rather he ﷺ worked with them to create an environment of Iman and taqwa by establishing an entity that makes the whole society walk in the same direction as the individual’s belief and taqwa. This is what he achieved when he established the Islamic State in Medina.
This is what we must do as Muslims today; to learn Allah’s rules and implement them on the individual level, and to seek to establish them in life by establishing a state that guarantees their implementation on the Muslims at home and propagates them to non-Muslims away. We are the just nation chosen by Allah to be witnesses to people on the Day of Judgment; if we give up our duty towards this Deen, and did not carry it and propagate it to the world, we would give up the action of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and the ship will sink, and we will be with the sunken ones and losers in this world and the Hereafter, Allah forbid. Narrated by An-Nu’man bin Bashir, the Prophet ﷺ said: «مَثَلُ القَائِمِ في حُدودِ اللَّه، والْوَاقِعِ فِيهَا كَمَثَلِ قَومٍ اسْتَهَمُوا عَلَى سفينةٍ، فصارَ بعضُهم أعلاهَا، وبعضُهم أسفلَها، وكانَ الذينَ في أَسْفَلِهَا إِذَا اسْتَقَوْا مِنَ الماءِ مَرُّوا عَلَى مَنْ فَوْقَهُمْ، فَقَالُوا: لَوْ أَنَّا خَرَقْنَا في نَصيبِنا خَرْقاً وَلَمْ نُؤْذِ مَنْ فَوْقَنَا. فَإِنْ تَرَكُوهُمْ وَمَا أَرادُوا هَلكُوا جَمِيعاً، وإِنْ أَخَذُوا عَلَى أَيْدِيهِم نَجَوْا ونَجَوْا جَمِيعاً» The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.” (Bukhari)