Seek, Act and Strive – Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
“The blessing that Allah Most High has sent to you all (SeekersHub Global students) is an immense one – that He created for you those whom you can take sacred knowledge from through a continuous chain of narration so that you are confident of its authenticity. With respect to its transmission– its understanding, and its ability to purify the soul, with excellent delivery, coordination, organization, and gradualness in learning– Through the hearts of those teachers, some whom I know many good things of from their inner purity and their love to do good.
And for this I ask Allah, mighty and majestic to make hearts feel the meaning of truly beholding this favour of Allah, how he placed this favour in a certain time and place in which it is perhaps difficult to otherwise enjoy this opportunity to learn.
The first possible thing that a seeker of knowledge should begin with in this situation of learning and discipleship is to strive to feel the immense bounty, to behold the immense bounty of Allah Mighty and Majestic to extoll his immense bounty. You should extract the essence of praise and thankfulness, from within the heart, with verbal praise and an active thankfulness. Verbal praise being the glorification of Allah and be continuous in the glorification of Allah. And show thankfulness for the fact that He allowed us to praise him.
Active thankfulness is by taking advantage of the opportunity that exists in a place like (SeekersHub Global)
Allah says “If you show thankfulness, then we will certainly give increase to you.”
So from the tools, or, from the important things one can do to protect this blessing, is that the servant who has been blessed should act according to the gratitude due, to the extent of their ability. And from the active thankfulness that is due in this situation is to have high aspiration.
Aspire to organize oneself for real commitment, then value the time that has been spent for the sake of the student. The Shaykh or the teacher that teaches you has sacrificed a great deal of time in the preparation of each lesson, in making the lesson ready, then in teaching that lesson, then in the research put into this lesson for your sake… this time is precious because the most valuable thing the scholars have is their time. So if they put in all this time for your sake, then it is befitting that you show thanks to Allah in a proactive way and realize the value of this time and prepare in advance of each lesson and do extra readings before each lesson then after that, when you attend the lesson, our entire being should listen attentively. You should have complete focus while keeping the correct intention for this act at the forefront of your mind.
Then after each lesson, go back and memorize and review. Make sure you’ve understood everything correctly, verify what you’ve understood from the explanation if you aren’t sure that you’ve understood anything correctly. And acting upon that knowledge, which is the second point.
Be actively thankful:
1. Give thanks to Allah proactively
2. Prepare for your classes in advance
3. Do extra reading before each lesson
4. Do extra reading after each lesson
5. Listen attentively
7. Correct intention in the forefront of your mind
The Second Advice
The first point was approaching learning properly, with the tools of learning. Now the second point is to act upon what you learn.
Our teacher used to say to us, “Knowledge calls out to action, if action will respond to it, and if not, then knowledge leaves.” So the memorization of knowledge, or preserving it in the soul of the seeker of knowledge after correcting ones intention, is pledged upon by acting on that knowledge.
To be keen on acting on what you learn, then, be keen on teaching others. Those people who have children or a wife, or a husband, or they have friends or siblings at home. Or whoever is around them. Every one of you should be keen that when you learn a single point, that you should teach it.
“The best amongst you are those who learned the Qur’an, and then teach it.” (Hadith) Then bring forth, from Allah Mighty and Majestic, the essence of connectedness to the prophetic Muhammadan standard of noble character. This knowledge is the knowledge of the True way, the knowledge of Islam. It is a great light. It is not just the letters read in the books and memorized and explained.
These letters are but forms, but these forms have no intrinsic value, they are dead, when no light is put into them, if no spirit is breathed into them. And its spirit is the fruit of genuineness in acting upon it and adorning oneself with the prophetic character traits when you act upon it.
Knowledge into action:
3. Live the Prophetic Standard
Instill brotherhood between yourselves; do not become busied when you interact with one another, by other than the matter for which you all originally came for. Live the prophetic manner in your interactions; between the young men amongst each other, and the young women amongst each other, and between the man and woman. It is important for each person in ensure that they see everyone else as though they are their brothers and sisters. And that it is a duty to be concerned for them, and to be protective of them and to watch over them and to pray for them, and feel for them, for their problems, for what happens in their lives and to extend a helping hand in a way that is appropriate.
If anyone is in need of help, he should be supported. You should feel as though you are one body, the likeness of the believers in their affection for each other, and mercy for each other, and feelings for each other is like a single body. If a single limb complains, the rest of the body expresses fever and sleeplessness. This is what the beloved (upon him be peace) said.
Knowledge is the inheritance of our master Muhammed (Upon him be peace)
Also, each seeker of knowledge amongst you all should strive to have the understanding, the experiencing and realizing of what? Of the fact this this knowledge is the inheritance of our master Muhammed (upon him be peace) and the transfer of inheritance is always according to the relationship with the one who it is inherited from. It is not possible for anyone to inherit from another person if there is no relationship between them. So there should be a strong relationship of the heart between every one of you and the Beloved Prophet (upon him be peace) to the utmost extent possible. Established through love, attachment, and sending plenty of prayers upon him. Be guided by his guidance and hold steadfast to his Sunnah (life example). And to look at all of creation the way he looked at it – with the eye of mercy. Mercy for the lover, and the hater, for the one who does good, for the one who does bad, for the one who is friendly, and for the one who is hostile. Think the best of those who are around you. This is strength that is supported by him to the extent of the connection and love for his noble person. For truly these are key, if only you grasp them, the realities of knowledge would become manifest to you and the fruits of knowledge and Allah Most High’s benefiting you.
I ask Allah, for myself, and for you all, for perfect divinely-gifted ability.
Indeed His is One who is the one takes care of that, and is All Able to grant it.
May the peace and blessings be upon our master Muhammed, and his family and companions.
And all praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds of being.”
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