‘…It is very clear that the merits and virtues of knowledge vary depending on the extent of one’s adherence to it. The greatest and most excellent knowledge is that which pertains to Allah, His names, and His attributes, and this knowledge is known as ‘aqeedah (belief). Indeed to Allah, the Exalted and Supreme, belongs the best example which is the highest description in every aspect of His essence, names, attributes and actions.
Following this is that which is related to Allah’s right over His creation, what He has prescribed upon them. Following this is what supports and bonds it in understanding such as knowledge of the principles of Arabic, Islamic terminology, principles of fiqh, hadeeth methodology and other sciences which are connected to this knowledge, which assist it in both understanding and precision.
The biography of the Prophet ﷺ, Islamic history, biography of the narrators of hadeeth and of the scholars of Islaam are also part of this knowledge.’
‘…So this shows us the great excellence of the students of knowledge. For whoever corrects his intention in seeking knowledge and desires only His Face, he is on a road to salvation (from the Fire) and happiness (in Paradise).
Knowledge should be sought for the right reasons and for its implementation (acting according to the knowledge) not for the sake of ostentation (riyaa’), fame, or for the sake of any other gain from the ephemeral gains of this world; rather, he learns it to be acquainted with his Deen, to have insight into what Allah has made incumbent upon him, to strive to take the people out of darkness and into the light, so he seeks knowledge and acts upon it and teaches others about the good that a Muslim is ordered to do.
Every path that he takes in search of knowledge is a way to Paradise; this is true for every path, literal or otherwise: his journey from one country to another; going from one circle of knowledge to another; and from one mosque to another for the sole intention of seeking knowledge, likewise memorizing and studying Islamic books of knowledge, perusal and writing are also from the ways of seeking knowledge.
A proper student is concerned with all these paths that lead to knowledge. He seeks it, desiring the Face of His Lord, the Mighty and the Majestic. He wants to seek Allah’s pleasure and a home in Paradise; he wants to understand and reflect upon His Deen; he wants to know what Allah has made incumbent upon him and what He has prohibited him from, then acts accordingly; he wants to know his Lord with insight and cognizance; he wants to rescue people (from the Fire of Hell); he wants to be amongst the guided callers striving for the truth; and he wants to guide people to Allah through knowledge. So wherever he turns he is in great excellence with these correct intentions…’
‘…The student of knowledge should take great care about being lazy about what Allah has made obligatory and from falling into that which He has forbidden – for others will follow him in it. Likewise he should not be neglectful of the sunnah [Tr.note: …Here Shaykh Ibn Baaz uses the word sunnah to mean the recommended deeds…] and the makroohaat. If he becomes lazy others will also become lazy. It is important that he takes care in reviving the Sunnah, even though a particular act may not be compulsory, in order to encourage the people to follow it, and to be an example for them. He (the student of knowledge) must keep away from the makroohaat and doubtful matters so that the people do not imitate him.
The student of knowledge has great significance and the people of knowledge are the select amongst the creation. Upon them are obligations and responsibilities over and above everyone else. The Messenger ﷺ said, “Everyone is a shepherd, and is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari] The people of knowledge are shepherds and guides. They should be concerned about society as it is their flock…’
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