Accompanying the Scholars by Ibn al-Uthaymin

Accompaniment of the Scholars

It is required of the students of knowledge to seek help in Allah, Lofty and Exalted is He, then in the People of Knowledge, and to seek help in whatever they wrote of in their books; since to limit oneself upon mere recitation and reading requires a long time (to acquire knowledge) as opposed to sitting with the Scholar who clarifies, explains, and illuminates for him the path, and I do not say:

‘One cannot obtain knowledge except by taking lessons from the Mashaykh’

For indeed people obtain knowledge from recitation and reading, rather the prevailing scenario is that when there is not complete dedication and a good provision of understanding, thus indeed he will err a great deal and due to this it is said:

‘Whoever took his proofs from his books, then his mistakes are greater than what he is correct in’

– rather this is not without exception in reality.

Rather the optimum path is to take lessons of knowledge from the Mashaykh, and I advise the Student of Knowledge also not to attempt to grasp from every Shaykh in a single science.

For example to learn Fiqh from a great number of Shuyukh, since the Scholars differed in the paths of their seeking proofs from the Book and Sunnah, and they differ in their thinking also; thus you should determine for yourself a Scholar and take lessons from his knowledge in Fiqh, or Eloquent Speech, and as such, meaning you take lessons of knowledge in one science from one Shaykh.

And when a Shaykh has combined in him a great number of sciences then rely on him for all of them since when you take lessons of knowledge in Fiqh for example, from this one and that one, and they differ in their thinking, then how will you take a position and you are a Student?

Your position will be full of confusion and doubt, rather keep to a specific science, and as such it will be a cause of relief to you.

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