Tag Archives: seeking knowledge

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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The student of knowledge constantly monitors his intention in all his actions

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:[1]

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)

[1] Reported by at Tirmidhee (2382), Ahmad in his Musnad (2/321) and others from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radi Allaahu ‘anhu.

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The student of knowledge is known for his eagerness to study and revise with his colleagues

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)?

Answer:

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)

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The student does not learn or teach knowledge in order to seek after money or worldly status

With regards to the student of knowledge seeking and teaching knowledge purely for the sake of Allaah, Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah comments on the hadeeth:

“And a man who gained knowledge and he taught it, and he recited Qur-aan; so he will be brought in order to inform him of His blessings so he will acknowledge them;

So He will say: What did you do with regards to them?

He will say, “I learned knowledge for Your sake and I taught it; and I recited the Qur-aan for Your sake.”

So He will say: You have lied! Rather you learned it so that it would be said “He is a person of knowledge” and this has already been said.

And you recited Qur-aan so that it would be said, “He is a person of recitation.” And this has already been said.”

Then he will be ordered to be dragged upon his face until he is thrown into the Fire.”[1]

——————————-

And this is from that which makes it binding upon the student of knowledge to purify his intention for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in seeking knowledge.

So his goal should not be seeking to be raised up or a worldly position of responsibility or attaining the fleeting attractions of this worldly life through his knowledge and his teaching it.

Rather his intent is only for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic because gaining knowledge and teaching it is from the noblest of righteous deeds ; so he does not divert it (away from its correct intention) and intend the dunyaa by means of it.

Rather he only wishes the Face of Allaah by it; and whatever wealth he is given – if he is given (it) – then it is something which (just happens) to follow on and it was not something he intended.

((Al minhat ul rabbaaniyah page 21 of Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)


[1] Reported by at Tirmidhee (2382) and Ahmad in his Musnad (2/321)

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The student hates that the permissible differences amongst the people result in them accusing each other and splitting from each other

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)?

He replied:

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. [1]

(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ilm p91 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)


[1] Reported by at Tirmidhee (2317) from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah

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The student of knowledge proceeds on his journey of gaining knowledge in the correct stepwise manner, beginning with memorisation of the Qur-aan

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

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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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ibn Qutaybah’s advice about taking knowledge from the sighaar

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[1] 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) [2]

(Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 24, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)


[1] Died 276AH

[2]Naseehah ahl il hadeeth’ page 16

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Taking knowledge from our elders i.e. from the senior scholars

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

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Let the student of knowledge beware of not acting on his knowledge

‘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

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