Seeking Knowledge before Da’wah and Iftaa (passing verdicts) – Shaikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen

Question: If one of the brothers seeks knowledge with the Scholars and his community or his village is falling in evil deeds and most of them possibly fall in Shirk. When you say to him: go to your village and convey the religion of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and that which is with you (of knowledge), he says: I am still seeking knowledge. So is there evidence against him, oh sheikh, in regards to his village?

Answer: We say to him: seek knowledge first, then go to your town second second, because how can you call he call his people and he does not know? What harms the people except those people who speak with what they do not know. Reflect on the Fatawa which are on forums, you will find the most inconceivable from verdicts based on half-knowledge, verdicts which do not have bounds. Woe upon those who are hasty in passing verdict and they will be questioned on the Day of Judgment when they spoke about Allah that which they don’t know. Allah says:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْأِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَنْ تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَاناً وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لا تَعْلَمُونَ

say (O Muhammad SAW): “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge” [7:33].

Oh Subhaan Allah! If a doctor began practicing medicine on the people and he did not know (medicine) and many people died at his hands, what will the people say about this doctor, did he do bad or he did he do well? He did bad that is abuse, this is in the medicine of the body so how about in the medicine of the hearts and it is the Shari’ah!! Then how strange are those who are quick in leadership, that fingers are pointed towards them and it is said: So and so is a Scholar!! Oh my brother: do not be quick! Be patience! If Allah decreed for you leadership you will obtain it and if not then you will not obtain it, and this quickness will not increase you except in disgrace with Allah and with the servants of Allah. Everything is written for the person he will given it in his life and the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إنه لن تموت نفس حتى تستكمل رزقها وأجلها

Verily a soul will not die until it completes its provision and its lifespan

If there did not remain for him from provision except a grain of rice to eat and there did not remain for him except a moment from his life he will reach it. So I warn against those who are quick to give verdict and I say: be patience, gain knowledge then pass verdict. Beware also of turning to their verdicts. So we say to this man: read knowledge first then go to your village and if you are capable of combining between this and this, that you go to your village one day a week and explain to them the truth, then this is good.

[Taken from Liqaa al-Baab al-Maftooh session no. 232]
Translated by

Faisal ibn Abdul Qaadir ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

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