Category Archives: Fine manners

The student of knowledge acts with wisdom and fine manners when dealing with rumours

With regards to the student of knowledge being the foremost to silence rumour mongering in a way that has wisdom and good manners and not being one who spreads rumours, the scholar Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah advised the students:

And I advise you likewise to not squander your time with insulting and reviling, not (doing so) to the rest of the people nor to those in authority from the scholars or leaders.

We say: everyone makes mistakes, no doubt; and no one is rendered free from making mistakes except the one whom Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has rendered immune (from that). However should we take errors upon ourselves by way of other people’s mistakes?

No. If someone other than us makes a mistake, we ask Allaah to grant him success in coming to what is correct. This is the most that we can do if we are not able to get to him in order to explain to him that he is upon error.

And therefore I say: always we hear about such-and-such a person that he said such-and-such statement which we hold to be an error and something not correct.

But do we accept this merely on the basis of hearing it, thus building our belief about this man (on that) – the person about whom we have heard that which was said?

The answer: you hear something which you disapprove of about a person, be he a person of knowledge or other than a person of knowledge, a leader or other than a leader. (It may be) something you disapprove in and of itself or it may be something which you disapprove of seeing occurring from this person (in particular). So do you grab hold of what you heard in this way right from the first instant?

The answer: No. So what then is it obligatory for you to do?

The answer: Firstly, before anything else, it is obligatory to verify the authenticity of the report – because it may be that something is reported about a person which he did not (actually) say or do. So it is a must that you verify the report in the first instance.

And I will give you a principle which Shaykh ul Islaam rahimahullaah mentioned in his refutation of the Raafidees in Minaaj us Sunnah: if a statement of a Raafidee was mentioned, he would say firstly in reply to it:

I want to know from you the authenticity of the narration.

And this is something correct because if the report is not authentic then you feel at ease – meaning you have been sufficed.

So when you hear something about someone which it is destested that it should occur from him, then you firstly verify the report.

Then if the matter is established in your view – that the person who has transmitted the report is a trustworthy person and he does not have desires (which he is acting on), then the next stage is binding upon you – and it is is that you verify: Is this statement or this action (actually) something evil?

So as long as this man (who is being criticised) is a person whom you hold to be a person of goodness, and it seems not possible that he would do the evil deed, then it is a must that you verify – is this action an evil?

This is because a person may consider something at first glance to be an evil action, then after reflecting it becomes clear to him that it is not an evil action. So we often hear about so-and-so something which makes our skin shudder and which the souls have an aversion to, but then when we calm down, we find that it is not (actually) an evil action.

Thus it is a must that you ponder – is this an evil action or not?

 

These are the two stages, and they are:

Verification, firstly

Then reflecting and pondering – is this an evil action or not an evil action?

 

The third stage – if you are convinced that it is an evil action, then upon you is to contact the person about whom this report has been transmitted, and you say to him:

O so-and-so, such and such has reached me about you; is it correct?

Because many of our zealous brothers, when he is certain about a statement that it is something evil, then he goes to the one to whom the statement or action was ascribed and says to him:

We have heard such-and-such about you. How can you say that? How can you do that?

We seek refuge with Allaah! Is this from respectful behaviour?

The answer: No! Especially if the one you are addressing is older than you.

So it is obligatory that you go to him and say:

It has reached me about you that such-and-such. Is this correct?

So you know that it is correct but you (still) say to him: Is this correct?

And it may be that he says: Yes, I did say that.

So you say to him: May Allaah give you good. What was (your) approach behind (making) this statement? What was (your) approach behind (doing) this action)? - before you pass a ruling that it is an evil act.

This is because it may be that there is an evidence for it which was hidden from you. Or he is in a situation which necessitates that he does this action, but you did not know.

So this (occurred with) ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar radi Allaahu ‘anhu that he related from the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as to how a person should sit in his prayer. Then one of his sons saw him sitting cross legged in the prayer, in contradiction to what he had reported from the Messenger, so he said to him:

O my father, how is it that you sit cross legged?

He said to him: Indeed my legs are not able to support me.

Thus does he now have an excuse for going against the Sunnah or not?

The answer: He has an excuse because it may be that for this man to whom the evil action or the objectionable action is ascribed, he has an excuse which leads him to say this statement or do this action.

However this discussion should be with good manners and tactful speech. So then either it becomes clear to you that he is upon the correct position, so you give in – or it does not become clear to you that he is upon the correct position. And with that you have established the proof upon this man and fulfilled your obligation.

And if we were to proceed in our affairs upon this manner, then the affair would be good and the end results praiseworthy. However many of the people are overjoyed to hear something which they use to criticise so-and-so; and they fly off with it to the farthest lands to spread it; and this is a problem which it is obligatory to be on one’s guard against or to distance oneself from.

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p147 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

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The student of knowledge does not bring about ta’assub and thereby cause Muslims to split away from each other

The Noble Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah said:

Then there has indeed occurred tafarruq (splitting) and differing in opinions and ideas amongst the youth in our towns and in other than them. And ta’assub (bigoted adherence), be that to the statements or to the people who spoke (those statements).

So barakah (blessing) has been taken away from their actions.

And– instead of being one nation – they have become separated and ones who fight amongst themselves, up to the extent that the person who was your brother yesterday is your enemy today, due to ta’assub.

Therefore it is obligatory upon us to be aware of this bottomless pit and that the person strives in that which will benefit him and leave off that which contains no goodness. The Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

The one who truly believes in Allaah and in the Last Day, let him speak good – or remain silent.”[1]

And He, the Most High, said in description of the servants of ar Rahmaan (the Most Merciful):

<<And when they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.>>[2]

(Soorah al Furqaan (25) aayah 72)

Meaning – they do not waste their time in it; rather they work hard to preserve their time in that which will benefit them in their present and in their future.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm page 83-4 , translated by Nasser ibn Najam


[1] Reported by al Bukhaari (6018, 6136, 6138) and Muslim from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radi Allaahu ‘anhu

[2] Soorah al Furqaan (25) aayah 72

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For the student of knowledge, following the correct position in any matter takes precedence over everything, even if that contradicts the position of the scholar he is studying under

During a lecture on the 14th of Dhul Qa’dah in 1417 AH, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah was asked by one of the students at the university:

Question: O Noble Sheikh, may Allaah preserve you, some of the students of knowledge seek knowledge under one of the scholars then he (the student) clings fast to this scholar and he (the student) does not accept taking knowledge except from him, and he does not take other than his statement; and he leaves off everything else, even if it is from the senior scholars!

So what is your opinion of the one who does this?

Answer: My opinion is that this is more important for the lesser student of knowledge who has (not long) started (seeking) knowledge – that he stick to the statement of the one whom he considers to be a scholar who will guide him to the (correct) path, because if he (the student) starts to take from every scholar, he will lose his time, his mind will be muddled and he will forget much of what he has learned.

So when he develops and he comes to have an acquisition (of knowledge) with him, then he can attend the sittings of this (scholar) or that one, and the readings of this book or that book.

As for the lesser (student) then it is certainly not befitting for him that he muddle his mind; so let him remain with a particular scholar about whom he is confident of his knowledge and his trustworthiness and his religion and so he persists with him.

Questioner: But, O Noble Scholar, the previous question contained (the phrase) that: he does not acknowledge the statement of anyone other than him (his own scholar), even if it comes from the senior scholars!

Answer: As for his not acknowledging the statement of anyone else, even if that is what is the correct (position), then this is a mistake.

So it is obligatory upon him (the student) that when he comes to know what is the correct (position), that he follow it – regardless of whether or not it is in agreement with the statement of the scholar that he has attached himself to.

But it is (also) obligatory upon him (the student) when he comes to know that this (second) scholar has made a statement which opposes the statement of his (the student’s) scholar and he (the student) believes this (second) position is the correct one – it is obligatory upon him (the student) that he present it to his (own) scholar such that he can discuss it with him.

This is because it may be that some matters which are unknown to the senior scholar which are not unknown to the lesser one – even if the senior scholar has knowledge with him which the lesser one does not have, and he has evidences and clear proofs which the lesser one does not have.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm page 275, translated by Nasser ibn Najam

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The student of knowledge feels no envy of people who are learning and he does everything he can to help them, not hinder them

With regards to the student of knowledge being pleased with and helping the Muslim who is learning and not having any envy of him, the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

And from that which is befitting for the student of knowledge with regards to his colleagues is that he does not have jealousy of them regarding that which Allaah has bestowed upon them, by way of memorization or understanding or knowledge.

And that he does not have jealousy of them in that by which he may benefit them, by way of supporting (them) and helping (them) – be that in (giving them) a booklet or (sharing) research or other than that.

This is because for some of the students, Shaytaan speaks to him saying to him, “If you help your companion, he will become better than you.” And this is an error.

Rather we say, just as the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sallam said:

Allaah is in the aid of the servant whilst the servant is in the aid of his brother.”

And it does not automatically follow on that if your companion is someone who is coming for the forefront (due to his knowledge) or someone who is attaining knowledge which he did not attain except with your (help), it is does not necessitate that he has got ahead of you.

So (by helping him) you are benefitting yourself and you are not harming your own self at all.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm page 82, translated by Nasser ibn Najam

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The student of knowledge takes seriously any blameworthy characteristics he finds in himself

With regards to the student of knowledge not having repugnant behaviour towards others and instead having beautiful manners, the Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Baaz rahimahullaah advises:

This is the akhlaaq (manners) of the believing men and believing women; these are their characteristics.

And the believing men and the believing women; they are awliyaa to each other.

Soorah at Tawbah (9) aayah 71

They are not enemies, they are not opponents; and rather they are awliyaa (allies) and ones who love each other – this is their description. Ones who love each other in that which occurs between them, advising each other, counselling each other to the Truth.

There is no malice between them nor hatred nor falsehood nor deceptiveness nor betrayal. Rather there is friendship and love and helping and counselling each other to the Truth.

The believing men and believing women are like this. So if you find malice in yourself towards your brother, or falsehood and oppression, then know that you have rendered your eemaan deficient and you have harmed your eemaan and you have weakened your eemaan with this blameworthy behaviour which you found in yourself, by way of betrayal or deceptiveness or backbiting or tale carrying or telling lies and oppression.

He sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

Every Muslim is inviolable for (another) Muslim – his blood and his wealth and his honour.[1]

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm page 21 , translated by Nasser ibn Najam


[1] Reported by Muslim (2564) from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiy Allaahu ‘anhu.

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The student of knowledge is the furthest from chasing after money

With regards to the student of knowledge knowing the true status of money, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

Then indeed I say to you – if you were to say to your brother asSalaamu alaikum how much (reward) would you attain? Ten good deeds – along with friendship and love and affection and an opening up of the chest and a smile on the face.

What is your opinion about if it were said to one of you, “If you give salaam to your brother, we will give you one dirham?” Would you give the salaam?

The answer: yes, you would give the salaam and maybe you would pause a little while in order to give salaam a second time – for the sake of (another) one dirham. Yet what is its (the money’s) end destination?

Indeed its end destination is the toilet – for the greatest pleasure which the person takes delight in is food and drink. And what is the end destination of the food and drink? The toilet.

Therefore Shaykh ul Islaam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah said:

It is befitting for the person who has intellect that he deems wealth to have the station of a donkey which he rides on or the station of the toilet in which he answers his call of nature.

And this is the position (adopted) by those who have awareness and knowledge.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 183 to 184, translated by Nasser ibn Najam

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The student of knowledge is from the people who spread salaam the most

With regards to the student of knowledge not holding back from giving salaam, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

Therefore I enjoin on you the spreading the salaam amongst yourselves such that you attain friendship and love and brotherhood and cheerfulness upon the face and happiness in the heart – along with abundant reward with Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.

As for nowadays, the people meet each other in the environment of the university, then, with great regret, you will not find giving salaam to each other.

And it may be that some of them say: the people are many in number – if I were to initiate the salaam with everyone I meet – and I were to meet, for example, one hundred men when walking around – then do I give salaam one hundred times?

We say: fear Allaah and obey Him as much as you are able to – just as we say, for example, commanding the good and forbidding the evil is something obligatory. However, if we were to walk in the marketplace we would find this person has his garment hanging too low (below his ankles), and this one is smoking and this one trims his beard, and the like of that, is it obligatory that we stop at each one and we advise him?

This (would be) difficult and would contain hardship; however we fear Allaah and obey Him as much as we are able to.

And I say: the spreading of salaam occurs (only) a little amongst the students at the University (and) other than the students at the University – such that nowadays, only a few of the students at the masaajid will spread the salaam. And all of this is either (a result) of ignorance or of being negligent.

So upon us, O brothers, is that we mould ourselves to have the manners of Islaam, seeking the reward of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, (seeking) the rectification of our community.

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 184 to 185, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

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The student of knowledge does not act deceptively and if he does, despite being advised, he is informed on

With regards to the student of knowledge not behaving deceptively, and what to do if he persists upon this despite being advised, the Noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaymeen rahimahullaah stated:

And I advise you also to stay away from behaving deceptively in the duroos (lessons), especially at the times of examinations. For indeed, behaving deceptively is from the characteristics of the hypocrites, and Allaah forbade it in His statement:

O you who believe, do not betray Allaahand the Messenger and do not knowingly betray your trusts. And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and that with Allaah there surely is a tremendous reward.

Soorah al Anfaal (8)aayaat 27 to 28

So if you know of someone that they carry out this repulsive action, then it is upon you to advise him. So if he desists from it, then this is what is desired. If not then you tell on him. And this is from sincerity and sincere advice to him before every single thing – with the proof that the Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

Help your brother, be he the oppressor or the oppressed. They said: O Messenger of Allaah,this is (regarding) the oppressed one, but how do we help the oppressor? He said: You prevent him from the oppression, so that is your help for him.

Reported by al Bukhaaree (2443, 2444, 6952) from the hadeeth of Anas

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 144 to 145, translated by Nasser ibn Najam

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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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A person must be gentle without being weak

With regards to the student of knowledge being gentle in speech, the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

This is from the most important of the manners of the student of knowledge, regardless of whether he is a taalib[1]- or a matloob[2], meaning a teacher – then (they should have) gentleness,  just as the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

“Indeed Allaah is Rafeeq (gentle), He loves gentleness in all the affairs.”

“Gentleness is not present in a matter except that it beautifies it and it is not taken out from a matter except that it disfigures it.”

However a person must be gentle without being weak. As for being gentle whilst being treated in a humiliating manner and not having his statement accepted and not being taken notice of, then this goes against al hazm (being determined and resolute).

But he should be gentle in the situations (necessitating) gentleness and stern in the situations (necessitating) sternness.

And there is no one more merciful than Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic; but along with that, He says with regards to the male and female fornicator:

Flog each one of them with a hundred lashes. And do not let pity hold you back in their case in (a punishment prescribed) in the Religion of Allaah.

Soorah an Noor (24) aayah 2

So for every situation there is (a correct) saying.

(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p50 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translator Nasser ibn Najam)


 

[1] One who seeks knowledge

[2] One from whom knowledge is sought

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