Al-Allamah Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee (rahimahullah) on seeking knowledge
Posted by Aboo Imraan on Jan 15, ’07 4:05 PM for everyone
Question: What books do you recommend to be studied concerning ‘Aqeedah (Islamic Creed), Tafseer (Quranic Commentary), Hadeeth(the Prophetic Narrations) and its Sciences in addition to Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)?
Answer: The first treatise I advise to whoever wants to start seeking knowledge is the memorization of al-Usool ath-Thalaathah wa Adillatuhaa (the Three Principles and their evidences), then Shuroot-us-Salaati (the Conditions of the Prayer) which is a general compilation containing these (aforementioned) texts along with al-Qawa’aid-ul-Arba’a (the Four Rules). It is also good to memorize Shuroot Laa Ilaha Illa Allah (the Conditions of Laa Ilaha Illa Allah) and Nawaaqidh-ul-Islaam (the Ten Nullifiers of Islam) as well. It is appropriate to memorize these issues (meaning these texts of the Islamic Creed) perfectly then review them with the students of Knowledge so as to take al-‘Ilm (Authentic Islamic Knowledge) from the mouths of men and not from the stomach of books.
After this if it is facilitated for one to memorize Kashf-ush-Shubuhaat (Uncovering the Doubts) then this is good, but the book that should be memorized and studied by the student of Knowledge in the arena of Islamic Creed specifically regarding Tawheed-ul-‘Ibaadah (the Oneness of worshipping only Allah) and Tawheed-ul-Haakimeeyah (the Oneness of Allah’s Rule) and that has been written in a modern stylistic form is the book Kitaab-ut-Tawheed Alladhee huwa Haqq Allah ‘alaa al-‘Abeed (the Book of Tawheed which is the Right of Allah upon His Servant), an immense book explaining the selected verses from the Book of Allah Most High, the Prophetic Narrations and the transmitted statements of the People of Knowledge, it is a book that Allah has benefited many by and we advise our youth to take direct interest in memorizing it and striving to understand it completely as well as studying its various explanations until they are filled with certainty concerning this area of the Islamic Creed.
Then after that in regards to Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (the Oneness of the Names & Attributes of Allah) then it is upon the student who has the grave desire to seek Knowledge to memorize the text of al-Waasiteeyah (by Ibn Taymiyyah).
Then those treatises that were compiled under the title of Majmoo’ Fataawaa Shaykh-il-Islaam because in this compilation there are very important treatises befitting for the student of Knowledge to study, if he wants to expound further in the written works concerning the subject of Asmaa was-Sifaat (Concerning the Names and Attributes of Allah) then he should study the explanation of at-Tahaaweeyah because the author transmitted most or at least the bulk of his writing from the books of Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and his students Ibn-ul-Qayyim and from the books of Ibn Katheer, it is comprehensive as well as beneficial.
As for Tafseer (Quranic Commentary) then it is befitting for the small student of Knowledge to begin with the Tafseer of ash-Shaykh ‘Abdir-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullah) because it is brief and his Manhaj is known to be Salafee, and when one has reviewed the various branches of the Arabic language and he is proficient in the language and finds a suitable teacher who is Salafee and a Mufassir (a scholar who knows the sciences of Tafseer) then he should study Fath-ul-Qadeer by ash-Shawkaanee, while observing the utmost attention and adhering to these conditions (in finding the above described teacher), because al-Imaam ash-Shawkaanee despite his vast knowledge and good books, specifically in Fath-ul-Qadeer and Nayl-ul-Awtaar, is not free from Ta’weel in some of the texts of the book, and for that reason the student of Knowledge could be deceived so it is befitting that he chooses a scholar who knows Tafseer and who is Salafee who can teach him this book so that he can direct him to the proper understanding of Allah’s Book and point out the various aspects of al-‘Iraab (the study of the case endings of the verbs and nouns when they are connected to the particles) and sometimes the detailed issues of al-Balaaghah (the art of Eloquence) then (after this, he studies) the well known “Tafseer Ibn Katheer”, and there is no problem if he studies the condensed versions of this Tafseer until his understanding broadens.
In spite of all that as I stated the student of Knowledge should not suffice himself with just reading rather he must also review with the People of Knowledge.
And one must be concerned with the study of the sciences of Tafseer (Quranic Commentary), from those sciences of Tafseer is the art of Tajweed (the Rules of Reciting the Quran properly) and from those sciences of Tafseer are the branches of the Arabic language.
Then one studies regarding Hadeeth, he memorizes the texts we have mentioned beginning with the 40 Hadeeth of Imam an-Nawawee, then ‘Umdat-ul-Ahkaam, then Buloogh-ul-Maraam and then looks to their explanations and reviews these books while studying them with the People who specialize in the sciences of Hadeeth.
With regards to Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), if the one who seeks Knowledge desires to broaden his understanding and read about the People of Knowledge and their differences concerning the various branches of Fiqh, then he must memorize a text from each of the four Madhaahib (the schools of Fiqh) but not restrict himself to a specific Madhhab, that is because the correct understanding of Fiqh is what is studied in ‘Umdat-ul-Ahkaam and Buloogh-ul-Maraam and it is the understanding of the Sunnah, likewise in some of the books of Imam ash-Shawkaanee there is a condition, as we stated, which is that there is no partisanship to a specific individual or specific Madhhab, so the main objective should be to seek Knowledge.
Taken from 27 Questions regarding the Da’waat-us-Salafiyyah
Translated by Aboo Imraan al-Mekseekee
Arabic Source: http://www.ajurry.com/beginsience.htm