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    Exclamation Shaykh Uthaymeen: “There exist nowadays those who possess a doctorate degree, but know absolutely nothing at all of knowledge.”

    [Al Hamdulillah was salaatu was salaam 'ala rasoolillah a'mma ba'd:]

    [Shaykh Uthaymeen (rahimahUllah) mentions]: “The one who learns the Sharee'ah (legislation) of Allah, [The] Mighty and Majestic, and that which aids it, so [as for] this knowledge it is not befitting that one would learn it except [seeking] Allah's face. If one desires, by learning it, the dunyaa then surely he [or she] will not encounter the smell of the Paradise [on] Yaum-ul-Qiyaamah (the Day of Standing) [as our Prophet (sallAllahu 'alayhi was salam) said:

    من تعلم علما مما يبتغي به وجه الله تعالى، لا يتعلمه إلا ليصيب به عرضا من الدنيا، لم يجد عرف الجنة يوم القيامة

    ((Whoever learns knowledge from that which is [befitting] that [one] seeks by it, The Most High, Allah's face, not learning it except to obtain by it [some] worldly reward; he [or she] will not encounter the smell of the Paradise [on] the Day of Standing.))*(1)] and this is a severe threat, and refuge with Allah is sought [from that], which is a proof upon [the fact] that whomever intends by learning the legislation [of Islaam] something from the affairs of the worldly life, surely he [or she has] indeed brought about a major sin from the major sins, and [there] is no blessing for him [or her] in his [or her] knowledge. What is meant for an example: It is said: “I desire to learn for the purpose of diverting the faces of the people to me, until they respect me and hold me in high esteem; I desire to learn so I [can] be a teacher and acquire a salary” and that which is similar to that, this [one], and we seek refuge with Allah, [will] not encounter the smell of the Paradise on the Day of Standing, and indeed this confuses or perhaps charms some of those who study in the school system, like the institutes and colleges, for the purpose of them obtaining a certificate [or degree]. So one says: “earning a degree is not for the dunyaa alone, perhaps it maybe for the dunyaa alone and perhaps it maybe for the hereafter,” so if a student said: I seek knowledge to acquire a degree, so I can establish myself [in] a teaching position and benefit the people by way of that, or so I can be an operations manager guiding the people there in to good, so this is good and a favorable intention and there's no sin nor problem in it.
    And verily, with regret, in the present time the gauge in [relation to one's] qualifications has become these degrees, you have a degree [you'll be] hired and succeed a position of leadership based upon these degrees, it is possible [that] a person with a doctorate comes [and] takes over a teaching [position] in colleges and universities and he [or she] is from the most ignorant of the people, but if a student in high school comes [who] is better than him [(the person with the degree)] and this [has been] witnessed, [as] there exist nowadays those who possess a doctorate degree but he [or she] knows absolutely nothing of knowledge, surely either he [or she] passed by cheating or he was successful in a superficial [manner, and] the knowledge is not engraved in his [or her] mind, but he [or she] is hired because he [or she] has a doctorate. A person comes who is a good student of knowledge, he [or she] is a thousand times better for the people and better for himself [or herself] than this doctor [one who possess a doctorate], but he [or she] is not hired and does not teach in the colleges, why? Because he [or she] does not possess a doctorate. Observe, because now the state of affairs have changed and reversed to this end. We say: If you sought knowledge for the purpose of obtaining a degree, which by way of it, [one] has the ability to take a teaching [position], not for a worldly reason but for the purpose of benefiting the creation, then surely this, there is no problem with it and it is not considered seeking the dunyaa and you will not be in line for that threat [of not encountering the smell of the Paradise on the Day of Standing], so all praise is for Allah, ((verily the deeds are based upon the intentions and for everyone is that which they intended...)).*(2) All praise is for Allah, this is [the] scale, look [in] your heart; what did you intend? So based upon this, as for the one who seeks knowledge in a university for the purpose of obtaining a degree, we say: What is it that he [or she] desires? Do you seek to acquire a degree for purpose of having the status of so-and-so and [for] your salary to be such-and-such, when [the answer is] yes, I am poor, I need this, we say: you have [intended] evil and [caused] yourself to perish, as long as you seek the dunyaa. As for if it is said: No, I desire to benefit the creation, [but] because [of] the affairs now it is not feasible to arrive at benefiting the creation by way of teaching, except by [having] degrees and I seek to reach this, or [a] person will not be hired for a major position to be a leader over a group of muslims, except by way of a degree and I desire this, we [would have] said all praise is for Allah, this is a good intention and there is nothing upon you, [as] ((...the deeds are based upon the intentions and for everyone is that which they intended...)).

    The important [issue] is: to beware my brother student of knowledge, beware of an evil intention; [for] legislative knowledge empowers and raises [one] and [it] is superior than to desire by it [some] credit from the dunyaa, [so] a worldly reward, what is it that [one] benefits by it, [the] end result is that it will be in a filthy place, [one] eats, drinks and goes to the toilet, and the most gratifying of what is sought [by] the human being to benefit the body is food and drink, yet the final [outcome] of it is the toilet, also, if the world remained with you it's a must that either you part with it, or it parts with you, either you become poor and are without wealth, or you die and the wealth goes to someone else. But the pursuits of the Aakirah (hereafter) shall remain. [As Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) said:

    وَمَآ أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَمَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَزِينَتُهَا*ۚ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ }

    { خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ*ۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُون

    {And whatever you have been given is an enjoyment of the life of this world and it's adornment, and that which is with Allah is better and will remain forever. Do you not have sense?}*(3)] So why make legislative knowledge, that which is for the purpose of worship and the best [form] of worship, a ladder to achieve by it [some] worldly gratification? This [one] is foolish in [his or her] intellect and astray in [his or her] religion. Make legislative knowledge ('Ilm-ush-shar'ee) for Allah, The Mighty and Majestic, for the preservation of Allah's sharee'ah (legislation), [to] remove ignorance from yourself and your muslim brothers [and or sisters], as a sign of guidance and to acquire the inheritance of the Prophet sallAllahu 'alayhi was salam, because ((...the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets...)).*(4) We ask Allah to [make] our and your intention sincere [for Allah], and [to] rectify the deeds, surely He is capable of all things.”*(5)

    Translator's note: That which is between the brackets [] has been added, by the translator, to complete the English meaning in the translation or for addition benefit.

    *(1)-On the authority of Abi Hurayrah (radiAllahu anhu), related by Abi Dawud, Ibn-ul-Maajah, Ibn-ul-Habaan in his saheeh and al-Haakim and he said: saheeh upon the conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim; Shaykh al-Albaani also authenticated it.
    *(2)-A portion of the hadeeth of “Ikhlaas”, on the authority of Umar bin Khataab (radiAllahu 'anhu), related by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
    *(3)-Surat-ul-Qasas verse 60
    *(4)-A portion of the hadeeth: ”Whoever travels a path seeking in it knowledge”, on the authority of Abi Dardaa' (radiAllahu 'anhu), related by Ahmed, Abi Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaaee', Ibn-ul-Maajah and Ibn-ul-Habaan and it is graded saheeh.
    *(5)-Sharhu Riyaadh-us-Saaliheen le Fadheelat-ush-Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Uthaymeen, volume 3, page: 436;

    Translator: Abu Abdil-Alim Amin Manning


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