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“Until when will we say: ‘Know, may Allaah have mercy upon you’?”A student of knowledge asks how he should seek knowledge, how he should study the books he’s studying and how he should stick to the scholars.
ash-Shaykh al-’Allaamah Muhammad Amaan bin ‘Alee al-Jaamee
Sadly, the small students of knowledge in this time busy themselves with siyaasah (politics) while they don’t know the meaning of siyaasah. It is often the case that students come to my house when I arrive here, in ar-Riyaad and in al-Kharj. I was expecting them to ask me questions related to knowledge, but instead they ask me about the agitations, the jamaa’aat (groups) and the ideologies. They busy themselves [with this].
Whoever wants to seek knowledge should turn himself completely away from the traces of [political] agitation and he should begin with memorizing the small books. He should begin with al-Usool ath-Thalaathah (the Three Fundamentals) and not pay any attention to the statement of the agitating troublemakers who say, “Until when will we say: ‘Know, may Allaah have mercy upon you’? Until when?”
Until you die, you will say these words! And when you die you will be asked in your grave about that which you used to ridicule: “Who is your Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?” You ridicule this in your life, while you will be asked in your grave about that which you used to ridicule. The first thing you will be asked about, is the meaning of al-Usool ath-Thalaathah.
Don’t pay any attention to this harmful agitation! Memorize this small book which contains Tawheed, the rulings and the actualisation of the statement of Tawheed. Nawaaqid al-Islaam (the Nullifiers of Islaam) and al-Qawaa’id al-Arba’ (the Four Principles): memorize these like the memorisation of al-Faatihah. Then go to the students of knowledge so that they can explain it to you and so that you understand it.
I am sure that a student of knowledge who understands al-Usool ath-Thalaathah; if he was sent as a daa’iyah (caller) to a non-Arabic country, he would become [like] ibn Taymiyyah there (in the eyes of the people). With al-Usool ath-Thalaathah! And this is something which has been noticed before. If you have memorized this text and understood it, and you stand there between the Africans and Asians explaining al-Usool ath-Thalaathah to them, then you will be [like] ibn Taymiyyah there. But, all praise is due to Allaah, their children there are memorizing it, but they need someone to explain it to them. Don’t let them lead you to destruction! Don’t let those, who don’t [sincerely] advise, lead you to destruction!
Memorize these books: Kitaab at-Tawheed, al-Bayqooniyyah, al-Arba’een an-Nawawiyyah. These books! You busy yourselves here [with other things], while the children of the Muslims in India, Pakistan and Africa are memorizing these books. With these two ears of me I listened to African youth while they were memorizing al-Usool ath-Thalaathah, Kashf ash-Shubuhaat, Kitaab at-Tawheed and al-Arba’een an-Nawawiyyah. I stood there in the classroom listening to them while they were memorizing [these texts] like the memorisation of al-Faatihah.
This is because the [political] agitation has not reached that place; they are upon al-Fitrah (natural disposition). We ask Allaah to protect them from that which has affected many of the youth. So memorize these texts and then go to the Scholars and the students of knowledge (for the explanation). Then you can continue with more detailed and advanced [books]. Begin with the small affairs of knowledge, until you reach the big affairs of knowledge – if this expression is correct.
This is how the one who wants to seek knowledge progresses. And he should never listen to these agitations which take place around him! A person might say to himself, “Does this mean that you want us to live isolated from the world, and that we don’t have any knowledge about Fiqh al-Waaqi’ (science of the current affairs)?”
As for Fiqh al-Waaqi’: listen to the radio and read the newspaper sometimes. Fiqh al-Waaqi’ will reach you while you are walking in the street, while you are in the car or at home.
Do not burden yourself [with this], just learn [your religion] and stick to knowledge.
Translated by Yâsîn Abu Ibrâhîm
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