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Unformatted text preview: Obstacles in the Path of Knowledge: Part 2 SCL060002 @ WWW.SALAFIPUBLICATIONS.COM Obstacles in the Path of Knowledge: Seeking Ilm For Other
Than The Sake Of Allah An explanation of some points from “Obstacles in the Path of Knowledge” (of Shaikh A bdus‘
Salaam Burjis) by Abu Hakeem Bilaal Davies. Transcribed by Hisham Abu Maryam and Umm
Maryam for SalafiPublications.Com, edited and amended by Abu Iyaad Amjad Rafiq, checked by
Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank. Introduction
All Praise is due to Allaah, we praise Him, seek His aid and His Forgiveness. We seek
refuge in Allaah from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever
Allaah guides there is none to misguide and whomsoever Allaah misguides there is none
to guide. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, alone, without
any partners and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
The Shaykh begins with the famous hadeeth of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu) in
the two Sahih’s (Bukhari and Muslim) that the Messenger of Allah (
wasallam) said: “Actions are but by intentions…”
And Abu Muslim al-Khawlaanee (rahimahullah): “Nothing stops a person from the path of
Allah, like seeking to be praised by the people.”
Hishaam ud-Dastuwaa’ee (one of the Imam’s of the past with a high level of fiqh and very
trustworthy - rahimahullah) said: “By Allah! I am not able to say that I went out one day
seeking hadith for the sake of Allah.” Reported by Imam Ad-Dhahabee.
Shu’bah said: “There is no-one from the people about whom I could say that he sought the
hadith intending only Allah, except for Hishaam – the one who used to trade in cloth from
Dastoo. He used to say ‘would that we are saved with regard to hadith, such that we
escape with it being neither for us or against us.’ Then Shu’bah said if Hishaam used to
say that, then what about us?” (as-Siyar 7/150).
Imam Ad-Dhahabee commented “And I am not able to do so also. Because verily the Salaf
were individual’s who used to seek hadeeth for the sake of Allah. And they gained nobility
because of it and became Imam’s who were followed, who were points of guidance.
Another set of people went out and searched them (hadeeth), firstly they did not have the
correct intention, they did not do it for the sake of Allah. And they obtained awareness
and took themselves to account. And then the Ilm, because of them gaining it, pulled
them to having Ikhlaas.”
Shaykh Burjis goes on to mention the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam) collected by Ibn Majah and is authentic which states: SCL060002 @ WWW.SALAFIPUBLICATIONS.COM 1 Obstacles in the Path of Knowledge: Part 2 “The one who makes all of his concerns, one concern (and that is the concern of the
hereafter), Allah will suffice him in regards to the concerns of the dunya. And whoever is
split by chasing the affairs (problems) of the dunya then Allah will not be concerned which
one of those things He destroys them in.” (Declared ‘hasan’ by Shaykh Naasir in ‘ Saheeh
Ibn Maajah’ no. 207)
Shaykh Burjis goes on to mention: “Verily the thing that is most important for a taalib
(student) to be concerned with is nurturing and curing his niyaah (intention) and
correcting it and protecting it from becoming corrupted. If a taalib-ul-Ilm (student of
knowledge) intends by his Ilm something from the dunya, then, firstly he has been
disobedient to his Lord. And he has tired himself out and his sin will return back to him
and nothing will come to him from the dunya except that which was written for him.”
Hasan al- Basree (rahimahullah) said: “Whoever seeks Ilm for the dunya then that is his
portion of that Ilm. And whoever seeks Ilm for the hereafter then he will obtain it.”
(Collected by al-Khateeb al Baghdaadi in ‘Iqtidaa’ul Ilmil ‘Amal’ p 66)
Ibn al- Mubarak (rahimahullah) mentioned: “The beginning of Ilm is to have the correct
niyaah, then for you to take heed and listen, then understand it, then memorise it, then to
act upon it and then to spread it.”(Collected by Ibn Abdil Barr in ‘Jaami’ Bayaanul Ilm wa
This explains the saying of Allah, the Most High: “Say (O Muhammad sallallahu alaihi
wassallam): ‘This is my way, I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge [baseerah]… (Yusuf
With regards to this ayah, Shaykh Ibn Uthaimeen (hafidhahullah) mentioned that
baseerah comprises of three things: “That a person calls to Allah upon baseerah with the
condition of those people to whom he calls. And baseerah as to how he calls. Then
baseerah regarding that to which he is calling to”. He says concerning the statement of
Allah, “Say this is my way I call to Allah upon baseerah”… that which is intended by his
(Allah’s) statement, “…upon baseerah” is not knowledge of the sharee’ah alone, rather it
includes knowledge of the sharee’ah (ie the religion), knowledge of the condition of those
being called, and knowledge of the way of reaching the intent and that is hikmah. So he
has baseerah with the rulings of the sharee’ah, with the condition of those being called,
and with the manner and way in which we carry out the da’wah”. From ‘al Qawl al Mufeed’
(1/161 2nd edition).
Shaykh Burjis brings a note that the ayah: “…So be afraid of Allah, and Allah will teach
you…”. (al-Baqarah 2:282). The second half of this ayah is Allah informing us that it is He
who teaches us, (not that if you fear Allah, you gain knowledge).
Imam Seebawayh (rahimahullah) (one of the great Imam’s with regards to the language
and grammar - great just like the Imam al-Bukhari - rahimahullah) mentioned: “That the
‘and’ (wa) which occurs in this ayah is the ‘and’ which is referred to as the ‘atf’ - it connects SCL060002 @ WWW.SALAFIPUBLICATIONS.COM 2 Obstacles in the Path of Knowledge: Part 2 something to something else. It is connected to it only by way of mentioning it together
and not that the second half of the ayah comes as a result of actualising the first half.”
[Br. Abu Hakeem explained as brothers found this difficult to understand. If we take the
ayah to mean that fearing Allah brings knowledge then we are turning the ayah back to
front in meaning. As Ilm is what brings about taqwa. In other words Allaah teaches, and
this brings about taqwaa]. SCL060002 @ WWW.SALAFIPUBLICATIONS.COM 3 Obstacles in the Path of Knowledge: Part 2 Benefits From This Lesson
1. All actions are judged by the intentions behind them.
2. Seeking the praise of people is one of the greatest of obstacles in actually traversing the
path of Allah.
3. The Salaf were scared to affirm sincerity for themselves, until even in a single one of
their actions. This is the way of the most knowledgeable of the Imaams of the Salaf, in
all times and ages.
4. Making ones sole concern to be for the Hereafter puts in order the affairs of the world,
and making one’s concern the affairs of the world, brings about destruction.
5. The most important affair for the one who seeks knowledge is to keep an eye on his
intention, to cure it, purify it, nurture it and develop it – since in an incorrect intention
is disobedience to the Lord – before one has even acted or moved a limb!
6. The life-cycle of knowledge is to have a pure intention, pay careful attention and listen,
understand, memorise, act, and then to teach it. Whoever brings all of this has
“matured” with the knowledge he has gained.
7. The meaning of sure knowledge (baseerah) and that it is in three things: the actual
knowledge itself, the knowledge of those being called to and the manner of conveyance
that helps to effect the desired goal.
8. Allaah is the one who grants and bestows knowledge, and taqwaa arises from that. SCL060002 @ WWW.SALAFIPUBLICATIONS.COM 4 ...
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- Spring '12