Brief Advice to Students of Knowledge
Author: Imaam 'Abdul-'Azeez Ibn 'Abdillaah Baaz
Translator: Isma'eel alarcon
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 (saws) 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 (saws) 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." [Quran 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." [Quran Al-Mulk: 12]
And His saying: "And whoever fears the position of His Lord will have two Gardens." [Quran Ar-Rahmaan: 46]
Some of the Salaf said: "The pinnacle of knowledge is fear of Allaah." And 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood (raa) 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 (saws): "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)." [Quran 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 (saws) 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 (raa).
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.
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Taqwaa - The Key to Learning
Author: Shaikh Abu Anas Hamad-ul-'Uthmaan
Translator: His book Nubadh Fee Aadaab it-Talab (pp.12-15)
All Allaah - the Most Perfect, Most High - said:
"O you who Believe! Have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah and believe in His Messenger; and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His Mercy and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk." [Quran Al-Hadeed 57:28]
Allaah - the Most High - also said:
"O you who Believe! If you have taqwaa of Allaah, He will give to you a Furqaan (criterion to judge between right and wrong)." [Quran AI-Anfaal 8:29]
AI-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.777H) - rahimahullaah - said:
Ibn 'Abbaas, as-Suddee, 'Ikrimah, ad-Dahhaak, Qataadah and Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan all said about Furqaan "that it means: a way out (from difficulty)." Mujaahid added: "A way out (from difficulty) both in this world and in the Hereafter."
In a narration from Ibn 'Abbaas he said it means: salvation; and in another narration from him: being helped. Muhammad ibn Ishaaq said that it means: "a criterion to judge between truth and falsehood."
This explanation from Ibn Ishaaq is the most general of what has already preceeded and it is a necessary consequence of it. Since whoever has taqwaa of Allaah by obeying His command and abandoning what He has prohibited, will be given the ability to recognise truth from falsehood. This will be the cause for his salvation, his being helped; and the cause for his worldly affairs being made easier and his happiness on the Day of Judgement. It will also be the cause for his sins to be expiated by Allaah, and his being granted forgiveness and Allaah shielding him from the people.
It will likewise be the cause of him being the recipient (if a great reward from Allaah, as He - the Most High - says: 'O you who Believe! Have taqwaa (fear) of Allaah and believe in His Messenger; and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His Mercy and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk.' [Quran AI-Anfaal 8:29]
lbn Mas'ood - radiallaahu anhu - said: "Indeed I hold that a person forgets knowledge that he used to know because of sins that he commits." -Related by Wakee’ in oz-Zuhd (no.329) and its isnaad is Saheeh.
Wakee' (d.197H) - rahimahullaah - said: "I seek help in memorization by abandoning sin and disobedience." -Related by Ibn Hibbaan in Rawdatul Uqulaa (p.39).
Maalik (d.179H) said to ash-Shafi’ee when they first met: "Indeed I see that Allaah has placed a light upon your heart so do not extinguish it with the darkness of disobedience and sin." -A’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een (4/258) uf Ibn al-Qayyim.
Imaam ash-Shaaf'ee (d.204H) - rahimahullaah - said: "Whosoever loves that Allaah Should open up his heart for him and grant light to him, then let him abandon speech about that which does not concern him, and abandon sins and turn away from acts of disobedience. Then there will be between him and Allaah a hidden treasure of good actions. So if this is done, then Allaah will open up such knowledge for him, that will pre-occupy him. And indeed in death is the greatest pre-occupation." -Related by al-Bayhaqi in Manaaqib ush-Shafi’ee (2/171).
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Advice To The Youth
Author: Shaykh Rabee' Ibn Haadee 'Umayr al-Madkhalee
Translator: Maaz Qureshi
Verily Allaah the Exalted said:
'So No! By your Lord, they cannot believe until they make you (O Muhammad) a judge in all disputes that they have between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decision, but accept them with full submission.' [Quran Nisaa: 12]
We advise the Muslims, their general masses, and their youth especially with:
That they hold fast to the Book of their Lord, and the Sunnah of their Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in their creed, and their worship, and the current affairs of their lives.
That they exert their seriousness at establishing the oneness of Allaah among the ranks of the Muslims, upon Tawheed, and the Sunnah, and truth, and trustworthiness.
That they single out Allaah in their worship, and their Jihaad, and their actions, and their sciences, and in their matters of conduct.
To spread between themselves that which is a reason for love and brotherhood, and friendship, and to distance themselves from everything that is a reason for differing and division, which is also the most dangerous weapon against the Islaamic Ummah, and which is assassinating it and it's unity. And it is strengthening the one who works for the destruction of it's fragrance.
That they keep good opinions of the scholars of the Sunnah and Tawheed. For verily having evil thoughts about the scholars is extremely dangerous. Not relying upon them, and not respecting them fires the youth with a zeal which makes them surrender their control to the people of innovation and misguidance, and to ruin, and ignorance, and disaster, and destruction in their worldly matters, and their religion.
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From the Manners of Knowledge
Author: Ahmad Fareed
Translator: isma'eel alarcon
Note: Abridged version of the original
1. The student of knowledge must first know that Allaah has made it obligatory for him to worship Him, and worship cannot be attained except through knowledge. And he must know that it is not befitting for a Muslim to remain in ignorance.
2. He must avoid all affairs that cause him to draw his attention away from the objective (of knowledge), except for those things which he must involve himself with for needs sake.
3. He must also begin by cleansing his soul from reprehensible manners and reprehensible characteristics.
4. He must not feel proud or arrogant about the knowledge he acquires. Rather, he must display humility in front of his teacher and grant him full control to direct and supervise him in all matters.
5. Similarly, he must carefully select the person he is going to acquire knowledge from. He should not take knowledge, except from one whose qualifications are legitimately established, whose good religious qualities are evident, whose reputation is reliable and whose respectability is well known. Muhammad Ibn Sireen, Maalik Ibn Anas and many more of the Salaf have said: "Indeed, this knowledge is the Religion! So look carefully towards whom you take your Religion from."
6. He must look towards his teacher with an eye of respect and reverence, for indeed this is the best way of deriving benefit from him. When some of our Salaf would go to study with their teacher, they would give something away in charity and say: "O Allaah, conceal my teacher’s defects from me and do not cause the blessing of his knowledge to be taken away from me."
7. He must be polite with his teacher's companions and those that attend his learning circle, for indeed, in doing that, he will be behaving well with the teacher and preserving the well being of the gathering.
8. He must safeguard and preserve his studies by being diligent and persisting in it during all times in which he has the ability to do so. He should not satisfy himself with a little when he has the ability to attain more. He should not over burden himself with things that he cannot handle, for fear that it will cause him to grow tired and postpone what he desires to attain (of knowledge).
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Good counsel for Muslims
Author: Shaykh Muhammad Sa'id Burhani
Text: Counsels and maxims, from Reliance of the Traveller
The Shaykh has very beautifully outlined eighteen points that every student of knowledge should read and act upon. Please click here to read this article.
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