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Milestones on the Road to Seeking Knowledge

by Sh. Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan

Introduction:

By the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

Verily, all praise is to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Him from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

{O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer}[1].

{O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except in a state of Islam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allah)}[2].

{O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice * He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment}[3].

Indeed, the best of speech is the Words of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him], and the worst of matters are the newly innovated matters [in the religion], and every innovation is a Bid’ah, and every Bid’ah is a misguidance.

After which [4],

Ibn Al-Qayyim [May Allah have mercy on him] said:

Every praise you see in the Quran to a servant of Allah is from the fruits of knowledge, and every dispraise in the Quran to a servant is from the fruits of ignorance.

Allah has praised the carriers and people of knowledge when He said: {It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah}[5].

And He mentioned those with knowledge since they know their Lord more, and the more knowledgeable someone is of Allah, the more he is loving and devout to Him.

For these reasons, knowledge was the way to attain the pleasure of Allah and the reason for a good life in the Dunia (worldly-life), in the grave, and in the hereafter. It is also the way for straightening ones manners, for purifying ones soul, and is the reason -for those who seek it with sincerity- to be saved from all kinds of evils.

That is why we decided to translate some points from a series of lectures given by Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Sadhan [May Allah protect and preserve him] called: “Milestones in the Road to Seeking Knowledge”, which can be found on islamway.com[6], and was later compiled into a book[7]. In it, the Shaykh describes the ways one can seek knowledge, the barriers that faces a student of knowledge, the ways to overcome these barriers, and several other points for those who decide to embark on that road.

He says:

In the Quran you will find many passages describing the value of knowledge and the value of those who seek it, and similarly in the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed [May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him].

The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion[8].

And how beautiful the words of Ibn Al-Qayyim [May Allah have mercy on him] when he said:

If the only thing you would get when seeking knowledge is being close to the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists) and being associated with the Angels, then that honor would be sufficient enough, how then when all the glory of this life and the next is conditioned by it? [9].

Dear reader, there are many questions that many students ask, such as:

What is the best way to memorize the Quran?

With which book do I start? Which scholar should I listen to? What topics do I cover first?

I read books and attend lectures, but do not benefit much!

All these questions and concerns have a similar meaning, and all show the eagerness of those who asked them in seeking proper Islamic knowledge. For that reason and to deal with these questions, Shiekh Sadhan decided to give these lectures.

We will be summarizing what was mentioned in the book, mentioning the main points and translating only a few of the many examples that the Shaykh provided, adding minor clarifications when it seems useful.

The translation was broken down into around 20 Chapters. The next part being: “The Obstacles in the way to Seeking Knowledge”.

Please send any corrections or suggestions you have to alsiratalmustaqeem(at)gmail.com, or post it as a comment on our page.

Finally, we ask Allah to grant us the proper intention when completing this work.


[1] Surah Al-Nisaa 4:1 (Saheeh International)

[2] Surah Aal-‘Imraan 3:102

[3] Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:70-71 (Saheeh International)

[4] Most of the introduction was taken from the Introduction given by Shaykh Sadhan himself, we added some points and took out others.

[5] Surah Fatir 35:28

[6] Link to series: http://www.islamway.com/?iw_s=Scholar&iw_a=series&series_id=102

[7] Ma’alim fee Tareeq Talab al Ilm – by Sheikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Mohammed ibn Abdullah Al Sadhan

[8] Narrated by Imam Ahmad, and in the Sunnan, also see Sahih Al Jami’ (5/203).

[9] Muftah Daar Al Saadah (1/108) [The key to the house of happiness]

 

Milestones in the Road (Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem)

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