Seeking Knowledge
 by
Shaykh Ali at-Tuwayjari حفظه الله
Delivered on February 24, 2007



BENEFITS OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE

The Shaykh حفظه الله started off by praising Allaah سبحانه وتعالى and sending the salaat and salaam upon the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم. He said that on this day, the sixth day of the second month which is the month of Safar in the year 1428, which is a Saturday, we begin this lecture and Inshaa Allaah after the lecture we will answer questions.

The lecture that I would like to deliver will be about “Urging Students to Seek Knowledge”. I invite all my brothers and all the Muslims at large to benefit from the Seminar that brother Zahid just spoke about. It is a seminar whose fruits have been seen before and its benefits have been witnessed before. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى has made it easy for Major Scholars to participate in such a seminar and it is rare indeed for so many of the Major Scholars to participate and gather together in one seminar. This is from the bounty of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى upon us and upon those who organize this seminar. So I encourage all Muslims to register for this seminar and to participate in it because a Muslim needs to have Fiqh of his religion – he needs to understand his religion.

The Shaykh حفظه الله went on to say that there is a lot of evidence from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah showing the virtues of knowledge.

 

VIRTUES OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE MENTIONED IN THE QUR’AAN

From them is a saying of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى that:
يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ
{…Allâh will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge...} [Al-Mujaadilah 58:11]

 Allaah سبحانه وتعالى clarifies in this verse that He will raise the Believers in levels, those of them who were given knowledge will be raised many levels and high levels. Another verse is the saying of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى:

قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَاب

{…..Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" It is only men of understanding who will remember
(i.e. get a lesson from Allâh's Signs and Verses). }
[Az-Zumar 39:9]

If you realize, there was no response to this question as the aim of this question is affirmation. There was a question to which a response did not come after it, why? Because this is an issue that no one differs in, there is no differing between anyone or any two people that ‘those who know are not equal to those who do not know.’

Another saying of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى is:
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ
{…It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh…} [Fatir 35:28]

And what is khashyah (خشية)? Khashyah is the fear of someone you know. So if fear comes together with knowing the one you fear, then this is called khashyah. The `Ulamaa’ are those who best know Allaah سبحانه وتعالى and His Capability. This is why Allaah سبحانه وتعالى described them as having khashyah of Him سبحانه وتعالى .


VIRTUES OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE MENTIONED IN THE SUNNAH

As for the Sunnah, then there are many different evidences showing the virtues of knowledge. From amongst them is the saying of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم "Whoever Allaah سبحانه وتعالى wants good for, He gives him fiqh (understanding) of the Deen.”[1]. Here the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم clarified that those whom Allaah سبحانه وتعالى wishes good for, He gives them understanding of the religion. This is the person that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى wishes good for, the one who has understanding of Deen. Also from the understanding of this hadeeth is that ‘those whom Allaah سبحانه وتعالى does not wish good for, then He does not give them understanding in the religion’. So he حفظه الله advises everybody to be keen in seeking knowledge and gaining understanding in the religion in order to be from those whom Allaah سبحانه وتعالى wishes good for.

In another hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever traverses a path in order to gain knowledge, then Allaah سبحانه وتعالى will make the path to Jannah easy for him.”[2]. So if you go to a masjid for a lecture or a class, then it is as though you are going towards Jannah i.e. you are going on a path towards Jannah, this is a great virtue of Knowledge.

At-Tabaraani narrated a hadeeth by Abu Umaamah that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever comes to a masjid and he did not come to the masjid except with the intention that he would learn something good or teach something good, he will be given the reward of someone who performed hajj.”[3]. Look at this great virtue, just look at this great reward, whoever goes to the masjid to learn, Allaah سبحانه وتعالى will give him the reward of a hajj – of a person who went to Makkah and made tawaaf (circumambulation) around the Ka’bah and he made sa’ee (walking between Safa and Marwah) as well as the rest of the rituals of hajj. Whoever goes to a masjid to seek knowledge will be given this same reward.

In another hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “The student of knowledge (or the seeker of knowledge), everything will ask forgiveness for him even the fish in the ocean.”[4]. Another great virtue is that everything asks forgiveness for the Student of Knowledge, even the fish that are in the ocean. This is due to their being pleased with what he seeks i.e. knowledge. This is another great virtue of knowledge and the seekers of knowledge.

In another hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “There is not a people who gather in a house from the houses of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى (a masjid) to recite the Book of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى or study it except that calmness will descend upon them and mercy would cover them and they would be surrounded by the angels and Allaah سبحانه وتعالى will mention them with good to those near to Him.”[5]. The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned that the scholars Shaykh Ibn Baaz and Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمهم الله held the opinion that this does not only refer to a masjid, but any place – whether in a classroom or at home, i.e. whoever gathers together in order to study or recite the Book of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى, they will gain this reward. Take a look at this reward, sakeenah which is a great calmness will encompass them, and the angels will descend and surround them with their wings, and they will be in the Mercy of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى will bestow mercy upon them and He would mention them with good, to those close to Him in the Heavens. This is an evidence of the virtues of seeking knowledge, and the khayr (خير - good) which is obtained by those who seek it.

Another hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم in clarifying the virtues of the gatherings where knowledge is sought, is that it is a reason for the forgiving of sins. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said that “Allaah سبحانه وتعالى would say at the end of the gathering of those who gathered to gain knowledge, ‘Get up! You have been forgiven.’ The malaaikah (angels) would say ‘O Allaah سبحانه وتعالى there was a servant of yours who only came to that gathering because of a need – he only wanted a person in that gathering.’ Allaah سبحانه وتعالى would respond ‘I have forgiven him as well.’”[6]. This is because in such a virtuous gathering whoever gathers with them cannot be denied. The Shaykh حفظه الله repeated, ‘whoever gathers with such a virtuous gathering will not be denied.’ He will be given the same reward and he will be forgiven.


SUMMARY

This is the summary of what I wanted to speak about, ‘The virtues of gaining Knowledge’, so I advise you to be keen upon gaining knowledge.

The most important thing, O servant of Allaah, is for you to learn is the Qur’aan. You should read the Qur’aan and you should memorize whatever Allaah سبحانه وتعالى makes easy for you to memorize; and you should learn the meanings of the speech of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. You should learn the meanings of the Qur’aan because it is the speech of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى and it is guidance, and it is light, and it is a cure, it is the cure for diseases and it is the cure for ignorance.

I also advise you to learn the Sunnah, to learn the hadeeth (sayings) of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم.

I advise you to learn the ‘Aqeedah, to learn Tawheed in order that you may worship Allaah سبحانه وتعالى with sure knowledge and to single out Allaah alone with worship; and in order that you may know Shirk, and beware of Shirk whether it is minor or major because it nullifies your worship.

I also advise you to learn Fiqh and the Sharee’ah – the Legislation of Islaam.

And I advise you to participate in this upcoming Seminar, to attend and be keen on participating in it, and attending in order to learn the matters of your Religion because you shall indeed taste death.

Indeed you shall die one day, and nothing shall benefit you when you meet Allaah سبحانه وتعالى except beneficial knowledge and righteous actions. Nothing else will benefit you, so do not meet Allaah سبحانه وتعالى whilst you have shortcomings in this regard because this is not good for you and no one has the capability to bear the torment of Allaah. However, you are still in a position where you have time, there is still time where you have an opportunity to learn the Religion of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى and to learn to worship Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. This includes learning about your prayers, your fasting, your zakaat, your hajj and the Islaamic Legislations. I ask Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to grant you success in knowledge. This is where the Shaykh حفظه الله ended.



Questions & Answers


1. Question: I am in a situation where my mother is married to a man who doesn’t treat women properly. He often marries others and divorces them without reason. He mistreats my mother’s children and speaks ill of us to others. We advised him but he didn't pay attention to us. What is your advice to him and to us because I don’t want to be with my mother when he is around?
Answer: Firstly you should be keen on advising him and it should be clarified to him that what he is doing is impermissible and he should be reminded of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. If he does not accept advice from you then try and get someone else to advise him, someone who he respects or someone who he may accept advice from such as the Imaam of a masjid or the principal of a school or anyone he respects.

As for your not liking to be around your mother when he is around, then in this issue the benefits should be examined. If there is a greater benefit in staying with your mother when he is present then you should stay and be patient. However, if there is harm in staying with them at that time, then perhaps it is better for you to leave. In any case you should examine the harms and the benefits involved and you should do what brings benefit – whether to you, your mother or all of you. At the same time you should keep making du’aa (supplication) for him, that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى guides him to the haqq (truth) Inshaa Allaah.


2. Question: Is it permissible to make du’aa in English whilst in sujood? Would the prayer be valid or can du’aa in English only be performed in nawaafil (supererogatory) prayer and not in faraa’id (obligatory) prayer?
Answer: Baarak Allaahu Feek, may Allaah سبحانه وتعالى bless you. Be keen on memorizing the authentic supplications in Arabic because the salaah (the prayer) is the second pillar of Islaam. So you should be keen on this and if you were keen on memorizing these supplications in Arabic you would be able to do so by the permission of Allaah. This is because these supplications whether in sujood or rukoo’ are easier for you than memorizing the Faatihah or memorizing any other verse or chapter from the Noble Qur’aan. So this is what I advise you to do, be keen on memorizing the authentic supplications in Arabic, whether it is in your waajib (obligatory) prayers or the prayers that are considered to be sunnah. However, outside the salaah, you may call upon Allaah سبحانه وتعالى in whichever language you wish. But I still advise you to use the Arabic language and use the authentic supplications because the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم was given the ability to say a few words which have great meaning.


3. Question: What is the ruling concerning the adhaan – is it obligatory to do it in one’s house if there is a regular jamaa’ah (congregation)? Also, is it obligatory to do it at college if there is a regular jamaa’ah?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said that some of the scholars hold the opinion that the adhaan is fard kifaayah i.e. a collective obligation. This means that if some of the Muslims carry it out, the obligation is absolved from the rest of them, meaning that the rest of the Muslims do not have to carry it out. So if some of the Muslims in a particular country call the adhaan then it is enough.

However, some other scholars hold the opinion that whenever a group of Muslims want to establish the prayer they must call the adhaan, especially in countries like Britain or the likes where the masaajid are few. Their evidence is a hadeeth which was authentically reported upon the authority of Maalik bin al-Huwayrith that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, what means, “If you intend to establish the prayer then one of you should call the adhaan and the older of you should lead the prayer.”[7]. Even though there were only two of them, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم still encouraged them to call the adhaan and for the older one to lead the prayer.

So it is a sunnah for you to call the adhaan whenever you want to establish the prayer, especially in the case where there are few masaajid around and you cannot hear the adhaan, then you should call the adhaan.


4. Question: A person stated that if you understand the Arabic language and you have the books of the Salaf and their explanations, you do not need have contact with the `Ulamaa’. What is the ruling on this?
Answer: This statement that I have just heard, has some errors, it is not correct. A book cannot take the place of a Shaykh. Yes, you can benefit from the book but you cannot have the book take the place of the Shaykh. So as far as reading a book to know the words that the `Ulamaa’ may use, then is okay for you to continue doing so. However, you must call the `Ulamaa’ and ask them about what is confusing to you. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “It may be that a person who carries understanding of the religion (who carries Fiqh) is not a Faqeeh (i.e. he does not really understand), and it maybe that a person who receives that knowledge has a better understanding than the one who gave him that knowledge.”[8].

Gaining knowledge has a path that should be followed; there is a way or a method in gaining knowledge. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم taught the Sahaabah (his Companions), the companions taught the Taabi’oon (the generation after the Companions) and the Taabi’oon taught those who were after them, up until this time of ours. Knowledge has been taken from those above and passed down to those below, so knowledge is a golden chain – everyone at the bottom (at a lower level) taking from those who were above them. It has been said in the past, ‘Whoever takes his books as his Shaykh, his mistakes will be more than the time he is correct.’

Especially in this time of ours, when Allaah سبحانه وتعالى has made easy the gaining of knowledge; for example, through the internet where you can hear the lectures of the Kibaarul `Ulamaa’ (the Senior Scholars) while you are at home; even whilst you are laying down you can hear lectures of the `Ulamaa’ such as Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen, Shaykl al-Albaani, the Grand Mufti, Shaykh al-Fawzaan and others, as from this blessed site albaseerah.org and from its seminars. So I advise you to be keen on seeking knowledge from the `Ulamaa’ because if you do not, you will have many mistakes and you will slip many times.


5. Question: My brother lacks in some acts of worship, I advise him but he does not listen, how can I save him or how should I deal with him?
Answer: You should keep advising him and you shouldn’t give up on him and you shouldn’t suffice by advising him only one time. Rather you should keep advising him time and time again. You should supplicate to Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to guide him and you should seek the aid of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى in such a case and then seek the aid of his friends, his teachers, the Imaam of the masjid, or whoever has a high status with your brother in order for them to also advise him. You should continue to advise him because you are upon good whilst you are doing so, and you should be patient with him and Inshaa Allaah, Allaah سبحانه وتعالى will guide him and you should keep supplicating and asking Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to guide him and Inshaa Allaah he would be guided.


6. Question: This is a question regarding a present, which was given to a family with a saying ‘this gift shall be a reward for your efforts’, and the gift was accepted. After a period of time the family returned the present with questioning: “How was it again, for your efforts?” What shall the person do, shall he take back the gift he has given to the family?
Answer: The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم clarified that it is not permissible for anyone to take back a gift that he has given to someone; it is not permissible for him to take it back. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever takes back a gift that he has given to someone is like a dog who vomited and then ate what he vomited.”[9]. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم clarified that the person who takes back his gift is like that dog, the dog that vomits then comes back and eats what he threw up. This is evidence of how terrible such a thing is.

As for yourself, if taking back this gift has a benefit and there won’t be difficulty in taking it back then you could do so because the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم used to accept gifts. However, if you feel that there is harm in doing so – that it may cause animosity between you and whoever was given the gift, or there might be something that might cut off your relations, then you should not accept it. So it is up to you, if you see that there is benefit in taking the gift then take it, and if you see there is harm in taking the gift, then do not take it.


7. Question: A Muslim was selling mobile phones and in the contract it stated that the customers would receive full reimbursement. I assisted in acquiring customers and the same contract applied, then the supplier disappeared and many customers are demanding their money back. How do I deal with this situation?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله responded by saying that the principle in dealing (business dealings) is a saying of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم that: “The believers are true to whatever they say (to whatever conditions), except the condition that makes something that is haraam (impermissible) halaal (permissible), or a condition that make something which is halaal haraam.”[10] Since he gave them these cell phones with the condition that he would return their money to them, then he is held responsible. But I do not understand how this could be – how would the seller benefit if he is going to sell them cell phones and then give all them their money back? I do not understand how this could be. This is why I think that this issue should be taken to the rightful authorities who would be the Major Scholars, and they should study the issue and then give a verdict concerning this. But as I said, the principle is that a Muslim or believer is responsible for whatever conditions he sets. However, I still do not understand how this could be and if this is actually a transaction of buying and selling or not. Maybe the questioner should clarify exactly what he means and then take the question to Kibaarul-`Ulamaa’ (Senior Scholars) and they will issue a verdict concerning it. The Shaykh حفظه الله said “Do not take a verdict from me, do not consider this to be a verdict, clarify your question and take it back to Kibaarul-`Ulamaa’.” In other words the Shaykh حفظه الله is not responsible for this issue or giving a verdict on this issue.


8. Question: My husband is staying in another city for boxing training. When I went to visit, there was a non-Muslim woman in one of the rooms. She says that she lives there and my husband says “No, she doesn’t live there.” I don’t trust him. Please advise me.
Answer: If your husband is a Muslim who establishes the prayer, then you should advise him. You should start with this, by advising him concerning this issue and you should also advise him concerning his profession. You should advise him to find a legislated mean of provision, because this isn’t legislated, it is a danger and Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَلا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُم
{….do not kill yourselves….} [An-Nisaa 4:29]

Also, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Do not harm and do not be harmed.”[11]. So if he accepts your advice and if he had a relationship with this woman he leaves off this relationship and makes tawbah (sincere repentance), then tawbah nullifies whatever was before it. However, if he had a relationship with this woman and he is persistent upon it, then it is your right to ask him for a divorce. But advise him if he is a Muslim who establishes the prayer; and keep advising him, and if he makes tawbah then Alhumdulillaah it is accepted Inshaa Allaah; but if he is persistent, then it is your right to ask for a divorce.


I ask Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to grant us beneficial knowledge and righteous actions and I ask Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to bless the organizers of this telelink, to bless their efforts and to make them from the callers to the truth and the supporters of the truth; and I ask Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to put these actions of ours in our scales of good deeds when we meet Him; and our last words are in praise of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى, the Lord of the Worlds, and may the salaat and salaam be upon the final Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and his family and companions.



References

[1] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree Kitaabul-'Ilm as a chapter heading (#13) and also as hadeeth (#71). Also reported in Kitaab Al-khams (Imposing the fifth) (#2948).
‏من يرد الله به خيرا ‏ ‏يفقهه في الدين

[2] Reported by At-Tirmidhee (#2784), Kitaab al-‘Ilm ‘an Rasoolillah صلى الله عليه وسلم (The knowledge from the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon Him)). Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#6298).
من سلك طريقا يلتمس فيه علما سهل الله له طريقا إلى الجنة

[3] Reference Pending

[4] With the following wording, Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#3753).
صاحب العلم يستغفر له كل شيء حتى الحوت في البحر

[5] Reported in Saheeh Muslim as part of a longer hadeeth in Kitaab Adh-Dhikr wad-Du’aa wat-Tawbah wal-Istighfaar (Book of Remembrance of Allaah, Supplication, Repentance and Seeking Forgiveness) (#2699) with the wording:
ما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله، يتلون كتاب الله، ويتدارسونه بينهم، إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة، وغشيتهم الرحمة وحفتهم الملائكة، وذكرهم الله فيمن عنده

[6] The wording mentioned by the Shaykh حفظه الله was found in 2 separate hadeeth. The first part is mentioned in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله (#12476) as follows. Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Silsilah as-Saheehah 5/245 (#2210).
ما من قوم اجتمعوا يذكرون الله لا يريدون بذلك الا وجهه الا ناداهم مناد من السماء ان قوموا مغفورا لكم قد بدلت سيئاتكم حسنات

The second part is mentioned with the following wording as part of a longer hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab ad-Da’waat (#6045).
إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر، فإذا وجدوا قوما يذكرون الله تنادوا: هلمُّوا إلى حاجتكم…….قال: فيقول: فأشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم. قال: يقول ملك من الملائكة: فيهم فلان ليس منهم، إنما جاء لحاجة. قال: هم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم

[7] Reported in Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Massajid wal-mawaadi’ as-Salaah (The Mosques and the Places of Worship) (#674), and with a similar wording in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Jihaad was-Siyar (#2693).
إذا حضرت الصلاة فأذنا. ثم أقيما وليؤمكما أكبركما

[8] With the following wording it occurs as part of a longer hadeeth which Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says is Saheeh in Silsilah as-Saheehah 1/760 (#404).
رب حامل فقه ليس بفقيه ورب حامل فقه إلى من هو أفقه منه

[9] Reported with the following wording in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Hibah wa Fadlihaa (The Book of Gifts and its virtue) (#2449). Also (#2478, 2479, 6574) and in Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Hibaat (Book of Gifts) (#1622).
العائد في هبته كالكلب، يقيء ثم يعود في قيئه

[10] Reported in Sunan At-Tirmidhee with the following wording as part of a hadeeth in Kitaab al-Ahkaam from Rasulillaah صلى الله عليه وسلم) (The book of the Rulings that came from the messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم) (#1363). Shaykh al-Albaaneeرحمه الله says it is Saheeh in Jaami’ at-Tirmidhee 3/634 (#1352).
المسلمون على شروطهم إلا شرطا حرم حلالا أو أحل حراما

[11] Reported in Sunan Ibn Maajah, Kitaab al-Ahkaam (The Book of Rulings) 2/784 (#2340, #2341). Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#7517).
لا ضرر ولا ضرار