Shaykh Al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimullah) says,
“It is obligatory upon the students of knowledge that he should have a complete concern for ‘ilm by taking from its principals in which there is no success for the student of knowledge if he does not begin with it. And they are:
a.) The Noble Qur’aan: It is obligatory upon the student of knowledge to have the desire to read, memorize, understand and act upon it (i.e. the Qur’aan). Because the Qur’aan is the rope of Allah which is everlasting. It is the foundation of knowledge. And the Salaf use to desire [the Qur’aan] with the utmost desire. There are some amazing incidents that are mentioned that relate their concerns for the Qur’aan. You find one of them who memorized the Qur’aan while he was only seven years of age; while some others memorized it is less than a month. And this proofs the concerns that the salaf used to have for the Qur’aan May Allah be pleased with them all. So it is necessary that the students of knowledge should have desire for memorizing it in the hands of the one of the teachers, because the Qur’aan is obtained by a way of meeting [with the teachers].
And indeed it is with regret that you will find some students of knowledge that do not memorize the Qur’aan rather some of them cannot even recite it properly. And this is a big deficiency in the manhaj (methodology) of the students of knowledge. For this reason, I reiterate that it is necessary that the students of knowledge have concerns/desire to memorize the Qur’aan, to act upon it, to call to it, while having the understanding of the salaf-us-Saalih.
b.) The Authentic Sunnah: It is the second source in the Islamic Sharee’ah [besides the Qur’aan]. It is to the Noble Qur’aan a clarifier/explainer. So, it is mandatory on the students of knowledge to combine both of them (i.e. the Qur’aan and the Sûnnah) and to have desire for them as well. And it is upon the students of knowledge to memorize the Sûnnah, [it is done] by memorizing actual texts of the hadith or by studying its chains of narrators, its text and by differentiating the strong [hadith] from the weak [hadith]. Likewise, memorizing the Sûnnah is a way of defending as well as refuting the doubts of the people of innovation. Therefore, it is mandatory upon the students of knowledge that they must comply with the Qur’aan and the authentic Sûnnah…and they are/become for him, meaning the students of knowledge, like the two wings of an airplane. If one of them breaks he is not able to fly. For this reason, don’t maintain the Sûnnah while neglecting the Qur’aan or that you maintain the Qur’aan while neglecting the Sûnnah…Most of the students of knowledge devote their attention to the Sûnnah and it’s explanation, its men, its terminologies with complete devotion. However, if you were to ask [one of them] a verse from the Book of Allah, you will observe that he is ignorant concerning it. And this is a big mistake. It is necessary that the Qur’aan and the Sûnnah should be two wings for you O students of knowledge….” [end of qoute]
I hope everyone benefits from the statements of Shayk Al-‘Uthaymeen (Rahimullah). Indeed, memorizing the Qur’aan has great virtues both in this dunyaa and akhirah. Also, I advice all the students of knowledge to obtian this book which has a lot of beneficial statements from the Shayk concerning students of knowlledge.
Kitaabul-‘ilm (Pg. 43-45)
by Shayk Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimullahi ta’alaa)
Translator: Abu Zayd