Seeking knowledge from other than the Scholars – Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
Seeking knowledge from other than the Scholars
– Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
Reference: Taken from the lesson “The importance of seeking knowledge”
al-Ijaabaat al-Muhimmah fil-Mashaakil al-Mulimmah – Volume 2, Page 81-82
If two or more people gather in a house and begin studying books (of knowledge) and some ahadeeth, what is your opinion regarding that?
The confining of some students to themselves and their (establishing) lessons in some of the homes and memorizing amongst themselves and reading to themselves – in (all of) this there is great danger; This does not benefit them at all, rather, they may become deluded (into thinking they are actually benefiting) by it.
It is imperative they go to the scholars and sit with them in whatever place. As for sitting in the homes and groups of ignorant students reading and explaining and expounding for themselves, then therein is great danger.
And their remaining upon ignorance is better (for them) than following this path. (This is) because (the condition of) al-jaahil al-_base_et (one who is ignorant and knows he is ignorant) is simpler than (that of) al-jaahil al-murakkab (one who is ignorant but does not recognize himself as such). (So) al-jaahil al-_base_et knows he is ignorant, however, al-jaahil al-murakkab thinks he is knowledgeable whilst (in reality) he is ignorant.
Translator: Mohammed Akhtar Chaudhry, Abu Abdullaah
Date Published: Sunday, 20 January 2008
Date Printed Monday, 21 January 2008 at 07:13:13
Printed From: Madeenah.Com website
The Clarification to This Fatwa By Mustafa George
Asalam u alaikum
The people have taken this fatwa out of context. There are several responses to this fatwa, and these are responses of clarification from a student of Sheikh Fowzan (2 years) himself and a student of other senior scholars (Sheikh Abdul Muhsin al Abaad, Sheikh Rabea, Sheikh Ubaid, Sheikh Abdullah al Ghudayan, Sheikh Abdullah Aqeel, etc)
I myself have presented to many scholars the following question:
Is it allowed for a person who lives in the west and has no ability to sit with the scholars and does not know Arabic, is it possible for that person to come together with other Muslims in his area and read from the translated books of the Ulema?
Many of the senior scholars have answered that this is ok as long as the people follow exactly what is in the book and not make up things from themselves. They should also contact a student who has actually sat with the scholars for some time and inquire about any things they are not clear on, and if they can have the student sit with them from time to time, then this is also good.
A second proof, which clarifies this fatwa, is the fact that Sheikh Saleh al Fowzan and other Ulema have given permission for their books to be translate into other languages. Sheikh Saleh gave Musa Richardson permission to translate: Things which nullify one’s Islam, Sheikh Abdul Muhsin and Sheikh Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin gave me permission to translate many of their works, Sheikh Ubaid gave others permission to translate some of his works, with that being the case, then it is understood that these scholars know that there are people reading their books who do not understand Arabic, that’s why the books have been translated. So with that being the case, they are well aware of people reading these books and not being able to sit with the scholars.
Thirdly, so how should this fatwa be understood?
This fatwa is pertaining to people who have the ability, and know Arabic, and live in countries with scholars, but they still prefer not to sit with them! all of the above mentioned scholars that I myself have sat with have warned against a person living in a country with a scholar and having the ability to sit with him, but instead the person leaves the scholars, abandons their lessons and sits alone or with others in a private place and reads without referring to the scholars nor taking from them! This is what is meant by this fatwa and this is what i have heard from the various senior scholars that i have sat with.
Allah knows best, I hope this brings some clarity to the fatwa, also, if you refer to the advice of Sheikh Ahmed Bazmoul on http://www.salafee.multiply.com, on how does a person seek knowledge if he has no access to a scholar, this will also bring about some clarity insha Allah.