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Why Learn From a Teacher? – Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Learn From a Teacher?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

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Question: What’s the significance of studying fiqh with scholars rather than just reading the text yourself, if it’s a reliable text. The texts have commentaries and are written by scholars, so you would still be getting your knowledge from scholars in a way. So what would you get from a sheikh that you wouldn’t find in texts?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

 

The benefits of studying with a teacher include:

 

1. Sound understanding: the chance of erring without a teacher to guide one in one’s understanding and learning is far greater. Given how serious religious knowledge is, one cannot rely on someone whose knowledge is taken only from books. A teacher “tests” one’s understanding, and picks up on one’s errors; a student is able to ask questions and to verify where they have understood.

2. Correct understanding: books, even the best books, sometimes contain weak positions, errors, false arguments, missing details, unmentioned conditions or implications, special terminological usages… without a teacher explaining how texts are unpacked and interpreted, one can and almost certain will fall into gross errors.

3. Correct progress: if you don’t know, you are likely to have little knowledge or practical understanding of how to gain knowledge. A teacher directs one’s path of learning, and focuses one’s endeavors.

4. Understanding context, wisdom, and how to apply the theoretical knowledge. Not everything can be applied literally…

5. Learning adab and humility, by submitting one’s presumed understanding to the established understanding of an inheritor of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

6. Following the sunna of the Prophets, who didn’t just print a ‘book of guidance’ and distribute it: they taught, and their companions learned.

7. The baraka of this teacher-student relationship. There are great secrets in it. The Prophets themselves were ‘students’ of Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him).

8. Benefiting from the manners, character, and habits of one’s teacher.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Advice to Students by Habib Umar Bin Hafiz – Allahcentric Blog

Advice to Students

By Habib Umar Bin Hafiz

Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) was asked: ‘what advice do you have for your students and what hopes do you have for them for the future?’[1] He replied:

‘We counsel our students specifically and students of the Sacred Law generally to check their intention and the thoughts which enter their minds, which cause them either to act sincerely for the sake of Allah or to seek other than Allah. We counsel them to reject every thought originating from caprice (hawa), from the lower self (nafs) and from the Devil which calls them to seek other than Allah and to desire anything other than attaining His nearness and pleasure. The knowledge of the Sacred Law is a trust which was borne by the Prophets and Messengers and was delivered to us by the Master of the Prophets and Messengers, the Seal of the Prophets(Allah bless him and grant him peace). This knowledge is not mere information or the ability to speak with fluency and clarity, rather it is light which Allah casts into a person’s heart. Its reality is expressed in purity of the heart, truthfulness with the All-Compassionate and elements of Islam and Iman which allow someone to be elevated to the station of Ihsan and thereby attain direct knowledge (ma`rifa) of Allah. As for mere information and the ability to speak with fluency and clarity, these are possessed by both the righteous and the corrupt alike but the reality of knowledge is only possessed by someone who is truthful, sincere and has been purified. We thus counsel them to take note of this affair.

‘We also counsel them to pay attention to their transaction with Allah in acting upon their knowledge, teaching it and spreading it, seeking in doing so the countenance of Allah Almighty. We warn them against being captured by the allurement of wealth or status from whatever direction or faction that allurement comes. We wish for them to be constantly aware that Allah is the One to be sought, that Allah makes wealth subordinate to someone who has sincerity with Him and that a person’s provision has already been apportioned and he will certainly receive it. Allah has legislated and made permissible certain means for a person to earn his provision, so if he needs to do so, he does it in the way that has been prescribed. He does not use the deen as a means of earning,[2] nor does he earn by outwardly manifesting something which he does not possess. He does not earn a living nor attempt to attain some worldly objective by saying something which is not the most correct and beloved thing in the sight of Allah’s Sacred Law.

‘Finally they should consider themselves as absolute servants of everything in creation for the sake of the Lord of Creation. With this we counsel them, and we wish that Allah, according to people’s response to this call and to their truthfulness with Allah, will bring about great good in the world, and that through this He will renew the deen of this Umma as He has promised on the tongue of His Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) , and that He will unite its ranks and deflect from it many tribulations. We hope that in the future that they will spread this goodness with courtesy, piety and taqwa.’


[1] The question was posed in an interview he gave to the Malaysian satellite channel “Astro,” Jumad al-Thani, 1430/ May 2009.

[2] Meaning that someone should not seek religious knowledge purely for the sake of worldly gain.

Seeking Benefit as a Seeker of Knowledge – Explanation of a Chapter of Imam Zarnuji’s Work on the Adab of Seeking Islamic Knowledge

Seeking Benefit as a Seeker of Knowledge – Explanation of a Chapter of Imam Zarnuji’s Work on the Adab of Seeking Islamic Knowledge – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani quotes and discusses Imam Zarnuji on the Adab, practices and strategies in seeking Islamic knowledge.

“Knowledge is taken from the mouths of those that are accomplished, because they memorize the best that they hear and they say the best of what they memorize.” -Imam Zarnuji

“Do not leave the ink pot for good is in it and its people until the Last Day.” -Hadith

What is the Reality of Islamic knowledge? – Shaykh Muhammad an-Ninowy

What is the Reality of Islamic knowledge? – Shaykh Muhammad an-Ninowy

Muhammad an-Ninowy on knowledge (ilm) as the internalization of the Qur’an.

Notes from the SeekersGuidance Winter 2010 General Assembly – Sr. Beenish Akhtar

Notes from the SeekersGuidance Winter 2010 General Assembly

By Beenish Akhtar

SeekersGuidance held its first ever General Assembly for the Winter 2010 semester. Students from over 15 countries tuned in to listen to inspirational messages from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus. The following notes on Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s portion of the program were taken by Sr. Beenish Akhtar of Virginia (US). The audio for Shaykh Faraz’s talk can be found here.

Read more

Islamic Knowledge Podcasts

Download podcasts directly onto your device by visiting the SeekersHub Podcast or click on each individual link for direct download.

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icon-podcastThe Prophet – A Tremendous Blessing

In His Book, Allah Most High describes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a person of tremendous character. In this khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains what a tremendous blessing the Prophet is, and provides practical advice on how to establish a living connection with Allah’s Final Messenger.

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icon-podcastPrayer – The Best Remembrance

(No Summary)

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icon-podcastProphetic Supplication for Guidance, Piety, Restraint, and Freedom from Need

(No Summary)

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icon-podcastSeeking Allah – The Goal of Seeking Knowledge

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Introduction) – This is the first of a series of podcasts in which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover the text Fada’il al’A’mal by the great Imam Diya’ al-Maqdisi. In this lecture Shaykh Faraz sets the context for approaching this work of hadith.

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icon-podcastWudhu – Purifying Oneself Inwardly and Outwardly

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson One): This is a series of daily podcasts in which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover the text Fada’il A’mal by the Great Imam Diya al-Maqdisi. In this lesson Shaykh Faraz examines the significance of wudu.

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icon-podcastWudhu and Rising in Rank with Allah

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Two): It is related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Should I not point you to that which Allah wipes away errors through and by which He raises one numerous ranks.” In this lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani comments on the three actions one can do to raise in rank with Allah.

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icon-podcastOpening the Gates of Paradise with Wudhu

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Three): In this lesson Shaykh Faraz explain how a believer can have the gates of paradise opened by perfecting their wudu. Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever performs the ritual ablution and does so well, and then says, ‘Ashhadu al-la ilaha illa’l Llah(a) wahdahu la sharika lahu wa anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh(u). Allahumma’j`lni mina’t tawwabin wa’j`alni mina’l mutatahhirin (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, One without partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah, make me of the truly repentant and make me of those who truly purify themselves),’ all eight of the doors of Paradise are opened for them–and they can enter from whichever they wish.” [Muslim (144), Tirmidhi (55), and Abu Dawud (169), though Muslim didn’t mention the second part of the supplication]

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icon-podcastThe Virtues of the Call to Prayer

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Four): ” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), said, “Everything that hears the call of the muezzin — whether jinn, human, or otherwise — will bear witness to it on the Day of Resurrection.” In this lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani reflects on the greatness of the call to prayer, and the sunnahs related to the call to prayer.

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icon-podcastVirtues of Supplicating Between the Adhan and Iqama

Understanding Virtue Through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Five): It is related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Supplication between the adhan and iqama is not rejected.” In the following lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the merit of calling upon Allah during specific sacred times, and shed light on what a believer should be asking for from Allah.

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icon-podcastVirtues of Building Mosques

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Six): It is related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever builds a mosque seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah builds for them its like in Paradise.” In this lesson Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the importance of building and maintaining mosques.