Shaykh Faraz Rabbani was asked by Shaykh Firas Shaheen – a Hanafi scholar who is part of the Jordanian Fatwa Council, and a student of Shaykh Faraz – to give advice to students on seeking knowledge.
Topics addressed include the importance of gradual study, focus, mastery, and the importance of remaining under the mentorship and consultation of one’s teachers.
Shaykh Faraz emphasizes the benefit of being firm in one’s foundations. And the foundations of the sciences are found in the concise primers made for the purpose of transmission of the science. In each of the sciences, a student of knowledge should have one book that he masters fully.
As an example in Fiqh, Shaykh Faraz mentions the four primers (mutun) of the Hanafi school: al Quduri, al Mukhtar, al Wiqaya, and al Kanz. If one has a full grasp of all the matters in either, any one of these will suffice.
The main responsibility of the student/scholar is benefitting other believers. This is why mastery is important in teaching and when giving general advice.
This is also a consideration when choosing a specialization. A true student of knowledge does not ask “What do I want?” Rather, he asks: “What does Allah want from me?” This is the basis of his decisions regarding what to do or seek. For what Allah wants from you is that which benefits both you and others.
You should also consider that the greatest number of questions that Muslims have in their daily lives are questions pertaining to Sharia. The need for scholars in communities is great. And the benefits to both students/scholars and the believers is equally great.
Understanding and Action
The fruit of understanding is that you act accordingly. That your actions reflect what you know. One who “knows” but does not act accordingly is deficient in knowledge, that is to say, he does not have true understanding.
Therefore, a true student of knowledge is known by the fact that he acts in accordance with what he knows. This does not only evince his understanding but deepens it.
These are but a few words of advice given by Shaykh Faraz to the students of Shaykh Faras and to all other students of knowledge. May Allah reward them all and benefit us through them.