Important Guidance For The Youth of The Ummah–Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan
Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) stated:
All Praise is be to Allaah Lord of the Aalameen, and may His Peace and Blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam), his household and his companions. To proceed:
The youth of a nation are the foundation of humanity upon which the nation is made to stand firm and the young men are the successive generation that will shoulder the responsibilities after their fathers. They possess bodily strength and are thoughtful and they possess new talent which is not possessed by the elders. The elders possess wisdom and experience and the youth possess strength and vigour. Therefore, if the youth and the elders co-operate for the advancement of the nation, a lot of good will result from that.
On the other hand if the youth disassociate from their fathers and elders, the devils amongst mankind and jinn will come in between them and their affairs; so the youth will naturally drift away and the end result will be detrimental to the nation. Hence, for this reason the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) placed importance in giving commands to the youth. He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said to his uncle’s son Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu-anhu), whilst he was a young man:
‘’O young man, I shall teach you some words (of advice). Be mindful of Allaah, and Allaah will protect you. Be mindful of Allaah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask Allaah (Alone). If you seek help, seek help from Allaah (alone). Know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit with anything except that which Allaah has already recorded for you. If they gather to harm you by something, they would not be able to harm you by anything except what Allaah has already recorded against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried’’. (Recorded by Tirmidhee who said it is a Hasan saheeh hadith)
These (above) words are a path for the youth to follow because an advice given to one of (them) is advice for all of them. This advice comprises of guidance for the youth in their creed, behaviour, manners, reliance upon Allaah and belief in pre-decree. It is a tremendous and comprehensive advice.
Anas (radiyallaahu anhu) narrated: Once Mu-adh was riding behind Allaah’s Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) as a companion rider. Allaah’s Messenger said, ‘’O Mu’adh!’’. Mu’adh replied, ‘’Labbaik and Sa’daik O Allaah’s Messenger!’’ Again the Prophet said, ‘’O Mu’adh!’’ Mu’aadh said thrice, ‘’Labaik and Sadaik O Messenger of Allaah!’’ Allaah’s Messenger said, ‘’There is none who testifies sincerely from his heart, that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, except that Allaah will forbid that he is punished in the fire.’’ Mu’aadh said, ‘’O Messenger of Allaah! Should I not inform the people about it so that they may have glad tidings?’’ He replied, ‘’Then, they will solely depend on it.’’ Then Mu’aadh narrated the above mentioned Hadith just before his death, being afraid of committing a sin (by concealing the knowledge) (reported by Bukhaari No: 128 and Muslim No: 32)
This is guidance for the youth, as the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) clarifies what is obligated on the creation of Allaah (i.e. Mankind and Jinn) and that is to worship Allaah (alone) without associating a partner to Him. This is the purpose for which Allaah created them. Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I have not created Jinn and Mankind except that they should worship Me alone. [51: 56]
The Rights of Allaah upon His Slaves: They are obligatory upon the slaves and not that they have a choice to carry it out or not, rather they are obligatory.
The Rights of The Slaves upon Allaah: This is Allaah’s grace bestowed upon some more than others. It is not that anything is due from Allaah to anyone; rather He bestows this grace, and real grace belongs to Him (The One free from all imperfection).
Except that Allaah will forbid that he is punished in the fire:Indeed, this shows that Tawheed is a safeguard against destruction. It is either an absolute safeguard, (i.e. the person upon Tawheed will not be punished) or a safeguard against eternal punishment if he is punished for his sins; rather he will be removed from the fire and entered into paradise, as long as he is from the people of Tawheed and did not associated anything with Allaah. This shows that whoever associates anything with Allaah (The Most High) will be punished eternally. He will never have any happiness. Allaah (The Most High) said: ‘
إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
Verily whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the fire will be his abode. And for the (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers. [5:72]
And Allaah (The One free from all imperfections) said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ
Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives other than that to whomsoever He wills. [4:48]
And regarding the statement of the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam): That He (The Most High) is not to punish him who worships none besides Him; Meaning: Everything that is set up as a partner with Allaah (in worship), such as a tree, a stone, a dead or living person, a jinn or a human, or idols, or Angels, or Messengers, or Prophets, or the awliyaa,…anyone who sets up anything as a partner with Allaah (in worship), then indeed Allaah will not pardon him, except if he repents. But if he dies upon shirk, he will abide in the fire forever.
One day, the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said to Umar Bin Abee Salama,– whilst he was a boy under the guardianship of the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam), because the prophet married his mother after the death of Abee Salama and this boy was under his guardianship–when food was presented: ‘’O boy! Mention the Name of Allaah, eat with your right hand and eat of the dish what is nearer to you’’. This was guidance from the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) to this boy.
And he (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said in general to all the young men: ‘’O young people! Whoever among you is able to marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty, and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, fasting will diminish his sexual strength’’.
So, the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) commanded the young men to guard their modesty, either through marriage if they are able or through adopting measures that would weaken and diminish their desires, fearing that they will be put to trial and out of concern for his ummah. This is an advice of the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) to the young men until the establishment of the hour and it is obligated on them to adhere to it.
And he (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’Among the seven (people) whom Allaah will protect with His Shade on the day when there would be no shade but His Shade, is a young man who grew up in the worship of Allaah’’
If he (i.e. the young man) grew up in the worship of Allaah and was not overtaken by youthful excitement, and the whims that lead the youth towards sin, rather he overcame that through obedience to Allaah, he will receive this honour on the day of judgement. Allaah will provide him with shade on that day of severe heat when the sun will be brought close. (On the) day when the people are drenched in sweat, Allaah will provide a group of people amongst mankind with Shade and included amongst them will be young men who grew up in the worship of Allaah.
Examine the statement of the Prophet sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) to Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu anhu): ‘’Acknowledge Allaah in times of ease and He will acknowledge you in times of hardship’’
So, if you worship Allaah and seek to get close to Him in times of ease, Allaah will rescue you when you find yourself in hardship and difficulty. Therefore, it is obligated on the fathers to nurture their sons, for indeed the young men will not be rectified except by way of certain means, and from the greatest of these means are:
It is obligated on the fathers to nurture their sons upon obedience to Allaah. They are to nurture them until they grow up upon righteousness. However, if they are neglected, they will be nurtured upon heedlessness and youthful whims, and thus become lost in society. This is why the Prophets (alayhimus salaam) used to supplicate for their sons and offspring.
Allaah (The Most High) said that Ibraaheem (Alayhis Salaam) said:
رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ
O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salaat, and also from my offspring…..[14:40]
Allaah (The Most High) said that Zakariyyah (alayhis Salaam) said:
قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation. [3:38]
He (Zakariyya) did not merely say: ”Grant me from You offspring” and then stopped at that, rather he said, ‘Tayyibah’- good (i.e. a good offspring) because good offspring are offspring in reality.
The messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’When the son of Aadam dies-all his deeds are terminated except three: an on-going charity, knowledge from which others benefit and a righteous child who supplicates for him. [Reported by Muslim] This takes place after a person’s death, but when he is a state of infirmity and old age, he is treated with goodness. The son he brought up upon good attends to him and supplicates for him. Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘’My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young. [17:23-24]
The child supplicates for them as a result of the righteous upbringing he was nurtured upon and through which he attained happiness-so he repays their goodness with goodness. (Therefore) with regards to this (arises) the obligation to protect children. Indeed, when a man wants to get married, he should choose a righteous woman, and from the usefulness of this woman is that she is able to bring up children upon good. She is a place where the seed is sown and where children are begotten, therefore the man should choose a righteous woman. The prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’A woman is married for four; her wealth, family status, beauty and religion. So you should marry the one with religion, otherwise you will be a loser.”
Neither look at her beauty alone nor her wealth; neither her noble origin nor her status amongst the people; rather you look at her Religion because the religion combines all that is good. As for (looking at) other than her religion, then the woman will carry what will not bring about a praiseworthy end result. So by way of her beauty, she will seduce you and with regards to her wealth she will exceed the limits in spending. And with regards to her noble origin, she will exalt herself with it above the man. As for the woman with religion, then nothing comes from her except good. If you are bestowed with righteous offspring from her, she will bring them up upon good.
Choosing a Good Name for the Child:
Also, the father is commanded to select a good name for the child. He should name him with a good name and not a repugnant name. That is because a name has an effect on the one it is named after, as it is said: ”Everyone has a share from his name.” The Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘’the best of names are Abdullaah and Abdur Rahmaan.’’ This is because they are names of servitude to Allaah, such as Abdul Azeez, Abdur Rahmaan, Abdullaah or Abdul Kareem……and so on; Or name him Muhammad, Ali, Saalih and other than that amongst the good names. Do not name him with a name that makes those who hear it have a dislike of it. That is because a name has an effect upon the one who hears it and the one named after it. And due to this, when Suhail ibnu Amrin came to seek peace with the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) at the time of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘’Now the matter has become easy’’ when suhail approached- this being in agreement with the name suhail because without a doubt a good name has an impression upon the one who hears it and upon the one named after it.
Also, from the rights of the child upon his father is that he should slaughter a sacrifice for him. He should slaughter for the Aqeeqah on his behalf as an act worship and thanks-giving to Allaah (The Most High). There is seeking nearness to Allaah and being thankful to Him in this (sacrifice) and there is good in it for the newly born because goodness is found in acts of worship. Therefore, he slaughters two sheep for the boy and one for the girl. This is an established Sunnah and there is goodness in it for the newly born. He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’Every newly born is in pledge for his/her aqeeqah’’ (Reported by Abu Daawood. No:2831) The sacrificial slaughter, shaving of the head and naming the child are to be done on the seventh day, and these are from the means of bringing about goodness for the new born. The expense for this is to be undertaken by the father.
Elaboration: Concerning the statement of the prophet: ‘’Every newly born is in pledge for his/her aqeeqah’’
There are a number of views about its meaning:
(a) That the aqeeqah is binding just like the pledge.
(b) That the child’s correct growth and upbringing and his being a source of benefit is tied to the aqeeqah just as article held in pledge for a debt cannot be utilized until the debt is paid.
(c) That the child is prevented from interceding for its parents when it dies if aqeeqah was not performed for it. This saying is attributed to Ahmad (rahimahullaah) who declared a weak saying by Ibnul Qayyim.
(d)That naming and shaving the head are dependent upon the aqeeqah.
(e) It is a means of rescuing the child of being caught and ensnared by shaytaan – and this was the view preferred by Ibnul Qayyim in ‘At-Tuhfah’ (page: 49) [Source: ‘’Manners of Welcoming The New Born Child In Islaam’’ (page:53) translated by Aboo Talhah Dawood Ibn Ronald Burbank (rahimahullaah)]
Commanding the Children with the Salaah at Age of Seven
Also it is obligated on the parents to implement the command of the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam): ‘’Command your children to pray when they are seven years old, beat them for it when they are ten and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.’’
The father is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock (i.e. the family) and likewise the mother is a shepherdess. Therefore, it is obligated on them to command (the children) to pray when they reach the age of seven. Even though the prayer is not an obligation (at that age), but it will have a good effect upon them and so that they get used to it. Similarly, they are to be supervised with regards to sleep and not left close to one another, lest desires should arise between them, thus bringing about corruption. They are to be distanced from one another in bed and not to be left to sleep in the same bed. This is a preventative measure and as it is said, ‘’prevention is better than cure.’’
When the companions of the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) implemented these affairs of guidance on their children, there emerged amongst them young men who directed and led the ummah towards knowledge, jihaad, learning and the call to Allaah (The Most High). (Young men), such as the likes of Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Umar, Abdullaah bin Amr bin al Aas, Mu-aadh Ibn Jabal and Zaid Ibn Thaabit……….. Young men amongst the companions, who are distinctly mentioned in Islamic history because they were brought up upon the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and upon the good nurturing of their fathers, which brought about good for them.
Therefore, we cannot seek uprightness for the children, whilst we neglect them; rather we have to carry out the means that will lead them to uprightness. As for seeking uprightness for them without carrying out the means, then this would be a loss. ‘’Whoever sought an elevated station without hard work, then he would have already wasted a life span in seeking the impossible.’’ The means must be carried out if you want your young men to be nurtured upon goodness and uprightness. Show concern for them and exercise patience in facing exhaustion that may come your way regarding their affairs, for indeed this (effort) is carried in the path of Allaah. Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا
And enjoin (the prayer) on your family and be patient in offering them (i.e. the prayers)’’ (20:132)
Patience must be exercised! It would be far-fetched to desire that one’s son should become upright when one is complacent. One must exercise patience, hope for Allaah’s reward and have a righteous intention. If you carry out the upright means, then indeed Allaah does not cause to go lost the reward of the doer of good. Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَانٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَا أَلَتْنَاهُم مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ ۚ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ
And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Eemaan: to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned. (52:21)
Allaah will unite the children with their fathers in Paradise because their fathers brought them up upon Eemaan, obedience (to Allaah), worship (of Allaah) and goodness; so they followed their (fathers’) path. And on the Day of Judgement when they and their fathers enter Paradise, so the children take their places in Paradise and their fathers take a higher place, Allaah will bestow His grace upon the fathers by raising their children (to that higher station). And if the fathers are in a (particular) station and the children in a higher one, Allaah will bestow His grace upon the fathers and unite them with their children in Paradise as a source of happiness for them.
Specific Advice to the Young Men:
As for you O young men! It is obligated on you to preoccupy yourselves. First and foremost, seek beneficial knowledge with the support of the scholars-be it in the schools, the institutes, the academies or in the mosques. Attend the lessons of the scholars-those known for knowledge, steadfastness and fear of Allaah, and are free from bizarre views and strange statements. It is obligatory upon you to hold onto the upright scholars- those who direct (the Muslims) to what is correct. So take the creed (i.e. study) from them, and manners, (good) etiquettes and the correct methodology, which you are to implement in yourselves and in your dealings with others, for indeed the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. And just as the young companions of the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) used to seek knowledge from the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and from the scholars amongst them, likewise, you should seek knowledge from the inheritors of the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and they are the scholars. Be acquainted with knowledge through its people-be it in the schools or by attending seminars, lectures and religious admonitions or by reading the beneficial books.
Advice on the Right Methodology in Seeking Knowledge:
There are two paths of deviation at present with regards to learning:
 Learning from books without referring to the scholars! This is a path of deviation and many have deviated as a result of it. He (i.e. the person) will either misunderstand what is in the books or understands in a way other than what is intended because it has not been explained and made clear to him.
 The author (of the book) may be deviated in his views or knowledge and fills it (i.e. the book) with mistakes in affairs of knowledge. Then this ignorant youth reads and adopts it.
Therefore, the books are not to be solely depended upon. And even if the books are sound, you will not be able to understand by merely seeking after it (i.e. reading). The khawaarij were not misguided and misguiding others with their intellects and fear of Allaah, except that they disassociated themselves from the scholars and depended on their own understanding and that of those similar to them. They took instructions from one another, and thus they caused harm to themselves and to the Ummah. This is the result for disassociating from the scholars.
I advise you to busy yourselves with beneficial knowledge with the support of the scholars, and that you avoid being absorbed and speaking about the people- (such as) backbiting, tale carrying, (false) disparagement and slander. Indeed, this is evil that disperses, divides the youth of the Ummah and causes them to become factions and parties. There are those who have no other concern except, ‘’this one says and that one says that.’’ So seek knowledge until you become acquainted with the truth, but as for seeking after the mistakes of the people before you are acquainted with knowledge, and saying, ‘’this person says and that one says, and be mindful of this one person and that one’’……….this is not a sound methodology. Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا
O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar-evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done. [49:6]
A Warning against the Callers to Misguidance:
O young men! Be warned against the callers to misguidance because they are many today. The prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) warned against them. He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’What I fear most for my nation, is those leaders who will lead astray’’ -and they are those who lead them to misguidance.’’
And he (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’What I fear most for my ummah is every hypocrite with an eloquent tongue.’’ This is the one who possesses eloquent impressive speech and he is able to promote his dubious views, whilst falsifying the reality and delivering it to the people. Then the ignorant one thinks that it is knowledge and proof, whilst it is illusion and deceit. So it is obligatory upon you to direct your attention to knowledge and acquire it from those who are well known to be well versed in it. Do not restrict yourself to reading books and listening to audiotapes, for indeed some of the people have taken these audiotapes for learning. And amongst them is one who reads a book or listens to an audiotape and then says: ”I took from the book of such and such or from his audiotape.” This is a grave mistake (because) knowledge is acquired from the scholars. As for these books, they are designated to the scholars and questions are to be asked regarding them, and explanation and clarification given- clarification with regards to the truth and mistakes found in them.
For example, if you want to study medicine, will you read the books on medicine and then implement and give treatment to people based on what you have read? Perhaps this methodology would lead you to kill many people, because you are not a doctor, rather you are a (fake) doctor. And there is threat of a punishment upon the one who practices medicine but is not qualified to do so. Therefore, if this is the case with medicine, then what about the religion, whilst you have not obtained knowledge through a correct methodology; rather you learnt either by way of what you have heard from audio tapes and books you have read or what has been said to you….etc. This is not a path to knowledge. However, we say: There is benefit in the books and tapes together with your sitting with the people of knowledge, and that you ask the teacher questions about what is unclear regarding what you have read or heard. Allaah (The Most High) said:
فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And ask the people of the reminder if you do not know. [16:43]
The People of the Reminder are the scholars, so do not depend on your understanding or that of others similar to you, or those beneath you (in rank or value); rather it is obligated on you to ask the people of knowledge. Allaah did not say: ‘’Ask one another’’; rather He said: ‘’Ask the people of the reminder’’ in particular. This is my advice to all the youth that they focus their attention towards beneficial knowledge and to acquire this knowledge from the scholars who are trusted with their knowledge. Some of the salaf said: ‘’Indeed this knowledge is Religion, so look to the one you take your religion from’’. Will you take your religion from an ignorant one or one who misguides others? This is not correct. Will you take your religion from a book? This is not correct! You do not take your religion except from a scholar who is fears Allaah. Allaah (The Most High) said:
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ
It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah. [35:28]
Therefore, take (knowledge) from the scholars with two conditions: The person is a scholar and he is one who fears Allaah. If he is a scholar but does not fear Allaah, you do not take from him. If he is one who fears Allaah, but does not possess knowledge, you do not take from him. It has been reported from the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) that he said:
Amongst the men of Bani Israel there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine people. Then he set out asking (whether his repentance could be accepted or not). He came upon a monk and asked him if his repentance could be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and so the man killed him. He kept on asking till a man advised to go to such and such village. (So he left for it) but death overtook him on the way. While dying, he turned his chest towards that village (where he had hoped his repentance would be accepted), and so the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarrelled amongst themselves regarding him. Allah ordered the village (towards which he was going) to come closer to him, and ordered the village (whence he had come), to go far away, and then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between his body and the two villages. So he was found to be one span closer to the village (he was going to). So he was forgiven. [Reported by Bukhari]
All this good reached him as a result of submitting his questions to the scholar. As for the ignorant worshipper, then what comes from him is known! This (incident shows) the difference between the answer of an ignorant person and that of a scholar. And for this reason, he (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: The superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like the superiority of the moon over all the stars” (reported by Abu Daawood No: 3641)
So What Is The Difference Between The Moon And A Star? The moon illuminates the world for the people, as for the star its illumination is limited to itself. The worship (carried out by) the worshipper is only for himself and the people do not benefit from it. As for the scholar, the benefit he has with him is extended to the people, just as the light of the moon is extended to the people. So do not forsake the scholars, rather it is obligated on you to receive them with acceptance. Take from them and submit your questions to them as long as they are alive amongst you. And neither depend on your understanding, nor that of the ignorant ones and the fake scholars-those who have not studied under the people of knowledge. Rather they are either self-taught or taught by those similar to them. The path of these ones and that of those who take from them is error, because they approached knowledge through other than its correct place. Allaah said:
وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَىٰ ۗ وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
It is not (piety, righteousness) that you enter the houses from the back, but (piety, righteousness) is (the quality of the one) who fears Allaah. So enter houses through their (proper) doors, and fear Allaah, that you may be successful. [3:189]
Therefore, knowledge is to be approached through its doors and not at its highest level; rather there (has to be) gradual progression from the easy issues of the religion to the difficult ones. As for those who take knowledge in one swoop and approach it through its highest point, these ones will not reach anything except ignorance and beguilement. And if only their ignorance and beguilement was limited to themselves; but trouble is that they direct others, issue verdicts and speak about Allaah and His Messenger without knowledge! This is a sinful path-a path to seeking knowledge that is in the increase at present.
Hold on to the Scholars:
Many of the youth have forsaken the scholars and do not take from them. The great trial and tribulation that arose from this has been seen, when someone appeared making claims of jihaad and knowledge, so ruin, terror and killing occurred in the land. This is the result of disassociating from the scholars because those (people) kept away from the scholars and went to those like them amongst the callers to misguidance and the people of deviated views. So they brainwashed and informed them of these views. This is the result of disassociating from the scholars, the society, the jamaa-ah of the Muslims and their leader.
And when the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) informed Hudhaifah Bin Al Yamaan (radiyallaahu-anhu) about the trials, he said: ‘’O Messenger of Allaah, what do you command me if I come across that? He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’Stick to the Jamaa-ah of the Muslims and their Imaam’’ (i.e. the Muslim Ruler) [reported by Bukhari No: 7084]
This is a safeguard from trials, but if you abandon the Jamaa-ah of the Muslims and their Ruler, then indeed you will be destroyed in the trials, just like what took place with those ones and their likes. He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: There are three matters, which the heart of the believer does not have an aversion towards: (That is), performing actions sincerely for Allaah, giving sincere advice to the rulers of the Muslims, and sticking to the Jamaa-ah of the Muslims. For indeed, their supplication encompasses them.
And Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
‘’O you who believe! Have fear of Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds)’’ [9:119]
That is to be with the Jamaa-ah of the Muslims, the sincere scholars and the Muslim rulers, so that you may be safe from trials and confusing views.
Upon you O youths! Is that you preserve your time for that which is beneficial to you in your religious and worldly affairs- in seeking provision and knowledge, doing good to parents, fulfilling the obligatory affairs and keeping away from the forbidden. This is what you should be upon, for indeed it is the path to safety. Be warned against wasting your time with worthless things, the Internet or with the newspapers that bring about evil and are associated with deviated views.
Be warned against the callers to misguidance-those who prey on the youth, cut them off from their families and society, and inform them of confused views, and thus you find a young man disassociating himself from the state and his family. Then he distances himself from the mosques, the Friday and the five daily prayers. Then his whereabouts become unknown, until the reporters make an announcement about him being arrested or killed. This is the result of heedlessness and the actions of those youth who do not accept advice.
They do not adhere to the statement of the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) regarding adhering to the Jamaa-ah of the Muslims and their Ruler, obedience and service to parents, observance of the Friday and the five daily prayers. They fell into the hands of their enemies when they neglected these affairs, and thus they were snatched and informed of these confused views, which put an end to their lives. It is difficult to rehabilitate even those who have remained amongst them because it is hard to give treatment to the brainwashed person and the person with corrupt views, just like the sick person afflicted with a disease that has no cure. Rather corrupt views are worse than chronic illness, because chronic illness afflicts the body and as a result death is inevitable. However, the trouble with sick views and a sick mind is that it afflicts the religion and the creed, and there is no happiness after that, except if Allaah grants His favour to the one afflicted by it, and then he repents to Allaah.
Indeed, Allaah has power over all things. However, it is difficult for the likes of these ones to repent, because their intellects have been shackled with confused views. Allaah said:
فَلَمَّا زَاغُوا أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
So when they turned away (from the path of Allaah), Allaah turned their hearts away (from the right path). And Allaah guides not the people who are Faasiqoon (the rebellious, the disobedient to Allah)[61:5]
This is a punishment for them! Allaah is able to guide them, but He (The One Free from All Imperfections) punishes them and prevents them from guidance. Why is this case? This is because they rebel against the Commands of Allaah (The Most High), so Allaah punishes them. And the reality about them is that they neither repent nor return. This is a punishment from Allaah (The Most High).
Taken From A Booklet Titled: Tawjeehaat Muhimmah Li-Shabaabil Ummah: By Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan