(Lecture titled:”Radiant Pages From The [examples] of The Worship of The Scholars”)

Translated By Mustafa George

Ibn Al Juwziee said:

Whoever does not read the stories of the Salaf and the path that they tread, he can never tread that path.  It is befitting for a person to know and understand that the nature of an individual (character) is a thief.  If a person leaves his nature with the people of his time, his nature will steal from theirs and he will become similar to them.  But if he reads into the lives of the Salaf his nature will join theirs and he will learn from their character….(Telblees Iblees)

The following are just a few examples from the past and present day scholars informing of their love of knowledge and their preference of it over relaxation.


It was reported by Ibn al Qayyim in his book: “Rawdatul Muhibeen”, I was informed by my Sheikh (Ibn Taymiyyah), he said: When I became sick the doctor said to me: Verily your research and Islamic lecturing increases your illness.  I (Ibn Taymiyyah) replied: I can not stop, and I will debate you in your knowledge! If a person becomes happy and joyful doesn’t this strengthen their soul or spirit, and as a result wards off illness? The doctor responded: Of course.  So I (Ibn Taymiyyah) said: Verily my spirit is pleased with knowledge and it strengthens my nature and due to that I find relaxation.  The doctor responded: This is something our knowledge doesn’t apply to.


It was reported by Sheikh Muhammed bin Hadee to some of his visitors that he was told a story by Ahmed Al Hakimy, the brother of Sheikh Hafith Al Hakimy:

One year while Sheikh Hafith Al Hakimy was on Hajj or during Ramadan in Mecca, he was looking for the book titled: “Creation of The Servant’s Action” by Imam Al Bukhari. While in Mecca he was informed that someone had arrived from India with a copy of the book and that he had given it to the library there in The Haram.  Sheikh Hafith visited the library and requested to borrow the book under the condition that he would not leave the Haram and that he would return the book the following day after the rising of the sun.  He took the book and requested for someone to bring him paper and a pen.  He sat and made his own copy of the book.  Then he continued to memorize the book until Fajr. After Fajr he rested for a short period of time and then woke up.  Upon waking, he returned the original book to the library and said: Here is your original, and here is an extra copy (the copy he himself wrote) and the book is in my head (memorized).

May Allah grant Sheikh Hafith Al Hakimy ease in his grave and raise him with the righteous ameen.

It was also mentioned by Sheikh Ahmed An Najmee the following:

We (as young boys) were instructed by our teacher Sheikh Abdullah Al Qara’wee to memorize the Quran in preparation for the month of Ramadan.  We would memorize during the day, and toward the end of the day we gathered to test one another in memorization.  I (Ahmed An Najmee) memorized a hizb for that day.  Surprisingly, Hafith Al Hakimy memorized a full Juz!  We continued for a full month, and everyday Hafith would memorize a full Juz completing the entire Quran in one month!


It was reported by Sheikh Abdul Kareem Al Kudair:

I was informed by one of the widows of Sheikh Abdul Azeez bin Baz that one day he returned home from the hospital, and upon entering the house she noticed that he was very tired and exhausted.  After falling to sleep, she changed his alarm clock from the normal set time for night prayer, to a later time.  The Sheikh woke at his normal time without the clock and inquired why the clock did not work.  His wife informed that she had changed the time in order for him to relax.  He admonished her and said: Relaxation is in Paradise!


By Shaykh Ahmad bin Umar Bazmool
Translated by Mustafa George (Ruwais, United Arab Emirates)


Question: What does a person who wants to seek knowledge do if he is not able to reach the people of knowledge? Do they suffice with taking knowledge from books, and what is the methodology of doing so in this case?

The Shaykh repeated the question and asked: Is the person an Arabic speaker or a non Arabic speaker?

The questioner responds that he is as Arabic speaker.

The Shaykh answers:

As for seeking knowledge, the origin is that the Muslim travels to the scholars to gain knowledge from them if he does not have a scholar in his locality. What is befitting for him is to travel to the scholars if he is able. All praise is for Allah (Aza wa Jel), during our present time means of communicating with the scholars have become widespread. (It has become easy for us to communicate with) the scholars who are upon the straight methodology and safe aqeedah, but we will lay (mention) some easy affairs for the o­ne seeking knowledge in our present time so that a person can seek knowledge while he is in the confines of his home.

This is done in the following ways:

1. If he is able to call a scholar (one upon the Sunnah) if he has the financial means, him and a group of his friends can attend a class with the scholar. This is a means of seeking knowledge.

2. Another way which is also easy it that an individual for example travels to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah and during his visit, he buys tapes of the people of knowledge that are well known for their correct beliefs and methodology. (A person) can also request someone else who is traveling to buy these tapes for them. Thereafter the individual listens to these audio recordings, he listens to the speech of the people of knowledge. It is, by the permission of Allah, as if he is in front of the scholar.

3. If an individual is able to be consistent with the classes o­n the radio, for example the classes of Shaykh Saleh al Fawzan or other than him (may Allah preserve him) from the scholars that are well known who’s classes are broadcasted o­n the Quraan radio station (KSA). It is upon the individual to be consistent with this program. This is very good, but at the same time, I warn of some stations that have lessons with individuals whose affairs are not known or those who are known to have deviated from the salafi methodology. Verily, o­ne does not take knowledge from these stations for indeed those individuals that are unknown or have deviated from the correct path and the salafi methodology; o­ne does not take knowledge from them. This is because knowledge is from the religion, so let everyone look to who he takes his knowledge from. (Unclear sentence) Verily if you seek knowledge from a person of innovation or a man that you do not know his religion, you do not know if is methodology is safe or unsafe. And the methodology (of an individual) is known by either being widespread or asking the salafi scholars. You say to them: We have an individual so and so, do you know this person? If they reply: We know him to have the correct methodology and belief. Then o­ne can take from him, but if they say, we don’t know him then you should continue to ask until you find out about him.

4. By way of internet, for indeed there are (paltalk) rooms for Shaykh Zayd al Madkhali, Shaykh Ahmad an Najmee and Shaykh Rabee al Madkhali and other than them from the salafi scholars. There are also rooms for some salafi students of knowledge, classes that an individual can go o­n the internet and enter these rooms and schedule classes for himself. I also warn from intensive lessons from some directions that it is not known who is teaching. An individual says: I take the lesson and I just continue upon my way! I warn you of this. I warn you from taking lessons from rooms that either have individuals who are unknown or they are known for incorrect beliefs. Do not be deceived because an individual teaches in such and such university or such and such institute etc… verily these titles: (BA, MA, PhD) do not benefit and do not satisfy o­nes hunger. The respect of an individual is the praise of the salafi scholars for them, and their knowledge of them. A person merely being a doctor and the likes, an individual may in fact be a revolutionist. So be aware and do not be deceived by his degree (unclear words) I am informing you of sources for seeking knowledge but there might be some sort of danger in some of them, so I have to warn you from this danger.

Other means of seeking knowledge similar to what was mentioned by the questioner, such as reading books.

But in reading books there are also things o­ne should be cautious of:

1. If a person does not have knowledge, he can misunderstand something

2. He may incorrectly pronounce words

3. He may read from whoever comes and goes and the affair becomes confusing to him. He reads from the people of Ahlus Sunnah and he, for example reads from the people of innovation, and he does not distinguish between the two. But o­n the other hand, if he knows the arabic language, he understands the speech and he has sat with the people of knowledge and he has some foundations for example; the foundations that by the permission of Allah, he is able to continue reading, writing and researching, then this is ok. But he should be aware of the following matters:

1. He should refer to the speech of the scholars, not depend o­n his own understanding

2. He must be diligent and read the books of the people of sunnah, those known with the correct methodology and belief o­nly!

3. When he is able to reach the Ulamaa, it is upon him to do so. To go to them, to refer back to them, to ask them.

4. His reading of books is done so out of need he does not make this his means of seeking legislated knowledge, rather, he takes if from the mouths of the scholars just as the salaf took it from the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) and his students and those who came after took it from the salaf. This is (the way) knowledge (should be sought). If a person merely takes it from books, and reads from those who are not known, then a person may deviate. Verily knowledge is obtained by seeking it and having a relationship (with the people of knowledge). The purpose of seeking knowledge is not merely to have abundant amounts of information; verily there are affairs that are related to knowledge, such as its manners and understanding. It is because of this, ignorance and mistakes have increased for the individual who has made reading books a habit instead of sitting with the scholars.

These are some means of seeking knowledge that I advise myself and the questioner with. Allah knows best, and may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family and his companions.



By Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: There are six stages to knowledge:

  1. Firstly: Asking questions in a good manner.
  2. Secondly: Remaining quiet and listening attentively.
  3. Thirdly: Understanding well.
  4. Fourthly: Memorising.
  5. Fifthly: Teaching.
  6. Sixthly: and it is its fruit: Acting upon the knowledge and keeping to its limits.

Fruits of Humility

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: One of the Pious Predecessors said: Indeed a servant commits a sin by which he enters Paradise; and another does a good deed by which he enters the Fire. It was asked: How is that? So he replied: The one who committed the sin, constantly thinks about it; which causes him to fear it, regret it, weep over it and feel ashamed in front of his Lord due to it. He stands before Allah, brokenhearted and with his head lowered in humility. So this sin is more beneficial to him than doing many acts of obedience, since it caused him to have humility and humbleness which leads to the servants happiness and success to the extent that this sin becomes the cause for him entering Paradise.

As for the doer of good, then he does not consider this good a favour from his Lord upon him. Rather, he becomes arrogant and amazed with himself, saying: I have achieved such and such, and such and such. So this further increases him in self adulation, pride and arrogance such that this becomes the cause for his destruction.

Purifying the Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: There is no doubt that the heart becomes covered with rust, just as metal dishes silver, and their like become rusty. So the rust of the heart is polished with thikr (remembrance of Allah), for thikr polishes the heart until it becomes like a shiny mirror. However, when thikr is abandoned, the rust returns; and when it commences then the heart again begins to be cleansed. Thus the heart becoming rusty is due to two matters: sins and ahafah (neglecting remembrance of Allah). Likewise, it is cleansed and polished by two things: istighfaar (seeking Allahs forgiveness) and thikr.

Jihaad Against the Self

Jihaad (striving) against the soul has four stages:

Firstly: To strive in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success. Indeed, there can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Hereafter, except through it.

Secondly: Striving to act upon what has been learned, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm.

Thirdly: Striving to invite others towards it and to teach those who do not know, otherwise he may be considered from those who hide what Allah has revealed of guidance and clear explanation. Such knowledge will neither benefit, nor save a person from the punishment of Allah.

Fourthly: Striving to be patient and persevering against those who oppose this dawah (call) to Allah and those who seek to cause harm patiently bearing all these hardships for the pleasure of Allah.

When these four stages are completed then such a person is considered to be amongst the Rabbaaniyyoon. The righteous predecessors agreed that a scholar does not deserve the title of Rabbaanee until he recognises and knows the truth, acts upon it, and teaches it to others. So whosoever has knowledge, acts upon it, and teaches this knowledge to others, is considered from the Rabbaaniyyoon.

Trials of the Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim said, while commenting upon the following hadeeth: Trials and tribulations will be presented to the hearts, as a reed mat is interwoven stick by stick. Any heart which absorbs these trials will have a black mark put in it. However, any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that hearts will be of two kinds: one white like a white stone, which will not be harmed by trials as long as the heavens and earth endure; and the other dark and rusty, like an overturned vessel; not able to recognise the good, nor reject evil, but rather being absorbed with its desires.

The fitan (trials) which are presented to the hearts and which are the cause of its weakness are:

[i] the trials relating to shahwah (false desire)

[ii] the trials relating to shubhah (doubt)

The first causes intentions and desires to be corrupted, while the second causes knowledge and beliefs to be corrupted.

Speaking about such trials, he (rahimahullaah) said: Hearts when exposed to such fitan (trials) are of two types:

[The first type]: a heart, which, when exposed to such trials, absorbs it like a sponge that soaks up water, leaving in it a black stain. Such a heart continues to soak up the various trials that are presented to it, until it becomes dark and corrupted which is what is meant by an overturned vessel. So when this occurs, two dangerous and deadly diseases take hold of it and plunge it into destruction: Firstly: confusing good with evil, so it neither recognises the good, nor rejects the evil. This disease may take hold of it to such an extent that it believes good to be evil; and evil to be good, Sunnah to be bidah (innovation); and innovations to be the sunnah, and the truth to be falsehood; and falsehood the truth. Secondly: judging by its whims and desires, over and against what Allahs Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came with being enslaved by its whims and desires and being led by them also.

[The second type]: a white heart in which the light of Eemaan is bright and its radiance is illuminating. So when trials are presented to such a heart, it rejects and turns away from them. This further increases its light and illumination and its strength.

Four Principles of Worship

The aayah: You alone do we worship. [Al-Faatihah 1:5] is built upon four principles: Ascertaining what Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) love and are pleased with, from

i) the sayings of the heart and

ii) of the tongue; and

iii) the actions of the heart and

iv) of the limbs.

So al-uboodiyyah (servitude and slavery to Allah) is a comprehensive term for all these four stages. The one who actualises them has indeed actualised: You alone do we worship.

The saying of the heart: It is itiqaad (belief) in what Allah the Most Perfect informed about His Self; concerning His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels, and all that He sent upon the tongue of His Messenger (pbuh).

The saying of the tongue: It is to inform and convey (what Allah has revealed), to call to it, defend it, to explain the false innovations which oppose it, to establish its remembrance and to convey what it orders.

The action of the heart: Such as love for Him, reliance upon Him, repenting to Him, having fear and hope in Him, making the Deen purely and sincerely for Him, having patience in what He orders and prohibits, having patience with what He decrees and being pleased with it, having allegiance and humbling oneself in front of Him and having humility in front Him, becoming tranquil with Him and other than this from the actions of the heart which are actually connected to the action of the limbs and actions of the limbs without the action of the heart is of little benefit if any benefit at all.

The action of the limbs: Such as Prayer and jihaad, attending the jumuah and being with the jamaaah, aiding those who are unable and displaying goodness and kindness to the creation, and other than this.



Author: Imaam Abu Bakr Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee (392H-463H)

Source: Introduction of his classic book Iqtidaa-ul-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal

Taken from Al-Muntaqaa Issue #3

We give thanks to Allaah, the One free of all defects, for having inspired 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 r, 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 r 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 Ibn 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 obligations. 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]



By Shaykh Rabee’ bin Haadee al-Madkhalee

Taken from Mudhakkirah al-Hadeeth an-Nabawee


Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree (radee Allaahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “The example of the guidance and knowledge that Allaah sent me with is like the example of abundant rain that fell upon the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed the water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance; and some of which was hard earth that held the water, and Allaah benefited the people through it. So they drank from it, let their animals drink from it and used it for cultivation. And some of the rain fell upon another portion of the land that was barren and it neither held the water nor brought forth vegetation. The first is the example of the person that comprehends Allaah’s Religion and benefits (from the knowledge) that Allaah sent me with, so he learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not accept the guidance of Allaah that I was sent with.” (Reported by Al-Bukhaaree [1], Muslim [2] and Ahmad [3])

Narrator of the Hadeeth: He is Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree, `Abdullaah bin Qais bin Saleem bin Hidaar, the well-known Companion. He migrated to Makkah, then to Abyssinia, then to Madeenah. The Messenger of Allaah put him in charge of one district of Yemen. He was courageous, a scholar and a doer of good deeds. `Umar bin Al-Khattaab appointed him as governor over Koofah and Basrah. He conquered Ahwaaz, Asbahaan and a number of other lands. He died in 50H.

Vocabulary in the Hadeeth:

Mathal: (Example) what is meant by it here is an amazing resemblance not a proverbial statement.

Hudaa: (Guidance) means that which leads one to what is being sought Ghaith Katheer: abundant rain

Naqiyyah: (fertile) means pure and fresh as occurs in another narration of the hadeeth

Kala’: (vegetation) is applicable to both wet and dry vegetation

`ushb: (grass) refers to fresh produce

Ajaadib: (hard earth) is the plural of jadab and it means the land that is solid and which doesn’t absorb water

Qi’aan: (barren land) is the plural of qaa’, which means a straight and smooth plain (land) that doesn’t produce vegetation.

An Explanation of this Parable:

The Prophet (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) put forth an example likening what he came with from the Religion to the common rain, which comes to the people in the circumstance when they need it. Such was the circumstance with the people before the Prophet’s advent. So just as Allaah brings life to the dead earth through rain water, then such is the case with Allaah’s revelation, with which He brings life to the dead hearts.

Allaah says: “Is he who was dead and We gave him life and set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men – like he who is in the darkness from which he can never come out?” [Soorah Al-An’aam: 122]

The light here refers to the light of revelation and the darkness refers to the darkness of ignorance, disbelief and misguidance. Then the Prophet (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) likened those who hear what (guidance) he came with to the various type of earth, which rain falls upon.

1. So from among them is the scholar and doer of deeds, who teaches others. He bears the status of fresh earth that intakes the water and benefits itself with it and then produces vegetation thereby benefiting others.

2. And from among them is the one who gathers knowledge and strives to attain it, but doesn’t act upon its requirements or he doesn’t understand what he has gathered. However, he passes it on to others. So he bears the status of the earth upon which water settles, and which the people benefit from by using. This type of person was indicated by the Prophet (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in his saying: “May Allaah brighten (the face) of a man that hears a statement from me, retains it in memory and then passes it on just as he heard it.” [4]

3. And from among them is he who hears the knowledge but doesn’t preserve it or act upon it or pass it along to others. So it bears the status of the smooth barren land that neither intakes water nor passes it onto others.

He (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) only joined the first two praiseworthy groups in this parable due to their sharing in giving off benefit. And he singled out the third condemned group due to there being no benefit in it.

So take hold of the prophetic knowledge my brother and act upon it, Allaah will raise you due to it. Allaah says: “Allaah will raise those who believe amongst you and those who have been given knowledge many levels.” [Soorah Al-Mujaadilah: 11]

And Allaah says: “Say: Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?” [Soorah Az-Zumar: 9]

And stick to acting upon it and calling to it, as Allaah says: “And who is better in speech than the one who calls to Allaah and does righteous deeds and says: Indeed I am among the Muslims.” [Soorah Fussilat: 33]

And yearn to be from the first category, from those who accept this light (knowledge) that the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) brought, for Allaah will put light into your heart due to it and bring life to it. The correct and good livelihood cannot come to be except with it (i.e. this knowledge).

And beware of being from the third category, from those who do not accept the guidance of Allaah nor have any concern for it.

Benefits from the Hadeeth:

1. The magnificence of the guidance and knowledge that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) came with, which is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and their effect in the lives of people.

2. People are in various levels with respect to their willingness to either accept or reject what the Messenger came with. People have different natures.

3. The virtue of knowledge, teaching and spreading good to the people.

4. The danger of turning away from what the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) came with from the Book and the Sunnah from one aspect. This turning away (from knowledge) indicates the malicious natures of these opposers and their low status in the sight of Allaah.


[1] Book of Knowledge: Chapter on the Virtue of the one who learns and teaches (no. 79)

[2] Book of Virtues: (no. 15), (2282)

[3] (4/399)

[4] Sunan Ibn Maajah (1/230)



By Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd

Taken from “Hilyatu Taalib il-`Ilm”


1 – Patience

My dear brother, seeking knowledge is one of the highest of pursuits, and heights cannot be scaled except by working hard and striving. Abu Tamaam said, addressing himself: “Let me scale the heights that cannot be scaled, for reaching high things is difficult whilst reaching low things is easy.

You want to scale the heights without any effort, but honey cannot be gathered without beestings.”

Another poet said: “You seek to attain glory, and those who seek to attain glory Strive their utmost and roll up their sleeves for that purpose. They strive hard but most of them become tired. But those who have patience and perseverance attain the heights of the glory that they desired. Do not think that attaining glory is as easy as eating dates; You cannot attain glory until you swallow the bitterest medicine.”

So be patient and persevere. If Jihaad requires an hour of patience, then the seeker of knowledge must be patient until the end of his life. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning) “O you who believe! Endure and be more patient (than your enemy), and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allaah, so that you may be successful.” (Aali `Imraan 3:200)

2 – Purity Of Intention In Action

Adhere to purity of intention in what you do. Let your aim be to seek the Face of Allaah (i.e., the pleasure of Allaah) and the Home of the Hereafter. Beware of showing off and the love of making oneself appear to be superior to one’s peers. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars or to prove himself superior to the ignorant or to make the people look up to him, Allaah will cause him to enter Hell.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’ee, 2654; classed as Saheeh by al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Nasaa’ee).

To sum up, you have to be pure both outwardly and inwardly from every major and minor sin.

3 – Acting Upon What You Know

Know that acting upon what you know is the fruit of knowledge. Whoever knows but does not act upon his knowledge is like the Jews whom Allaah likened to the ugliest things in His Book, when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Tawraat (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey which carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example of people who deny the Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah. And Allaah guides not the people who are Zaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, disbelievers).” (Al-Jumu’ah 62:5)

And whoever acts without knowledge is like the Christians, who are the “daalleen (those who have gone astray)” mentioned in Soorat al- Faatihah. With regard to the books which you should study, they are mentioned in Question # 20191; please refer to this Question as it is important.

4 – Always Being Aware That Allaah Is Watching

You must always be aware that Allaah is watching you, in secret and in the open. Your attitude towards your Lord must always be balanced between fear and hope, which for the Muslims are like the two wings of a bird. Turn to Allaah wholeheartedly and let your heart be filled with love for Him, your tongue with remembrance of Him (dhikr). Be happy and rejoice in His rulings and His wisdom.

Always call upon Allaah (du’aa’) in every sujood, asking Him to bless you and grant you beneficial knowledge, for if you are sincere towards Allaah, He will support you and help you, and will cause you to attain the level of the righteous scholars.

5 – Make The Best Use Of Time

Make the most of your youth and your whole life by learning. Do not be deceived by procrastination and wishful thinking about the future. Every hour of your life that passes cannot be replaced. Do away with whatever you can of distractions and obstacles which prevent you from striving your utmost to attain knowledge. Hence the Salaf encouraged keeping away from one’s family and keeping a distance from one’s homeland, because when a person is distracted he will not be able to understand facts of knowledge and subtle issues. Allaah has not given man two hearts in his chest, and similarly it is said that knowledge will not give you a part of it until you give it your all.

6 – Be Cautious

Beware of being preoccupied in the beginning with the disputes among the scholars, or among people in general, because this confuses the mind. Also beware of musannafaat , because they will waste your time and make you confused. Instead, give your all to the book which you are reading or the topic which you are studying until you become competent in it. Beware of moving from one book to another (before completing the former), for that is a sign of boredom and failure. You must pay attention to each branch of knowledge, in order of importance.

7 – Precision & Focus

Strive to verify that which you want to memorize so that you are certain of it, either from a Shaykh or from someone else who can help you. Then memorize it properly and continually repeat it and review at specific times each day, lest you forget what you have memorized.

8 – Studying Books

After you have memorized the summarized books properly, with their commentaries, and you have understood any difficult passages in them and understood the important points, then move on to studying the detailed versions, always reviewing what you have learned and noting the valuable points, subtle issues, strange minor issues, solutions to problems and differences between similar rulings, in all branches of knowledge. Do not think little of anything useful that you learn or any basic principle that you understand; instead, hasten to note and memorize it.

Let your concern to seek knowledge be uppermost; do not be content to learn only a little when you are able to do more. Do not be content with a little of the legacy of the Prophets (may the blessings of Allaah be upon them), and do not delay learning anything that you can, or be distracted or put off by wishful thinking. Delay is a problem, and if you learn something now you can learn something else later.

Make the most of your time, when you are free and when you are busy. Make the most of your youth when your mind is fresh and you have less distractions, before you become distracted by false ambitions and the desire for worldly possessions.

You should try to obtain as many of the books you need as you can, because they are the tools of learning. Do not make getting and keeping a lot of them (without benefiting from them) the only share of knowledge that you have, and collecting them the only share of understanding that you have. You also have to use and benefit from them as much as you can.

9 – Choosing Companions

Strive to choose righteous friends who are preoccupied with seeking knowledge and are of a good nature, who can help you in achieving your aim, add to the benefits you have already gained, encourage you to seek more knowledge and stop you from feeling bored and tired; friends who are religiously-committed, trustworthy and of good character, who are sincere towards Allaah and who are not merely messing about. (See Tadhkirat al-Saami’ by Ibn Jamaa’aah)

Beware of the bad companion, for he may influence you and people are like birds, they will resemble one another [i.e., “birds of a feather flock together”]. So beware of mixing with people like that, for that is a sickness, and prevention is better than cure.

10 – Good Manners Towards The Shaykh

Knowledge cannot be gained only from books; you must also have a Shaykh whom you trust to open the door to knowledge and keep you from making mistakes. So you must have good manners towards him, for this is the way to success, learning and strength. So you must honour, respect and be polite to the Shaykh. Observe the utmost standards of etiquette when you sit with your Shaykh and speak with him. Ask questions in a proper manner and listen attentively. Be polite when studying the book with him and do not try to argue with him or compete with him. Do not initiate conversation with him or walk ahead of him or speak too much in his presence, or interrupt him or interrupt him when he is teaching. Do not pressurize him to give you an answer, and avoid asking him too many questions, especially in front of other people, for this will make you appear to be showing off and make him bored with you. Do not call him directly by his name or nickname; rather say “O my Shaykh” or “O our Shaykh” (Yaa shaykhee or Yaa shaykhunaa)

If you think that the Shaykh has made a mistake, do not let that make him lose respect in your eyes, because that will deprive you of his knowledge. Who is there who is entirely free from error?



By Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Taken from Kitaabul-‘Ilm – Page 104, Question No.5


Question: There are some students of knowledge who are keen to attend lessons given by (other) students of knowledge without giving importance to attending the lessons of the scholars who have managed to gather (knowledge) that which the students of knowledge have not. So what is your guidance (in this matter), your excellency, and may Allaah protect and preserve you?

Response:That which I am of the opinion of is that it is befitting for a person to seek knowledge from a mature (fully-qualified) scholar. This is because some students of knowledge put themselves forward to teach, and they understand an issue from amongst (many) issues, either in (the field of) hadeeth, or fiqh or ‘aqeedah completely and revise it, so if an amateur student of knowledge was to hear him, he would assume that this student of knowledge is from amongst the major scholars. However, if he was to divert as little as a fingertip away from the topic which he has fully grasped and revised, then you will find he does not (really) have any knowledge. So because of this, it is obligatory upon the amateur student of knowledge to seek knowledge at the hands of scholars who are known to be authoritative because of their knowledge, trustworthiness and (practicing their) religion.



By Dr. Saleh As-Saleh

Based upon Imaam Ibnu Qayyim’s Discussions in his Classical “Miftaahu Daari-s-Sa’aadah” (The Key for the Abode of Happiness)

Transcribed by Umm Noor al-Biritaaniyyah al-Yamaniyyah for transcribing

Edited by Umm Ahmad al-Kanadiyyah

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,

I begin to write:

Categories of People Regarding ‘Ilm (knowledge). The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘aleihi was-sallam) said, “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophet, peace be upon him) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)” [Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadeeth 79].

In his commentary on this hadeeth, Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) concluded in his book (Muftahu-daris-Sa’aadah), that the Prophet (peace be upon him) categorised people into three types with respect to their acceptance and readiness to memorise, understand and deduct the wisdoms and benefits of knowledge.

The First Category: Ahlul-hifthi-wal-Faham (People of Memorization and Understanding).

They are those who memorise, understand the meanings, deduct the aspects of rulings, the wisdoms therein, and the benefits. Their example is like the land which accepts the rain water (memory absorbing knowledge) and brings forth vegetation and grass in abundance. This vegetation and grass is the fahm (the understanding) and ability to deduce. This is the example of those who kept what they memorised and understood it. They are the people of texts and understanding.

The Second Category: Ahlul-hifth (People of Memorization Only)

Those are able to memorise and relate in precision, but they do not have the ability to understand the meanings, nor to deduct or address the wisdoms and benefits therein. They are like those who recite the Qur’aan, memorise it, precisely recite and pronounce the letters and hold to the grammar, but without comprehending it. On the other hand people vary to great extents in terms of their understanding of the texts spoken by Allah and (or) by His Messenger. Some may understand a ruling or two while others may deduce from the same text one hundred or two hundred rulings. The example of these two categories as mentioned in the hadeeth is like the land which has the water. People can benefit from it: drinking, giving it to others to drink, arrogation, and so forth. These two categories, the first and the second are the happy ones, and the first category is higher in rank. This is the Favour of Allah: “This is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is the Owner of Mighty Grace. [Qur’aan 62:4].

The Third Category

They are the ones who have no share in memorization nor in understanding. Their similitude in the hadeeth is that of the barren land, which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. Hence no produce (no benefit), and these are the wicked ones.

The first two categories, those who memorised, learned and understood, and the others who memorised without being able to understand, share the knowledge and teach, each in accordance with the extent he may have received and accepted. The latter knows the wording of the Qur’aan, teaches it and memorises it, while the former knows the wording, the meaning and the ruling and teaches them. The third category has no knowledge nor teaching.

This hadeeth, therefore, makes clear the nobility and rank of knowledge and teaching, and the children of Adam’s (‘aleihis-salaam) categories with respect to this matter. The happy ones and the wicked ones. And in this hadeeth there is evidence that people’s need for knowledge is like their need for rain, rather more. And if they fail to find (seek) the knowledge then they are the land that missed the rain. Imam Ahmed (rahimahullaah) said: “People are in need of knowledge more than their need for food and drink, because food is needed only once or twice a day, whereas knowledge is needed as much as the number of breaths.” This is because each breath needs to be accompanied with faith and wisdom. And if faith and wisdom disassociate from a single breath, then he is ruined. And there is no way to protect against this except by the way of knowledge.

Listen now and contemplate the verse in the Qur’aan, in soorat ar-Ra’ad (13:17). Allah, the Most High, says: “He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface, and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables (for the truth and falsehood, i.e. Belief and disbelief)” (Qur’aan 13:17).

In this aayah (verse), Allah gave a similitude for the knowledge which He bestowed upon His Messenger (peace be upon him). It is like the rain which He sent down from the sky, because it produces life and benefits mankind in their livelihood, and for the provisions they need in their journey of return to Allah. Then He set the parable of the heart as the valley when He said (what means): “And the valleys flow according to their measure.” A big heart accommodates a lot of the knowledge, like a great valley accommodating a lot of rain, and a small heart accommodates little knowledge like a small valley holding little water. That is why He said (what means): “And the valleys flow according to their measure.” This is parable of the knowledge when it sets or touches the heart. It takes away from the heart the foam (of false doubts), and it carries it to the surface of the heart, like when He said (what means): “The flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface.” It does not settle in the valley. Similarly, the false misconceptions when removed by knowledge go to the top surface of the heart where they float and do not settle. Rather they dry out and go away. What settles in the heart is that which benefits it from guidance on truth, as the pure water settles in the valley while the foam washes away.

Then Allah set another parable in the same verse: “And (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it.” This is the ore people use to heat and to melt the gold and silver, copper and iron, in order to take away the impurities contained therein. The impurity is the foam driven out by the fire’s heat, and what remains is pure essence. Therefore, in these parables you see two things mentioned:

(i) the rain which is the water, because of the life therein, its cooling and what it produces from benefits,

(ii) the other is fire, which eliminates and burns.

The verses of the Qur’aan bring life to the heart as the rain gives life to the earth, and it burns away the doubts and the lust and its filth, just like the fire burns what falls in it. In addition, the verses distinguish what is good of the essence as compared to falsehood (the foam), just like the fire takes away the impurities from gold, silver, copper and the like.

Then Allah said: “Thus Allah sets forth parables (for the truth and falsehood, i.e. Belief and disbelief).” [Qur’aan 13:17].

We ask Allah to make us of those who know and comprehend, and of those who comply and submit aameen.

The slave of Allah,

Saleh As-Saleh



By Shaikh Muhammad ‘Umar Bazmool

Taken from his book “At-Ta’seel fee Talab al-‘Ilm” (pg. 29-31)


The Seventh Foundation: The Ways of Maintaining Knowledge

From the most significant ways of upholding and preserving knowledge is: (1) Acting on it, (2) teaching it to others, and (3) writing concerning it.

These three principles have been indicated in Allaah’s statement: “By the time. Verily, mankind is at loss – Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds and mutually advise one another towards truth and mutually advise one another towards patience.” [Surah Al-‘Asr]

Allaah has ruled that all of mankind is at loss, but then makes an exception to this for those who believe, so long as they remain believers. This is since they have acquired beneficial knowledge, then acted on it, then called others to this action and to the beneficial knowledge that is with them. So the most important way of consolidating knowledge is acting upon it, teaching it to others and writing about it.

Acting upon one’s knowledge is one of the most significant ways by which knowledge can become firmly rooted in a person. Rather, this is the primary objective for seeking knowledge. It has been reported on the Salaf that they used to say: “Knowledge summons actions, so if it does not respond, it departs.”

Wakee’ said: “We would seek assistance for memorizing hadeeth, by acting upon them.” [1]

What falls under the subject of acting upon knowledge is the talk about one’s abandonment of committing sins and acts of disobedience. This is since falling into these acts contradicts everything that knowledge mandates.

There are some famous verses that elaborate this understanding further: “I complained to Wakee’ about my poor memory So he advised me to abandon sins And he informed me that knowledge is a virtue And Allaah’s virtue is not given to a sinner.”

Muhammad bin an-Nadr Al-Haarithee said: “It used to be said that the first instruction (for knowledge) was: Remaining silent for it (i.e. knowledge), then listening to it, then memorizing it, then acting upon it, then spreading it.”

Sufyaan said: “The scholar does not argue nor does he flatter (others). He only spreads the wisdom of Allaah. If it is accepted from him, he praises Allaah. And if it is rejected, he praises Allaah.” [2]

Jaabir reported: “Learn to remain silent, then learn to be refrained, then acquire knowledge, then learn to act on it, then spread it.” [3]

They would also be eager to act upon the ahaadeeth that would reach them from Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), even if there did not appear any directive towards worship in them. This was only done because of their attempt to follow the chosen one (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Mahdee reported: I heard Sufyaan say: “No hadeeth from the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was ever conveyed to me except that I acted upon it, even if it was just once.” [4]

And Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “I never wrote down a hadeeth except that I acted upon it. This was such that it reached me that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was cupped (Hijaamah) and gave Abu Tayyibah a deenar. So I gave the blood-cupper a deenar when he cupped me.” [5]

So when a person is sincere with knowledge and acts upon it, his aspiration is for the Hereafter and he walks upon the earth in humility.

Ibraaheem bin Adham said: “Whoever seeks knowledge with true sincerity, in order to benefit the servants of Allaah with it and benefit himself, being unknown will be more beloved to him than being arrogant. This is what will cause him to increase in humility with regard to himself, exertion with regard to worship, fear from Allaah, longing for Him, and humbleness in front of the people – not caring for what goes on in the day and night of this worldly life.” [6]

Teaching knowledge also helps one to maintain it. This does not mean that one should actively seek to put himself forward before he is ready. Rather, what it means is that he strives to mutually confer his knowledge and give it to those colleagues who ask him about it, as well as those below him. So he teaches them and repeatedly holds lessons with them. This does not mean that he rushes to be their shaikh (teacher) or seeks leadership before his due time, for indeed these are from the great dangers, as the saying goes: “He becomes a raisin before becoming a dried grape.” And Ash-Shaafi’ee said: “If the young person is put in a leadership role, he is deprived of much good.”

Authoring on knowledge means that you write down the issues, arranging them in order and providing research for them based on the foundation of evidence. And it means that you collect the statements of the people of knowledge on every issue, writing them down and putting them in order, whilst avoiding the strange and irregular ones among them, in your earnest attempt to search for the truth.

We don’t mean by a student preoccupying himself with authoring that he strives hard in writing a book and giving it out to the people, since the student, at this stage, has not reached this level yet. Rather, he should present his books and writings to the scholars as well as those above him and those who preceded him in seeking knowledge, for the purpose of seeking their advice and heeding their statements and instructions. What is intended here is that writing down knowledge helps one to memorize and remember knowledge and its issues.


[1] Siyar A’alaam an-Nubalaa (6/228)

[2] Shu’ab-ul-Eemaan (2/288)

[3] Shu’ab-ul-Eemaan (2/288)

[4] Siyar A’alaam an-Nubalaa (7/242)

[5] Siyar A’alaam an-Nubalaa (11/213)

[6] Shu’ab-ul-Eemaan (2/288)



By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen

Taken from Kitaab al-‘Ilm, P. 105


Question: One may note that there is a lack of interest and apathy towards seeking knowledge. What are the ways and means of stirring up interest in seeking knowledge?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

Lack of interest in seeking Islamic knowledge is a major calamity. There are a number of things which we must do, including the following:

1 – Sincerity of intention towards Allaah in seeking knowledge. If a person is sincere towards Allaah in his pursuit of knowledge, and knows that he will be rewarded for his efforts and that he will be in the third level of the Ummah, then his interest will be increased. “And whosoever obeys Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (4:69)

2 – Keeping company with friends who will encourage you to seek knowledge and will help you to discuss and research, and you will not got bored of their company so long as they help you to gain knowledge.

3 – Being patient with yourself, by disciplining yourself when you want to turn away. Allaah said to His Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, and other righteous deeds) morning and afternoon, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world.” (18:28)

So be patient, for if you are patient and get used to seeking knowledge that will become a characteristic of yours. Then a day when you have no opportunity for seeking knowledge becomes a long (i.e. boring) day. But if you give yourself free rein in following your whims and desires, this is wrong, because the soul is inclined towards evil, and the Shaytaan encourages people to be lazy and not to learn.



By Shaikh Saleh ibn Abdul-Azeez Aal-Sheikh


‘All praise is due to Allah, as He deserves, and I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, may His honor be exalted, and I bear witness that Muhammed is His slave and messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him and upon his family and companions and whosoever follows in his footsteps till the last day.

I ask Allah Al-Kareem by His most beautiful names and most lofty attributes to make me and all of you of those who are motivated for Allah, and do actions for Allah, and seek knowledge for Allah’s sake, and speaks for Allah’s sake and does deeds fo Allah’s sake , Jalla jalalahu, for indeed ACTIONS ARE BY INTENTIONS AND EVERY MAN SHALL HAVE BUT THAT WHICH HE INTENDED.

There is no doubt that seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim, as has been authentically reported from Al-Mustafa. Seeking knowledge has its principles and its stages; so whoever fails to acquire or seek knowledge based on these principles and on this gradation of talab al-‘ilm (seeking knowledge) such will fail to acquire it. And this is an issue we repeatedly emphasize hoping to drive this into the hearts of the students of knowledge and those who ove knowledge, and that is to acquire knowledge piecemeal, bit by bit , over the passage of time. As was said by the famous scholar Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhri, “Whoever aims to acquire knowledge all at once, it will leave him all at once. Rather knowledge should be acquired over the passage of days and nights”

Just as when a child is taught the basics of writing and the basics of speaking and anunciating, he has to be taught this gradually, bit by bit, so if he continues to do this, he improves till he is eventually able to write and speak well. Knowledge, likewise has its young and its old, depending on the amount of understanding and their actions; and considering that knowledge is from Allah and His rasool (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) , there isn’t anything in this ‘ilm that is simple.

Malik, rahimahullah, when it was said to him that this is from the simple part of knowledge replied: There is nothing easy in the knowledge of the Quraan and the Sunnah. Rather it is as Allah has said: “Verily we shall send down to you a weighty word.”

So one who considers knowledge to be weighty and difficult will obtain it. But as for one who takes issues up saying: this is clear, and this is straightforward…, such a person will just pass over it rapidly and in doing so will lose out on a lot. Therefore, it is imperative to take things step by step in the acquisition of knowledge with the idea that nothing in it is simple – rather that all of it is weighty, with regards to its understanding, with regards to consolidating what is known, and wth regards to persevering in acquiring knowledge; for it is weighty and it requires continuance and following up – for knowledge is forgotten if it is left, but if a taalib ul-ilm perseveres in it and continues, it will remain. So this emphasizes persistence on the part of the student of knowledge, so as not to be neglectful in the talab ul-ilm.

So let not one say, for example,”this book is simple, why is this text being explained since it is so simple and clear- they are known ahadeeth….”. Such a person has come from this angle to wrongly simplify the complexities and principles of knowledge. A group from among the people of knowledge have said:”‘Ilm comprises intricate knots (‘Uqad) and Mulahh- so whoever is able to deal with the knots, ‘Ilm becomes easy for him,and whoever fails to undo the knots, fails to acquire knowledge.” And this will only occur by the perfection of the foundations – the usool – of the sciences. So if a seeker of knowledge perfects the known texts in hadeeth and the different fields of knowledge, he will then be prepared to proceed to a higher level, after having consolidated and understood what has preceded.

For this reason I strongly urge all the brothers and all the students of knowledge who hear what I say to approach knowledge and to take it with resolve and firmness, and to not take every issue and say this is simple, that is clear….Rather he should repeat that which is clear to make it clearer; repeat the knowledge he has so he can increase in his knowledge of what he knows, and so on.

And I ask Allah to make this explanation that is is before us a complete and comprehensive one, and mayit benefit the presenter and the listeners, and make us of those who have insight in it, of those who speak from knowledge, not out of opinions and whims.’


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