In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
O Youth! Do Not Say to Anyone – Who Attends Study Circles – In Any UK Markaz, “You Are a Waste of Time In Your Pursuit of Knowledge”, Because If That Reaches Us From The Mouth of Anyone Against His Brother or Sister, We’ll Send a Reprimand In Private If Statement Was Uttered In Private or a Reprimand In Public If Statement Was Uttered In Public! Beware of The Self-amazement, Bad Tarbiyah and Over-stringent Behaviour That Can Discreetly Enter a Person Until He or She Begins to Belittle Others!
Abu Musa [may Allaah be pleased with him] said that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allaah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed the water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. Another portion of it was hard and held the water and Allaah benefited the people with it and they utilised it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. A portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation [so that land gave no benefits]. The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allaah’s religion and benefit (from the knowledge) which Allaah has revealed through me, learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allaah’s guidance revealed through me. [He is like that barren land]”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. Hadeeth Number 79. Book of Knowledge]
Imaam Muhammad Ibnu Saalih Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “In this similitude, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, ‘The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allaah has sent me with, is like abundant rain falling on the earth’. The earth [upon which the rain fell] is of three types: The First Type of Earth: It is the earth that absorbed the water and produced abundant grass and vegetation, so the people were benefited through that. The Second Type of Earth is a Plain: It retained the water and the people benefited from it. They utilised it for drinking and as a source of irrigation [for their crops]. The Third Type of Earth: It absorbed the water but does not produce any benefit. This is the relationship between the people and the knowledge and guidance with which the Prophet was sent with.
The First Category of People: Amongst them is one who has understanding of Allaah’s Religion. He learns and teaches- benefits the people and himself. This is similar to the earth that produces grass and vegetation, so that the people and animals eat from it.
The Second Category of People: They are a people who have been entrusted with the guidance, but they do not possess Fiqh [like the first category of people]. They transmit knowledge and Hadeeth amongst themselves, but they do not possess Fiqh [like the first group]. The similitude of these people is that of the earth that retained the water and the people were provided with water. They used it for drinking, their animals drank from it and they used it as a source of irrigation; but the earth does not produce anything.
The Third Category: The one who is not benefited by the knowledge and guidance given to the Prophet. He turns away and does not incline towards it. He is neither benefited by that which the Prophet was sent with nor does he benefit others. His similitude is that of the earth that absorbed the water, but does not produce anything”. [End of quote] (1)
May Allaah bless all those who attend the Duroos in the Salafi Masaajid and Centres. Our elder teachers welcome the people and they are not over-stringent. They do not say to any attendee, “Stop lying to yourself that you are a seeker of knowledge” or “You are a waste of time in your pursuit of knowledge”, or “You are not a serious student”, rather this rebuke should either be directed at those who deliberately engage in time wasting whilst they’ve travelled to study in another country or they are misguided trouble makers who portray themselves as seekers of knowledge. As for those who attend study circles in the UK Masaajid and Maraakiz, they strive based on their different abilities, whilst also pursuing their worldly affairs. Some of our beloved youth enrolled on Shaikh Khalid Dhufairi’s course – whilst pursuing their Dunya studies or different occupations – informed us, saying, “To have a Salafi teacher is priceless. What we’ve witnessed of good manners by way of interaction is amazing indeed, in addition to the robust Manhaj lessons from Manhajul Anbiya”.
These youth benefit from various places – from UK lessons of our local Mashaayikh and the humble younger teachers, from Shaikh Khalid’s online course, at Madinah university, lessons of Al-Allaamah Abdul Muhsin and others. There are strong and prolific memorisers amongst them, and by Allaah we personally know a 25 year old Salafi brother – attends the lessons of our local Mashaayikh in Birmingham – who is a Haafidh of the Qur’aan, has memorised hundreds of Ahaadeeth from Buloogh Al-Maraam, and memorised many Mutoon of Aqeedah. May Allaah preserve him and his companions Aameen. They are of different abilities, but what is really pleasing to the heart is that they are all well acquainted with issues of Manhaj and they show respect to elders, and none of them look down on others. May Allaah protect us and them from the fitna of self-amazement that has griped some people in this era, and may Allaah protect us from the third category of people mentioned in the hadeeth Aameen.
I Have Been Seeking Knowledge For a Number of Years, But Have Not Consolidated Knowledge Nor Benefitted
The questioner [may Allaah bless him] asks Al-Allaamah Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [may Allaah preserve him]: “I have been seeking knowledge for a number of years, but despite this, neither have I consolidated the knowledge-based information (sought after) nor am I aware of the benefit (acquired from that). What do you advise me? May Allaah reward you”.
Answer: Do not say that you are not aware of a benefit because a student of knowledge is (considered to be engaged) in worship. The aim behind seeking knowledge is that the person receives Allaah’s [The Mighty and Majestic] Pleasure.
You all know about the man who went away to repent, so the angel of death came to him (i.e. took his soul); then the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment disputed about his affair- angels of mercy said, “He came along being repentant and remorseful in his heart in the presence of Allaah” but the angels of punishment said, “He has done no good at all”. Then another angel came in the form of a human being in order to decide between them and said, “Measure between the two lands” (i.e. to find out which of them he was closer to). They measured it and found him nearer to the land where he intended to go (i.e. the land of the pious people), so the angels of mercy took him. This repentant man was forgiven because his steps (towards repentance) were recorded for him; therefore the steps of a student of knowledge towards knowledge are an act of worship similar to the steps of the repentant migrator towards the land of goodness. Seeking knowledge is better for you than supererogatory prayer or some of the supererogatory acts of worship; therefore there has to be a truthful intention (behind it). Then the benefit will (be acquired) bit by bit. And the aim is not to become a scholar or a student of knowledge initially; rather the aim behind your seeking knowledge is to remove ignorance from yourself-worshiping Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] with correct acts of worship and that your Aqeedah is sound, become submissive to Allaah, safeguarded from doubtful affairs that are made to resemble the truth and from seeking fame. Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَوۡمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ۬ وَلَا بَنُونَ
إِلَّا مَنۡ أَتَى ٱللَّهَ بِقَلۡبٍ۬ سَلِيمٍ۬
The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail; except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)].
Allaah (The Mighty and Exalted) said: [إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجۡرَ مَنۡ أَحۡسَنَ عَمَلاً – Verily! As for those who believe and do righteous deeds, certainly! We shall not suffer to be lost the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner]. If you never benefited except yourself and your family, then there is great good in this. (2)
Mercy between learners: Al-Allaamah Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [may Allaah preserve him] stated regarding attendees during gatherings of knowledge: There may be different people in attendance: Some of them attend for knowledge, some of them attend as beginners, among them are those who attend to be in a sitting where Allaah is remembered and they listen (especially if it is after dawn or during time periods when supplications are answered), and among them are those who attend for a benefit, and are content with whatever they obtain. And that which is befitting in reality is that the students of knowledge should treat each other well, so the student teaches his brother – who is a beginner – the way to learn and gives him advice. This is why we should show mercy to one another in the lessons, and in all affairs of knowledge, and perhaps the reason scholars begin their texts with the advice to the seeker of knowledge to be merciful. This is why you find in Hadeeth Ijaazaat that the first hadith transmitted is “The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you”. [Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhee 1924]
Question: Why do they learn the hadith, “The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful?” Answer: Know, may Allaah have mercy upon you, that it is one of the qualities of a seeker of knowledge – whom Allaah blesses and shows mercy – that he is merciful towards those around him, guides, teaches and aids them etc. If whilst in pursuit of knowledge you are merciful to the people – to colleagues and friends, and being present in cooperation and goodness, then receive glad tidings of Allaah’s Mercy and His true promise based on the statement of His Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], “The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful”. (3)
Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Appeals On Behalf of Those Who Find It Hard to Access Knowledge
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee [may Allaah preseve him] stated: Many youth are thirsty for seeking knowledge, but they face many obstacles that arise from their localities – either because there are no scholars from the locality or the country they live in is a barrier between them and seeking knowledge; or the country that is to accept (their applications to seek knowledge) has conditions that (make it possible for) a few to be accepted and prevents many from entering into the domain of (seeking) knowledge. We ask Allaah to grant the Muslims and their rulers (the ability, means etc) to put an end to these obstacles that are placed in front of the students of knowledge, because at present the Ummah is in need of scholars.
At present the Ummah is in a very degraded state – and Allaah’s Refuge is sought; a state of humiliation, disrespected and problems, which cannot cease except with the presence of erudite scholars – those who study, [convey, transmit etc) knowledge from its precise sources, spread this knowledge that will make the Ummah wide awake from its slumber- the true knowledge brought by the Prophets [peace be upon them]. And the main affair among these affairs (of knowledge) is the subject matter of Tawheed [Pure Islamic monotheism], because misguidance has spread in the Islamic world, ignorance, superstitious beliefs and bidah which none can stop except Allaah – by way of scholars who (convey, transmit etc) knowledge from its precise sources, spreading it just as they acquired it from the Book of Allaah and the [authentic] Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger.
At present you find localities in which there are no scholars. It may be that a student of knowledge is poor and is unable to travel – faces obstacles that are a barrier between him and knowledge; (therefore), it is obligated on the scholars to examine affairs, and (likewise) the rulers. They should fear Allaah with regards to (making an effort to) eliminate these hurdles that stand in the way of thousands of youth – those who crave for knowledge, but face these hurdles and obstacles, and they are not able (to do anything) except to submit to these (hurdles, obstacles etc) that are beyond (one’s control). (4)
Al-Allaamah Ubaid Bin Abdillaah Al-Jaabiri [may Allaah preserve him] Clarifies Regarding Audio Tapes and Books
Question: Is it permissible for the one who seeks knowledge from some Shaikh – by way of books and audios – to say to him [i.e. the Shaikh], “Our Shaikh” and thus he becomes a Shaikh of his?
Answer: There’s no harm in considering someone as one’s Shaikh, but I bring your attention to the fact that there are two ways of acquiring knowledge. The first path: Seeking knowledge in person and sitting to acquire knowledge from the scholar directly- sitting in his presence, learn good manners from him and good Tarbiyah. This is the ideal way and the loftiest. This is the way of the Sahaabah in acquiring knowledge from their Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] – those who were with him in Madeenah and those who travelled to him. They acquired knowledge directly from the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and taught their people. Likewise, this is how the Taabi’oon acquired knowledge from the Sahaabah; they took knowledge [directly] from the Sahaabah, especially the seniors. Likewise, those who followed the Taabi’een did the same up to this era of ours. This is the correct and loftiest path of acquiring knowledge from a Shaikh.
The second path: It is to acquire knowledge from books and audios. There is no harm in this and it benefits, but it does not contain that which is found in the first method; rather it is for a woman and the one who is unable because of the difficulty in reaching the Shaikh due to distance, for one might not be able to sit in the presence of a scholar even in his own country. Not all women are able-some of them are sometimes able and unable at other times, and some are not able. So, these people benefit [i.e. from the books & tapes], but also they are not advised to enter into challenging [or very difficult] issues related to differences of opinion between the scholars; rather they entrust those affairs to the people of knowledge.
And whoever is a teacher – one who gives instructions in knowledge [nurturing others] or an Imaam of a Masjid in his city district or town- we advise him to be at the service of the people and that he takes those questions of theirs which he is able to answer and respond to them in his city district. And those questions that carry difference of opinion and requires investigation, he offers his services to the people by sending those questions to the people of knowledge and take answers from them. This is a good service with regards to the Muslim helping another Muslim. (5) [end of quote]
Finally, therefore brothers and sisters, let us all hold onto the scholars and the upright students in the various Masaajid and Maraakiz. We do not tolerate anyone who comes along with their desires and arrogance, rather we continue to benefit from all our teachers, especially those elders who have been giving Dawah for nearly 30 years and are well known to the likes of Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali, Al-Allaamah Ubaid Bin Abdillaah Al-Jaabiri and others.
[Ref 1: Ash-Shar’hul Ma’mool Li-imthaali- Ar-Rasool. pages 7-8]
[Ref 2: لوصايا الجليّة للاستفادة من الدروس العلميّة – Question 3. Page 41. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ page 217 – 218. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 5: Listen to audio here: https://safeshare.tv/x/aIVf6vxUqh8# ]