Tag Archive | Ibn Al ‘Uthaymeen

Important advice for the student of knowledge from Imām Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen

Important advice for the student of knowledge from Imām Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen

Praise be to Allāh.

It is good if a person focuses on one shaykh and makes him his main source, especially if he is a young beginner, for if the young beginner seeks knowledge from a number of people he will be confused. For people are not all of one opinion, especially nowadays. In the past, here in the Kingdom (Saudi Arabia) people never deviated from [the books] al-Iqnā’ [Book of Hanbalī Fiqh by Al-Buhuti] and al-Muntahā [Book of Hanbalī fiqh by Mar`i bin Yusuf], so their fatāwā were all the same and the bases of their fatāwā were all the same; no one differed from another, except in his delivery and style. But now, everyone who has memorized a hadīth or two says, “I am the Imām to be followed.  Imām Ahmad was a man and we are men.” So now there is chaos. Everyone is issuing fatāwā and sometimes you hear fatāwā from these people which make you weep and laugh at the same time. I was thinking of recording these fatāwā, but I was afraid that this might make me one of those who seek out their faults of their brothers, so I did not do it lest we transmit things that are as far from the truth as the earth is from the Pleiades.

I say: adhering to one scholar is very important when the seeker of knowledge is just starting out, so that he will not be confused. Hence our scholars forbade us to read al-Mughnī and Sharh al-Muhadhdhab and other books which contain numerous opinions when we were starting out. One of our scholars told us that Shaykh ‘AbdAllāh ibn ‘AbdRahmān Bābiteen (May Allāh have mercy on him), who was one of the great scholars of Najd, only read al-Rawd al-Murabba’ [Book of Hanbalī Fiqh by Al-Buhuti] and never read anything else. He read it repeatedly but he discussed it in great detail and in great depth.

If a person has gained a great deal of knowledge, then he should look at the views of the scholars so as to benefit from them in both academic and practical terms. But when one is just starting out, my advice is to focus on one particular scholar and not go to anyone else.

[From Fatāwā al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sālih al-‘Uthaymeen, Kitāb al-‘Ilm, page # 107]