With regards to the excellence of the people of knowledge, the Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan as Sa’dee rahimahullah mentions about the aayah:
<<Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Him; and the angels and the people of knowledge (also bear witness to this). He maintains His creation with Justice. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, al Azeez, al Hakeem.>>
(Soorah aale ‘Imraan (3) aayah 18)
And in this aayah is (mentioning of) the virtue of knowledge and the people of knowledge – because Allah singled them out with making mention (of them) to the exclusion of other people; and linked their shahaadah (bearing witness) with His shahaadah and His angels’ shahaadah.
And He made their shahaadah to be from the greatest evidences and proofs for His Tawheed and His Religion and His Recompense.
And that it is obligatory for the mukallafeen (those who are Islamically accountable for their actions) to accept this just and truthful shahaadah.
(Tayseer ul Kareem ir Rahmaan of as Sa’dee)
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Raheem
Welcome back to our readers after a period of time away from regular postings.
We wish to publish a correction pointed out by a brother jazaaahu Allaahu khairan.
On the Kashfush shubuhaat Q and A page 60, there was an error in which the translation of the Quraanic aayah was given as:
And His Statement, subhaanahu wa ta’aala:
«And when Allaah will say, “O ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam! Did you say to the people, “Take me and my mother as two objects of worship instead of Allaah?”” He will say, “How free from all imperfections are You! It was not for me to say that which I had no right to say! If I had said that then you would certainly have known it. You know what is in my nafs and I do now know what is in Your nafs. Indeed You are the Knower of the Hidden and Unseen.”
This should of course read:
And His Statement, subhaanahu wa ta’aala:
«And when Allaah will say, “O ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam! Did you say to the people, “Take me and my mother as two objects of worship instead of Allaah?”” He will say, “How free from all imperfections are You! It was not for me to say that which I had no right to say! If I had said that then you would certainly have known it. You know what is in my nafs and I do not know what is in Your nafs. Indeed You are the Knower of the Hidden and Unseen.”
Our apologies for this. Please do inform anyone you know of who is using the Q and A and please do continue to send in any corrections that you have.
Jazaakum Allaahu khairan.
With regards to the student of knowledge never ceasing to watch carefully over his niyyah when doing good deeds, the Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah mentions after quoting the hadeeth of the first people to be judged on the Day of Resurrection and that they will be cast into the Hellfire due to the corrupt intention behind their good deeds:
So this (hadeeth) is from that which emphasises to the Muslim that he must make his intention purely and sincerely for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, whenever he establishes any act from the good deeds, such as prayer and fasting and the Hajj and ‘Umrah, and giving charity, and the seeking of knowledge and teaching it, and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and calling to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic – and other than that.
Therefore, it is befitting that he constantly watch over his intention and that he try to remember his intention in every action he does, in that he makes it purely and sincerely for Allaah and that he drives away ar riyaa- (doing good deeds for show) from himself. (This is) because the person is a human being, and there occurs to him (the temptations of) showing off and love of being acclaimed and love of being praised.
So it is upon him to drive this (corrupt) intention away when it comes upon him and to make his intention purely and sincerely for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.
((Al minhat ul rabbaaniyah page 22 of Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
 Reported by at Tirmidhee (2382), Ahmad in his Musnad (2/321) and others from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radi Allaahu ‘anhu.
With regards to the causes of the student of knowledge becoming firm in learning and retaining his knowledge of the Sharee’ah, the Noble Scholar Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah was asked:
Our esteemed father, what is the correct path that it is obligatory for the student of Sharee’ah knowledge to follow, such that he reaches that which he wishes for from pleasing Allaah, the Perfect and Most High and acquiring knowledge which is beneficial and which will be of use to him and the Muslims?
And what are the factors that will aid the student in memorising and making the issues firmly grounded in his mind and in not forgetting (them)?
The most tremendous of the causes is that you have taqwaa (fear of and dutifulness towards) your Lord through obeying Him and leaving off disobeying Him – and your having sincerity towards Him and asking Him for (acceptance of) repentance and for help and for tawfeeq (success in attaining that which is good).
Then being meticulous in (attending) the lessons and in learning, and in preserving your time.
So these are indeed from the most tremendous of the causes.
And from the causes of that also is – studying with your colleagues and striving to (attain) the benefit such that the knowledge becomes established (with you).
So do not just content yourself with your reading and (attending) the lessons with the teacher – rather along with that, there should be studying with your colleagues who are of good character of (those issues) which are not clear to you such that the knowledge becomes established in your mind.
(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p37 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
With regards to the student of knowledge being known as someone whose preoccupation is gaining knowledge and not the permissible differences that occur between the Muslims, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah was asked:
Noble Shaykh, how would you advise the youth who are practising (their Religion) and amongst whom there has spread differing and bad feeling and hatred, and some of them make accusations against others of them – up to the point that they have forgotten their standing in front of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic (on the Day of Judgment)?
I advise them with that which has preceded from my speech – that this (behaviour) is not from the affair of the Muslims.
Rather Allaah, the Most High, said to His Prophet Muhammad sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam:
Indeed those who divide their religion and became sects, then you have no concern with them at all. Their affair is only with Allaah who will inform them of what they used to do.
Soorah al An’aam (6) aayah 159
We do not deny that there will be differences occurring in the ummah; differing has been amongst the Islamic nation since the era of the Messenger ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam.
However we do reject that this differing – that in which ijtihaad is allowed – should give rise to enmity and hatred, to the extent that your (own) brother from your mother and your father should become an enemy to you on the basis of this!
And I have already explained in the first part of (my) speech that this is the cause of time being wasted and barakah (blessing) being removed from one’s lifetime and knowledge and action.
And that it is befitting for a person that he busy himself with that which is of concern to him and which will benefit him.
And in the hadeeth that the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sallam (said):
From the excellence of a person’s Islaam is that he leaves off that which does not concern him. 
(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p91 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
 Reported by at Tirmidhee (2317) from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah
With regards to the importance of the student of knowledge gaining knowledge in the correct stepwise manner, `Abdus Salaam ibn Burjis (d.1425AH) rahimahullaah comments:
So the first (stage) of knowledge is: memorization of the Book of Allaah, the Majestic and Mighty, and working to gain understanding of it.
And everything that helps in understanding it, then it is is waajib (obligatory) to seek after that.
And I am not saying that memorizing all of it is fard but rather I do say that indeed that is obligatory, binding upon who loves to become an ‘aalim (scholar), but not by way of being fard (on every Muslim).
So whoever memorises it before his reaching maturity, then devotes himself to that which he will use to help him understand it – from the Arabic language, then that will be an enormous help for him in that which he wants from it – and from the sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
Then he looks to the abrogating (aayaat) of the Qur-aan and its (aayaat) which are abrogated and its rulings; and he stops at the differing of the scholars and their agreement in that; and it is a matter which is easily understood for the one whom Allaah grants ease in understanding it to.
Then he looks to the Sunnahs which are authentically transmitted from the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. So through these, the student arrives at that which Allaah, the Majestic and Mighty, intended in His Book. And these will open up for him the rulings of the Qur-aan.
And in the life of the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam there is information which draws attention to many of the abrogating and abrogated issues in the Sunnah.
Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 30-31, 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
With regards to the quote from ibn Mas`ood radi Allaahu ‘anhu about seeking knowledge from the senior scholars as opposed to the sighaar (the lesser ones), `Abdus Salaam ibn Burjis (d.1425AH) rahimahullaah comments:
And ibn Qutyabah rahimahullaahu ta’aala held the opinion that the sighaar (lesser ones) were the ones who were lesser in age. So he said about the narration of ibn Mas’ood mentioned above:
He (ibn Mas’ood) intended – that the people will not cease to be upon good as long as their scholars are the elders, and their scholars are not the youthful ones, because for the old man, the pleasure of youthfulness, and its self containment and its foolishness have disappeared from him. And he has taken on experience and knowledge as his companions.
So doubt does not come upon him in his knowledge; nor does desire get the better of him; nor does greed make him turn away and nor does Shaytan make him slip up with the errors of the young person. Thus with age there is dignity and honour and reverence.
And it may be these matters– matters which the old person is secure from – enter upon the youth; so when they enter upon him, and he gives fataawaa (Islamic rulings), he is destroyed and he destroys (others).
(to the end of his statement) 
(Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 24, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
 ‘Naseehah ahl il hadeeth’ page 16
With regards to people seeking knowledge from the youngsters at the expense of seeking it from the senior scholars, `Abdus Salaam ibn Burjis (d.1425AH) rahimahullaah comments:
And indeed the phenomenon of taking knowledge from the younger ones amongst the students of knowledge has become widespread in this era.
And in reality this phenomenon is a chronic disease, an enduring sickness, preventing the (true) student from what he intends and something by which he twists away from the correct path which would lead to knowledge.
And that is because taking knowledge from the younger people – those whose feet have not become firmly grounded in knowledge and whose beards have not become white in it (seeking knowledge), despite the presence of a person who is greater than them in age and one whose feet are more firmly grounded – then this weakens the foundation of the beginner and prevents him from taking benefit from the knowledge of the senior scholars, and from acquiring their manners which knowledge and time have made good – and other than that from the justifications that are suggested by the narration of ibn Mas`ood radi Allaahu `anhu when he said:
“The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they take knowledge from their senior ones and from their trustworthy ones and from their scholars.
So if they take it from their younger ones and their evil ones, they will be destroyed.”
Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah page 23, translated by Nasser ibn Najam
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,
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