Al-Kāfi - Volume 1 > Chapter on Utilization of Knowledge
Hadith #6

6ـ عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ رَفَعَهُ قَالَ قَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) فِي كَلامٍ لَهُ خَطَبَ بِهِ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِذَا عَلِمْتُمْ فَاعْمَلُوا بِمَا عَلِمْتُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ إِنَّ الْعَالِمَ الْعَامِلَ بِغَيْرِهِ كَالْجَاهِلِ الْحَائِرِ الَّذِي لا يَسْتَفِيقُ عَنْ جَهْلِهِ بَلْ قَدْ رَأَيْتُ أَنَّ الْحُجَّةَ عَلَيْهِ أَعْظَمُ وَالْحَسْرَةُ أَدْوَمُ عَلَى هَذَا الْعَالِمِ الْمُنْسَلِخِ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ مِنْهَا عَلَى هَذَا الْجَاهِلِ الْمُتَحَيِّرِ فِي جَهْلِهِ وَكِلاهُمَا حَائِرٌ بَائِرٌ لا تَرْتَابُوا فَتَشُكُّوا وَلا تَشُكُّوا فَتَكْفُرُوا وَلا تُرَخِّصُوا لانْفُسِكُمْ فَتُدْهِنُوا وَلا تُدْهِنُوا فِي الْحَقِّ فَتَخْسَرُوا وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحَقِّ أَنْ تَفَقَّهُوا وَمِنَ الْفِقْهِ أَنْ لا تَغْتَرُّوا وَإِنَّ أَنْصَحَكُمْ لِنَفْسِهِ أَطْوَعُكُمْ لِرَبِّهِ وَأَغَشَّكُمْ لِنَفْسِهِ أَعْصَاكُمْ لِرَبِّهِ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ الله يَأْمَنْ وَيَسْتَبْشِرْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ الله يَخِبْ وَيَنْدَمْ.

6. A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from his father in a marfu‘ manner (rafa’ahu) from Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s.) who has said the following. “Once Imam Ali (a.s.) said in one of his sermons, ‘O people, if you learn and gain knowledge you must act accordingly so that you may have guidance. A learned person who disregards his knowledge is like a lost and ignorant person who never comes to the right path due to his ignorance. In fact, you will find the case against such the learned that disregards his knowledge more sever and his regret more prolonged, compared to the ignorant person who wonders about in it. Both people stray and are devoid of goodness. Do not hesitate lest you will doubt and do not doubt lest you will disbelieve. Do not be lenient to your souls to play lazy. Do not trivialize the truth lest you will lose badly. It is of the truth to learn Fiqh, proper understanding of religion. It is of Fiqh, proper understanding of religion not to suffer deceit. The wisest for ones self among you is the one most obedient to his Lord. The most deceitful to himself among you is the disobedient one to his Lord. One who obeys Allah is safe and glad news awaits him but one who disobeys his Allah he loses and regrets.’”