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13 Advices For Students of Knowledge... 16May2007 10:39 AM

post by Nadia
Brief Advice to Students of Knowledge

AUTHOR: Imaam 'Abdul-'Azeez bin 'Abdillaah bin Baaz
SOURCE: A Markaz-ul-Albaanee Center Flyer

All praise be to Allaah and may the peace and blessings be on His Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

There is no doubt that seeking knowledge is from the most virtuous acts of worship. And it is from the causes that bring about the success of Paradise and honor for those who act on it. From the most important of matters, is that one have sincerity in his search for knowledge, and this is by making his studying for the sake of Allaah and not for any other objective. This is because this is the way for one to derive benefit from it and a means for successfully attaining the highest of positions in this world and the next.

It is reported in the Hadeeth that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever learns some knowledge, by which Allaah's Face is sought, but he doesn't learn it except to achieve some worldly goal by it, he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise on the Day of Judgement." - Reported by Abu Dawood with a hasan (sound) chain of narration.

At-Timidhee reported a hadeeth with a chain in which there is some weakness, that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever seeks knowledge to compete with the scholars or to debate with the ignorant ones or so that the people's faces can turn towards him, then Allaah will enter him into the Hellfire."

So I advise every student of knowledge and every Muslim to have sincerity with Allaah in all of their actions, acting on the words of Allaah:

"So whoever hopes for meeting his Lord, then let him do righteous deeds and not mix anyone (or thing) with the worship of His Lord." [Surah Al-Kahf: 110]

In Saheeh Muslim, the Prophet is reported to have said: "Allaah said: 'I am the most free of all those who are mixed in worship with Me from shirk. Whoever does a deed in which he mixes someone else along with Me (in the worship), I abandon him and his shirk.'"

Likewise, I advise the student of knowledge and every Muslim to fear Allaah and to acknowledge that Allaah is watching Him in every matter, acting on Allaah's statement:

"Verily those who fear their Lord with the unseen (i.e. they do not see Him), they will have forgiveness and a great reward." [Surah Al-Mulk: 12]

And His saying: "And whoever fears the position of His Lord will have two Gardens." [Surah Ar-Rahmaan: 46]

Some of the Salaf said: "The pinnacle of knowledge is fear of Allaah." And 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood (radyAllaahu 'anhu) said: "It is sufficient as knowledge that one fear Allaah. And it is sufficient as ignorance that one is deceived about this." And some of the Salaf said: "Whoever is the most knowledgeable about Allaah, he is the most fearing of Him." What indicates the correctness of this understanding is the saying of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): "As for me, by Allaah, I am the most fearing of Allaah amongst you and the most dutiful (having Taqwaa) to Him amongst you." - Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

So every time the servant's knowledge of Allaah becomes strengthened, this is a means for the perfection of his Taqwaa and Ikhlaas, and his stopping at the limits (set by Allaah), and his refraining from sinful acts. This is why Allaah said: "Verily, only those who fear Allaah from His servants are the knowledgeable ones (i.e. the scholars)." [Surah Al-Faatir: 28]

So the ones who are knowledgeable of Allaah and His Religion, they are the ones who fear Him the most and who are the most dutiful to him from amongst the people. At the head of them are the messengers and prophets, 'alayhim as-Salaam, and then those that follow them in goodness.

This is why the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) informed us that from the signs of success is that the servant of Allaah acquires fiqh (or understanding) of the Religion, as He said: "Whoever Allaah wants good for, He gives him understanding of the Religion." - Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from the hadeeth of Mu'awiyah (radyAllaahu 'anhu). This is for no other reason except due to the fact that understanding of the Religion will prompt the servant to establish Allaah's Commandments, to fear Him and to carry out His obligations and to stay away from those things that draw His displeasure. And it will call him towards good manners and righteous actions and in being sincere to Allaah and His servants.

So I ask Allaah that He grant us and all the students of knowledge, as well as all the Muslims, understanding of His Religion and perseverance upon it. And I ask that He grant us refuge from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Indeed He is in charge of that and able to carry it out.

16May2007 01:28 PM

post by
Excellent post. Alhamdullilah

16May2007 01:56 PM

post by Ibn Shareef
Baaarakillahu feek.... good post.

17May2007 07:35 PM

post by Nadia
The Signs of Beneficial and Non-Beneficial Knowledge

AUTHOR: Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee
SOURCE: Fadlu ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaa ‘Ilm-il-Khalaf (pg. 39-43, Dar-ul-Imam Ahmad Ed.)

The Signs of Non-Beneficial Knowledge:

An indicative sign of this non-beneficial knowledge is that it breeds haughtiness, pride and arrogance in the one who possesses it. And it causes him to seek after grandeur and elevation in the worldly life and to compete for that. It also leads one to pursue competing with the scholars, arguing with the foolish and turning the people’s attention his way. And it has been reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that whoever seeks knowledge for these reasons, then “the Fire, the Fire.” [1]

It could be that some of the people who possess these types of knowledge claim to know Allaah, seek after Him and abstain from everything apart from that, however, their goal behind that is for nothing else but to gain a high place in certain people’s hearts, such as that of the rulers and their likes. Perhaps their goal is to have these people think good thoughts about them or to gain large gatherings of followers or to have them venerate them because of that.

Another sign of this is when one openly claims to have a close relationship with Allaah, i.e. claims to be a walee, as the People of the Scripture would do, and as the Qaraamitah,[2] Baatiniyyah[3] and their likes would assert for themselves.

This is contrary to what the Salaf were upon for they would constantly belittle and scorn themselves, in hidden and in open. ‘Umar said: “Whoever says he is knowledgeable is really ignorant. And whoever says he is a believer is really a disbeliever. And whoever says he is in Paradise is in the Hellfire.”

Also from its signs is that one fails to accept and submit to the truth, and that he acts arrogantly towards those who speak the truth, especially if that person is considered below them in the eyes of the people. Also from its signs is that one persists upon falsehood out of fear that the people’s hearts will turn away from him if he openly shows his going back to the truth.

Perhaps these individuals may even openly condemn and belittle themselves with their tongues in front of large gatherings so that people will believe that they are truly humble, thus drawing (their) praises for that. And this is from the most intricate and subtle forms of showing off (riyaa), as indicated by the Taabi’een and the scholars that came after them. Furthermore, their blatant acceptance and receipt of such praise is to such an extent that it negates any honesty or sincerity on their part. This is since a truly honest person fears hypocrisy for himself and dreads the thought of having a bad end, whereas these individuals busy themselves with accepting and consenting to praises.

So based on this, one of the signs that people have beneficial knowledge is that they don’t see themselves as having any special position or status, and that they hate with their hearts any commendation or praise and that they do not exalt themselves arrogantly over anyone.

Al-Hasan said: “The Faqeeh (one with understanding of the Religion) is only he who abstains from the worldly life, longs for the next life, has deep insight into his Religion and is persistent in worshipping his Lord.” [4]

In another narration, he said: “He is one who does not envy those above him, nor does he belittle those below him, nor does he charge any fee for the knowledge that Allaah has given him.”

A statement with a similar meaning to this last one was reported on Ibn ‘Umar as a saying of his.[5] So every time the people who have beneficial knowledge increase in this type of knowledge, they increase in humbleness, fear, lowliness and submission to Allaah.

One of the Salaf said: “A person with knowledge should place dirt upon his head out of humbleness to his Lord.” [6]

For indeed every time he increases in knowledge and awareness of his Lord, He increases in fear and love for Him as well as submission and debasement towards Him.


[1] Saheeh: Reported by Ibn Maajah (254) from the narration of Jaabir bin ‘Abdillaah and authenticated by Al-Albaanee in Saheeh-ul-Jaami’ (7370).

[2] Al-Qaraamitah: They are one of the deviant factions that emerged from the Raafidah whose adherents follow Abu Sa’eed Bahraam Al-Hanaabee who was the founder of the Qaraamitee belief. They believed that ‘Abdullaah bin Al-Haarith Al-Kandee was a prophet and so would worship him. And they have other corrupt beliefs apart from that.

[3] Al-Baatiniyyah: This is a name given to a group that splintered from the Isma’eeli Shiites. They believe that the entire Book of Allaah is open to reinterpretation and claim that it cannot be understood in its apparent (literal) form and so as a result they went astray. Their beliefs have influenced the Sufi movement, which claims that all of the Qur’aan has an apparent as well as a hidden meaning.

[4] Reported by Ahmad in az-Zuhd (pg. 267), Ad-Daarimee (1/89), Al-Aajurree in Akhlaaq-ul-‘Ulamaa (pg. 74), and Abu Nu’aim in Hilyat-ul-Awliyaa (2/147) and its chain of narration is sound (hasan). [A]

[5] Reported by Ad-Daarimee (1/88) as a statement of Ibn ‘Umar. [A]

[6] Reported by Al-Aajurree in Akhlaaq-ul-‘Ulamaa (pg. 71 and Al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/113) as a statement of Ayoob, and its chain of narration is authentic (saheeh). [A]

17May2007 07:44 PM

post by Nadia
The Signs of Beneficial and Non-Beneficial Knowledge

AUTHOR: Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee
SOURCE: Fadlu ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaa ‘Ilm-il-Khalaf (pg. 39-43, Dar-ul-Imam Ahmad Ed.)

The Signs of Beneficial Knowledge:

From the signs that one has beneficial knowledge is that it leads him to flee from the worldly life and its splendors, as well as from leadership, fame and praise. Keeping far away from these things and exerting one’s efforts in avoiding them are indications that one has beneficial knowledge. And if he were to fall into committing any of these things unintentionally and unwillingly, he would be in immense fear of being punished for that since he would fear that such (praise or leadership or fame) is perhaps a plot or gradual delusion (before inevitable punishment from Allaah). Such was the case with Imaam Ahmad, for he would fear for himself when his name became famous and his reputation spread.

Also from the signs of beneficial knowledge is that one does not claim to have knowledge nor does he use it to act arrogantly towards anyone, nor does he describe anyone as being ignorant – except for those who oppose the Sunnah and its followers, for in this case, he may speak about them out of anger for the sake of Allaah and not his own sake nor intending to elevate himself over anyone.

As for the one who does not have beneficial knowledge, his only concern is to use his knowledge to arrogantly elevate himself over people and to manifest the virtue of his knowledge to them while at the same time ascribing them to ignorance. His only concern is to belittle them so that he may exalt himself over them by doing that. This is one of the vilest and most despicable of actions. Perhaps he may even describe those scholars that came before him as being ignorant, negligent and forgetful. So his love for himself and his love for exposing himself leads him to think highly of himself while thinking poorly of those who preceded him!

Those who possess beneficial knowledge are upon the opposite of this, for they think poorly of themselves while thinking highly of those scholars that came before them. And they affirm with their hearts and souls the virtue and superiority that their predecessors have over them and their own inability to reach and attain the levels that they were at, let alone get near to them.

How beautiful was the response of Imaam Abu Haneefah[7] when he was asked about ‘Alqamah[8] and Aswad[9] as to which of them was better. He replied saying: “By Allaah, we are not qualified to even mention their names, so how can we choose between them?”

When the etiquettes of those who preceded would be mentioned, Ibn Al-Mubaarak would recite the following verses of poetry:

“Do not present our mention along with their mention,
The healthy one who walks is not like the crippled.”

So if this individual with non-beneficial knowledge feels that he is superior to those who came before him in terms of producing elaborate speech and statements, he will then assume that he is also superior to them in knowledge and rank before Allaah, due to his having a special virtue over those who preceded him. This will then lead him to scorn those who came before him (i.e. the Salaf) and audaciously accuse them of having little knowledge. However, this ignoramus doesn’t realize that the reason why the Salaf made such few statements was only because of their piety and fear of Allaah. Had they wanted to speak profusely and elaborate themselves through many statements, they would not have been unable to do it.


[8] He was ‘Alqamah bin Qais bin ‘Abdillaah bin Maalik bin ‘Alqamah An-Nakha’ee from Koofah, Iraq. He was born during the lifetime of Allaah’s Messenger but never met him. He was from the major Taabi’een, being the main Jurist and Muhaddith of the people of Iraq. He studied very closely under Ibn Mas’ood and spread his knowledge after him, passing rulings and verdicts. He died in 72H and some say in 73H.

[9] He was Al-Aswad bin Yazeed bin Qais An-Nakha’ee from the companions of Ibn Mas’oodt. His kunyah was Abu ‘Amr, but he was also called Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan. He was from the major Taabi’een, reliable and knowledgeable, and he narrated many hadeeth. He passed away in either 74H or 75H.

18May2007 09:07 AM

post by Nadia
Advising the Seekers of Knowledge

AUTHOR: Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee
SOURCE: Introduction of his classic book

We give thanks to Allaah, the One free of all defects, for having guided us. And we ask Him to grant us the ability to act upon what He has given us knowledge of. Indeed, goodness cannot be attained, except by His granting and His assistance. Whomsoever Allaah leads astray, there is no one from His creation that can guide him. May Allaah send His blessings upon Muhammad (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), the chief of the first and the last (of people), and upon his brothers from among the prophets and messengers. And upon those who follow the light (i.e. the Qur'aan) that was revealed to him (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) until the Day of Recompense.

To proceed, I advise you O seeker of knowledge to have a sincere and pure intention in your search for knowledge. And that you exert yourself in acting upon what it necessitates (from action). For indeed knowledge is a tree and action is its fruit. And one can never be considered knowledgeable so long as he doesn't act upon what he has knowledge of.

It has also been stated: "Knowledge is a parent and action is its offspring." And "Knowledge comes with action, while narrating comes with investigating."

So do not feel satisfied with actions so long as you are lacking in knowledge. Nor feel satisfied with knowledge so long as you fall short of producing actions. Rather, combine them both, even if your share of the two is small.

And there is nothing worse than a scholar, whose knowledge the people abandon because of the corruption of his ways, nor an ignorant person whose ignorance the people accept because of what they see from his worship.

So a little of this (knowledge) along with a little of that (action) is what is most likely to save you in the end, when Allaah bestows His mercy upon His servant and completes his favor upon him. But as for laziness and negligence, love for ease and comfort, preferring the easy life and showing indifference, inclining towards leisure and relaxation, then the results of these characteristics are blameworthy, detestable and disastrous.

Knowledge leads to action, just as action leads to salvation. So if the action falls short of the knowledge, then the knowledge becomes a burden upon the one who possesses that knowledge. And we seek Allaah's refuge from knowledge that turns into a burden, is the cause of humiliation and which becomes a shackle on the neck of the one who possesses it.

Sahl bin Muzaahim (rahimahullaah) said: "The matter is more tighter upon a scholar than when one clenches his fist tightly, even though the ignorant person is not excused because of his ignorance (i.e. he will be held to account also). However, the scholar will receive a greater punishment if he abandons what he has knowledge of and doesn't act upon it."

So did those of our Salaf (predecessors) from the past reach the high levels that they reached except through sincerity in Creed (Beliefs), righteous actions and overwhelming abstinence of the attractive features of this worldly life? And did the wise people reach the greatest level of success (that they did) except by working hard in their efforts and being pleased with their easy accomplishments, while sacrificing the excess amount from their needs by giving it away to the poor and those who asked?

Is not the one who gathers books of knowledge just like the one who gathers gold and silver? Is not the one who has an intense greed for them just like the one who is eager and desirous of gold and silver? Is not the one who is deeply in love with them just like the one who treasures gold and silver?

So just as wealth does not benefit except by it being spent, then likewise, knowledge does not benefit except for one who acts upon it and carries out its obligation. So let each individual examine himself and take advantage of his time, for indeed the resting place (i.e. this world) is short, the (time for) departure is near, the road is hazardous, and deviating from it is common. The danger is great, the one who takes note has wisdom, Allaah, the Most High, is watching over, and to Him is the (final) recourse and return. "And whosoever does an atom's weight of good, he shall see it. And whosoever does an atom's weight of evil, he shall see it." [99: 7-8]

18May2007 10:54 PM

post by Nadia
The Difference between Obligatory Knowledge and Recommended Knowledge

AUTHOR: Shaikh Muhammad bin 'Umar Baazmool
SOURCE: At-Ta'seel fee Talab-il-'Ilm" (pg. 10-14)

The First Foundation:

Seeking knowledge – which a Muslim needs in order to establish what is binding on him from worship of his Lord – is an obligation that is compulsory on him. As for what exceeds those limits, then acquiring knowledge of that falls under the collective obligations (fard kifaayah), and it is something recommended and extra for the student of knowledge.

The proof for this foundation is what has been reported from the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) that he said: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”

Another proof is the fact that this Religion is founded upon two basic principles, which are:

1. We don’t worship anyone except Allaah, and
2. We don’t perform worship except with what Allaah has legislated.

You cannot truly implement the worship of Allaah unless you first seek the necessary knowledge required for you to properly put into effect this worship that Allaah has made obligatory on you, and for which purpose He created you.

Elucidating this point further, Ishaaq bin Raahawaih said: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory, even though the report concerning it is not authentic. However, what it means is that the seeker of knowledge is required to acquire from it what he needs such as for (properly implementing) his ablution, his prayer, his Zakaat – if he has wealth, his Hajj and so on.”

He also said: “So whatever he is obligated to learn from that, then he need not ask the permission of his parents to go out and learn that. But as for what is in excess of that, he should not go out to acquire (knowledge of) that until he first gets permission to do that from his parents.” [1]

Ibn Taimiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Seeking religious knowledge is a collective obligation (fard kifaayah) except for that which is individually incumbent, such as every person seeking knowledge of what Allaah has ordered him to do and what Allaah has prohibited him to do, since this is an individual obligation.” [2]

This is one of the most important foundations, by which, the followers of Hadeeth are distinguished from those apart from them. It is due to this that the followers of innovation accuse the followers of Hadeeth by claiming that the highest objective of their speech is with regard to issues of purification, prayer and their likes!!

But in reality, this is not blameworthy, since it is with (knowledge) purification that you will have achieved the key to prayer.

The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “The key to prayer is purification. Its tahreem (commencement) is the takbeer (i.e. saying Allaahu Akbar) and its Tahleel (ending) is the tasleem (i.e. saying As-Salaam ‘Alaikum).” [3]

He (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Islaam is built upon five (pillars): (1) The testimony that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; (2) Establishing the prayer; (3) Paying the Zakaat; (4) Fasting in Ramadaan; and (5) the Pilgrimage (Hajj) to the Sacred House of Allaah for whoever is able to do it.” [4]

It is for this reason that the first thing a student of knowledge is advised to do is to strive to obtain the knowledge that is binding upon him first. This is why when Imaam Maalik was asked about seeking knowledge, he said: “All of it is good. However, look into what you need for (the transactions of) your day and night, and then seek (knowledge of) that.”

This is since you will not truly actualize the worship of Allaah until you first obtain knowledge of what Allaah has legislated for you in those matters (of worship). So once you obtain that knowledge, you will be aware of how to perform wudoo, how to pray, how to perform ghusl, how to give Zakaat – if you have wealth, how to perform the Pilgrimage (Hajj) – if you intend to perform it, the rules of marriage – if you intend to marry someone, the rules of divorce – if you intend to divorce someone, and so on.

This foundation consists of the following things:

1. The ruling of an obligation. This relates to a Muslim that is responsible for his actions. If he is young (i.e. under the age of puberty), then it is upon his parents to teach him the affairs of his Religion that he is in need of. This is since the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “All of you are shepherds and all of you are responsible as to his flock.” [5]

And Allaah says: “O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are angels that are stern and severe – they do not disobey what Allaah has ordered them to do, and carry out what they are commanded.” [Surah At-Tahreem: 6]

Therefore, it is binding upon the Muslim father and the Muslim mother to teach their children what they are required to know from the matters of the Religion and from manners.

2. The student of knowledge must give precedence to acquiring knowledge of what is obligatory upon him to know over what is recommended for him to know. Preoccupying oneself with learning the recommended forms of knowledge whilst neglecting the obligatory forms of knowledge is one of the obstacles and impediments of seeking knowledge.

So, for example, you may find a person speaking about the intricate issues of the Language, on Grammar, Terminology, the Science of Eloquence and Principles, yet he is not able to properly perform ablution in the same manner as that of the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), nor is he able to perform the prayer properly like the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to pray…and so on and so forth!!

3. A seeker of knowledge should not oppose his parents by traveling abroad in search of knowledge that in his case is considered to be recommended. But in the case where that knowledge that he intends to travel abroad for is from the forms of knowledge that is binding upon him to know in order to worship Allaah during the night and day, then he may go ahead and travel, as was advised by Imaam Ishaaq in his previously mentioned statement: “So whatever he is obligated to learn from that, then he need not ask the permission of his parents to go out and learn that. But as for what is in excess of that, he should not go out to acquire (knowledge of) that until he first gets permission to do that from his parents.”

4. The supportive sciences, or what some scholars commonly call “The applied sciences”, such as the Arabic Language, the Science of Eloquence, the Science of Principles, Hadeeth Terminology, and the Sciences of the Qur’aan – a student of knowledge should acquire from these that which will enable him to actualize the primary objective, which is to properly worship Allaah – the reason for which we were created. And if this is not the case, then it falls under the realm of being from the extravagant forms of knowledge, and Allaah knows best.

So it is not required from a student of knowledge studying Grammar that he becomes like Seebawaih, nor from one studying the Arabic Language that he becomes like Al-Khaleel and Al-Azharee, nor from one studying the Science of Eloquence that he becomes like Al-Jirjaanee!! Rather, it is sufficient for him to only learn from all of that what he needs to properly understand the Book and the Sunnah and to implement what Allaah has obligated upon him from worship.


[1] Jaami’ Bayaan al-‘Ilmi wa Fadlihi (1/9)

[2] Majmoo’-ul-Fataawaa (28/80)

[3] This is from the narration of ‘Alee (radyAllaahu 'anhu). It was reported by Abu Dawood in his Sunan: Book of Purification: Chapter: The Obligation of Ablution (no. 61); At-Tirmidhee in his Sunan: Book of Purification: Chapter: What has been reported about the Key to Prayer being the Purification (no. 3); and Ibn Maajah in his Sunan: Book of Purification: Chapter: The Key to Prayer is the Purification (no. 27)

[4] This is from the narration of ‘Umar (radyAllaahu 'anhu). It was reported by Al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh: Book of Faith: Chapter: Islaam was built upon five things (no. 8); Muslim in his Saheeh: Book of Faith: Chapter: A Clarification of the Pillars of Islaam and its Great Foundations (no. 16)

[5] This hadeeth was reported by Al-Bukhaaree in several places in his Saheeh, such as the Book of Friday Prayer (no. 893), the Book of Leadership (no. 1829)

19May2007 08:26 AM

post by Nadia
The Meaning of the "Knowledge" mentioned in the Ayaat and Ahaadeeth

AUTHOR: Shaikh Muhammad 'Umar Bazmool
SOURCE: His treatise "At-Ta'seel fee Talab-il-'Ilm"

The Second Foundation:
What is meant by the “knowledge” that is mentioned in the ayaat and the ahaadeeth is knowledge of the Religion. As for the universal, physical and material sciences, then these are a collective obligation.

These sciences fall under Allaah’s statement: “And prepare against them all you can of power, including steeds of war…” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 60]

They also fall under the principle: “There is no harming (of oneself) or harming others.”

And they fall under the principle: “That which is necessary for the fulfillment of an obligation becomes itself obligatory.”

* This principle entails the following matters:

1. The statement: “This is obligatory upon every Muslim or student of knowledge.” cannot be applied unrestrictedly to any of the types of knowledge except for the Islamic sciences. An example of this is what is known nowadays as “Knowledge of Current Affairs”, which focuses on following reports and information from newspapers and magazines, and which some people say is: “An obligatory form of knowledge that every student of knowledge is required to learn!”

2. The knowledge that the Salaf praised and which they intended in their statements is nothing else but knowledge of the Religion. This is the knowledge that was intended in statements such as that of Mu’aadh RAA, when he said: “Learn knowledge, for indeed learning it for the sake of Allaah is fear (of Him), seeking it is worship, studying it is glorification of Allaah, researching it is Jihaad, teaching it to those unaware of it is charity, and giving it out to one’s family builds ties. It is a friend in privacy, a companion in solitude, a guide in times of ease, an aide in times of difficulty, a minister to the friends (of Allaah), a close-relative to the strangers, and a lighthouse for the path to Paradise. Allaah raises people by way of it, thus making them noble leaders and chiefs in matters of good who are emulated, as well as guides to goodness whose footsteps are followed and whose deeds are highly regarded.”

So therefore, from the things that this principle entails is that: The knowledge that Allaah, His Messenger and the predecessors, such as the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een have praised is nothing else but knowledge of the Religion. As for all of the other forms of knowledge, they were not the ones intended in the praise for “knowledge” found in these ayaat, ahaadeeth and statements of the Salaf.

So knowledge of medicine, engineering, chemistry, and physics is not what was intended in the ayaat and ahaadeeth.

When we come to understand this, we must ask: “What is the ruling on learning these sciences?”

I say: It falls under the collective obligations, Acquiring knowledge of it falls under (the principle): “That which is necessary for the fulfillment of an obligation becomes itself obligatory.”

Acquiring knowledge of these sciences falls under the statement of Allaah: “And prepare against them all you can of power, including steeds of war…” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 60]

This is the ruling on these sciences. If some people take on the responsibility of learning them, the obligation becomes removed from everyone else.

What also falls under the requisites of this principle is what I mentioned to you previously – that it cannot be unrestrictedly said that these sciences or their likes are obligatory for every Muslim to know.

So for all the more reason, it is incorrect to unrestrictedly say that the knowledge of that which is associated with newspapers and magazines is from the “knowledge” that every student of knowledge is obliged to learn.

20May2007 01:52 PM

post by Nadia
Sincerity in Seeking Knowledge

AUTHOR: Shaikh Muhammad 'Umar Baazmool
SOURCE: His Treatise: "At-Ta'seel fee Talab-ul-'Ilm"

The Third Foundation:

Sincerity in Seeking Knowledge is a condition that is continual and successive not just initial and preliminary:

What this means is that the student of knowledge should continually strive to implement sincerity in himself, and that he should not refrain from his studies due to the claim that he did not achieve sincerity.

Some scholars have provided the following definition for sincerity (Ikhlaas):

Ibn Jamaa’ah said: “It means that one has a good intention when seeking knowledge, by intending through his studies to please Allaah, to act in accordance to what he learns, to revive the Sharee’ah (Islamic legislation), to illuminate his heart, to elucidate its (i.e. knowledge’s) hidden meanings; to get near to Allaah on the Day of Judgement, and to subject oneself to what Allaah has prepared for those who possess it from His Contentment and great virtue.”

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “I did not try to rectify anything that was more difficult on me than my intention.”

One should not intend, by his search for knowledge, to fulfill some worldly goal such as achieving leadership, gaining status and wealth, competing with colleagues, having people extol him, taking the front seat in a gathering, and so on, by which he would be exchanging that which is better for that which is lower.

Abu Yoosuf, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Intend Allaah through your (search for) knowledge, for indeed I never sat in a gathering of people in which I made it my intention to humble myself except that I didn’t leave from it until I had surpassed them. And I never sat in a gathering of people in which I made it my intention to surpass them, except that I didn’t leave from it until I was disgraced.”

Knowledge is one of the many acts of worship and one of the many ways of gaining nearness to Allaah. So if one purifies his intention when seeking it, his deed will be accepted and purified, and its blessing will be perfected. However, if he intends other than the sake of Allaah when seeking knowledge, his deed becomes nullified and wasted and his transaction is lost. And perhaps it may be that he misses out on these (worldly) objectives and never achieves them. So in this case, he will have failed his objective and wasted his efforts. [1]

* This principle entails several matters, the most important of which is:

The Devil enters into the heart of some people desiring to turn them away from knowledge based on the argument that one should leave off seeking knowledge until he first purifies his intention. This is a plot, scheme and deception of the Devil. Rather, it is upon the Muslim to continue and persevere in his search for knowledge, and to constantly re-evaluate his intention, as Sufyaan Ath-Thawree said: “I did not try to rectify anything that was more difficult upon me than my intention.”

And this is Sufyaan we are talking about, so it applies even more so for those other than him!! Therefore, one should not make this into something that diverts him away from seeking knowledge.

When Hishaam Ad-Dustawaa’ee, may Allaah have mercy on him, said; “By Allaah, I cannot (honestly) say that I ever went one day to seek hadeeth for the sake of Allaah”, Adh-Dhahabee, may Allaah have mercy on him, commented on this saying: “By Allaah, me neither!”

The Salaf would seek knowledge for the sake of Allaah, and so they became dignified and went on to become Imaams that were followed and looked up to by the people. And there were other people from among them who did not seek knowledge for the sake of Allaah at first, but yet they still attained the knowledge, then they woke up and examined themselves. And so the knowledge led them to have sincerity on their path (to seeking knowledge).

This is as was stated by Mujaahid and others: “We sought this knowledge while not having a big intention concerning it. Then Allaah granted us the intention (for it) afterward.”

And others would say: “We sought this knowledge for other than the sake of Allaah. But the knowledge refused that it should be sought except for the sake of Allaah.” So this is also good. Then, afterward, they went on to spread the knowledge with righteous intentions.

And there were other people that sought knowledge with corrupt intentions, for the sake of the worldly life and so that they could be praised by the people, so they got what they intended.

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said: “Whoever fights in battle with the intention of (getting) war booty, he will have what he intends.”

You will find this type of people not being illuminated by the light of knowledge. The knowledge has no impact on their souls nor does it produce a big result in their actions. Rather, the one with knowledge is only he who fears Allaah.

Then there were other people that attained knowledge and achieved positions due to it, but they oppressed people and abandoned the requisites of knowledge, thus embarking on committing major sins and lewd acts!! So woe be to them – these people are not scholars.

Some other people do not fear Allaah with regard to their knowledge, but rather engage in schemes, issuing verdicts permitting prohibited matters and reporting unauthentic and irregular narrations.

Other people show audacity before Allaah and fabricate ahaadeeth, so Allaah exposed them and their knowledge left them. And so their preparation became for the Hellfire.

All of these types of people took in a large portion of knowledge, and they excelled in it, in the general sense. Then they were succeeded by later generations that had deficiency in knowledge and action. Then there followed a people that ascribed themselves to knowledge outwardly, however, they did not become well versed in it except for a few among them who thought that because of that they had become noble scholars. But it did not cross their mind that they were gaining nearness to Allaah through it. The reason for this is because they did not see a shaikh that was taken as a role-model with regard to knowledge. So they became like savage barbarians. The highest objective of the teacher from amongst them is to obtain costly books, amassing them, to look into on any given day. So he would misinterpret what is stated therein and not agree with it. We ask Allaah for salvation and pardon.

This is as some of them said: “I am not a scholar, nor have I seen a scholar.” [2]

This third foundation is from amongst the important principles, and it is that the student strives to make his intention purely for the sake of Allaah when seeking knowledge.

Achieving sincerity is something necessary. Allaah says: “And they were commanded not except to worship Allaah sincerely, making the worship purely for His sake.” [Surah Al-Bayyinah: 5}

As we mentioned previously, seeking the religious knowledge by which one can properly implement the worship of Allaah is itself an act of worshipping Allah. And it is part of the implementation of Laa Ilaaha IllaaAllaah. So in summary, it is an act of worship that one should strive to have sincerity in when performing it. The Messenger of Allaah SAWS said: “Verily, actions are based on intentions. And verily, every man will have what he intends.”

Based on this, we say: A student of knowledge must continuously strive to correct his intention and to make it purely for the sake of Allaah.

Someone may say: “Does this mean that I should not seek knowledge until I (first) correct my intention?”

I say: No. Rather, you should seek knowledge. But while you are seeking knowledge, you should examine yourself and rectify yourself by way of correcting your intention.

If this person continues, saying: “I want to leave off seeking knowledge until I (first) correct my intention!!”

Then I reply by saying: This is a plot from the Devil. He has opened up for you one of the doors of good intending by that to turn you away from that which is better and greater. So therefore, you should continue and be perseverant in your search for knowledge. And you should continually rectify yourself, for indeed your knowledge – Allaah-willing – will guide you to make your intention sincerely for the sake of Allaah.

The Salaf would say: “We sought this knowledge for other than the sake of Allaah. But the knowledge refused that it should be sought except for the sake of Allaah.”

20May2007 07:10 PM

post by mauslim
Right now shaykh Mashoor (one of shaykh Al-Albaanee most prolific students who currently lives in Jordan) has an on-going class weekly class on the mannerism of the taalibul-ilm, and one quote from the salaf that he often mentions that makes me think a lot is the one that says, "Whoever increases in knowledge but does not increase in his fear of Allaah nor does he increase in his mercy and kindness to the creation, then he needs to check his sincerity."

21May2007 02:44 PM

post by Ibn Shareef
Baarakallaahu feek yaa mauslim...

that statement is weighing heavy on my soul, wallaah.


Whoever increases in knowledge but does not increase in his fear of Allaah nor does he increase in his mercy and kindness to the creation, then he needs to check his sincerity."
Today, I found an old pad which I wrote down a statement of Ibul Qayyim rahimahullah and it happened to be a similar statement:

"Every knowledge and action that doesn't increase Imaan (Faith) is strength, then it is entered into (by Riyaa)."

I can't remember the source, except that Shaykh Muqbil quoted it in the introduction to a small treatise he wrote.

And some other statements came to mind when I read that statement, like the statement of Sufyaan (rahimahullah) when he said: "Knowledge is only sought after (so that one can use it) to fear Allaah; and it is in this context that knowledge is deemed a suprerior thing; otherwise it is like all other things. So knowledge is considered to be superior over all other things because it is meant to be used for the purpose of fearing Allaah..."

And I remember a statement that some of the Salaf said that they didn't have ikhlaas in seeking the knowledge, but the knowledge dragged Ikhlaas along with it.

Four Things You Are Unsafe From 22May2007 11:04 AM

post by Nadia
Four Things You Are Unsafe From

Abdullaah ibn Mubaarak

: Seer A’alaam an Nubalaa” Vol.8 P.406

Imaam Ath Thahabi Rahimahullah mentions in his monumental book "Seer A’alaam an Nubalaa” Vol.8 P.406 on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Al Mubaarak Rahimahullah (181H.):

“The people of knowledge and insight do not consider themselves safe from four things:

1) A past sin he committed which he does not know what Allaah will do with it (either forgive and pardon him for it or punish him with it);

2) What is left of his life, whether there is something therein waiting to destroy him;

3) A favor that Allaah bestowed upon him, perhaps it is a plot which will lead him step by step to his eventual destruction and ruin;

4) Deviance which is beautified for him so that he sees it to be guidance and in a split second, his heart can deviate and he will be stripped of his deen and he doesn't even realize it.”

04Jun2007 11:34 AM

post by Nadia
The way to seek knowledge
Question: Briefly, what is the way to seek knowledge, and may Allaah reward you with good?

Response: Briefly, in point form, the way to seek knowledge (is as follows):

1) Take care to memorise the Book of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) and allocate some time every day to memorise and read, such that your recitation is with reflection and understanding. And if you come across a beneficial point whilst reading, then make a note of it;

2) Take care to memorise that which is easy (for you) from the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and from that (I recommend) memorising (the book) ((‘Umdatul-Ahkaam));

3) Take care in concentrating and confirming (whilst seeking knowledge) such that you do not take a little knowledge from here and a little from there. This is because this wastes your time and (unnecessarily) busies your mind;

4) Start with the smaller books and study them well, then move on to that which is above this (in level) until you obtain knowledge little by little in a manner which makes firm (the knowledge) in your heart and to that which you are at peace (comfortable) with;

5) Take care to understand the fundamental issues, their rules and the limits of all that passes by you, as it has been said:

((Whoever does not take care to learn the fundamentals/principles, then he has prevented (himself) from arriving at the conclusion/goal));

6) Discuss issues with your Shaykh or someone who is known for his knowledge and (practise of the) religion based upon the conditions you know. (Even if you are mentally able to discuss the issue).

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen
Kitaabul-‘Ilm - Page 119, Question 17

04Jun2007 12:42 PM

post by Ibn Shareef
MaashaAllaah...baarakillaahu feek....good post.

I heard Shaykh 'Ubayd Al Jaabiree (hafidhahullah) and Shaykh Muhammad Amaan Al Jaami (rahimahullah) saying that the books of Tawheed that the student should begin memorizing and studying are:

(1) Al Qawaa'idul Arba' -The Four Principles (concerning shirk and tawheed)

(2) Thalaathatul Usool- the 3 Fundamental Principles

(3) Kitaabut Tawheed - The Book of Tawheed

(4) Kashfu Shubuhaat- The Removal of Doubts

All of these books are authored by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sulaymaan At-Tameemee (rahimahullah).

These four books tend to explain each other, and they should be studied in this order (and they are in ascending order in terms of length basically)...under someone who studied these books with the 'Ulamaa or the 'Ulamaa themselves. But since we are masaakeen here in Trinidad, the Scholars wrote some explanations for these books that will be beneficial for us, non arabic speaking folk inshaAllaah.

As for(1) 'Al Qawaa'idul Arba', then Shaykh Saalih Al Fawzaan (hafidhahullah) has written an explanation for it that is available inshaAlllaah. Also there is an explanation of it available at written by the Doctor, the Shaykh Abdur Rahmaan ibn Muhammad Al Khumayyis (hafidhahullah).

(2) Thalaathatul Usool- Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al 'Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) has written a brilliant explanation of it and Shaykh 'Ubayd Al Jaabiree (hafidhahullah) has written also, but it is less detailed, but still extremely beneficial.

(3) Kitaabut Tawheed- Then there is the well known explanation by the illustrious and one of the teachers of Shaykhul 'Uthaymeen, Shaykh 'Abdur Rahmaan ibn Naasir As-Sa'dee (rahimahullah) and it is basically summarized and we have the fairly recent explanation done by the son of the GrandMufti of the Mamlakah, Shaykh Saalih ibn Abdil 'Azeez 'Aalush Shaykh (hafidhahumallaah), which is a little more detailed than Shaykhus Sa'dee's explanation.

(4) As for Kashfu Shubuhaat, which deals with repelling the doubts of the Mushrikeen, then there is some brief explanatory notes on it that is available at under the title, 'Readings in Kashfu Shubuhaat' which is was taken from the works of the Shaykh, Dr. Muhammad ibn Khumayyis (hafidhahullah) and contains the commentary of the likes of Shaykhul 'Uthaymeen, Shaykh Saalih Al Fawzaan and the great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem 'Aalus Shaykh (rahimahumullaah ta'ala).

These are the works that I know of in the english language, contact me through PM or email, if you're interested inshaAllaah ta'ala.

Baarakallahu feekum.

04Jun2007 03:29 PM

post by Nadia
Asking the people of knowledge
Question: When I come across a religious matter which I am unaware of, such as in prayer, fasting, Hajj, dealings with others, or divorce, is it sufficient for me to take the opinion of one of the Muslim scholars who is known to be knowledgeable, righteous and God-fearing, and that he is qualified to issue fataawa such as one of the Council of Senior Scholars, or one who has equivalent knowledge, and accept his response (to my question) and abide by it? Or is it obligatory upon me to direct my question to a number of scholars from amongst them, and then select (any response) which suits me from their opinions in the event that they differ?

Response: If you are unaware of a matter from the affairs of the religion, then it is upon you to ask the people of knowledge, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{Then ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know}, [Soorah an-Nahl, Aayah 43 and Soorah al-Anbiyaa., Aayah 7].

If someone whose knowledge and taqwa you trust gives you a fatwa, then it is obligatory upon you to abide by that fatwa. And it is not permissible for a person to ask a number of scholars so as to select from their fataawa that which is easiest for him, or that which suits his desires or opinion.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising -
Head: Shaykh 'Abdul 'Azeez Ibn Abdullaah Ibn Baaz;
Member: Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh;
Member: Shaykh 'Abdullaah Ibn Ghudayyaan;
Member: Shaykh Saalih Ibn Fowzaan;
Member: Shaykh Bakar Ibn 'Abdullaah Abu Zayd
Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-'Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., - Volume 12, Page 307, Fatwa No.19270

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