[Video]: Taking Knowledge From Those Who Are Unknown | Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Bukhārī
Taking Knowledge From Those Who Are Unknown | Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Bukhārī
The Question: The first question is what is the ruling regarding studying with unknown individuals?
Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Bukhārī: “The answer is in the question. The answer is in the question. He is asking about studying under someone who is unknown so you have answered that he is unknown. How can you study under someone who is unknown?! So he answered [himself].
The basic principle is that knowledge is not taken except from its people and those who convey it from those who are well-known for it. ‘Certainly, this knowledge is religion so carefully consider who you take your…’ what? ‘…your religion from.’ This statement has been reinforced by a group of Imāms like Ibn Sīrīn, Imām Mālik and [Sufyān] al-Thawrī and other than them.
And the scholars have reinforced these narrations. And it is not permissible in this situation, for an individual to come and use the statement of Ibn Sīrīn as a doubt as was said by one of those who has no support; who while spreading…
I say while spreading falsehood and while calling to studying under the people of desires, he says a doubt, some of them say while citing the narration of Ibn Sīrīn: ‘Certainly, this knowledge is religion so carefully consider who you take your religion from.’
They say that it is not permissible to study except with the one who is such & such and such & such and such & such. And the answer to this doubt is from seven different angles. So he has made the truth into falsehood and made falsehood … what… into the truth, and Allāh’s refuge is sought.
And this is from the reversal of one’s natural disposition (fiṭrah). Because success is that Allāh guides you towards obedience and grants you success in upholding it. As for betrayal, then that would before Allāh to leave you to rely upon yourself. So this knowledge is religion. So you should carefully consider who you take your religion from.
The scholars… look at the pious predecessors. Did they used to take knowledge from anyone around that comes and goes?! Never! They used to inquire and research just as Abū al-ʿĀliyyah -may Allāh have mercy upon him- said: ‘We used to, if we came to take from a man, we would evaluate his prayer…’ after having asked about him. ‘…and if he performed it well we would take from him and if he performed it poorly we would leave him.’
According to this group, these are [evil] whisperings. Right? [according to them it is] excessiveness. And for this reason each and every one of them when he would lend his ear to everyone who comes and goes; it became such that he would become overwhelmed by these afflictions and grave errors and could not differentiate.
In fact, the people of religious innovations (bidaʿ) would become safe from the criticism whereas the people of the Sunnah were not. He would apply this Sunnī principle to the people of the Sunnah.
I say he would blame the people of the Sunnah for applying this principle and but he would not blame the people of the people of religious innovations (bidaʿ) and for spreading their religious innovations (bidaʿ) and misguidance. The Imāms of the Sunnah have mentioned that from the conditions of the student of knowledge is that he is renowned for it; meaning for seeking knowledge.
He is well known for it. Imām Yaḥyá ibn Maʿīn said as it is mentioned in [the book] Kifāyah al-Khaṭīb: ‘The tool of the student of ḥadīth is notoriety and abandoning religious innovations (bidaʿ) and staying away from the major sins as well as truthfulness and trustworthiness.’ The notoriety here is that he is being well-known for seeking; seeking knowledge.
Look, my brother at the book of Imām Ibn Abī Ḥātim [the book] al-Jarḥ wa al-Taʿdīl. You will find in this book from some of its chapters: ‘and from those for whom knowledge is taken’. So & so and so & so and so & so and then he mentions their biographies. So knowledge is conveyed from them. Knowledge is conveyed from them meaning that they are people for whom what is taken from them…knowledge.
So then this principle, may Allāh bless you was documented by the scholars who practically implemented it and the Imāms have proceeded upon it up until today. Until today the people of the Sunnah are upon this way.
O my dear brothers, these types of principles are a means of protection for the religion against the one who wishes to introduce misguidance into it. I mean for someone to introduce misguidance into the religion. It is for this reason that the people of Sunnah are the protectors of the religion.
So they protect it from the distortion of those who are excessive and the misrepresentation of the people of falsehood and the misinterpretation of the ignorant. So these principles, may Allāh bless you, upset some people and frustrated them. So they started to find faults and look down upon the people who apply them. In any event, patience is a must. Patience is a must and this falsehood must be fought with proofs and evidence; with proofs and evidence.”
Translated By: Abul-Layth Qāsim Mutiva