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
With regards to the effects of sins upon the ability of the student of knowledge to memorise, ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjis (d. 1425 AH) rahimahullaah said:
Disobeying Allaah, the Most High, is an obstacle to attaining Sharee’ah knowledge – because it (Sharee’ah knowledge) is a noor (light) from Allaah which He casts into the hearts of whomever He wishes from His servants.
And noor (light) and dhulmah (darkness) do not come together in a heart.
Therefore ibn Mas’ood radi Allaahu ‘anhu said:
Indeed I consider that a man (might) forget knowledge which he has already learned because of a sin which he does.
And may Allaah have mercy upon ash Shaafi’ee who said:
I complained to Wakee’ about my memorisation being bad
So he directed me to leave off sins
And he informed me that knowledge is a noor (light)
And the light from Allaah is not bestowed upon a person who is sinful
Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah page 38, translated by Nasser ibn Najam
‘Alee radi Allaahu ‘anhu said:
Knowledge calls out for action, so either it is responded to or else it departs.
And Sufyaan ath Thawree rahimahullaah said:
Knowledge is only to be learned in order for Allaah to be feared and obeyed by it.
And Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad rahimahullaah said:
The person of knowledge does not stop being jaahil (ignorant) of what he knows until he acts on it. So when he acts on it, he is an ‘aalim (person of knowledge).
And ibn al Jawzee rahimahullaah said:
The true miskeen (impoverished person) is the one whose lifetime is lost in knowledge that he does not act upon. So he has missed out on the delights of the dunyaa and the treasures of the Hereafter.
Thus he will come (on the Last Day) as a bankrupt person, along with having a strong proof against himself.
Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 17 to 19, translated by Nasser ibn Najam
With regards to the virtue of seeking knowledge with a pure intention, the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:
Rather some of the scholars say that seeking knowledge with a pure and sincere intention is more excellent than fighting in the Path of Allaah because fighting in the Path of Allaah contains only blocking the enemies and fighting against them such that there is no fitnah and that the Religion is entirely for Allaah.
However seeking knowledge is something that the whole ummah (Muslim nation) is in need of, such that they can worship Allaah upon clear-sightedness; and (even) the people who fight (in the Path of Allaah) are in need of it such that they know how they should fight and how they deal with the war booty and how they advance and how they retreat.
So the ummah is in need of knowledge, in every situation and at every moment.
Therefore I urge you, O young people, to turn towards and have diligence upon seeking Sharee’ah knowledge, and to have purity and sincerity of intention in that – in that you intend by it seeking closeness to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, by obeying His command; and that you intend protection of the Islaamic Sharee’ah and defending it and spreading it among the servants (of Allaah).
Then you attest to the truthfulness of this intention through your actions, in worship and manners and dealings (with other people).
Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 341, translated by Nasser ibn Najam
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
With regards to the student of knowledge not chasing after the luxuries and comforts of this world, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:
(The author’s advice), “do not accustom yourself to comfort and luxury”.
This is advice to be said to the student of knowledge and (also) to other than the student of knowledge – because accustoming oneself to that is contrary to the guidance of the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. For indeed he used to forbid from an abundance of luxuriousness and he would command with walking barefoot sometimes.
And a person who has become accustomed to a luxurious life will find it difficult when he encounters (certain) matters – because sometimes there will come to him matters in a form where he is not able to have the luxury (he is used to) along with him.
And let us strike an example, with the example which we have mentioned in the hadeeth: he would command with walking barefoot sometimes. Some people do not walk barefoot – always there is a sock upon him, and upon it a leather sock, and upon it a shoe. You will not find him walking, this man, if a temporary impediment were to occur to him and he were to be told to walk 500 metres without any protection for the foot; you would find that extremely difficult upon him. And sometimes his foot would bleed from the contact with the ground.
However if he were to accustom himself to a roughness and to leaving off always having comfort, then he would attain much good.
So if the (person’s) body is not accustomed to the like of these matters (of forsaking luxury), then he will have no manaa’ah (strength and toughness). You will find him feeling pain from anything from that (affair which is difficult).
However if he has manaa’ah then he will not be bothered by it.
(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p43 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
With regards to the student of knowledge working hard to acquire al muroo-ah (fine and honourable manners), Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:
So if a person were to try to gain those (correct manners), and his inherent nature were not (naturally) like that, then he would encounter difficulty.
However with practice, he can improve his condition.
And this is something shown by experience. For we have heard of a person who was far removed from al ‘ilm (knowledge) and from seeking knowledge, having evil manners.
Then when Allaah bestowed upon him the blessing of knowledge and guidance, his manners became good because he trained himself upon these manners until they became just as if they were from his inherent nature and his natural disposition.
(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p40 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
With regards to the student of knowledge adorning himself with muroo-ah (honourable and fine behaviour), Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:
And what is muroo-ah?
The scholars of fiqh – may Allaah have mercy upon them – have established what it is in the Book of shahaadaat (bearing witness).
They said: it is doing that which beautifies him and adorns him and avoiding of that which would dishonour him and disgrace him.
And this is an expression which is general (in its nature) – everything which will beautify you in the eyes of the people, and adorn you and which will be a cause for your being praised, then this is muroo-ah, even if it is not from the acts of worship.
And everything which is opposite (to this), then it is something that opposes muroo-ah.
Then (the author) strikes an example for this, by saying that (from muroo-ah) is having noble manners. So what are noble manners? They are that the person is always forbearing, that he is forbearing when it is the occasion for forbearance; and that he acts with firm resolve when it is the occasion for firm resolve.
And therefore the Islaamic Religion has come being justly balanced between forbearance – by which rights may be lost – and acting with firm resolve, which may sometimes lead to oppression.
(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p36 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
The noble scholar Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah said, addressing students at the Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ood Islamic University at al Qaseem on 25th Jumaada al Oolaa, 1417AH:
At this moment you are in this place at (your) differing levels – from them the high (levels) and from them lesser than that.
However regardless of where the person reaches in knowledge, then he is (still) in need of knowledge – as per the statement of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High:
But over all those endowed with knowledge is the All Knowing One (Allaah).
Soorah Yoosuf (12) aayah 76
Therefore I urge you to have a general eagerness in pursuing (your) studies; and that you know with certain knowledge that the person who does not strive with all his efforts in attaining knowledge, then knowledge in its entirety will slip away from him.
And therefore it is said: indeed knowledge is the most miserly thing there is! For if you give it your all, you will attain (only) some of it; and if you give it only some (of your all), then it will elude you entirely.
And therefore I urge you, O young people, to have a complete eagerness for knowledge.
(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pp 139 to 140, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
The noble scholar, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah stated:
And it is befitting for the student of knowledge that he be a person of beautiful manners and temperament, constantly (a person) of happiness, constantly (a person) of relaxedness – because (this) was from the characteristics of the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam which Allaah created to be in his natural disposition and with which He blessed him.
And He said about him:
And indeed you (Muhammad) are of exalted manners, the manners of the Qur-aan.
Soorah al Qalam (68) aayah 4
From his characteristics was that he was constantly (a person) of joy, plentiful in smiling - may Allaah’s salaat and salaam be upon him.
And there is no doubt that if a person is always joyful and plentiful in smiling then the person who meets him will feel happiness from (meeting) him.
But if you were to meet a man, frowning and gloomy, would you be happy due to meeting him? No. Therefore my brother, be always happy, plentiful in smiling, with a bright and cheerful face.
And therefore from the characteristics of Eemaan is that you meet your brother with a cheerful face. And know with the knowledge of certainty that if you possess this characteristic, you will be a person who is calm and relaxed, (both when) standing or sitting, in your house and in the market. And be constantly happy with your brothers, with a cheerful face and plentiful in smiling.
(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p49 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
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