Category Archives: What to study

The student of knowledge is known for his attention to memorising and understanding the Qur-aan

With regards to the books that the student of knowledge must work hard to memorise and understand, the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments in response to the question :

What are the books which you advise (us) to read and memorise, and what are the books you advise (us) to not read and have a grasp of?

The answer:

This cannot be said except by a person who has read all the books in the world, and knows what is (to be) read and what is not (to be) read. And this is not within my capability.

However I will say that the most important book which a person memorises and reflects on and of which he knows the meaning is: the Book of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

Upon you is the Book of Allaah, memorising and understanding and acting (upon it) and in terms of manners.

Indeed the character of the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was the Qur-aan; and the Qur-aan was sent down to the people so that they might reflect upon its aayaat and so that the men of understanding might remember– just as Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, said:

A Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, so that they may ponder over its aayaat and so that men of understanding may remember.[1]

And the Companions did not used to go beyond ten aayaat until they had learned them and what they contained by way of knowledge and action.They said, “So we learned the Qur-aan, knowledge and action together.”

Upon you is the Book of Allaah, then the authentic Sunnah of His Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sallam.

And it is known that there is ascribed to the Sunnah that which is not authentic, but Allaah has sent scholars – and all praise is for Allaah – to clarify what is authentic from it from that which is not authentic.

So perhaps you could memorise Umdat ul ahkaam or Buloogh ul maraam, so that you have a portion of the Prophetic Sunnah with you. Then (also) the books of creed and belief, such as al ‘Aqeedah al waasitiyyah of Shaykh ul Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, and the books of Tawheed such as Kitaab ut Tawheed of Shaykh ul Islaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil Wahhaab, and so on.

And it is a must that the student of knowledge has with him a scholar to whom he can read so that he (the scholar) can guide him to that which he sees to be best.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 265 – 266, translated by Nasser ibn Najam


[1] Soorah Saad (38) aayah 29

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The importance of learning the manhaj

With regards to the importance of learning the manhaj, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

And our encouraging the students upon (following) the manhaj of the salaf necessitates our urging them to have knowledge and awareness of the manhaj of the salaf – is this not so?

So let us look at the books which have been written about this, such as siyyar a’laam an nubalaa and others besides it, such that we become aware of their path; and we proceed upon this upright path.

As for if we were to say, “We follow the salaf!” and yet we do not know what they used to do, then this is a deficiency (in us) without doubt.

(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p22, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

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TEST YOURSELF – awliyaa

QUESTION: What is the response to the person who claims that he calls upon the awliyaa (beloved servants of Allaah) only as intermediaries between him and Allaah, and that he acknowledges that it is Allaah alone who is the Creator and the Sustainer?

ANSWER: Then this misguided person is just like the mushriks of old who also acknowledged tawheed ur ruboobeeyah, but made shirk in their worship by calling upon other than Allaah – claiming that their objects of worship were merely intermediaries between them and Allaah.

«Is it not that the religion of pure tawheed is for Allaah (alone)?

And those who take awliyaa other than Allaah (claim): We worship them only so that they might bring us closer to Allaah!»

Soorah az Zumar (39) aayah 3

And Allaah passes the verdict of kufr upon these people in the same aayah.

«Indeed, Allaah does not guide the liar, the disbeliever.»

Soorah az Zumar (39) aayah 3

(Taken from the Kashfush Shubuhaat Questions and Answers available on this website. This question was prepared using Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan’s explanation.)

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Test yourself! A question on the mushriks of our time

Why are the mushriks of our time worse than the mushriks at the time of the Prophet sall Allaahu alaihi wa sallam?

Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahhaab gives one reason in Qawaaidul Arba-ah (The Four Principles). What proof does he bring?

See pages 4, 36, 37 and 53 of the Study Guide for the Four Principles for the answer.

Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan gives another reason in the explanation. What is it?

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Something for someone who is unsure about salafeeah

Do you know someone who prays and fasts, but is not sure whether salafeeah is the right way? Do they become annoyed when they are told that there is only one path that is correct in Islaam? They like to hear eemaan-building narrations but hate all criticism, even of the most deviant groups amongst the Muslims. They feel that it is wrong to criticise any Muslim group and become annoyed when you restrict the Truth to a single group of Muslims.

Why not go through with them a book written by one of the giants of our salaf? A book written in the early times of Islaam?

One such book written about the basics of our religion is that of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, called Foundations of the Sunnah, known in Arabic as Usool us Sunnah. This tremendous book contains what he considered to be the basics of the religion that the early Muslims agreed on. A book that teaches us that there is only correct path in Islaam and what that correct path is. The path which, if the Muslims were to follow it, would lead to unity amongst us. 

I have a study guide on this book, checked by Abu Talhah a few years ago while he was alive. It is available on this website on this page. I know sisters who have used this study guide. It is not only for those who are unsure about the correct manhaj; it can benefit us all to run through the main points of aqeedah again and in doing so, pick up some new points too. The Study Guide is only short (9 weeks if you study it for 45 minutes a week) in Multiple Choice format. Additional quotes from scholars have been included, mostly from books that are available in English.

May Allaah help us all in sticking to the straight way.

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