In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
Advice to those who want to seek knowledge
By Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan al-Fawzaan may Allah preserve him
This was the third question posed to the shaykh in his lecture entitled “Farq bayna an-Naseehah wat Tajreeh”. He was asked,
Question: What is your guidance for one who wants to seek knowledge? ًWhat are the stages of studying knowledge and having a (strong) foundation in it? And what is your advice in regards to being committed in studying hadith?
Answer: All praises are due to Allah seeking knowledge is made to be easy. Allah said,
وَلَقَدۡ يَسَّرۡنَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ لِلذِّكۡرِ فَهَلۡ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ۬
“And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember, then is there any one who will remember (or receive admonition)?” [Surah Qamar: 17]
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَبْتَغِي فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَلَكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ
“Whoever takes a path upon which he seeks knowledge, then Allah makes a path to Paradise easy for him.” [Tirmidhi]
وَمَا كَانَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُواْ ڪَآفَّةً۬ۚ فَلَوۡلَا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرۡقَةٍ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ طَآٮِٕفَةٌ۬ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُواْ قَوۡمَهُمۡ إِذَا رَجَعُوٓاْ إِلَيۡہِمۡ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَحۡذَرُونَ
“And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).” [Surah Tawbah: 122]
The paths of learning knowledge are various, and all praises are due to Allah. You can either enter a school, institute, or regular college (the shaykh meant here regular colleges in Islamic countries that teach the religion. For example Madina University); where you will study Islamic works on Tawheed, Fiqh, Tafseer, Hadith, and the Arabic Language. These institutes, colleges, and schools which have these works are good for those Allah gives success to.
Or you can study in gatherings of remembrance that are in the masaajid. Taking directly from the scholars who sit for the people and teach them. If there isn’t any masjid close to you that holds classes, then go to another masjid even if it is far. Even if you have to travel. For indeed the scholars of the past would travel to seek knowledge long distances and they did not have cars or planes. Rather, they didn’t have anything except walking on their feet or riding on an animal for far distances which they were patient with.
And knowledge is not gained through false hopes and ease. Rather a person needs to be patient with becoming tired, seeking reward (from Allah), and having a righteous intention.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalam