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Is Tazkiyah (or Graduation) Required Before One Teaches and Gives Da'wah? Part 5: Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen
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Monday, September 30 2013 - by Abu.Iyaad
Key topics: Tazkiyah

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The following are a series of questions and answers found in Kitab al-Ilm of Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah). They have a connection to the topic of this series and so they have been included here, and the issue here is that of acquisition of knowledge in a scenario where it is not possible to take it directly from the scholars, so the issue of their books and cassettes is raised and whether it is possible to acquire knowledge and be a student of knowledge through this route.

Question:

بعض طلبة العلم يكتفون بسماع أشرطة العلماء من خلال دروسهم فهل تكفي في تلقي العلم؟ وهل يعتبرون طلاب علم؟ وهل يؤثر في معتقدهم؟

Some seekers of knowledge suffice with listenting to the cassettes of the Scholars in the course of their studies (lessons), so is this sufficient for acquiring knowledge? And are they considered students of knowledge? And does this have an effect upon their belief?

The Shaykh answered this question:

لا شك أن هذه الأشرطة تكفيهم عن الحضور إلى أهل العلم إذا كان لا يمكنهم الحضور، وإلا فإن الحضور إلى العلماء أفضل وأحسن وأقرب للفهم والمناقشة، لكن إذا لم يمكنهم الحضور فهذا يكفيهم.

There is no doubt that these cassettes will suffice them from being present (directly) with the people of knowledge when it is not possible for them to attend. Otherwise, attending with the Scholars is superior, better and is closer to (gaining) understanding and (being able to) discuss (matters). However, when they are not able to attend, then this suffices them.

Question:

ثم هل يمكن أن يكونوا طلبة علم وهم يقتصرون على هذا ؟

Then is it possible for them to be students of knowledge whilst they limit themselves to this (medium of study)?

The Shaykh answered:

نقول: نعم يمكن إذا اجتهد الإنسان اجتهادًا كثيرًا كما يمكن أن يكون الإنسان عالمًا إذا أخذ العلم من الكتب، لكن الفرق بين أخذ العلم من الكتب والأشرطة وبين التلقي من العلماء مباشرة، أن التلقي من العلماء مباشرة أقرب إلى حصول العلم؛ لأنه طريق سهل تمكن فيه المناقشة بخلاف المستمع أو القارئ فإنه يحتاج إلى عناء كبير في جمع أطراف العلم والحصول عليه.

We say: Yes, it is possible when a person strives with a great deal of striving, just as it is possible for a person to be a scholar when he takes knowledge from books. However, the difference between taking knowledge from books and cassettes and between taking directly from the scholars (in person) is that seeking knowledge directly from the scholars is closer to acquisition of knowledge because it is an easier route wherein discussion is possible, as opposed to the one who listens or reads (from the scholars), for he requires (to go through) a great deal of hardship in bringing together the various aspects of knowledge and acquiring it.

Question:

وأما قول السائل: هل يؤثر الاكتفاء بالأشرطة في معتقدهم؟

And what about the saying of the questioner, does sufficing with cassettes affect their belief?

The Shaykh answered:

فالجواب: نعم يؤثر في معتقدهم إذا كانوا يستمعون إلى أشرطة بدعية ويتبعونها، أما إذا كانوا يستمعون إلى أشرطة من علماء موثوق بهم، فلا يؤثر على معتقداتهم، بل يزيدهم إيمانًا ورسوخًا واتباعًا للمعتقد الصحيح.

Then the answer is: Yes, it does affect their belief if they listen to cassettes of innovation and follow them. As for when they listen to cassettes of trusted scholars, then that does not affect their belief. Rather, it increases them in eemaan, in being firmly-grounded and in following the correct creed.

Question:

هل يجوز تعلم العلم من الكتب فقط دون العلماء وخاصة إذا كان يصعب تعلم العلم من العلماء لندرتهم؟ وما رأيك في القول القائل:من كان شيخه الكتاب كان خطؤه أكثر إلى الصواب؟

Is it permissible to learn knowledge from books only without scholars, especially when it is difficult to learn knowledge from scholars due to them being scarce? And what is your view regarding the saying of a person, "Whoever's shaykh is the book, his error(s) will be more than what he is correct in"?

The Shaykh answered:

لا شك أن العلم يحصل بطلبه عند العلماء وبطلبه في الكتب؛ لأن كتاب العالم هو العالم نفسه، فهو يحدثك من خلال كتابه، فإذا تعذر الطلب على أهل العلم، فإنه يطلب العلم من الكتب، ولكن تحصيل العلم عن طريق العلماء أقرب من تحصيله عن طريق الكتب؛ لأن الذي يحصل عن طريق الكتب يتعب أكثر ويحتاج إلى جهد كبير جدًّا، ومع ذلك فإنه قد تخفى عليه بعض الأمور كما في القواعد الشرعية التي قعَّدها أهل العلم والضوابط، فلا بد أن يكون له مرجع من أهل العلم بقدر الإمكان. وأما قوله: "من كان دليله كتابه فخطؤه أكثر من صوابه"، فهذا ليس صحيحًا على إطلاقه ولا فاسدًا على إطلاقه، أما الإنسان الذي يأخذ العلم من أيّ كتاب يراه فلا شك أنه يخطئ كثيرًا، وأما الذي يعتمد في تعلُّمه على كتب رجال معروفين بالثقة والأمانة والعلم فإن هذا لا يكثر خطؤه بل قد يكون مصيبًا في أكثر ما يقول.

There is no doubt that knowledge is acquired through seeking it from the Scholars and seeking it from books because the book of the scholar is the scholar himself, for he is speaking to you through his book. So when seeking (knowledge) is not possible from the people of knowledge, then he seeks knowledge from books. However, acquiring knowledge through the route of the scholars is closer to its acquisition than through the route of books because the one who seeks it through books will toil (struggle) more and requires a great deal of striving. And alongside this some affairs might be hidden from him such as Sharee'ah principles and rules that the people of knowledge have laid down. So it is necessary that he has a reference point from the people of knowledge (to return back to) in accordance with ability. As for his saying, "Whosoever's guide is his book then his error(s) will be more than what he is correct in" then this is not correct unrestrictedly and nor corrupt unrestrictedly. As for the person who takes knowledge from any book he sees, then no doubt he will err abundantly. And as for the one who in his learning depends upon the books of men known for trustworthiness, reliability and knowledge then this person's errors will not be many and he will be correct in the majority of what he says.



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