Question Posed To Shaykh Ubayd al-Jaabiree (may Allaah preserve him):
Some of the youth say, “Get to know the Mashaayikh so that they can know you by name, so that when you return to your land they (the Mashaayikh) can praise you”. What is your advice (regarding this)? May Allaah bless you.
There’s no harm in this, rather I see it as being good, i.e.: that the Mashaayikh know those who have been cultivated in their presence upon knowledge, understanding of the religion and good disposition. He should introduce himself to them because many from amongst the people are not known. This, in reality, is in accordance to the amount, few or many. Sometimes the amount of people (in the presence of the Shaykh) reach the hundreds, therefore making it difficult upon the Shaykh to get to know them (specifically). And it can be difficult upon them to introduce themselves to the Shaykh. It’s a must that there be a go between, from those who are noble, from his noble colleagues that can introduce them to the Mashaayikh. Even to the point where the student of knowledge needs a Tazkiyyah, they ( the Mashaayikh) give him one. They give him a Tazkiyyah in his knowledge, his Aqeedah and his Manhaj. Therefore, this will be a means of helping him with his people, to draw near to him (in order to benefit from him). That is because the one who has been praised, there is no doubt that (his situation as it relates to dawah) is better than the one who hasn’t been praised. However, it is not a condition that a student who calls to Allah has to be praised (by the Mashaayikh in order for him to call). However if this takes place, this is good.
Shaykh Abdullaah al-Bukhaari added to the speech of the Noble Shaykh Ubayd (may Allaah preserve them both). After starting with Allah’s name and sending the Salaah and Salaam upon the Prophet, he stated:
There’s nothing to add to the answer that the Shaykh gave to the question. However, I would like to make note of something based upon what I understand from the questioner. The reason for the student getting to know the Shaykh is in order that he can be praised. It’s obligatory upon the student of knowledge to be sincere for the sake of Allaah in his seeking of knowledge. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned, as has come in the narration of Muslim,:
((Indeed Allaah loves the servant that is pious, easy going and pure.))
So the person does that which will bring him close to Allah (subhaanallah wa ta’alaa) this is the affair, if that occurs and he is a sincere, serious student regarding his seeking of knowledge and if (the matter) becomes easy that the people of knowledge and the mashaaiyakh comes to know of him, then there is no problem with that as the Shaykh [Ubaid] mentioned in his answer may Allah give him success, as for this one making it his goal, [seeking] to flatter/appease in order to be known, and in order for it to be said that so and so (is known by the Ulamaa) and [at the same time] he himself is not suitable (to receive) the tazkiyyah (recommendation) of the shaykh, he is not qualified to teach, this one his harm is greater than his benefit, therefore it is must on the individual who his condition is such that he renew and correct his intention and make it sincerely for the face of Allah.
As Al-Haafidh ibn Rajab said:
Whoever observes taqwaa and obedience with Allah in his state of well-being then Allah will be gentle with him during his times of difficulty.
So make your intention purely for Allah in seeking knowledge, if it becomes easy that the people of knowledge know you for having knowledge or they come to know of you for being upright, and if they come to know you for your diligence and consistency in seeking knowledge and you distancing yourself from the people of desires and doubts, all praise is for Allah that would be good which is combined with the good that’s with you, we ask Allah that he gives everyone the success and correctness [in speech and action].
Translated by: Abu Yusuf Khaleefah and Abu Muhammad al-Jamaiky
6th of Dhul-Qi’dah 1435 (1st of September 2014)
Masjid Ahlil-Hadeeth, Philadelphia, PA