Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio:
From his Tariq`al Jannah
(Path of Paradise)


“I say and success is from Allah, my brothers first it is obligatory upon you to seek knowledge. This is due to the fact that all things are dependent upon knowledge. Realize that knowledge (al-`ilm) and worship (al-`ibâda) are two essential fundamentals. It is due to knowledge and worship that the heavenly books were revealed and the Messengers were sent. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the servant to possess some share of each of these two important matters. However, sound worship (al`ibâda) can never occur except by means of knowledge (al-`ilm).

It is for this reason that it is necessary to give beneficial knowledge (al-`ilm an-nâfi`) preference over worship. After this you must know that anyone who seeks knowledge in order to turn the faces of people towards him, then his trade has become unprofitable. Therefore, purify your hearts from hatred (ghillin), envy (hasad), pride (kibr), showing-off (riya‘), conceit (`ujub), and love for this world (hubb ad-dunya); this is in order that you can truly gain beneficial knowledge.

O brothers - Verily the knowledge which is obligatory upon
every Muslim to seek after are three:

[1] the science of divine unity (`ilm at tawhîd);
[2] the science of the law (`ilm ash-shari`a); and
[3] the science of secrets (`ilm as-sirr).

What we mean by the science of secrets are those sciences which relate to the heart and its spiritual endeavors. We will, if Allah desires, clarify what is obligatory to know from each of these sciences.

The obligations which are incumbent upon you from the science of tawhîd is to know as much as is necessary to help you understand the foundations of the deen (usûl ad-dîn). However, the knowledge of the branches of tawhîd and its minute details are not obligatory upon you to know.

The obligations which are required for you to perform are thus incumbent upon you to know. This is in order that you may accomplish them properly. These obligations include purification (tahâra), fasting (sawm), and prayer (salât). As for as pilgrimage (hajj), the poor-due (zakât), and struggle (jihâd) are concerned - these sciences are only incumbent upon you to know at the time they become obligatory for you to perform. Again, this is in order to accomplish them properly.
However, when they are not obligatory upon you to perform, then
knowing them is also not obligatory.

The knowledges which are obligatory upon you to know from the science of secrets are those knowledges which are obligatory (wajab) upon the heart and those which are forbidden (nuhiya) for it - in order to acquire esteem for Allah, sincerity, sound intention, and the soundness of action. In general, it is this knowledge which will be discussed in this abridged book.

This is the delineation of what is incumbent upon the servant to acquire from knowledge. There are many who can aquire all that is obligatory upon them from knowledge in a short time, while others continuously waver in that for more than seventy years.

So realize that the whole matter of seeking knowledge is in the hands of Allah `izza wa jalla.


[Reference: tariqulislam and Saifulhaqq group]


    < Regarding Our Supports on the Sufi Way Ahmad Ibn `Ajiba >
    < On Our Passing to Esoteric Knowledge Ahmad Ibn `Ajiba >
    < On The States And Trials On The Way To Deliverance Ahmad Ibn `Ajiba >
    < On The Praiseworthy Science of Knowing God Imam Al-Ghazali >
    < From his Tariq-al Jannah Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio >





from: Sat, Oct 16, 2004
upd.: Sun, Sep 4, 2005

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