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Abu Abdillah
Muhammad Sa'id Raslan
2









I I s sp pe en nt t t th hi ir rt ty y y ye ea ar rs s l le ea ar rn ni in ng g m ma an nn ne er rs s, , a an nd d I I s sp pe en nt t
t tw we en nt ty y y ye ea ar rs s l le ea ar rn ni in ng g k kn no ow wl le ed dg ge e. .

- - A Ab bd du ul ll la ah h b bi in n a al l- -M Mu ub ba ar ra ak k









3
1able of Contents


Introduction
4

Purify Your Intention for Allah in Seeking Knowledge
6

Purify Yourself Inwardly and Outwardly Irom 1hat Which Contradicts
the Shari'ah
J2

Completely Iree Your Heart for Knowledge and Remove All Obstacles
J8

Lat Little, Be Cautious, and Constantly Remember Allah
24

Lat, Sleep, and Speak as Seldom as Possible
33

Reduce Socialization and Choose the Right Iriends
43

Choose What to Start With and Who to 1each You
49

Have the Best Manners with Your 1eacher
S6

1reat Your Books Well
67

How to Act During a Lesson
70


4
, ,-| -| = ,. ,
Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. \e praise lim, seek reuge with lim, and seek lis
lorgieness. \e seek reuge with Allah rom the eils o our souls, and the mistakes in our
actions. \hoeer Allah Guides, there is none who can misguide him, and whoeer Allah
misguides, there is none who can guide him. And I testiy that there is none worthy o being
worshipped except Allah, and I testiy that Muhammad ,peace be upon him, is his serant
and Messenger.

., .- , | v , , v - - -| , , - , =| ,, | ,
O you who believe! Have taqwa of Allah as He deserves, and do not die except as
Muslims.}
1


| ,, | , - = - `- , - =| , , _ , _ v - _ , - . , , - _ , -
. -| . , ; - _ v - , ., | . =| -| , ,, | _ , , - .
O people! Have taqwa of your Lord Who Created you from a single soul, and
Created from it its mate, and sprouted from it many men and women. And have
taqwa of Allah, from Whom you demand your mutual rights, and do not cut off the
relations of the womb. Verily, Allah is Lver-Watching over you.}
2


=, = = | , | , |, | -| , , - , =| ,, | , _ = , - , ,, . , | - , , | - | , | _ = ,
, = - _ , _ = - |, = _ -|
O you who believe! Have taqwa of Allah, and say that which is truthful. He will
rectify your actions for you and Iorgive you your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and
His Messenger has indeed achieved a great success.}
3


Indeed, the most truthul o speech is the Speech o Allah, and the best guidance is the
guidance o Muhammad ,peace be upon him,. 1he worst o aairs are those that are newly
introduced, and eery newly introduced aair is an innoation, and eery innoation is a
misguidance, and eery misguidance leads to the lire.

As or what ollows:

Since knowledge is the worship o the heart, the secret o its lie, and the source o its
power, it is a must or its seeker to come to know the manners related to it, and to strie his

1
.t vrv, 102

2
av^i.`, 1

3
at.bb, 0-1

5
utmost to obtain these manners. Otherwise, he will be going in one direction, and
knowledge will be going in another, as it is said:

t revt ea.t, ava revt re.t !bat a aifferevce tbere i. betreev tbe ea.t ava re.t!

One should also realize that these manners are not like any other manners, where it is the
same whether you obtain them or not, or that they are all o one leel. Rather, some o them
are obligatory upon eeryone eerywhere, whether or not they are students o knowledge.

1he purpose o attaining knowledge o the bari`ab is to perect one`s clarity o expression,
and the purpose o perecting one`s clarity o expression is to single out Allah and worship
lim. 1hereore, the purpose o seeking knowledge is to single out Allah - the Mighty and
Majestic - and worship lim, and the message gets across much better when the one who
has positioned himsel to deal with this knowledge - whether he is a student or teacher -
clearly shows these signs o singling out Allah and worshipping lim by submitting
completely to the pure bari`ab and noble Religion.

Based on this, the manners o seeking this knowledge are completely inseparable rom the
person who deals with it, because this is what the texts show, and because these manners
include ast principles o the Religion that are not within anybody`s luxury to contradict or
look to without taking seriously.

And these manners are at all times a deinite obligation upon the seeker o knowledge, and
Allah is the source o help, and upon lim is all reliance.

\hat ollows is a collection o the manners that the seeker o knowledge must abide by:




















6
- - J J - -

Purify Your Intention for Allah in Seeking Knowledge


Abu lamid al-Ghazzal ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

Know that intention ,vi,,ab,, will ,iraab,, and goal ,qa.a, are arious terms that all mean the
same thing, and it is a description o the state o the heart when it is a source or two things:
knowledge and action.

Knowledge comes irst - as it is the oundation and condition - and action ollows it, since it
is the ruit that branches rom knowledge. 1his is because eery action - that is, eery
intentional moement and motion - does not occur without three things: knowledge, will,
and ability. Nobody does something without knowing o it. So, he must hae knowledge.
Likewise, nobody does something without haing the will to do it. So, one must hae the
will to do something, and the meaning o will ,iraab, is that the heart reaches out to what it
sees as being in accordance with what it seeks.

1he human was created such that he sometimes does that which is in accordance with what
his heart seeks, and sometimes does that which conlicts with what his heart seeks. In such a
case, he needs to draw near to that which is good or him, and to drie away what will harm
him. 1his requires that he know and understand what will beneit and harm him, such that
he can bring this close and aoid that, since whoeer does not see or know what ood is
cannot reach oer and pull it towards him, and whoeer does not see ire cannot escape
rom it. So, Allah has Created guidance and knowledge, and has proided certain means o
attaining them, and these are the external and internal senses.

So, intention is essentially the will and the act o reaching out to and leaning towards what
one seeks, whether this occurs retrospectiely or at the time o seeing what is sought ater.
1hereore, the irst step in one being pushed to do something is that he has a goal which
motiates him to act, and goal is the target o one`s intention. One is pushed to go out and
do something when he has a goal and intention, and directs his power and ability towards his
goal by way o physical moement, and this is known as action.`
4


Because o this, it is established in the Religion that Allah - the Mighty and Majestic - does
not accept actions except those that are done purely seeking lis lace, and the Prophet
,peace be upon him, indicated the signiicance o the intention and the obligation o
puriying it rom what can corrupt one`s goal and nulliy his action.

Alqamah bin \aqqas al-Layth ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: I heard Umar bin al-
Khattab ,may Allah be Pleased with him, on the pulpit, saying: I heard the Messenger o
Allah ,peace be upon him, say: Indeed, actions are by intentions, and for every person
is what he intended. So, whoever migrated to Allah and His Messenger (peace be

4
Abd as-Salam larun`s 1ababib b,` |tvv aaDiv` ,2,253,

7
upon him), his migration is to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). And
whoever migrated to obtain a portion of the world or to marry a woman, his
migration is to what he migrated for.``
5


an-Nawaw ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1he Muslims are unanimous in regards to the signiicance o this baaitb, the numerous
beneits contained within it, and its authenticity. ash-Shai` and others said: It constitutes
one quarter o Islam.` Abd ar-Rahman bin Mahd and others said: It is a must or whoeer
writes a book to begin it with this baaitb in order to remind the student o knowledge to
renew his intention.` And al-Khattab reported this rom the scholars in general, and al-
Bukhar and others applied this. 1hey started with it beore anything else, and al-Bukhar
included it in seen places in his book.

And the majority o scholars, linguists, and jurists said that the word indeed` is indicatie o
totality - it conirms what is mentioned, and denies eerything else - rendering the meaning
o the baaitb to be that actions are considered based on the intentions behind them, and are
not considered at all i there is no intention behind them.

And regarding his ,peace be upon him, saying .and for every person is what he
intended. they said that the point o mentioning it ater Indeed, actions are by
intentions. is that it emphasizes that speciying the intention is a condition or any
action. So, i one were to make up a prayer, it would not be enough or him to intend to
make up a prayer. Rather, he must speciy that he is praying Dbvbr, etc. and were it not or
this second phrase, one could interpret the irst to indicate the permissibility o making a
general intention without speciying the action intended.

And regarding his ,peace be upon him, saying .So, whoever migrated to Allah and His
Messenger (peace be upon him), his migration is to Allah and His Messenger (peace
be upon him). means that whoeer seeks with his migration the lace o Allah will hae
his reward with Allah, and whoeer intends the worldly lie or a wie, that will be what he
gains, and he will hae nothing rom the lereater as the result o this migration. And the
linguistic meaning o migration ,bi;rab, is to abandon something, and what is meant here is
that one abandons a land. 1he mention o a woman alongside the worldly matters can be
interpreted in two ways, one o them being that a man migrated to marry a woman named
Umm Qays, and was thus named the one who migrated or Umm Qays.`
6
1he second
interpretation is that this was mentioned simply to emphasize the warning by way o

5
Reported by al-Bukhar ,1, 54, 2529, 3898, 500, 6689, and 6953,, Muslim ,190,, Ahmad ,1,25 and 43,, Abu
Dawud ,2201,, at-1irmidh ,164,, an-Nasa` ,1,58-60 and 6,158,, Malik ,983,, Ibn libban ,388 & 389,, Ibn
Jarud ,64,, at-1ahaw ,3,96,, ad-Daraqutn ,10,50,, al-Bayhaq ,1,41,, Abu Nu`aym ,8,42,, al-Khatb al-
Baghdad ,4,244 and 9,346,, and al-Baghaw ,1 & 206,

6
1he story was reported by at-1abaran in atMv`;av atKabir` ,8540, on the authority o Abu Mu`awiyah rom
al-A`mash, and al-laytham said in Ma;va` aZar`ia` ,2,101,: Its men are the men o the abib,`` and Ibn
lajar said: And this chain is authentic with the conditions o the ba,/ba,v.` loweer, he also said in atb at
ri` ,1,10,: But, there is no indication that the baaitb o intentions was related to this story, and I do not ind
anything in the arious paths o narration that make this eident.`

8
mentioning a speciic example o a general concept to clariy its graity, and Allah Knows
best.`



And it is established in the bar` that Allah doesn`t accept any act o worship that is not
done strictly seeking lis Noble lace, and the proos or this rom the Qur`an and vvvab are
plenty, such as:

1 - lis Saying:

, | , - ` = , | , - , . `= - `- | , , , | , | _ | , _ -, , | = : - - , -`, _ |
. , - , = = , v = - | -`, _
Say: I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Deity is One.
So, whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and
associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.'}
8


Meaning: do not seek with these actions anything besides the lace o Allah, the Lxalted.

2 - lis Saying, as well:

,`=| - | _ = - -| = , - , | | , - | -
And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, making the Religion
sincerely for Him.}
9


3 - lis ,peace be upon him, saying:

Indeed, actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended. So,
whoever migrated to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), his migration is
to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). And whoever migrated to obtain a
portion of the world or to marry a woman, his migration is to what he migrated
for.``

Reported by al-Bukhar at the beginning o his abib,` as well as Muslim and others, on the
authority o Umar bin al-Khattab.

4 - lis ,peace be upon him, saying, as well:

Give this nation the glad tidings of glory, establishment in the land, victory, and
religious authority. And whoever of them performs an action of the Hereafter seeking
with it this world, he will have no portion of the Hereafter from it.

barb abib Mv.tiv` ,13,53,



8
atKabf, 110

9
ata,,ivab, 5

9
Reported by Ahmad and his son in the additions to the Mv.vaa` ,5,134,, Ibn libban in his
abib` ,4,311 in the Marria` o al-lakim,, and he said: Its chain is authentic,` and adh-
Dhahab agreed with him, as did al-Mundhir ,1,31,. I ,al-Alban, say that the chain o
Abdullah ,the son o Ahmad bin lambal, is authentic according to the conditions o al-
Bukhar.

5 - And rom Abu Umamah ,may Allah be Pleased with him,, who said:

A man came to the Prophet ,peace be upon him, and said: \hat i a man ights to seek
reward and reputation \hat will he hae` So, he replied: He has nothing. 1he man
repeated the question three times, with the Prophet ,peace be upon him, replying: He has
nothing. le then said: Indeed, Allah does not accept any action except that which
is sincere and seeking His Iace.`

Reported by an-Nasa` ,2,59,, and its chain is good, as al-Mundhir said ,1,24,.

6 - lis ,peace be upon him, saying:

Allah the Mighty and Majestic Said: I am the most Self-Sufficient that I do not
need partners. So, whoever does an action for Me in which he associates others with
Me, I am free from him, and will leave him for the one he associated with Me.

Narrated by Ibn Majah in aZvba` rom the baaitb o Abu lurayrah, and its chain is
authentic upon the conditions o Muslim, and he reported a similar narration in his abib`
,8,223,.`
10


So, it is a must to puriy one`s intention or Allah in eery single action, as Ibn al-Qayyim
said: Just as le is One Deity with none besides lim, it is likewise necessary that worship
be or lim and none besides lim. So, just as le is singled out as a Deity, le must be
singled out or worship. 1he righteous action is that which is ree o showing o and bound
by the vvvab.`
11


Sulayman bin Abdillah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: And these are two pillars o
the accepted action: it must be correct and sincerely done. 1he correct action is that which is
in accordance with the vvvab, as indicated by lis Saying:

| = : - - ,
.let him work righteousness.}
12



10
al-Alban`s .b/v at]av`i ra iaa`vb` ,p. 52,

11
at]arb atKfi` ,p. 100,

12
atKabf, 110

10
And the sincere action is that which is ree rom hidden and apparent .bir/, as is indicated by
lis Saying:

. , - , = = , v = - | -`, _
.and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.`}
13

14


1he seeker o knowledge is to puriy his intention when seeking knowledge, .and the
correct intention when seeking knowledge is to intend only the lace o Allah, acting upon
that, bringing lie to lis bari`ab, lighting up his own heart, beautiying his inner sel, getting
closer to Allah on the Day o Resurrection, and making onesel a candidate or what le has
prepared or lis beloed o great pleasure and irtue. Suyan ath-1hawr said: I neer
attempted to remedy something as diicult as my intention.`

le should not seek with it any worldly gains, such as obtaining position, status, money, or
making himsel look great and knowledgeable in ront o those closest to him, haing a
presence in the circles o knowledge, etc. thereby exchanging the good or the bad. Abu
\usu ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: O people! Seek Allah with your knowledge, as I
hae neer sat in a circle in which I sought to humble mysel except that I got up rom it
better than eeryone else, and I neer sat in a circle in which I sought to be better than
eeryone else except that I was exposed.`

Knowledge is an act o worship and a means o gaining nearness to Allah. So, i your
intention is pure in this worship, it will be accepted, puriied, and blessed. And i you intend
with it other than the Pleasure o Allah, it will be nulliied, wasted, and you will lose its alue.
It might be that one can miss out on these noble goals and not achiee them, thereby
wasting his energy and eort.`
15


All o the aboe can be summarized in the baaitb o the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon
him, that was reported by Muslim in his abib,` on the authority o Abu lurayrah: 1he
first who will be consumed by the Iire on the Day of Resurrection will be three: a
scholar, a Mujahid, and a generous donator.

As for the scholar, Allah will bring him and ask him: What did you do in the dunya?'
So, he will say: I acquired knowledge for Your Sake, and I spread it seeking Your
Pleasure.' So, it will be said to him: You lied. You learned so that you would be
referred to as a scholar, and it was done, and you have obtained your reward in the
dunya.' 1hen, he will be ordered thrown into Hell.

1hen, the donator will be brought, and Allah will ask him: What did you do in the
dunya?' He will say: I acquired wealth from permissible means, and I donated it for
Your Sake.' It will be said to him: You lied. You donated your money so that it

13
atKabf, 110

14
1a,.ir at.i atavia` ,p. 525,

15
Ibn Jama`ah`s 1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 68,

11
would be said that you are generous, and it was done, and you have had your reward
in the dunya.' 1hen, he will be ordered thrown into Hell.

1hen, the fighter will be brought, and asked: 'What did you do?' I fought in Your
Cause until I was killed.' You lied. You fought so that you would be referred to as a
brave man, and it was done, and you took your reward in the dunya.' 1hen, he will be
ordered thrown into Hell.
16


an-Nawaw ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

lis ,peace be upon him, statement regarding the ighter, the scholar, and the generous
donator, and their punishment or their actions being or other than Allah`s lace, and their
entering the lire - these are all proos or the emphasized prohibition o showing o and
the seere punishment or doing so, as well as or the obligation o haing a pure intention
in one`s actions, as Allah Said:

,`=| - | _ = - -| = , - , | | , - | -
And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, making the Religion
sincerely for Him.}
1


And it also shows that the general texts regarding the irtues o ]iba are reerring to the one
who seeks only the Pleasure o Allah, just as with the texts praising the scholars and
generous donators - all o these are interpreted to be only in regards to the one who does
these things or Allah, the Lxalted.`
18


And the aorementioned baaitb leaes no question that the student o knowledge should
puriy his intention in his studies, such that his seeking o knowledge is not or anyone other
than Allah, seeking lis Pleasure, and hoping or lis reward - not so that he would use this
knowledge to be eleated in the eyes o others, sitting on their necks, and standing on their
shoulders, as the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said: "Whoever seeks
knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, to prove himself superior to the
ignorant, or to make the people look up to him, he is in the Iire."
19







16
Reported, with arious wordings by Muslim ,1905,, Ahmad ,2,322,, an-Nasa` ,6,23,, at-1irmidh ,2383,,
and Ibn libban ,408,

1
ata,,ivab, 5

18
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,13,50,

19
al-Alban graded it authentic in abib bv M;ab` ,205,, Mi.b/t atMa.bib` ,225 & 226,, and at1a`tiq ar
Ragbib` ,1,68,

12
- - 2 2 - -

Purify Yourself Inwardly and Outwardly Irom 1hat Which Contradicts
the Shari'ah


It is upon the student o knowledge to puriy himsel outwardly by steering clear o
innoations, beautiying himsel with the .vvav o the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon
him, in all aspects o his lie, presering his rvav`, and keeping his body and appearance
clean - all within reasonable means, and as much as he is able.

Ibn Ab latim reported that Abd al-Malik al-Maymun said: I do not know that I hae eer
seen anyone who wore cleaner clothes, was more attentie to trimming his moustache and
grooming the hair on his head and body, or wore purer and whiter garments than Ahmad
bin lambal.`
20
And this was because eery single moement o Ahmad ,may Allah hae
Mercy on him, was in accordance with the vvvab, as he said: I neer wrote a single baaitb
except that I acted upon it, to the point that I came across a report that the Prophet ,peace
be upon him, got cupped and gae Abu 1aybah ,his cupper, a aivr. So, I got cupped and
gae the cupper a aivr.`
21


One shouldn`t misunderstand the encouragement to hae clean clothes and be excessie and
obsessie in regards to his clothing. Rather, one should be slightly less than this, considering
that it is reported that the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said: Badhadhah is
from faith.
22


Ibn al-Athr said: aababab is to hae a plain, ascetic appearance.and he ,peace be upon
him, meant that one should be humble in his clothing, aoiding anity.`
23


And al-Khatb al-Baghdad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported that Abu Abdillah al-
Bushinj said: As or the baababab that the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said is
rom aith, it is the plainness one displays in dress and garment, and this is humility rom
owning lashy, expensie clothing and garments. 1his is how the people o vba dress in this
world.`
24


al-Khatb ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:


20
ifat a.afrab` ,1,480,

21
i,ar .`tv av^vbat`` ,9,45,

22
Ibn Majah ,4118, and Abu Dawud ,4161,, and al-Alban declared it authentic in a.it.itab a.abibab` ,341,

23
av^ib,ab` ,1,110,

24
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,154,

13
1he student o knowledge must set aside amusement, useless talk, and low speech when
meeting and gathering with others, such as immaturity, laughter, giggling, and excessie
joking. It is allowed or him to laugh mildly and rarely in a way that does not exceed the
limits o the manner and style o one who is dealing with knowledge. As or constantly doing
this, speaking about inappropriate, immature, and childish matters, excessie laughter and
joking - this all reduces one`s esteem and manhood.

Malik ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: It is upon the student o knowledge to maniest
calmness, humility, and tranquility, and to ollow in the ootsteps o those who came beore
him.`

Muhammad bin al-lusayn reported rom Sa`d bin Amir that he said: \e were with
lisham ad-Dastawa`, and one o us laughed. So, lisham said to him: \ou laugh while you
are a student o aaitb!``

Abd ar-Rahman bin Mahd reported that a man laughed in the presence o lisham ad-
Dastawa`. So, lisham said to him: \oung man, you seek knowledge and laugh!` 1he man
replied: Doesn`t Allah make us laugh or weep`
25
lisham replied: 1hen weep!``
26


So, external purity by ollowing the vvvab, haing the proper appearance, a clean body, and
clean clothing is required o eery Muslim, and is een more incumbent upon the seeker o
knowledge, since he should be guided by his knowledge to noble and good things. And
Muslim reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud heard the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon
him, say: Nobody who has an atom's weight of kibr will enter Paradise. So, a man
said: A man likes that his clothing look nice, and that his shoes look nice.` 1he Messenger
,peace be upon him, replied: Indeed, Allah is Beautiful and Loves beauty. Kibr is to
reject the truth and look down on the people.
2


And the Prophet ,peace be upon him, loed good scents, and was particular about them.
Abu Musa bin Anas bin Malik reported that his ather said: 1he Messenger o Allah ,peace
be upon him, had .v//ab that he would use or himsel.` al-Alban said: Abu Dawud
reported it with an authentic chain upon the conditions o Muslim, and .v//ab is the black
musk that is mixed and let to emit its scent oer time. It is also interpreted to be the
container in which this musk is stored, and this is more eident.`
28


And the Prophet ,peace be upon him, hated disgusting smells, and would be turned o by
them. lor example, Abu Sa`d al-Khudr ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: \e made no
transgression when Khaybar was conquered. \e, the Companions o the Messenger o Allah

25
le was reerring to the erse: "# $% &# '( ) ( *( +% ,# ' ( -. / . 01 2# '( ) And that it is He Who caused some to laugh and
caused some to weep.} |av^a;v; 43[

26
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,156,

2
abib Mv.tiv` ,91,

28
Mv/bta.ar a.bbav`it atMvbavvaai,,ab` ,p. 11,

14
,peace be upon him,, ell upon this plant - garlic - because the people were hungry. \e ate it
to our heart's content, and then made our way towards the mosque. 1he Messenger o Allah
,peace be upon him, sensed its odor, saying: He who eats anything of this offensive
plant should not approach us in the mosque. 1he people said: It has become
orbidden! It has become orbidden!` 1his reached the Prophet ,peace be upon him,, and he
said: O people, I cannot forbid what Allah has made lawful, except that it is a plant
whose odor I dislike.`
29


Jabir ,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon
him, said: He who eats of these plants garlic, leeks, and onions - should not
approach our mosque, as the Angels are offended by the same things as the human
being.
30


And the Prophet ,peace be upon him, orbade that the Muslim leae his moustache and
ingernails without trimming them, his pubic hair without cutting it, or his armpit hair
without plucking it or more than orty days, as Anas bin Malik said: le ,peace be upon
him, gae us a orty day limit in trimming the moustache and ingernails, plucking the hair
under the armpits, and shaing the pubic hair.`
31
an-Nawaw said: 1his means that they are
not allowed to leae these things or more than orty days, not that they hae to leae them
or orty days.`
32


1he Prophet ,peace be upon him, also encouraged the use o the toothbrush ,.ir/,, saying:
If I did not fear making things too hard for my people, I would have commanded
them to use the siwak at the time of each prayer, as was narrated by Abu lurayrah.
33


So, the seeker o knowledge is to be particular about his external cleanliness, and this is done
by ollowing the vvvab o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,, holding irmly to it, and biting
to it tightly. 1he people most required to do this are the people o knowledge, as they are the
inheritors o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,, and it is most appropriate that they be the
ones who imitate him and ollow in his ootsteps.

As or inner purity and cleanliness, the student o knowledge should ocus on puriying his
soul rom undesirable and blameworthy characteristics, since knowledge is the worship o
the heart, the secret prayer, and the internal means o nearness to Allah. Just as the prayer -
the worship o the external limbs - is not acceptable without cleanliness rom external
impurity, illing one`s heart with knowledge - the internal worship - is not acceptable until
one cleans himsel o impure manners and characteristics.


29
abib Mv.tiv` ,565,

30
abib Mv.tiv` ,564,

31
abib Mv.tiv` ,258,

32
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,3,149,

33
al-Bukhar ,88, and Muslim ,252,

15
Allah Said:
` ., = | ,
Indeed, the polytheists are impure.}
34


1his shows that purity and cleanliness are not limited to the external actors that can be elt
by the senses, as the disbelieer can wear clean clothes and bathe his body while his essence
is ilthy and impure. In other words, his inner sel is soiled with impurities. Impurity ,va;.ab,
is a term used or something that is aoided and turned away rom, and inner ilth is the
most important type o impurity that one should seek to aoid, since een though it is now
only an impurity, it will eole into something that will destroy you.`
35


Ibn Umar ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: Once, Jibrl had promised to isit the
Prophet ,peace be upon him,. But, he delayed, and this became diicult or the Prophet
,peace be upon him, to handle. linally, he came out to ind Jibrl, who complained to him:
"\e do not enter a home in which there is a picture or a dog.``
36


Abu lamid al-Ghazzal ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: And the heart is also a home.
It is the home o the Angels, where they descend, where they reside. Despicable
characteristics, such as anger, desires, belittlement, eny, arrogance, sel-amazement, etc. are
all barking dogs. So, how can the Angels enter such a place while it is crawling with dogs`
3


Ibn Jama`ah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1he student o knowledge is to clean his heart out rom eery bit o blemish, deceit, eny,
and bad character in order to condition himsel to soak up and memorize knowledge and
discoer its detailed meanings and hidden treasures. Knowledge is - as some hae said - the
secret prayer, the worship o the heart, and the inner means o gaining nearness to Allah.
And just as prayer - the worship o the external limbs - is not accepted except with external
puriication rom ilth and impurity, likewise, knowledge - the worship o the heart - is not
acilitated except i you puriy yoursel rom the ilth o low and despicable characteristics
and manners.

And i you clean your heart out or knowledge, its blessing becomes clear and eident, just
like the plot o land that is ertile or agriculture, and in the baaitb: Indeed, and in the
body there is a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the rest of the body will be sound. If it is
corrupt, the rest of the body will be corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart.
38
And Sahl: It is

34
at1arbab, 28

35
b,` |tvv aaDiv` ,1,49,

36
abib atv/bri` ,5960,

3
b,` |tvv aaDiv` ,1,49,

38
Part o a longer baaitb reported by al-Bukhar ,52 & 2051,, Muslim ,1599,, and Ibn libban ,21,

16
orbidden or any light to enter the heart while it contains anything that Allah - the Mighty
and Majestic - hates.``
39


Ibn al-Qayyim ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

And sins leae ugly, despicable, and harmul eects to the heart and body in this world and
the next that none know except Allah. lrom them is that one is preented rom knowledge,
as knowledge is a light that Allah places into the heart, and sins put out this light. \hen ash-
Shai` sat in ront o Malik to read to him, he was amazed at what he was seeing o ash-
Shai``s intelligence, wisdom, and complete understanding and comprehension, saying: I
see that Allah has placed light in your heart. So, don`t put it out with the darkness o sin.`
And ash-Shai` ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

covptaivea to !a/i` of v, baa vevor, o, be aari.ea ve to abavaov .iv.;

.va .aia: Kvor tbat /vorteage i. a bte..ivg ava tbe bte..ivg of .ttb i. vot acce..ibte to tbe .ivver.
40


Ibn al-Jawz ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

Abu Abdillah bin al-Jala` said: I used to look at a young Christian boy who had a beautiul
ace. So, Abu Abdillah al-Balkh passed by me, saying: \hat is wrong with you` I replied:
O uncle, don`t you see this ace low can it be punished in the lire` So, he hit me in the
chest, saying: \ou will eentually eel the consequences o this act o yours.` So, ater orty
years, I suered the consequences: I orgot the Qur`an.`

And Abu al-Adyan said: I was with my teacher, Abu Bakr ad-Daqqaq. Something
inappropriate took place, and I looked at it. le saw me looking at it, and said: My son, you
will suer the consequences o this look, een i in the uture.` 1wenty years passed in
which I waited, not suering anything. One night, I went to sleep thinking about this, and
awoke to discoer that I had orgotten the entire Qur`an.``
41


Abu lamid ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

I you were to say: But, I see many students o knowledge with bad manners who are quite
knowledgeable!` \hat a dierence! le is quite ar rom the true, useul knowledge that will
beneit him in the lereater and bring him happiness! lrom the irst steps o gaining
knowledge is that it become clear to him that sins are a deadly, destructie poison. lae you
eer come across someone who reaches or deadly poison, knowing that it is poison \hat
you see rom those who appear as such is merely speech that they concoct with their tongues
at times and reject with their hearts times, and this is not knowledge in the least.

39
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 6,

40
at]arb atKfi` ,p. 54,

41
1atbi. bti.` ,p. 310,

17
Ibn Mas`ud ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: Knowledge is not constant narration.
Rather, it is light that is placed in the heart.` Some said that knowledge is ear, as Allah Said:

- | . , - - -| _ = , ,
Verily, those of Allah's slaves who fear Him are those who have knowledge.}
42


It is as i le was eluding to the most speciic ruits o knowledge, and because o this, some
said in regards to the statement: \e learned this knowledge or other than Allah, and the
knowledge did not want except to be or Allah,` that the knowledge escaped rom us and
did not expose its reality to us, and we were instead gien mere words and phrases.

So, i you say: I see a group o the scholars and jurists who are geniuses in the branches and
undamentals, and are considered to be the most successul o scholars, while they are
unable to clear themseles o their despicable manners,` we say that i you come to know the
degrees o knowledge, and came to know the lereater, it will then become clear to you that
what they are preoccupied with is not ery satisying in the orm o mere knowledge. Rather,
what is truly satisying is when that knowledge is transormed into action or Allah, i it is
used to gain nearness to Allah, the Lxalted.`
43


So, all o this reoles around the purity and cleanliness o the heart and submission o the
limbs to the rulings o the bari`ab. 1hereore, the seeker o knowledge should be particular
about paying close attention to his internal condition and haing his external condition
conorm with the vvvab, so that Allah opens up or him the lights and treasures o
knowledge and wisdom.

1his is the bounty o Allah that le bestows upon whom le \ills, and Allah is the Owner
o great bounty.

















42
tir, 28

43
b,` |tvv aaDiv` ,1,49,
18
- - 3 3 - -

Completely Iree Your Heart for Knowledge and Remove All Obstacles


Ibn al-Qayyim ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

Getting what you want depends on cutting o habits and attachment to anything else.

labits are when one leans towards what is more relaxing, such as the systems and traditions
that people are accustomed to and place at the same leel as the bari`ab. In act, they might
een treat these habits with greater reerence than the bari`ab, and reprimand those who do
not abide by them - een declaring such a person to be a disbelieer, innoator, or
misguided, and boycotting and punishing him or going against these traditions and habits.
lor the sake o these traditions, they kill o the traditions o the Prophet ,peace be upon
him,, and make their own traditions as partners with him ,peace be upon him, - declaring
alliance and enmity or them. So, the good in their eyes is what goes along with these
traditions, and the bad is what contradicts them.

1hese habits and traditions hae taken oer arious groups o the children o Adam - the
kings, the leaders, the jurists, the vfis, the impoerished, the authority igures, and the
general populace. So, the young are taught them at an early age, and the old are raised upon
them, and they are treated like .vvav. Rather, they are more important in the eyes o those
who abide by them than .vvav. \hoeer is restrained by such habits is imprisoned, cut o,
alicted with great misortune, and end up abandoning the Qur`an and vvvab or them.
\hoeer seeks any type o honor with them is a ool with Allah, and whoeer ollows them
instead o the Qur`an and vvvab will not be accepted by Allah. 1hese are the greatest
barriers and obstacles or the slae on his journey to Allah and lis Messenger ,peace be
upon him,.

As or these obstacles, they are the many types o outer and inner contradictions to the
bari`ab that injure the heart upon its journey to Allah and render it immobile, and they cut it
o on its path. 1hey are three things: .bir/, innoation, and sin. So, the obstacle o .bir/ is
oercome by grasping onto 1arbia, and the obstacle o innoation is oercome by
implementing the vvvab, and the obstacle o sin is oercome by true repentance. 1hese
obstacles do not become eident to the slae until he actually begins his journey to Allah and
the lereater. Only then are these obstacles noticed, and he will notice their handicapping
eect in accordance with how intensely and attentiely he is traersing this path. Otherwise,
he will simply remain still, not eeling their hidden eects.

As or the connections to cut o, these are to anything that the heart can be attached and
connected to in place o Allah and lis Messenger ,peace be upon him, - o the pleasures
and desires o this world, the ame it oers, and relationships with others. 1here is no way to
cut o and push away these three things except with the strength o the connection and
attachment to a higher goal. Otherwise, cutting these things o without attaching yoursel to
something else is impossible. 1he soul does not abandon the object it loes and desires
except to attach itsel to what is een more beloed and greater in importance to it than
19
what it has abandoned. 1he stronger its connection becomes to what it seeks, the weaker its
connection becomes to anything else, and ice ersa. 1he connection to the object that is
sought is maniested in the intense desire or it, and this is in accordance with how much is
known o this object, how noble that object is, and its irtue oer eerything else.`
44


And it is just as Ibn al-Qayyim said, as reaching your desired destination requires that you
abandon your alse habits, cut o connections to anything else, and oercome the obstacles
to doing so. And it is just as he said in that it depends on the strength o your attachment
and desire or a higher goal. So, the more your desire or something increases, the easier the
sacriice you put orth seems, and you eel as i you`e already reached what you`re seeking.
1he time to get there seems like just a ew days, just a ew desires to gie up - alse desires
that are like a mirage - just like atvv Ahmad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: I one
remembers death, eerything rom this world seems insigniicant. It is just one type o ood
instead o another, one type o dress instead o another, and the remaining days are only
ew.` So, the student o knowledge is one who should hae a great desire or the lereater
and what is with Allah, and a strong attachment to the higher goal. Knowledge is enough o
a preoccupation rom the pleasures and glitter o this lie, and the remaining days are only
ew.

al-Ash`ath Abu ar-Rab` narrated that Shu`bah said to him: \ou stuck with your business,
and you became wealthy and successul. I stuck with aaitb, and I became poor.`

Suyan bin Uyaynah narrated that Shu`bah said: \hoeer studies aaitb will become poor.
I became poor to the point that I sold a pot that belonged to my mother or seen aivrs.`

az-Zubayr bin Ab Bakr said: My niece said to our amily: My uncle is the best to his
amily. le didn`t take a second wie or purchase a slae.` So, I said: My wie says that these
books o mine are more distracting or me than three other wies would be.```
45


at-1ahhan said:

\ith his statement, Shu`bah meant to show the reality o what happened to him, and to
adise his students - the students o aaitb - whose studies drain all o their time. 1hey are
unable to earn the money that will ulill their needs and the needs o those under their care,
causing them to become a burden on people, and this is contrary to what is commanded in
the pure vvvab. And it should not be understood rom the words o Shu`bah that he
regretted the worldly gains he missed out on, as he was a noble and abstinent person, to the
point that al-Mahd gae him 30,000 airbavs as a git, which he immediately distributed.
\hoeer wishes to read more about his nobility and vba, let him reer to Abu Nu`aym`s
it,at at.rti,`` ,,144-14,. Likewise, it should not be understood rom his words that he
sought to discourage people rom studying aaitb. Rather, he wanted to encourage them to
study aaitb while simultaneously earning a liing.`
46


44
atar`ia` ,p. 204,

45
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,99,

46
at-1ahhan`s commentary on al-Khatb`s ]vi`` ,1,99,
20
Suyan bin Uyaynah said: 1hese ink jars do not enter the home o any man except that they
make lie hard or his wie and children.`

at-1ahhan said: 1he ink jars reerred to here are the ones used by the people o aaitb that
they`d take with them whereer they went in order to write down the narrations they heard.
And what Suyan meant was that most o the people o aaitb were preoccupied with
writing and studying rom earning a liing or their amilies. As a result, their wies and
children would be let in need, and would be let in a situation o hardship because o these
ink jars that were the cause o preoccupation rom earning a liing.`

Ibn Jama`ah said:

1he student o knowledge should utilize his youth and ree time in his lie to gain as much
as he can, and he should not be deceied by the temptation to put things o or another day.
Lery hour that passes o his lie is crucial and will not be replaced. le should cut o what
he can o the distracting relationships and preentatie obstacles that are in the way o the
knowledge he seeks, and should instead exert his energy and power in gaining as much as he
can, since these obstacles are like roadblocks in his way.

1his is why the ataf preerred to moe ar rom their amilies and homelands, because i
one`s concerns become spread out, he will miss out on discoering details and realities that
he would`e otherwise come across, and Allah did not gie a man two hearts in his chest. al-
Khatb al-Baghdad mentioned in his ]vi`` that some o them said: 1his knowledge is not
granted except to he who shuts down his actory, destroys his garden, abandons his riends,
and whose closest relaties hae died, such that he does not hae to attend a uneral.` \hile
this may contain some degree o exaggeration, the point is that one must gather his thoughts
and concentration or this knowledge.`
4


It should be mentioned that by cutting himsel o, one is not supposed to neglect those
under his care or sit back rom working to make a liing, liing at the mercy o those who
would gie or withhold rom him. ash-Shai` said: Do not consult one who does not hae
lour in his home, as he is deoid o sound logic.` Rather, what is meant by cutting yoursel
o rom distractions is those things you are not in need o, while being balanced in seeking a
liing and reeing your heart and energy or seeking knowledge. It is as Abu \usu atQai
said: Knowledge is something that will not gie you een a raction o itsel until you gie it
all o yoursel.`

And the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said, as 1hawban narrated: 1he best
dinar is one that a person spends on his family, and the dinar which he spends on his
animal for the Sake of Allah, and the dinar he spends on his companions for the
Sake of Allah. Abu Qilabah ,one o the narrators, said: le started with amily. \ho has
greater reward than the one who spends on his children to presere them, and through
whom Allah brings proit or them and makes them rich`
48


4
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 0,

48
abib Mv.tiv` ,994,

21
And Abu lurayrah ,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated the Messenger o Allah ,peace
be upon him, as saying: Of the dinar you spend as a contribution for Allah's Sake, to
set free a slave, as a charity given to a needy, or to support your family, the one with
the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family.
49


Khaythamah said: \hile we were sitting in the company o 'Abdullah bin 'Umar, his
qabravv entered. Ibn 'Umar asked him: lae you gien the slaes their proision` le
replied: No.` Upon this, he said: Go and gie it to them, as the Messenger o Allah ,peace
be upon him, said: It is enough of a sin for a man that he withholds provision from
those under his authority.`
50
an-Nawaw said: And a qabravv is a treasurer that is
responsible or the aairs o the people, much like a delegate or representatie, and this is a
Persian word.`
51


And Suyan ath-1hawr, i a man came to seek knowledge with him, would ask: Do you
hae some way o sustaining yoursel inancially` I he had enough to support himsel, he
would allow him to study. I he didn`t, he would hae him go earn a liing irst.
52


I this is so, we should then interpret the texts o the ataf withstanding poerty to seek
knowledge to mean that they had just what they needed to sustain themseles and their
amilies, and that what they tried to aoid was spending hours drowning in the pursuit o the
avv, and its glitter. In act, the ataf loed knowledge so much that this aected the worldly
aspect o their lies, as al-Bukhar reported that Abu lurayrah said: \ou say that Abu
lurayrah narrates too much rom the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him,, and you ask
why the Mv;biriv and .v.r do not narrate rom the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon
him, as much as Abu lurayrah does My brothers rom the Mvb;iriv were busy with their
business in the marketplace, and I would stick with the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon
him,, content with what illed my stomach, and I was there when they were not, and I would
memorize i they would orget. My brothers rom the .v.r were busy with their wealth, and
I was a poor man o the people o a.vffab, remembering the narrations that they used to
orget. And the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said: Nobody spreads his
garment until I have finished this speech and then gathers it to him except that he
will remember whatever I say. So, I spread my colored garment which I was wearing
until Allah's Messenger ,peace be upon him, had inished his statement, and then I gathered
it to my chest. So, I did not orget any o these narrations.`
53


le also said: I used to accompany the Prophet ,peace be upon him, to ill my stomach, and
that was when I did not eat baked bread or wear decorated clothes. No man or woman

49
abib Mv.tiv` ,995,

50
abib Mv.tiv` ,996,

51
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,,82,

52
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,98,

53
al-Bukhar ,204, 2350, and 354, and Muslim ,2492,

22
would sere me, and I used to bind stones oer my belly and ask somebody to recite a erse
rom the Qur`an or me, een though I knew it.`
54


And al-Bukhar titled a chapter in the section on knowledge in his abib` Cbapter: tbe
Mevoriatiov of Kvorteage,` and he included in it the story o Abu lurayrah: 1he people say
that Abu lurayrah narrates too much. \ere it not or two erses in the Book o Allah, I
wouldn`t hae narrated a single baaitb:

, , - , | | = | _ | , , - = - , - = , | `, , | - | | - ., , , =| . ,
., -| , , - , -| , , , =| v , ,, -| =,| | , , , - =, | | , , , , = |
Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences, and guidance which We
have sent down after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the
ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers, except those who repent and do
righteous deeds, and openly declare the truth which they concealed. 1hese, I will
accept their repentance, and I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Merciful.}
55


Indeed, our brothers rom the Mvb;iriv were busy with the marketplace, and our brothers
rom the .v.r were busy with their wealth, and Abu lurayrah stuck with the Messenger o
Allah ,peace be upon him,, content with what was in his stomach, attending what they did
not attend, and memorizing what they did not memorize.`
56


atfiab Ibn lajar ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

le did not include in this chapter anything regarding anyone but Abu lurayrah, and this is
because he was the Companion who memorized the most baaitb. ash-Shai` said: Abu
lurayrah memorized the most out o all the narrators o his time.` And Ibn Umar stood at
his uneral, inoking Allah`s Mercy or him, saying: le would memorize the statements o
the Prophet ,peace be upon him, or the Muslims.``
5


an-Nawaw ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

lis saying .content with what was in his stomach.` means that he stuck with the
Prophet ,peace be upon him,, satisied with what he needed to sustain himsel, and was not
concerned with gathering money to sae up.`
58


Ibn Kathr repored rom Sa`d bin lind that Abu lurayrah said that the Prophet ,peace be
upon him, said to him: Will you not ask me about this war booty that your

54
abib atv/bri` ,5432,

55
ataqarab, 159-160

56
abib atv/bri` ,118,

5
atb atri` ,1,258,

58
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,16,53,

23
companions have asked me about? So, Abu lurayrah said: I ask you to teach me rom
what Allah has taught you.`
59


Abu lurayrah ,may Allah be Pleased with him, memorized the most baaitb o the
Companions o the Prophet ,peace be upon him, despite the short time in which he
accompanied him ,peace be upon him,, as what is commonly accepted is that he accepted
Islam in the
th
year ater the i;rab, sometime between the incidents o al-ludaybiyah and
Khaybar. le was around 30 years o age at the time, and he was always with the Messenger
o Allah ,peace be upon him, until he died. So, he memorized and narrated the most, despite
the act that he only accompanied the Prophet ,peace be upon him, or not more than three
years. 1his was all because he was sincere with this knowledge, threw o the shackles o this
world, and reed his heart rom all other distractions and concerns.

So, the student o knowledge should cut o all distractions, because i one`s concentration
is spread here and there, he will miss out on discoering many things. 1he ataf would put
preerence to knowledge oer and aboe eerything else. lor example, it was narrated that
atvv Ahmad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, did not get married until ater he was 40!

And a slae girl was gien as a git to Abu Bakr al-Ambar. \hen she entered upon him one
time, he was in the middle o trying to come to a conclusion on an issue, and had trouble
doing so. So, he said: 1ake her back to the trader.` She asked: \hy \hat did I do` le
replied: Nothing, except that my heart was distracted by you, and you are not worth me
being preented rom my knowledge.`
60


ash-Shai` ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: Nobody who seeks this knowledge while
he is wealthy and high in status will succeed. Rather, those who seek it while they are
humble, haing a low standard o liing, and are sering the scholars will succeed.`

And Ibn \ahb narrated that Malik bin Anas ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: Nobody
will get what he wants rom this knowledge until he experiences poerty that causes him to
preer it oer anything.`
61













59
atia,ab rav^ib,ab` ,8,111,

60
Mv/bta.ar Mivb; atQ.iaiv` ,p. 14,

61
ataqib ratMvtafaqqib` ,2,93,
24
- - 4 4 - -

Lat Little, Be Cautious, and Constantly Remember Allah


Ibn Jama`ah said:

lrom the best ways to help yoursel understand the knowledge you are dealing with and to
preent boredom rom it is to eat ery little, and rom what is batt.

ash-Shai` said: lor the past sixteen years, I neer ate my ill.` 1he reason or this is that
eating excessiely leads to excessie drinking and sleeping, dulling o the senses, and laziness
o the body. 1his is all in addition to the act that doing so is disliked in the bari`ab, and
exposes the body to all types o dangerous disease, as it was said:

vaeea, vo.t of tbe ai.ea.e. ,ov .ee .re frov eativg ava ariv/ivg.

And none o the amous scholars or arti,` were eer described as haing eaten much, or
was eer praised or doing so. Rather, excessie eating is a trait o mindless animals. A
person`s intellect is the source o his deeds, and it is too noble to be hampered and wasted
by such a despicable thing as excess ood. I there were no downside to eating too much
other than that it orces one to use the bathroom, this would`e been enough or the
intelligent one to steer clear o such a practice.

And whoeer attempts to be successul in seeking knowledge while insisting upon excessie
eating, drinking, and sleeping is attempting the impossible.`
62


Ibn Qudamah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1he desire o the stomach is the most destructie o them all, and it is what caused Adam
,peace be upon him, to exit Paradise, and rom the desire o the stomach comes the desire
or sex and wealth. 1hese leads to many problems, all the result o satisying one`s appetite.

Uqbah ar-Rasib said: I entered upon al-lasan while he was eating, and he said: Come eat
with me.` I said: I hae already eaten until I can eat no more.` le said: vbbv Allah!
Does the Muslim eat until he can eat no more!``

Lating in moderation consists o raising one`s hands rom the table while he is still a bit
hungry. 1his strengthens the body and wards o disease, and this is because such a person
does not reach or ood unless he is hungry or it, and raises his hands back while he is still
hungry or it. loweer, eating too little can also weaken you, and some people were so
deicient in what they ate that this caused them to be lax in their obligations. Out o their
ignorance, they thought this to be something good while this was not the case, since those

62
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 4,

25
who praised and encouraged hunger were reerring to moderate hunger that we hae
described aboe.`
63


All o this reoles around being cautious in all aairs, and cautiousness ,rara`, is rom the
stations o the journey to Allah, the Lxalted, as Ibn al-Qayyim said: And the Prophet ,peace
be upon him, combined eerything related to cautiousness in one phrase: Irom the
perfection of a man's Islam is that he leaves that which does not concern him.
64
So,
this includes not talking about, looking at, listening to, touching, walking towards, or
thinking about that which doesn`t concern him, as well as inoling any other outer or inner
moements that are o no concern to one. So, this statement is more than enough to
illustrate how to be cautious, and Ibrahm bin Adham said: Cautiousness is to abandon
anything doubtul, and to leae what does not concern you is to leae anything you don`t
need.``
65


And the essence o cautiousness is to leae what is doubtul, and the Messenger o Allah
,peace be upon him, encouraged this in the narration o an-Nu`man bin Bashr: 1he
permissible is clear and the forbidden is clear, and between them are doubtful
matters. So, whoever leaves what he suspects is sin will be farther from what actually
is sin, and whoever is bold enough to fall into what he suspects is sin will fall into
what actually is sin. Sins are the boundary that Allah has placed, and whoever hovers
around a boundary will cross it.
66


al-Baghaw said:

1his baaitb is an essential one when it comes to cautiousness. It says that i someone is
conused as to the permissibility or prohibition o a matter and has nothing to reer to, the
cautious one is he who abandons it, because i he doesn`t abandon it, proceeds with it, and
makes it a habit, it will drag him into what is prohibited.

Most doubtul matters can be diided into two types. 1he irst type is that which has no
reerence or which one reach a ruling o batt or barv, and such a case warrants that the
person leae o that action. As or the second type, this is where there is a reerence and
clear basis or declaring that matter either batt or barv. In this case, one should stick to
what is established, and should not digress rom the basic ruling except with certain
knowledge. lor example, i a man puriies himsel or the prayer and then has doubt as to
whether or not he nulliied his ablution, he is to pray so long as he isn`t certain that he
nulliied his ablution. Also, i one inds some water in the desert that he is not sure is pure,

63
Mv/bta.ar Mivb; atQ.iaiv` ,p. 163,

64
Reported by at-1irmidh ,231,, Ibn Majah ,396,, Ibn libban ,229,, Ahmad ,1,201,, and Malik ,2,40,. In
barb a.vvvab` ,14,321,, al-Baghaw said: Its chain is authentic, but it is vvr.at,` and al-Alban declared it
authentic in his checking o Mi.b/t atMa.bib` ,3,1361,.

65
Maari; a.ti/iv` ,2,21,

66
Part o a longer baaitb reported by al-Bukhar ,52 & 2051,, Muslim ,1599,, and Ibn libban ,21,

26
he should stick to the basic principle o water being pure, hold irm to this, and not all or
the deilish whisperings.`
6


Ibn lajar ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

`1he permissible is clear, and the forbidden is clear shows that the rulings are diided
into three categories, because each matter either has a clear text showing its irtue and a
warning rom abandoning it, a clear text showing its harm and a warning rom alling into it,
or no clear text indicating either o the two. So, the irst is what is clearly batt, and the
second is what is clearly barv. \hen he ,peace be upon him, said that the permissible is
clear, he meant that it does not need any additional clariication, and that it is something
known to all. As or the third, it is what is ambiguous and unclear to the one who ears it,
such that he doesn`t know i it is batt or barv. In this case, the person should aoid this
action, because i it actually is barv, he has taken the sae route, and it is actually batt, he is
rewarded or abandoning it with this intention.`
68


So, the seeker o knowledge should be cautious in all aspects o his lie, and should be
particular about his ood, drink, clothing, and housing being permissible in all aspects. le
should apply this concept to eerything that he and his amily need in lie, so that he can ill
his heart with light and condition himsel or soaking up the light o knowledge and
beneiting rom it.

le should not automatically lean towards something being permissible so long as he can
exercise caution and does not need that thing. le should also not indulge in the permissible
things. Rather, he should always seek to be at a higher leel and ollow in the ootsteps o
the righteous scholars o the past, who used to exercise great caution een in those things
they judged to be permissible. 1he one he should most strie to imitate and ollow is our
Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him,, who would not een eat
a date that he ound on the road out o ear that it was rom charity, een though it was
quite improbable that it was. 1he people o knowledge should be ollowed and imitated, and
i they don`t exercise caution, who will`
69


Anas ,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet ,peace be upon him, came
across a date that had allen rom a tree, and said: Were it not for the fact that it could be
charity, I would've eaten it,
0
and Abu lurayrah ,may Allah be Pleased with him,
narrated that the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said: Verily, I turn to my
family and find a date fallen on my bed. I raise it to my mouth to eat it, and then fear
that it might be charity. So, I put it down.
1
Ibn lajar said: lere, the Prophet ,peace

6
barb a.vvvab` ,8,15,

68
atb atri` ,4,341,

69
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 5,

0
al-Bukhar ,2055, and Muslim ,101,

1
al-Bukhar ,2432, and Muslim ,100,

27
be upon him, speciically mentioned that he ound it on his bed. \ith this, he reused to eat
it out o caution,`
2
and an-Nawaw said: 1his baaitb contains an example o caution, as this
date was not orbidden by mere suspicion that it was rom the charity. Rather, it was let out
o caution.`
3



Revevbravce of .ttb

And the most important thing that the student o knowledge should be particular about is to
remember Allah in all situations, as remembrance o lim is the greatest door and best path
to what one seeks. \hoeer turns rom it has indeed been preented rom all good, and has
deiated rom the correct path. \hoeer is guided to it has been truly been guided, and has
been led by the best leader and guide.

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Rushing towards Allah and depending on lim, being pleased with lim, illing the heart
with loe o lim, constantly remembering lim, eeling happiness and joy with knowing
lim - all o these are instantaneous rewards, a paradise o this world, and a lie that the lies
o kings cannot een compare to. I heard ba,/b at.tv Ibn 1aymiyyah ,may Allah hae
Mercy on him, say: Indeed, there is a paradise in this world. \hoeer doesn`t enter it will
not enter the Paradise o the lereater.` And he once said to me: \hat can my enemies do
to me My paradise and garden are in my chest, and they are with me whereer I go. My
imprisonment is my priacy with Allah, my killing is martyrdom, and my expulsion rom my
homeland is tourism.`

And Allah Knows that I neer saw anyone with a purer lie than him despite what he was
experiencing o hardship and lack o relaxation and rest, and despite his imprisonment and
ear o being killed. \ith all o this, he lied the purest lie, had the strongest and most open
heart, was happiest in spirit, and had a ace that emanated the brightness o delight.

\hen we were rightened, had desperate thoughts, and elt as i the world was choking us,
we would rush to him. Simply by seeing him and hearing his words, this would all turn into
relaxation, certainty, and assurance. So, glory to the One who allowed lis slaes to witness
lis Paradise beore meeting lim and opened or them its doors in this lie, giing them
rom its taste and sweet breeze that they hae been dedicating their strength to seeking and
competing or.

And some o the people o knowledge would say: I the kings and their sons knew what we
were experiencing, they would hae ought us with swords oer it.` Another said: 1he
people o this world are depried. 1hey let this world without tasting the sweetest thing in
it!` It was asked o him: And what is that` le said: Loe o Allah, knowing lim, and
remembering lim.` So, loe, knowledge, and constant remembrance ,abi/r, o Allah,

2
atb atri` ,4,344,

3
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,,1,

28
leaning to lim, eeling tranquil with lim, singling lim out or loe, ear, hope, dependence,
and attention - such that le alone is the main concern and preoccupation o the slae and
his goals - is the paradise and delight o this world that no other delight can compare to, and
it is the coolness o the eyes o those who loe Allah, and true lie or those who know
lim.`
4


Ibn al-Qayyim continued:

And I was with ba,/b at.tv Ibn 1aymiyyah once when he prayed a;r. le sat aterwards
remembering Allah until midday, and turned to me, saying: 1his is my nourishment. I I do
not receie this nourishment, I will hae no energy,` or something to this eect. And he said
to me once: I neer leae o making abi/r except with the intention o saing up my energy
to rest mysel in order to prepare or more abi/r,` or something close to this in meaning.`
5


And there is no doubt that the heart becomes rusted just like copper, siler, etc. do, and it is
polished with abi/r, as abi/r will clean it until it is let as shiny as a mirror. I it is let, it once
again becomes rusty, and i you remember Allah, it is once again polished.

And the heart becomes rusted because o two things: heedlessness and sin, and it becomes
polished with two things: repentance and abi/r. So, whoeer is heedless more oten will hae
more rust on his heart, and the amount o rust will be in accordance with how heedless he is.
I the heart becomes rusted, its owner will not be able to see things or what they are. So, he
will see alsehood as truth and truth as alsehood, because when the rust builds up, it causes
a og that preents him rom seeing things as they are. So, i the rust builds up and blackens
the heart, his understanding and comprehension become ruined, he will not accept the truth
as truth, and will not reject alsehood as alsehood. 1his is the greatest orm o punishment
that can alict the heart.

1his all stems rom heedlessness and the ollowing o one`s desires, as they put out the light
o the heart and blind it:

. , _ , . - - , | | - _ = | | - |
.and do not obey he whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance
and who follows his own lusts, and whose affair has been lost.}
6


So, i the serant o Allah wants to imitate someone, let him see: is he rom those who
remember Allah, or is he rom the heedless Is he led by his desires, or by the Reelation
So, i he is led by his desires and is rom the heedless, his aair is lost. 1he word 345.678 has been
explained to mean lost, in that what he should be doing, and what will lead to his guidance
and success, is lost. It has also been explained to mean wasted, in that he has wasted what he
has. It has also been explained to mean destruction, and has been explained to mean

4
at!bit a.a,,ib` ,p. 44,

5
at!bit a.a,,ib` ,p. 39,

6
atKabf, 28

29
opposition to the truth. All o these are similar in meaning, and the point is that Allah
orbade us rom obeying those who hae these traits. So, a man should look to his teacher
and example and leader - i he inds these traits in him, he should aoid him. I he inds one
who is usually remembering Allah, ollowing the vvvab, and his aair is not lost - rather, he
is doing his job - he should hold tightly to that person. 1he only dierence between the
liing and the dead is in regards to the remembrance o Allah, because the dierence
between the one who remembers his Lord and the one who doesn`t is like the dierence
between the liing and the dead.`



And ba,/b at.tv Ibn 1aymiyyah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

Sometimes, I would come across a hundred dierent explanations or a single erse, and I
would ask Allah to allow me to understand them. I would say: O 1eacher o Adam and
Ibrahm, teach me!` I would go to an abandoned mosque, rub my ace in the dirt, and ask
Allah, saying: O 1eacher o Ibrahm, teach me.``
8


Abu Musa al-Ash`ar ,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger o Allah
,peace be upon him, said: 1he likeness of the one who remembers his Lord and the
one who doesn't is like that of the living and the dead,
9
and this is al-Bukhar`s
ersion. Muslim`s wording is: 1he likeness of the house in which Allah is remembered
and that in which He is not remembered is like that of the living and the dead.
80


ash-Shawkan ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

And this parable shows the loty beauty and noble irtue o the one who remembers Allah,
and it shows the lie that is granted to him and his soul as the result o the light he is
surrounded with and the reward that he is granted. Likewise, it shows that the one who
abandons the remembrance o Allah - een i he is literally alie - is not considered to be
alie. Rather, he is likened to the dead, who do not contain any o what the liing who are
busy obeying Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, contain. And what is in this baaitb is also in the
erse:

- | . , - - , , -
Is he who was dead, and We gave him life.}
81


1his means that the disbelieer is likened to the dead, and guidance to Islam is likened to
lie.`
82

at!bit a.a,,ib` ,p. 3,



8
1af.ir vrat at/bt.` ,p. 6,

9
abib atv/bri` ,640,

80
abib Mv.tiv` ,9,

81
at.v`v, 122

30
And al-Bukhar titled one o his chapters Cbapter: tbe 1irtve of Revevberivg .ttb.` In it, he
included the aorementioned baaitb o Abu Musa, as well as this baaitb o Abu lurayrah, in
which the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, said:
Allah has Angels who roam the roads, seeking out those who remember Him. So, if
they find those who remember Allah, they call out: Come see what you're looking
for!' and the Angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky.
1hen, their Lord asks them - though He Knows better than them What do My
slaves say?'
1he Angels reply: 1hey say: subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and al-hamdu lil-Lah.'
Allah then Says: Did they see Me?''
1he Angels reply: No! By Allah, they didn't see You.'
Allah Says: How it would have been if they saw Me?'
1he Angels reply: If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and
praise You more, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more
often.'
Allah will Say: What do they ask Me for?'
1he Angels reply: 1hey ask You for Paradise.'
Allah Says: Did they see it?'
1he Angels say: No! By Allah, O Lord! 1hey did not see it.'
Allah Says: How it would have been if they saw it?'
1he Angels say: If they saw it, they would have greater desire for it, and would seek
it with greater zeal.'
Allah Says: Irom what do they seek refuge?'
1he Angels reply: '1hey seek refuge from the Iire.'
Allah Says: Did they see it?'
1he Angels say: No, by Allah, O Lord! 1hey did not see it.'
Allah Says: How it would have been if they saw it?'

82
1vbfat aabDb/iriv` ,p. 15,
31
1he Angels say: If they saw it, they would flee from it swiftly, and would have
extreme fear of it.'
1hen, Allah says: I make you witnesses that I have Iorgiven them.'
One of the Angels would then say: 1here was such and such a person amongst
them, and he was not one of them. Rather, he had just come for some need of his.'
Allah would then Say: 1hese are people whose companions will not be saddened.'
83

atfiab Ibn lajar ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:
\hat is meant by remembrance here is that one pronounces the words that are encouraged
to be said, and does this constantly, such as saying .vbbv Allah ,glory be to Allah,, atbavav
titb ,praise be to Allah,, t itb itta .ttb ,there is none worthy o worship except Allah,,
.ttbv ./bar ,Allah is the Greatest,, t barta ra t qvrrata itt bitb ,there is no might nor
power except with Allah,, bi.vitb ,in the Name o Allah,, ba.bvv .ttb ra vi`v at!a/it
,Allah is suicient or us, and le is the best Disposer o our aairs,, as well as seeking
Allah`s lorgieness, and supplicating or the good o this world and the next.
1he remembrance o Allah also includes doing that which Allah has obligated or
encouraged, such as recitation o the Qur`an, reading aaitb, studying knowledge, praying
optional prayers, etc. And abi/r sometimes occurs with the tongue, and the person gets
rewarded or it without een haing to know the meaning o what he is saying. Rather, he
must not mean other than what it means, and i he adds to this pronouncement the presence
o his heart, this is better. I he then adds to this the understanding o what this abi/r means
- what it contains o the gloriication o Allah and denying any shortcomings in lim - this is
een better. I he does this during any righteous action - whether it is prayer, ]iba, etc. - it
only increases in irtue. I he turns completely towards Allah and is sincere to lim in doing
this, this is best and most complete.`
84

In regards to the baaitb reported by Muslim: 1he likeness of the house in which Allah is
remembered and that in which He is not remembered is like that of the living and
the dead, Ibn lajar said: \hat is described as being truly alie or dead is the inhabitant,
not the house, and what is intended by describing the house as alie or dead is that its
inhabitant is alie or dead. So, he ,peace be upon him, likened the person who remembers
Allah - who is outwardly beautiied with the light o lie, and inwardly beautiied with the
light o knowledge - with one who is alie, and he likened the one who doesn`t remember
Allah with the house that is outwardly and inwardly ruined. It was also said that the likeness
to the liing and dead was because o how the liing person can help his allies and harm his
enemies, while the dead cannot.`
85


83
abib atv/bri` ,6408,

84
atb atri` ,11,212,

85
atb atri` ,11,214,
32
So, those who should hold irmest to the handhold o abi/r are the people o knowledge and
those who seek it. 1hey are the ones who traerse switly and are rightly guided by it to the
destination they seek, and with anything else, their eet would become sluggish, their hearts
would become rusted, and they would become lost, as it was said:
f re becove .ic/, re treat ovr.etre. ritb Yovr revevbravce .va rbev re teare tbi. revevbravce for a
bit, re becove aepre..ea.



















33
- - S S - -

Lat, Sleep, and Speak as Seldom as Possible


\e preiously touched upon the act that the student o knowledge should eat little and
rom what is batt, and the way to train onesel to oercome the desire o the stomach is to
get used to being satisied with little. So, one should slowly and gradually reduce his ood
intake so that he arries at a moderate leel, and the best o aairs are the moderate ones.
le cut himsel down to just enough that he is not preented rom worship, and is able to
presere his strength. le should eel neither hungry nor ull. Only then will his body
become healthy, his aspirations high, and his conscience clear. I he eats any more than this,
he will be drien to sleep more, and will hae lower intellect.`
86


As or your ood being batt, this is required o eery Muslim, and is een more required o
the student o knowledge, as the student o knowledge is the bastion o knowledge o what
is batt and barv, and we`e already touched upon the issue o caution when it comes to
ood and drink, and how the Prophet ,peace be upon him, held back rom eating a date that
he ound on his bed out o ear that it was rom the charity, since charity was not
permissible or him ,peace be upon him,.

So, the student o knowledge is too busy to think o ood and drink, and the one who sees
through the glitter o this lie will not be at. Rather, his passion makes him orget to eat a
lot. lere is ba,/b at.tv Ibn 1aymiyyah, who was neer heard asking or ood - dinner or
supper - no matter how long he remained busy with some matter related to knowledge and
action. Rather, he would sometimes be gien ood that he would leae or a long time beore
een turning to it, and i he ate rom it, would only eat small bits. le would neer mention
the delights o this world, and would neer speak or ask about it. Rather, all o his concern
and conersation was in seeking the lereater and what could bring him closer to Allah, the
Lxalted.`
8


an-Nu`man bin Bashr narrated that Umar bin al-Khattab ,may Allah be pleased with them
both, was mentioning the poerty that the people had become stricken with, saying: I saw
the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, spend the whole day upset because o hunger,
as he could not get een low quality dates with which to ill his stomach.`
88


Abu lurayrah passed by a group o people who were eating a roasted sheep, and they
inited him to sit and eat with them. le reused, saying: 1he Messenger o Allah ,peace be
upon him, let this world without een satisying his hunger with barley bread.`
89


86
Mv/bta.ar Mivb; atQ.iaiv` ,p. 163,

8
Cb,at at.vvi` ,2,13,

88
abib Mv.tiv` ,298,

89
abib atv/bri` ,5414,

34
And Anas bin Malik ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: 1he Prophet ,peace be upon
him, neer ate his meals at a dining table or in an indiidual plate, and he neer ate thin,
well-baked bread until he died.`
90



teepivg

As or sleeping: 1he student o knowledge should reduce it as much as he can without
hurting his body and mind, and he should not sleep more then eight hours a night - one
third o his time - and i he is able to sleep less than this, he should.`
91


az-Zarnuj ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

al-lasan bin Ziyad began studying at the age o 80, and or orty years, he did not sleep an
entire night on his bed, and Muhammad bin al-lasan ash-Shayban would not sleep at night.
le would place his books in ront o him, and i he became bored o one book, he`d moe
on to another. le would also place in ront o him a container o water that he`d use to keep
himsel awake, saying: Sleep comes rom heat, and one must repel it with cold water.``
92


And Abu lurayrah narrated that the Prophet ,peace be upon him, said: When any one of
you goes to sleep, Satan ties three knots at the back of his neck, sealing each knot by
saying: You have a long night. So, sleep.' So, if one wakes up and mentions Allah, a
knot is loosened. If he performs ablution, two knots are loosened. And if he prays, all
the knots will be loosened, and in the morning he will be active and in a good mood.
Otherwise, he will be in a bad mood and sluggish in the morning.
93


And Abdullah bin Mas`ud ,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated that mention was made
o a man who slept the whole night till morning. So, the Prophet ,peace be upon him,
remarked: 1hat is a man in whose ears Satan has urinated.
94


And Allah praised the righteous people, reerring to them as good-doers because they would
sleep ery little at night:

., , - - _ | . , - , = - _ . | . , | , , _ , , `- :, |
., - ,, - ,| _ = v , , . - . , ; .| - , , | , - |
Verily, the righteous will be in the midst of gardens and springs, taking joy in the
things which their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were good-doers. 1hey used to

90
abib atv/bri` ,5415,

91
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. ,

92
1a`tiv atMvta`attiv ra 1vrvq at1a`attvv` ,p. 23,

93
al-Bukhar ,1142, and Muslim ,6,

94
al-Bukhar ,320, and Muslim ,4,

35
sleep little at night, and in the hours before dawn, they were found asking for
Iorgiveness, and in their wealth was a right for the beggar and the poor.}
95


Ibn Kathr ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

lis Saying . joy in the things which their Lord has given them.} means that the
righteous, since they are in gardens and delight, are enjoying what their Lord has gien them
o happiness, delight, and bliss. lis Saying .Indeed, they were. } is in regards to the
worldly lie, and .good-doers.} is like lis Saying:

, | | ;, | _ , = | , , , , ,
Lat and drink in relaxation because of what you did before in days past!}
96


1hen, le shows us what good they used to do, Saying: .1hey used to sleep little at
night.} Ibn Jarr at-1abar said: 1heir rest and sleep took up a ery small portion o the
night.` al-lasan al-Basr said: 1hey would spend the night in prayer, and would not sleep
except or a short time. 1hen, when they had some energy, they would make i.tigbfr until
dawn.` Qatadah said that al-Ahna bin Qays would say: 1hey would sleep or only a little
while,` and then say: I am not rom those described in this erse.` Ibn Abbas ,may Allah
be Pleased with him, and Ibrahm an-Nakha` said: 1hey would sleep ery little.``
9


as-Sa`d ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1hey were good-doers, and they would only rest and sleep or a short amount o time. As
or the majority o the night, they would spend it concentrating on their Lord, whether that
was in prayer, recitation o the Qur`an, abi/r, supplication, humbling themseles beore lim,
etc. Beore the dawn, they would ask Allah`s lorgieness. So, they would extend their
prayers until dawn, and would then sit and seal o their night prayer with i.tigbfr - the
i.tigbfr o the sinner or his sins.`
98


In conclusion, excessie sleep is not rom the character o the seeker o knowledge, and they
should be as ar rom this characteristic as possible. Rather, they should be serious and
committed, and the belieer will neer satisied with whateer good he has done until he
makes it to Paradise.






95
aabDbri,t, 15-19

96
atqqab, 24

9
1af.ir atQvr`v at.abiv` ,4,233,

98
1a,.ir atKariv arRabvv` ,8,23,

36
itevce

As or reducing your leel o speech, the Prophet ,peace be upon him, said: Whoever
believes in Allah and the Hereafter, let him say what is good or remain silent.
99


an-Nawaw said:

1his means that i one wants to say something, he should to whether what he wants to say
is deinitely good and praiseworthy, obligatory or encouraged. I so, he should say it. I he
doesn`t see that it is good and praiseworthy, he should not say it, whether it is orbidden,
disliked, or permissible - they are all the same. In this case, speech which is normally allowed
should be aoided out o ear that it can lead to orbidden or disliked speech, and this
happens a lot. Based on this baaitb, atvv ash-Shai` ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said
that i you wish to say something, let him think. I you conclude that there is no harm, speak.
I you conclude that your words will bring about harm, do not speak.`
100


Ibn lajar ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

And this is rom his ,peace be upon him, ability to combine many meanings on ew words,
as eery statement is good, bad, or leaning to one o the two. Included under good speech is
eerything obligatory or encouraged, and he allowed this speech despite its arious types, as
well as anything that could lead to it. As or speech that is bad or could lead to what is bad,
he commanded us to be quiet i we eer wanted to indulge in it.`
101


Ibn Abd al-Barr ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

lrom the tests that the scholar is put through is that he likes to talk more than he likes to
listen. \azd bin Ab labb said: Listening is sae and increases one`s knowledge, and the
listener is the partner o the speaker. 1alking consists o conusion and deception, excess
and deiciency. 1he one who talks awaits fitvab, and the one who listens awaits mercy.`

And Abu adh-Dhiyal said: Learn to be quiet just as you learn to talk, because i talking
guides you, being quiet protects you. By being quiet, you attain two characteristics: you are
able to take knowledge rom those more knowledgeable than you, and you are able to repel
the ignorance o those more ignorant than you.`

Speaking about good things is a prize and is better than silence, because the best thing that
silence has to oer is saety, and by speaking what is good, you actually gain something
extra. It was said: \hoeer speaks what is good wins, and whoeer remains silent is saed,`
and speaking about knowledge-related matters is rom the best o actions, and it is o the

99
Reported by Ahmad ,2,26, 433, and 463,, al-Bukhar ,6018, 6136, and 645,, Muslim ,4,, Abu Dawud
,5154,, at-1irmidh ,2500,, and Ibn libban ,506 & 516,

100
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,2,18,

101
atb atri` ,1,461,

37
same leel as abi/r and recitation o the Qur`an i it is done to repel ignorance, attain the
Pleasure o Allah, and discoer the reality o its meanings.`
102


Abu latim said: 1wo men went to seek knowledge. \hen they became learned, one o
them became known as a speaker, and the other came to be known as quiet. So, the speaker
wrote to the quiet one:

verer .ovgbt to gaiv av,tbivg iv tife !itb .ovetbivg better tbav v, tovgve...

So, the quiet one wrote back:

.va verer .ovgbt to gaiv av,tbivg iv tife !itb .ovetbivg tbat ae.errea to be ivpri.ovea vore tbav tbe
tovgve.
103


And a man came to Salman ,may Allah be Pleased with him,, saying: O Aba Abdillah!
Adise me!`

So, he said: Do not speak.`

1he man replied: It`s impossible or one who lies amongst the people not to speak.`

le said: 1hen i you speak, say what is correct, or be quiet.`

1he man said: 1ell me more.`

Salman said: Do not become angry.`

1he man said: \ou tell me not to become angry, and I am sometimes oercome and unable
to control mysel.`

le said: 1hen i you become angry, at least control your tongue and hands.`

1he man said: 1ell me more.`

Salman said: Do not mix with the people.`

1he man said: One who lies with the people must mix with them!`

le said: 1hen i you mix with them, speak the truth and ulill your promises.`
104



102
]vi` a,v attv ra aatib` ,1,182,

103
vbb at.ab` ,p. 24,

104
Kitb a.avt ra .ab ati.v` ,p. 558,

38
And Abu layan at-1aym said: It was said that the man should pay more attention to his
tongue than tp where he places his eet,`
105
and this is because o the danger the tongue and
excess talking pose to the belieer`s heart. 1he traps o the tongue are many and deadly, and
just one o these traps is enough to make one spend their entire lie trying to aoid.
loweer, Allah tests lis Creation in order to make clear the righteous rom the eil.


1be iv. of tbe 1ovgve

Ibn Qudamah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1he sins o the tongue are many. 1hey hae a certain taste in the heart, and they spring
orth rom a person`s nature. 1here is no way to be saed rom their danger except to
remain silent. Abu ad-Darda` ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: Use your ears more
than your mouth, as you were gien two ears and one mouth so that you`d listen more than
you talk,` and Makhlad bin al-lusayn said: lor ity years, I haen`t spoken a single word
that I regret.`

As or the sins o the tongue, they are:

Speaking about what does not concern you:

Know that he who alues his time will not waste it in what doesn`t beneit him, and this is a
realization that mandates the imprisonment o the tongue rom what is o no concern to
him. 1his is because the one who leaes o the remembrance o Allah and instead busies
himsel with what doesn`t concern him is like the one who is able to buy a gem, and instead
buys some mud, and this is the loss o a lietime.

It was said to Luqman ,peace be upon him,: low did you become so wise` le replied: I
do not ask or what I don`t need, and I don`t speak about what doesn`t concern me.`

And it was narrated that Luqman ,peace be upon him, entered upon Dawud ,peace be upon
him, while he was putting together his armor. le was amazed at what he was seeing, and
wanted to ask what he was doing. loweer, his wisdom preented him rom doing so.
\hen Dawud ,peace be upon him, was inished welding his armor, he got up, put it on, and
said: low excellent is this armor or warare!` Luqman ,peace be upon him, said: Silence
is rom wisdom, and those who practice it are ew.`

1alking about falsehood:

1his is when a conersation reoles around talk o sins, such as talking about bars and
places where the sinners gather.

1he types o alsehood are many, and Abu lurayrah ,may Allah be Pleased with him,
narrated that the Prophet ,peace be upon him, said: Indeed, the slave can speak a single

105
Kitb a.avt ra .ab ati.v` ,p. 206,
39
word that will cause him to be thrown into the Iire as far as the distance between the
Last and the West.
106
Similar to this is when one argues and debates insistently with a
person in order to expose his shortcomings, and this is all done out o the desire to be
noticed.

So, the person should orbid what is eil with his tongue and clariy what is right. I this is
not accepted rom him, he should aoid arguing. 1his is i the issue has to do with religion.
I it is a worldly matter, there is no reason to argue oer it. 1he way to succeed in this is to
swallow your pride, which is what dries you to make yoursel look good. And what is worse
than arguing is ighting and disputing, and we mean here disputing without knowledge.
loweer, whoeer has the right to argue should aoid doing so, as it agitates the heart,
inlames anger, creates eny, and results in people attacking each other`s honor.

1alking with excessive eloquence:

1his is when one speaks in too much rhetoric. 1his does not include the eloquence o a
/batib, or that one gies a reminder without being too detailed or hard-to-understand in his
speech, because the whole point o such speeches is to moe and motiate the hearts with
the simplest words possible.

Indecent, inappropriate talk:

Know that indecent talk is when one describes something inappropriate in a clear, direct
manner, and this occurs oten in songs.

Joking:

1here is no harm in joking here and there, and it is not orbidden i it is in truth, as the
Prophet ,peace be upon him, used to joke and not say except what was true. lis joking
always abided by the ollowing conditions: it was in what was true, it was with women,
children, and weak men who needed to be cultured, and it was done rarely.

Belittling and mocking:

1his is when you point out the aults and shortcomings in a person in order to laugh at him.
1his can occur either directly with a word or action, or indirectly by pointing, and both are
orbidden in the bari`ab.

Revealing secrets, breaking promises, and lying in word and oath:

All o this is orbidden, except the lying that is allowed to one`s wie and during warare.

Backbiting:


106
al-Bukhar ,64, and Muslim ,2988,
40
1his is when you mention something about your brother in his absence that he wouldn`t
want you to mention.

lor example, it is when you speak about a physical shortcoming, such as his being bleary-
eyed, one-eyed, cross-eyed, bald, too tall, too short, etc.

It is also when you speak about a shortcoming in his lineage, such as saying that one`s ather
is a bedouin, an Indian, a sinner, low-class, etc.

It is also when you speak about his character, such as by saying that he has bad manners, is
stingy, arrogant, etc.

It is also when you speak about his clothing, such as by saying that his coat is too long, his
sleees are too wide, he wears dirty clothes, etc.

1he proo or all o this is that the Prophet ,peace be upon him, was asked about backbiting,
and he said: It is when you mention something about your brother that he doesn't
like. 1hey asked: \hat i he actually is as we say` le ,peace be upon him, replied: If he
is as you say, you have backbitten him. If he is not as you say, you have slandered
him.
10


And know that anything that can een be understood to be belittlement counts as
backbiting, whether this is in the orm o a word, a wink, a point o the inger, or a written
word, as the pen is one o your two tongues.

And the most disgusting orm o backbiting is the backbiting o the ake religious people,
such as when someone is mentioned, and they say thank God or saing us rom entering
upon the ruler,` or that they say we seek reuge with Allah rom haing no ba,`,` or may
Allah spare us,` as they combine between belittling this person and praising themseles. One
o them might een say 1his poor person has been tested with many sins. May Allah
lorgie him and us,` thereby hiding his true intent by making this supplication.

And know that the one who listens to backbiting is an accomplice to it, and he doesn`t
disassociate himsel rom this crime until he speaks against it. I he ears or himsel rom
speaking against it, he must at least hate it in his heart, and he should get up or change the
subject i he can.

1ale-carrying:

In the agreed upon baaitb o ludhayah ,may Allah be Pleased with him,, the Messenger o
Allah ,peace be upon him, said: No tale-carrier will enter Paradise.
108



10
Reported by Muslim ,2589,, Abu Dawud ,484,, and at-1irmidh ,1934,

108
a.it.itab a.abibab` ,1034, and abib at]vi`` ,62,

41
Know that tale-carrying normally inoles one person and another, such as when you tell
someone 1his person said that about you.` loweer, it is not limited to this. Rather, it
includes exposing anything that should not be exposed, whether this inoles words or
actions. Len i you see someone burying his own money and mention it to others, this
counts as tale-carrying. Leryone to whom such a tale is relayed - such as by one saying to
him 1his person said that about you, or did this against you,` etc. - should do six things:

lirst, he should not beliee what the person is saying, because the tale-carrier is a sinner, and
his testimony is rejected. Second, he should adise him and orbid him rom this act. 1hird,
he should hate him or Allah`s Sake, as he is hated with Allah. lourth, he should not assume
the worst about his absent brother. lith, he should not be drien to spy or pry into the
matter because o what was said, as Allah Said:

v , . .
.and do not spy.}
109


Sixth, he should not go and do what he orbade the tale-carrier rom doing by telling others
about his tale-carrying.

Having two tongues:

1his is when one speaks with two tongues between two enemies, transmitting the words o
one to the other, tells one side what he wants to hear or promises to help him, or praises one
in his ace and belittles him in the presence o another.

In the agreed upon baaitb o Abu lurayrah ,may Allah be Pleased with him,, the Messenger
o Allah ,peace be upon him, said: 1he worst of people is the two-faced one who
comes to this person with one face and that person with another.
110


Praising people:

1here are problems with this related to both the praiser and the praised.

As or the sin o the one doing the praising, he might say that which is not true and cannot
be conirmed, such as saying that a person is cautious and abstinent rom the worldly
pleasures. Also, he might go oerboard in praising the person to the point o lying. le might
also praise one that in act deseres to be censured.

As or the one being praised, he might become arrogant or impressed with himsel, and
these are both deadly traits to acquire.


109
atv;vrt, 12

110
Reported by al-Bukhar ,3493, 6058, and 19,, Muslim ,2526,, Abu Dawud ,482,, at-1irmidh ,2025,, Ibn
Abd al-Barr in at1avbia` ,18,261,, and Ibn Asakir in Mv`;av a.bbv,v/b` ,2,1008,

42
1he Religion:

1his is when one makes seere mistakes when speaking about the concepts that are related
to the Religion, especially that which concerns Allah, the Lxalted.`
111


So, the student o knowledge should sae his tongue, presere his time, busy himsel with
the truth, and not waste his time in petty matters, letting his lie pass by without haing
accomplished anything.

And the guided one is he whom Allah has Guided.





































111
Mv/bta.ar Mivb; atQ.iaiv` ,p. 166-19,
43
- - 6 6 - -

Reduce Socialization and Choose the Right Iriends

People hae always been greatly diided oer the issue o mixing and seclusion. So, some
went with the opinion that one should always mix with the people, and some went with the
opinion that one should always seclude himsel rom the people, and eeryone is satisied
with his point o iew.

And ba,/b at.tv Ibn 1aymiyyah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, touched upon this issue
and clariied the dispute, saying:

1his issue - een though the people hae diered oer it, either partially or completely - the
reality o it is that mixing with the people is sometimes obligatory or recommended. 1he
same indiidual can sometimes be obligated to mix with others, and can at other times be
obligated to separate rom them.

1he way to properly reconcile between these two stands is to realize that mixing, i it
inoles cooperation upon good and piety, is obligatory, and i it inoles cooperation upon
sin and transgression, is orbidden. Mixing with the Muslims or the purpose o
congregational acts o worship, such as the ie prayers, the lriday prayer, the a prayer, the
eclipse prayer, the prayer or rain ,i.ti.q,, etc., is rom what Allah and lis Messenger ,peace
be upon him, commanded. Such is also the case when mixing with the people during the
a;;, to ight the disbelieers, Kbarri;, and rebels, een i the leaders o and participants in
such actiities are corrupt. 1his is also the case with a gathering in which the worshipper can
increase his aith - either because o it beneiting him, or he beneiting it.

And a person must hae time alone to engage in supplication, remembrance, prayer,
relection, take himsel to account, and rectiy his heart. 1hese are issues that nobody else
can participate with him in, and these are aairs that need to be seen to on an indiidual
basis, whether at home or otherwise, as 1awus said: low excellent o a reuge is the home!
In it, one can restrain his gaze and his tongue.` So, it is incorrect to mix with people
unrestrictedly, and it is incorrect to seclude yoursel rom people unrestrictedly. As or
exactly how much eery person needs o each, and what is best or him at all times, this is
something that requires urther inestigation.

\hat is best is that one sometimes pick rom the arious types o worship based on their
inherent irtue ,prayer is in itsel better than recitation o the Qur`an, and recitation is better
than abi/r, and abi/r is better than supplication,, and sometimes based on what time o day
he is in ,recitation, abi/r, and supplication ater a;r and ..r are preerred oer prayer,, and
sometimes based on the physical position he is in ,abi/r and supplication in bowing and
prostration are legislated instead o recitation o the Qur`an, and abi/r and supplication
during tarf is legislated by consensus, while recitation o the Qur`an during tarf is diered
oer,, and sometimes based on his location ,what is legislated at Araah, Muzdaliah, at the
]avr, and at Saa and Marwah is abi/r and supplication instead o prayer, etc. and tarf o
the Sacred louse or the isitor is better than prayer, and prayer is better or the inhabitants
o Makkah,, and sometimes based on the appropriateness o the worship or the person
44
,]iba or men is better than a;;, while the ;iba o women is a;;, and obedience to the
husband is better than obedience to the ather or the married woman, as opposed to the
single woman who is commanded to obey her ather,, and sometimes based on the capability
o the serant, as the worship he is capable o is better or him than the worship he is
incapable o, een i what he is incapable o is inherently better. 1his is a point where many
people go to extremes and ollow their desires: some people who see a certain action as
being better or them due to their own circumstances, or due to it being more beneicial to
their heart and a better way to obey their Lord, wish to then make this the best action or
eeryone around them, and proceeds to command them to do the same.

And Allah sent Muhammad ,peace be upon him, with the Book and \isdom, and made him
to be a mercy and guide or the serants, commanding each person with what is best or
them. So, the Muslim should be a well-wisher to eery person, wanting what is best or
them.`
112


And the scholars - may Allah be Pleased with them - would mix with the people and teach
them while simultaneously being the most careul o people o wasting their time, and
Ahmad ,may Allah be Pleased with him, was the most patient o people upon being alone,
despite the act that he was the ivv o the world during his time. lis son, Abdullah, said:
My ather went out to 1arsus on oot, perormed a;; two or three times on oot, and he
was the most patient o people upon being alone. Bishr, despite his status, was unable to
remain by himsel, and would always go out to see this person and that.`
113


So, mixing and socialization should not be with one who has a dead heart, as he is like a
highway robber. Rather, it should be with one who will increase you in aith and action.

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

1he one with a dead heart will make you eel lonely. So, take adantage o his absence as
much as possible, because you will not eel lonely except when he is with you. I you are put
to trial with him, gie him your outer attention, wander rom him with your heart, separate
your inner sel rom him, and do not let him distract you rom what is more desering o
your attention.

Know that the greatest o losses is or you to be preoccupied with one who will bring you
nothing but a loss in your time with Allah - the Mighty and Majestic - and being cut o rom
lim, wasting o your time on him, weakening o your energy, and dispersing o your
attention. So, i you are tested with this - and you must be tested with this - deal with him
according to how Allah would wish, and be patient with him as much as possible. Get closer
to Allah and lis Pleasure by way o this person, and make your getting together with him
something to beneit rom, not something to incur a loss rom. Be with him as i you are a
man who is on a road who was stopped by another man, who then asks you to take him on
your journey. Make sure that you are the one who gies him a ride, and that he is not the one

112
Ma;vv` atatr` ,10,425,

113
1ar;avat atvv .bvaa` ,p. 18,

45
giing you the ride. I he reuses, and there is nothing to gain rom traeling with him, do
not stop or him, bid him arewell, and do not een turn back to look at him, as he is a
highway robber regardless o who he really is.

So, sae your heart, be wary o how you spend your days and nights, and do not let the Sun
set beore you arrie at your destination.`
114


So, the student o knowledge should abandon socialization, as this is rom the most crucial
things that he can do, especially in regards to members o the opposite gender, and especially
with those who spend most o their time in amusement and little o their time in thought, as
the nature o others can rob you o your own. 1he harms o socialization include the passing
o your lie without any beneit, as well as the decline o your wealth and religious
commitment i this socialization were to occur with the wrong people.

1he student o knowledge should not mix except with those who he can beneit or can
beneit rom. I he is oered the riendship o one who will waste his time with him, will not
beneit him, will not beneit rom him, and will not assist him in reaching his objectie, he
should politely end the relationship rom the start beore it progresses to something deeper,
as when something becomes established, it becomes more diicult to change it. 1here is a
phrase that is constantly on the tongues o the scholars: Repelling something is easier than
remoing it.`

I he requires someone to beriend, let that person be righteous, religious, pious, wary,
intelligent, ull o beneit, haing little eil, good at complying and rarely conlicting,
reminding him i he orgets, cooperating with him when he is reminded, helpul i he is in
need, and comorting i he is in distress.`
115


Ibn Qudamah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

Know that not eeryone is suitable to be your riend. \ou must eriy that this potential
riend has the necessary characteristics that make riendship with him something to be
desired. 1he one you seek to beriend must hae ie characteristics:
le must be intelligent. 1here is no good in beriending an idiot, as he will only harm
you when he wants to beneit you. By intelligent, we mean one he understands things
as they are on his own or i they are explained to him.
le must hae good manners, and this is a must. One who is simply intelligent might
be oercome by anger or desire, and obey his desire. 1hus, there would be no beneit
in beriending him.
le must not be a f.iq. Such a person would not ear Allah, and whoeer does not
ear Allah cannot be trusted.

114
at!bit a.a,,ib` ,p. 45,

115
1aab/irat a.vi ratMvta/attiv ,p. 83,
46
le must not be an innoator, as there is a ear o being oertaken by his innoation.
le should not be eager or the avv,.
Umar bin al-Khattab ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: Stick with your true brothers.
\ou can lie in comort with them, as they are a delight in times o ease, and you can lean on
them in times o hardship. Assume the best about your brother until he comes with
something that should alarm you rom him. Aoid your enemy, and beware o beriending
anyone but the trustworthy, and there is no trust or the one who doesn`t ear Allah. Do not
beriend the corrupt, as he will teach you his corruption, and do not reeal your secrets to
him, and only consult those who ear Allah, the Lxalted.`
\ahya bin Mu`adh said: A riend is the one who you don`t hae to remind to remember you
in his supplication, and that you don`t hae to latter and impress, and that you don`t hae to
apologize to.`
And Abu Ja`ar said to his companions: Can any o you put his hand in the pocket o his
brother and take what he wants` 1hey replied: No.` le said: 1hen you are not brothers
as you claim.`

1be Rigbt. of rotberbooa
And each o you has certain rights upon his brother.
\ou should ulill his needs, and this is o leels. 1he least is that you gladly ulill his needs
when you are able and he asks you. Better than this is that you ulill them beore he een
asks you, and better than all o this is that you put his needs beore your own.
\ou should remain silent regarding him at times, and speak at times. As or your silence, you
should be quiet about his aults, both in his presence and absence. \ou should not argue or
dispute with him, and shouldn`t ask him about personal things that he wouldn`t want to
reeal. I you happen to see him somewhere, don`t ask where he is going, as it might be that
he doesn`t want anyone to know. Don`t reeal his secrets, een i you all into a eud
aterwards. Also, don`t insult his riends and amily, and don`t inorm him i others happen
to insult him.
Don`t say anything that could annoy him except i this inoles something that must be said,
such as commanding the good or orbidding the eil, as this would actually be a way o being
good to him.
And know that you will neer ind a riend who is completely ree o aults. Instead, look or
someone whose good qualities outweigh his bad. Once you are stricter in judging people
than you are in judging yoursel, you all into Allah`s Saying:

., , . , | _ - , | . , , =| . . , , , _ | , , | . ,
47
1hose who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full
measure, and when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than
their due.}
116


And know that one o the greatest means by which hatred and eny come between two
brothers is useless argumentation. 1his leads to nothing but each side trying to show itsel as
being better and smarter than the other, belittling the other, etc. And he who picks
arguments with his brother has essentially made him out to be stupid, low, heedless, and
incompetent, and all o this is considered belittlement. 1his inlames the heart and makes
one person hate the other, and this is all contradictory to what brotherhood is all about.

1he rights o brotherhood also entail that you say certain things. Just as you hae to remain
silent rom saying what you shouldn`t say, you should also say what should be said. In act,
this is rom the most particular rights o brotherhood, because the one who wants to
beriend the mute can go to the graeyard. 1he point o brotherhood is that you beneit
rom your brother, not that you are relieed o him. So, you should strengthen your ties o
brotherhood with words by asking about him, asking how things are going, let him know
that you are concerned about him, and be happy with what makes him happy.

\ou should reer to him in the best light and praise him to others or the good that you
know o him. \ou should also speak well o his amily, children, actions - een his character,
intellect, appearance, personality - and eerything that can make him happy without going
into extremes or saying what is untrue. Likewise, you should inorm him i someone says
something good about him while showing him that you are happy about this, as to hide such
joy is tantamount to eny.

\ou should thank him or anything he does or you, and deend him in his absence i he is
mentioned in a bad light, as the right between brothers is that they rush to deend and assist
one another.

\ou should teach and adise him, as your brother`s need or knowledge is not any less than
his need or money. So, i you hae been blessed with a wealth o knowledge, distribute it
and guide him.

And you should adise him in secret, and the dierence between adising and condemning
is whether you do it in public or priate. Likewise, the dierence between ignoring the ault
o your brother and compromising with him is all in the purpose o doing so. So, i you
ignore his ault or the sake o a religious beneit, or you see that this will lead to his long-
term beneit, you are not compromising. I you put aside his ault or your own personal
beneit, you are compromising.

\ou should supplicate or your brother during his lie and ater his death or eerything you
want or yoursel. Abu ad-Darda` ,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet
,peace be upon him, said: 1he supplication of a Muslim man for his brother in his
absence is accepted, and there is an Angel appointed for each supplication of a man
for his brother with good who says: Allah, accept it, and give him the same that he

116
atMvtaffifiv, 2-3
48
asks for his friend,'
11
and Abu ad-Darda` used to supplicate or many o his brothers,
mentioning them by name in his supplications. Likewise, Ahmad bin lambal used to
supplicate at dawn or six speciic indiiduals.

\ou should make a pact to loe your brother until death, and to loe his amily and riends
ater his death. \ou should also not stop being humble with him een i you end up
exceeding him in wealth and status. lrom the implications o this pact is also that you do not
listen to criticism o your riend rom others, and that you do not beriend his enemies.

\ou should also not task him with what he cannot bear. Rather, you should try to reliee
him o his own concerns and pressures, and should not use his riendship to get to his
wealth or resources, and should not pressure him to go out o his way to help you. Rather,
your loe o him should only be or Allah`s Pleasure and to deal with him in an easygoing
and resered manner, so that he would not hesitate to ask o you what you would ask o
him.

Ja`ar bin Muhammad said: 1he most diicult riends are those who are a burden on me
and I try to aoid, and the easiest o riends are those whose presence is just as burdensome
as their absence ,i.e. they are not at all burdensome,.`
118


So, the student o knowledge should be sure to aoid those who should not be beriended in
order to presere his time and protect his heart. le should choose the riend who will help
him in the matters o his religion and the lereater, and al-Khawarizm ,may Allah hae
Mercy on him, said:

Do vot befrieva ove rbo i. ta, or vav, rigbteov. peopte bare beev corrvptea b, tbe corrvpt.

1be .teaafa.t are qvic/t, ivfectea b, tbe ta, .va bvrvivg coat. .ivver aorv rbev tbrorv ivto a.be..
















11
abib at.aab atMvfraa` ,48, and abib bv M;ab` ,2358,

118
Mv/bta.ar Mivb; atQ.iaiv` ,p. 126-132,
49
- - 7 7 - -

Choose What to Start With and Who to 1each You


Ibn al-Qayyim ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1he nobility o knowledge is in accordance with the nobility o what is learned rom it, how
strong and irm its proos are, how necessary such knowledge is, and how beneicial it is.
And there is no doubt that the lotiest and greatest subject o knowledge is Allah - besides
\hom none deseres to be worshipped, the Lord o the worlds, the Sustainer o the
heaens and the Larth, the King, the Clear 1ruth, the One described with complete
perection, the One ree o all ault and deiciency, and ree o all resemblance in lis
perection - and there is no doubt that knowledge o Allah, lis Names, Attributes, and
actions is the noblest and lotiest o knowledge, just as le is the Noblest o all in
comparison to anything else that can be known and studied. Just as knowledge o lim is the
noblest o all knowledge, le is the basis o all knowledge. Just as eerything in existence
depends on the King and Clear 1ruth or its own surial and existence, eery type o
knowledge depends on lim in a similar ashion. So, knowledge o lim is the basis o all
knowledge since le is the Lord, Owner, and Sustainer o eerything.

1here is no doubt that complete knowledge o something created requires knowledge o the
one who created it, just as knowledge o something that was brought about requires
knowledge o what brought that thing about. Lerything that exists besides Allah depends
or its existence on lim - just like a product depends on its producer, and an action depends
on the one carrying out the action. So, knowing Allah, lis Attributes, and actions means
that one will automatically come to know what exists besides Allah. 1his is because le is the
Lord and Owner o eerything, and knowledge o lim is the basis and source o all other
knowledge. So, the one who knows Allah will know other than Allah, and whoeer is
ignorant o Allah will be ignorant o anything besides lim, as Allah Said:

v , , , =| , . = , , . | , .
And do not be like those who forgot Allah, and He then caused them to forget
themselves.}
119


Relect upon this erse and you will ind that it contains a great and noble meaning, and this
is that whoeer orgets his Lord will end up orgetting himsel, and will not know the reality
o himsel or his interests. le will be made to orget what leads to his health and success in
lie, and will end up becoming incapacitated and lost, just like a wild animal. In act, the
animals might een be more aware o what is in their interests than him due to the act that
they remain irm upon the bit o guidance that was proided to them by their Creator. le,
on the other hand, rebelled against the fitrab that he was ormed on and orgot his Lord, and

119
ata.br, 19

50
was thus made to orget himsel, his soul, its characteristics, what completes it, what puriies
it, and what satisies it during its lie, and Allah Said:

, _ , . - - , | | - _ = | | - | .
.and do not obey he whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance
and who follows his own lusts, and whose affair has been lost.}
120


le orgot his Lord, and thereore lost his aair and his heart. So, he is unable to grasp what
is in his best interests, or what completes and puriies his heart and soul. Instead, his heart is
diided, and he is conused, lost, and misguided.

1he point is that knowledge o Allah is the oundation o all knowledge, and it is the
oundation or the slae knowing what will make him happy, complete, and ulilled in this
lie and the next. Ignorance o lim leads to one being ignorant o himsel, his interests,
what completes and puriies him, and what leads him to success. So, knowledge o lim is
happiness or him, and ignorance o lim is pain and anguish.

And there is nothing or the slae that is better, sweeter, or more relaxing or delightul to his
heart and lielihood than loing his Creator, constantly remembering lim, and striing to
Please lim. 1his is the completeness that the slae cannot achiee otherwise, and this is why
the Creation was Created, the Reelation was reealed, the Messengers were sent, the
heaens and Larth were established, Paradise and lell were put orth, laws were legislated,
the Sacred louse was built and made a place o pilgrimage - which is a maniestation o
loing and being pleased and pleasing to lim - and this is why ]iba was commanded, the
necks were struck o those who rejected and preerred others to lim, and an abode o
eternal punishment and torture was prepared or them. And this great matter is why the
Creed was established, the Qibtab was ordained, and it is what all the aairs o the Creation
reole around.

1here is no way to enter all o this except through the door o knowledge, as loe o
something is an extension o knowledge o it, and those who loe Allah most are those who
know lim best. So, whoeer knows Allah will loe lim, and whoeer knows this avv, and
its people will lose interest in them. So, knowledge is what opens this great door, which is
the secret o the Creation and Ordainment.`
121


So, the student o knowledge should start with what he is and always will be most in need o
- knowledge o Allah, lis Names, Attributes, and actions. So, i he receies his share o
knowledge o Allah, he is then to moe on to knowledge o the Qur`an and vvvab upon the
methodology o the irst generation o this |vvab ,may Allah be Pleased with them,, so that
he would be able to properly relay rom the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him,.

Ibn al-Qayyim also said:


120
atKabf, 28

121
Miftb Dr a.a`aab` ,1,86,
51
Relaying on behal o the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, is o two types: through
a mediator, and without a mediator. 1he Companions - those who were oremost - took
their knowledge without a mediator, and they withstood the test o time. So, nobody rom
the |vvab can eer hope to catch up to them. loweer, the successul one is he who
ollows the same straight path they were on, traerses their irm methodology, and stays
away rom anything that can drag him o o this path let or right, as this will cause him to
wander in loss in a desert o deadly traps. So, what possible good thing can such people not
be the irst to rush to

By Allah, they drank the best, sweetest, and purest water rom the ountain o lie, and they
supported the oundations o Islam. 1hey did not leae anything unexplained or those who
came ater them. 1he opened people`s hearts with the justice o the Qur`an and aith, and
they conquered regions with the swords and spears o ]iba, and they transmitted to the
1bi`iv that which they receied in pure orm rom the light o Prophethood. 1heir i.va in
this was rom the Prophet ,peace be upon him,, rom Jibrl, rom the Lord o the worlds,
and it was the highest i.va in quality and authenticity. 1hey said this is the trust o our
Prophet let with us, and we hae gien you this trust, and this is what our Lord has
entrusted and obligated upon our Prophet and us, and we will entrust it and obligate it upon
you.

So, those 1bi`iv ollowed them in good upon their irm methodology, and they ollowed in
their ootsteps upon the straight path. 1hen, their ollowers traersed the same path o
guidance, and were guided to the best words and praiseworthy traits. In comparison to those
who came beore them, they were as the Most 1ruthul Said:

- _ | | , | - , - |
A multitude of those will be from the first generations, and a few of those will be
from the later times.}
122


1hen came the leading scholars rom the ourth blessed century, according to one o the two
narrations authentically related rom Abu Sa`d, Ibn Mas`ud, Abu lurayrah, A`ishah, and
Imran bin lusayn. So, they ollowed in their ootsteps in eerything, inherited rom their
shining light, and the religion o Allah was too aluable in their hearts and souls or them to
put oer it a logical opinion, blind ollowing, or analogy. So, they became known the world
oer in the best light, and Allah gae them a truthul tongue amongst all other people.

1hen, their irst generation o ollowers proceeded in their ootsteps and rose up upon their
irm and rightly guided methodology. 1hey showed no interest in partisanship to indiiduals,
were satisied with proos and eidences, traeling on the boat o truth whereer it sailed,
and sticking with the correct opinion whereer it roamed. I a clear proo worked its
wonders on them, they lew to it as indiiduals and groups. I the Messenger called them to
something, they paid ull attention and did not ask or urther clariication, and his words

122
at!qi`ab, 12-13

52
were so dear to their hearts that they would neer put in ront o it the word o a single
person, or contradict it with an opinion or comparison.`
123


So, as a seeker o knowledge, you should turn all o your attention to the sciences o the
Qur`an and vvvab, as knowledge o them is the real knowledge, and to be ignorant o
anything else will not really harm you.

lere is the adice o a concerned riend, who sends it to you clothed and shaded in his
desire to see good or you, and in the most eloquent and magical o words. Ibn al-Qayyim
says:

O ,ov rbo .ee/. to .are biv.etf i.tev to tbe rora. of a torivg aari.or;

v att of ,ovr affair., bota tigbtt, to Reretatiov .va vot to ae.irabte battvcivatiov.;

.va gire rictor, to tbe oo/ of .ttb ava tbe traaitiov. 1bat cave frov tbe ove .evt ritb tbe Criteriov;

.va .tri/e erer, aevier ritb tbe .rora of Reretatiov ]v.t ti/e tbe Mv;bia rovta .tri/e orer tbe fivgertip.;

.va carr, ov ritb trvtbfvt eat 1be ra, of tbe .ivcere ava brare rbo are aeaicatea to .ttb;

.va revaiv firv ritb patievce vvaer tbe bavver of gviaavce .va if ,ov are barvea iv tbe proce.., it i. for
tbe Ptea.vre of tbe Mercifvt;

.va va/e tbe oo/ of .ttb ava avtbevtic traaitiov. ,ovr reapov. .va .trevgtbev ,ovr .ovt;

!bo ritt figbt ava pre.evt biv.etf Or covpete ov tbe batttefieta..

Opevt, preacb rbat tbe Me..evger cave ritb .va ao vot fear tbe tac/ of betper.;

.va aroia tro garvevt. rbo.e rearer. !itt be cev.vrea ava ae.tro,ea;

1be garvevt of igvoravce tbat cove. ritb 1be garvevt of parti.av.bip - rbat terribte ctotbe.!

.va aecorate ,ovr.etf ritb fairve.. ava ;v.tice 1be be.t garvevt to beavtif, tbe cbe.t ava .bovtaer.;

.va va/e ,ovr votto tbe fear of .ttb ava aarice of tbe Me..evger .va cbavpiov tbe.e tro vatter.;

.va bota firvt, to i. rope ava Reretatiov .va aepeva ov iv a. e ae.erre..

And may Allah hae Mercy on ash-Shai`, as he said:

rer, /vorteage otber tbav tbe Qvr`v i. a ai.tractiov cept for aaitb ava iqb;

Kvorteage i. rbaterer begiv. ritb t ra. varratea to v..` .va erer,tbivg et.e i. tbe rbi.perivg of
atav.

123
`tv atMvraqqi`iv` ,1,5,
53
And Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Kvorteage i. rbat .ttb, i. Me..evger .va tbe Covpaviov. .aia, a. tbe, are tbe vo.t /vorteageabte;

.va /vorteage i. vot footi.b oppo.itiov. 1o tbe Me..evger ritb tbe opiviov of a per.ov.

So, whoeer seeks true knowledge away rom what is in the Qur`an and vvvab, he is seeking
the impossible. \hoeer seeks satisaction by taking rom anything else, he has strayed rom
the path. 1hey are the way to ree and cure yoursel rom ignorance, and may Allah hae
Mercy on the .ttvab Ibn al-Qayyim, as he said:

gvoravce i. a aeaat, ai.ea.e .va it. cvre i. iv tro covptivevtar, tbivg.;

. tet frov tbe Qvr`v or vvvab .va a vvrtvrivg .cbotar to .reetev tbev;

.va /vorteage i. of tbree t,pe., ritb vo fovrtb .va tbe trvtb i. rbat ctarifie.;

Kvorteage of tbe .ttribvte. ava actiov. of tbe Deit, .va tbe ^ave. of tbe Mercifvt;

.va tbe covvava. ava probibitiov. tbat are i. retigiov .va tbe rerara e gire. at tbe Meetivg Da,;

.va tbi. i. att iv tbe Qvr`v ava vvvab 1bat cave frov tbe ove .evt ritb tbe Criteriov;

.va b, .ttb, voboa, .pea/. ritb otber tbav tbev cept tbat be i. battvcivativg.

And how great is the saying:

O ,ov rbo ra/e. vp to .ee/ /vorteage! .tt /vorteage i. a .tare to tbe /vorteage of tbe Me..evger;

Yov .ee/ tbe bravcb to correct a privcipte or cav ,ov be beeate.. of tbe greate.t of privcipte..

So, the crux o all knowledge is the Book o Allah and what came in the second Reelation,
and that is the vvvab o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,. So, stick as irmly as you can to
them both, as they are the path to saety, sweetness and relaxation, the shade on a hot day,
and the best prize and reward.


Cboo.ivg a 1eacber

1he student o knowledge should make an eort to choose a .ba,/b.

le should choose the one most knowledgeable, cautious, and wise, just as Abu lanah
,may Allah hae Mercy on him, chose lammad bin Sulayman. Ater thinking and
pondering, he said: I ound him to be a sharp, sot-hearted, and patient .ba,/b.` And he
said: I stayed with lammad bin Sulayman, and I became adanced in my knowledge.``
124


124
1a`tiv atMvta`attiv` ,p. 12,
54
And in the introduction to his abib,` Muslim reported that Muhammad bin Srn said: 1his
knowledge is religion. So, look to who you take your knowledge rom.`
125


Ibn Jama`ah said:

1he student should look orth and consult Allah in regards to who to learn rom, and he
should seek to gain good manners and character rom whoeer he chooses. I he can, he
should ind one who is completely qualiied to teach, concerned with his students, displays
manhood, is known to be pure, has a good reputation, has a good teaching style, and is easily
understood. 1he seeker o knowledge should not just seek out the one who is most
knowledgeable, and who might lack caution, piety, and good manners. Some o the ataf
said: 1his knowledge is religion. So, look who you take your religion rom.`

\ou should also beware o restricting yoursel to those who are amous, as al-Ghazzal and
others counted this as arrogance towards knowledge, and considered it to be rom the lowest
o traits. 1his is because knowledge is the prize o the belieer, and he should take it rom
whereer he inds it, and should take the blessing rom whoeer wants to gie it to him. le
runs rom ignorance just as he runs rom a lion, and the one running rom a lion will accept
help rom whoeer oers him a way to escape.

So, i one is not well-known and you can still expect good rom him, he will be more
beneicial and helpul. I you read about the lies o the ataf, you will ind that none o their
students would beneit rom a .ba,/b unless he had a air share o taqr, and his concern and
adice to his students was a clear proo o him haing this. Likewise, i you look through the
arious books, you`ll ind that you gain more beneit rom the author who has more taqr
and vba, and will spend more time reading and gaining rom his books.

Make sure that your .ba,/b is ully aware o all o the bar`i sciences, and is known to hae
studied at length with the trustworthy scholars o his time, and did not merely study rom
the depths o the pages o a book. ash-Shai` said: 1he rulings will slip away rom whoeer
gains knowledge rom the depths o books.` And some o them said: lrom the greatest o
tests is that one gains knowledge just rom books.``
126


al-Khatb al-Baghdad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

Mughrah bin Ibrahm said: I they came to a man to study with him, they would look to
his appearance, his prayer, and his oerall condition. 1hen, they would study with him.`

Suyan ath-1hawr said: \hoeer studies with an innoator, Allah will not allow him to
beneit rom what he learned, and whoeer shakes his hand has remoed the bonds o
Islam, one by one.`


125
barb abib Mv.tiv` ,1,84,

126
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 85,

55
And Malik bin Anas said: Knowledge is not to be taken rom our types o people, and is to
be taken rom anyone else: the ool who is known or his oolishness, een i he narrates
more than anyone, the liar who lies on the people, een i he doesn`t lie upon the Prophet
,peace be upon him,, an innoator who calls people to his innoation, a .ba,/b who is
known or his irtue and worship i he doesn`t understand what he talks about.``
12


All o this shows that it is essential to start with the most important ield o knowledge and
to choose the right teacher, as he is your example, source, and shining star. So, be ery
careul o the innoators.

And Allah is the One who Guides, and there is none worthy o worship except lim, and
there is no Lord except him.



































12
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,139,
56
- - 8 8 - -

Have the Best Manners with Your 1eacher


Allah clariied in lis Book - and le is the Lord o the hearts, and the Knower o the
Unseen - that a reminder does not awaken eeryone, and it does not beneit all who hear it.
Rather, there are conditions and restrictions to this:

`=, , , _ .| _ | | | `. | - | . | = | | . _ . ,
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for he who has a heart or gives ear while he is
heedful.}
128


Ibn al-Qayyim ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

I you want to beneit rom the Qur`an, gather your heart when it is recited, ocus your
hearing, and act like you are being directly addressed by Allah, as it is an address rom lim
to you upon the tongue o this Messenger ,peace be upon him,, as the Lxalted Said:

`=, , , _ .| _ | | | `. | - | . | = | | . _ . ,
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for he who has a heart or gives ear while he is
heedful.}

And this is because gaining the most beneit and eect rom something depends on the
object causing the eect, the accompanying target that will eel that eect, the conditions
necessary or that eect to be elt, and the remoal o what that eect is meant to remoe.
All o this is ound in the aboe erse in the most clear and concise manner possible:
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder.} reerring to eerything rom the beginning o
the .vrab to this point.

And lis Saying .for he who has a heart.} is reerring to the target o the aect,
meaning the heart that is alie and knows Allah, as Allah Said in another erse:

. , , v , `. .| `_,- * | _ = , - . , -
{Indeed, it is a reminder and a clear Qur'an to warn he who is alive.}
129


Meaning, has a heart that is alie.


128
Qf, 3

129
Y iv, 69-0

57
lis Saying .or gives ear.} means that he directs his listening and ocuses his senses
to what is being said to him, and this is rom the conditions o being aected by words that
are spoken.

lis Saying .while he is heedful.} means that he has a heart that is present and not
absent. Ibn Qutaybah said: le listens to the Book o Allah while his heart and
comprehension are there, and he is not distracted.` 1his is an indication o what is meant to
be remoed by the eect o the Qur`an, which is the distraction and absence o the heart, its
inability to understand what is being relayed to it, and its lack o insight and relection upon
it.

So, i the source o the eect is there ,the Qur`an,, and the target o the eect is there ,the
heart that is alie,, and the conditions o eeling the eect are there ,to ocus and pay
attention,, and the remoal o the obstacle is there ,the distraction o the heart and inability
to understand the meaning o what is being said, - with all o these actors are present, the
result is achieed ,the eect and beneit o the Qur`an and reminder is elt,.

So, knowledge is only attained by humbly lending one`s attention and ocus. ash-Sha`b ,may
Allah hae Mercy on him, said: Zayd bin 1habit prayed a uneral prayer. A mule was then
brought or him to ride away on, and Ibn Abbas came and took hold o its reigns to lead
him away. So, Zayd said to him: Let go o it, O cousin o the Messenger o Allah ,peace be
upon him,.` Ibn Abbas said: 1his is how we were commanded to treat the scholars!``
130


And the ataf used to look with the utmost reerence and respect to those they learned rom,
and this is eident when looking at their manners in attending circles o knowledge,
speciically how they would honor their teachers. al-Khatb reported many such narrations:

al-Mughrah said: \e would honor Ibrahm an-Nakha` just as one would honor the
ruler.`

Ayyub said: A man would sit with al-lasan or three years and not ask him anything out o
awe and respect or him.`

Ishaq ash-Shahd said: I would see \ahya al-Qattan praying ..r. le would then lean on
the base o the mosque`s minaret, and standing in ront o him would be Al bin al-Madn,
ash-Shadhakun, Amr bin Al, Ahmad bin lambal, \ahya bin Ma`n, etc. - all asking him
about aaitb while they were standing up. 1his would go on until the Magbrib prayer, and he
would not oer any o them to sit, and none o them would sit out o awe and respect o
him.`

al-Ghulab said: Ibn al-Khayyat praised Malik bin Anas, saying:

e gire. bi. av.rer ritbovt reavcivg bi. are !bite tbo.e a./ivg biv bare tbeir cbiv. rai.ea;


130
atar`ia` ,p. 5,

58
1be tigbt of travqvitit, ava tbe bovor of rigbteov. avtborit, 1bi. i. bor tbe, re.pect biv ritbovt biv beivg
av avtborit,.

And Abd ar-Rahman bin larmalah al-Aslam said: Nobody dared to ask Sa`d bin al-
Musayyab about anything until he would seek his permission, just as the ruler`s permission is
sought or something.``
131


And it is said that ash-Shai` ,may Allah be Pleased with him, was criticized or his humility
to the scholars, and he said:

bvvbte v,.etf to tbev, ava tbe, bovor ve .va ,ov ritt vot be bovorea vvte.. ,ov bvvbte ,ovr.etf.

And Ahmad bin lambal ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said to Khala al-Ahmar ,may
Allah hae Mercy on him,: I will not sit except between your hands. \e were commanded
to be humble to those we learn rom.``
132


1he seeker o knowledge should submit to his teacher in his aairs, and he should not seek
to contradict and oppose him in his opinions and decisions. Rather, he should be with him
like the sick is with his doctor - consulting him in what he wants, intending his pleasure,
protecting his honor, and gaining nearness to Allah by sering him. le should realize that
humility to his .ba,/b is an honor, and lowering yoursel or him raises you.

1he student o knowledge should look to his teacher with the eye o awe and respect, as this
will help him to beneit rom him. Some o the ataf would gie some charity beore going
to isit their .ba,/b, saying: O Allah! lide the aults o my .ba,/b rom me, and do not
preent me rom the blessing o his knowledge.``
133


And ash-Shai` ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: I would turn the pages o my books
in ront o Malik ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, in a ery sot, quiet way so that he
wouldn`t be bothered by its noise, out o respect or him.`

And lamdan al-Asahan said: I was with Shark ,may Allah hae Mercy on him,, and some
o the children o the Kbatifab al-Mahd came to him. So, he leaned against the wall, and did
not turn to them when they asked him about a baaitb. 1hey then came back and orth, asking
the same question until they said: Do you belittle the children o the rulers` So, Shark
said: No. loweer, knowledge is more aluable with Allah than that I gie it in such a
manner.` So, the men sat down, putting their knees on par with his knees, and he said: 1his
is how knowledge is to be sought.``
134



131
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,184,

132
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 8,

133
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 88,

134
atMa;vv`` ,1,36,

59
And he should not address his .ba,/b in an inormal way, and should not call him rom a
distance.

And al-Khatb said: le should not say O teacher!` or O scholar, what do you think about
this \hat is your take on this` etc. Also, he shouldn`t reer to him by his irst name in his
absence except by attaching to it a title o respect, such as ba,/b,` |.tab,` or ba,/bvv.`

And he should know the rights o his .ba,/b upon him, and should not orget his irtue oer
him, and should put great importance on protecting his honor and repelling any backbiting
o him. le should become enraged or his sake, and i he is unable to do this, he should get
up and leae any gathering where this is taking place. le should supplicate or his .ba,/b
during his lie, and he should tend to his amily, children, and riends ater his death. le
should isit his grae and ask Allah`s lorgieness or him and gie charity on his behal. le
should imitate him in being calm, quiet, and guided, and should imitate his habits in
knowledge o the Religion. le should imitate his moements in his regular habits and
worship, and adopt his manners. Lssentially, he should take him as an example.`
135



Deativg !itb a ar.b 1eacber

And the student o knowledge should be patient with the harshness o his teacher, and
should be sot with him. al-Khatb reported that ash-Shai` said: 1wo men used to isit al-
A`mash. One o them was interested in aaitb, and the other was not. So, one day al-A`mash
got mad at the one who was interested in aaitb. 1he other man said: I he got mad at me
the way he did at you, I wouldn`t come back to him.` So, al-A`mash said: 1hereore, he is
an idiot like you. le leaes what will beneit him due to my bad manners.```
136


And ash-Shai` ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, narrated a similar incident rom Suyan bin
Uyaynah, where it was said to Suyan: 1hese people come to you rom all corners o the
world, and you get mad at them! 1hey can all get up and leae you!` le said: I they did
this, they would be idiots, as they leae what will beneit them due to my bad manners.``
13


Ibn Jama`ah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

1he seeker o knowledge should withstand his teacher`s harshness and bad treatment, and
this should not turn him away rom him. le should gie him the beneit o the doubt when
it comes to any bad actions on his part, and should respond to any harshness rom his .ba,/b
by apologizing himsel, repenting to Allah, seeking lis lorgieness, and placing the blame
on himsel. 1his will presere his loe or this .ba,/b, will protect his heart, and is more
beneicial or the student in this lie and the next.


135
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 89,

136
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,222,

13
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 90, and at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,223,

60
Some o the ataf said: \hoeer is not patient upon the humiliation o learning will spend
the rest o his lie in the blindness o the ignorant, and whoeer is patient upon it will spend
this lie and the next in a state o honor.`

Ibn Abbas ,may Allah be Pleased with him,: I humbled mysel as a student. So, I became
honorable as a teacher.`

Mu`a bin Imran said: 1he one who gets mad at a scholar is like the one who gets mad at
the uniersity teacher.``
138


ash-Shai` said:

e patievt vpov tbe .ovrve.. ava ar,ve.. of /vorteage ecav.e faitvre iv /vorteage i. iv tvrvivg ara,
frov it;

.va be rbo aoe.v`t ta.te tbe .ovrve.. of /vorteage for av bovr !itt .rattor tbe bvvitiatiov of igvoravce
for bi. rbote tife;

.va be rbo attor. /vorteage to pa.. biv b, iv bi. ,ovtb !itt ara/e to tbe fvverat pra,er beivg pra,ea
for biv.

And Ibn Abd al-Barr ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported that Ibn Jurayj said: I did
not gain what I gained rom Ata` except with my sotness with him,` and Ibn 1awus rom
his ather said: lrom the vvvab is that the scholar be honored.``
139


As a seeker o knowledge, beware o arguing with your teacher, as this is eil in its purest
orm, and is een more eil when done with his teacher and example, and it is the reason or
being preented rom much good.

Maymun bin Mahran said: Do not argue with one who is more knowledgeable than you,
because i you do, he will keep his knowledge rom you, and you will not harm him in the
least,` and az-Zuhr said: Salamah used to argue with Ibn Abbas, and was preented rom
much knowledge because o this.``
140


As a student, you should thank your .ba,/b or complimenting you or some good, pointing
out a shortcoming or laziness, or anything else that consists o guidance and adice to
improement. 1his is rom the blessings o Allah on you, and such is better or the heart o
your .ba,/b, and is best or ulilling your own interests.

And i your .ba,/b points out to you some aspect o good manners that you can improe on
and you happen to already know o this, do not show him that you knew about it and just
orgot it at that time. Rather, thank the .ba,/b or beneiting you. I there is, howeer, some

138
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 91,

139
]vi` a,v attv ra aatib` ,1,11,

140
]vi` a,v attv ra aatib` ,1,11,
61
beneit in letting the .ba,/b know this, or some harm will occur i you don`t tell him, there is
no harm in doing so.


1be Mavver. of 1i.itivg Yovr ba,/b

I you ind your .ba,/b sleeping, do not ask to see him. Rather, sit and wait until he wakes
up, or leae i you wish.

al-Khatb al-Baghdad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported:

Ibn Abbas ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: \hen the Messenger o Allah ,peace be
upon him, died, I said to one o the .v.r: Come. Let us go ask the Companions o the
Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him,, as they are plenty in number today.` le said: I
am amazed at you, Ibn Abbas! Do you think they will pay attention to you when the most
important o the Companions are amongst them` So, I let him, and I began to ask the
Companions o the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, about aaitb. I I heard that a
man had a baaitb with him, I would go to his door, and i I ound him sleeping, I would
spread a blanket on the ground in ront o his home and wait or him. 1he wind would blow
dirt on me, and he would eentually come out saying: O cousin o the Messenger o Allah
,peace be upon him,! \hat brings you here \hy didn`t you send or me I would`e come
to you.` I would say: It is more incumbent upon me to come to you,` and I`d ask him about
the abaitb o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,. 1hat .v.ri man lied until he saw the
people gathering around me and asking me, and he would say: 1hat young boy was smarter
than me!``

And Ibn Abbas ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: I ound most o the knowledge o
the Messenger o Allah ,peace be upon him, in this neighborhood o the .v.r. I would wait
at the door o one o them, and i I wanted permission to enter, I would`e gotten it.
loweer, I wanted him to be pleasant when meeting me.`

And Suyan bin Uyaynah narrated that Abu al-lusayn said: Ibn Abbas used to go to one
o the Companions o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,, seeking to ask him about aaitb. It
would be said to him: le is asleep.` So, he would lay down in ront o his door waiting or
him, and it would be said to him: Do you want me to wake him up` le would say: No.`

And Ma`mar narrated that az-Zuhr said: I I came to Urwah`s door, I could`e entered i I
wanted to. loweer, I would sit outside and wait out o respect or him.``
141


Ibn Jama`ah said:

As a student o knowledge, one shouldn`t enter upon his .ba,/b without his permission i
not in a public circle o knowledge, whether the .ba,/b is alone or with someone else. I he is
granted permission and the .ba,/b knows who he is, he can enter. I not, he should leae,
and he shouldn`t repeat his request or permission to enter. I he doubts whether or not the

141
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,222,

62
.ba,/b knows it was him, he should not request permission to enter more than three times
through by either knocking on the door or ringing a bell. I he knocks on the door, let it be
in a light, polite manner. le should tap with his ingers the irst and second time, then with
his knuckles the third time. I he is ar rom the door, there is no problem in him knocking a
bit harder with his knuckles as much as would allow his .ba,/b to hear, and not any louder. I
he grants permission and they are a group who are coming to see him, the best and oldest o
them should enter irst and greet him. 1hen, the next best should enter and greet him, and
on and on.`
142


And al-Khatb ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported that Anas bin Malik ,may Allah be
Pleased with him, said: \e used to knock on the door o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,
with our ingernails.` al-Bukhar reported it in at.aab atMvfraa`
143
on the authority o Anas
,may Allah be Pleased with him,. And it is disliked that i the student is asked \ho is there`
that he reply with Me` without identiying himsel. I the door is open, he should not ace
the inside o the house. Rather, he should stand to the right or let o the door, then greet its
inhabitants.

al-Bukhar ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, listed Cbapter: a,ivg Me` if Ove i. ../ea !bo i.
1bere.` under his section on asking permission in his abib,` and Jabir ,may Allah be Pleased
with him, said: I came to the Prophet ,peace be upon him, regarding a debt that my ather
had. I knocked the door, and he ,peace be upon him, said: Who is there? I said: Me.`
le said: Me! Me! as i he disliked it.`
144


And he also included under the chapter ../ivg Pervi..iov v.teaa of oo/ivg` that Sahl bin Sa`d
,may Allah be Pleased with him, narrated that a man peeked into the home o the Prophet
,peace be upon him, while he was combing his hair with an iron comb. So, when the
Prophet ,peace be upon him, saw him, he said: If I knew that you were looking, I would
have stabbed you in the eye with this comb. Asking for permission was enjoined so
that you would not look into people's houses unlawfully.
145


Ibn Jama`ah ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said:

le should enter upon his .ba,/b in the best appearance. le should hae a clean body and
clothing, trimmed nails and hair, and be perumed - especially i he plans on attending a
circle o knowledge, as it is a gathering o abi/r and worship.

\hen he enters upon his .ba,/b in priate and inds that he has stopped a conersation the
.ba,/b was in the middle o with someone, or he inds the .ba,/b engaged in prayer, abi/r,
writing, or studying that he has stopped because o his entrance, he should greet him and
leae switly unless the .ba,/b insists that he stay. Len i he stays, he should not stay long
unless the .ba,/b asks him to.

142
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 93,

143
al-Alban declared it authentic in abib at.aab atMvfraa` ,828,

144
al-Bukhar ,6250, and Abu Dawud ,518,

145
al-Bukhar ,6241 & 6901, and Muslim ,2156,
63
And he should enter upon his .ba,/b or sit with him while his heart and mind are pure and
ree o distractions. le should not be sleepy, angry, hungry, thirsty, etc. so that he would be
able to pay ull attention to what he tells him.

I he goes to see the .ba,/b teach and doesn`t ind him, he should wait in order not to miss a
single lesson, as each lesson that he misses cannot be replaced. I the .ba,/b happens to be
sleeping, he should wait until he wakes up or leae and come back later, and patience is best
or him. It was narrated that Ibn Abbas would sit at the door o Zayd bin 1habit until he
woke up to gain knowledge rom him, and it would be said to him: Should we wake him up
or you` to which he would reuse. It might een be that he was waiting all this time in the
Sun, and this is how the ataf were.

le should not request rom this .ba,/b to teach him at an inconenient or unusual time, and
he should not request a speciic, special time to study with him een i he was someone o
great importance. 1his is because this constitutes a orm o sel-eleation, as well as
belittlement o the .ba,/b and the other students o knowledge. 1he .ba,/b might be too shy
to reuse, and would then end up leaing o that is more important at the time. loweer, i
there is a pressing excuse or him to meet the .ba,/b priately instead o with the regularly
scheduled class, there is no problem in this.`
146


\hen you get to the class o the .ba,/b, you should sit some distance rom the .ba,/b. al-
Khatb ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, that Suyan bin Uyaynah said: Ka`b was with Umar
bin al-Khattab, and he sat ar rom the circle. Umar reprimanded him or this, and Ka`b
said: O Commander o the Belieers! lrom the wisdoms o Luqman and his adices to his
son are: O son! I you sit next to the ruler, allow enough space or one man between you
and him, as someone might come along who is more important to him than you, and would
then hae to get up and moe, and this would be a orm o degradation or you.```
14


And the student should sit in ront o his teacher with humility and calmness, acing him
completely, paying complete attention to his words, and he should not turn rom him
without the need to do so. le should also not look right, let, up, or down without a reason,
especially when he is studying or talking with him.

le shouldn`t look except to him, and shouldn`t turn to look at or hear something happening
on the side. le shouldn`t dust his clothing, and should not moe his hands and legs out o
boredom, and should not place his hand oer his beard or mouth, or place his inger in his
nose to remoe anything rom it, and should not leae his mouth open or pick his teeth, and
should not draw lines in the carpet with his ingers, and should not clasp his ingers together
or iddle with his clothing.

le should not lean against a wall or pillow in the presence o his .ba,/b, or place his hands
on them. le should not gie his .ba,/b his side or back, and should not lean on his hand to
the back or side, and should not speak too much unnecessarily, and should not say
something laughable or stupid or ill-mannered. le should not laugh unnecessarily, and

146
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 95,

14
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 95,
64
should not laugh unless his .ba,/b laughs. I he is tempted to smile, he should do so without
making a noise.

le should not clear his throat too much in his presence, nor should he spit or blow his nose
as much as he is able. I he has to blow his nose, he shouldn`t spit the mucus out in an open
manner. Rather, he should use a tissue or the edge o his clothing to dispose o it. le should
coer his eet, let his clothes hang loose, and keep his hands still while studying or reading. I
he sneezes, he should stile the sound and coer his ace with a tissue, and he should coer
his mouth i he yawns.

Al ,may Allah be Pleased with him, said: lrom the rights o the scholar are that you greet
the gathering and then greet the .ba,/b speciically, you should sit in ront o him, you
should not point here and there, wink, etc. in ront o him, do not come out and tell him
that fvtv diers with him in a gien matter, do not backbite anybody in his presence, and do
not ask him intricate and complicated questions. I he makes a mistake, make an excuse or
him, and it is upon you to honor him or the Sake o Allah, the Lxalted. I he needs
something, you should be the irst to tend to his need, do not attract attention in his circle,
do not grab his clothing, do not insist on something i he is too tired, do not think that you
can hae enough o his riendship, as he is like the palm tree rom which you wait or
something to all on you,` and what Al ,may Allah be Pleased with him, gathered in this
adice is more than enough.`
148


So, calmness and tranquility are two traits that must always be with the student in the circle
o knowledge, and proper maniestation o good manners is essential. 1he ataf would
greatly respect and honor the circles o knowledge, and they would sit in them as i there
were birds sitting on their heads.

Abu Bakr bin al-Ambar said: 1here are two explanations as to the term sitting as i there
were birds on their heads`: the irst is that they sat extremely still, and would lower their gaze,
and birds do not land except on what is still. It is said to the man who is sot and gentle that
the birds could land on his head rom his calmness. As or the second meaning, it is in
regards to how Sulayman bin Dawud ,peace be upon them, would say to the wind: Carry
us,` and would say to the birds: Shade us.` So, the wind would carry him and his
companions, and the birds would shade them. lis companions would lower their gaze out
o respect and awe o him, and would remain completely still, and would not say a word
unless he asked them a question. So, it is said to people i they are still that they are scholars
who sit as i they hae birds on their heads, likening them to the companions o Sulayman
,peace be upon him,.`
149


al-Khatb ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported that Ahmad bin Sinan al-Qattan said:

`Nobody in the class o Abd ar-Rahman bin Mahd would een speak, sharpen a pen, or
smile. I he saw that someone spoke or sharpened a pen, he would get up, put on his shoes,
and go home.

148
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 9,

149
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,192,
65
Also, \ak` and his students were as i they were in prayer during their classes, and i
something happened in the class that annoyed him, he would put on his shoes and go home.

And Ibn Numayr would get angry and leae, and his ace would change color o he saw
someone sharpening a pen.`

And Abd ar-Rahman bin Umar said that a man laughed in the class o Abd ar-Rahman bin
Mahd, and he asked: \ho laughed` Leryone pointed to the man, and he scolded him:
\ou seek knowledge and laugh I will not teach any o you or a month!`

As a student o knowledge, one should speak in the best manner possible with his .ba,/b,
and he shouldn`t say to him \hy not` or \ho said this` or \here did you ind this` etc.

I he reminds the .ba,/b o something he said, he shouldn`t say \ou said this,` or It
occurred to me,` or I heard,` or Some person said,` unless he knows the .ba,/b`s position in
regards to what he is reminding him o, and this is in order to presere proper etiquette with
him regarding what others may say about his words. Also, he shouldn`t speak to him using
terms like \hat`s up` or Do you understand` or Do you know` etc.

Also, he should not describe to the .ba,/b conersations that take place between others that
the .ba,/b doesnn`t know about, such as saying to him vtv said to fvtv that he is not a
good person,` etc. Rather, he should use indirect speech, such as to say vtv said to fvtv
that the one lacking any good is ar remoed rom any mercy,` etc.

I he hears the .ba,/b mentioning the ruling on an issue, noting a point o beneit, telling a
story, or reciting some poetry that he happens to already know, he should act happy and
attentie to it, as i he had just heard it or the irst time rom the .ba,/b.

le should not precede the .ba,/b in explaining an issue, answering a question, or showing
his knowledge o a matter beore his .ba,/b. le should not cut him o in speech and then
talk, and he shouldn`t speak with someone else while the .ba,/b is speaking to him or the
class.

I he hands his .ba,/b a book, he should hand it to him such that he can easily open it to and
read the page he wants. I he knows the place in the book his .ba,/b is looking or, he should
hand it to him opened to that page, and then point to the speciic point in the page he wants,
and he shouldn`t just throw the book to him.

I he is walking with his .ba,/b at night, he should walk in ront o him, and i they are
walking by day, he should be behind him, unless the circumstances do not allow due to
crowding, etc. I they are walking in a oreign or dangerous place, he should walk slightly
ahead o him. le should be keen to preent any dirt rom getting onto the .ba,/b`s clothing,
and i they are in a crowded place, he should shield him with his hands rom either the ront
or back.

I he is walking in ront o him, he should turn to look back eery once in awhile. I they are
walking alone and the .ba,/b is speaking to him, he should stand to his right - and some say
to stand on the let - and slightly turned to him. Also, he should introduce the .ba,/b to any
66
indiiduals they meet along the way, naming them by name. le shouldn`t walk right beside
the .ba,/b unless there is a reason to do so, and he should be keen not to be too close to him
and bumping into him with his shoulders or knees, or to get dirt or stains on his clothes.

le should sit him in the shade in the summer, and should sit him in the Sun in the winter
such that the Sun doesn`t hurt his ace.

le shouldn`t walk between the .ba,/b and someone he is talking to, and should remain
slightly behind or in ront o them when they are speaking to each other. le shouldn`t come
close to them, listen to them, or turn to them. I they decide to include him in their
conersation, he is to join rom either the let or right, and not come in between them.

I he happens to meet his .ba,/b on the road, he should initiate greetings to him by seeing
him, walking towards him, then greeting him. le shouldn`t point to him rom aar in order
to consult him, and he should use good manners in regards to his consultation by taking his
adice. I the .ba,/b says something wrong in his adice, he shouldn`t say to the .ba,/b 1his
is wrong,` or 1his isn`t a strong opinion,` etc. Rather, he should answer him in a good way,
saying It seems that what is best is this,` and he should not say I think this is best,` etc.`
150





























150
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 101-112,
67
- - 9 9 - -

1reat Your Books Well


Books are the instruments o knowledge, and the ataf would hae the best and most
complete manners when dealing with their books, and they would exert all the eort they
could in collecting them.

As a student o knowledge, one should strie to collect and gather the books that he needs,
whether by purchasing, renting, or borrowing them. 1hey are the instruments by which he
learns, and he shouldn`t limit his share o knowledge and understanding to merely collecting
and gathering them, as is the case with many o those who ascribe themseles to iqb and
aaitb. And how excellent is the one who said:

f ,ov are vot a .barp vevorier 1bev ,ovr cottectiov of boo/. i. of vo bevefit.

It is encouraged to lend your books out to those who will not damage them. Although a
group o the scholars discouraged this, one should still do it since it is a orm o assisting
each other in gaining knowledge, and considering the irtue and reward o lending out
books.

1he borrower should thank the lender and reward him with good, and he shouldn`t keep the
book with him or too long without a need or it. Rather, he should return it to him i he has
obtained what he needs rom it, and should not keep it stored with him i the owner requests
it. le is not allowed to add ootnotes to the book without the permission o the owner, nor
is he allowed to write anything near the introduction or conclusion unless the owner
approes. le should not lend it out to anyone else, and should not leae it with anyone else
unless there is a need to do so.

I he wants to copy a portion or all o it, he shouldn`t write while the paper is on or in the
book. le shouldn`t leae an open pen on it, and he shouldn`t run a pen oer the pages o
the book.`
151


And al-Khatb ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported that \ak` said: 1he irst blessing
o aaitb is that you lend out your books.`

Suyan ath-1hawr said: \hoeer is stingy with his knowledge will be tested with one o
three things: he will orget and be unable to memorize, or he will not beneit rom it, or he
will ind himsel losing his books.`

And it is disliked or the borrower to keep books rom their owners, and he must return
them to their owners as quickly as possible.


151
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 164-169,

68
\unus narrated that \azd said to him that az-Zuhr said: O \unus, beware o the treachery
o books.` So, \unus asked: And what is the treachery o books` le said: 1hat you keep
them rom their owners.`

al-ludayl bin Iyad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: It is not rom the actions o the
cautious or the scholar that you take a man`s hearing and books and keep them with you.
\hoeer does this has wronged himsel.`

And a number o them rerained rom lending out their books because o this phenomenon
o keeping books rom their owners, as Suyan ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: Do
not lend anyone any o your books,` and ar-Rab` bin Sulayman said: al-But wrote to me:
Memorize your books, because i you lose one o them, you`ll neer be able to replace
it.```
152


And i one is writing something rom the book or pulls it out, he shouldn`t spread it on the
loor in an open ashion. Rather, he should put it between two other books or objects, or the
well-known olding chair used or books in order not to damage the binding o the book. I
he places it in an eleated location, it should be on a chair, a bookshel, etc. It is best that the
book not be placed directly on the ground in order to aoid getting it dirty or wet. I he
places it on a piece o wood, he should place some cloth between it and the book to preent
the coer rom becoming altered or decomposed.

One should pay special attention to how he organizes his books, and should do so in
accordance with the irtue, importance, and signiicance o each book. So, he should place
the noblest book aboe all the others, and then work his way down gradually. I his library
contains the Noble Qur`an, it should be placed aboe all the other books, and what is best is
that it be placed in a sack and nailed to a clean, pure part o the wall that is within reach.
1hen come the books o aaitb, such as abib atv/bri` and abib Mv.tiv.` 1hen come the
explanations o the Qur`an, then the explanations o aaitb, then the books regarding the
principles ,v.vt, o the Religion, then the principles o iqb, then iqb, then grammar and
language, then Arabic poetry, then general poetry.

I two books in the same ield are equal in irtue, he should place the one with more Qur`an
or aaitb content higher than the other. I they are equal in this regard as well, he should
place the one with the more irtuous author higher than the other. I they are equal in this as
well, he should place the older and more widely accepted o the two higher in his library. I
they are equal in this regard as well, he should place the one that is more authentic and
trustworthy.

I one borrows a book, he should immediately gie it back i the owner requests it. I he
purchases a book, he should lip through its beginning, middle, end, and table o contents.
le should lip through its pages and ealuate its apparent authenticity and beneit i he
doesn`t hae enough time to read it in detail.

I one copies something rom the book in his handwriting, he should begin with i.vitb
arRabvv arRabiv` ,In the Name o Allah, the Beneicent, the Merciul,. I the book begins

152
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,242,
69
with an introduction that contains the praise o Allah or peace and blessings upon lis
Messenger, he should write this out ater the ba.vatab. le should then write what he wants
rom the book.

\heneer one writes the Name o Allah, the Lxalted, he should ollow it up with a
description o exaltation, such as 1a`t ,the Lxalted,, vbbvab ,Gloriied is le,, .a ra
]att ,the Mighty and Majestic,, 1aqaaaa. ,ree rom imperection,, etc.

\heneer he writes the name o the Prophet ,peace be upon him,, he should write ater it
a.attv ra.atvv ata,b` ,prayers and peace be upon him,, and he should also say this with
his tongue. 1he habit o the ataf and those who came ater them was to write this out ully
and unabbreiated - een i it was repeated many times on the same line - as opposed to
what the backwards authors o our times do, writing SA\,` PBUl,` or SA\S,` and all o
this detracts rom the rights he has upon us ,peace be upon him,.

I one comes across mention o a Companion - let alone the major ones - he should write
Raai .ttbv avbv` ,may Allah be Pleased with him,, and he is not to inoke peace and
blessings except or the Prophets or Angels, except in ollowing them.

I he comes across mention o one o the ataf, he should write Rabivabv .ttb` ,may Allah
hae Mercy on him,, especially when reerring to the major, well-known, leading scholars o
Islam ,may Allah hae Mercy on them all,.

And there`s no problem in writing ootnotes, points o beneit, and important notes in the
borders o the books he owns, and one shouldn`t write except the important points related
to that particular book, such as a point o conusion, a parable, an example, a mistake, etc.
But, he shouldn`t crowd the book with strange and detailed secondary matters, and shouldn`t
add so many ootnotes that it darkens the pages or wastes too much space in the book.

One should not write between the lines. Although some did this by writing in red between
the lines, it is better to leae this totally.`
153
















153
1aab/irat a.vi` ratMvta/attiv` ,p. 10,
70
- - J J0 0 - -

How to Act During a Lesson


As a student and seeker o knowledge, one should start early in the day when studying, and
the ataf were ery constant and particular in this practice.

Abdullah bin Ahmad bin lambal narrated that he heard his ather say: Sometimes, I would
want to go out early to hear aaitb. So, my mother would grab my clothes, saying: At least
wait or the prayer to be called and the people to wake up.` I would go out early to the
classes o Abu Bakr bin Ayyash and others.`
154


And he should enter his class with ull attention, reeing his heart o all distractions. le
should greet his ellow students in a clear oice, and he should then greet his .ba,/b with
extra honor and attention. 1hen, he is to sit down at the outside edge o the circle, and he
should not squeeze between his classmates unless the .ba,/b or classmates call him to moe
closer, as al-Bukhar ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, reported rom Abu \aqid al-Layth
,may Allah be Pleased with him, that while the Prophet ,peace be upon him, was sitting in
the mosque with some people, three men came. 1wo o them came in ront o the Prophet
,peace be upon him,, and the third one went away. 1he two people kept on standing beore
him or a while, and then one o them ound a place in the circle and sat there, while the
other sat behind the gathering, and the third one went away. \hen the Messenger o Allah
,peace be upon him, inished his speech, he said: Shall I tell you about these three
people? One of them took himself to Allah, so Allah took him nto Himself. 1he
second felt shy from Allah, and Allah was Shy to punish him. 1he third turned his
face from Allah and went away. So, Allah likewise turned His Iace from him.
155


And he shouldn`t make anyone get up rom his spot, and i anyone takes his spot, he
shouldn`t take it back unless there is some beneit in doing so.

le shouldn`t sit in the middle o the circle unless there is a need or this, and he shouldn`t sit
between two companions except with their permission, and he should be as close to the
.ba,/b as he can without annoying anybody in order to best hear and understand his words.

le should use the best manners with his classmates and riends, as this is a maniestation o
respect to his .ba,/b and his class, and the class and lesson is holy, sacred space that is not
allowed to be iolated.

le should sit with humility and character in the manner o a student, not a teacher. le
shouldn`t raise his oice oten without a reason. Rather, he should sit in ront o his teacher
ully attentie and listening, and shouldn`t precede him in explaining or answering a
question.

154
at]vi` ti ./btq arRri ra .ab a.vi`` ,1,151,

155
abib atv/bri` ,66,
71
le should begin the lesson by saying In the Name o Allah, the Beneicent, the Merciul.
Praise be to Allah, and peace and prayers be on lis Messenger, his lousehold, and
Companions.` 1hen, he should supplicate or the scholars, his teachers, his parents, and the
rest o the Muslims.

le should be ocused on his .ba,/b, and he shouldn`t read or study while his heart is busy
with something else, or i he is bored or tired. le shouldn`t be insistent in asking questions,
and should instead be sot, gentle, and calm when doing so. le shouldn`t ask about
questions except in their appropriate time and place, but should not be shy rom asking the
proper questions at the proper time.

I the .ba,/b asks him Do you understand` he should not say \es` unless he really does
understand, and he shouldn`t be shy rom saying I don`t know,` or I don`t understand.`
Mujahid ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: Nobody who is either too shy or too
arrogant will learn this knowledge,` and A`ishah ,may Allah be Pleased with her, said: low
excellent are the women o the .v.r! 1hey did not let their shyness preent them rom
learning the Religion,`
156
and al-Khall bin Ahmad ,may Allah hae Mercy on him, said: 1he
station o ignorance is between shyness and arrogance.`
15



Covctv.iov

1his is what Allah has made possible to clariy in regards to the manners o the knowledge
seeker. So, it is essential or its seeker that he make this the irst subject o study he sets his
sights upon, and that he beautiies himsel with these manners internally and externally, and
that he rush to obtaining and collecting these traits and characteristics within himsel. I ask
Allah as a poor, humiliated serant who is illed with sins, ull o shortcomings, always alling
into traps - I ask lim to make these manners the prize obtained by eery student and seeker
o knowledge who has made his intention and concern purely or Allah, and I ask lim by
lis Glory and the Light o lis lace - the request o one who is poor, earul, and weak -
that le Guide the Muslims to taking rom the Qur`an and vvvab o lis Prophet ,peace be
upon him, in a manner that leaes no place or innoation or .bir/, or le is indeed Capable
o eerything.

Glory be to \ou and by \our praise, O Allah, and I bear witness that none is worthy o
worship except \ou. I ask \our lorgieness, and I repent unto \ou.

Praise be to Allah irstly and lastly, inwardly and outwardly, and may plenty and complete
peace and prayers be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his lousehold, and his Companions,
and our inal call is that praise is or Allah, the Lord o the worlds.

156
atb atri` ,1,26,

15
.ab at.tiv ratMvta`attiv` ,p. 59,