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Sh. Saeed al-Kamali (may Allah preserve him) narrates the story of an email a Jewish lady sent to an Imam in France which left the Imam silent.





Sh. Saeed al-Kamali (may Allah reward him) contrasts the disputes that used to occur between the scholars of the Salaf with the disputes that we are afflicted with nowadays.

In this video he discusses the dispute that occurred between Imam Malik and Imam al-Layth ibn Sa’d in regards to the principle of the Action of the People of Medina.

May Allah have mercy on the two Imams.


From the most eloquent of poems in the topic of preserving the people of knowledge to the knowledge they hold, and holding it in high regard, is the poem of al-Qadi Ali b. ‘Abd al-Azeez b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Ismael al-Jurjani (may Allah have mercy on him). He was born in the town of Gorgan, Persia around the year of 322 H (or 290H) and died in the city of Ray, Persia in the year 392 of Hijra (or 365 H or 396H)[1-3].

The scholars used to advice their students to memorize his poem because of its eloquence and deep meanings.

Abridged versions of the poem are often reported, with some verses reported in different orders. The most comprehensive published version we came across is that which was reported in Majma’al-Lugha al-Arabiya Volume 79 p. 792, the Arabic of which is shown below [4].

We attempted to preserve the meaning in our translation, but found it to be difficult in many instances. We hope that we were successful in transmitting part of the meaning, and appreciate suggestions and comments before we revisit the translation in the future.


The Poem:

1. They tell me: ‘You are oft retracted [and secluded]’, however *

[what they have seen] is a man who, from the stances of disgrace, has kept away.

يقولون لي فيك انقباضٌ وإنما ** رأوا رجلاً عن موقفِ الذلِّ أحجما

2. I saw people, whoever mixes with them plenty, is devalued by them *

But those dignified through the nobility of their soul remain revered.

أرى الناسَ من داناهُمُ هان عندهم ** ومن أكرَمته عزةُ النفسِ أكرِما

3. And I did not fulfill the rights of knowledge [upon me], if whenever *

A desire appears to me, I used it as a ladder to acquiring it.

ولم أقضِ حَقَّ العلمِ إن كان كُلَّمَا * بدا طَمَعٌ صَيَّرتُه لي سُلَّما

4. And I have remained secluded with my honour, away *

from [the situations of] disgrace, for maintaining [my honor] is a great bounty by itself.

وما زلتُ مُنحازاً بعرضيَ جانباً * من الذلِّ أعتدُّ الصيانةَ مَغنما

5. If it is said: ‘There is a fountain [of riches]’, I reply: *

I may consider, but truly the soul of the free can bear the thirst.

إذا قيلَ هذا مَنهلٌ قلتُ قد أرى * ولكنَّ نفسَ الحرِّ تَحتَملَ الظَّمَا

6. I protect it even from matters that won’t disgrace it *

Fearing that my enemies may say: ‘What for or why so’?

أُنزِّهها عن بَعضِ ما لا يشينُها * مخافةَ أقوال العدا فيم أو لما

7. I thus stay from the eyes of the wicked protected *

And remain in the thoughts of the noble revered.

فأصبحُ عن عيبِ اللئيمِ مسلَّما * وقد رحتُ في نفسِ الكريمِ مُعَظَّما

8. And If I were to miss out on a matter, I do not spend the night *

Chasing it with my thoughts [and thinking about it] with regret.

وإني إذا ما فاتني الأمرُ لم أبت * أقلِّبُ فكري إثره مُتَنَدِّما

9. If it however, comes to me by itself, I may accept it *

But if it turns away, I do not follow it, asking myself: if only or until when?

ولكنه إن جاء عَفواً قبلتُه * وإن مَالَ لم أُتبعهُ هَلاِّ وليتَما

10. I hold back my steps from many [locations of] fortunes? *

If I could not acquire it with my honor intact and dignified.

وأقبضُ خَطوي عن حُظوظٍ كثيرةٍ * إذا لم أَنلها وافر العرضِ مُكرما

11. I honor myself [through holding it back from] laughing with someone frowning? *

Or from greeting those blameworthy with praise.

وأكرمُ نفسي أن أُضاحكَ عابساً * وأن أَتلقَّى بالمديح مُذمَّما

12. How many are those who seek my captivity through their grants, yet have not reached *

To that goal, even if he was the glorified ruler [of the land].

وكم طالبٍ رقي بنعماه لم يَصِل * إليه وإن كَانَ الرَّئيسَ الُمعظَّما

13. How plenty are the blessings that were in fact a curse on those free? *

And how many bounties are considered by those free as debts.

وكم نعمة كانت على الُحرِّ نقمَةً * وكم مغنمٍ يَعتَده الحرُّ مَغرَما

14. And I did not spend my eyes serving this knowledge, *

So that I become a servant for those I meet, but rather to be served.

ولم أبتذل في خدمة العلمِ مُهجَتي * لأَخدمَ من لاقيتُ لكن لأُخدما

15. Would I suffer in planting it and then gather it disgrace *

If that was the case, then following the road of ignorance would have been wiser.

أأشقى به غَرساً وأجنيه ذِلةً * إذن فاتباعُ الجهلِ قد كان أَحزَما

16. And I am indeed well-pleased with a young man who remains chaste *

He goes and comes back and does not possess a Dirham.

44.*[و إنِّي لَرَاضٍ عَن فَتَىً مُتَعَفِّفٍ * يَرُوحُ و يَغْدُو لَيْسَ يَمْلِكُ دِرْهَمَـــا

17. He spends the night watching the stars from the misery of his state? *

And awakens bright, laughing, with a smile [on his face].

45.*[يَبِيْتُ يُرَاعِيْ النَّجْمَ مِنْ سُوءِ حَالِهِ * و يُصْبِحُ طَلْقَاً ضَاحِكَاً مُتَبَسِّمَــــا]

18. He does not ask the wealthy what they hold in their palms *

Even if that meant dying of hunger, with nobility and dignity.

46.*[و لَا يَسْأَلُ المُثْرِينَ مَا بِأَكُفِّهِمْ * و لَوْ مَاتَ جُوْعَاً غُصَّةً و تَكَرُّمَــا]

19. If you say, the good fortunes of knowledge are falling [nowadays], [I’d say], Indeed *

It has fallen when we did not guard its boundaries and it was forsaken.

فإن قُلتَ جَدُّ العلم كابٍ فإنما * كبا حين لم يحرس حماه وأُسلما

20. Had the people of knowledge preserved it, it would have preserved them [back], *

And if they dignified it in the souls of the people, it would have remained dignified.

ولو أن أهل العلمِ صانوه صانَهُم * ولو عَظَّمُوه في النفوسِ لَعُظِّما

21. But they humiliated it, so they were humiliated [in return], and they violated *

Its boundaries with their greed until it turned gloomy.

ولكن أهانوه فهانو ودَنَّسُوا * مُحَيَّاه بالأطماعِ حتى تَجهَّما

22. Truly, not every thunderbolt that appears to me would attract me *

Neither does everyone I meet I would accept to bestow favors upon me.

وما كلُّ برقٍ لاحَ لي يستفزُّني * ولا كلُّ من في الأرضِ أرضاه مُنَعَّما

23. Yet, when under great harm [and difficulty], I do not *

Spend my night thinking of someone who can save me from Najd or from Tuhamah.

ولكن إذا ما اضطرني الضُّرُّ لم أَبتِ * أُقلبُ فكري مُنجداً ثم مُتهما

24. Until I can find someone whose mentioning does not cause me bitterness *

If I had to say that so-and-so has done a favor on me and was a blessing.

إلى أن أرى ما لا أغَصُّ بذِكره * إذا قلتُ قد أسدى إليَّ وأنعما


[1] Biography of Abi al-Hasan al-Jurjani [Arabic Wikipedia]

[2] Original Arabic:

[3] Original Arabic youtube:

[4] A more complete version of the poem:

1. بأيّامِنا بين الكثيبين فالحمى * و طيب ليالينا الحميدةِ فيهمَا
2. ووصْلٍ وَصَلنا بين أعْطافِه المُنــــى * بـِــــرَدِّ زمانٍ كان للَّهو تَوْأَمَا
3. صَحِبْنَا بِهِ شَرْخ الشَّباب فدلَّــــــنا * على خُلَسٍ أفْضَى إليهنَّ نُوَّمَا
4. فلم ْنرضَ [في] أخلاقنا النُّصحَ مَذْهَبَا * و لا اللَّومَ في أسـماعنا مُتَلَوَّما
5. إذا شــَــــــاءَ غاوٍ قادَ لَحْظَاً مُوزَّعاً * على غَيِّه أو شَافَ قَلْباً مُقَسَّمَا
6. أعِنِّي على العُــــذَّال أو خَلِّ بَيْنَنَا * تُريْكَ دُموعيْ أَفْصَحَ القَوْلِ أَبْكَما
7. و طَيْفٍ تَخَطَّتَ أعيُنُ النَّاسِ و الكَرَى * إلى ناظرٍ يَلْقى التَّبَاريـــحَ مِنْهُمَـــا
8. تنَسَّم ريَّاهُ و بشَّـــــــــــــــــــرَهُ بهِ * تناقُصُ ضوءِ البدرِ في جِهَة الحِمَى
9. و عَـــــــزَّ على العَيْنَيْنِ لو لمْ تُرَغَّبا * من الطَّيْفِ في إلمامَةٍ أن تُهَوِّما
10.و لمَّا غَدَا و البينُ يَقْسِـــــــم لحْظَهُ * على مُكْمَدٍ أغْضَى و رأْسٍ تبسَّما
11.فمِنْ قائِلٍ : لا آمنَ اللهُ حاســِـداً * و قائلةٍ : لا روَّعَ البيْنُ مُغْرَمَــا
12.بَدَت صُفْرَةٌ في وَجْنَتَيْهِ فلمْ تَــزَلْ * مَدَامِعُه حتَّى تشرَّبَتَا دَمـَــــــــا
13.سَقَى البَرقُ أكْنَافَ الحِمَى كلَّ رائحٍ * إذا قَلِقَتْ فيه الجُنُوبُ تَرَنَّــــــمَا
14.إذا أَسْبَلَتْ عيناهُ لمْ تبقَ رَبْوةٌ * من الأرضِ إلا و هي فاغِرَةٌ فَمَـــــا
15.تَرَى الأرضَ [ ] مُتَطَايراً * فإن أَنْجَمَتْ صارَتْ سماءً و أَنْجُـمَا
16.تُسَالِبُهَا أَنْفاسَها نفسُ الصَّبا * و تُهْدي إليْها الشَّمسُ شيئاً مُسَـهَّمَا
17.كأنَّ أبا عمروٍ تخلَّلَ رَوْضَــــها * ففاحَ بهِ عَرْفَاً و أشرَقَ مَبْسَــــــــــما
18.*إذا زادَت الأيَّامُ فينا تَحَمُّـــلاً * و حَيْفَاً على الأَحْرَارِ زادَ تَكَــــرُّمَـــا
19.إذا هابَ بَعْضُ القَومِ ظُلْمَاً أَظَلَّهُ * تَجَلَّتْ مَسَاعِي أَوَّلَيْهِ فَأَقْدَمَـــــــــا
20.سَقَى اللهُ دَهْرَاً سَاقَنِي لجِوَارِهِ * و إنْ كانَ مَشْغَوْفَاً بِظُلْمِي مُتَيَّمَـــــا
21.سَأَشْكُرُ ما تُولِيهِ قَولاً و نِيَّـــةً * ِفإن قَصَّرا نَابَ اعْتِذاريَ عَنْهُمَـــا
22.فَسَحْتَ رَجَائِيْ بَعْدَ ضِيْقِ مَجَالِهِ * و أَوْضَحْتَ لِيْ قَصْدِيْ وَ قَدْ كَانَ أَظْلَمَا
23.وَ مَا زِلْتُ مُنْحَازَاً بِعِرْضِيَ جَانِبَاً * مِنَ الذَّمِّ أَعْتَدُّ الصِّيَانَةَ مَغْنَــــمَـــا
24.إذا قِيْلَ: هذا مَشْربٌ قُلْتُ: قَدْ أَرَى * و لَكِنَّ نَفْسَ الحُرِّ تَحْتَمِلُ الظَّمـَـــا
25.أُنَهْنِهُهَا عن بَعض ما لا يَشِينُهَا * مَخَافَةَ أَقْوَالِ العِدَا فيمَا أو لِمَــــا
26.فَأُصْبِحُ مِنْ عَتْبِ اللَّئِيمِ مُسَلَّماً * وقَدْ رُحْتُ مِن نَفَسِ الكَريمِ مُعَظَّمَا
27.*فَأُقْسِمُ مَا غُرَّ امْرُؤٌ حُسِّنَتْ لَهُ * مُسَامَرَةُ الأَطْمَاعِ إنْ بَاتَ مُعْدِمَـــا
28.*يَقولونَ: ليْ فيْكَ انْقِبَاضٌ و إنَّمَا * رَأَوا رَجُلاً عنْ مَوْقِفِ الذُّلِّ مُحْجِمَا[4]
29.*أَرَى النَّاسَ مَنْ دَانَهُمُ هَانَ عِنْدَهُمْ * و مَنْ أَكْرَمَتْهُ عِزَّةُ النَّفْسِ أُكْرِمَــــا
30.*و لَمْ أَقْضِ حَقَّ العِلْمِ إِنْ كَانَ كُلَّمَا * بَدَا طَمَعٌ صَيَّرْتُهُ لِيَ سُـــلَّمَــــــا
31.*و لمْ أَبْتَذِلْ في خِدْمَةِ العِلْمِ مُهْجَتِيْ * لِأَخْدِمَ مَنْ لَاقَيْتُ لَكِنْ لِأُخْدَمَـــا
32.*أَأَشْقَى بِهِ غَرْسَاً و أَجْنِيْهِ ذِلَّةً * إِذَنْ فَاتِّبَاعُ الجَهْلِ قَدْ كَانَ أَسْلَمَـا
33.*و لَوْ أنَّ أَهْلَ العِلْمِ صَانُوهُ صَانَهُم * و لَوْ عَظَّمُوهُ فِيْ النُّفُوسِ لعُظِّمـَـــا[6]
34.*و لَكِنْ أَذَالُوهُ فَهَانَ و دَنَّسـُـــــوا * مَُحَيَّاهُ بالأَطْمَاعِ حَتَّى تَجَهَّمَـــــا[7]
35.*[ فِإنْ قُلْتَ جَدُّ العِلْمِ كَابٍ فِإنَّمَا * كَبَا حِيْنَ لَمْ يُحْرَسْ حِمَاهُ و أُسْلِمَا ]
36.*و إنِّيْ إِذَا مَا فَاتَنِيْ الأَمْرُ لَمْ أَبِتْ * أُقَلِّبْ كَفِّيْ إِثْــرَهُ مُتَذَمِّـــمَــــــــا
37.*و لَكِنَّهُ إِنْ جَاءَ عَفْوَاً قَبِلْتُــــــــهُ * و إنْ مَالَ لَمْ أُتْبِعْهُ هَلَّا و لَيْتَــــمَـا
38.*و أَقْبِضُ خَطْوِيْ عَنْ حُظُوْظٍ كَثِيْرَةٍ * إذَا لَمْ أَنَلْهَا وَافِرَ العِرْضِ مُكْرَمَــا
39.*و أُكْرِمُ نَفْسِيْ أَنْ أُضَاحِكَ عَابِسَاً * و أَنْ أَتْلَقَّى بالمَدِيْحِ مُذمَّمَـــــــــا
40.*و كَمْ طَالِب ٍ رِقِّيْ بِنُعْمَاهُ لَمْ يَصِلْ * إليْهِ و إنْ كَانَ الرَّئيْسَ المُعَظَّمَـــا
41.*و مَا كُلُّ بَرقٍ لاحَ لِيْ يَسْـتَفِزُّنِــيْ * و ما كُلُّ [مَا فِيْ] الأَرْضِ أَرْضَاهُ مُنْعِمَا[11]
42.*و لكِنْ إذا مَا اضْطَرَّنِيْ الأَمْرُ لَمْ أَزَلْ * أُقَلِّبُ فِكْرِيْ مُنْجِدَاً ثُمَّ مُتْهِمَــــــا
43.*إلى أَنْ أَرَى مَنْ لا أَغَصُّ بِذِكْرِهِ * إذا قُلْتُ قَدْ أَسْدَى إليَّ و أَنْعَمَـــا
44.*[و إنِّي لَرَاضٍ عَن فَتَىً مُتَعَفِّفٍ * يَرُوحُ و يَغْدُو لَيْسَ يَمْلِكُ دِرْهَمَـــا]
45.*[يَبِيْتُ يُرَاعِيْ النَّجْمَ مِنْ سُوءِ حَالِهِ * و يُصْبِحُ طَلْقَاً ضَاحِكَاً مُتَبَسِّمَــــا]
46.*[و لَا يَسْأَلُ المُثْرِينَ مَا بِأَكُفِّهِمْ * و لَوْ مَاتَ جُوْعَاً غُصَّةً و تَكَرُّمَــا]
47.*فَكَمْ نِعْمَةٍ كَانَتْ عَلَى الحُرِّ نِقْمَةً * و كَمْ مَغْنَمَاً يَعْتَدُّهُ المَرْءُ مَغْنَمَــــا
48.*و مَاذَا عَسَى الدُّنْيَا و إِنْ جَلَّ قَدْرُهَا * يَنَال بِهَا مَنْ صَيَّرَ الصَّبْرَ مِعْصَمَا [13]
49.على أَنَّنَيْ لَوْ لَمْ أُعِدَّ لِحَرْبِهَا * سِوَاكَ لَقَدْ كُنْتَ المَصُونَ المُحَرَّمَـــا
50.فَكَيْفَ وَ عِنْدِيْ كُلُّ مَا يَمْنَعُ الفَتَى * بِهِ عِرْضَهُ مِنْ أَنْ يُضَامَ و يُهْضَمَا
51. و لَيْسَ بِبِدْعٍ مِنْ عُلَاكَ عِنَايَةٌ * تُسَـــــــــــــــــــــــهِّل لِي
52.يُقَرِّبُ مِنِّيْ مَا تَبَاعَدَ و انْتَأَى * و يَخْفِضُ نَحْوِيْ مَا تَصَاعَدَ و اسْتَمَى[15]
53.و مَنْ لَقِيَ الأَمْلَاكَ مِنْكَ لمِوْعِدٍ * تَجَنَّى عَلَى آكَامِهِ و تَحَكَّمَـــــــا
54.إذَا كَانَ بَعْضُ المَدْحِ لَفْظَاً مُجَرَّدَاً * ضَمَمْتُ إلى لَفْظِيْ ضَمَيْرَاً مُسَلَّمَــا
55.و مَا سَاعَدَ القَلْبُ الوَدَوْدُ لِسَانَهُ * عَلَى مِدْحَةٍ إلا أُطِيْعَ و حُكِّمَـــــا


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Milestones on the Road to Seeking Knowledge

by Sh. Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan

Translation and Editing by: Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem team

Examples of the Salaf’s concern with Time

Here, I will be giving you examples from the lives of the Salaf so that we see how much of our time we have wasted; hoping that these examples (by the Grace of Allah) would be a reason to motivate us towards seeking knowledge and would give us a sense of the mountain of time we waste.

These examples would make it clear to all of us that the Salaf were very stingy when it came to every second of their life, for Time is, as Yahya ibn Hubayra [1] described:

Time is the most precious thing you should safeguard **

And yet I see it the easiest thing you lose

الوقتُ أنفسُ ما عنيتَ بحفظه *** وأراهُ أسهلَ ما عليكَ يضيعُ

From these examples:

What was mentioned by Al-Sam’aani[2] in his book “Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’”:

“And that is an example that shows that he did not spend any of his time except in seeking [knowledge], or [acts of] Remembrance such as Istighfar (asking Allah for forgiveness), Tasbeeh (saying: Subhan Allah), or Tahleel (saying: La Illah Illa Allah).

In the past, the circles of knowledge were attended by a huge number of people, and it was mentioned that the lectures of Muhammad Ibn Ismael were attended by twenty thousand”[3].

The point to take from this story is what Al-Sam’aani mentions about the Muhadith (Narrator of Hadith) that whenever he narrates [a tradition and says]: Waki’ narrated [to me] (as an example) [and pauses], during the time those attending used to write down what he just said, the Muhadith used to then use these few seconds in Istighfar, and Tasbeeh, etc until they have had a chance to record what he said, then would continue with the narration.

So look at these few moments and how he refused to waste them, and then look at how many hours and days pass from our lives without even noticing!

One of the scholars said about ‘Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad, that: “By Allah I did not see him except smiling or reciting or going through a book”, and another said about Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi: “I never saw Al-Khatib except that in his hand was a book that he was reviewing”.

As a Poet once said:

Days pass us by, one after the other, and we are **

being led to the end of our lives while the eyes are watching

تمر بنا الأيام تترى وإنما *** نساق إلى الآجال والعين تنظرُ

Our youth that had passed isn’t coming back **

and this depressing white hair isn’t going anywhere

فلا عائد ذاك الشباب الذي مضى *** ولازائل هذا المشيب المكدرُ

Al-Hasan Al-Basri [May Allah have mercy on him] says:

“O Son of Adam, you are but a number of days, whenever a day passes then a part of you has gone”[4].

So know that time is divided into three categories, as Al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad said:

“Time that has already passed and would never return, time that you are currently in, so be watchful of how you will spend it, and time [yet to come] which you are waiting for, but might never reach”[5].

If all the Humans, the Jinns, and the Angels gathered together, and they were assistants to one another, they would never be capable of bringing back even one second that passed from our lives.

Al-Dhahabi said in the biography of ‘Abdulwahab ibn ‘Abdulwahab ibn Al-Ameen:

His times were preserved, where not an hour would pass except in reading, remembrance, prayers, or recitation[6].

And Muhammad ibn ‘Abdulbaqi says:

“I do not know that I wasted one hour of my life in wastefulness and play”[7].

Certainly, you do not know how long you will live. Therefore, you have to put aside procrastination, pull up your sleeves, and you should not get tired from gathering goodness and benefit with all its kinds.

We hear of people complaining about having no time to read and others complaining about their little memorization and others complaining about their times not being organized.

We all live in one society even if the distances between us are relatively large, and we all see in ourselves and in our brothers some negligence and shortcomings in different aspects, which I will be mentioning a few of them.

[1] Zayl Tabaqaat Al-Hanabila (1/182)

[2] Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’ by Al-Sam’aani (1/74)

[3] Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’ by Al-Sam’aani (p. 17)

[4] Hilyat Al-Awliyaa by Al-Asfahani (2/148)

[5] Tabaqaat Al-Hanabila (1/288)

[6] Ma’rifat Al-Quraa Al-Kibar (2/465)

[7] Siyar A’laam Al-Nubalah (20/26)



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Milestones on the Road to Seeking Knowledge

by Sh. Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan

Translation and Editing by: Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem team

Chapter 1: 10 Obstacles in the way of Seeking Knowledge

The first thing I choose to speak about are the barriers and obstacles that stand in the way of the students of knowledge … Barriers which prevent them from remaining steadfast upon that path.

While the barriers and obstacles that students of knowledge may face are many, they can be gathered into the following ten obstacles:

Obstacle 1: An Insincere Intention

The intention is the pillar of any deed and its foundation. Any deed would contain as much deficiency as is contained in the intention.

And our prophet [peace be upon him] said: The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended[1].

So if the intention is tainted by the stains of the love of fame, the love of leadership, and their likes; then that would be a huge barrier in the face of the seeker of knowledge.

However, for those who strive to clear their intention, Allah [All Mighty] has assured them in the Quran that: {As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths} [2].

And Sufyan Al-Thawri [May Allah have mercy on him] says:

The most difficult thing I had to treat was my intention [3].

So if that was Sufyan the great scholar, then what about us?

That is why we all have to make sure that our intention is clear and that we are seeking this knowledge solely for the sake of Allah. And if the intention gets stained through the deceptions of Iblees (i.e. Satan), that won’t be strange, but the strange thing is if the student of knowledge knows about these stains and accepts them. That is why it is critical for the seeker of knowledge to fight and struggle with his intention until he clears it from these stains, and to never get tired or lose hope.

Obstacle 2: Love of Fame, and Leadership

This obstacle would also fall under the intention; however, it is given its own section due to its importance.

Love of fame and leadership is a serious illness that only through Allah’s protection one can be safe from it.

Al-Shatibi [may Allah have mercy on him] said:

One of the last things to leave the hearts of the righteous is the: Love of leadership and authority [4].

So if the intention of the student is that his name becomes well-known, or that he becomes famous and respected wherever he goes, and these were his only concerns and hopes, then he has put himself in a very dangerous situation.

I think it is sufficient for us to know one prophetic tradition, where Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him] said:

The first of men (whose case) will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be …

Then will be brought forward a man who acquired knowledge and imparted it (to others) and recited the Quran. He will be brought And Allah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them (and admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Then will Allah ask: What did you do (to requite these blessings)?

He will say: I acquired knowledge and disseminated it and recited the Quran seeking Thy pleasure. Allah will say: You have told a lie. You acquired knowledge so that you might be called “a scholar”, and you recited the Quran so that it might be said: “He is a Qari” and such has been said. Then orders will be passed against him and he shall be dragged with his face downward and cast into the Fire …[5].

So this desire and love of fame is a tough test, except for those who Allah has protected their hearts.

The Salaf [may Allah shower them with mercy] were the furthest away from this love of fame, and from the examples that were narrated about them that demonstrates this are:

What was mentioned about Ayyub al Sakhtiyani [may Allah have mercy on him] that he said:

People have come to know me, while I hate to be remembered [6].

And Hamad said about him:

I used to walk with him (i.e. Ayyub), and he would take routes that I am amazed how he discovered them, escaping from the people so that they don’t say: There is Ayyub [7].

Imam Ahmad said to one of his students, when he heard people praising him:

Oh Abu Bakr, if a man knows himself then what benefit would the words of people bring [8].

And he said:

“… that Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Laila said: I met 120 of the Ansar, from the companions of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), whenever one of them is asked a question, he would hope that one of his brothers would answer instead” [9].

Obstacle 3: Neglecting attending lectures

The Salaf of this Ummah used to say: “Knowledge is sought-after, and does not seek”, however, today knowledge is seeking students but is not sought after, and that is with a very few exceptions.

These lectures of knowledge, if the only good that would come to you from it is that tranquility would descend upon you and that mercy would cover you, and that the angels would surround you, and on top of all this, Allah makes a mention of you in the presence of those near Him (as has been reported in the prophetic tradition), then that would be a sufficient enough reason for attending it. How then should your eagerness be when you would receive two great benefits: the knowledge that is gained in this life and the rewards awaiting you in the next life?

And In-Sha-Allah (god willing), a separate section would be used to discuss the manners and etiquette a student of knowledge must have when attending lectures.

Obstacle 4: Excusing yourself with being busy

This obstacle is a tough barrier in the face of many. How many people were encouraged to seek knowledge, but the devil enticed them to take a different direction.

You would find that those who have neglected seeking knowledge have made their work an excuse for not attending the lectures of knowledge, and constantly use being busy as an excuse, until it became an acceptable excuse in their sights.

However, those who Allah cleared their vision and managed to organize their times properly and benefited with that time will truly find great benefit.

And those who organized their time and benefited from this time organization would tell you (as mentioned by Al-San’ani in his poem about Hajj):

And who does not try would never realize its value **

So try and you shall find the truth in what we mentioned

ومن لم يجرب ليس يعرف قدره *** فجرب تجد تصديق ماقد ذكرناه

Obstacle 5: Neglecting seeking knowledge at a young age

We feel really proud when we see students who are much younger than us but have a bigger determination. You find them the first ones to lectures seeking knowledge. Truly, we feel proud when we see them. At the same time, we regret the times that passed from our lives and we did not spend it in seeking knowledge and memorization.

Al-Hasan said:

Seeking Knowledge at a young age is like carving on stone [10].

And ‘Umar [May Allah be pleased with him] said:

Learn before you become heads (or leaders) [11]

[i.e. heads of families, or states, etc. meaning learn at a young age before you get busy with responsibilities].

Imam Al-Bukhari commented on this and said: “And after you have become heads (or leaders), for many of the Prophet’s companions learned at a late age”.

So go ahead, and start seeking knowledge at a young age and do so even at a later age, and do not lose hope since all of life is a time for seeking knowledge. This is because seeking knowledge is a form of worship, and Allah said in the Quran: {And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)} [12].

Obstacle 6: Abstaining from seeking knowledge

Many refrain from seeking knowledge, by claiming that most of their time is spent following the news and following what is happening around the world.

People differ in this between the excessive, the negligent, and the moderate, and the first two are definitely mistaken.

Seeking knowledge encourages you to know the reality of the world around you; however, you would never be able to solve any problem that befalls you if you do not try to deal with it using the scale of the Sharee’ah (i.e. the Religion and Rulings of Allah) and returning to what the scholars have said, and instead you try to deal with it using your own views and rationale.

What is disappointing is that you find a Muslim who is upset and angry about the situation of the Muslim Ummah, and at the same time you find him ignorant about the basic teachings of Islam. You find him ignorant about the proper way to pray, while the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: Pray as you have seen me praying [13].

You find him ignorant about the morning Azkhar and other basic things that are known among even the young students of knowledge.

Ibn Taymiyah [14] [May Allah shower him with mercy] was one of the most knowledgeable people of his time and about the situations around him, yet this did not stop him from seeking knowledge.

Truly, if you seek knowledge, you will find that for every trial or calamity that this Ummah faces, there is always something in the book of Allah and the teachings of his Prophet that would fix it.

Obstacle 7: Praising yourself

This obstacle includes the love of praising yourself, attaching titles and names to yourself, and being proud when people praise you.

There is no doubt, however, that when people speak good about you, that this is glad tidings to you, as Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] said when he was asked: “What is your opinion about the person who has done good deeds and the people praise him? He said: It is glad tidings for a believer[15].

However, be very careful and be very watchful that someone praises you for something that is not in you, and you feel happy about that. Caution must be taken so that this doesn’t become one of my or your traits, and remember the words of Allah when he belittled those people who: {love to be praised for what they have not done} [16].

Remember that praising yourself is criticized in most cases, with a few exceptions that have been specified by the Sharee’ah.

Allah the Exalted says:

{So ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keep his duty to Him} [17].

Allah also dispraised the people of the Book and said:

{Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves. Nay – but Allah sanctifies whom He pleases, and they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatilâ (A scalish thread in the long slit of a date­stone)} [18].

And Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- said: "Don’t hold yourselves to be pious. It is God alone who knows the people of piety among you" [19].

Yes, in some cases –as was mentioned- it is permissible for someone to speak well of himself, as Yusuf [peace be upon him] said: {Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge}[20].

But in most cases this love of praise is a doorway the devil uses to get to the servants of Allah, so beware that you become among those who become happy and arrogant when praised, and be from among those who do not concern themselves with hearing such praise.

If you wanted to see the danger of this: Look at all your shortcomings when it comes to the acts of obedience, then look at he who has praised you, and ask yourself: If that person knows of all your shortcomings and all the deeds you have committed that do not please Allah the All Mighty, do you think he will still praise you?

The point here is: Be cautious of praising yourself, and be cautious of attributing to yourself titles and names that do not belong to you, because whoever rushes for something before its time has come is punished by being deprived from it.

Obstacle 8: Not acting upon the knowledge you gained

Not acting upon the knowledge you have gained is one of the reasons of losing the blessings of that knowledge, and Allah has defamed those who are of this type when He said: {Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do} [21].

That is why the Salaf were very careful to act upon what they have learned. The noble companion Ibn Mas’oud [May Allah be well pleased with him] said:

“The person from among us, whenever he learns ten verses, would not exceed them until he knows their meanings and the action that comes with them” [22].

‘Ali [May Allah be well pleased with him] said:

“Knowledge will call upon Action, it (i.e. Action) will either answer it (i.e. Knowledge), or else it (i.e. Knowledge) will depart” [23].

Always remember that if knowledge existed without action, it will be a witness against its carrier.

Bishr Al-Hafi [may Allah have mercy on him] said:

“Give out the Zakaah of your knowledge: five hadith from every 200 hadith you learn” [24]-[25].

Acting upon knowledge would assist in engraving this knowledge [in his heart], and if you wanted an example then look at the morning and afternoon Azkhar, as well as the Azkhar of sleeping, entering and leaving the washroom and your home, etc.

If someone just memorizes them, then he could easily do it, but he will soon forget them, however, if he acts upon them for a long time, it will be as engraved in him because of the time he acted upon them.

Imam Al-Dhahabi [may Allah have mercy on him] said about the age he lived in:

“… and today: there only remains a small portion of the few sciences that we once had, in only a few people, and how little are those from among them who are acting upon this little [knowledge], so Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.” [26].

So if these were the words of Al-Dhahabi in the 8th century of Hijra, then what about us today?! This is the reason why it is mandatory on us to struggle with ourselves, and Allah is the most Merciful with his servants.

So remember that the Zakah of knowledge is acting upon it, as Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdulwahab [May Allah have mercy on him] said:

"Know –may Allah have mercy on you- that it is obligatory for every believing man and believing woman to learn four issues: The first is: Knowledge, The second: Acting upon it, The third: Calling to it, and The fourth: Being patient about the harm faced" [27].

And: {whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)}[28].

Obstacle 9: Despair and loosing hope in yourself

O Student of Knowledge, me and you, and Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah, and Al-Bukhari, and Ibn Hajar, and the rest of the scholars, are all included in what Allah says: {And Allah 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 (to Allah)}[29].

We are all that person, so do not belittle yourself, and at the same time, do not praise it. Losing hope and trusting in oneself is a major obstacle to gaining knowledge, so do not belittle yourself. If you find yourself weak in memorization, or weak in understanding, or slow in reading, or fast in forgetting … all these illnesses disappear if you clear your intention and take by the reasons.

Al-Imam Al-‘Askari said about himself:

"Memorization used to be difficult on me when I started seeking knowledge, until I got myself used to it and memorized Ru’bah’s poem in one night" [30].

And Ru’bahs poem is close to 200 verses, so no doubt that this came after a sincere and continuous effort.

So do not belittle yourself, rather: clear your intention, take by the means, and use your time wisely, after which you will find that you have gained goodness that would make you regret all the time that passed without any benefit.

Another thing that would also assist in improving your memory is staying away from sin. Al-Imam Al-Shafi’ee says something beautiful that is important to keep in our minds:

I complained to Wakee’ about my bad memory **

So he guided me to staying away from sin

شكوت إلى وكيع سوء حفظي *** فأرشدني إلى ترك المعاصي

And he said to me that: "Indeed this knowledge is light **

and the Light of Allah is not granted to a sinner”[31]

وقال: اعلم بأن العلم نور *** ونور الله لا يؤتاه عاصي

Obstacle 10: Procrastination

Procrastination (Tasweef) as some of the Salaf used to say is: “One of the soldiers of Iblees” [32].

Procrastination is someone’s hope to start accomplishing a task after some time and keeps delaying it, while forgetting that death might surprise him.

A poet once said:

And do not delay the deeds of today till tomorrow **

For tomorrow might come when you are gone

ولا ترج عمل اليوم إلى غد *** لعل غدا يأتي وأنت فقيــــــد

Abu Ishaq narrates that: A man from ‘Abd Al-Qays was asked: Advice us, so he said: "Beware of ‘I will [do so in the future]’" [33].

Some students of knowledge set for themselves times and say: I will start to memorize so-and-so on that day, and I will start reading that book after so-and-so.

So we say:

If he is currently busy in seeking knowledge, and reading, and researching, then he is in goodness, and will be going from goodness to goodness.

However, if he means that he is delaying starting until that day, then no doubt that this is from the deceptions of Iblees. That is why it is compulsory for everyone that wishes to seek knowledge and wishes to bear the attributes of the people of knowledge not to waste his or her time. And we sit in amazement whenever we read how the Salaf made use of their times!

[1] Agreed Upon

[2] Surah Al-’Ankabut 29:69

[3] Tazkirat al-saami’ wa al-mutakalim (p.68) – ibn jamaa’a. (The reminder to the listener and the speaker)

[4] Al-I’tisaam – al-Shatibi

[5] Narrated by Imam Muslim

[6] Seyar A’lam Al-Nubala’ (6/22) – Al-Zahabi. (The Life of the Nobles)

[7] Previous source (10/476)

[8] Previous source (11/211)

[9] I’laam al-muwaqi’een – ibn al-qayim (1/28)

[10] Jami’ Bayan Al-Ilm wa Fadlih p.99 (The comprehensive statements on knowledge and its virtue)

[11] Fath Al-Bari (1/991)

[12] Surah Al-Hijr 15:99

[13] Narrated by Al-Bukhari

[14] I mentioned him [May Allah shower him with mercy] since he was one of the most significant scholars in replying to all the deviant sects around, but there are many other scholars besides him [May Allah have mercy on them all].

[15] Imam Muslim in the book of Birr

[16] Surah Al-‘Imran 3:188

[17] Surah Al-Najm 53:32

[18] Surah Al-Nisa’ 4:49

[19] Narrated by Muslim

[20] Surah Yusuf 12:55

[21] Surah Al-Saaf 61:3

[22] Tafseer ibn Katheer 1/2

[23] Narrated by Ibn ‘Abd Al-Baar in "Al-Jami’" 2/11

[24] Adab Al-Imlaa’ wa Al-Istimlaa’ p. 110

[25] Know that this is only for the traditions that speak about virtue. As for those that speak about Ahkham, Halal, Haram, and obligations then, you have to act upon them all.

[26] Tazkirat Al-Hufaaz by Al-Zahabi 2/1031

[27] Al-Usool Al-Thalatha by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab

[28] Surah Al-Talaq 65:2

[29] Surah An-Nahl 16:78

[30] Al-Hath ‘Ala Talab Al-‘Ilm wa Al-Ijtihad fee Tahseelih (Encouragement to seeking Knowledge, and putting an effort in gaining it) by Abi Al-Hilal Al-‘Askari p.71.

[31] Benefit: Some have raised doubt about the authentic attribution of these verses to Imam Al-Shafi’ee; and they said that Imam Al-Shafi’ee was not a student of Wakee’. This can be answered by the following: Imam Al-Shafi’ee has narrated from Wakee’ as can be seen in his book "Al-Um" in the book of Sadaqat, as for the verses they are quite famous from the way of Imam Al-Shafi’ee.

[32] "Iqtida’ Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal" by Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi p.114

[33] same as footnote # 32 p. 114



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Milestones on the Road to Seeking Knowledge

by Sh. Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan


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[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), 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:

[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)

Abstract: “Fire today is burning at the stem of the tree, so let’s focus our efforts on the stem and let’s leave the branches and the leaves for now”.


Calling to the Foundations [of Islam] before its Branches

الدعوة إلى الأصول قبل الفروع

Broadcasted in 1972 [1]

By: Shaykh Ali Tantawi

الشيخ علي طنطاوي

(may Allah shower him with Mercy)

Translated by: Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem Translation Team



Sh. Ahmad Deedat in a visit to Sh. Ali Tantawi (around 1994) [2]


Islam today is in need for us to call to it all over again!

I do not mean by that calling the opposing disbelievers [to Islam], since that is mandatory, however [what I mean] and what we are facing [today] is [something] more obligatory and closer to us [than that], and that is: Calling [our] young Muslim men and women to Islam!

Do not be surprised [by that], for indeed most of the young Muslims do not [in reality] know what is Islam!

Even those who pray among them and those who fast, [you will find that] many of them pray and fast as a matter of habit, but do not know the secrets of praying and fasting, and do not know from the rulings [of prayers and the rulings of fasting], except very little.

So, how are we to call those young Muslims to Islam?

I know from among the righteous callers to Allah, those who whenever a young [Muslim] comes to him eager to learn [about Islam] and [hoping to seek the path of] righteousness, they do not start them with that which the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings upon him) started with, namely correcting the Aqeedah (i.e. the beliefs and creed), then teaching them about the major sins and transgressions that are agreed upon so that they may avoid it, and [teaching them] the principle obligations [of the Religion] … [namely the obligations] that are agreed upon, so that they may act upon them.


[What we see however is that this caller to Allah] does not start with any of that, rather starts them with: Growing the beard!?

Now, I am not in any way objecting to growing the beard, neither am I making shaving it acceptable, rather [what I am doing here is] giving an example of those who leave calling to the major principles and pillars of Islam and start with what is supposed to come later.

They exert [great] efforts in convincing the young Muslim man [coming to them] to let his beard grow, and had they exerted that effort in correcting his Belief instead and establishing in him the pillars of this Religion they would have achieved what they intended.

[The reason for this] is that one of the most difficult things on a young man is to grow his beard. However, had you started by introducing him to Allah (the Exalted) so that the reverence and glorification of Allah is established within him, he would have grown his beard from himself without any objections.

[On the other hand], if [the first thing] you start him with [is ordering him to grow his beard] and so he does it while despising it, he may reach a point where he finds it difficult on him to continue with it and has to leave it, and may leave with it the Religion altogether.

This is something we have witnessed time and time again.

Now, this is just an example, so let no one from among the listeners say that Tantawi is calling to shave their beards and is opposing the Sunnah. We are indeed in a critical time, and Islam is being attacked in its own Land, and Faith itself is being threatened. We are now facing a real danger and an explicit disbelief. So let us delay [spending time investigating and] researching the Sunan (i.e. the non-obligatory recommended actions) and the Makrouhat (i.e. the non-prohibited disliked actions), rather let’s even delay researching the things which are a matter of difference [of opinion] between the scholars of the four Mazahib (i.e. Schools of Islamic Fiqh), and spending time investigating whether these actions are prohibited or only disliked!

* * * * *


Sh. Ali Tantawi on Mount Qasioun, Syria [2]

The Imam of the Haram (i.e. the Grand Mosque of Mecca) during the last Friday Sermon said a very precise word: he said that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings upon him) remained in Mecca for 13 years, not calling [the people] to anything except to correcting their Beliefs and establishing Tawheed (Monotheism) within them.

After Tawheed was [firmly] established within their souls and their Aqeedah was corrected, the specifics of the Islamic legislation were revealed after that, along with the verses that spoke about the [various] rulings of Islam.

Why don’t the Scholars, the Muslim leaders, and the callers to Allah do as the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings upon him) had done before?

Tawheed is the main principle and foundation [of Islam], so why then do we see [many] who are starting with the branches that are growing out of the branches before even having established the roots and the foundations?

A man from Germany once came to Damascus after Allah had guided him to Islam. He wished to know more about his Religion, and learn its rulings so that he becomes strongly grounded in it. The people guided him to a Shaykh, [so that he can learn from him].

[Now what was the first thing that that Shaykh started him with?]

The first thing [the Shaykh] started with was: telling him about growing the beard and getting circumcised!!

He then started teaching him about the rulings pertaining to cleansing yourself [after using the washroom], and the difference of opinion regarding the boundaries of the face!

[Does the northern limits of the face] start from the forehead or [does it start from] the first location of growth of the hair?!

He then starting explaining to him about how not to hit the water during ablution as this is a disliked action. He then spent with him a whole year, in which he learned nothing more than the different categories of water, and how it is divided into seven categories: pure and purifying that is not disliked [to use], pure and purifying but disliked [to use], pure but not purifying, and so on … Also what is the ruling of ghee/butter if a mouse were to fall into it, and what is the ruling of the well in which a cat dies!

Trust that I am telling you exactly what happened …

What happened after that was that this man went back to Germany and returned back to his old religion!

I am not here to talk about the [situation of] non-Muslims; rather my main concern here is the Muslim youth [of today] who are in [a dire] need to being called to Islam all over again.

The enemies of Islam [today] are setting up their nets to catch those Muslims. These nets are unfortunately as soft as silk.

They place in these nets everything a young Muslims may desire, from the various shades of beauty and the different adornments. They try to attract them with women, pictures, and amusements.

They speak to them in a language they understand, and capture them in the name of [Freedom].

Freedom of thought, freedom of mixing, and freedom from all and every restrain. With [these traps], and its likes, they have managed to capture many of the young Muslims and have managed to take them into their lines.

Now when Allah inspires one of those young Muslims to return back to his Religion, and he gets in contact with one of the scholars [of the Religion], what does he find?

I am merely describing the illness and establishing facts, so let no of you blame me.

He either gets in contact with a Shaykh from among the Sufi Tariqas (i.e. Sufi orders). That Shaykh would teach him about that Sufi order and make him from its followers. He would oblige him to perform matters that were never performed by the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings upon him), or his companions, or [anyone from] the earlier generation, and would say to him that this is the Religion!

Or that young Muslim may instead get in contact with a Shaykh who has busied himself with Fiqh, [Fiqh] as it was studied from 50 or 60 years ago, namely that the student would read to his teacher some books of Fiqh until he understands it, then he starts reading it to others and explaining it to them, not searching for the basis or the evidence [behind these rulings he is learning], and not distinguishing between what has been established through the [Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger], or that which is derived from customs or from an Ijtihad, which can err or be correct. He would receive the statements of those later scholars of Fiqh as if they were the Religion that should not be altered or changed.

Or that Shaykh can be from among those who only concerns themselves with the outer appearances, or concern themselves with the structure rather than the higher purpose. The Shaykh would enrol him in his meetings [or in his] group/organization, until he gets accustomed to delving only into specific topics which he does not surpass. He would focus on the present day politics, more than he would focus on [attaining a] proper upbringing and [gaining an] internal purification …

Now, I am not saying that all the Scholars and callers of Allah are like this, No, rather among them are scholars and teachers who are acting upon this religion [as one should]. However, these are very few, while the majority are focusing on the branches and the leaves rather than focusing on the foundations. The majority has established for themselves a narrow space which they dwell in, [a space] which they do not even look passed or realize what lies behind it. They do not realize the dangers which are surrounding Islam, nor do they know what the enemies of Islam are up to.

These [scholars] do not realize that Islam has become a stranger once again, just as it was when it started. It became a stranger in its Lands, [a stranger] among its people. The Masjids are filled with worshippers, the people are fasting Ramadan, and the pilgrims are in increasing in number year after year, but the Prayers, Fasting, and Pilgrimage has lost, among many [of the Muslims] its soul and essence, and what remains is only its form.

The poisons of the enemies of Islam has entered [our] communities, [has even spread among] those who observe prayers and fast, and has entered their homes. It entered the [minds and] thoughts of their men, [it reached] the dresses of their women, the curriculums of their schools, and the laws of their courts!

* * * * *

Islam today is being threatened from its [very core and] foundation, thus it becomes prudent upon us to prepare new plans … plans with which we can push back the plots of our enemies. Let’s start with the [most basic of] principles, which is Tawheed, then let’s move onto [calling the people to] abandoning that which is prohibited, then performing the obligations, and after that we can discuss the growing of the beard, the shortening of the garments, and the mentioning of the name of Allah before eating, and [all the] other branches.

If a thorn was to enter the finger of a child, enter between his nail and his skin, and gets stuck there. The father would be concerned about what happened and would rush his child to the doctor [to remove that thorn].

However, if the child was suffering from a tumor and was going to undergo surgery, if he was facing death at any moment, and the doctor sees that thorn in the child’s hand, [the doctor] will not even give it a second look, since he is more concerned about what is more critical, namely saving the child’s life from that imminent death.

The matter is, by Allah, very serious, and Islam is being threatened.

Many of the young Muslims, from among our sons [and daughters], have already been drawn to the enemies of Islam. Therefore, we ought to make our major concern to protect the foundations of this Religion, and to focus on the beliefs, obligations, and prohibitions.

Fire [today] is burning at the stem of the tree, so let’s focus our efforts on the stem and let’s leave the branches and the leaves for now.



* * * * *


[1] Fusul fi al-Da’wah wa al-Islah (فصول في الدعوة والإصلاح) p. 123 – 127

[2] Reference for pictures:

Sh. al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah shower him with Mercy) said:

"And if he finds someone who is in dire need of the water that is with him, then he should give it to him to drink and perform Tayamum instead,

And whoever performs Ghusl or ablution and there is someone who is in dire need [of this water] from the people of the Millah (our Religion) or from the people of the Dhimmah (non-Muslims), or [even] their animals whose sanctity is preserved, yet does not quench their thirst then he is a disobedient sinner!"


[1] Majmou’ al-Fatawa ​4/392​

[2] Benefitted from:



قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية : "لو وجد غيره مضطراً إلى ما معه من الماء فعليه أن يسقيه إياه ويعدل إلى التيمم، ومن اغتسل وتوضأ وهناك مضطر من أهل الملة أو الذمة أو دوابهم المعصومة فلم يسقه كان آثما عاصيا!".ـ

Sibawayh [1] used to attend the Hadith lessons of Hamad ibn Zayd and used to recite to him [Prophetic] traditions.

Sibawayh used to fall into Lahn during his recitation (i.e. incorrect recitation due to mispronunciation of letters, syntax, or grammatical mistakes), and Hamad would correct him.

One day Hamad got irritated by Sibawayh’s mistake and said to him:

How often is the Lahn in your recitation, have you no shame??

Sibawayh was ashamed from this and remained quiet.

When he left the lesson, he went and started attending the lessons of Al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad and studied the Arabic grammar under him until he excelled in it, and his name became known across the horizon [2 – 4].


[1] Sibawayh (may Allah shower him with Mercy) is Abū Bishr ʿAmr ibn ʿUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Baṣrī. Sibawayh was an ethnic Persian and wasn’t a native speaker of Arabic, having learned the language later in life. Yet with that, he was one of the most significant contributors to the development of the Arabic language and linguistic tradition. His work Al-Kitab was the first written grammar of the language. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest Arabic linguists of all time [wiki].

[2] Given Sibawayh great achievement and service to the Arabic grammar it is surprising to learn that he died at a very young age. He was born according to some accounts in the year of 148 of Hijra, and died in the year of 180 H (as supported by Imam Al-Dhahabi in the Siyar), making him only 32 years old at the time of his death.

[3] Reference of story above: Ghurar Al-Khasais Al-Wadiha 1/222

[4] Benefited from:

كان سيبويه يختلف إلى حماد بن زيد يقرأ عليه الحديث
فكان يلحن في قراءته فيرد عليه حماد
فأبرمه يوماً لحنه فقال له كم تلحن أمالك مروءة ؟؟ فخجل ووجم 
فلما قام من مجلسه انقطع إلى الخليل بن أحمد
فقرأ عليه النحو فمهر فيه وفاق وسار ذكره في الآفاق



Ali ibn Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) entered the Masjid once, and in it was a man scaring the people [with his admonitions and reminders].

So he asked: What is this?

They said: A man reminding the people.

So he said: That is not a man who is reminding people, rather he is one who is saying to them: I am so-and-so, [and you should] know me.

Then he called him and asked: Do you know [how differentiate between] the Nasikh and the Mansoukh (i.e. the abrogated and what abrogated it)?

The man said: No

So Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said to him: Then leave our Masjid and do not remind the [people] in it.


[1] Al-Nasikh wa Al-Mansoukh – Abu Ja’far Al-Nahaas 1/48; Tafseer Al-Qurtubi 2/62; Al-Dur Al-Manthur – Al-Suyuti 1/201

[2] Benefited from:

دخل علي بن أبي طالب المسجد فإذا برجل يخوف الناس فقال : ما هذا ؟ 
فقالوا : رجل يذّكر الناس . 
فقال : ليس برجل يذكر الناس ولكنه يقول : أنا فلان بن فلان فاعرفوني، فأرسل إليه فقال : اتعرف الناسخ من المنسوخ ؟ 
فقال : لا .
قال : فاخرج من مسجدنا ولا تذّكر فيه

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