|Reference: Al Ajiwibah Al Mufeedah ‘an Asilat Al Manaahij Al Jadeedah: Q:51. /Beneficial Answers to Questions on New Methodologies.”(Q:51).|
What guidance and advice can you give to the students who are at the beginning stages [of gaining knowledge]?
My advice to the students of knowledge who are at the beginning stages, is that they study under the trustworthy scholars, those who are trustworthy with regards to their ‘Aqeedah, their knowledge and their advice, and that they start with the smaller, summarized books that are available in the different sciences and to memorize them. Along with this, that they take the explanation of these books from their scholars, little by little/step by step. Specifically the curriculums that are found in the institutions of knowledge and in the Islaamic colleges, as it contains gradual knowledge for the student, where he takes it little by little and thereby achieves a lot of good.
If however a student is not part of a school or college programme, then it is upon him to regularly attend the lessons of the scholars in the Masaajid, whether the lessons are in Fiqh or in Arabic Grammar on in ‘Aqeedah or the like. As for what some of the youth do now, where they begin with the lengthy and detailed books, or you find that one of them buys books and sits in his house and reads them , then this is not correct and this is not learning, rather this is deception and vanity. This is what has lead to some people speaking in the affairs of knowledge and issuing Fataawa in affairs without knowledge and speaking about Allaah without knowledge, due to not building oneself upon a firm foundation. So it is essential that one sits in front of the scholars in the circles of knowledge, along with having patience and endurance.
As Imaam As-Shaafi’ee-Rahimahullah- said:
“And whoever does not taste (for a moment) the humility of learning, shall drink from the cup of ignorance for the rest of his life.”