In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
A Concise Explanation from Shaykh Rabee’ (May Allaah Preserve him) on the hadeeth of the supplication of the Messenger for Ibn Abbaas
قال: حدثنا موسى بن إسماعيل. قال: حدثنا وهيب، عن خالد، عن عكرمة،
عن ابن عباس قال: ضمني إليه النبي ﷺ وقال: “اللهم علمه الكتاب”
Al-Bukhaaree (May Allaah have mercy upon him) said: Moosaa Ibn Isma’eel narrated to us, from Wuhayb who narrated to him, from Khaalid, from ‘Ikrimah, from Ibn Abbaas who said: The Messenger ﷺ embraced me and said: “O Allaah, Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book (of Allaah)”. [Ref 1]
This is a tremendous supplication. If Allaah teaches a person His Book (i.e. the Qur’aan) and grants him (sound) understanding regarding it, then there is no blessing greater than this blessing after being blessed with Islaam. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ supplicated for him with this supplication, then Allaah answered the supplication of His Messenger on his behalf (i.e for Ibn Abbaas). He came to be from the most knowledgeable of the people concerning the book of Allaah and the people named him Hibr Al-Ummah (The Learned one of the Ummah) due to his knowledge of the Book of Allaah. Ibn Mas’ood – May Allah have mercy on him – said about him (i.e. Ibn Abbaas): ”If Ibn Abbaas was alive, we would not be a tenth of his knowledge – Meaning: We would not equate to a tenth of his knowledge–He (Ibn Mas’ood) recognised Ibn Abbaas for his understanding and knowledge regarding the religion of Allaah and his (sound) understanding of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ.
And he (Ibn Abbaas) was from the most knowledgeable of the people regarding the book of Allaah, and he was the one who was returned to for the Tafseer of the Qur’aan regarding the difficult matters, as he was from the most intelligent and knowledgeable of the people concerning the Book of Allaah, because Allaah answered the supplication of the Messenger of Allaahﷺ on his behalf.
This understanding and the knowledge did not reach him except due to Allaah answering this tremendous supplication of His Messenger ﷺ. This shows the importance of the Book and the Sunnah, for he ﷺ did not supplicate for him (to be granted) a lot of wealth, children, (high) status and authority; rather he chose this tremendous supplication, and that is that Allaah grants him understanding of the religion, and understanding of the Qur’aan. And in another narration, the Messenger supplicated: (O Allaah, teach him the interpretation (of the Qur’aan). Meaning: The explanation of the Qur’aan and understanding of it. [Ref 2: End of quote]
May Allaah preserve Shaykh Rabee and Place this tremendous reminder on his scale of good deeds (Aameen).
[Ref 1. Al-Bukhaari ‘kitaab al-I’tisaam’ Hadeeth Number 6842]
[Ref 2. Source: Bahjatul-Qaaree p.12-13. slightly paraphrased]