In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
All praise belongs to Allaah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon the one [i.e. Muhammad] after whom there is no Prophet. To proceed:
There is no doubt that knowledge is the mainstay on which the foundations of human life are based. And the knowledge that is most worthy to be given importance and concern is the knowledge of the Islamic Sharee’ah, because through it is known the wisdom (or purpose) for which Allaah [The Exalted] created us and sent the Messengers. And by way of this knowledge, we acquire knowledge and awareness regarding Allaah and worship Him based on that, as Allaah stated: [وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ – I (Allaah) did not create the Jinn and humankind except to worship me alone]. [Surah Adh-Dhaariyaat. Aayah 56]
Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] stated:
[وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اُعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ – Indeed, We have sent a Messenger to every nation, saying, “Worship Allaah alone and keep away from all false deities]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 36]
Based on these two Aayaat, one knows the wisdom behind the creation of Jinn and humankind, and the wisdom behind the advent of the Messengers. Any nation without sound belief or sound religion is an ignorant nation regardless how advanced and developed it is, as Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] stated: [أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلً – Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. (i.e. even worst than cattle)]. [Surah Al-Furqan. Aayah 44] (see footnote a)
A good life is the life of the people of (Islamic) knowledge and Imaan, as Allaah [The Exalted] said: [يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ – O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life]. [Surah Al-Anfaal. Aayah 24] (see footnote b)
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
[مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ – Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 97]
Beneficial knowledge can only be obtained through a teacher, and no person can be a teacher unless he is knowledgeable about the subject he (or she) teaches others, because the one who is deprived of something is not able to give it to others. The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets, therefore the teacher’s task is one of the most difficult tasks because it requires that one acquires the most perfect Islamic characteristics as much as possible, such as beneficial knowledge, noble manners, continuous righteous deeds, patience, perseverance, being able to bear hardship whilst nurturing the student (pupil, learner) upon uprightness and upon a pure Islamic nurturing. The teacher’s success in this mission depends on the extent to which he (or she) acquires perfect Islamic qualities.
The role model and leader for everyone is our master and leader Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Haashimee [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]. He was the most perfect of people in all noble qualities, and he faced many difficulties and great hardships whilst guiding people and teaching them, but he was patient, endured every hardship and difficulty in order to spread his religion and bring his Ummah out of darkness into light. May Allaah reward him for that with the best and most perfect reward. Indeed, a righteous generation was nurtured through him- a generation that is considered to be the best of generations known to humankind throughout history. It is well known that this stems from the good nurturing and guidance which he gave his companions, and his patience upon that path after Allaah granted them success and directed them to the truth.
One of the most important tasks for a teacher – in every place and era- is to follow the path of the first and foremost teacher, Muhammad [peace be upon him] and that one strives to know this path, so that it is implemented on oneself and the students as much as possible, and that one makes a lot of effort. The Ummah is greatly in need of the righteous teacher- the teacher who receives knowledge and what the students are educated with from the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger and the path of the Salafus Saaleh [pious predecessors], nurturing them upon honesty, trustworthiness, sincerity, veneration of Allaah’s commands and prohibitions, competition for every virtue and caution against every vice, (especially) in this era in which the callers to destruction are many (i.e. those who violate sound Aqeedah and morals) and few are those who call to sound rectification. (see footnote c)
So, based on what has been preceded (above), it is known that the teacher’s task- alongside the fact that it is one of the most difficult tasks- is one of the most honorable jobs, the greatest in benefit and the most valuable if the teacher is blessed with sincerity, good intention and effort, because one will be rewarded in the same manner as the one who benefits from his (or her) knowledge. (see footnote d) The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The best of you is the one who learns and teaches the Qur’an”. And he said, “By Allah, that Allah guides a man through you is better for you than a herd of expensive red camels”. [Majmoo Fataawaa Wa Maqaalaat Ash-Shaikh Ibn Baaz 2/316]
Footnote a: Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The Messengers are the most judicious amongst the creation without exception, and after them their followers are the most judicious group. The people of the scriptures and the great legislated laws are the most judicious amongst the followers of the Messengers and the Muslims are the most judicious amongst them [i.e. amongst all those who received divine scriptures and great legislated laws].
The companions of Muhammad [peace and blessings be upon him] are the most judicious amongst the Muslims and then those who followed them exactly in faith. The people who adhere steadfastly to the authentic tradition of the Prophet and the authentic narrations transmitted from him are the most judicious amongst the Muslim nation without exception after companions and those who adhered to their path.
The clear evidence showing that the Messengers are the most judicious amongst the entire creation is that the beneficial knowledge they have brought- the righteous actions and the beneficial affairs related to true wellbeing in this worldly life and the afterlife- has not emerged from others or something even close it. There is nothing- from any perspective- that emerged from other judicious people that can be compared to what the Messengers brought with regards to beneficial knowledge, righteous action and the beneficial affairs of true wellbeing in this worldly life and the afterlife.
Whoever ponders upon their personal life stories – in specific and in general, their patience and perseverance, their abstinence from those unnecessary lawful pleasures of the worldly life, their fervent desire for Allaah’s pleasure and the reward Allaah has kept in the afterlife, their purified manners, the fact that they are the most truthful amongst the creation, (possessors) of the most righteous hearts and the most purified souls, trustees of the greatest trust (i.e. revelation and Messenger ship), the noblest of those whom a person can accompany, the purest in their innermost conscience, the purest with regards to their private affairs- will not doubt the fact that they are the most judicious amongst Allaah’s creation without exception. There is no doubt that whoever is closer to them [i.e. follows them properly], then his (or her) share of judiciousness will be more than (that of others). [An Excerpt from As-Sawaa’iq Al-Mursalah 4/1514]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also stated: Muhammad’s [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] Ummah is not in need of anyone after him; rather the only need they have is someone to convey what he came with. Muhammad’s message is comprehensive, universal and preserved. This universality, comprehensiveness and preservation is not limited to any time and place; rather it is comprehensive for those to whom Muhammad was sent [i.e. the whole world] and likewise with regards to everything that is needed in the fundamental and subsidiary issues of the religion. Muhammad’s message is sufficient, all embracing and universal- nothing else is needed besides it. It has not isolated any affair of truth needed by his Ummah in their sciences and deeds. Allaah’s Messenger did not leave this world until he acquainted his Ummah with everything, and he even taught them the etiquettes of using the toilet, the etiquettes of sexual relations, the etiquettes of sleep and after waking up, the etiquettes of eating, drinking and travel. He acquainted them with the etiquettes of speech and silence, the etiquettes of keeping company with the people and seclusion. He acquainted them with the affairs of illness, good health, poverty and wealth. He acquainted them with all the affairs of life and death.
He described Allaah’s throne, the angels, the jinn, the hell fire and the day of judgement in such a manner as if one has seen them with the naked eye. He informed them about their Lord and His Perfect Names and Attributes, and that Allaah alone is their true object of worship. He acquainted them with the Prophets of old and their nations – the events that took place between them and their nations – in such a manner as if one was present at that time. He acquainted them with all the means to good and the paths of evil- in general and in detail- which no other prophet informed his nation. He acquainted them with death and what will take place in the grave – either bliss or punishment. He acquainted them with the evidences and proofs of Tawheed [i.e. the oneness of Allaah in His Lordship, Names and Attributes, and that Allaah alone has the right to be worshipped].
He acquainted them with Prophet hood and the affairs of the Afterlife, and he refuted all the sects of disbelief and misguidance. He acquainted them with war strategies- how to confront the enemy, the way to achieve victory and conquests. If only they knew and understood these affairs in the correct manner [i.e. the manner it should be understood], they would not be overcome by their enemy. He acquainted them with the plots of Iblees and the ways through which he approaches them, and the ways to repel those plots and plans. He acquainted them with the soul- its characteristics and faults- in such a manner that they are not in need of anyone else to tell them about it. He taught them how to live their daily lives and had they acknowledged and acted upon this, then their worldly affairs would be firmly established. He brought them all the means of success in this life and the next, and they do not need anyone besides him. So how can it be said that the path of Muhammad [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] is in need of something else outside of it. The reason for such a claim is due to the weak and little understanding of a person. Allaah [The Most High] said:
أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe. [29:51]
Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ – And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims)]. [16:89]
Allaah [The Most High] said:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord [i.e. the Qur’an, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil], and a healing for that [disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.] in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy [explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.] for the believers. [10:57] [An Excerpt from I’laam Al-Muwaqqi’een 4/375-377]
Footnote b: Allaah said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
O you who believe! Answer Allaah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allaah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything). And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered. Read commentary on the Aayah by Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him]: https://salaficentre.com/2020/03/28/o-you-who-believe-answer-allaah-and-the-messenger-when-he-calls-you-to-that-which-will-give-you-life/
Footnote c: Rectification of Modern Societies – By Saudi Scholar Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz: https://salaficentre.com/2021/01/10/rectification-of-modern-societies-by-imaam-abdul-azeez-bin-baaz-rahimahullaah/
Footnote d: Abu Huraira [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward similar to those who follow him, without detracting from their rewards at all. Whoever calls to misguidance will have sin upon him similar to those who follow him, without detracting from their sins at all”. [Source: Ṣaḥeeh Muslim. Hadeeth 2674]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ وَنَڪۡتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُواْ وَءَاثَـٰرَهُمۡۚ وَكُلَّ شَىۡءٍ أَحۡصَيۡنَـٰهُ فِىٓ إِمَامٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬ – Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them), and their traces, and that which they leave behind], and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book]. [Surah Yaa Seen. Aayah 12]
[إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ – Verily, We give life to the dead]- Meaning, We’ll resurrect them after their death to recompense them for their deeds. (I) [ وَنَڪۡتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا -and We record that which they send before (them)]- Meaning, good and evil, the deeds they did during their lifetime. (II) وَءَاثَـٰرَهُمۡۚ – and their traces]. Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: That which they initiated of good or evil and thus they were followed by others after their death. (III)
Imaam Al-Aloosee [may Allaah have mery upon him] said: That which they left behind of good deeds, such as the knowledge they taught people, books they wrote, land they gave as endowment or a building they built in the path of Allaah and other good deeds; or sins, such as establishment of laws [legislation, rules, regulations etc] that are tantamount to oppression and transgression, or setting up principles amongst the people that are tantamount to evil and corruption, and the evil Funoon [i.e. the professions, crafts, scientific disciplines, subject matters etc] they initiated and were revived after them by the corrupt people. (IV)
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: It is the good and evil outcomes about which they were the cause of its occurrence during their life time and after their death, and those deeds that emanated from their statements, deeds and circumstances. Every good performed by one of the people due to the knowledge of the servant, his teaching and advice, or through enjoying good and forbidding evil, or knowledge he transmitted to the learners, or in a book which is benefitted from during his life and after his death, or a good deed, such as Salaah, Zakaat, Sadaqah or kindness based on which he was followed, or built a masjid or a place which the people benefit from and what is similar, it will be from the good outcomes that are written for him, and likewise are the evil outcomes. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Whoever starts a good thing [i.e. something other than bidah and sin] and is followed by others, he will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing [i.e. a bidah, sin or something that opposes Islaam] and is followed by others, will bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in any way”. [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2675]
This subject matter makes clear to you the lofty station of calling to the path of Allaah, guidance to His path through every means and path that leads to it; and the lowly status of the caller to evil and a leader in it, and that he is the most degraded human being, one who has committed the severest crime and the greatest sin. (V)
Next topic or section from the same source: “Essential Teaching Skills”
[Refs. I & II: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Daar Ibn Hazm. 1st edition 1424AH (2003). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref III. An Excerpt from Badaa’i at-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim 2/358. Daar Ibn Al-Jawziy 1431AH. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref IV: An Excerpt from Roohul Ma’aanee 12/325. Daar Al-Fikr. 1417AH (1997). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref V: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Daar Ibn Hazm. 1st Edition 1424AH (2003). Slighrly paraphrased]