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Part two-Ten Guidelines for Obtaining Knowledge by Abdullah bin Salfeeq Adh dhufairee

Sixth: Having a Strong Desire to Obtain Knowledge is a Cause for Acquiring it and for Gaining Aliaah’s Assistance in that Matter

Allaah says:
“Verily, Allaah is with those who are dutiful to Him and those who are good- doers.” [Surah An-Nahl: 128]

When a person realizes the importance of something, he strives hard to obtain it. Knowledge is the greatest thing that a person could hope to obtain.

So it is upon the student of knowledge to have a strong desire for memorizing and understanding knowledge, and for sitting with the scholars and taking from them. He should also be keen on doing a lot of reading and taking advantage of his life and free time. So this means he should be very stingy with his time (i.e. only use it for beneficial things).

Seventh: Seriousness, Motivation and Perseverance for Acquiring Knowledge

One should remain far away from laziness and apathy, and he should fight against his desires and the Devil. This is since Desires and the Devil are two things that impede one from seeking knowledge.

One of the ways that help in motivating a person to seek knowledge is: Reading the biographies of the scholars, as well as their patience and endurance in the face of trials. This also includes reading about the journeys they undertook for the sake of acquiring knowledge and obtaining Hadeeth.

Eighth: Proficiency

This is when the student applies the highest extent of his effort to the point that he achieves what he desires from knowledge as well as strength in it, which is exemplified in: memorization and understanding.

Ninth: Accompanying a Teacher

Knowledge should be taken from the mouths of the scholars. In order for the student to establish himself in his search for knowledge upon a firm and correct pillar, he should sit in the gatherings of the scholars and take knowledge from them. This will ensure that his search for knowledge will be founded upon correct principles and it will ensure that he will pronounce the texts from the Qur’aan and Hadeeth with a correct pronunciation, which contains no grammatical errors or reading mistakes. It will also ensure that he will understand the material correctly.

Apart from all of this, the student may also acquire the following from sitting with a scholar: Good behavior, noble manners and piety.

The student should also avoid having books become his teacher. This is since whoever’s books is his teacher, he will err frequently and seldom be correct.

This matter has not ceased to exist up until this day of ours. There is not a man that excels and become proficient in knowledge except that he has been educated and taught at the hands of a scholar.

Tenth: The Passage of Time

The student of knowledge should not think that his studies will be completed in a day or two or a year or two. Rather, a student of knowledge needs to be patient for many years.

Al-Qaadee ‘lyaad, may Allaah have mercy on him, was once asked: “Until when should a student seek knowledge?”

He replied: “Until he dies, at which point his inkwell should be spilled upon his grave.”

And Imaam Ahmad said: “I sat studying the Book of Menstruation for nine years until I understood it.”

The intelligent students of knowledge should not stop sitting with the scholars after ten years have passed nor even after twenty years have passed. Rather, they should continue to sit with the scholars until Allaah takes their souls in death.

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