Shaikh Uthaymeen’s Personal Recommendations Regarding The Beginning And Gradual Progression In Acquiring Knowledge From Teachers In Person
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] stated in Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm- [see page 77 onwards, under the section: كيفية الطلب والتلقي]- that a person should learn the Usool and establish his knowledge on sound Usool- the Qur’aan and the Sunnah etc. A person should not approach knowledge, whilst intending to acquire everything at once because that is not possible; rather one should acquire knowledge little by little. Likewise, one should not rely solely on books and his personal efforts, rather one should have a reliable Shaikh- one who is reliable in his understanding and is trustworthy- because the Shaikh who teaches you has already studied, taught, revised and understood. The Shaikh also mentioned that students have different abilities and some might be able to study more advanced books -under a Shaikh- than others. Likewise, the path followed in the path of seeking knowledge under the scholars vary depending where a person is residing and the method adopted by the scholars of that country.
 Aqeedah: Thalaathatul Usool, Qawaa’idul Arba’ah, Kash Ash-Shubuhaat, Kitaab At-Tawheed. Tawheed Al-Asmaa Was-Sifaat: Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah, then Al-Hamawiyyah and then At-Tadmuriyyah.
 Arabic Grammar: Al-Aajurroomiyyah, then Mulhatul I’raab’ by Al-Haraaree, then Qatr An-Nadaa’ by Ibn Hishaam and then Alfiya’ by Ibn Maalik with the explanation of Ibn Aqeel.
 Hadeeth: Arba’een of Imaam An-Nawawi, then Umdatul Ahkaam and then Buloogh Al-Maraam. Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] said he prefers that one limits himself [or herself] to Buloogh al Maraam because Umdatul Ahkaam enters Buloogh al Maraam-the majority of the ahaadeeth in Umdatul Ahkaam can be found in Buloogh Al-Maraam. If one is not able to memorise Buloogh al-Maraam, he [or she] has Umdatul Ahkaam because it is short and most of its ahaadeeth are found in Bukhaari and Muslim, so one is not burdened with checking their authenticity. Then one moves to Al-Muntaqaa’ by Ibn Taymiyyah, which is much bigger than Buloogh al-Maraam but weaker in its grading of the ahaadeeth found in it. Then one moves to the Ummahaat As-Sitta [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Daawud, At-Tirmidhee, An-Nasaa’ee and Ibn Maajah].
 Mustalah: Nukhbatul Fikr and then Al-Fiyyah’ by Al-Iraaqee
 Fiqh: Aadaabul Mashee ilas Salaah’ by Shaikhul Islaam Muhammad Ibn Abdil Wahhaab [rahimahullaah], then Zaad Al-Mustaqni or Umdatul Fiqh, then Al-Muqni to study the difference of opinions in the madhaahib and further higher studies of this subject matter in Al-Mughnee. Order: Al-Umdah, then Al-Muqnee, then Al-Kaafee and then Al-Mughnee.
 Usool Al-Fiqh: Al-Waraqaat and then Rawdah An-Naadhir. But Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahmahullaah] said that there are other good and concise books on Usool al-Fiqh that can suffice a person.
 Tafseer: Ibn Katheer
 Usool At-Tafseer: Al-Muqaddimah’ by Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah
 Seerah: Mukhtasar Seerah An-Nabiy’ by Shaikhul Islaam Muhammad Ibn Abdil Wahhaab [rahimahullaah]. The source of this work is based on Ibn Hishaam’s work and Ibn Qayyim’s Zaadul Ma’aad. Zaadul Ma’aad -in particular- contains Fiqh in relation to the Seerah, in Tawheed and the deeds [acts of worship, dealings, manners, etiquetes etc] of the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)]. [End of paraphrased quote]
For further benefits, see Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm’ by Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah]’ page 77 onwards]