Home > Knowledge (iLm), Muhammad bin Saalih Al 'Uthaymeen (Rahimahullah), Scholars > Knowledge and Insight [Basirah] must for Du’at- Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen [rahimahullah]

Knowledge and Insight [Basirah] must for Du’at- Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen [rahimahullah]


Among the matters that the present day Islamic awakening must focus on is knowledge, and by this I mean knowledge of Allah’s Shariah, which is found in two primary sources [and there is no third to them]: Allah’s book and Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam], for Allah said:

[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. [Quran 16:44]


And Allah said:

And Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom and has taught you that which you did not know. And ever has the favor of Allah upon you been great. [Quran 4:113]


Knowledge is as much the foundation as it is the very substance of the message we are calling others to follow. No message can become complete, at least not in a way that pleases Allah [To Him belongs the Might and Majesty], unless it is founded on knowledge.


In his Sahih, Imam Bukhari [rahimahullah], gave a chapter the following title: “Knowledge before speech and action.”

He inferred this from the saying of Allah:

So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin. [Quran 47:19]


Therefore, every Dawah [message that we are inviting others to follow] without knowledge is inevitably fraught with deviation and misguidance. The Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] warned of this when he described what will happen when the scholars begin to die and only ignorant leaders remain: they will rule without knowledge, not only being misguided themselves but misguiding others as well.


We see many brothers who are driven by religious zeal; no doubt, that is good, for where there is no zeal, there is no courage. But emotion alone is not enough; one must also possess knowledge, by which one acts and works in his Dawah. This is why the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam[ said,

“Convey from me, even if it is a single verse.” [Bukhari-3461]


We can only convey from him that which we know from his shariah. The Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] appointed us to convey on his behalf that which we know to have come from him.


The caller must have knowledge regarding the matter that he is calling to others to follow, but it must be true knowledge that is founded upon Allah’s book and the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam]. All knowledge that is derived from any other source must first be compared to what is found in the said two sources. After that knowledge is compared, it is either in harmony with Quran and the Sunnah, or it is contrary to them. If it is in harmony with them, then it is accepted. And if it is contrary of them, then it must be rejected, no matter whom it is that is at the source of that knowledge. It is established that Ibn Abbas [radiAllahu anhu] said,

“Stones are on the verge of falling down upon you from the sky. I say, ‘The Messenger of Allah said’, yet you say, ‘Abu Bakr or Umar said!’


If this is the case regarding  the saying of Abu Bakr [radiAllahu anhu] or Umar [radiAllahu anhu] when it is contrary to the saying of Allah’s Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam], then what will be the case when it is saying of someone who is lower than them in knowledge, in piety, and in many other of their superior qualities. The saying of anyone other than Abu Bakr or Umar  is therefore even more worthy of being rejected when it is in opposition to Allah’s book and Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam]. Allah said:

So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet’s order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment. [Quran 24:63]


Imam Ahmed said, “Do you know what the fitnah [trial] is? The fitnah is Shirk: if some of one’s sayings are rejected, deviance might occur in his heart and then his destruction follows.”


Dawah that is not founded on knowledge is obviously a Dawah that is founded on Ignorance. And the harmful consequences of a dawah that is found on ignorance are greater than the benefits it yields. A caller sets himself up as an instructor and guide; if he is ignorant, then he is not only misguided himself, but he misguides others as well- and we seek refuge in Allah. His ignorance is not of the simple kind, rather it is worse: his ignorance is compound ignorance. The simple kind of ignorance is when one does not know and he remains quiet; his ignorance can be remedied by learning. The greater problem lies in one who is afflicted with compound ignorance: he does not know but speaks nonetheless. In this case, he destroys more than he builds.


My brothers, calling others to the way of Allah [to Islam] based on ignorance is contrary to the way that the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] and those who followed him were upon. Look at this saying of Allah, wherein He commands His Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam]:

Say, “This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah ; and I am not of those who associate others with Him.” [Quran 12:108]


He said, “I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me,” i.e., whosoever follows me must also invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, and not with ignorance.


[The Islamic Awakening, page 28-31 by Ibn Uthaymeen]


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