admin on March 28th, 2010


I was reading a book (The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge by Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd) and came across a few interesting points. This is basically my summary of what I read…so if there are mistakes it is most likely my fault.

First Point: Knowledge is Worship

When setting forth on the path of seeking knowledge, we must remember to keep our intentions clean and clear–free from any harmful ailments. Our intention should be for Allah subhanahu wa ta’la. This is clear in the hadeeth that is in Bukhari, Muslim and is the first hadeeth in An-Nawawi’s 40 hadeeth book:

إنما الأعمال بالنيات

If we seek knowledge without the proper intention, then the act of seeking knowledge goes from being one of the most noble acts of worship to being one of the lowest forms of violation.

Some things to watch out for in our intention:

  • Riyaa’
    • There are two types of riyaa’. The first riyaa’ is when a person embarks upon seeking knowledge or any act of worship initially for the sake of pleasing others–in order to show off. (so basically from the get-go). The second act of riyaa’ occurs during the act of worship itself. This is a lesser form of riyaa than that of the first.
  • tasmee’
    • This is showing off with the intent of being heard of. An example in the book is that of the person carrying out an action saying “I know [such and such]” or “I have memorized such and such…”

Some signs of having these problems in our intentions are:

  • having the love to stand out and rise above our colleagues
  • turning knowledge into objects of achieving [hidden] objectives and worldly pleasures
  • seeking wealth
  • seeking glory
  • seeking fame
  • intending to turn people’s face in your direction

If we have any of these blemishes—this blemish will, in turn, corrupt our intention.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree, rahimahullah, said: “I was blessed with the understanding of the Quraan, and when I upturned the money purse, it was taken away from me.” [from Tadhkiraat As-Saami' wal Muta'alim"]

An awesome video on this subject (just 7:14 minutes) can be found >>here<<
May Allah purify our intention and keep us steadfast on that pure intention.

و الحمد لله رب العالمين