Question: What are the books which you advise to read in Aqeedah, Tafseer, Hadith and its science, and Fiqh?
Answer: “In the beginning of [this] letter, I advise the one who wants to began seeking knowledge to memorize: The Three Fundamental Principles and their Proofs, The Pillars of Salah and the Obligations of the Prayer and its Conditions which is a comprehensive text for this information, along with the Four Principles of Shirk. It is recommended also to memorize the conditions of La ilaha illa Allah and the nullifiers of La ilaha illa Allah. It is necessary to memorize these issues with a good memorization. Then to present himself to the students of Knowledge to take knowledge from the mouth of men and not from the depths of books.
After this, if it is easy for you to memorize Kashf ash-Shubuhaat, then this is good. However, the book which is a must to memorize and for a student of knowledge to study in the chapter of Aqeedah, specifically in Tawheed of worship and rulership which is written in a new method is: the book Kitab at-Tawheed which is the right of Allah over the servants. It is a great book and is a collection of selected verses from the Book of Allah and Prophetic Ahaadith and narrations of of the People of Knowledge. It is a book which Allah benefited many by.
We advise our youth to have concern for this book: memorization, understanding, and looking into its explanation. After that, in relation to the Tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes, it is upon the student of knowledge who has high ambitions in seeking knowledge to memorize al-Wasitiyyah or study it. It is included in Majmoo’ Fatawaa of Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) and in this collection are very important treatise which are necessary for the student of knowledge to study.
If he wants to expand [in the subject] of the book of the author in the Names and Attributes of Allah, then it is upon him to study Sharh at-Tahawiyyah. This is because the author of Sharh Tahawiyyah recorded all of the book or most of it from the books of Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, his student Ibn al-Qayyiim, and the books of Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy upon them). It is a comprehensive and beneficial book.
In regards to Tafseer, then it is necessary for a beginner student of knowledge to begin with the Tafseer of Shaikh Abdurrahman as-Sa’adi (may Allah have mercy upon him) because it is summarized and his methodology is well-known. [It is] the Salafi methodology. If the student has ability to read the secondary branches of Arabic langauge and he is well-grounded in the language and he is granted success to have a Salafi teacher, Mufassir, then it is upon him to study Fathul-Qaadir of Imam ash-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy upon him). I only place this restriction and stipulate this condition because Imam ash-Shawkaani, despite his vast knowledge and good authorship, was not safe from interpreting some of the Attributes of Allah, especially in Fathul-Qaadir and Nayl al-Awtaar. [This condition and restriction is placed] so this does not deceive the beginner student of knowledge.
So like this, it is necessary for him to choose a Salafi Mufassir to teach him this book. This is because it will assist him to taste the meaning of the Book of Allah if the Mufassir informs him of the different types of ‘Iraab (morphology in the Quran) and sometimes to the points of eloquence.
Then [he goes] to the Tafsir which is well-known with us and it is Tafsir Ibn Kathir. There is no harm if he studies the abridgments of this Tafisr until he is able to expand to what [comes] after it.
As for Hadith and its science: then he memorizes the mutoon which we mentioned last night. He begins with the Forty Hadith, Umdatul-Ahkam, Bulugh al-Maram, then he looks into the explanations and presents these books to study them with the People of specialization and fiqh.
If the student of knowledge wants to expand [in knowledge], then let him look into the difference of opinion between the People of Knowledge in the secondary matters. It is upon him to memorize a text from each of the four mathaahib and he should not hold himself fast to one mathhab. This is because the sound fiqh is that which he studies in Umdatul-Ahkam, Bulugh al-Maram, Fiqhus-Sunnah, and some of the books of Imam ash-Shawkaani, with the condition as I said, not to have bigotry to a specific person or specific mathhab. Rather his goal is to seek knowledge. And Allah Knows Best”
[Qurrah ‘Uyoon as-Salafiyyah bi Ajwibatil-Jaamiyyah pg. 19-21]
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan