Submitting one’s time to Seeking Knowledge

Since the time of the Salaf aṣ-Ṣāliḥ & the illustrious era of the great Scholars of the Islāmic Golden Age, devoting time solely to seeking knowledge & sacrificing ones self for the pure enjoyment & seeking nearness to Allāh was without exception the common practice of their time. We may never be able to reach their profound piety & fidelity in our times, but having such figures that carried the religion by Allāh’s permission to where it is today & being able to continue inheriting & benefitting from what they left behind will persist in instilling much motivation & inspiration into our hearts & daily lives.

Many scholars & Imāms of the past was so devoutly endured in learning & studying the religion of Islām that they spent their complete livelihood, from childhood to old age, reading, memorizing, & teaching many different Islāmic texts all the way until their demise, a good example being Imām Muslim. Majority of the classical scholars never even had the chance to marry or have children, most notable of them being Shaykh al-Islām ibn Taymīyyah, & Imām an-Nawawī.

Its this practice of the pursuit of knowledge that we need to implement into our lives & keep persistent in the religion of Islām. This could be achieved through studying alone, studying with friends & family, or just simply sharing Fawā’id at your local Masjid.

To proceed, I’m going to share some very special factors pointed out regarding this subject from the two renowned scholars of our time; Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān حفظه الله & Shaykh Muḥammad ibn al-Uthaymīn رحمه الله:

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān حفظه الله says in his book titled al-Fiqh al-ʾAkbar (The Greater Understanding):
Understanding of the religion is attained by studying and sitting in the circles of learning, through systematic educational classes and by sitting in front of the teacher. This is the first and best means of attaining knowledge; studying with the scholars and sitting in the circles of remembrance, whether they are in the mosques, schools, or in any other place. So a person should not be arrogant concerning seeking knowledge and say ‘I am an individual of position; it is not befitting for me to sit with a teacher in the mosque, class, or school, I am better than that.’ This is an error.

It is upon you to sit and tie yourself to seeking knowledge, a must that you are patient with the difficulties and adversities of seeking knowledge. You must bear the hardship and sleeplessness throughout your study with the teacher, because if you do not, you will live in ignorance and drink from the glass of ignorance for the duration of your life.
Pages 30-31

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn al-Uthaymīn رحمه الله says in his Explanation of Ṣaḥīḥ alBukhārī:
“Understanding of the religion is better than understanding of current affairs, in opposition to what some of the youth think, that understanding current affairs is more important than understanding in the religion, when this is not the case. Understanding the religion is more important and it is binding upon a person to focus upon this.

As for understanding current affairs and the situation of the people, then this is a means of knowing what is appropriate from the various rulings and it is not the goal. The goal is understanding of the Religion. So what will we benefit if we seek understanding of current affairs and do not seek understanding in the Religion?

Also sometimes understanding of current affairs prevents a person from that which is more important and preoccupies him with what is going on in the east and the west and so he forgets that which is more important…”

– Commentary on Ḥadīth 71

May Allāh grant us Tawfīq & allow us to remain steadfast upon His religion. May Allāh bless & prolong the life of Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān, & May Allāh have mercy upon Shaykh Muḥammad ibn al-Uthaymīn & grant him the highest ranks of Jannah.

All praise is due to Allāh, may His peace & blessings be upon our final Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his companions, & all those who follow him in guidance.

Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
14th of Ṣafar 1443