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Posted By Topic: Fadhl Ilm-us-Salaf Alaa al-Khalaf - Ibn Rajab

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05-10-2009 @ 10:34 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu Abd Ar Rahman Abd Al Adheem Ibn Faheem ibn Zia ibn Ma'een (KSA/ Bangalore, India)
Posts: 305
Joined: Nov 2002

فضل علم السلف على الخلف

Excellence Of The Knowledge Of The Salaf Over & Above The Khalaf

Introduction:- This is one of the most beneficial of risaalah that Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee rahimahullah has authored that clearly explains the Fadhl of the knowledge of Salaf-us-Salih radhiAllahu Anhum over and above the knowledge of the khalaf. Despite the statements of the Salaf being precise and brief, yet they were abundant and overflowing in ilm but in contrast the khalaf had numerous statements and vast explanations in order to encompass these brief statements. So this is the case of those who are rightly guided from the khalaf then how about those who have deviated from the khalaf? whether in Usool or furoo', in tafseer or shurooh, Aqeedah or fiqh etc. This article removes the doubt that vast writings, authoring of several books from the khalaf does not mean that they were more knowledgeable than the salaf even if the salaf had precise points or statements.

I could not find any thahqeeq/taaleeq for this risalah. If anyone comes across please post it here. Jazakum Allahu Khairan.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
قال المؤلف رحمه الله رب العالمين وصلى الله على محمد وآله وصحبه أجمعين وسلم تسليما كثيراً.
معنى العلم
أما بعد فهذه كلمات مختصرة في معنى العلم وانقسامه إلى علم نافع. وعلم غير نافع. والتنبيه على فضل علم السلف على علم الخلف فنقول وبالله المستعان ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله.
قد ذكر الله تعالى في كتابه العلم تارة في مقام المدح وهو العلم النافع. وتارة في مقام الذم وهو العلم الذي لا ينفع. فأما الأول فمثل قوله تعالى {قُل هَل يَستَوي الَّذينَ يَعلَمونَ وَالَّذينَ لا يَعلَمون}
وقوله {شَهِدَ اللَهُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلّا هُوَ وَالمَلائِكَة وَأُولوا العِلمَ قائِماً بِالقِسط} وقوله {وَقُل رَبِّ زِدني عِلماً}
وقوله {إِنَّما يَخشى اللَهَ مِن عِبادِهِ العُلَماءُ}
وما قص سبحانه من قصة آدم وتعليمه الأسماء. وعرضهم على الملائكة وقولهم {سُبحانَكَ لا عِلمَ لَنا إِلّا ما عَلَّمتَنا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ العَليمُ الحَكيم}.
وما قصه سبحانه وتعالى من قصة موسى عليه السلام وقوله للخضر {هَل أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلى أَن تُعَلِمَني مِمّا عُلِّمتَ رُشدا} فهذا هو العلم النافع .

In the name of Allaah, the Most-Beneficient & The Most-Merciful
The author rahimahullah said, Rabb of Aalamen, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), his progeny and all his companions, upon them be abundant blessings.


To proceed, following are some summarized words relating to the meaning of al-Ilm and its types ~  

  • Knowledge that benefits and
  • Knowledge that does not benefit

And to forewarn (about the fact) of excellence of the ilm of the Salaf over and above the Khalaf. So we say, with Allah is all Help, and there is no might nor power except with Allah.

Allaah the-Most High has discussed in His Book (regarding) al-Ilm, at times (with description of) praiseworthy status is the ıKnowledge that benefitsı. And other times (with description of)  blameworthy status and it is the ıKnowledge that does not benefitı.

And as for the former type then (from the) likes of Allah the-Most Highıs saying:

Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" (Az-Zumar 39:9)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

Allıh bears witness that Lı ilıha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice. Lı ilıh illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Aali Imran 3:18)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

And say: "My Lord! increase me in knowledge." (Ta-Ha 20:114)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allıh. Verily, Allıh is AllıMighty, OftıForgiving. (Fatir 35:28)

From that which He (Allaah), (Who Is) free from all imperfections has narrated about the story of Aıdam and his learning of asmaa  [Allaah has said: And He taught Adam all the names (of everything) , then He showed them to the angels and said, "Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful." (Al-Baqarah 2:31)] and He showed them to the angels ( and questioned them) and their response was ı

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

They (angels) said: "Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise." (Al-Baqarah 2:32)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

Mısa (Moses) said to him (Khidr) "May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allıh)?" (Al-Kahf 18:66)

And this verily is the Knowledge that benefits.

وقد أخبر عن قوم أنهم أوتوا علماً ولم ينفعهم علمهم. فهذا علم نافع في نفسه لكن صاحبه لم ينتفع به. قال تعالى {مَثَلُ الَّذينَ حُمِّلوا التَوراةَ ثُمَّ لَم يَحمِلوها كَمَثَلِ الحِمارِ يَحمِلُ أَسفارا} وقال {وَاِتلُ عَلَيهِم نَبَأَ الَّذي آتَيناهُ آياتِنا فَاِنسَلَخَ مِنها فَأَتبَعَهُ الشَيطانُ فَكانَ مِنَ الغاوينَ وَلَو شِئنا لَرَفَعناهُ بِها وَلَكِنَّهُ أَخلَدَ إِلى الأَرضِ وَإِتَّبَعَ هَواهُ} وقال تعالى {فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعدَهُم خَلفَ وَرِثوا الكِتابَ يَأخُذونَ عَرَضَ هذا الأَدنى وَيَقولونَ سَيُغفَرُ لَنا وَإِن يَأتِهِم عَرَضٌ مِثلُهُ يَأخُذوهُ أَلَم يُؤخَذ عَلَيهِم ميثاقُ الكِتابِ أَلّا يَقولوا عَلى اللَهِ إِلّا الحَقَّ وَدَرَسوا ما فيهِ وَالدارُ الآخِرَةُ خَيرٌ لِلَّذينَ يَتَّقون} الآية وقال {وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَهُ عَلى عِلمٍ} على تأويل من تأول الآية على علم عند من أضله الله.
وأما العلم الذي ذكره الله تعالى على جهة الذم له. فقوله في السحر {وَيَتَعَلَّمونَ ما يَضُرُّهُم وَلا يَنفَعُهُم وَلَقَد عَلِموا لَمَنِ اِشتَراهُ مالَهُ في الآخِرَةِ مِن خَلاقٍ} وقوله {فَلَمّا جاءَتهُم رُسُلُهُم بِالبَيِّناتِ فَرِحوا بِما عِندَهُم مِنَ العِلمِ وَحاقَ بِهِم ما كانوا بِهِ يَستَهزِئون}
وقوله تعالى {يَعلَمونَ ظاهِراً مِنَ الحَياةِ الدُنيا وَهُم عَن الآخِرَةِ هُم غافِلون}.

And He informed us of the nation to whom Knowledge had been bestowed upon but they did not benefit from their knowledge. And this verily, is beneficial knowledge in and itself , however those who were granted it did not benefit from it.

Allah has said:

The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurıt (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its legal laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayıt (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allıh. And Allıh guides not the people who are Zılimın (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers, etc.). (Al-Jumu'ah 62:5)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

And recite (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayıt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but he threw them away, so Shaitın (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. (Al-A'raf 7:175)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation, which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life (evil pleasures of this world) saying (as an excuse): "(Everything) will be forgiven to us." And if (again) the offer of the like (evil pleasures of this world) came their way, they would (again) seize them (would commit those sins). Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allıh anything but the truth? And they have studied what is in it (the Book). And the home of the Hereafter is better for those who are Al-Muttaqın (the pious - see V.2:2). Do not you then understand? (Al-A'raf 7:169)

And the Saying of Allaah, the Most-High:

Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilıh (god), and Allıh knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allıh? Will you not then remember? (Al-Jathiyah 45:23)
ı [The possessor of the ilm (granted by Allah which is beneficial on its own) was lead astray by Allaah (and he did not benefit from the ilm that was granted to him hence it did not save him from going astray)]

And that which has been mentioned by Allaah regarding a knowledge that is blameworthy (on its own whose seeker and possessor is condemned) , it is His Saying about Magic:

...but the Shayıtin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Hırıt and Mırıt, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, "We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us)." And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allıh's Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their ownselves, if they but knew. (Al-Baqarah 2:102)

And His Saying:

Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad (and proud) with that which they had of the knowledge (of worldly things): And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them (i.e. the punishment). (Ghafir 40:83)

~ To Be Continued Insha'Allaah!

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