Archive for the ‘‘ilm’ Category

The Reader vs. The Doer

Understanding in the religion is not just mere knowledge, it is knowledge and action. And this is why the Salaf used to warn against much reading and having little understanding as Abdullah ibn Mas’ood radhiAllahu ‘anhu used to say:

“What will be of you if readers become many and the people of understanding become few?”

Therefore, if a person learns something from Allah’s religion but does not act upon it, he is not a person of understanding. Even if he memorizes and understands the biggest books of jurisprudence but does not act upon it, this person is not called a person of understanding, rather he is called a reader. The person of understanding is he who acts upon that which he learns, so he studies first then he acts, this is the one that has understanding of the religion. As for he who studies but does not act, then he is not a person of understanding but rather he is a reader. And this is why the people of Shu’aib ‘alayhi salam said to him:

“We do not understand much of what you say.” [Hud 11:91]

They were prevented from good because of that which Allah knew was in their hearts of evil.

Therefore uphold the study of the religion and uphold acting upon it so that you may be from those who Allah wills good for.

  • Transcribed from: The Greater Understanding | Shaykh Dr. Saleh ibn Fawzaan ibn Abdullah Al-Fawzaan

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Ibn al-Jawzī authored the following as an advice to his son, Abu’l-Qasim Badr al-Dīn ‘Alī al-Nasikh.1 

You should know, my son, may Allāh guide you to what is right, that man has been distinguished by intellect only so that he would act according to it. Bring it to the fore, use it in contemplation and spend time alone with yourself. You will conclude that you are a created being who has responsibilities and obligations and that the two angels are counting your every word and glance. Every breath is a step closer to death. The time we spend in this world is short, the time we are held in our graves is long, and the punishment for following our base desires is calamitous.

Where is the delight of yesterday? It has departed leaving only regret in its wake. Where is the soul’s desire? How many has it brought low, how many has it caused to slip and falter? People have only attained happiness by going against their lusts and desires. People have only become wretched by giving preference to the life of this world. Learn from the lives of kings and ascetics: where is the delights of the kings and where is the weariness of the ascetics? The only thing left is the abundant reward and beautiful mention for the pious, and the malicious words and calamitous punishment for the disobedient. It is as if those who starved never starved and those who ate to their fill never did so. Laziness in virtuous deeds is an evil companion indeed, and love of comfort causes regret greater than any enjoyment. So take heed and tire yourself for your self.


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Be Ambassadors of Allāh

Abu Nu’aym and others record on the authority of Kumayl ibn Ziyad, from ‘Ali (radiAllāhu ‘anhu) who said,

People are of three categories: the erudite and wise scholar; a student of knowledge traversing the path to salvation; and the confused rabble, following anyone, bending along with every wind, not enlightened by the light of knowledge and having no firm support.

Then after talking about the superiority of knowledge, he proceeded to say,


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Everything has its indications and signs. Indications that knowledge is beneficial are that it leads to fine character, good manners and praiseworthy attributes. In this regard it was said:

“He whose knowledge doesn’t cause him to weep, can be justifiably considered not to have been granted beneficial knowledge,” since Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala described the people of knowledge saying:

Say believe in it (The Qur’aan) or do not believe. Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: “Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the Promise of our Lord must be fulfilled”. And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility.”


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Clean Your House!

“Today, everyone is an ‘aalim and they’re always saying nahnu (we).

They clean the house of the neighbours, and they keep the rubbish in their house.

Clean your house before you look to your neighbours!”

Shaykh Muhammad al-Maalikee



Points to Ponder:

1. The acquisition of ‘ilm (and this is only by the blessings of Allaah upon us) should humble us, not give us delusions of grandeur.

2. We are living in a strange time when people have an answer to every question they are given, when they make haste to answer it, when they speak from a position they have not been granted and when the gem of a phrase Allaahu ‘alam (Allaah knows best) has become so foreign to the tongues.

3. How does one who is so busy with the mistakes of fulaan (so and so) open his eyes to his own mistakes? Rather he is so busy assessing the state of others, that he becomes blind to his own faults. Allaah will not ask you concerning the deeds of fulaan on the Day of  Judgement, rather He will ask you of your own deeds, so what of them?

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Abul-Qaasim Al Junayd said:

When you desire to be honored by knowledge and to be ascribed to it and to be from its people before giving the knowledge what right it has over you (from action), its light becomes veiled from you and all that remains upon you is its mark and appearance. That knowledge is against you, not for you. This is since knowledge directs to implementing it. So if knowledge is not implemented in its due stages, its blessings depart.

Iqtidaa-ul-‘Ilm al-‘Amal | Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee

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Whoever’s knowledge is not beneficial and deems himself better than those who preceded him in his stances and his elaborate, laborious speech, will also deem himself better than them in knowledge or ranking in the Sight of Allah. He will look down upon those who came before him and mock them for having little knowledge. This pauper does not realize that the lack of speech arising from the Salaf was because of their wara’ and fear of Allah, had they wished to lengthen or detail their discussions, they were fully capable of doing so. When ibn ‘Abbas heard some people debating about the religion he said,

Do you not know that to Allah belong certain servants, though they are fully able to respond and are not dumb, the fear of Allah has silenced them and given them tranquility. They are the true scholars, the eloquent ones, the intelligent, the noble; scholars of the Days of Allah, except that when they brought to mind the greatness of Allah, their minds were overcome, their hearts split for the fear of Allah, and their tongues were silenced. When they recovered from this state they rushed to performing righteous deeds thinking themselves to be amongst those who were negligent when in reality they were sagacious, those of strong determination; thinking themselves to be oppressors and sinners when in reality they were pious worshippers, free of oppression and sin. They did not think that abundant worship was too much for Him; they were not content with little worship, and they did not look down on any acts of worship. Wherever you were to meet them you would find them sombre, solicitous, in a state of dread and fear of their Lord. [Reported by Abu Nu’aym and others.]

  • Transcribed from: The Excellence of Knowledge – The Virtue of the Salaf over the Khalaf | Fadl ‘Ilm al-Salaf ‘alal-Khalaf | Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali

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