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 Advice to the Seekers of Knowledge

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PostSubject: Advice to the Seekers of Knowledge   Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:03 am

<table bgcolor="FFFFFF" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tr><td>Advice to the Seekers of Knowledge




- Author: Imaam Abu Bakr Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee

- Source: His introduction to his classical work Iqtidaa-ul-'Ilm Al-'Amal

- Translator: Isma'eel Alarcon



We give thanks to Allaah, the One free of all defects, for having
inspired us. And we ask Him to grant us the ability to act upon what He
has given us knowledge of. Indeed, goodness cannot be attained, except
by His granting and His assistance. Whomsoever Allaah leads astray,
there is no one from His creation that can guide him. May Allaah send
His blessings upon Muhammad r, the chief of the first and the last (of
people), and upon his brothers from among the prophets and messengers.
And upon those who follow the light (i.e. the Qur'aan) that was revealed
to him r until the Day of Recompense.


To proceed, I advise you O seeker of knowledge to have a sincere and
pure intention in your search for knowledge. And that you exert yourself
in acting upon what it necessitates (from action). For indeed knowledge
is a tree and action is its fruit. And one can never be considered
knowledgeable so long as he doesn't act upon what he has knowledge of.


It has also been stated: "Knowledge is a parent and action is its
offspring." And "Knowledge comes with action, while narrating comes with
investigating."


So do not feel satisfied with actions so long as you are lacking in
knowledge. Nor feel satisfied with knowledge so long as you fall short
of producing actions. Rather, combine them both, even if your share of
the two is small.


And there is nothing worse than a scholar, whose knowledge the people
abandon because of the corruption of his ways, nor an ignorant person
whose ignorance the people accept because of what they see from his
worship.


So a little of this (knowledge) along with a little of that (action) is
what is most likely to save you in the end, when Allaah bestows His
mercy upon His servant and completes his favor upon him. But as for
laziness and negligence, love for ease and comfort, preferring the easy
life and showing indifference, inclining towards leisure and relaxation,
then the results of these characteristics are blameworthy, detestable
and disastrous.


Knowledge leads to action, just as action leads to salvation. So if the
action falls short of the knowledge, then the knowledge becomes a burden
upon the one who possesses that knowledge. And we seek Allaah's refuge
from knowledge that turns into a burden, is the cause of humiliation and
which becomes a shackle on the neck of the one who possesses it.


Sahl Ibn Muzaahim (rahimahullaah) said: "The matter is more tighter upon
a scholar than when one clenches his fist tightly, even though the
ignorant person is not excused because of his ignorance (i.e. he will be
held to account also). However, the scholar will receive a greater
punishment if he abandons what he has knowledge of and doesn't act upon
it."


So did those of our Salaf (predecessors) from the past reach the high
levels that they reached except through sincerity in Creed (Beliefs),
righteous actions and overwhelming abstinence of the attractive features
of this worldly life? And did the wise people reach the greatest level
of success (that they did) except by working hard in their efforts and
being pleased with their easy accomplishments, while sacrificing the
excess amount from their needs by giving it away to the poor and those
who asked?


Is not the one who gathers books of knowledge just like the one who
gathers gold and silver? Is not the one who has an intense greed for
them just like the one who is eager and desirous of gold and silver? Is
not the one who is deeply in love with them just like the one who
treasures gold and silver?


So just as wealth does not benefit except by it being spent, then
likewise, knowledge does not benefit except for one who acts upon it and
carries out its obligations. So let each individual examine himself and
take advantage of his time, for indeed the resting place (i.e. this
world) is short, the (time for) departure is near, the road is hazardous
and deviating from it is common. The danger is great, the one who takes
note has wisdom, Allaah, the Most High, is watching over, and to Him is
the (final) recourse and return. "And whosoever does an atom's weight of good, he shall see it. And whosoever does an atom's weight of evil, he shall see it." [99: 7-8]


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