The Book of
Etiquettes of a Student of Knowledge and Means Which Assist in Acuiring Knowledge.
ETIQUETTES OF A STUDENT OF KNOWLEDGE
It is imperative for a student of knowledge to have certain etiquettes. Here, I shall mention a few:
The first point:
Sincerity of Intention for the Sake of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) Alone.
Such that one's intention, by seeking knowledge, is purely for the Face28 of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) and success in the Hereafter. This is because Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) has encouraged the seeking of knowledge, since He has said:
So know that Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, and ask forgiveness for your sins...29
And praise for the scholars in the Qur'aan
is well-known. So if Allaah has praised something or ordered it, then it becomes (an act of) worship.
Therefore, it is obligatory to have sincerity of intention for the Sake of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) alone, that one intends to seek knowledge for the Face of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa).
28The Noble Qur'aan - Soorah ar Rahmaan, Aayah 27.
29The Noble Qur'aan - Soorah Muhammad, Aayah 19.
And if one were to intend seeking knowledge so that he can attain a certificate with which he is able to progress to a higher level, then Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) said:
"Whoever acquires knowledge of things by which Allaah's good pleasure is sought, but acquires it only to get some worldly advantage, he will not experience the odour of Paradise on the Day of Judgement"
30, i.e. its beautiful fragrence.
This is extremely threatening!
However, if the student of knowledge were to say: I wish to attain certification, not because of some worldly affairs, rather because the system dictates the standard of the scholar by his certification. So we say: If a person's intention is to attain certification so that he can benefit the people by teaching and the like, then this is a sound and true intention and nothing shall harm him.
Indeed, we have mentioned sincerity of the intention firstly among the etiquettes of a student of knowledge because sincerity is the foundation. So it is upon the student of knowledge to make the intention by seeking knowledge obedience to the command of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa), because Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) has commanded the seeking of knowledge, as He has said:
So know that Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, and ask forgiveness for your sins...31
30 Musnad of Imaam Ahmad - Volume 2, Page 338;
Abu Daawood - The Book of Knowledge;
Ibn Maajah - Introduction;
Al-Haakim's al-Mustadrak - Volume 1, Page 160;
Ibn Abee Shaybah's al-Musannaf - Volume 8, Page 5543;
Al-Haakim said: This is an authentic hadeeyh, and it's chain of transmitters are reliable.
31 The Noble Qur'aan - Soorah Muhammad, Aayah 19.
Therefore, He has commanded the seeking of knowledge. So, if you have south knowledge, then certainly you are obedient to the command of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa).
The second point:
The removal of Ignorance from Himself and from Others.
To make the intention by seeking knowledge, the removal of ignorance from himself and from others, because the natural state of a person is the state of ignorance, and the evidence for this is the saying of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa):
And Allaah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks.32
And the reality testifies to this, so make the intention by seeking knowledge, the removal of ignorance from yourself and from others, and with that you acquire the fear of Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta Alaa) as He says:
It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah.33
So make the intention by seeking knowledge, the removal of ignorance from yourself, because your natural state is the state of ignorance. So if you studied and became a scholar, then you have removed ignorance from yourself.
32 The Noble Qur'aan - Soorah an-Nahl, Aayah 78.
33 The Noble Qur'aan - Soorah Faatir, Aayah 28.
Similarly, make the intention by seeking knowledge, the removal of ignorance from the Ummah
, and this is done through teaching by various means so that you benefit the people with your knowledge.
Is it a condition that benefiting the people with your knowledge means that you hold a study circle in the masjid? Or is it possible to benefit the people with your knowledge in any gather?
is that you should benefit the people with your knowledge in any gathering. This is because the Messenger, Salat wa Salam be upon him, said:
Narrate from me, even if it is a single verse.
This is because, if you teach someone knowledge and he then teaches another, then you have acquired the reward for teaching two; and if he taught a third then you have acquired the reward for teaching three and similarly this continues. From this, unfortunately at one extreme, an innovation has began whereby if one does an act of worship he says: "Oh Allaah! Render its reward for the Messenger of Allaah". So, since the Messenger, Salat wa Salam be upon him, is the one who taught you this, and he is the one who has guided you to this, therefore for him is the reward equal to yours.35
Imaam Ahmad, May Allah have mercy upon him, said: "Nothing is equivalent to seeking knowledge for one whose intention is correct"
, it was said: "How is that?" He said: "That he intends with it the removal of ignorance from himself and from others"
. Because the natural state of a person is the state of ignorance, so if you sought knowledge for the purpose of removing the ignorance from the Ummah
then you are from amongst the mujaahideen
in the Path of Allaah; Those who propogate the Religion of Allaah.
34 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree - The Book of Prophets.
35There is therefore no need to make this supplication, particulary since it has not been legislated. (Translator)