Advice for Alims & Alimahs 08/06/19 Whitethread Institute, Shaykh Saleem Nawab
1) Have sincerity. Mufti Shafi r.a used to say: Remember! If you attain this ilm (knowledge) with sincerity, then you will achieve something great. If you attain it without sincerity, then it will be the worst thing in the world.
Abdullah ibn Abbas r.a mentioned: My father Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib r.a used to say: “Oh my son! Never attain knowledge for show”.
Junaid Baghdadi r.a said he learnt ikhlaas (sincerity) from a barber; ‘My teacher told me to go for a haircut. I went to the barber and asked to cut my hair for the sake of Allah as I did not have money. The barber hastened to cut my hair saying no-one has ever said to have a haircut for the sake of Allah. When I grew up, I went to the to pay. The barber replied: You are a great scholar and you don’t know ikhlaas?! I did it for the sake of Allah and expect reward only from Him.
2) Have zeal. It has been mentioned, Ibn Asakir r.a, travelled from Sham to Nishapur to acquire knowledge under Imam Abdullah Al-Farawe r.a. His zeal was to the extent that the teacher got tired after three days. This is how a student should work in madrasa.
3) Take responsibilities. After we graduate we become the shepherd like mentioned in hadith, we become responsible of those under us i.e our students. Just as a shepherd is careful that his flock do not go astray, similarly we too should be careful our students do not go astray.
We will be questioned regarding our responsibilities; therefore, it is important we ensure to use teaching time with all its due rights. This means, attending on time and not using phone during lesson.
4) Practise what you preach. This is so important, that everything we learn, we act upon it and become good role models. If we want our knowledge to have an impact on others, then we must practise what we preach.
A Shaykh from Damascus used to deliver lesson of the Quran. Some of his students said to him; There are many that gather for your lesson, some sit at the back and cannot hear you but are so affected by the lessons that they cry. Tell us, how do you have such an impact? The scholar replied: I don’t normally tell others but, every day in tahajjud I recite 10 juzz and make dua for those under my responsibilities.
5) Have patience and tolerance. Moulana Ali Miya Nadwi r.a used to say: Our path is the path of sacrifice and tolerance. Ali r.a narrated a hadith, Prophet ﷺ was given gold and distributed it amongst four individuals. Some people complained He ﷺ was not just. – If people can complain about Prophet ﷺ then we need to prepare that people will label us.
6) Respect other scholars. All scholars should respect one another, otherwise, how can it be expected for people to respect them.
Abu Darda r.a mentioned: The sign of a great Alim is:
- He doesn’t degrade those lower than him.
- He is not jealous of those above him.
- He acts upon his knowledge.
Mufti Umar Palanpuri r.a was giving a bayan and suddenly started crying. When asked the reason he replied: On the day of Qiyamah, people will attain salvation because of the knowledge we gave them, but due to our lacking in amal (practising) we will be in the depth of Jahannam. We will see people passing the Sirat (bridge) with speed for implementing that which we taught them, but we will fall behind.
Shaykh Saleem Nawab’s teacher; Hadrat Moulana Abrar Dulyawi r.a mentioned: If you turn the word ‘amal‘ the other way, it becomes ‘lama‘ which means shine. Shine will come in your life when you do amal.
Above is an extract from Shaykh Saleem Nawab’s speech on 08/06/19 in Whitethread Institute, London.