“I do not feel I have benefited” from seeking knowledge

Reference: al-Wisaayaa al-Jaliyyah lil-Istifaadah min ad-Duroos al-‘Ilmiyyah

Question: I sought knowledge for a number of years, and despite that, I have not retained any of the information, and nor do I feel I have benefited; So what do you advise me with? [and] may Allaah reward you with good.

Response: Do not say “I do not feel I have benefited”; Because [the act of] seeking knowledge is in itself [an act of] worship.

And that which is intended by seeking knowledge, is for the servant [of Allaah to seek] the Pleasure of Allaah – Jalla wa ‘Alaa [by doing so].

And [as] you [all] know [the story of] the man who came repenting [to Allaah]:

«…the angel of death came to him; So the angels of mercy and the angels of wrath began to argue over him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He had repented and was seeking Allaah.’ The angels of wrath said: ‘He never did any good thing.’ [Then] an angel in the form of a human came to them, and they asked him to decide the matter. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands (his home town and the town he was headed towards), and whichever of the two he is closest to, is the one to which he belongs.’ So they measured the distance, and found that he was closer to the town for which he had been headed towards, so the angels of mercy took him.», [Saheeh Muslim 7008]

So this repenting man was forgiven; Because his act [of heading towards the land of good] was taken into consideration. So the act of the student of knowledge is [an act of] worship, just like the act of this repentant man, making hijrah to the land of good.

So, [know that] seeking knowledge is better for you, than [simply engaging in] voluntary prayers, or some of the [other] voluntary acts of worship. [What] is imperative [however, is that you maintain a pure and] truthful intention.

In addition, the benefit [of seeking knowledge] is split/divided, and what is not intended [when embarking upon the path in search of knowledge] is either to be a scholar, nor [is it that you should] not be a student of knowledge!

Rather, that which is intended from your [act of] seeking knowledge, is that:
i) You remove ignorance from yourself, and

ii) You [subsequently] worship Allaah – Jalla wa ‘Alaa – with [sound and] authentic acts of worship, and

iii) Your ‘aqeedah is sound and correct, and

iv) You draw near to Allaah – Jalla wa ‘Alaa, and

v) You are free of any doubts and suspicions, and

vi) You are free of any love or desire for fame.

Allaah – Jalla wa ‘Alaa – said:

{The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, Except him who comes to Allaah with a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaaq (hypocrisy)}, [Soorah ash-Shu’araa, Aayahs 88-89]

…and Allaah – Jalla wa ‘Alaa – said:

{Verily, as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost}, [Soorah al-Kahf, Aayah 30]

And even if none except yourself and your family benefited [from your act of seeking knowledge], then, therein is a major benefit.


لا تقلْ : لم أشعر بالفائدةِ

المرجع: الوصايا الجليّة للاستفادة من الدروس العلميّة للشيخ صالح آل الشيخ

السؤال: طلبتُ العلمَ عدة سنواتٍ ومع ذلك لا تثبتُ لديَّ المعلوماتُ ولا أشعرُ بالفائدة ، فبماذا تنصحونني ؟ جزاكم الله خيرًا.

الحواب: لا تقلْ : لم أشعر بالفائدةِ ؛ لأن طالبَ العلم في عبادةٍ.

والمقصودُ من طلب العلمِ رضاءُ اللهِ – جلَّ وعلا – على العبدِ.

وتعلمون الرجلَ الذي جاء تائبًا وقد « أتاهُ مَلَكُ الموتِ فاختصمتْ فيه ملائكةُ الرحمةِ وملائكةُ العذابِ ، فقالت ملائكةُ الرحمة : جاء تائبًا مُقْبِلاً بقلبه إلى الله تعالى ، وقالت ملائكةُ العذابِ : إنه لم يعملْ خيرًا قطُّ. فأتاهم مَلَكٌ في صورة آدَمِيٍّ فجعلوه بينهم – أي : حكمًا – فقال : قيسوا ما بين الأرضَيْنِ فإلى أيتهما كان أدنى فهو له ، فقاسوا فوَجدوه أدنى إلى الأرضِ التي أراد ، فقبضَتْهُ ملائكةُ الرحمة » صحيح مسلم برقم 7008.

غُفر لهذا الرجلِ التائبِ ؛ لأن حركته حُسبت له ، فحركةُ طالب العلم في العلم عبادةٌ ، كحركةِ التائبِ المهاجر إلى أرضِ الخير.

وطلبُ العلم خيرٌ لك من نوافل الصلاة ، أو من بعض نوافل العبادات . ولا بدّ من النية الصادقة .. ثم الفائدةُ متبعِّضَةٌ ، وليس المقصودُ إما أن تكونَ عالمًا ، وإما أن لا تكونَ طالبَ علمٍ أصلاً.

إنما المقصودُ من طلبك للعلم أن ترفعَ الجهلَ عن نفسِك ، وأن تعبدَ الله – جلَّ وعلا – بعباداتٍ صحيحةٍ ، وأن تكون عقيدتُك صالحةً ، وأن تُقْبِلَ على الله – جلَّ وعلا – وأنت سليمٌ من الشبهة ، سليمٌ من حبِّ الشهرة.

قال الله – جلَّ وعلا :

{ يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ } { إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ } – سورة الشعراء/88-89

وقال – جل جلاله :

{ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا } – سورة الكهف/30

ولو لم تنفعْ إلاَّ نفسَك وعيالَك لكان في هذا خيرٌ كبير.


He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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