Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 1 of Bayyinah Dream | Etiquettes of the Student of Knowledge

By the grace of Allah Bayyinah Dream kicked off its first day of classes on Monday, September 20, 2010. 61 students from all over the United States have gathered to utilize these next 10 months in establishing a link with the book of Allah by deeply studying Arabic, tajweed, and other fundamental principles of learning the Qur’an.

The day began with Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan congratulating all of the students who had made it to the Bayyinah campus to study Arabic for the next 10 months. He then went on to introduce all of the instructors at the program. There were those whom everyone was familiar with and those who were new to the Bayyinah student body. None the less, it was heavily emphasized that all of these teachers need to be shown respect at all times.

A point which Ustadh Wisam made to us is that it is not from the etiquettes of studying knowledge to think of your teacher as your best friend. Many of the students coming to this program have been very free with the instructors when interacting with them. We need to understand that when we are studying knowledge our relationship with our teachers MUST be one of a student and teacher. It is the only way knowledge will come to us.

Imam Shafi said, "I would be careful in the turning of the pages of my book hence to not disturb my teacher, Imam Malik." Imam Shafi'i was afraid to drink water in front of Imam Malik because of the position of his head going higher then Imam Ahmed was not considered appropriate to him. This gives us a short glimpse of how our pious predecessors used to be around their teachers. We may not deal with our teacher perhaps in this way, but it definitely gives us some insight as to what direction we should be headed towards.

Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda began the first session with the etiquettes of the student of knowledge. Though some of the instructors also touched on the subject as well, Shaykh Abdul Nasir gave a whole session on it. Here are some gems from what he explained to all of us:

  1. Intention

a. Those who are studying knowledge need to understand the big struggle they will have. Numerous ahadith tell us that Hell will be the place for a person who studied knowledge for any other reason outside of coming closer to Allah. The first person to be thrown into hell will be the one who studied Islam just to be called “one who has knowledge” by the people around him.

b. People will always want to be in your place; hence appreciate it. Studying knowledge is a true blessing of Allah.

c. Know why you are here. You have spent your money and time to make it to this school to study. It is only correct to spend every minute in the service of learning and getting closer to Allah while you are studying full time.

d. Maintaining one’s sincerity can become the biggest challenge after studying due to people over-praising you when you left to study.

e. Imam Abu Hanifah used to say, “Whoever seeks knowledge in order to better his akhirah, then he has received the blessing of true knowledge. And the one who seeks knowledge to tell others that he is better than them, they will not gain any benefit from the knowledge and they are of the losers.

i. Our outcome of studying must be to get closer to Allah.

f. The reason we are studying is because we want to go to Jannah. That’s it!

2. Etiquette

a. How do you conduct and carry yourself?

i. Realize who you are and that you will represent knowledge.

ii. The author of al-Hidayah (a book of Hanafi fiqh) said, “One of the greatest forms of corruption is a scholar who is ill-mannered. But that which is worse is an ignorant person who tries to practice the deen. Yet both of these people end up becoming a test and trial for the masses.”

iii. Imam Abu Hanifah used to tell his students to dress nicely and look educated. - - This is so the masses will not take lightly what students of knowledge have to offer.

b. Ali (R) said knowledge is not achieved except through 6 things:

1. Applied Intellect

- Don’t sit in class on cruise control, always hit the pedal to the metal. Take in everything which the teacher asys.

2. Obsession of Knowledge

- Absorb everything. Make knowledge your number one passion.

3. Be Responsible

- Plan ahead and have everything you need.

a. Housing, laundry, pens, pencils. This shows the commitment you have to knowledge.

b. It’s not worth missing notes because you forgot your pencil or paper.

4. Direction from a Teacher

- You’ll be doing the heavy lifting, but you need the personal trainer to help you go in the right direction.

5. Have an extended period of time

- You need to put time aside to study.

- It doesn’t come without sacrifice.

- A hadith’s status is determined by the person who narrated and how much time he spent with his teacher.

- Until you dedicate yourself fully to knowledge will you gain it. And when you start gaining it you’ll only get a little at a time.

3. Good Companionship

i. Chose someone who carries themselves with respect and are particular with their deen.

- Find people who have abstinent lifestyles. Though they may be allowed to do some acts, because they are studying knowledge they will refrain.

a. Though it is okay to hang out in a mall, it is not proper for the student of knowledge to hang out in a mall when he should be dedicating himself to studying knowledge.

ii. Someone who is emotionally stable

- Find someone who isn’t mad, sad, etc all the time. Look for the person whose emotions don’t go up and down in every situation.

- Find someone who is intelligent and always studies outside of class time.

b. Types of people to avoid

i. Run away from someone who is lazy

- Laziness is the poison of the talib al-‘ilm

- The Prophet (SAW) used to ask Allah for refuge from laziness everyday.

ii. Avoid negligent people

iii. People who talk a lot

- Find someone who only speaks that which is good. Look for someone who only opens his mouth to benefit others.

iv. People who always cause trouble

- Self explanatory.

v. Someone who instigates problems between people.

Please leave your comments below and let us know what you would like to hear about! We will be updating at minimum once a week, inshaAllah.

Let us know what you think below. Jazakam Allahu Khayr!


  1. Please post a brief synopsis of what you are learning daily in terms of Arabic.

  2. I think there's a mistake in this sentence:

    "Imam Malik was afraid to drink water in front of Imam Malik because of the position of his head going higher then Imam Ahmed was not considered appropriate to him."

    I think you have to correct it inshaAllah.

    Also, it would be interesting to see a post from a sister who really didn't think she would go to Dream because her parents are "over-protective" and don't approve of sisters going to live by themselves. I would be really interested in hearing her story and how she got there. =)

  3. This was really great, Nihal. JazaakumAllahu Khayran. It really got me motivated to begin studying seriously once more.

  4. Asalamualaikum Nihal, awesome stuff bro. Try to update the blog with posts frequently and consistently as possible, inshaAllah

    May Allah protect you all from arrogance and keep you humble. Ameen

  5. @bint_Habibullah

    Jazakillahu khair. Will fix it.

    InshaAllah we'll find someone of that background. Thank you for your suggestions!

    @Mahad and Arif

    Jazakam allahu khayr!

  6. Assalamu alaikum

    Same here!! What about the sisters who can't find a mahram to accompany them?

    Very awesome notes, masha'allah!

  7. Look at you, already earning reward from what you're learning, mashaAllah.

    Jazak Allah Khair, keep 'em coming bro

  8. MashaAllah Nihal! After seeing the beautiful pictures of the campus, I'd been craving a post from you about the experience.

    Can't wait to see more stuff. InshaAllah I hope that this blog will be a consistent way to keep you (and the other students) on the track of teaching others, even as you're learning.

    Personally, I would also like to see some samples of what topics you're learning (but I don't think you could do a daily post on all the Arabic stuff you're learning...).

    May Allah bless this journey of yours (and all the students) and keep you all as humble students of knowledge inshaAllah.