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Status of Knowledge in Islam

The teachings of the religion of Islam came to us well over 1400 years ago. From the very beginning of revelation, there was an emphasis on seeking and acquiring knowledge. The first words of revelation which the Angel Jibril ‘alayhi’l-salaam came with to our Beloved Rasulullah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was ‘Read’! and the ayah is as follows: 

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

“Recite in the name of your Lord who created-.” [Surah Al – Alaq :1]


And provided him with the tools for acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sight and wisdom. Allah says:


وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah)" [Surah Al-Nahl :78] 


Allah ta'ala shows us a Du'a

رَّبِّ زِدْنِى عِلْمًا

"Rabbi zidnee 'ilmaa

O my Lord! Advance me in Knowledge" [Surah Ta-Ha; 20:114]

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Source of Knowledge

If one wishes to hear a Deeni discourse over a CD, radio, receiver etc. then it is important for one to first find out the reliability of the person who had delivered the discourse as well as the subject matter that had been discussed. Not exercising caution in this regard leads to confusion being created in one’s Deen.  


قال  محمد بن سيرين رحمه الله: إنَّ هَذَا العِلْمَ دِينٌ فَانْظُرُوا عَمَّن تَأخُذُونَ دِينَكُم (شمائل الترمذي)

Hadhrat Muhammad ibn Seereen (Rahmatullahi Alaih) had stated:

“Indeed this knowledge is your Deen, so be careful from whom you acquire your Deen.”

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Hadith on the Virtues of Knowledge

The Angels Expressing Love for the Seekers of Knowledge

عن صفوان بن عسال المرادي رضي الله عنه قال أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم وهو في المسجد متكىء على برد له أحمر فقلت له يا رسول الله إني جئت أطلب العلم فقال مرحبا بطالب العلم إن طالب العلم تحفه الملائكة بأجنحتها ثم يركب بعضهم بعضا حتى يبلغوا السماء الدنيا من محبتهم لما يطلب. رواه أحمد والطبراني بإسناد جيد واللفظ له وابن حبان في صحيحه والحاكم وقال صحيح الإسناد (الترغيب والترهيب 1/122)

Hadhrat Safwaan bin Assaal (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports: “On one occasion I came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while he was in the Musjid reclining on his red shawl. I said: “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), I have come to seek the knowledge of Deen.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “Welcome to the seeker of knowledge. Certainly the angels throng around the one seeking knowledge and cover him with their wings (from all sides), then they make a line going up to the sky in the manner that each angel climbs on the other till they reach the sky. They do this in expression of love for the one who is treading on the path of seeking knowledge.”

People Gathering to Learn and Teach the Qur’an

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول  الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من نفس عن مؤمن كربة من كرب الدنيا نفس الله عنه كربة من كرب يوم القيامة ومن ستر مسلما ستره الله في الدنيا والآخرة ومن يسر على معسر يسر الله عليه في الدنيا والآخرة والله في عون العبد ما كان العبد في عون أخيه ومن سلك طريقا يلتمس فيه علما سهل الله له به طريقا إلى الجنة وما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله يتلون كتاب الله ويتدارسونه بينهم إلا حفتهم الملائكة ونزلت عليهم السكينة وغشيتهم الرحمة وذكرهم الله فيمن عنده ومن أبطأ به عمله لم يسرع به نسبه.  رواه مسلم وأبو داود والترمذي والنسائي وابن ماجه وابن حبان في صحيحه والحاكم وقال صحيح على شرطهما (الترغيب والترهيب 1/119)

Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever removes a minor difficulty of a Muslim in this world, Allah Ta’ala will remove his major difficulty on the day of Qiyaamah. And whoever conceals the fault of a Muslim, Allah Ta’ala will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter. And whoever deals gently and grants respite to a person in financial difficulty, Allah Ta’ala will make his affairs easy in this world and the Hereafter. Allah Ta’ala assists the servant as long as he assists his brother. And the one who treads a path seeking the knowledge of Deen, Allah Ta’ala makes his path towards Jannah easy. And whenever a group of people gather in one of the houses of Allah Ta’ala, reciting the Qur’an and learning and teaching it, the angels surround the gathering on all sides, sakeenah (peace and tranquility) descend upon them, the mercy of Allah Ta’ala enshrouds them, and Allah Ta’ala mentions them (by way of appreciation) to those around Him (His angels). And the one who is left behind by his deeds, his (high) lineage will not make him go ahead.”


A Reward for Learning and Teaching Deen

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ما من رجل تعلم كلمة أو كلمتين أو ثلاثا أو أربعا أو خمسا مما فرض الله عز و جل فيتعلمهن ويعلمهن إلا دخل الجنة  قال أبو هريرة فما نسيت حديثا بعد إذ سمعتهن من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم  رواه أبو نعيم وإسناده حسن لو صح سماع الحسن من أبي هريرة  (الترغيب والترهيب 1/126)

Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Any person who learns one, or two, or three, or four, or five aspects of Deen which Allah Ta’ala has made Fardh; he learns it and teaches it (to others), will enter Jannah.” Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says: “I did not forget a single Hadith after hearing these words from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).”


The Most Virtuous Form of Sadaqah

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال أفضل الصدقة أن يتعلم المرء المسلم علما ثم يعلمه أخاه المسلم رواه ابن ماجه بإسناد حسن من طريق الحسن أيضا عن أبي هريرة (الترغيب والترهيب 1/126)

Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The most virtuous form of sadaqah is that a person learns some knowledge of Deen and thereafter teaches it to his Muslim brother.”


Two Enviable People

وعن ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا حسد إلا في اثنتين رجل آتاه الله مالا فسلطه على هلكته في الحق ورجل آتاه الله الحكمة فهو يقضي بها ويعلمها رواه البخاري ومسلم (الترغيب والترهيب 1/127)

Hadhrat ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Envy is not permissible except in regard to two types of people. The first person is the one whom Allah Ta’ala has blessed with wealth and Allah Ta’ala blesses him with the ability to spend it in the correct manner. The second person is the one whom Allah Ta’ala has blessed with Deeni knowledge, and he correctly practises upon it and imparts it to others.”    


The Example of the One who Learns Deen and Propagates it

عن أبي موسى رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مثل ما بعثني الله به من الهدى والعلم كمثل غيث أصاب أرضا فكانت منها طائفة طيبة قبلت الماء وأنبتت الكلأ والعشب الكثير فكان منها أجادب أمسكت الماء فنفع الله بها الناس فشربوا منها وسقوا وزرعوا وأصاب طائفة أخرى منها إنما هي قيعان لا تمسك ماء ولا تنبت كلأ فذلك مثل من فقه في دين الله تعالى ونفعه ما بعثني الله به فعلم وعلم ومثل من لم يرفع بذلك رأسا ولم يقبل هدى الله الذي أرسلت به رواه البخاري ومسلم (الترغيب والترهيب 1/127)

Hazrat Abu Musa (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The example of the guidance and knowledge which Allah Ta’ala has sent me with is like abundant rain which fell on a land. A fertile portion of it absorbed the water and caused grass and abundant vegetation to grow. From the land (upon which the rain had fallen) was a portion of ground which was hard and rocky and retained the water, by which Allah Ta’ala caused people to benefit. They drank from it, gave their animals water and irrigated their crops. And (the rain water) reached another piece of the land which was barren; it could neither retain the water nor cause the crops to grow. This (the first two types of lands) is the example of the person who acquired the correct understanding of Deen and the knowledge which Allah Ta’ala has sent me with had benefitted him. Hence, he learned (the knowledge of Deen) and imparted it to others. And this (the third type of land) is the example of the person who neither showed any regard and importance to the knowledge of Deen, nor did he accept the guidance of Allah Ta’ala which I have been sent with.”

If one wishes to hear a Deeni discourse over a CD, radio, receiver etc. then it is important for one to first find out the reliability of the person who had delivered the discourse as well as the subject matter that had been discussed. Not exercising caution in this regard leads to confusion being created in one’s Deen.  

قال  محمد بن سيرين رحمه الله: إنَّ هَذَا العِلْمَ دِينٌ فَانْظُرُوا عَمَّن تَأخُذُونَ دِينَكُم (شمائل الترمذي)

Hadhrat Muhammad ibn Seereen (Rahmatullahi Alaih) had stated: “Indeed this knowledge is your Deen, so be careful from whom you acquire your Deen.”


A Benefit of Imparting Deeni Knowledge

وعن سهل بن معاذ بن أنس عن أبيه رضي الله عنهم أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من علم علما فله أجر من عمل به لا ينقص من أجر العامل شيء  رواه ابن ماجه  (الترغيب والترهيب 1/130)

Hadhrat Mu’aadh bin Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The one who imparts some knowledge of Deen to others, then he will receive the reward of all those who practice upon it, without the reward of those who practice upon it decreasing in any way.”


The Status of the Aalim and the Muta’allim

عن أبي أمامة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عليكم بهذا العلم قبل أن يقبض وقبضه أن يرفع وجمع بين إصبعيه الوسطى والتي تلي الإبهام هكذا ثم قال العالم والمتعلم شريكان في الخير ولا خير في سائر الناس رواه ابن ماجه من طريق علي بن يزيد عن القاسم عنه (الترغيب والترهيب 1/129)

Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Hold firm onto this knowledge (of Deen) before it is taken away (from the world), and the manner in which it will be taken away is that it will be raised (from the world through the passing away of the people of knowledge).” He then joined his middle finger with his index finger and thereafter said: “The Aalim (one who imparts the knowledge of Deen) and the muta’allim (the one who learns Deen) are partners in good in this way (as my both fingers are joined together), and (apart from these two classes of people whose endeavour is aimed towards preserving Deen) there is no good in the rest of the people (whose focus is directed towards the Dunya).”


The virtue and rank of an Aalim over an Aabid

عن أبي أمامة قال ذكر لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رجلان أحدهما عابد والآخر عالم فقال عليه الصلاة والسلام فضل العالم على العابد كفضلي على أدناكم ثم قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إن الله وملائكته وأهل السموات والأرض حتى النملة في جحرها وحتى الحوت ليصلون على معلم الناس الخير  رواه الترمذي وقال حديث حسن صحيح ورواه البزار من حديث عائشة مختصرا قال معلم الخير يستغفر له كل شيء حتى الحيتان في البحر (الترغيب والترهيب 1/130)

Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that on one occasion mention was made of two people before Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam); one was an Aabid (one who is engaged in worship) and the other was an Aalim (one engaged in imparting Deen). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The virtue (and rank) of an Aalim over an Aabid is like my virtue (and rank) over the lowest amongst you.” Thereafter Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Indeed Allah Ta’ala (showers His mercy), and the angels of Allah Ta’ala and all those in the heavens and the earth continue to make duaa for the one who imparts good (Deeni education) to the people, to the extent that even the ant in its hole and the fish (in the ocean) make duaa (for him).”    


Leaving Home to Acquire the Knowledge of Deen

عن زر بن حبيش قال أتيت صفوان بن عسال المرادي رضي الله عنه قال ما جاء بك قلت أنبط العلم قال فإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول ما من خارج من بيته في طلب العلم إلا وضعت له الملائكة أجنحتها رضا بما يصنع رواه الترمذي وصححه وابن ماجه واللفظ له وابن حبان في صحيحه والحاكم وقال صحيح الإسناد قوله أنبط العلم أي أطلبه وأستخرجه  (الترغيب والترهيب 1/137)

Hadhrat Zirr bin Hubaish (Rahimahullah) reports: Once I had come to Hadhrat Safwaan bin Assaal (Radhiyallahu Anhu). He asked: “What has brought you here?” I replied: “I have come to seek the knowledge of Deen.” He said: “I heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mention: “There is no person who leaves his home with the intention of seeking the knowledge of Deen except that the angels spread out their wings under his feet out of happiness for the path he has adopted.”


The Two Types of Knowledge

عن جابر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم العلم علمان علم في القلب فذاك العلم النافع وعلم على اللسان فذاك حجة الله على ابن آدم رواه الحافظ أبو بكر الخطيب في تاريخه بإسناد حسن ورواه ابن عبد البر النمري في كتاب العلم عن الحسن مرسلا بإسناد صحيح (الترغيب والترهيب 1/135)

Hadhrat Jaabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “There are two types of knowledge. The first type is that knowledge which is in the heart of a person (which motivates him towards practice) and this is the one that is (regarded as) beneficial knowledge. The second type is that knowledge which is (merely) on the tongue (and does not motivate one towards practice), then it is this knowledge that will be used as evidence of Allah Ta’ala against a person (in making him deserving of punishment due to not practicing upon it, despite knowing it).”


Remain in the Gatherings of Knowledge

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتعوا قالوا يا رسول الله وما رياض الجنة قال مجالس العلم  رواه الطبراني في الكبير وفيه راو لم يسم (الترغيب والترهيب 1/146)

Hadhrat ibn Abbaas (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “When you pass by the gardens of Jannah, then graze (to your heart’s content).” The Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) asked: “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), what are the gardens of Jannah?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “The gatherings of knowledge.” 

Taken from Ihyaaiddeen.co.za





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Without an Islamic education we should not expect ourselves to have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

Without ‘Ilm (Knowledge) we’re in an ocean with a ship that has no destination.


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The Need to Seek Clarification for all Deeni Matters

Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhu) mentioned:

Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) is reported to have said that it is better to undergo temporary disgrace by asking a question than to remain ignorant.

It is the system of Allah Ta‘ala that there will always be two classes of people; those who know and those who don’t know. It is the duty of those who do not know to ask and enquire. The benefit of asking is that one is clear and confident about what he is doing, while the consequence of not enquiring is that one will always be stormed with doubts and unclarity regarding certain aspects.

We generally confine our queries and questions to matters that relate to our outer-selves, whereas deen applies to the inner-self as well. The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would enquire regarding aspects of ikhlaas etc. These are all related to the inner-self. They never felt shy to enquire about any matter.



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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. 

a) It is important for every Muslim to ensure his source of Deenī knowledge is sound and reliable. The great Imām from the Tābi‘īn, Muhammad ibn Sīrīn (d. 110 H) – may Allah Ta‘ālā have mercy on him – said: 

إن هذا العلم دين فانظروا عمن تأخذون دينكم

“Verily, this knowledge is religion, so be cautious of whom you take your religion from.” (Sahīh Muslim) [1] 

A similar statement was narrated from the Sahābī, Abū Hurayrah (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu), and the Tābi‘ī, Qatādah (rahimahullāh). [2] 

In general, the person from whom you take your religious knowledge should be someone who adheres to the Sunnah of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in creed and conduct, and to the path of the noble Sahābah (ridwānullāhi ta‘ālā ‘alayhim ajma‘īn). Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) defined the group that is on haqq (truth) from his ummah as those that hold fast to “what I and my companions are upon.” [3] 

The name with which this methodology has become known is: “Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah” – adherents of the Sunnah and the Group, meaning, the Sahābah. 

The great Faqīh from the Tābi‘īn, Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī (d. 96 H), said, in describing the practice of the scholars of his time: 


كانوا إذا أتوا الرجل ليأخذوا عنه نظروا إلى سمته وإلى صلاته وإلى حاله ثم يأخذون عنه

“When they would come to a man to take (religious knowledge) from him, they analysed his conduct, his Salāh and his state, and then [if these were to standard], they took from him.” [4] 

Furthermore, the person from whom you take religious knowledge should be of sound character and a person of piety. The great hadith scholar, Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn (d. 233 H), said: 


آلة الحديث الصدق والشهرة والطلب وترك البدع واجتناب الكبائر

“The apparatus of hadith (and religious knowledge) is integrity, recognition (amongst the scholars), pursuit (of Deenī knowledge), abandonment of bid‘ahs and avoidance of major sins.” [5] 

Some of the criteria we advise you to look for in order to assess whether a particular person should be regarded as a trustworthy and accepted scholar from whom to take knowledge of Deen are the following: 

- He does not violate the laws of Sharī‘ah. For example, he does not attend events in which there is intermingling of sexes, he does not cut his beard short, he does not listen to music, he does not keep pictures of living things etc. 

- He is a graduate of a reputable and accepted institute of Shar‘ī studies. 

- He adheres to one of the four mazhabs of fiqh, namely, the mazhabs of Imam Abu Hanīfah, Imam Malik, Imam al-Shāfi‘ī and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. 

- He has sound positions in ‘Aqīdah that are in accordance with what has been established by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah, like Imam al-Tahāwī, Imam al-Nasafī and others. 

- He is not a person of bid‘ah. That is, he does not hold any baseless religious beliefs, nor does he engage in any practical innovation in religion. 

- He is recognised and approved by the ‘ulamā’ of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah, and those ‘ulamā’ who are moderate and known for their taqwā. 


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Nabeel Valli

Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.




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Prophetic Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge | Imām al-Rāzī ؒ


The Qurʾān reads:

قَالَ لَهُۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلۡ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمۡتَ رُشۡدٗا ٦٦

“Mūsā said to him: ‘May I follow you, to the end that you might teach me the right conduct of that which you have been taught?’”[1]

Imām al-Rāzī  ؒ has written that this āyah indicates how Mūsā observed various etiquette when he wanted to learn from Khaḍir:

  • He became subservient to him, evident by “May I follow you?”
  • He sought permission in affirming this submission; in essence, he asked: “Do you permit me to submit myself to you?” This is a monumental level of humility.
  • He said: “That you may teach me.” This is confession of one’s unacquaintance to such knowledge, while affirming his teacher’s superiority in it.
  • He said: “Of that which you have been taught.” The word ‘of’ shows partiality. This means Mūsā requested to be taught only some of what Allāh  had taught Khaḍir. It is, therefore, as if he asked: “I do not seek so much from you that I become your equal in knowledge; rather, I only ask a small portion of the abundant portions of knowledge you possess, just as the poor person seeks only a portion of wealth from among the plentiful portions of the wealthy one.”
  • He said: “Of that which you have been taught.” This is acknowledging it is Allāh  Who had taught Khaḍir n that knowledge.
  • Mūsā’s mention of the “right conduct” is a request from him for guidance and navigation. Guidance is the very thing without which one will be in a state of deviance.
  • His statement “you teach me of that which you have been taught” means he is asking Khaḍir to treat him (Mūsā) the very way Allāh  had treated him (Khaḍir).
  • Following (al-Mutābaʿah) means to carry out the exact action of someone else due to it being that very person’s action. Therefore, when we say: «لا إله إلا الله», we are not following the Jews, who came before us and also recited this kalimah. This is because our reason for declaring the kalimah is not that the Jews had also said it; rather, we declare it due to the existence of evidence necessitating its declaration. On the other hand, when we perform our five daily alāh in full agreement to the Prophet’s  method, we do this for the very reason that the Prophet  endorsed this method. So, with regards to the actions of the Prophet  pertaining to the five daily prayers, we are his followers, indeed. Once this has been established, one can say that the statement of Mūsā “May I follow you?” indicates that he will carry out the very actions of his teacher, purely on the basis that his teacher is doing them. This shows that the student is obliged, from the very beginning, to submit to his teacher and refrain from interrupting and debating.
  • His statement “I follow you” shows his request for absolute following of his teacher, with no conditions attached.
  • The books of adīth have established the fact that Khaḍir already knew:
    1. Mūsā was the prophet of the Banū Isrāʾīl.
    2. He was given the Tawrāh (Torah).
    3. He was the man to whom Allāh  spoke, with no intermediary.

Despite the above virtues, in addition to his lofty status and honourable calibre, Mūsā approached Khaḍir n with so many types of utmost modesty. This shows that Mūsā sought knowledge with maximum humility. This is precisely what befits his calibre: whosoever has more coverage of knowledge, his knowledge of what it entails is much greater; therefore, his passion to seek it would be much higher, as will be his reverence for the people of knowledge.

  • He said: “May I follow you, to the end that you might teach me?” Establishing his submission was the very first thing he did. Requesting that Khaḍir teach him was second in line. At first, he devoted to service; only at stage two did he request tuition.
  • He said: “May I follow you, to the end that you might teach me?” He made no mention whatsoever of any incentive. It is as if he said, “I want, from this submission, neither wealth nor status; I have no motive except the seeking of knowledge.”[2]


[1] [Al-Kahf: 18/66].

[2] Adapted from ʿAwwāmah, Muḥammad, Adab al-Ikhtilāf fī Masāʾil al-ʿIlm wa l-Dīn, Dār al-Yusr and Dār al-Minhāj, Saudi Arabia (1430/2009), fourth edition, pp. 194-196.


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إن أَخْوَفُ مَا أَخَافُ عَلَى أُمَّتِي كل مُنَافِقٍ عَلِيمِ اللِّسَانِ


The thing I fear the most on my Ummah, is [them being misled by] a hypocrite who has a knowledgable tongue.


[Hadith taken from Here]

The Right Choice


In the fast developing world of today, a lot depends on “Making the Right Choice”

Making the incorrect choice is sometimes detrimental, depending on the venture at hand. Conversely, at times one can live with its consequences or even make up for the loss.

Deen is delicate

When it comes to the affairs of one’s deen (Religion) the margin for error is very fine. Therefore making the correct choice is absolutely essential.


Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) use to command the masses to accept knowledge only from reliable sources. (Fathul Mulhim, vol.1 pg.264)

This refers to:

Choosing the correct book,

Choosing the correct website,

Choosing the correct tutor or lecturer etc.

In essence it boils down to choosing the correct source of knowledge and information.

Just as we do when we consult in matters of worldly gain; we ensure that the consultant is adequately qualified.

A Screening Process

“Knowledge is indeed part of your religion” said the great Tabi’e, Imaam Muhammad ibn Sireen (rahimahullah). He further advised: “So be careful as to whom you accept your matters of deen from” (Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim)

This statement highlights the fact that not every person who claims to be an educator in deen is a legitimate one. Therefore not every “Islamic” radio station, booklet, speaker or webpage can be endorsed.

The need for a screening process is evident from the hadith in which Rasulullah sallallahu’alaihi wasallam said: “a time will arrive when not a single alim will remain; people will then resort to ignorant leaders who will pass rulings without proper knowledge, thereby deviating and causing others to be the same. (Sahih Bukhari)

Precaution of the Predecessors

Our pious predecessors were extremely selective when it came to choosing an educator.

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) says: “I saw (imam) Ayub Al-Sakhtiyani (rahimahullah) in Makkah on two separate occasions of Haj. During the third haj I saw him seated near the zam zam well, and each time he heard the name of Rasulullah he cried to the extent that I would take pity on him. Only after seeing such qualities in him did I accept Ahadith from him.” (Adabul Ikhtilaf, pg. 58)

The ustaadh (teacher) of Imam Malik, Imam Rabee’ah (rahimahullah) was seen crying in seclusion. When he was asked about the cause for him crying, he replied: “A catastrophe has befallen Islam, Ignorant people have been referred to in matters of Religion.” (ibid, pg. 53, jami’u bayanil ‘ilm, vol.2 pg. 201))

Ibn Sireen (rahimahullah) passed away in the year: 110 A.H, and Imam Rabee’ah (rahimahullah) in the year: 136 A.H, but the statement of each one of them is more applicable today than it was then.

Contamination and Confusion

The influx of Islamic literature and “religious speakers” has reached an alarming level locally and internationally. Undoubtedly, many of these are legitimate and reliable, but the existence of contaminated literature and incompatible lecturers is eminent. The honourable public is therefore strongly urged to be vigilant and to refer to their senior ‘Ulama and Madrasahs to first verify any source of information before accepting it; be it in the form of websites, booklets, journals or even lecturers. Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) – the author of the famous: “Sahih Muslim” says: “It is incumbent upon every capable person to refrain from accepting knowledge from unqualified, innovative and obscure sources.”

Note: Those who cannot differentiate should abstain or refer to those who can.

Failure to do so will lead to confusionin deen. May Allah Ta’ala keep us all on the correct path. Ameen.





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Advice given by Maulana Yunus Patel (RA) to a student of knowledge:


Complete Adab is required when learning Deen, moreso with Tafseer and Hadeeth.


Try to remain with Wudhu, use Miswaak, and read plenty of Durood Shareef. Have utmost respect for your Ustaadh, otherwise that knowledge will be lost. Try and make the khidmah of your Asaatidha.


It is imperative to abstain from sins. Make every effort to show your love for Nabi Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam by following the Sunnah. Make the Niyyah of bringing the reality of each Hadeeth into your life.


When writing Hadeeth, write the Arabic “Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam” in full. Make Dua for deep understanding of the speech of Rasulullah Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, acceptance in your endeavours and for Allah Ta’ala to use you in the Khidmah of Hadeeth.


The following advice offers much ‘food for thought’: 


"Seeking out knowledge is not saying: ‘So and so related from so-and-so’; rather, seeking out knowledge is fearing Allah, the Possessor of Might and Majesty." 


[Imam Sufyaan At-Thauree (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)]


“When you have written down (studied) ten Ahaadeeth, check if you notice an improvement in the way you walk, in your level of patience, and in your degree of self-dignity. For if you do not see any such improvement, then know that your knowledge harms you and does not benefit you.”


[Advice given to Imam Sufyaan At-Thauree (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) by his respected mother]



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"Still studying? Come on!" 

A man entered upon a gathering where a Shaykh was teaching Sahih Al-Bukhari to his students. In mockery of that gathering, the man said,

"People in the West have managed to land on the moon whilst you're still teaching Sahih Al-Bukhari!"

The Shaykh responded,

"Why does that surprise you? They are a creation who've reached another creation, whilst we are a creation who want to reach the Creator. 

But I tell you this; you are the most hopeless person in this gathering, for you've both failed to reach the moon with them and failed to study Al-Bukhari with us"

If Allah has inspired you to pursue a path of knowledge, then you've been inspired with a blessing that's beyond the planets. 

وَمَنْ سَلَكَ طَريقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللهُ لَهُ طَريقًا إِلَى الجَنَّةِ

"Whoever pursues a path to gain knowledge, Allah will ease for him a path that leads to Paradise." 

Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم


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Islamically, What is Beneficial Knowledge?:

The Prophet ﷺ instructed us:

 سَلُوا اللَّهَ عِلْمًا نَافِعًا وَتَعَوَّذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ 

'Ask Allah for beneficial knowledge and seek Allah's protection from knowledge that does not benefit.' *

Beneficial knowledge, in short, is that which increases us in knowledge of God; acquaints us with the divine commands and prohibitions; leads us to detaching ourselves from the world and becoming desirous of the Hereafter; and brings home to us the flaws and defects in our own actions and character. 

Knowledge must be transformative. It should be internalised and rooted in the heart in order to beget reverent awe before God and humility before man. Sound intention is key. 

Malik b. Dinar said: ‘Whoever learns knowledge so as to act by it, his knowledge humbles him. Whoever seeks it for other than that, will only increase in pride by it.’**

In this regard, Imam al-Dhahabi left us with this gem: ‘Whoever seeks knowledge in order to act by it, his knowledge humbles him and causes him to weep at himself. But one who learns knowledge just to teach, give fatwas, to brag or show-off, becomes foolish, arrogant, argumentative, perishes in his vanity and is despised by others: "He is indeed successful who purifies it [his soul], and is a failure who corrupts it." [Qur'an 91:9-10].’***

Our prayer, then, should be as our Prophet taught:

اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْتَنِي وَعَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي وَزِدْنِي عِلْمًا

'O Allah! Benefit me by what you have taught me, teach me what will be of benefit to me and increase me in knowledge.'****


*Ibn Majah, no.3843.

 **Cited in al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Iqtida al-‘Ilm al-‘Aml (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1977), no.31.

***Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-Risalah, 1996), 18:192.

**** Al-Tirmidhi, no.3599, where he said: 'This hadith is hasan gharib.'

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Key Ingredients for the Seeker of Knowledge

1. Intention –  You will not find a single Hadith book which does not begin with
Innamal A’malu Bin Niyyaati
Correct your intention, it is the beginning but its also something which will need to be rectified over and over throughout your journey. You might be sitting in class just because the teacher is teaching a very important subject that day, but have the correct intention also. Our Ūlama made intention for everything from eating to sleeping!

2. Wudhu: Always try to stay in wudhu; being in a state of wudhu is also a weapon against Shaytaan, if you attend a class with wudhu that session will most likely – in’sha’allah – be one free of yawns and stray thoughts.

3. Adab – its not just adab to your teacher – yes that’s essential! – but to your kitaabs and your classmates. Have extreme adaab with your kitaabs, think! These books were written many, many years ago just for the sake of preserving this īlm and YOU are going to be the inheritor of this īlm so have utmost adaab and muhabbāh for your books. You are a special woman who has been chosen by Allah SWT to preserve and learn and teach this īlm so show Allah SWT that you appreciate this.

Our pious predecessors showed so much respect to their books that it comes one scholar would not turn the kitaab but he himself would move around the kitaab to read it. Another scholar would not ever place his feet towards the house of his teacher because of his extreme respect for him! Allahu Akbar imagine!

4. Dua: keep making duā to Allah SWT for qubooliyāh; to accept you as a Seeker of this īlm, to grant you istiqama. View every subject, every baab and even every harf which you have been blessed to learn as a form of dhikr. As Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed DB says after every form of worship “make duā” .

You do not know what āmaal will be maqbool in the eyes of Allah SWT, it is not your deeds that will gain you entry into Jannah rather it is the Rahma of Allah SWT, and to gain the Rahma of Allah SWT you will need all your good deeds!

Finally, do a lot of shukr for having this great blessing of ilm.

A CIL Student’s advice to her classmates. 

Source: ZAO

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On the way to attending study sessions

If you attend a study-session, behave only like someone who wishes to increase his knowledge and to win greater recompense from God. Do not behave like someone who is content with what he has, who is looking for some fault to criticise or a curious detail to hawk around. This would be the behaviour of vile men who never succeed in their studies. 
If you come to it with good intentions, you will always obtain the best results. Otherwise, to stay at home would be less tiring for your body, more worthy of your moral conduct and more salutary for your religious life. 
Extract from Al-Akhlâq wa’l-Siyar (Morals and Behaviour) By Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi 


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شكوت الى وكيع سوء حفظي
‫فارشدني عن ترك المعاصي
واخبرني بان العلم نور
ونور الله لا يعطى العاص


The great Imam ash-Shafee (RA) he went to his teacher Sayyidina Waki (RA) complaining about the weakness of his memory.
Sayyidina Waki (RA) told him, ‘Abandon transgression and sins, for knowledge is a light and the light of Allah is not bestowed upon a rebel.’

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 What is the reality of knowledge? Some people have this misconception that knowledge refers to words on paper. 


That is just the outer form and appearance of knowledge. It is not the reality of knowledge. First of all, we have to clear this up that when we say knowledge, "ilm", we are referring to only the knowledge of Deen, not any other type of knowledge, because all of that isn't knowledge at all, just information that keeps changing. Yesterday they told us aspirin is very good, today they tell us it's bad. You can't call that ilm. Ilm is only that which has remained unchanged for more than 1400 years, and will remain like that till Qiyamah.


Okay, so knowledge in reality is not black on white, but rather it is a noor, a celestial light, which Allah puts into the hearts of his chosen ones. Because of this noor, a person gains the full understand of Deen, wisdom, and his heart expands to allow him to understand the reality of the world around him. 


This expansion of the heart is known as Sharhus Sadr, and there are 3 signs that indicate towards it - 1) Turning away from this world full of deception.

2.) Turning towards the place of eternity, the hereafter.

3.) Preparing for death before it comes.


This is the knowledge that we have to stive for, the noor of the heart.


My ustadh once told us that when he had gone to Palestine, he was told about a Jewish woman who had been teaching one of the hardest tafseers ever written, called Jalaalain, for the past 20 years! Imagine that, and she still never became Muslim!

What does that mean? It simply proves the fact that knowledge is from Allah. For this woman, it was just words on paper, the reality never entered her. That's not what we want.


May Allah grant all of us this reality, this noor, through which we can attain eternal success, amin.



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Imaam Shafee’ wrote: 
قد مات قوم وما ماتت مكارمهم
وعاش قوم وهم في الناس أموات 
 “There are some who have passed away but whose rich legacy remains alive. 
While others are alive but their (poor) character has rendered them dead in the eyes of mankind.”
(taken from Jamiat.org)
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Honouring the Knowledge
of Deen
Haaroon Rasheed was an ‘Abbaasi Khaleefah who ruled over the Muslim empire from 170 A.H until his demise in 193 A.H at the age of forty-five.
On one occasion, when Haaroon Rasheed came to Madeenah Munawwarah, he sent a messenger to Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) with the following message: “Come to me and bring the hadeeth kitaab (Al-Muwatta) which you have compiled so that I may hear the ahaadeeth from you.”
On receiving this message, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) was upset and disappointed. He said to the messenger, “Convey my salaam to him, and tell him that people should travel to the knowledge of Deen, the knowledge of Deen should not travel to people. People should come to obtain the knowledge of Deen, it should not have to come to them.”
When the reply of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) reached Haaroon Rasheed, he became angry. His messenger fuelled his anger further saying, “It will reach the people of Iraq that you summoned Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah), yet he defied you! Force him to come to you!”
In the interim, many students of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) suggested to him that he go to Haaroon Rasheed and explain to him the correct manner of acquiring the knowledge of Deen. Hence, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) came to Haaroon Rasheed and entered with salaam. However, he did not bring his kitaab of hadeeth with him. When Haaroon Rasheed asked him why he had come without the kitaab, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) replied:
“O Ameerul Mu-mineen! Allah Ta‘ala sent Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to us and commanded us to obey him, follow his blessed sunnah and show him utmost respect and honour, during and after his lifetime. Allah Ta‘ala has perhaps granted you the position of khaleefah on account of you having some knowledge of Deen. Hence, when you have been blessed with this knowledge, then you should not disrespect it and fail to honour it, as doing so will cause Allah Ta‘ala to strip you of your respect and honour. Fear Allah! Fear Allah! I have seen people who were not of your standing and lineage, some were freed slaves and there were others as well, yet they all showed the highest level of respect to the knowledge of Deen and honoured the ‘Ulama who bore this knowledge. When these people had shown respect to the knowledge of Deen, then surely you are more worthy of honouring the knowledge of Deen!”
Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) continued to advise Haaroon Rasheed in this manner until he eventually began to weep. Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) continued further until Haaroon Rasheed relented and said, “Let us proceed to your home.” On arriving, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) entered, performed ghusl, donned new clothing, applied ‘itr and burned some fragrant ‘oud (to honour the blessed ahaadeeth). Thereafter, as they sat, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) said to Haaroon Rasheed, “Commence reciting.” Haaroon Rasheed responded, “You should recite to me.” However, when Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) excused himself from reciting, Haaroon Rasheed was left with no choice but to recite, and thus said, “Tell all the people to leave so that I can recite to you in privacy.” Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) responded, “When the knowledge of Deen is withheld from the general people for the sake of influential people who wish to be exclusive, then these influential people will never benefit from the knowledge.”
Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) then instructed one of his students to recite the Ahaadith. When the student commenced reciting, Haaroon Rasheed was at the side of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) and was seated in a reclining position. Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) said to him, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! The one who lowers and humbles himself for Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala will elevate and honour him.” Haaroon Rasheed immediately awoke and sat before Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah), only returning to his side after the ahaadeeth were recited.
Sometime later, Haaroon Rasheed said to Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah), “We lowered ourselves and expressed humility before the knowledge of Deen which you possessed, and hence Allah Ta‘ala blessed us to benefit from the knowledge.”
(Tarteebul Madaarik vol. 2, pg. 21)
We all wish and desire to acquire the knowledge of Deen and benefit from the blessed Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). However, there are many people who fail to show the knowledge of Deen due respect and honour. Instead of going to the ‘Ulama and expressing humility before the knowledge of Nubuwwah, they want to acquire knowledge on ‘their own terms’. Instead of sitting with respect, they lie on their beds and surf the net. Instead of dressing with respect and performing wudhu, they acquire the knowledge of Deen in a casual manner, dressed as they please, sometimes in an environment of free-intermingling between males and females! The outcome is that they acquire mere ‘information’, not the knowledge of Deen. The knowledge of Deen creates a Noor (light) in the heart and guides a person to Allah Ta‘ala.
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Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said, 

“Action, in reality, is a fruit of knowledge. Whoever acts without knowledge, then he resembles the Christians, and whoever knows without acting, then he resembles the Jews.” 

[Commentary on the Three Fundamental Principles of Islam (Darussalam), p. 27.] 

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The Correct Reaction to Knowledge

Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī reports that Abū Qilābah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

O Ayyūb, when Allāh brings about knowledge for you, bring about worship of him, and do not let your [sole] concern be to narrate it.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm, article 1279.

It is reported that the inscription on the ring of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī – Allāh be pleased with them – read:

You know, so now act (علِمت فاعمل).

Op. cit. article 1280.

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