Advice To Young Students Of Knowledge From The West | Shaykh Aḥmad Ibn Yaḥyá Al Najmī
Shaykh Aḥmad Ibn Yaḥyá Al-Najmī’s Advice To Young Students Of Knowledge From The West:
Sometime during the month of Jumādá al-Awwal in the year 1425H which corresponds with around late June until early July of 2004 C.E., Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī summoned a group of American students who were attending the tenth annual Imām ʿAbdullāh ibn Muḥammad al-Qaraʿāwī knowledge based seminar in Ṣāmiṭah, KSA in order to advise them and to specifically address some of the issues that they had. The following recordings represent some excerpts from this sitting which have only recently been made publicly available.
Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī: All praise is due to Allāh and may the prayers of peace and blessings of Allāh be upon the Messenger of Allāh as well as his family and companions. Firstly, the most important thing that Allāh has made obligatory upon the servants is Islāmic monotheism (tawḥīd). And Allāh the Glorified and Exalted says: “And certainly We have sent to every nation a messenger, [declaring] worship Allāh exclusively and avoid the ṭāghūt.” [Sūrah al-Naḥl 16:36] And He says: “And We have not sent before you any messenger except that We have revealed to him that, there is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” [Sūrah al-Anbiyāʾ 21:25] And what that requires is that worship must be directed exclusively to Allāh the Mighty and Majestic alone without including any partners or associates.
And that He is to be worshipped in the manner that He Himself has legislated in His Book (the Qurʾān) or upon the tongue of His Messenger (r) and it is not permissible for anyone to make anything else or anyone else share Allāh’s worship. And it is not permissible for anyone to set out on a path other than the path of the Messenger (r) and his Sunnah which is considered worship if an individual worships Allāh with it.
But rather, the religion must be devoted to Allāh by purifying one’s worship and making it exclusive for Allāh while also following His Messenger (r). Allāh says: “Say: If you truly love Allāh then follow me, Allāh will love you and forgive you of your sins.” [Sūrah Āl ʿImrān 3:31]
And following the Messenger (r) is a condition; so purification of one’s worship and following the Messenger (r) are the two conditions for the acceptance of an action. Any action in which one of these conditions or both of them is absent; then this action cannot be considered acceptable with Allāh. Any action that involves the absence of either the sincere purification of one’s worship (ikhlāṣ) or following the Messenger (mutābiʿah) or both of them; then it is not considered acceptable with Allāh the Exalted.
So it is not considered acceptable with Allāh unless it was performed sincerely for Allāh and was performed according to the legislation of His Messenger (r). So what I advise you with are these two fundamental principles. The principle of sincere purification of one’s worship (ikhlāṣ) in which an individual makes all of his acts of worship for Allāh and secondly for this worship to be from what has been legislated by the Messenger (r).
So if the act of worship was something that was innovated then it is unacceptable. Yes. And there can be no doubt that the various partisan hizbī groups which are present today; all of them have mixed truth with falsehood. You may find some aspects of the truth with them along with much falsehood. So they mix the truth with falsehood in order to remain consistent with the methodology of their group.
For this reason, what is appropriate for the Muslim is that he avoids these partisan hizbī groups; and they should take their religion from the Book of Allāh (the Qurʾān) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (r) and the path of the pious predecessors (al-salaf al-ṣāliḥ) which they proceeded upon. Yes. This is what is obligatory. And I advise you, first and foremost to continue in the pursuit of knowledge.
Secondly, I also advise you that none of you should speak except in issues that they know. So if he is ignorant of an issue, it is obligatory upon him to remain silent regarding it; or one of you should contact the people of knowledge until he finds from them the remedy [for his ignorance].
If he finds the remedy [for his ignorance], then he may go ahead and speak. So the ruling is extracted from the Book of Allāh with such & such evidence or from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (r) with such & such evidence. Yes.
Likewise it is obligatory that an individual is cautious not to fall into any of the hidden forms of associationism (shirk) and more specifically showing off (riyāʾ), self-amazement (ʿujab) and whatever is similar to that; while claiming that he is upon the truth; what is appropriate is that he does not offer any worship except with a valid proof from the Book of Allāh or from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (r).
This is what is obligatory. This is my summarized advice [to you] and I ask that Allāh grants both myself, and you success in acting upon the truth and to traverse upon the path of the Messenger (r). And Allāh the Mighty and Majestic addresses His Messenger (r) saying: “Say: This is my way; I invite unto Allāh with insight (baṣīrah); myself and those who follow me.” [Sūrah Yūsuf 12:108]
And the insight (baṣīrah) mentioned here is knowledge of the truth coupled with the evidence which supports it. This is true insight. And the second matter is wisdom in conveying the information to the people. This should occur in a manner that does not drive the people away, for example. This is what I advise you with. And may the prayers of peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our prophet Muḥammad (r) as well as his family and companions.
Translated By: Abul-Layth Qāsim Mutiva