He should not look down upon a point of benefit that comes to him by way of someone that is young in age or old in age – Shaykh Saalih Abdil-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh

When Imaam Ahmad was suffering from his final sickness, at times, he would feel pain and groan out loud. So when one of his students came and heard him, he narrated to him with a chain of narration from Muhammad bin Sireen that Anas bin Maalik (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) used to consider it detested (makrooh) to groan. After that, he did not hear Ahmad groan again until he passed away.

This mentality on the part of the student and the teacher is that which will enable the student of knowledge, through the Grace of Allaah, to become a scholar in the future, if Allaah wills. And this is the mentality which will enable him to benefit and cause him to always be preoccupied with knowledge – day and night, he is learning. He should not look down upon a point of benefit that comes to him by way of someone that is young in age or old in age. Some people receive points of benefit from individuals that are younger than them (in age and knowledge), and so they feel arrogant towards him or they don’t give that point their full attention. The reason for this is because they have elevated themselves over the knowledge. And when one elevates himself over knowledge, he will not be from those who are able to acquire it.

Rather, a younger or smaller person may have some knowledge that an older or bigger person doesn’t. And likewise one who is younger or smaller may understand some aspects of knowledge whereas one who is older and bigger may not. But if he explains it to him, he should benefit from it. The scholars have mentioned a clear example for this, which is the story of prophet Sulaymaan and the hoopoe bird. Even though the hoopoe bird was lowly in terms of stature and composure and Sulaymaan was elevated in terms of stature, composure and position in the sight of Allaah and before all of creation, the hoopoe bird said to him: “I have grasped knowledge of something that you have not grasped. And I have come to you from Saba’ (Sheba) with certain news.” [Surah An-Naml: 22]

So the hoopoe bird knew something that Sulayman was unaware of. The people of knowledge have derived from this story that you should not be arrogant with someone that brings you a point of benefit (from knowledge), regardless if he is young and lowly or old and prominent.

Source:  Three Required Characteristics for Seeking Knowledge -Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh. al-ibaanah.com translation.

Hajj And Umrah Guide – Compiled by Talal Ahmad al-Aqeel

Hajj And Umrah Guide -  Compiled by Talal Ahmad al-Aqeel Introduction by Sheikh Salih Ibn Abdul Aziz Ali Sheikh

Click the Link below to read or download PDF

Hajj And Umrah Guide – Compiled by Talal Ahmad al-Aqeel [PDF] [81 Pages]

Introduction by Sheikh Salih Ibn Abdul Aziz Ali Sheikh

Hajj And Umrah Guide -  Compiled by Talal Ahmad al-Aqeel - References

This book has illustrative pictures related to the Rites of Hajj and Umrah  for easy comprehending of the things

Praying for the Absolute Destruction of Jews and Christians – Shaykh Salih Ali-Shaykh

Ṣāliḥ Āli-Shaykh on Praying for the Absolute Destruction of Jews & Christians
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: Ṣāliḥ Āli-Shaykh
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison – authentic-translations.com

Question: We have read a verdict from you published in “al-Da’wah” magazine that one should not pray for the overall destruction of Jews and Christians. Hearing this, we were confused by the seemingly contrasting supplication of prophet Nūh (alaihissalam). We hope you will explain this verdict of yours with the evidence.

Click the below link to read or download the full document

Praying for the Absolute Destruction of Jews & Christians -Salih Ali-Shaykh- Authentic-Translations.com [PDF]

Political Demonstrations – Shaykh Salih Ali-Shaykh

Ṣāliḥ Āli-Shaykh on Political Demonstrations
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: Ṣāliḥ Āli-Shaykh
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison – authentic-translations.com

Click the below link to read or download the full document

Political Demonstrations -Salih Ali-Shaykh- Authentic-Translations.com [PDF]

The Fitnah of the Khawarij – Shaykh Salih Ali-Shaykh

The Fitnah of the Khawārij
فتنة اخلوارج :Original Title
Author: Ṣāliḥ Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āli-Shaykh
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison – authentic-translations.com

Click the below link to read or download the full document

The Fitnah of the Khawarij -Salih Ali-Shaykh- Authentic-Translations.com [PDF]

 

Three Required Characteristics for Seeking Knowledge -Shaykh Saalih Aali Shaikh

AUTHOR: Shaikh Saalib bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh
SOURCE: A transcribed lecture: “Al-Manhajiyyah fee Talab-il-‘Ilm”
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com

Tonight, we will begin with a very important and beneficial, Allaah-willing, introduction on the method of seeking knowledge. The reason for this talk is due to the great response and love for seekingp knowledge that we see from the youth, may Allaah bless them. However, many of them are not aware of the correct method for acquiring it. How should one seek knowledge? Some of them spend a long time, maybe years, seeking knowledge but they don’t achieve the level that others have achieved during that same amount of time. The reason behind this is due to his lack of adhering to the correct methodology with regard to seeking knowledge. This is the methodology by which if a student of knowledge adheres to it, he will achieve a share of what Allaah had decreed for him – a share that will benefit him; a share that is firm and established, which he will be able to convey to others in a clear and doubt-free manner.

Many of the youth read various writings – sometimes on the subjects of Hadeeth and sometimes on the subjects of Tafseer and Fiqh. They listen to and attend the gatherings of the people of knowledge. However, when they go back and examine themselves – i.e. those who have attended lectures for a year or two – they find that they have not fully understood the subject matter presented to them. Or perhaps they find that they have not acquired a lot of knowledge from this. Their attendance of lectures and lessons has not provided them with a well-founded basis of knowledge, which they can use as a way and method to follow and judge by. The reason for this is due to the lack of adhering to the correct method for seeking knowledge.

So a student of knowledge must follow a clear and defined methodology when seeking knowledge. If he fails to do so, he will divert from the correct path, which is why we see that many of them get fed-up and impatient with knowledge. They spend years studying, but then grow weary and tired and eventually give it up. Then some more years pass by and they go back to being regular common folk or reciters – something they never expected. So we would like for the new up and coming student of knowledge to abide by two characteristics:

First: He should adhere to the method of education that those people of knowledge before us adhered to, and due to which they became scholars, after having treaded upon this way.

Second: He should be prepared to sacrifice all of his time to seeking knowledge. And he must not get fed up with it regardless of what the situation is.

In his book “Al-Jaami’ Li-Akhlaaq-ir-Raawee wa Adaab as-Saami’”, Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee reported: “One of the students of Hadeeth used to crave and yearn for seeking knowledge. So he would visit the elder teachers and sit in their gatherings. Then when some time had passed, he saw that he had not benefited at all and that he had not attained a great deal of knowledge. So he said: ‘I am not fit for this knowledge” and gave it up, since he thought that there was something wrong with his understanding or that he was not qualified for seeking knowledge. One day, after he had left off seeking knowledge for some time, he passed by a rock that had water falling on it, drop by drop. The continuous dripping of water had affected the rock to the point that it had made a hole in it. The man stood there for a while, contemplating and reflecting, and said: ‘This water, in spite of its softness, was able to have an effect on this rock, in spite of its hardness. And my mind and heart are not harder than this rock and neither is this knowledge any softer than the water.’ So he became determined to go back to seeking knowledge, which he did and excelled at. And he later became one of those referred to with regard to it.”

This shows you that a student of knowledge needs determination. He should not get tired and say: “I have studied and not learned anything!” Rather, he should go back to the cause. The cause is not found in his natural disposition. With regard to most of the youth or most of those who set out to seek knowledge, the cause is not that they don’t understand. Many of them do understand, but the reason why they are not able to acquire knowledge is because they have not followed the correct path and methodology, which produced the people of knowledge that came before us. This path is simple and easy, and it is easier than the paths that many of the people take today.

Once this point becomes clear, the following important question should come to mind, which is often repeated and which many of the youth continuously ask, and it is: What is the correct way for seeking knowledge? How should a student of knowledge follow this way in accordance with the methodology that will enable him to become a (true) student of knowledge and have the ability to study, if Allaah grants him success in that? This is an extremely important question. Attending the gatherings of knowledge has many benefits to it – the greatest of which is that the student of knowledge comes out from these sittings fully understanding the subjects presented to him such that he is able to make others understand what he has understood.

First: The student of knowledge must have the following necessary and binding characteristics and attributes in his quest for attaining knowledge:

1. The first and greatest of these characteristics is that he must be sincere to his Lord when seeking knowledge. This is since seeking knowledge is an act of worship and the angels, as stated in an authentic hadeeth, lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge out of contentment for what he is doing. So this act of worship must be done sincerely for Allaah’s sake in order for it to be accepted and blessed by Allaah. This means that one should not seek knowledge in order to achieve some worldly position. One should not seek religious knowledge – knowledge of the Qur’aan and Sunnah – for the sake of status or to be heard or so that he may become a teacher or a lecturer or famous or so that he can give lessons and so on. Rather, his intention behind seeking knowledge should be to worship Allaah and remove ignorance from himself. This is so that he may worship Allaah upon knowledge and clear insight.

So therefore, being sincere in seeking knowledge means that (1) one’s intention is for the sake of Allaah and not to attain some worldly position; and that (2) one intends to remove ignorance from himself. Imaam Ahmad was once asked: “How should one have sincerity with regard to knowledge?” He replied saying: “Sincerity in knowledge is that a person intends to uplift ignorance from himself. This is since a person with knowledge and a person that is very ignorant are not equal.”

Allaah says: “Is one who is obedient to Allaah, prostrating himself and standing in prayer during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of His Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: Are those who know equal to those who don’t know?”[Surah Az-Zumar: 9]

And He says in Surah Al-Mujaadilah: “Allaah will raise those who believe amongst you and those who were given knowledge many levels.” [Surah Al-Mujaadilah: 11]

So Allaah has given preference to those who have knowledge over those who don’t. The person who seeks knowledge in order to worship Allaah upon clarity and to remove ignorance from himself and so that he can live his life in accordance with what Allaah has legislated – this is the one who is truly sincere (in his search for knowledge). He is sincere because his intention was for the sake of Allaah. His intention was to free himself from being a follower of desires and from being ignorant and a blind follower.

Sincerity is the first of these conditions and the primary characteristic and attribute that the student of knowledge must have. The proper characteristics and attributes one should have are many, such that numerous books and writings, big and small, have been authored on them. However, we will only mention from those characteristics, those that concern us in this discussion.

Second: One must apply gentleness and proceed in a slow and calm manner in his search for knowledge. This is since the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) informed us, in general terms, saying: “Verily, Allaah loves gentleness in every affair.” Seeking knowledge falls under this in the general sense. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Gentleness does not enter something except that it beautifies it.” Knowledge and studying fall under this.

What does it mean to “apply gentleness?” It means that one should not seek to achieve knowledge all at once, as Ibn Shihaab Az-Zuhree, the famous Imaam from the Taabi’een, once said: “Whoever seeks to attain knowledge in one shot, it will leave from him in one shot. Rather, knowledge is to be sought with the passage of days and nights.”

A poet elaborated more on this understanding, saying:

“Knowledge today and tomorrow the same,
By doing this a man will attain wisdom,
Through choosing knowledge, which is to be gathered,
Since a stream is nothing more than a collection of droplets.”

So gentleness is something that is required. But how is this gentleness to be applied? It is by not desiring to attain knowledge all at once, i.e. in one shot. For example, a person wishes to gain knowledge of Tafseer, so he goes and reads the “Tafseer” of Ibn Jareer. The Tafseer of Ibn Jareer contains all aspects of Tafseer. So this person has sought to attain knowledge all at once. It is not possible for one to “start” and “finish” the Tafseer of Ibn Jareer. And if you were to ask him a question regarding it, nothing from the Tafseer would stick to his mind except for a small portion. He remembers that he read this and that he read that. But he will not be able to properly explain to you the meaning of a verse in the manner that is necessary. So then how is this gentleness to be applied? It is by seeking knowledge in gradual stages – this is the way that must be adhered to.

Likewise, we have the example of a man who intends to study the Science of Hadeeth, so he goes to the book “Nail-ul-Awtaar”, and begins with that, or he goes to “Fat’h-ul-Baaree” and says: “That’s it. I finished one chapter from Fat’h-ul-Baaree.” You should know that this type of person will never achieve the level of understanding that the people of knowledge are upon. He may become well-versed or an informed reader having scattered bits of information. But this is not the knowledge that serves as a foundation and which afterward will propel the one who has it to the level of a scholar, if Allaah so grants it.

The same goes for Fiqh. What have you read concerning Fiqh? He says: “I am reading “Al-Mughnee” or “I am reading the “Majmoo’(-ul-Fataawaa).” It can be honestly said that this person has not applied gentleness in his search for knowledge. He has sought to attain knowledge all at once. “Al-Mughnee” and “Al-Majmoo’” as well as the other larger works – the only ones who should preoccupy themselves with the (Fuqh) issues contained in them are the people of knowledge. As for the beginning student of knowledge, he should not read it from beginning to end. No doubt, he will at some point need to conduct research on a specific issue, in which case he will have to refer to the larger works. However, he should not read these books thoroughly as if he were reading through a novel.

Also, from the requisites of gentleness is that a student of knowledge should not preoccupy himself with the complex intricate issues. This is since, if while seeking knowledge, he preoccupies himself with intricate issues and complex subjects, he will eventually forget it and never acquire knowledge. The reason for this is because he has not established the proper foundation by which he can understand these complex and intricate (Fiqh) issues. Some of us go to classes that deal with extremely complex issues in which the students spend numerous long years and still have not finished it or they spend months on just one chapter alone, and so on, and they think that they have acquired knowledge. No. This is not the correct way since they has have not applied gentleness. And Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, says: “But rather, be you Rabbaaniyeen (learned men) because of your teaching the Book and studying it.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 79]

Concerning the part of the ayah: “Be you Rabbaaniyeen”, Abu ‘Abdillaah Al-Bukhaaree, may Allaah have mercy on him, interpreted it by saying: “The Rabbaanee is he who nurtures the people using the smaller aspects of knowledge before the bigger ones.” So this person who is well-versed in knowledge and teaching is he who raises the people upon the smaller aspects of knowledge before the bigger ones.

It is honorable for an instructor or student of knowledge, when teaching, to mention everything he knows about a specific issue. After preparing his lesson, he should mention everything that he remembers on the subject. This is an honorable characteristic. However, this is not beneficial for the one who is teaching since he is reviewing what he knows. The person with knowledge should only deliver what the audience needs. He should not deliver to the audience that which is over their level.

So one must apply gentleness – How should this gentleness be? The reply to this will come when we explain the correct method of seeking knowledge, and that is by seeking knowledge in stages.

Third: He must be persistent in his search for knowledge, giving it the dearest and sweetest parts of his time, and not the dead and lifeless parts of it. So if an individual reserves for knowledge and classes the times in which his mind is exhausted and his understanding is weak, he has opposed the correct method of seeking knowledge and is not being sincere to himself.

So therefore, you should give knowledge the best moments of your time, in which your mind is clear, strong and unoccupied. However, this will only happen if there is something else accompanying it. And that is when the student of knowledge is engulfed in knowledge day and night. He wakes up in the morning with knowledge filling his mind and he passes the evening in the same manner. His life revolves around knowledge.

When he wants to sleep, he has a book next to him, which he may need to reference for a particular (Fiqh) issue. This is why some of the scholars say: “If you see the books of a student of knowledge neatly arranged in order, then know that he has abandoned (reading) them.” If you pay an unexpected visit to a person and enter his library to find his books neatly arranged – each book in its proper place – this means that he does not look into them. There is no book on the floor, nor is there any book beside him, and if he has a table, there are no books on top of it – this indicates that he reserves a particular time for “reading”, as done by some hired educators. There is no such thing as ”study time” for the student of knowledge! This is because all of his time is spent in seeking knowledge. In the morning and in the evening, his mind is preoccupied with the various issues of knowledge.

The best period of time in a person’s life in which he can acquire knowledge is in the period of his adolescence. This is when he can devote all of his time to it. He should distribute his time for the various aspects of knowledge, leaving the best portions of it in which his memory is strong to the sciences that require the mind to be overworked, such as the sciences of Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Fundamental Principles (Usool), Grammar (Nahu) and so on. As for normal times, he should reserve that for subjects that do not require his mind to be overworked, such as the subjects of Interpreting the Qur’aan (Tafseer), Narrations (Hadeeth), Terminology of the Hadeeth (Mustalah) and so on. And the times in which his comprehension is at the weakest level, he should use for reading books on etiquettes, books on narrators, the biographies of narrators, history and so on – general learning.

So he is constantly preoccupied wherever he is. He is always busy with seeking knowledge. No amusement or company can deter him from that. This is why we see that the biggest mistake that some who think that they are students of knowledge commit is that they spend long hours in gatherings engaged in he said/she said talk and speech that does not result in knowledge. He will not become a student of knowledge this way. Rather, he will become something else depending on what he preoccupies his time with.

As for the student of knowledge, then his hopes, desires and aspirations are all preoccupied with seeking knowledge. The gathering in which there occurs discussions on seeking knowledge and a clarification of what Allaah has revealed in His Book or what the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has stated – this is the place in which one can open his heart and broaden his mind. Or it could be in a place of education or in a place where there is an explanation of the knowledge that Allaah revealed. This is the place where the heart finds ease and relaxation.

So therefore, from the required characteristics that a student of knowledge must have is that he constantly engulf himself with knowledge. He should not give knowledge some of his time. Rather, he should give all of his time to it or a portion of it, such as the period of his adolescence – the period in which it is easy for one to acquire knowledge. This is why some of the predecessors would say: “Give knowledge all of yourself, and it will give you some of itself.” This is since knowledge is vast and its aspects are numerous and diverse. This is why when one of the Imaams of Hadeeth was on his deathbed, he would still be narrating hadeeth, telling his scribe to write it down – knowledge that was obtained even in a situation such as this.

This shows you the extent of his sincerity, following (of the Religion) and the fact that his heart was engulfed in knowledge. When Imaam Ahmad was suffering from his final sickness, at times, he would feel pain and groan out loud. So when one of his students came and heard him, he narrated to him with a chain of narration from Muhammad bin Sireen that Anas bin Maalik (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) used to consider it detested (makrooh) to groan. After that, he did not hear Ahmad groan again until he passed away.

This mentality on the part of the student and the teacher is that which will enable the student of knowledge, through the Grace of Allaah, to become a scholar in the future, if Allaah wills. And this is the mentality which will enable him to benefit and cause him to always be preoccupied with knowledge – day and night, he is learning. He should not look down upon a point of benefit that comes to him by way of someone that is young in age or old in age. Some people receive points of benefit from individuals that are younger than them (in age and knowledge), and so they feel arrogant towards him or they don’t give that point their full attention. The reason for this is because they have elevated themselves over the knowledge. And when one elevates himself over knowledge, he will not be from those who are able to acquire it.

Rather, a younger or smaller person may have some knowledge that an older or bigger person doesn’t. And likewise one who is younger or smaller may understand some aspects of knowledge whereas one who is older and bigger may not. But if he explains it to him, he should benefit from it. The scholars have mentioned a clear example for this, which is the story of prophet Sulaymaan and the hoopoe bird. Even though the hoopoe bird was lowly in terms of stature and composure and Sulaymaan was elevated in terms of stature, composure and position in the sight of Allaah and before all of creation, the hoopoe bird said to him: “I have grasped knowledge of something that you have not grasped. And I have come to you from Saba’ (Sheba) with certain news.” [Surah An-Naml: 22]

So the hoopoe bird knew something that Sulayman was unaware of. The people of knowledge have derived from this story that you should not be arrogant with someone that brings you a point of benefit (from knowledge), regardless if he is young and lowly or old and prominent.

These three characteristics are extremely important for the student of knowledge. There are other characteristics besides these, as I mentioned before to you, which you should look up in the books that were written about this subject.


Published: November 10, 2005 | Modified: November 15, 2005

When ignorance becomes widespread, sorcerers, soothsayers, devils and so on increase and cooperate with one another

From the excellent book (published by al-ibaanah) The Rules and Etiquettes of Ruqya, by Shaikh Saalih Aalush-Shaikh p.37-39 

“When Shaikh Abdullah Al-Qar’aawee1 came to our region, many people were suffering from illnesses; they were bed-ridden and couldn’t get up. And what was this due to? It was due to the Jinn and so on and so forth. They would go out and come across the Jinn at night in trees and upon the roads and so on, and the devils would take over them. This is because they were ignorant. They didn’t have any understanding of Tawheed.

So when he (i.e. Shaikh Al-Qar’aawee) came and spread Tawheed, not ruqyah or anything else, may Allah bless you, all of these things came to an end. All of these (possessions and illnesses) came to an end once Tawheed and knowledge spread. When Tawheed and knowledge spread, these things go away and come to an end. And when ignorance becomes widespread, sorcerers, soothsayers, devils and so on increase and cooperate with one another.

So I advised him to do as the good doers in the past did, which was to call to Tawheed and wage war against shirk and false superstitions such that the devils left them and they had no need for people to perform ruqyah on them from devils, sorcerers or anyone else….”

[1]Translator’s Note:Shaikh Abdullah Al-Qar’aawee was born in 1315H in Saudi Arabia where he played a great role in reviving the call to Islaam, particularly in its southern regions, making Saamitah the center of his efforts. He studied under such Scholars as Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibtaheem, the former muftee of Saudi Arabia, and produced students of his own such as Shaikh Haafidh Al-Hakamee. He passed away in 1389H, may Allah have mercy on him.

Etiquette Seven: Preserving and Safeguarding One’s Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Also from the etiquettes related to books is that one should make an effort to care for and reinforce their outer and inner parts as well as to keep them clean so that the books can be in a presentable condition that is befitting for others besides you.

This is since when a student of knowledge buys a book, he must have or should we say it’s preferred for him to have two types of intentions. The first is that he should intend to benefit from it in order to free himself from ignorance. And secondly, he should intend that others benefit from the book as well – such as either his wife or his children. Afterward, the books can either remain with that person (in his family) or they can be donated after him. Or perhaps one can give them away to someone as a gift or sell them, and so on and so forth.

So every time someone takes care of his books – whether by binding them or preserving them so that they can last longer in the future – the result of this is that his reward and recompense will be greater for doing that.

From the amazing stories about negligence shown towards books is what was reported by Al-Qiftee, author of the book Inbaa’-ur-Ruwaat, concerning the story about him and the book al-Ansaab of As-Sam’aanee. Perhaps I mentioned it to you before. Al-Qiftee was very enthusiastic for books so much so that he had gathered a collection of books that was from the best of what could be compiled.

He said: “The book al-Ansaab of As-San’aanee in the author’s own handwriting was presented to me, and it consisted of the second, third and fourth volumes, however, the first volume in the author’s handwriting was missing.” Even though there was a span of close to 250 years between the time of Al-Qiftee and that of As-Sam’aanee, he nevertheless purchased the three volumes and said: “So I bought them.”

Then some time had passed during which he would continuously ask people about this book trying to find the first volume. He kept asking about it and getting nothing in reply to the point that he thought the book was missing and that that was the end of it. Perhaps the book written in the author’s handwriting had been borrowed by someone and then went missing or it had gotten lost, and so on.

He went on to say: “Then one day, my servant brought me a parcel of legumes – i.e. a kind of vegetable – wrapped up in pieces of paper that appeared to be originally from a book. So I grabbed the paper before the legumes” – since they had no value to him compared to these pieces of paper – “and when I looked at it, behold it was the handwriting of As-Sam’aanee, which I recognized! I then took it to my copy of the book al-Ansaab and discovered that this page was from the first volume that was missing! So I rushed in haste to the one who was selling the legumes and found that only a few pages from it were still left. So I asked him: ‘Where are the rest of these papers?’ He replied: ‘We wrapped legumes with it and they are dispersed throughout the people’s homes.'” So he said: “Verily, to Allaah we belong and to Him we will return!”

Someone’s loss is another person’s gain! This one is sad because of his loss, while the other is happy because he found these pieces of paper which contain the handwriting of Al-Haafidh As-Sam’aanee that have no value to him and which he instead used to wrap legumes in and give out to people.

So it is said that he, i.e. Al-Qiftee, then spent a month mourning over knowledge and its people and for the book al-Ansaab of As-Sam’aanee.

We wanted to say by relaying this story that one must take special care of his books – whether by way of reinforcing them or by way of preserving them. If one has the pages of a book all over the place then it is easy that the pages will get lost. But if they are preserved and attached to each other, this is the best way to guarantee that they will continue to exist in your library.

The issues related to this subject are many. Perhaps what we mentioned here will serve as a reminder for some of the things that are required with regard to books. I ask Allaah to grant myself and you success, correctness, uprightness and guidance, and may the peace, praises and blessings of Allaah be on our prophet, Muhammad.

[End of the Lecture] 

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Etiquette Six: Reviewing and Inspecting One’s Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Also from the etiquettes related to caring for books, even though this topic is vast and covers many aspects, is that a student of knowledge should review and examine his books from time to time. This means that he should not amass books without reviewing what he has. So, for example, he goes out and gets this book and that book, puts them in his library and only refers to a small portion from them. One should continuously inspect all of his books.

You should go and examine what books you have so that you remember the subjects they cover. This is since some people buy the same book twice or three times or maybe even four times due to the fact that they have forgotten that they already have the book! And this is because of the few times that they inspect and review their collection.

But if one were to have a constant connection to his books – especially in countries such as ours where the libraries of some of the students of knowledge are big – if he does not review his books, perhaps he will ask to borrow the book from someone when he already has it himself! Or perhaps he may forget what is in the book or need to research a topic but because he doesn’t review his collection, he makes no reference to that book.

Another etiquette regarding books is one’s concern for donated books. Donated books refer to any book that has an imprint or seal on it that states that it is a donation (i.e. waqf). You may only keep these books in your library so long as you meet the donor’s conditions. When a person donates books he is (firstly) making them available for the students of knowledge. If you are not using the book and someone else needs it, then giving the book to someone else that needs it is better. Yes, you may have a valid need for the book, even if it is one time in the year that you refer to it. There is nothing wrong with this since this book was given as a donation for the students of knowledge.

However, if you do not refer to the book and two years or four to five years have passed by without you looking into it and you acknowledge that you have no interest in referencing this book or these books in general or perhaps you won’t need the book in the future, then in this case your keeping it contradicts its purpose.

Some scholars say that it is not permissible to keep these books (in this situation) and that they should be given to those who deserve them. They should be passed on to those who will use them and benefit from them. This is since the donor has intended them as donations for only those who will use them. If you are not using them then it is more fitting that it should go to someone who will.

There are some students of knowledge that feel that they are above keeping donated books if they have a lot of money and are able to obtain the book by buying it. This is since perhaps one may store away the book and not use it. So if the book is a charitable copy then it may be that he is sinning for withholding this book from someone who can use it. This is perhaps more noticeable in countries in which books are more scarce.

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Etiquette One: Arranging and Organizing Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

A student should arrange his books in such a way that it is easy for him to refer to them if there is an issue that requires him to research some of his books. This means that he should maintain his books in a certain order. The way the books are to be organized depends on the preference of this student. So if he requires that all of his books on Tafseer be arranged together and all of his books on Hadeeth be arranged together, and he further divides the Tafseer section into its various sciences and the Hadeeth section into its various sciences, and the Fiqh books into their respective madh-hab’s and so on and so forth, then there is no harm in this. And if he decides to arrange his books in some other order that he feels is more beneficial, then there is also no problem with this. The objective is for the book to be in a place where if he looks for it, he will find it.

Books are divided into two types: Large books and small treatises. As for the large books, then these are the ones that we see in a library. This is since they are big – 10 volumes, 15 volumes, 13 volumes, 14 volumes, etc. This is clear. Rather, what deserves special attention are the small treatises, which are also important. It is possible that these smaller books may contain knowledge that cannot be found in the bigger books.

When he needs to refer to one of these small treatises, he looks for it but can’t find it. Why? It is because he has not put it in its proper place. One should take special care of these small treatises by putting them in a separate area. This means that they should not be put amidst the works of research and the larger books. So for example, a person may put a large book on his shelf and then next to it place a small book, in terms of its pages, and then next to that a small 40-50 page treatises and so on! The scholars have devoted some of their attention to this aspect, such that they have put forth what they call “compilations” consisting of a volume or more in which there can be found 10 or 12 treatises or more.

So if it’s possible, a student of knowledge should compile these small treatises into a collection, placing booklets of a similar subject into one volume. This means that he should put all the small treatises that deal with the manners of seeking knowledge in one specific volume, for example, or the small treatises that deal with the subject of Hadeeth terminology in a separate volume or the essays on the sciences of Tafseer and the sciences of Qur’aan in one specific collection and so on and so forth.

Likewise, he should place his Fiqh-related books and treatises separately. It is also appropriate to divide the Fiqh-related books and treatises into different sections, within themselves, according to what topics of Fiqh (jurisprudence) they fall under. So for example, one should place a treatise on crimes in its proper place amongst the chapters of Fiqh, thus organizing his books in this manner. He should begin with the treatises that deal with purification, followed by the treatises that deal with prayer.

Even those treatises on prayer should be subdivided into those that deal with the conditions of prayer first followed by the rulings on prayer which include the prostration of forgetfulness, for example. Each book should be put in its proper place. They should not be placed in the section of Zakaat, say, which comes after the prayer. The same should then be done with similar treatises, i.e. these small booklets that are hard to locate if one needs to refer to them. They should be organized according to their subjects of jurisprudence.

The same goes for the rest of the Islamic sciences whether they deal with history, Creed or their likes. One should put the books that cover Creed in general amongst the general books or treatises on Creed. Or he should place those subjects on Creed that he is researching into different sections on Creed so that it is easy for him to refer back to them.

So the first etiquette with regard to books is that one must organize his books in a good manner. Maintaining one’s library in order is an indication of a student of knowledge’s regard for his books.

However, if you visit and are granted access to a person’s library and find that his books are scattered around, in disorder and so on, this is due to ether one of two possibilities. The books are this way either because (1) the person researches his books a lot and needs to refer to them, thus causing his books to be scattered about – and even though this is something praiseworthy he should still put them back in their proper places afterward – or (2) he does not organize his books at all to begin with.

In his book on the judges of Egypt, which is called Raf’u-il-Isr ‘an Qudaat Misr, Al- Haafidh Ibn Hajr records a biography of one of the judges in Egypt and mentioned that when he was granted his judicial position, he would sit in a place where his books were on display. His books would be arranged in a nice and neat order. A student of knowledge entered his office once and saw his books and said: “What excellent order these books are in!” He was insinuating that the neat order and arrangement that his books were in indicated his lack of referencing them and using them. The judge understood this and kept it a secret to himself.

Later on, this man that had criticized the judge for having his books neatly arranged was put in charge of recording people’s marriages, i.e. the marriage contracts – something like an official that is licensed to wed couples. So the judge discovered that he had made an error in one of his marriage certificates and then rebuked him harshly. This shows that he had preserved that statement he made (a long time ago) in his memory.

The point is that this student used the fact that the judge’s books were neatly arranged as proof that he didn’t read or use them. But this is not always the case. If a student of knowledge wants to work on a subject or research an issue and he takes a number of books out, putting them in front of him and looking into this one and looking into that one, when he finishes, he should return them back to their proper place so that it will be easy for him to refer back to them at a later time.

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Etiquette Two: Acquiring the Most Accurate Editions of Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

From the manners of dealing with books is that a student of knowledge focuses his attention on the revised and accurate editions of books only. In the old days, books used to be bought from a manuscript transcriber known as a warraaq. A person was called a warraaq if he had a place where he would manually transcribe a copy of a book and sell it to buyers or sell it to someone who intended to sell his manuscripts (i.e. dealers). These people were known as warraaqoon – those who devoted their time to transcribing books by hand or to just selling books. Amongst these transcribers were those who were vary careful in their work and others who weren’t.

The closest things in resemblance to them in our time are the publishing houses and print shops that exist today. They have inherited the work of the warraaqoon throughout the passage of time. This is why we say that the occupation of the copyists was taken over in detail as time passed on by the scholars. A student of knowledge should strive to buy a verified and edited book or to transcribe one by hand whilst comparing what he has copied to the original manuscript. Or he should buy a book and compare it with a reliable source copy that is studied in the presence of scholars and so on and so forth.

What this means is that a student of knowledge should focus on acquiring the authentic and verified editions of book whether in manuscript or published form. In this day and age, most of the students of knowledge devote their attention and concern to only the published books. This is why we see that the books in print today are many.

The publication of books in the Arabic Language began a little more than five centuries ago, i.e. printing books in Arabic started more than 500 years ago, which was around 1400-1500 AD, since that is the time they were dated. However, the majority of the books that were printed in the Arabic Language in the Arab and Muslim lands only occurred in the last two-hundred years. Whatever was printed before that was published in the western countries due to their high regard for publishing books.

The point of all this is to show that the publication of books is something old and well established. Today one can find displayed in the marketplaces and stores a variety of different publishing companies, books, and names of verifiers and editors, etc. This is why many times that a phrase or a sentence is quoted from a recently published book, which is not necessarily revised accurately or precisely, the result is that discrepancies and mix-ups occur.

This happened to me several times while teaching in the mosque’s study area. I confirm the reading of a passage (from a book being studied), for example, based on an accurate edition of the book, then one of the students of knowledge comes and presents a recent edition of the same book in which the passage in there is inaccurate. The reason for this is because the contemporary publishing companies are not all precise and meticulous with the books they print. This also can apply to the older publishing companies. So regardless if the book was published a long time ago or recently, you should strive to find which edition of the book is the most accurate.

If you are interested in purchasing a book or acquiring knowledge on some subject, you must seek to attain the most accurate edition of the book that has been published with precision. So you should ask the people of knowledge or those who have expertise on this subject, saying for example: “What is the most reliable edition of such and such book?” “What is the most accurate edition of Tafseer Al-Qurtubee?” “What is the most accurate edition of Tafseer At- Tabaree?” “What is the most accurate edition of Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree?” – which if you acquire, you will keep in your library and have no need for another edition of the book to go along with it.

What we have observed today from many publications is that you find the publishing companies only print books for commercial purposes and so they come out unreliable. This is why you should ask about which edition you should acquire or which edition you want to purchase. So you should not just buy any book that is thrown at you. Rather, you should ask about it and become aware of the publishing company that has produced it.

If a certain individual has verified and reviewed the publication of the book, you should ask about whether or not this individual is accurate or inaccurate in his verification. Is he a businessman or not? And so on and so forth. To reiterate, a student of knowledge should focus on acquiring only the most accurate edition of a particular book.

He should only buy a book after enquiring about it. For example, you should ask: “Which is the most accurate edition of Tafseer Al-Qurtubee?” So if you receive an answer to this question, you should then go and strive to acquire this edition of the book regardless of whether it is printed or photocopied or published in modern times via computer formatting. You should strive to acquire only the correct and accurate editions of books.

What I have noticed according to my opinion is that most of the books that the brothers have in their hands are editions that are not accurate and precise. They may have a valid copy of the book however it is not completely accurate.

Some individual has taken charge of the overview of its publication but what he has done can hardly be called “taking charge.” Or it is said that the edition was amended by the publishing house and so on and so forth, however, it contains mistakes and errors the likes of which make the edition defective and not fit for a student of knowledge to acquire and reference and use for researching information.

Therefore, the second etiquette is that a student of knowledge should strive to acquire the accurate and precise editions regardless of whether they are printed in older form or they are recent publications. What is important is that the edition is accurate. So one should get to know and become acquainted with which publishing companies are meticulous and precise and which publishing companies are not. This is so that he will be able to know and distinguish which editors are just interested in business from which ones show great concern and care for their verifications. By doing this, he will also be able to tell the advantages that certain editions have over others, as well as how many times one book has been published.

We will diverge from the topic a little here and say that a student of knowledge should also be careful when looking into verifications and what people do nowadays such as placing footnotes and comments in their books. He should be aware of the different editions that exist for a book because it may be for example that an editor makes a reference to a volume and page number of a particular book and the reader believes that the book was only printed once. So when he goes to reference the volume and page number of the edition that he has, he cannot find it and says: “This person has erred or made a mistake.” It is possible that this same book was published over a hundred times or twenty times of thirty times or five times or four times and so on and so forth. So if a student of knowledge is aware of the different editions of the book and the number of times it was printed and the advantages and merits that some editions have over others, this is from the supplementary forms of knowledge that is from the general etiquettes that a student of knowledge should abide by.

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Etiquette Three: Keeping One’s Books Clean and Tidy : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

The third etiquette with regard to books is that one must strive to keep his books clean and preserved. This means that his books should be clean and have no dust attached to them. They should not be dirty nor should they have any bad markings on them. They should also not be put in an improper place, meaning the book should be put in an appropriate place that is befitting for it.

From that which is not befitting for books – especially the books of the people of knowledge in which can be found a clarification of the meanings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah – is that they have dirt, dust and filth on them. Keeping books clean is a sign of one’s respect for what is contained in them and a proof that one magnifies the symbols of Allaah. Allaah says:

ِبﻮُﻠُﻘْﻟا ىَﻮْﻘَﺗ ﻦِﻣ ﺎَﻬﱠﻧِﺈَﻓ ِﻪﱠﻠﻟا َﺮِﺋﺎَﻌَﺷ ْﻢﱢﻈَﻌُﻳ ﻦَﻣَو
“And whoever magnifies the symbols of Allaah, then that is truly from the piety of the hearts.” [Surah Al-Hajj: 32]

So if the book is on Tafseer or on the Sunnah or on Fiqh – the lawful and unlawful – or on Creed, then a person should strive to preserve them. Maintaining books clean falls under honoring Allaah and honoring the religious knowledge that is taken from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

When dealing with books, from the perspective of preserving and safeguarding them, a student of knowledge should also be careful of not turning his book into a parcel for his documents, special essays or receipts, i.e. such as the sales receipts for the books he bought and so on. If you were to pick up one of his books and look at it you would find that there is a receipt and a treatise inside it or that there is a pen and an eraser inside it and so on an so forth. Some of the scholars have said: “Do not turn your book into a bouquet or a parcel.”

This is one of the important etiquettes with regard to books – that you not turn them into storage bins such as by placing pens inside them or treating them like repositories for money and currency. So if you were to open up a book you would find all of these things inside them and notice that the book’s binding has become worn and that the book has changed and so on due to the book not being preserved properly.

A book should also not be turned into a bouquet, i.e. it should not be folded in an inappropriate manner, since a book contains the words of Allaah and the words of the Messenger of Allaah (Peace be upon him). So it is not proper to treat a book in this manner.

It is also not proper to put a glass of water or a cup of tea or their likes on top of books. The books of the people of knowledge, which contain texts from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah should be put in the highest places and not in the lowest places with pieces of paper and such on top of them. Abiding by this etiquette instills respect in the heart for the words of Allaah and the words of the Messenger of Allaah, not to mention the knowledge that is derived from these two sources.

What is also related to preserving books is when a student of knowledge is careful in the manner that he records text from books. Sometimes, we see books with written comments in them that are annotated in such a way that their benefit is squandered. In what has preceded, we have seen that the scholars forbade from writing small letters in books, such as when you write notes using tiny lettering or when you make notes on points of benefit found in your book using such small letters that if a student of knowledge wanted to, he would not be able to benefit from them. In what has been reported, Imaam Ahmad one time regretted having recorded ahaadeeth with small handwriting. This is since when he needed to refer to them in his old age, he was not able to extract these points of benefit because they were written in very tiny letters and the ink from the letters were so close to each other that it was hard to read and thus the benefit was lost.

Some scholars or students of knowledge may not have good handwriting. This is not a flaw. However, one should arrange his letters in such a way that they are written clearly. This is since some of the scholars who didn’t possess good handwriting would not be able to read even their own handwriting, as was the case with Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah whose writings would have to be extracted by one of his students. This is mentioned in the books on Biographies.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer indicated this in the 14th volume of his collection al- Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah while discussing the year in which this student of Ibn Taimiyyah passed away. He said: “And he was the one who would be able to extract the second sermon of Ibn Taimiyyah. And whenever Ibn Taimiyyah would want to take a portion (from his writings), no one would be able to extract it except for him since Shaikh-ul-Islaam (Ibn Taimiyyah) would write in a hurry and his writings would be unclear, so at times it would appear obscure to him.”

This was due to the letters being written very small. This could work, however it is not possible all the time, which is why a student of knowledge needs to know how to write in his books.

The scholars of Hadeeth have advised in their etiquettes on writing that when a student of knowledge wants to write, he should start from the line that he is in or in which can be found the note, then continue by going up towards the top and not the bottom. This means that when you study a book with a teacher or you make notes in a book and you come upon an area where you begin writing (a comment), you should transfer from that line to a line above it. The reason for this is because you may encounter a point of benefit in the line that follows that one, which requires you to write a note for it, and so then you will be confused on how to write it. Start ascending to the line above it. If you write from the bottom to the top, this will ensure that your writing will be clear.

You should also try to make your lines straight but designed in a sloping manner such that if you want to correct anything later, you can insert that correction in the empty spaces that are between the slants. Perhaps some of you have seen some of the old books with notes in them and noticed that these (notes) were written in blocks of text that appear to be in the shape of triangles. This was not done in vain and without purpose. Rather, these books were written this way – in the manner of the ancestors – because they needed to be verified afterward. The corrections would be placed in the empty spaces (on the sides of the triangle) or the book would be compared to another manuscript and notes from that manuscript would be annotated in these empty spaces.

So therefore, you must give great importance to having handwriting that is clear and organized in terms of knowing the place where the writing starts. So if I were to look at what you wrote and the notes you made, I would know where the note you made for this sentence begins and in which direction it will go.

Also, if you reference the books on terminology, their authors have explained how to write and make notes in books using guidelines and details that they have established on either preserving the text, explaining a word, making a correction, writing a footnote, clarifying which manuscript it is or how to write valid phrases and so on. So we should refer to these books on terminology because their authors wrote about this and talked about it in detail.

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Etiquette Four: Recording the Points of Benefit found in Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Another etiquette regarding books which deserves attention is: A student of knowledge should maintain (a list of) selected points of benefit for each of his books. This means that if someone reads a book and he doesn’t feel that he will remember or be able to recall what he read later – even if he is young – he should select points of benefit from this book and write them down in a special notebook. Or he can make references to them in the preface of the book, such as in a page at the beginning of the book. So he makes something that resembles a table of contents, however, it is specifically catered to him since these points of benefit that apply to him may not apply to others.

So they are specifically for you when you need to reference something you learned from this book at a later time. Two nights ago, I took the book al-Fadl-ul- Mubeen fee Sharh al-Arba’een of Jamaal-ud-Deen Al-Qaasimee from its place in my library. It had been almost ten years since I last read the book, but when I opened it up to its first page, lo and behold, I found the points of benefit in the book that I had written down a long time ago. And there were many, many points of benefit of which I had forgotten almost ninety percent of them. So instead of reading the book over again, all I had to do was look at this point of benefit and that point of benefit and so on.

One of the points of benefit found in the book, for example, was the author’s discussion on the difference between the ‘Aalim and the ‘Aarif and the reason why the Sufis renounced the word ‘Aalim in favor of using the word ‘Aarif and why they say the ‘Aarif so and so and not the “‘Aalim” (i.e. scholar) so and so. This is one of the points of benefit found in this book.

Another point of benefit in the book was an excellent and firm quote from Ibn Hazm found in his book al-Fisal on the meanings of the (verbs) qadaa (to divinely ordain) and qaddara (to divinely pre-decree). At the end of the quote, Jamaal-ud-Deen Al-Qaasimee says: “And this is the most brilliant of what was said concerning the meaning of qadaa and qaddara and what has the most right to be accepted.” And it is just as he said. Perhaps I will relate that to you at a later time.

These points of benefit that you record at the beginning of the book are very important. If you refer to the book some time after reading it, you will find these points before you. This means that when you read a book or a group of books, you should select points from them, which you feel are beneficial and useful to you and annotate them at the beginning of the book in the first page. So it will take the form of an index with brief phrases describing the point of benefit (and the page number where it can be found).

There is no doubt that this is extremely important for a student of knowledge. If you are able to make a special notebook in which you can place selected points that you may need, then this is important and you will definitely refer to it later on in time. It is not proper for you to read a book just like this and say that this (one-time) reading is sufficient because after one or two months or maybe after a year, you will forget what you read.

But if you write down (the most important points of) what you read, you can refer back to it years later and find that the points of benefit are available for display before you, as the saying goes: “Understanding is contingent – it comes and goes, whereas writing is recorded.” Write down what you have understood or record what you have learned from the book.

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

Etiquette Five: Lending Books Out to Others : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

From the etiquettes related to books, also, is: The manners of lending out books. Giving out books for people to borrow is not allowed unless you are giving them to someone that you trust will care for the books. The reason for this is because you have the most right to your book, unless you find someone else that is in need of it and who, when finished using it, will return it back to you.

It is mentioned in the biography of Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee that a man once asked him if he could borrow one of his books, so he replied saying: “You have three days to use it.” The man said: “That is not enough time.” So Al-Khateeb said: “I have counted its pages, so if you want to make a copy of it, then three days is sufficient for you. And if you want to read it, then three days is sufficient for you. And if you want to do more than that with it, then I have the most right to my book.”

This is correct, since in the past I had lent the first volume of a large book consisting of eight volumes to a brother – I don’t want to mention the title of the book, since perhaps he may hear this and think that I’m insinuating him – and now nearly twelve years have passed on, and he still has not returned it to me! And he tells me he doesn’t know where he put it. Similarly, the eighth volume of another set – even though I’m not worried so much over it – however, more than twenty years have passed and until now, he has not given it back. This is why a poet once said:

“Do not lend your books
And make your answer some excuse
Whoever does in fact lend a book,
I swear he has not done something good.”

Another person said: “The perdition of books is in lending them.”

It was once said to a man from India who had opened up a huge library: “How did you create this library?” He replied: “By borrowing books from people.” He was asked: “How is that?” So he said: “I borrow a book and don’t return it. This is how I was able to create this library.” The man asked: “Isn’t this a crime against those you borrow from?” He replied: “Whoever lends his books to people is insane. And whoever gives back what he borrows is even more insane than him.”

This is since souls are attached to books. In his book al-Qawaa’id, while speaking about a principle, Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab mentioned that there is no capital punishment of cutting off the hand for stealing them – i.e. if a person steals a book, then according to some scholars, he does not have to have his hand cut off. This is since there is a doubt in this – i.e. that the truth contained in books is (free) for everyone.

So for example, one of your fellow students or colleagues may get a book and then believe that he has a right to it, especially if the book is a charitable copy or it was given to you as a gift or so on. So this would cause him to take the issue of returning it lightly. He will be lax in giving the book back. And you will be the one who loses out on the book.

Therefore, if you are not sure if the one who is asking to borrow a book from you is serious and will benefit from it in a short amount of days and nights, then do not lend him the book. This is since when you lend your books out to people, you are depriving yourself from their benefit. And not every one that borrows a book can be trusted with it, for how many people have borrowed books and not returned them!

Taken from : The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-’Azeez Aali Shaikh

What is the matter that I see your scholars are departing? – Shaykh Saalih Aal-Shaykh [Video|Ar-En Subtitles]

The saying of Abu Dardaa (radhi Allaahu anhu):
“What is the matter that I see your scholars are departing and your ignorant ones aren’t learning?Learn! For indeed the scholar and the learner are sharers in reward”

The Student of Knowledge and Books : Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh

The Student of Knowledge & Books
طالب العلم والكتب

Shaykh Sālih bin Abdul-Azīz Āl us-Shaykh
الشيخ صالح بن عبد العزيز آل الشيخ

Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing – Al-Ibaanah.com

About the Book:

This is a translation of a small on-line booklet called: “Taalib-ul-‘Ilm wal-Kutub” [The Student of Knowledge and Books] which was originally a lecture delivered by Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and transcribed by a student of knowledge then made available for free on the internet in Arabic. The source used for this translation was the one found in http://www.sahab.org.

In this book, the Shaikh discusses seven etiquettes that a Muslim, and in particular a student of knowledge, should abide by with regard to books. The author has done an excellent job in explaining these general guidelines and points.

Indeed this treatise comes at a crucial time since as the English speaking Muslims in the West increase so does the printed literature that they acquire to learn the fundamentals of their Religion, not to mention those who are able to read and collect books in Arabic. Therefore, such a discussion is necessary to provide guidance and advice on how to acquire, handle, preserve and use these religious books, which are being produced at an ever-increasing rate in recent times.

It is hoped that this e-book in conjunction with the recently launch Classical Knowledge Series publications will provide the English readers with a solid basis on the basics and principles of knowledge in terms of seeking it, acquiring it, teaching it and propagating it.

Excerpts from the Book:

“It is well known that knowledge is acquired via two methods – either, orally by way of hearing and sitting with the people of knowledge and taking knowledge from them through listening with one’s ears or by way of books, and that is through researching, investigating and studying. The first way is the same method as the second way, whereas the correctness of the second method is based on the first. This is as one of the scholars said: ‘Knowledge used to be in the breasts of men then it transferred into the interior of books. However, its keys remained in the hands of men.’ This means that books possess a high level of importance to the student of knowledge. However, the only ones that can properly deal with these books and correctly understand them are those who establish themselves on the path of studying at the hands of the people of knowledge, mixing with them and comprehending what they meant by the words they recorded in these books.”

“So the first etiquette with regard to books is that one must organize his books in a good manner. Maintaining one’s library in order is an indication of a student of knowledge’s regard for his books. However, if you visit and are granted access to a person’s library and find that his books are scattered around, in disorder and so on, this is due to ether one of two possibilities. The books are this way either because (1) the person researches his books a lot and needs to refer to them, thus causing his books to be scattered about – and even though this is something praiseworthy he should still put them back in their proper places afterward – or (2) he does not organize his books at all to begin with.”

“This is one of the important etiquettes with regard to books – that you not turn them into storage bins such as by placing pens inside them or treating them like repositories for money and currency. So if you were to open up a book you would find all of these things inside them and notice that the book’s binding has become worn and that the book has changed and so on due to the book not being preserved properly. A book should also not be turned into a bouquet, i.e. it should not be folded in an inappropriate manner, since a book contains the words of Allaah and the words of the Messenger of Allaah. So it is not proper to treat a book in this manner.”

“Also from the etiquettes related to books is that one should make an effort to care for and reinforce their outer and inner parts as well as to keep them clean so that the books can be in a presentable condition that is befitting for others besides you. This is since when a student of knowledge buys a book, he must have or should we say it’s preferred for him to have two types of intentions. The first is that he should intend to benefit from it in order to free himself from ignorance. And secondly, he should intend that others benefit from the book as well – such as either his wife or his children. Afterward, the books can either remain with that person (in his family) or they can be donated after him. Or perhaps one can give them away to someone as a gift or sell them, and so on and so forth.”

Download English PDF:  The Student of Knowledge and Books

Does The Ends Justify The Means ? – Shaykh Salih Ali-Shaykh

Shaykh Salih Ali-Shaykh [1]  on Political Demonstrations
& the Principle: “The ends justify the means”[2]

As for what people state that: “The ends justify the means” – this is wrong and not from our Islamic legislation. On the contrary, in the legislation, the means have specific rulings and with the condition that they be initially permissible. If the means are forbidden, such as a person drinking alcohol for medicinal purposes, then even if there may be some sort of remedy in it, it is still forbidden. So, not all means may have the same ruling as the end result. Rather, the means must be permissible in themselves.

It is also not always the case that a servant (of Allah) may assume that since certain means are successful, he’s therefore allowed to take them. An example of this is political demonstrations. For example, if a large group of people comes as says, “If we stage a demonstration, this will pressure the leader and then consequently he will have to change and rectify the situation. The end justifies the means.” We say that this is completely false because the means in themselves are forbidden. These actions, even though the goal may be sincere and necessary, still the origin is impermissible. It is just like a person using a forbidden substance for some cure. Thus, there are many means and methods someone’s intellect may come up with, yet they may not be justified by the end result. So, this is for sure a false principle.

The means must be permissible in origin and then the ruling of the end result is applied to them; if the end result is allowable, the means are allowed. If it is obligatory, then the means are likewise.[3]

[1] Salih Ali-Shaykh: One of the leading scholars of Saudi Arabia, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, and the current minister of Islaamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia. (born 1362 Hijrah / 1941).

[2] This fatwa was taken from a book called “al-Fatawa al-Shar’iyyah fi al-Qadhaya Al-‘Asriyyah,” a collection of various rulings by Muhammad Ibn Fahd al-Husayn.

[3] Taken from the cassette: Fatawa al-‘Ulama fi Hukm al-Tafjirat wal-Muzaharat wal-Ightiyalat.

Reference: http://www.answering-extremism.com/trans-pub/ae_sas_1.pdf

Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah = Salafiyyah = The Saved Sect – Shaykh Saalih Aal us-Shaykh & Shaykh Fawzan

Shaykh Saalih ibn Abdul-Azeez Aal us-Shaykh
Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan al-Fawzaan

 

1) Shaykh Saalih ibn Abdul-Azeez Aal us-Shaykh:

So Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah, this word was coined at the end of the second generation after Hijri by the followers of the narrations [Aathaar], and the opponents to the various sects that left the way of the companions [Sahaabah] and their students [Taabi’een].

And the first to use it [terminology] were some of the teachers of Al Bukharee – rahimahumuAllaah – and they joined the two words as-Sunnah and al-Jamaa’ah because there are those who call towards following Sunnah but they might not be with the Jamaa’ah. And there are those who call towards Jamaa’ah without following the Sunnah.

So the differentiation of the way of the people of Hadeeth and narrations [Athar] and the followers of the pious predecessors [Salaf-us-Saalih] is based upon two things:

“Following the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah”

And each from both of these is bound to the other.

So following the Sunnah is following the Jamaa’ah and following the Jamaa’ah is following the Sunnah; because it has been authentically reported from the Prophet – sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – the narration which is in the ‘Sunan’, that he said:

“And this nation will split into seventy three sects. All of them are in the hell fire except one and that is the Jamaa’ah.”

And [speech unclear] sects in the hell fire – meaning – that are promised with entering into the hell fire, and the victorious is only one sect and that is the Jamaa’ah. And they are the followers of the Sunnah, exemplifying the saying of the Prophet – sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

“Upon you is my Sunnah and Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs, those who guide to righteousness, after me. Hold on to it and bite upon it with your molars” – The Hadeeth

(Translation source: http://www.islaam.ae)

 2) Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan al-Fawzaan

Question: Is Salafiyyah a hizb (party) amongst the parties? And is ascribing to them (the Salafis) a blameworthy thing?

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan: As-Salafiyyah is the Saved Sect and they are Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah. It is not a hizb (party) from amongst the various parties, those which are called parties today.

Rather they are the Jamaa’ah, the Jamaa’ah upon the Sunnah and upon the Deen (Religion). They are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

The Prophet – Sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam – said, “There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah (nation) manifest and upon the truth, not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them.”

And he – Sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam – also said, “And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Hell-Fire except one.” They said, “Which one is this O Messenger of Allaah?” He replied, “They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today.”

Hence, Salafiyyah is a group of people (the Salafis) upon the madhab of the Salaf, upon what the Messenger – Sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam – and his companions were upon.

And it is not a hizb from amongst the contemporary groups present today.

Rather it is the very old Jamaa’ah, from the time of the Messenger – Sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam – which inherits (this way) and continues, and which never ceases to be upon the manifest truth until the establishment of the Hour, as he (Sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) has informed us.