Encouraging the student of knowledge to be abstinent from the Dunya

بسم اللــــه الرحمــــــــن الرحيم

All praise be to Allah, and may the salutations and peace be upon the messenger of Allah, his family, his companions and all those who follow him.

To proceed:

This is an important advice for the student of knowledge from our Shaykh, the Muhaddith, the Faqeeh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam, may Allah preserve and protect him, and make him a source of benefit for Islaam and the Muslims.

This advice, delivered in the Salafi institute of Hadeeth in Ibb (Yemen) -may Allah protect it aswell as all the Muslim lands-, took place on the fourth of Dhul Hijjah, in the year 1440 AH.

Our Shaykh Abu ‘Abdullah, may Allah ﷻ grant him success and preserve him, said:

“It is incumbent upon the Muslim, especially the student of knowledge, that he stays far from asking others for money and yearning for it, for Allahﷻ has given him an alternative means which suffices him from asking others for money; and this is to borrow money, just as the prophet ﷺ used to do so, and likewise the best of the companions, aswell the rightly guided caliphs would also borrow. Verily Allah has made a way out for you from this lowly act of begging, so be patient.

If you are in need of money then you either work for it, or take a loan. And I do not advise the student of knowledge to work and become preoccupied with work while he is able to find someone who will lend him some money. This advice is for the student of knowledge; he should not busy himself with work; if he can find someone to lend him money then he should take this opportunity, and this is a blessing from Allah ﷺ upon him. And (know that) Allah will make it easy for you to repay it back.

As for the whispers of Shaytan by which he deceives some of the students of knowledge; such that he whispers to them to go and work, then these are from the deceptions which he uses to preoccupy him from good.

Perhaps the Shaytaan may whisper to him:

•”Go and work so you can save up for marriage.”


•”Go and work for just a year, then get married and seek knowledge.”

This miskeen will then go and work, and after one, two or three years, still he is not married, nor is he seeking any knowledge. Rather if you ask him about his situation, he will say:

“I swear by Allah, I’m in debt.”

He left seeking knowledge, and after two, three, or four years, still he is in debt. Whereas, had he turned to Allah with a sincere heart, being truthful to Him, He would have brought provisions to him and allowed him to get married while he was (seeking knowledge) in the masjid. Allah will provide you with a house, money and other provisions.

And I swear by Allah, the Dunya is worthless compared to what you are upon from goodness. These affairs (work, money, dunya etc..) are worthless compared to what you are upon from good; you have the book of Allah and the sunnah of the prophet ﷺ.

Reflect over the Hadith of the prophet ﷺ, narrated by Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him, that the prophet ﷺ said:

‘For me to say, (subhaana-Allah, wal-hamdulillah wa Laa ilaaha illa-Allah wallaahu akbar), is more beloved to me than everything which the sun has risen upon.’ Reported by Muslim

Four phrases that the Muslim says with sincerity, truthfulness and in hope of Allah’s reward ﷻ, is better for him than the dunya and everything in it. So how about if you have memorize the book of Allah ﷻ and you memorize Ahaadeeth from the sunnah of the prophet ﷺ and remember Allah ﷻ day and night in circles of knowledge?!

I swear by Allah that is far better than the dunya and everything in it. So Don’t belittle what you have of good. Rather it is the dunya which is worthless. Allah ﷻ puts his slaves to test with poverty and hardship and with illnesses, so be patient upon that which you are upon of steadfastness and the sunnah, for it is better than the dunya and everything it contains. And that which you are upon from memorizing the Qur’aan and the sunnah is And Shaytaan deceives some people when he whispers to them:

“Go and work, so you can pay off your debts”

Although his debt is something small and perhaps those who lent it to him are in no rush for it to be payed back, yet he allows Shaytaan to deceive him:

“Go and work and pay off your debts”

So eventually, he (stops seeking knowledge and) starts working, then you ask him after a year if he has paid off his debts, and he says:

“I have more debt now than before”

Many have become preoccupied with work and they have not been granted tawfeeq (success). They left off seeking knowledge and are now chasing after the dunya.

So that which you are upon is better. Be patient and persevere, and increase in supplication if your are tested with poverty and hardship, it is upon you to make Du’a. Du’a is one of the best and greatest means (to remove that which you have been tested with), so call upon Allah ﷻ with certainty and Allah will make your affairs easy. If things become too difficult for you to bare and you cannot find someone to lend you money, then work for a few days according to what is needed to fulfill your need; work for a day, two, three, a week, or 10 days – until you are able to fulfill your need, then immediately go back to seeking knowledge. The one who has to work, should make work his last resort. And if you are not in (financial) need or you don’t have a family to provide for, then you’re upon good – so praise Allah, and all praises are for Allah, you are given your provision, we are in a great blessing , we seek knowledge and our provisions come to us, you eat and you drink.

■ The students of knowledge in the olden times used to travel long distances. The imaams previously would travel long distances (in pursuit of knowledge) and they had to need work or take a loan in order to pay for some of their expenses, or they would sell some of their belongings in order to spend that money on the journey. And if they were in need of spending money whilst seeking knowledge they would sell some of their belongings or work a day or part of a day, and they seek knowledge during the rest of the day.

As for you now, all praise if for Allah, your provisions and your food and your drink come to you. There’s nothing left for you to do except strive in seeking knowledge, so strive. We are in a great blessing, I ask Allah that he aids us in thanking him. I praise Allah with many, good and blessed praises, we praise him with many, good, blessed and countless praises. We praise Him as much as the number of his creation, praises which pleases Him, praises equating the weight of His throne, praises equal to the ink of His words (which have no end and cannot be enumerated). we praise Him, praises filling the sky and earth and everything in between and whatever our lord wishes to be filled after that. We are not able praise Him as He deserves to be praised, for He is as he has praised Himself. All praises belong to Allah. I ask Him to preserve these blessings and to aid us and you in remembering Him, thanking Him and worshiping Him in the best of manners.

Glory be to you O Allah and to you belongs all praise, I bear witness that there is no diety worthy of worship except You. We seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.


Translated by

Abu Huthayfah Saamy Al-hindy

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