Category Archives: Manners towards the teacher

The student of knowledge is cautious when talking about ahaadeeth and all affairs of the Religion

With regards to a person talking about ahaadeeth, the Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah mentions about the hadeeth The religion is an-Naseehah (sincerity and sincere advice)[1] :

And likewise it is from acting sincerely to the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam that you do not enter into declaring ahaadeeth to be authentic or weak when you do not have the ability to do that. So no one goes into this except the people of (that) field and the people who are specialised, from those who are firmly grounded in knowledge and narrations.

As for that reckless attitude towards ahaadeeth which has become manifest among many of the younger people, their authenticating and their criticising them (the ahaadeeth), without having knowledge and without having studied and gained experience beforehand, and without acquiring knowledge from the scholars, then this is something extremely dangerous and is insolent behaviour towards the Sunnah of the Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.  

And it is not from acting sincerely towards the Messenger of Allaah that the ignorant people meddle (in these) and call themselves “muhaddithoon” based on (just) being acquainted with one of the books of hadeeth or having memorised a number of them. This is because merely memorising ahaadeeth does not make them muhaddithoon. Rather the muhaddith is only one who is has specialised in the knowledge of narrations; and this is a tremendous field of knowledge that is taken from the scholars and from the people of knowledge and experience.

And it is not for every single person to peruse the books of hadeeth and then declare (ahaadeeth) to be authentic or weak or to explain and expound on them from his own (mind) without having a correct understanding – because this is from acting deceptively towards the Sunnah of the Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. And it is obligatory to act respectfully towards the Sunnah, and for no one to enter into (discussing) it except for one who is specialised in this knowledge.

((Al minhat ul rabbaaniyah page 115-6 of Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

[1] Reported by Muslim (55) and by al Bukhaaree in mu’allaq form.

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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 is in need of a teacher

With regards to the student of knowledge needing to have a teacher, the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:

And there is no doubt that the teachers will be questioned about the students because they are their shepherds; and every person is a shepherd and will be questioned about his flock.

The students are in need of the teachers and the scholars with regards to direction and guidance because the scholars have gained experience from matters which the students have not. And with them are (aspects) of knowledge which the students do not have.

Therefore the student is in need of the teacher from the aspect of knowledge and the aspect of actions (which bring about) experience.

Thus it is binding upon him to have the utmost eagerness to select the teachers who are known for knowledge and who are known for trustworthiness and religion, and known for their sound methodology and for their tending (to matters) in a correct way such that he can take from their knowledge firstly, then from their manhaj secondly.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 199-200 by Nasser ibn Najam

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The student of knowledge acts towards his teacher in a manner that honours him

With regards to the student of knowledge honouring his teacher and the consequences of not doing so, the Noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaymeen rahimahullaah stated:

And I advise you likewise to honour your teachers because the teacher – if he is a teacher in the true sense, one who sincerely advises – has two virtues over the students:

·       The first virtue – that of teaching (them)

·       The second virtue – that of giving guidance and of correctly nurturing

So the one who is a teacher in reality disseminates knowledge amongst the students and loves that his guidance and his direction be disseminated. So if he establishes this then he becomes one who is deserving of being honoured and respected.

And know that if you honour the teacher in the way that is befitting then you will take benefit from this teacher.

As for if he perceives that you attach little importance to him, then you will lose out on him and lose out on his guidance to you.

Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 145 to 146,translated by Nasser ibn Najam

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