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Specific Means for Seeking Knowledge

The specific causes for obtaining knowledge are many. We will mention from them:

Firstly: at-Taqwaa[1]

It is the instruction and advice of Allaah to the first and last of His servants. Allaah (Ta’alaa) said:

"And We have instructed those who were given the Scripture before you and yourselves to have Taqwaa of Allaah. But if you disbelieve – then to Allaah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allaah is free of any needs, Praiseworthy." - Soorah An-Nisaa (3):131

It is also the advice and instruction of the Messenger (صَلى الله عَلَيهِ وَ سَلَّم) to his Ummah. Aboo Amaamah Sadaa ibn Ajlaan Al-Baahilee (رَضيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ) said: “I heard Allaah’s Messenger giving the khutbah on the Farewell Hajj and he said:

“Have Taqwaa of Allaah, your Lord; and pray your five; and fast your month; and give the Zakaah of your wealth; and obey the one in authority over you; you will then enter the Paradise of your Lord.”[2]

And when he sent a leader over an army, he (صَلى الله عَلَيهِ وَ سَلَّم) used to advise and instruct him with Taqwaa within himself and with goodness with whoever is with him from the Muslims. And the Salaf as-Saalih have not ceased to instruct and advise with it in their khutbahs, letters, and in their wills at the time of death.

Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (رَضيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ) wrote to his son, ‘Abdullaah:

“As to what follows:

Indeed, I advise you with Taqwaa of Allaah, For whoever has Taqwaa of Him, He will protect him; and whoever gives Him a loan, He will compensate him; and whoever thanks Him, He will give him more.”

And ‘Alee (رَضيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ) advised a man and said:

“I advise you with Taqwaa of Allaah, the One from which there is no escape from meeting Him; and there is no end for you except to Him; and He owns this Life and the Hereafter.”

And one of the Righteous wrote to one of his brothers for the sake of Allaah:

“As to what follows:

I advise you with Taqwaa of Allaah, the One Who is your close friend while you are in secret and your Observer while you are in public. So be aware of Allaah over all of your situations in your night and your day. And fear Allaah in proportion to His nearness to you and His capability over you. And know that you are in His Sight; you never leave from his Authority to the authority of another, nor from His kingdom to the kingdom of another. So honor Him with your caution, and increase in your fear.


The Meaning of at-Taqwaa:

(Taqwaa is) that the servant makes between himself and that which he fears, a barrier, protecting himself with it. As for the servant’s Taqwaa of His Lord: it is that he makes between himself and that which he fears of His Anger and Dissatisfaction, a barrier, protecting himself with that by obeying Him and avoiding sinning against Him.

Know, that sometimes at-Taqwaa is associated with al-Birr (ri