Category Archives: Action

The student of knowledge is the first of the people to act upon his knowledge

With regards to the student of knowledge being the foremost to put his knowledge into practice, the scholar Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah stated:

Upon you – baarak Allaahu feekum – is to act upon what you know because this is the fruit of knowledge.

No, what is the benefit of knowledge which the person does not act upon? There is no benefit in it – rather it will be something harmful for the person.

By Allaah, the ignorant person is better than the person of knowledge who does not act upon his knowledge.

So the proof has been established against the person of knowledge who does not act (upon his knowledge) and the excuse has been cut off for him.

So sometimes the ignorant person learns (something) and (then) acts; but as for the man who is a person of knowledge but he does not act, then his knowledge is a harm for him. Therefore the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sallam said:

The Qur-aan is a proof for you or against you.[1]

And the Qur-aan is knowledge. So as for the person who memorises the Qur-aan, then is the Qur-aan a proof for him?

The Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam divided that into two categories. He said:

… a proof for you or against you.

So it is a proof for you if you act upon it and it is a proof against you if you do not act upon it.

Therefore I urge you to act upon what you have learned such that your knowledge becomes a proof for you, and a means to your attaining the everlasting abode of bliss. I ask Allaah that He makes me and you to be from its people.

Therefore it is a must to act (upon knowledge). And let us strike an example for this.

When a person knows that the prayer is obligatory upon him and that it is obligatory for him to establish them with the congregation in the mosques, then is it befitting for him that he neglects this obligation and that he does not pray except when it is easy for him? When he wakes up from his sleep, (only then) does he pray? When he has a break from work (only then) does he pray?

Is this befitting for him whilst he knows that the prayer in congregation is obligatory for him to be negligent about this?

No, this is absolutely unbefitting for him – and if not, then the ignorant person is better than him.

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p178 to 179, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

[1]Reported by Muslim (223) from the hadeeth of Aboo Maalik al Ash’aree

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Imam ibn al Mubaarak on the seeking of knowledge

The renowned scholar of hadeeth, ‘Abdullaah ibn al Mubaarak  (died 181 AH) rahimahullaah said:

“The beginning of al ‘ilm (knowledge) is the intention,

then listening carefully,

then understanding,

then memorising,

then action,

then propagating.”

And he rahimahullaah also said:

“There is nothing more excellent than seeking knowledge for the sake of Allaah.

And there is nothing more hateful to Allaah than seeking knowledge for other than Allaah.”

Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 11 to 12, translated by Nasser ibn Najam

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The student of knowledge acts on his knowledge

With regards to the student of knowledge having the least excuse for not acting upon his knowledge, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments :

So what is the fruit of knowledge?

The fruit of knowledge is: acting upon it and calling to it.

Therefore the obligation to act upon knowledge for the student of knowledge is greater than what is obligatory on other than him – because the ignorant person is not an imaam (leader). So he is not taken as a role model, not in his action nor in his statements.

However the student of knowledge is taken as a role model. Therefore, upon the student of knowledge is to act on his knowledge because the student of knowledge carries his weapon – either it will be against him or it will be for him, just as the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

The Qur-aan is a proof for you or against you. [1]

And there is no third category here, such that the Qur-aan would be neither for you nor against you. It is either for you or against you, so when will it be for you?

The answer: It will be for you if you act upon it, and if you are a righteous role model in directing the creation towards goodness.

And it will be against you if you neglect it and turn away from it and relinquish it.

Therefore it is obligatory upon us to act upon knowledge and that we be righteous role models and that we be imaams for our Islamic nations in whichever place (we are in) – because if a person acts upon what he knows, he becomes an imaam; Allaah, the Most High, will bequeath to him knowledge which he did not know of before.

Pay attention to this point: if you act upon what you know you will become an imaam and the people will copy you and you will become a role model, then Allaah, the Most High, will increase you in knowledge and he will bequeath to you knowledge of a matter which you did not know beforehand.

And read the statement of Allaah, the Most High:

And as for those who accept guidance, then He increases them in guidance…[2]

Meaning: in knowledge.

…and He bestows upon them their taqwaa (fear and dutifulness to Him).[3]

Meaning: action.

Upon you is action on knowledge.

If you know that Allaah has made obligatory such-and-such upon you, then hasten to (do) it. You know that Allaah has made such-and-such forbidden for you, then distance yourself from it.

And if not, then you have missed out on the fruit of knowledge, you have completely missed out on it.

Therefore the fruit of knowledge and the intent behind it is acting (upon it).

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 258 to 260, translated by Nasser ibn Najam


[1] Reported by Muslim (223) from the hadeeth of Abu Maalik al Ash’aree

[2] Soorah Muhammad (47) aayah 17

[3] Soorah Muhammad (47) aayah 17

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The people take more benefit from the actions and manners of the student than from his speech

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaymeen stated:

I encourage you likewise such that the effect of knowledge is manifested upon you and you know that the outward bearing of the student of knowledge is: dignity and acting in a patient, unhurried manner and fine manners with his companions and with other than them.

So you find the student of knowledge who has taken benefit from his knowledge will be teaching the people by means of his haal (condition) that which they benefit from, (and it is) greater than the benefit they take from his speech – meaning that (the benefit that take from) their imitating his actions and his manners is more than that which they take from his statements.

This is because the actions and the manners of the student of knowledge are a true representation of the student of knowledge.

As for (his) merely acquiring the branches of knowledge but they are not manifested upon him and it is not known “is he a student of knowledge or (just) a man in the street”? Then this (person) has nottaken any benefit from his knowledge.

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pp142 to 143, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

 

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Not acting on knowledge causes harm to the student and is a proof against him

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaymeen stated:

Therefore it is a must for the student of knowledge to act upon (his) knowledge. So if he does not act, then knowledge becomes a harm upon him and a proof against him. And therefore the Prophet ‘alaihis salaatu wassalaam said:

The Qur-aan is a proof for you or against you.[1]

And know that if you act upon knowledge, you will be earning worship and an increase in your knowledge because Allaah says:

And as for those who accept guidance, He (Allaah) increases them in guidance and bestows upon their taqwaa.

SoorahMuhammad (47) aayah 17

So (as for) knowledge, then Allaah certainly increases people by it and He lowers others. So whoever seeks knowledge forAllaah, obeying His command and wishing to sincerely advise His servants –Allaah will raise him.

Allaah, the Most High, said:

Allaah raises in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge.

Soorahal Mujaadilah (58) aayah 11

Therefore I urge you, my brothers, upon acting upon knowledge such that it becomes light for you and a means of increase by which you may be guided.

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm p142, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

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The student of knowledge is known for his remembrance of Allaah

The noble scholar, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah stated:

It is binding upon the student of knowledge that he makes apparent the effect of seeking knowledge upon himself in worship and in methodology and in interactions with other people – so that he is known for abundance of acts of worship and turning in recourse to Allaah, the Most High, and reverence and humility in front of Him and perseverance in making remembrance of Him, He the Most High… So let him make manifest the effect of knowledge upon himself in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and turning in recourse to Him and turning repentantly to Him.

And that his heart does not become neglectful of the remembrance of Allaah, for indeed the heart becoming neglectful of the remembrance of Allaah is a cause of disappointment and loss of time and lack of success.

And listen carefully to the statement of Allaah, the Most High:

And do not obey the one whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance and who follows his desires. And his affair has been lost.

Soorah al Kahf (18) aayah 28

 

“his affair” – meaning his affair in its entirety – is “lost” – there is no blessing in it.

However if a person is constant in remembrance of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, with the tongue and the heart and the limbs, then there occurs in his lifespan blessing and the goodness is plentiful.

And read the statement of Allaah, the Most High:

Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for the people of understanding.

Soorah aale ‘Imraan (3) aayah 190

Meaning – for the people who possess intellect.

Those who remember Allaah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides and who ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Meaning they say:

Our Lord, You have not created this without purpose. How free and far removed are you from doing anything without purpose.[1] Then save us from the punishment of the Fire.

Soorah aale ‘Imraan (3) aayah 191

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p46 to 47 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)


[1] Refer to the Tafseer of at Tabaree rahimahullaah

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Not acting upon knowledge leads to difficulty in remembering it

With regards to the student of knowledge acting upon his knowledge, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

Therefore it is a must that (he) act upon what he has knowledge of – because if he does not act upon his knowledge he becomes from the first of those who will be burned by the Fire on the Day of Resurrection:

The scholar who does not act upon his knowledge                          

Will be punished before the worshippers of idols

This is one aspect – if he does not act upon his knowledge, it will result in disappointment regarding the knowledge, and no barakah (blessing), and nisyaan (forgetfulness) of the knowledge…  And therefore it was reported from Imaam ‘Alee radi Allaahu ‘anhu that he said: Knowledge calls out for action, so either it is responded to or else it departs…

So what is it that departs? Knowledge, and this is something clear – because if you act upon (your) knowledge, you will remember it each time you act.

And I will strike an example for you – that of a man who knows the description of the salaat (prayer) from the Sunnah. So he begins to act upon it whenever he prays. Will he forget what he has learned? He will not forget because he keeps on repeating it. However, if he were to leave off acting upon it, he would forget. And this is an evidence which can be perceived (by us) – that acting upon knowledge necessitates firmness upon (that) knowledge, and that (the person) does not forget it.

(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p24-25 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

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