Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

You Are Here: Knowledge Base Knowledge and its excellence

Some people read intellectual and cultural books, then think that they have become a scholar or a Daee

42- A question about knowledge seekers' dependence on books instead of learning from scholars

Q: Some people read intellectual and cultural books, then think that they have become a scholar or a Da`y (caller to Islam), although they have poor knowledge of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and have not read books of Shari`ah (Islamic law). What are your directions for those people?

A: Knowledge is that which was said by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), not the words of so and so.

Thus, knowledge is the Words of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and after that comes the statements of scholars to explain and convey them to people. Scholars are the successors whom Allah has placed on earth following His Messengers.

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: Allh bears witness that L ilha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness)

Here, knowledge refers to knowing Allah and His Religion. Allah (Exalted be He) says: It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allh.

They are the Messengers and their insightful followers, who follow this truthful religion and abide by the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Muslim scholars are the successors of Messengers, since they explain the religion and guide people to Allah. Moreover, a true knowledge seeker is one who studies and contemplates the Qur'an and Sunnah and learns from Sunni scholars.

This is the way of acquiring knowledge of Shari`ah which involves doing acts of obedience, meditation and benefiting from others. A knowledge seeker should read a lot with the aim of attaining as much knowledge as possible.

They should reflect on knowledge and look for answers for obscure matters in trustworthy books of Tafsir (exegesis of the meanings of the Qur'an) such as Tafsir by Ibn Kathir, Al-Baghawy in addition to paying great attention to books of Hadith.

Furthermore, among Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) knowledge of Shari`ah should be taken from knowledgeable scholars and not scholars of `Ilm-ul-Kalam (a discipline that searches for answers to creedal issues using logic), innovators in religion or ignorant people.

Any knowledge that is not derived from the Qur'an and Sunnah is not called religious knowledge; rather it is ignorance, even if it is useful in some worldly affairs.

Here, we are concerned with knowledge that is useful in the Hereafter, which eliminates ignorance, clarifies religion and shows people what Allah has made lawful and unlawful to them. Indeed, this is the true knowledge of Shari`ah.

Ibn Baz Fatwas>Volume 24>Continuation of the Book on knowledge>Issue on reliance of knowledge seekers on books rather than scholars