This is an area many err in. Some stay quiet all the time, and others forbid everything, even if it’s not something they should be enjoining and forbidding.
Below are some very basic principles. Please learn them as they’ll generally save you a lot of time in life.
Conditions Before Doing It:
- Have knowledge of the topic
- Check that the person is actually doing the haraam
- Make sure it’s not something that has a difference of opinion
- By doing it, it shouldn’t lead to a greater evil
- Advise appropriately e.g. gently, in private and so on.
Principles for When to Actually Do It:
- By you doing it, it will change the evil completely. Then it becomes waajib.
- Changing it a little bit. This is also waajib.
- If enjoining the good and forbidding the evil won’t change the situation. This is mustahabb.
- If doing it leads to a greater harm then it is haraam for you to do anything.
Statement of Ibn Hazm (may Allah be pleased with him):
“If the learned ponders how the hours he spent learning saved him from the humiliation of being dominated by the ignorant and from the distress of having no access to the facts, and how those hours provided him with the joy of discovering that which is hidden from others, he would excel in praising Allah, the exalted, full of majesty, and would be more pleased with the knowledge he has and would deepen his desire to increase his knowledge.”
Imam Shafi’ee (rh) said, “After the obligatory deeds, nothing is more beloved to Allah than studying knowledge.”
Qatada (rh) said, “A door of knowledge that a man preserves for rectifying himself and those after him is better than constant worship for a whole year”
One of the people of the past was asked, how did you gain this knowledge?
He replied, without relying on others, travelling through the lands, patience like the patience of a donkey and going early like the early birds.
The same individual also mentioned that when people saw someone hurrying through the streets, they would think that he is a mad person or a student of knowledge.
Meaning, they wouldn’t waste their time. Even in their going and coming back from places They would hasten!
Muhammad ibn Sallam, the haafidh from the past, as mentioned by al Dhahabi (rh), that he was always eager to write down in class. One day his pen broke and he said in class, who will give me a pen for a gold coin!
It shows how important it is to make notes. He was a haafidh, which means that he had memorised 100,000 Hadith, and yet he’s still making notes!
You might remember something today but won’t remember it tomorrow and definitely not after an extended period of time.
You can’t act upon something unless you have it documented correctly!
Ibn al Jawzi (rh) mentions that ilm is the most honourable thing to attain. It cannot be attained except through hard struggles, late nights, repetition, abandoning desires and delights and resting. This is the path to Jannah.
Some of the people of the past would busy themselves soo much with knowledge that they would eat and have a book in their hand so they could read at the same time.
It’s narrated that Shaykh Bin Baaz (rh) memorised a 1,000 line poem whilst doing wudoo and would finish teaching books from the walk to his house and car.
The purpose of these examples is to show that a person needs to busy themselves, as much as possible, with seeking ilm as it really is from the best of actions!
Every second should be devoted it.
The people of the past said, there is no action on the face of this earth better than seeking knowledge; for the one who fears Allah and has the correct intention.