jump to navigation

Beautiful Quote… January 30, 2008

Posted by Sis Shaykha in Ilm.
3 comments

 Asalaamu Alaaikum,

Insha’Allah please drop by ilmcentral.hadithuna.com 🙂 That is the main (group) blog now. This blog will not be active as before…

I wanted to share this quote with you all. Nowadays you see so many splits amongst those muslims who are on the Quran and Sunnah. You hear frequently “so and so is an innovator”, do not take from him. SubhanAllah. We are more split amongst ourselves than the deviated sects, and the non muslims! While we are pretending to be defenders of the sunnah, we are actually neglecting it! When was it the sunnah to insult your brother muslim? In private, even worse in public (on tapes, videos, etc). What is happening to us that we hate each other so? What happened to sincere advice? Instead we choose shameful backbiting! Astaghfirullah. Fear Allah, my brothers and sisters. Do not waste your time trying to find ‘who is deviated amongst us, and who is not’. Instead focus on BENEFICIAL knowledge, you know that actually will help you in the akhirah! 🙂 Here is a beautiful quote i found online, i’m not sure who it is originally from, perhaps we can reflect on it:

“If they are teaching from the Quran and Sunnah, take from them.
If they are doing good, support them,
If they have beautiful manners, immitate them.
If they are pious and wise, be around them.
If you witness evil, advise them with mercy if you can or just stay away.”

Hunting for Mistakes and the Vulture Culture: November 26, 2007

Posted by Sis Shaykha in Dawah, Ilm.
1 comment so far

Hunting for Mistakes and the Vulture Culture:
Destroying Correct Cultivation

Words from the Senior Scholars – may Allâh have mercy on themTranslated by Abû Umar al-Jurjânî


Credit to Maktabah Al-Salafiyah

WORDS FROM SHAYKH MUHAMMAD NÂSIRUD-DÎN AL-ALBÂNÎ

“Listen my brother.  I sincerely advise you and other youths like you, who stand upon a type of deviation – as it seems to us, and Allâh knows best – that do not waste your time in refuting each other, saying that such and such has this in him, and such and such has that in him.  This is because; firstly: there is no knowledge at all in this, and secondly: this mannerism only breeds enmity and hatred in the hearts, and causes contempt and rancour to develop in the hearts.  So It is upon you to seek knowledge.  It is knowledge that will make clear to you the reality of the speech which is in praise of a particular person having many mistakes, and whether he is deserving of being labelled as an innovator.  Yet why do we wish to delve into such issues.  Indeed I advise you not to delve into such issues.  The reality is that we complain about this splitting which has occurred between those who ascribe themselves to the da’wah to the Book and the Sunnah – or as we say, ad-Da’watus-Salafiyyah the greatest cause of this splitting, and Allâh knows bests, is the following of whims and desires and the evil dictates of one’s soul.  It is not due to the presence of differences in thoughts and ideas.  So this is my sincere advice.”

[Silsilatul Hudâ wan-Nûr (784/1), dated the 1st of Rabî’ al Awwal 1414H (9-12-1993)]

WORDS FROM SHAYKH ‘ABDUL-‘AZÎZ  BIN BÂZ

“What has become common in this age, is that many of those who ascribe themselves to knowledge and calling to good, fall into belittling many of their brothers who are well-known dâ’îs, and speaking against the honour of the students of knowledge and the dâ’îs.  This is done sometimes secretly in their circles, sometimes on cassettes which are then circulated amongst the people, or sometimes publicly mentioned in their gatherings in the mosques.  And this matter opposes the command of Allâh and His Messenger from a number of angles … So I sincerely advise those brothers who have fallen into slandering and maligning the dâ’îs, that they should repent to Allâh, the Most High, for what they have written with their own hands, and what they have said with their own tongues; which may have been a cause for corrupting the hearts of some of the youths; filling their hearts with hatred and malice, and pre-occupying them away from acquiring beneficial knowledge and calling to Allâh, because of being pre-occupied with qîl and qâl (gossiping and rumour mongering); and with speech about this person and that person; and with hunting for the mistakes of people, and burdening them with this.  Likewise, I sincerely advise them that they should redress whatever they have done, and declare themselves free from the likes of these actions, through writing: or methods other than this.  They should remove whatever may have entered the minds and thoughts of those who listened to them, and they should take to doing those fruitful actions that will draw them closer to Allâh, and which will be of benefit to the worshippers.  They should beware of being hasty in pronouncing takfîr, tafsîq or tabdî upon people, without the truth being explained, and without the proofs being established.  The Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“Whosoever says to his brother: ‘O unbeliever’ then it will return to one of them. “

 The authenticity of this hadîth has been agreed upon.”

[Majmû’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah (7/311-314), abridged.]

WORDS FROM SHAYKH MUHAMMAD IBN SÂLIH AL-‘UTHAYMÎN

“It is essential for a student of knowledge to safeguard his time from being wasted.  And time wasting occurs in a number of ways:- Firstly: That one leaves committing to memory and revising what one has read.  Secondly: That one sits with his friends and indulges in vain and idle talk which contains no benefit.  Thirdly, and this Is the most harmful of them upon a student of knowledge: That he has no concern except pursuing people’s statements with he said this and he said that (mâ qîla wa mâ qâla) and with what occurred and what is taking place regarding an issue that is of no concern to him.   And there is no doubt that this is from a weakness of [his] Islâm, since the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:  

“Part of a person’s good Islâm is to leave alone that which does not concern him.”

And busying oneself with qîla wa qâla and excessive questioning are time-wasters.  And it is, in reality, a disease which, when it comes into man – we ask Allâh for well-being – it becomes his greatest concern.  Due to this, he may even sometimes show enmity (‘adâ) to one who does not deserve enmity, or show allegiance (walâ) to one who does not deserve allegiance, because of concerning himself with these issues which pre-occupy him away from knowledge, under the pretext of “championing the truth”, whilst this is not the case! Rather, this is part of pre-occupying oneself with an issue that does not concern him.  If, however, a report comes to you without you having pursued or sought it, then all people receive news, but they do not busy themselves with it, nor does it become their greatest concern.  This is because this pre-occupies the student of knowledge, corrupts his affair; and opens up for the Ummah the door of bigoted partisanship (hizbiyyah), which then splits the Ummah.”[Kitâbul ‘Ilm (204-205)]

FROM THE WORDS OF SHAYKH ‘ABDULLÂH AL-GHUNAYMÂN

Amongst the consequences of the actions of these individuals is that they have confused the thoughts of many of the youth.  Thus, as a result, some youths have strayed from the path of guidance and have begun to follow what those – who criticize others, and who have stood in the path of da’wah and blocked the path of Allâh – have drawn up for them.  Some of the youth, as a result of those individuals who criticize others, now sense a great gap between them and the Scholars, and now harbour great misgivings, causing them to stay away from the Scholars.  Some have begun to categorize people according to what he hears from these people, saying: so and so is from the Ikhwân, because he talks, visits or sits with a person from the Ikhwân; or that such and such is from the Surûrîs; or such and such is from the profiterors [i.e. those who wish to please everybody, even at the expense of the truth], etc.  The amazing thing is that these people imagine that by doing so, they are applying the methodology of al-jarh wat-ta’dîl. However, they have adopted in this action, ignorant leaders who are misguided and who misguide others.  Thus, it is upon the Muslim to fear Allâh regarding himself and those poor souls who are not even a quarter, or a tenth of the learned.  There occurs in the authentic hadîth:

“That Allâh guides through you even a single person, is better than the choicest of camels.” [Related by al-Bukhârî (2942), from Sahl Ibn Sa’d radiallâhu ‘anhu

Meaning that it is better for you in this world.  Likewise, whosoever misguides even a single person, will bear a great burden; as Allâh – the Most High – said, after mentioning the story of one of the Âdam’s children killing his brother:  

 “Because of that, We ordained for the Children of Isra’îl that whosoever kills a person, not because of a life for a life; or killed a person in order to spread corruption upon the earth, it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind.” [5:32].  

  Thus, to send someone astray in his religion is far far greater than killing him.  So statements regarding matters of religion must be stated along with their proofs from either Allâh’s Book, or the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that when making such statements one should seek by that the Face of Allâh alone; and also one should ascertain if the harm resulting from such speech is not greater than the benefit, or that one’s intention is not due to envy of a particular individual, or due to the following of one’s desires.

[Al Hawâ wa Atharuhu fil Khilâf (33-34)] 

Short Film-Last Breath! November 13, 2007

Posted by Sis Shaykha in Hereafter, Ilm, Iman.
add a comment

Asalaamu Alaaikum,

A reminder about death in a short film with Sheikh Belal Assad and others.

 😦

Sister MIM’s “In Islam” Collection** July 26, 2007

Posted by Sis Shaykha in Ilm.
2 comments

Asalaamul Alaiakum,

Sister MIM (aka MentallyinMekkah) at youtube has a collection of videos that are really beautiful. I call some videos she has, (examing differnt topics/subjects/people from Quran and Ahadith)  the “In Islam” Collection. There are posted below:

Orphans in Islam:

Neighbours in Islam

Children (in Islam)

Parents (In Islam)

I love all of her videos, masha’Allah. Check em out here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/mentallyinmakkah

IlmSeeking Cont…** July 17, 2007

Posted by Sis Shaykha in Ilm.
add a comment

The Blessing of Knowledge..!! (Don’t Be Sad)

*And Allah taught you that which you knew not. And Ever-Great is the Grace of Allah unto you [O’ Muhammad].* (Qur’an 4: 113)

Ignorance kills one’s conscience and soul.

*I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorant.* (Qur’an 11: 46)

Knowledge is a light that leads to wisdom. It is life for one’s soul and fuel for one’s character.

*Is he who was dead [without Faith by ignorance and disbelief] and We gave him life [by knowledge and Faith] and set for him a light [of Belief] whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness [of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy] from which he can never come out?* (Qur’an 6: 122)

Happiness and high-spiritedness come with enlightenment, because through knowledge, one may fulfil his goals and discover what was previously hidden from him. The soul, by its very nature, longs for the acquisition of new knowledge to stimulate it and the mind.

Ignorance is boredom and grief, because the ignorant person leads a life that never offers anything new or mind provoking. Yesterday is like today, which in turn is like tomorrow.

If you desire happiness, then seek out knowledge and enlightenment, and you will find that anxiety, depression, and grief will leave you.

*And say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.’* (Qur’an 20: 114)*Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created [all that exists].* (Qur’an 96: 1)

The Prophet Sallallaho alayhe Wasallam said:

“If Allah wishes good for someone, He gives him an understanding of the Religion.”

Therefore if someone is ignorant, let him not be proud of either his wealth or his status in society: his life is lacking in meaning and his achievements are woefully incomplete.

*Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed unto you [O’ Muhammad] from your Lord is the truth, be like him who is blind?* (Qur’an 13: 19)

Az-Zamakhshari, the well-known commentator of the Qur’an, said in verse form:

“The sleepless night I spend in learning the sciences, are more beloved to me than the company or caresses of the enchanting woman,
“My rapturous exhilaration when understanding a difficult concept is more delicious to me than the most exotic drink,
“ More delightful to me than the sound of a woman’s hand on the drum, are my hands on my papers in order to remove dust.
“O’ he who tries to attain my level by wishful thinking, how much difference there is between the one who finds the pain of climbing to be too much and between the one who climbs and reaches the summit,
“Do I toil through the night, while you sleep through it, yet you hope to surpass me?”

How noble is enlightenment! And through it, how happy is the soul!

*Is he who is on a clear proof from his Lord, like those for whom their evil deeds that they do are beautified for them, while they follow their own lusts [evil desires]?* (Qur’an 47: 14)

Mu`aadh ibn Jabal (radhiallahu `anhu) on Knowledge

Excerpted from works by Ibn Taymiyyah and Abu Nu`aim

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said about Mu`aadh ibn Jabal: “Verily, when the people of knowledge will be present before their Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, Mu`aadh will be one step ahead of them.” [Saheeh, Ibn Sa`d, Aboo Nu`aim, at-Tabaraanee] He, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, also said about Mu`aadh: “…the most knowledgeable of them [my Ummah] about the lawful and the prohibited is Mu`aadh bin Jabal…” [At-Tirmidhee, Ibn Hibbaan, ibn Maajah, al-Baihaqee, al-Haakim, who declared it Saheeh, and adh-Dhahabee and al-Albaanee agreed with him.] Ibn Taymeeyah writes in al-Wasiyyah: “Part of Mu`aadh’s excellence further is that the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, sent him to the people of Yemen as a preacher on his behalf, a caller, a teacher of understanding in the Deen, a giver of religious verdicts, and a judge.” This is Mu`aadh, radhiallaahu ta`aalaa `anhu, to whom the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, also said: “O Mu`aadh! By Allaah, truly I love you.” [Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa’ee, ibn Hibbaa, Aboo Nu`aim, Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Haakim, who declared its isnaad to be saheeh, and adh-Dhaabee agreed] Aboo Nu`aim reports some sayings of Mu`aadh himself about the excellence of knowledge, among which we find the following: “Knowledge is a comforting friend in times of loneliness, it is the best companion during travels, and it is the inner friend who speaks to you in your privacy. Knowledge is the discerning proof of what is right and what is wrong, and it is the positive force that will help you surmount the trials of comfort, as well as those of hardships. Knowledge is your most powerful sword against your enemy, and finally, it is your most dignifying raiment in the company of your close companions.” “Through knowledge, Allah, blessed be His Name, raises some people in rank, and He makes them leaders in righteousness and models in morality. The vestige of their faith is avidly sought, their deeds are emulated perceptively, and people will seek and sanction their opinions solicitously and unequivocally. The heavenly angels seek their company and anoint them with their wings, every fresh or withered life they pass by implore Almighty Allah to forgive them their sins, even the fish in the oceans, the beasts of the lands and every bird of prey and migratory bird pray and solicit the mercy of Almighty Allah on their behalf. This is because knowledge revives the dead hearts and drives them out of darkness into light, and because knowledge is the light of the inner eyes that cures one’s blindness and restores his inner sight.”

One more, I supopse a  good point 😀:

For Knowledge Seekers

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi

It is indeed not my intention to discourage young Muslims from the pursuit of knowledge and learning. To learn is an obligation which is enjoined upon us from the cradle to the grave. But what I intend to emphasize here is that however broad their learning and knowledge may be, they are bound to heed those who are specialized. The Sharee`ah has various interdisciplinary branches and usool which these young Muslims are incapable of knowing and comprehending and for which they neither have the time nor the means. Furthermore, I feel obliged to point out that I do not approve of the tendency of some youths who abandon the colleges in which they have enrolled, and in which they have made good progress and are expected to do well, and seek to specialize in Sharee`ah. Such people ignore the fact that to pursue knowledge – and to excel in any discipline – is fard kifaayah: a collective obligation. It should also be observed that the competition between Muslims and non-Muslims for mastery of the secular sciences is at its highest. When a Muslim seeks to learn, to excel, and acquire insight into such sciences for the sake of Allah (SWT) he is actually performing `ibaadah and jihaad.Let us remember that when the divine message was revealed to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), his earlier companions had various professions. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) did not aks them to give up their work and devote themselves to the study of Islam, except, of course, those who were entrusted with a special mission and who had to adjust themselves to its fulfillment. What I honestly fear is that the tendency to give up pursueing other disciplines in order to study and master Sharee`ah may be motivated by an unconscious covert desire for popularity, ostentation, and leadership, especially in meetings, debates and seminars. Such a desire is not easy to detect, because Satan has countless means and inlets into the human soul which is vulnerable to temptation, unless that individual is constantly alert. This means that we should carefully investigate our thoughts, motivations and strategies; we should constantly try to find out whether these are impelled by mundane or spiritual goals. Self-deception is a snare which confuses motives and blurs clarity of vision. We should never tire of reminding ourselves of this Quranic verse: “Whoever holds firmly to Allah will be shown a Way that is straight” [3:101].

Wa’alaykum Asalaam! 

IlmSeeking** July 17, 2007

Posted by Sis Shaykha in Ilm.
add a comment

Asalaamul Alaaikum readers,

Insha’Allah we are all in that stage/process of seeking ilm (and insha’Allah will always be). I was researching some ways to seek ilm, and also some benefits of it. So here are some things I came up with:

**4rm Islaam.com & Sunnahonline.com**

Three Aathaar on Knowledge

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree, raHimahullaah, said: “The excellence of knowledge is due only to the fact that it causes a person to fear and obey Allaah, otherwise it is just like anything else.” [Related by ibn Rajab]

Al-Hasan al-Basree, raHimahullaah, said: “Whoever learns something in the name of Allaah, seeking that which is with Him, he will win. And whoever learns something for other than Allaah, he will not reach the goal, nor will his acquired knowledge bring him closer to Allaah.” [Related by Ibn ul Jawzee]

Ibn Mas`ood, raDiallaahu `anhu, said: “True knowledge is not measured in relationship to how much you memorize and then narrate, but rather, true knowledge is an expression of piety [protecting oneself from what Allaah prohibited and acting upon what He mandated].”Also, “Study and act upon what you learn.” [Related by Abu Na`eem]

Seeking Knowledge Until Death

From the Life and Works of al-Imâm Ahmad
From a lecture by Shaykh Salih aalish-Shaykh

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the All-Merciful, may His salâh and salâm be upon His Final Messenger.

Imâm Ahmad had two sons, ‘Abdullâh and Sâlih, whom were half-brothers. Sâlih relates that:

“A man saw my father carrying a mihbarah (a wooden inkwell that students used to carry along with their pens) and said, ‘O Abâ ‘Abdillâh! You are the Imâm of the Muslims!’ “

This man spoke like this since he was surprised to see Imâm Ahmad carrying his mihbarah as the young students would carry it, or indeed that he would still read books, or shoulder the same responsibilities that the youth did. Note also how all the people were fascinated by him (by Imâm Ahmad), even the elders of the people!

Imâm Ahmad replied with a statement that nullified this man’s whole understanding. He said:

“I will be with the mihbarah all the way to the maqbarah (graveyard).”

What did he mean? He meant, “I will be busy with knowledge until I die.”

Another narration mentions that he said this same statement on a separate occasion to another group of people:

“As for me, I will seek knowledge until I am placed in the grave.”

When the time of his death came near, he said to those around him:

“Relate to me the statement of Hushaym.” (Hushaym was Hushaym ibn Bashîr, Imâm Ahmad’s first teacher. He met him in the year 179AH, when he began seeking knowledge at the age of 16) So they read to him what he had requested. This narrated tradition mentioned that Ibn Sîrîn used to dislike a person groaning from pain. At that time, Imâm Ahmad had became very ill and he used to groan due to the pain yet when they informed him that Ibn Sîrîn used to dislike groaning at such a time, he did not groan again until he died.

This is the reality of his statement, “I will seek knowledge until I am placed in the grave,” meaning, “I must continue benefiting from knowledge.”

So if you have left your youth behind and become a teacher or an educator, or a lecturer or professor in the university, or an author, and you say, “I have finished seeking knowledge,” know that this is the situation of someone who does not know the reality of his affairs.

Al-‘Ilm is knowledge of what? It is knowledge of the Speech of Allah and the speech of His Messenger, peace be upon him. Has anyone reached a level of awareness of the meanings of the Speech of Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him, and also the statements of the scholars explaining the Book and the sunnah, a level of awareness that is sufficient?

No one has reached that level. No one who has the right intention and a proper heart has reached that level. Regarding this, Imâm Ahmad said, “With the mihbarah all the way to the maqbarah.” He was addressing everyone, advising us to continue seeking knowledge and not to give it up for any petty reason.

In the study circles of our mosques we have seen a great number of students who are eager to learn for two months, and then they abandon it. Three months or so only. What is this?! Some of them seek knowledge for 3, 4, 5, or 7 years and then they abandon it.

Why is that? Is it because the lure of the world has come to you, so you are finished and now you head off into the world? Is it because a position was offered to you and you took it? Is it because you have reached a certain status, you have become a school director or professor in the university? For this you reason you have stopped seeking knowledge? No! You must continue seeking knowledge until you die. This is what will correct the society’s problems, if their scholars take this advice. As for the students of knowledge, then they must hold fast to this advice, “With the mihbarah all the way to the maqbarah.”

He must stay with his book until he dies – reading, learning, memorizing, reviewing, teaching, until his end.

What are the people saying these days? “The rulings related to prayer, we know them, no problem.” If you asked them about many of the rulings, you will find that they do not know them. Why is that? It is because they have become satisfied with the knowledge they have, even delighted that they have the knowledge they have. We ask Allah that He excuses us and that He is pleased with us.

If you asked them about affairs even greater than the prayer, issues of creed, issues of tawhîd, you will find that they have not fully grasped the issues, and they used to be students of knowledge! Why is that? Because they were negligent, and thus abandoned it.

Knowledge is honor, if you abandon it, it will abandon you. If you take the task seriously, you will be given some of it, from what Allah has decreed for you.

————————-

Now, I know we can not ALL be scholars, but here is an interesting read:

The Excellence of the Scholars

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah

Adapted from ‘Miftaahi Daaris Sa’aadah’



Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says in the Noble Qur’aan: “Allaah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (Ulul-‘Ilm) (also bear witness to this); (He is always) maintaining His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [Soorah Aali-‘Imraan (3): 18] This verse shows the superiority of knowledge (‘ilm) and its people; the following points can be inferred from this verse: 1. Allaah chose the people of knowledge (Ulul ‘ilm) to bear witness to His Oneness (tawheed) over and above the rest of His creation. 2. Allaah honored the people of knowledge by mentioning their testimony along with His testimony. 3. He raised high the status of the scholars by associating their testimony with the testimony of the angels.

4. This verse bears witness to the superiority of those who possess knowledge. Allaah does not make any of His creation bear witness except the upright amongst them. There is a well known narration from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said, “The upright in every generation will carry this knowledge, rejecting the distortions of the extremists, the false claims of the liars, and the (false) interpretations of the ignorant.” (Declared Hasan by Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee)

5. Allaah, the One free from all defects, Himself bears witness to His Oneness, and He is the greatest of all witnesses. Then He chose from His creation the angels and the scholars – this is sufficient to show their excellence.

6. Allaah made the scholars bear witness with the greatest and most excellent testimony that is, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah.” Allaah, the One free of all defects and the Most High, does not bear witness except to matters of great importance and only the greatest from Allaah’s creation bear witness to this.

7. Allaah made the testimony of the people of knowledge a proof against the rejecters. Thus they are its proofs and its signs, indicating His Oneness (tawheed).

8. Allaah, the Most High, used a single verb (shahid) to refer to His testimony and the testimony of the angels and the scholars. He did not use an additional verb for their testimony; thus He connected their testimony to His. This shows the strong link between their testimony and Allaah’s testimony, as if He Himself bore witness to His Oneness upon their tongues and made them utter this testimony.

9. Allaah, the One free from all defects, made the scholars fulfill His right (that none has the right to be worshipped but Him) through this testimony and if they fulfill it then they have fulfilled and established this right of Allaah upon them. Then it is obligatory upon mankind to accept this testimony which is the means to reach happiness in this life and their final return (to Allaah). Whosoever takes this guidance from the scholars and accepts this truth because of their testimony, then for the scholars there is a reward equal to them. And none knows the value of this reward but Allaah.

Knowledge

Imam Ibn Hazm

31. If knowledge had no other merit than to make the ignorant fear and respect you, and scholars love and honour you, this would be good enough reason to seek after it. Let alone all its other merits in this world and the next.

32. If ignorance had no other fault than to make the ignorant man jealous of knowledgeable men and jubilant at seeing more people like himself, this by itself would be reason enough to oblige us to feel it. Let alone the other bad results of this evil in this world and the next!

33. If knowledge and the action of devoting oneself to it had no purpose except to free the man who seeks it from the exhausting anxieties and many worries which afflict the mind, that alone would certainly be enough to drive us to seek knowledge. But what should we say of the other benefits too numerous to list, the least of which are the above-mentioned, and all of which accrue to the knowledgeable man. In search of benefits as small as these the petty kings have worn themselves out in seeking distraction from their anxieties in games of chess, dicing, wine, song, hunting expeditions and other pastimes which bring nothing but harm in this world and the next and absolutely no benefit.

34. If the scholar who has spent long peaceful hours (at his studies) stopped to think how his knowledge has protected him against humiliation at the hands of the ignorant, and against anxiety about unknown truths, and what joy it has brought him by enabling him to solve problems which others find insoluble, he would certainly increase his expressions of gratitude to Allah and rejoice more in the knowledge that he has and desire even more to add to it.

35. Anyone who spends his time studying something inferior, abandoning higher studies of which he is capable, is like someone who sows corn in a field capable of growing wheat, or who plants bushes in a soil which could corrupt palm trees and olives.

36. To spread knowledge among those incapable of understanding it would be as harmful as giving honey and sugary confections to someone with a fever, or giving musk and amber to someone with a migraine caused by an excess of bile.

37. A man who is miser with his knowledge is worse than a man who is a miser with his money, for the money-miser is being mean with something which does not get used up and is not lost when it is given away.

38. Anyone who has a natural inclination towards a branch of knowledge, even if it is inferior to other branches, should not abandon it, or he would be like someone who plants coconuts in al-Andalus or olive trees in India where neither would produce fruit.

39. The noblest branches of knowledge are those that bring you close to the Creator and help you to be pleasing to Him.

40. When you compare yourself with others in matters of wealth, position, and health, you should look at people less favored than yourself. When you compare yourself with others in matters of religion, knowledge and virtue, look at people who are better than yourself.

42. If a madman threw himself as deeply into good sense as he throws himself into madness, he would surely be wiser than Al Hasan Al Basri, Plato of Athens and Vuzurgmihr the Persian.

43. Intelligence has its limits; it is useless unless it is based on the guidance of religion or on good fortune in this world.

44. Do not harm your soul by experimenting with corrupt views in order to demonstrate their corruption to someone who has consulted you, otherwise you will lose your soul. If you shield yourself from acting in a detestable way, any criticism that can be thrown at you by a man of corrupt beliefs because you disagree with him is better than his respect and better than the bad effect on both of you if you committed these detestable acts.

45. Guard against taking pleasure in any way that will harm your soul and is not required of you by the religious law nor by virtue.

46. Knowledge no longer exists if one has ignored the attributes of the Almighty Great Creator.

47. There is no worse calamity for knowledge and for scholars than when outsiders intrude. They are ignorant and think that they are knowledgeable; they ruin everything and believe that they are helping.

48. Anyone who is seeking happiness in the Hereafter, wisdom in this world, the best way to behave, the sum of all moral qualities, the practice of all the virtues, should take as his model Muhammad, the Prophet of God – God grant him blessings and peace – and emulate as far as possible the Prophet’s morals and behaviour. May God help us to take him as an example, by His grace, ameen!

49. The ignorant have annoyed me on two occasions in my lifetime. First, when they spoke of things they did not know, at a time when I was equally ignorant; the second time when they kept silent in my presence [in the days when I had learnt something]. In the same way they were always silent about matters which would have benefited them to speak about, and spoke about matters which brought them no benefit.

50. Scholars have brought me pleasure on two occasions in my lifetime: first, they taught me when I was ignorant; the second of them was when they conversed with me after I had been taught.

51. One of the merits of religious knowledge and asceticism in this world is that Almighty God does not put it within reach of anyone except those who are worthy of it and deserve it. One of the disadvantages of the great things of this world, wealth and fame, is that they mostly fall to the lot of people who are unworthy of them and do not deserve them.

52. Anyone who is seeking after virtue should keep company with the virtuous and should take no companion with him on his way except the noblest friend, one of those people who is sympathetic, charitable, truthful, sociable, patient, trustworthy, loyal, magnanimous, pure in conscience and a true friend.

53. Anyone who is seeking fame, fortune and pleasure will keep company only with people who resemble mad dogs and sly foxes: they will take for their travelling companions only people [inimical to his belief] who are cunning and depraved in nature.

54. The usefulness of the knowledge [of good] in the practice of virtue is considerable: anyone who knows the beauty of virtue will practice it, though it may be rarely. Knowing the ugliness of vice, he will avoid it, though it may be rarely. The man with knowledge of the good will listen to soundly based praise and desire it for himself. He will listen to talk of evil and desire to avoid it. From this premise it necessarily follows that knowledge has a part in every virtue, and ignorance has a part in every vice. A man who has had no instruction in the knowledge [of good] will not practice virtue unless he has an extremely pure nature, a virtuous constitution. It is the particular state of the Prophets (peac and the blessings of God be upon them!) for God has taught them virtue in its entirety, without them having learnt it from men.

55. It is true that I have seen among the common people some who, by their excellent behaviour and morals, were not surpassed by any wise man, any scholarly, self-controlled man. But this is very rare. And I have seen man who have studied the different branches of knowledge, who have a good knowledge of the messages of the Prophets – peace be upon them – and the advice of the philosophers and who nevertheless surpass the most wicked in their bad behaviour, their depravity, both internal and external. * These are the worst of creatures. * This is very common and I therefore perceive that these two [moral attitudes] are a favour which is granted or withheld by Allah the Almighty….

[CONT…]