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Shaykhu al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah  said:

 “And such as the People of Knowledge who memorize for the Ummah the Kitaab and the Sunnah physically and metaphorically; despite the fact that memorizing it is a collective Waajib on the Ummah based on sufficiency, and of it is what is individually waajib on them all, and that is the Waajib Al-Ayn which is obligatory upon every Muslim on a personal basis.

 But, generally, all of it is individually and collectively obligatory upon the people of Ilm who became masters of it and were blessed with its knowledge. it is more obligatory on them than on others because it was originally a collective responsibility but became an individual responsibility on them because of their own capability and the weakness of other than them.

 It is a part of their capability their intellects and their distance in the seeking of it. This is why it is firmly established in the Sunnah that begining in the path of seeking Ilm and Jihaad makes it waajib to continue its seeking…”

Majmu’u Al-Fataawah 28/186-187
Brothers and Sisters! Knowledge-seeking can be divided into what is Fard Ayn (Individual Responsibility) and what is Fard Kifaayah (Collective Responsibility). That which is Fard Ayn includes a knowledge of those aspects of the Din which a Muslim must observe day to day such as a knowledge of Salaat, Wudu, fasting, inter-relations with fellow humans, etc.

Whereas the knowledge whose seeking is Fard Kifaayah is that which is sought for the purpose of general benefit such as the intricacies of the Sciences of Lugga, Hadith, Ulum Qur’an, Usul, etc.
However, what Shaykh Al-Islam is saying above is that there are times in which Fard Kifaayah ilm becomes Fard Ayn and that is if one or more of these 4 things happen:

1. If one has already began seeking the knowledge, it is obligatory that he continues to seek it on behalf of the Ummah (Majmu’ al-Fataawa 28/186)

2. If it becomes known his exceptional intellect and capability in seeking for it. (majmu’ Al-Fataawa 28/186)

3. If nobody in his vicinity rises up to seeking for it in his vicinity except for him, it becomes his Shar’i responsibility. (Majmu’ Al-Fataawa 28/82)

4. If he is been looked upon and/or sponsored from the Muslim Treasury or from an Individual Muslim’s treasury to learn the Din. (Majmu’ Al-Fataawa 28/176-187)

That said, let each and every one of us look towards himself and know what is obligatory upon him to know of his Deen. Allaahu A’lam


Islamnode is a platform for the dissemination of sound Knowledge of Islam and an orientation of Muslims of the Sciences of the Din in accordance with the Pristine Knowledge taught by the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – to the Companions – Ridwanullah ‘Alayhim – and understood by them, their Students and those who followed them of the earliest generations. We follow the Sunnah of the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – and promote the Works of the Ulama of Sunnah from the first generation to date. Our goal is to propagate the Sciences of Islam, to disseminate the sound understanding of the Salaf and to enable the sound education of Muslims in this era.

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