admin on May 3rd, 2009

Assalamu Alaykum,

I came across some advice from the pious people of our past (Rahimahum Allah) for those striving to be Students of Knowledge.

Hudayfah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) said:
The Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) related two matters to us. I have seen one of them, and I am waiting for the other. He informed us: “Trustworthiness was sent down in the depths of the heart of the people, then they learnt it from the Qur’aan, and then they learnt it from the Sunnah.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.7086)]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr (825H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“His saying: “then they learnt it from the Qur’aan, then they learnt it from the Sunnah.” So it occurs in this narration with the repetition of “then”, which contains an indication that they would learn Qur’aan before learning the details of the Sunnah. And what is meant by the details of the Sunnah is anything that they would learn from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) – whether it was obligatory or recommended.” [Fathul-Baaree (13/39)]

Al-Maymoonee said:

I asked Aboo ‘Abdullaah (Imaam Ahmad) which is more beloved to you, that I should begin teaching my son the Qur’aan or the Hadeeth? He said: “No! The Qur’aan.” I said: Shall I teach him all of it? He replied: “Unless that is difficult, in which case teach him some of it.” Then he said to me: “If he begins reciting first, then he will learn correct recitation and will persevere in it.” [Related by Ibn Muflih in Al-Aadaabush-Shar'iyyah]

Ibn Muflih – rahimahullaah – said:

“Upon this are the followers of Imaam Ahmad right up until our time.” [Related by Ibn Abee Ya'laa in Tabaqaatul-Hanaabilah (1/41)]

Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“As for seeking to memorise the Qur’aan, then this is to be given preference over many of the things that the people consider to be knowledge, but are – in reality – either totally useless, or having little benefit. It is also to be given precedence in learning especially by those who wish to acquire knowledge of the Deen, its principles and its particulars. Since what is prescribed for such a person at this time is that he should begin by memorising the Qur’aan, as it is the foundation of the branches of the knowledge of the Deen. This is contrary to what is done by many of the people of Innovation from the non-Arabs and other than them, in that one of them will pre-occupy himself with superfluous parts of knowledge; such as kalaam (rhetorical speech) and argumentation; or very rare matters of differences; and blind-following; which there is no need for; or very strange and rare ahaadeeth, which are not established, nor of benefit; and many discussions which do not establish proofs. And he abandons memorising the Qur’aan which is more important than all of this.” [Fataawaa al-Kubra (2/54-55)]

Muhammad ibn al-Fadl said:

“I heard my grandfather say: I asked my father for permission to study under Qutaybah so he said: “First learn the Qur’aan and then I will give you permission.” So I memorised the Qur’aan by heart. So he said to me: “Remain until you have led the people in prayer with it (i.e for Taraweeh Prayer).” So I did so, then after the ‘Eed he gave me permission, so I left for Marw.” [Related by adh-Dhahabee in Tadhkiratul-Huffaadh (2/722).]

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr (d.463H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Seeking knowledge is of levels and is of different stages which should not be skipped over. Whoever skips over them altogether, then he has overstepped the path of the Salaf – may Allaah have mercy on all of them. Whoever deliberately takes a path other than this has seriously deviated. However, whoever oversteps due to an ijitihaad (a knowledge based judgment that a qualified Scholar makes, intending to reach the truth), then such a person has erred. So the first knowledge is memorisation of the Book of Allaah and seeking to understand it. And it is obligatory to seek everything which will aid in understanding it. However, I do not say that is obligatory to memorise all of the Qur’aan, but I do say that it is obligatory and essential for anyone who wishes to become a scholar – not that it is something obligatory in itself.” [Jaami' Bayaanul-'Ilm wa Fadlihi (pp. 526-528)]

Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d.463H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“It is fitting for a student that he begins with the memorisation of the Book of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic. Since it is the greatest of the branches of knowledge and that which should be placed first and given precedence.” [Al-Jaami' li-Akhlaaqir-Raawee wa Aadaabis-Saami' (1/106)]

Al-Haadfidh an-Nawawee (d.676H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“So the first thing he should begin with is memorisation of the mighty Qur’aan, which is the most important branches of knowledge. And the Salaf did not use to teach Hadeeth or Fiqh, except to one who memorised the Qur’aan. So when he has memorised it, then let him beware of pre-occupying himself from it with Hadeeth, Fiqh or other things, to the extent that it leads him to forget anything of the Qur’aan, or makes that likely.” [From the introduction to Al-Majmoo' Sharhul-Muhadhhab (1/38)]

wa Alhamdulilahi Rabb Al Alameen!