بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


As students of knowledge, one of the more important tasks we are faced with throughout our studies is the time when we need to hand in drafts, prepare for exams and also do our tests and exams.

The following 16 points of advice for students by Our Shaikh Al-Shinqeeti lays the foundation, and profoundly clarifies the best way forward, whether you are studying Islamic Studies or whether you are studying another subject, this will help boost you forward, in sha Allah.

The First Advice

وصايا لطلاب العلم
تقوى الله :
من اتقى الله جعل له من كل هم فرجا، ومن كل ضيق مخرجا، أصلح له أمور دينه ودنياه،
وانتهت أموره إلى خير ، وما خرج الإنسان بشيء أحب إلى الله ولا أكرم عليه من تقواه –
سبحانه- ؛ لأنها قائمة على أساس الدين ، وهو إخلاص العمل لله .
قال تعالى:

Having taqwah (piety and righteousness) of Allāh: Whosoever has taqwah of Allah, He (Allah) will relieve him of every distress and provide an exit from every hardship he encounters. He will rectify for him his religion and his worldly affairs, and all of his affairs will result in good.

There is nothing a person can do that is more beloved to Allah than having taqwah in Him (Glory be to Him) because the foundations of the religion are built upon this taqwah and this is being sincere in actions for the sake of Allah.

Allah said:

“And take a provision for indeed the best provision is at-Taqwa”.

The Second Advice

إخلاص العمل لوجه الله، وا ا ردة ما عند الله ، فإن الله يأجر الإنسان على قدر نيته ، فلا يغلب
طالب العلم نية الدنيا على الآخرة . والعلم لا ي ا رد للدنيا، وانما ي ا رد لوجه الله، فيخلص الإنسان لوجه الله وما ينال من فضل الدنيا
يجعله تبعاً لا أساس ا .

Making actions sincerely for the face of Allah, and desiring that which is with Allah, for indeed Allah rewards a person according to the degree of his intention. Therefore, the student of knowledge should never allow his inclination for this world to overcome that of the hereafter. Knowledge is not acquired for this world, rather it is acquired seeking the face of Allah, so the person should seek the face of Allah with sincerity. He should make whatever he obtains from the bounties of this world secondary and not his ultimate goal.

The Third Advice

التوكل على الله :

فلا تعتمد على ذكائك ولا على حفظك وتيسير مدرسك ولكن توكل على الله . فإن الله قادر على
أن يترك الإنسان وهو على أكمل ما يكون من الذكاء والحفظ حتى يدخل إلى اختباره فينسيه
جميع ما حفظ ، وربما يبتليه بمرض فيصبح في شتات من أمره لا يستطيع أن يبلغ ما يريد ،
فنحن تحت رحمة الله .
)أصلح لي شأني كله ، ولا تكلني إلى نفسي طرفة عين(
أيام الاختبا ا رت أيام صعبة ، وفيها هموم وغموم ، فالإنسان يذهب هذه الهموم والغموم بالتوكل
على الله وحسن الظن به .

Putting your trust in Allah:

Allāh said: “And put your trust in the Ever Living One Who dies not, and glorify His Praises…”

So you should not depend on your intellect, nor on your memorisation or the proficient teaching style of your teacher, rather put your trust in Allah. Indeed Allah is able to leave a person whilst he is on the highest of platforms pertaining to intelligence and memory to such an extent that when he enters the exam, he forgets what he has memorised in its entirety. It is also possible that He could afflict him with an illness preventing him from reaching that which he intends for. So we must understand that we are under the mercy of Allah.

The Prophet (pbuh) used to say in an invocation: “Rectify for me all of my affairs and do not place me in charge of my soul even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment)”.

The days of exams are difficult; in it is grief and sadness, so a person can remove these by placing his trust in Allah and always having good thoughts about Him.

The Fourth Advice

الت ا رحم بين طلاب العلم والبعد عن الأنانية والبخل بالخير على الإخوان:
فإن احتاج أخوك إلى شرح مسألة أو كتاب أو ملخص فأعطه ، واياك وما يسوله الشيطان
ويقول: هذا مهمل وهذا متكاسل ، لا ، من الآن تعود على الإيثار ، فلربما كانت عنده ظروف
أو كانت عنده أمور ، أعطه ملخصك وانصحه .
فلذلك لا ينبغي للإنسان أن يبخل على الناس ، وطالب العلم الذي يبخل اليوم سيبخل غداً، والله
في عون العبد ما كان العبد في عون أخيه ، والعلم رحم بين أهله . إذا وجدت الإنسان حريصا على حب الخير للناس، وطالبُ العلم من اليوم في مواطن الاختبا ا رت
ومواطن التنافس تجده سخي النفس، يبذل ويعطي ويعين تجده غدا أحرى بإمامة الناس، ودلالتهم
على الخير؛ لأنه عود نفسه على ما فيه خير دينه ودنياه وآخرته

Compassion between students of knowledge and staying away from selfishness and miserliness in regards to being good to fellow brothers.

So if your brother needs an explanation to an issue, a book, or a summary, give it to him.
And beware of the whisperings of shaytan for he may say, ‘This person is careless and this person is lazy’. No!

From now on, be of those who help, for maybe this person was busy or had certain commitments. Summarise for him and advise him. And it is for this reason that a person must not be miserly to the people. The student of knowledge who is miserly today, people will be miserly to him tomorrow.

Allah is in the assistance of the slave so long as the slave is in the assistance of his brother. And knowledge is a mercy between its people. Therefore you find that a person is always keen to love good for the people.

You will find that the student of knowledge who is generous at the time of exams and competition, doing one’s utmost to give and help, that tomorrow he will be most deserving to lead the people, guiding them to goodness. This is because he accustomed himself upon goodness in religious, worldly and hereafter affairs.

The Fifth Advice

البعد عن المحرمات كالغش في الاختبار:
لأن الغش في الاختبار كبيرة من الكبائر ولاشك ؛ )من غشنا فليس منا(
ولأنه يفضي إلى استباحة الأمور المحرمة ؛ لأن الإنسان ينال شهادة مزورة فهو ليس بأهل لهذه
الشهادة . بل قال بعض العلماء : يشتبه في رزقه إلا أن يتوب فيتوب الله عليه ، ولذلك ينظر فإن الإنسان
إذا نال الشهادة بالزور وبالغش- والعياذ بالله- محق الله أقل ما يكون، يمحق الله بركة ماله ،
ولذلك تجده يأخذ من المال الكثير وليست فيه بركة ، ولو تاب ؛ لتاب الله عليه ولكن يصلح من
حاله .

Staying away from sins like cheating in the exams: Because cheating, without doubt is a major sin. The Prophet (pbuh) said; “Whoever cheats us is not from us”.

This leads to many prohibited things because a person will obtain a false certificate whilst in reality he is not from its people. Some of the scholars have said that this puts his provisions in doubt until he repents to Allah so that he may be forgiven. It is for this reason that if a person obtains a certificate in this manner (and we seek refuge in Allah from this) Allah destroys the blessings in his wealth and therefore you find that he has a lot of wealth but there is no blessing in it. If he were to repent to Allah then Allah may forgive him but he must rectify himself from his current condition.

The Sixth Advice

تعظيم شعائر الله :
فإن الطلاب في الاختبا ا رت ربما يرمون الأو ا رق ، أو يقطعون أو ا رق المصاحف ، فينبغي
التناصح في هذا الأمر ، لا يجوز امتهان كتاب الله ، ولا تمزيق أو ا رق المصحف .
وكذلك لا يجوز امتهانها بوضعها في الطرقات والوطء عليها بالأقدام ، ولذلك يخشى على
الإنسان إذا رمى بورقة فاستخف بها فوطئ عليها أحد أن يكون عليه وزره ؛ لأنه هو السبب ،
والتسبب في الأشياء يوجب ضمانها وما نشأ عنها .

To exalt and magnify the symbols of Allah:

Verily, students during exam period may throw away papers or tear pages from the Quran. If this is so, then a sincere advice regarding this matter is needed. It is not permissible to mistreat the book of Allah, nor tear any pages from it.

It is also not permissible to mistreat the Quran by placing it on the paths lest people stand on them. For this reason it is feared for a person that if he throws a page away and it is trodden on, he will incur the burden upon himself as he was the cause behind it, and being the cause behind something necessitates its compensation and what arises from it.

The Seventh Advice

ليعتنِ الطالب بالحقوق الواجبة عليه، ومنها حقوق النفس:
فبعض الطلاب يسهر ويحمّل النفس ما لا تطيق، فتجده يسهر إلى ساعات متأخرة من الليل،
فربما تفوته صلاة الفجر، وكذلك أيضا ربما يصاب بمرض أو يضني جسمه، فقد قال-عليه
الصلاة والسلام- )إن المنبتّ لا ظه ا ر أبقى ولا أرضاً قطع(
“إن لنفسك عليك حق ا “. فطالب العلم المو فّق يجعل وقتاً لنومه، ووقتاً ل ا رحته، ووقتاً لاستجمامه،
ووقتاً لمذاكرته وم ا رجعته، فإذا أعطى النفس حقوقها؛ فإنها بإذن الله تستجيب له وتعينه على
الخير الذي يطلبه .

The student must take care of certain rights which are obligatory upon him, and from them are rights he must give to himself:

Some students stay up late in the night and burden themselves with that which they cannot bear. You find that they stay up late in the night and this possibly results in them missing the Fajr prayer, and also perhaps leads to an illness or the weakening of the body.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The one who has exhausted his animal whilst on a journey has no animal left to ride nor has he completed his journey”. “Indeed your body has a right over you”.

The student of knowledge who has been blessed makes time for sleep, time for rest, time for recreation, and time for study and revision. If he gives his body its rights, then it will, by the permission of Allah, respond to him and assist him in the good he seeks.

The Eighth Advice

المحافظة على ذكر الله :
الإنسان كلما عظم عليه الهم والغم ؛ جعل الله تفريج الهم والغم مقرونا بذكره ؛ فقال:
فوالله، لا ت ا زل القلوب في قلق وهم ونكد ونصب وتعب إلا إذا ذكرت ربها . من ذكر الله ؛ ذكره ، ومن ذكره الله فلا تخشى عليه الضيعة ، ولا تخشى عليه الفوات ، وهو
أمره إلى حسن العاقبة وحسن المآل

يقصر بعض الطلاب في الصلوات، فيتأخر عن الصلاة مع الجماعة، ولا يأتيها إلا عن دبر،
وكذلك أيضا ربما إذا فرغ من الصلاة قام على عجالة، فلا يذكر الله، ولا يحافظ على السنة،
بالعكس أشد ما تكون حاجة في مواطن الكرب .

Maintaining the remembrance of Allah: Whenever a person increases in distress and sadness, this distress and sadness is only removed by Allah according to his remembrance of Allah. Allah said;

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”.

By Allah, the hearts will remain in worry, distress, unhappiness, fatigue and exhaustion until it remembers its Lord. Whoever remembers Allah, Allah remembers him. The one who Allah remembers will never be lost, and he will have a good ending and the best abode. Allāh said:

“No doubt! Verily, the friends of Allah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed and used to fear Allah much”.

Some of the students become deficient in their prayers. They delay going to the congregation prayers and do not arrive except when it is in its final stage. They also hasten to leave immediately after the prayers, thus they do not remember Allah and do not preserve the Sunnah. On the contrary, they are in more need of this (preservation of Sunnah) in times of difficulty.

The Ninth Advice

بعد الاختبار : كن ا رضيا عن الله ، إن جاءت يسيرة فقل الحمد لله الفضل والمنة لله ، وان
جاءت عسيرة فقل الحمد لله ما شاء الله كان …، وهذه مهمة جدا ، فبعض الناس إذا نقص له
شيء في الاختبار أقام لها الدنيا وسب وشتم وسخط على القضاء والقدر . لربما أن الله علم أنك لو أخذت الامتياز لتضررت وأصابتك عين ؛ فكن ا رضيا .

After the exams: Always be pleased with Allah. If it was easy then say; ‘Glory be to Allah, for Him are all virtues and favours’. And if it was difficult then say; ‘Glory be to Allah, whatever Allah wills happens…’

This is very important because some people insult and become discontent with the decree of Allah if they fall short in their exams. It is possible that Allah decreed this because He knows that if you were to pass with the highest of grades, then this would have harmed you and you may have been afflicted with the evil eye, so always be content.

The Tenth Advice

يا طالب العلم .. الناس لا ينتظرون منك )ممتاز( ولا أن تكون من العشرة الأوائل ؛ بل ينتظرون
منك أمرين :
أ. دينك واستقامتك وما تنطوي عليه من الخلق والأدب الذي يترجم به إسلامك ، واذا وفقك الله
لهذا فأنت المقدم ولو كنت آخر القوم . ب. علمك وضبطك ؛ فلو جئت في آخر النتائج وأنت ضابط لما تقول فأنت المقدم وسيرفعك الله
ولو بعد حين
. فلا تجعل الدنيا أكبر همك ، بل احرص على الاستقامة والخلق والعلم والضبط .

O student of knowledge… The people are not expecting you to receive the highest grade nor are they expecting you to be from the top ten. Rather they are waiting upon two matters:

a) Your religion, steadfastness and that which it encompasses from good etiquettes and morals, that which your Islam is explained through. If Allah blesses you with this then you will be from the forefront even if it happened that you were last in your exams.

b) Your knowledge and precision.

If it happened that you got the lowest grade but you are precise in what you say then you will be at the front and Allah will raise you even if it is after some time.

So do not make this world your main concern. Rather strive in being steadfast and in having good etiquettes, knowledge and precision.

The Eleventh Advice

وصية للآباء
أوصي الآباء أن يتقوا الله في الأبناء والبنات ، فإن أيام الاختبار أيام عصيبة يكون فيها الطلاب
في هم وغم فينبغي الرفق بهم والتوسعة عليهم ، واعانتهم وتيسير الأمور لهم ، وتقوية صلتهم
بالله .
وينبغي القيام بالواجب والمسؤولية ، بعض الآباء لا يهمه أن يضبط ابنه العلم أو لا يضبطه ،
والله سائله عن ضبط ابنه للعلم ؛ لأن تعلم الابن ومعرفته بأمور دينه وما يتصل بها من الأمور
التي يحتاجها لحياته أمر مطلوب ،وهذا من النصح لولدك .

Advice to the fathers:

I advise the fathers to fear Allah in regards to their sons and daughters. Indeed the days of exams are difficult and the students may be in a state of distress and sadness so it is required from you to be gentle and lenient with them, to assist them, ease their affairs and strengthen their relationship with Allah.

You must fulfil what is obligatory upon you and fulfil your responsibilities. Some fathers do not give priority whether their children gain knowledge or not and Allah will question them regarding the precision of their sons knowledge.

This is because instilling religious cognisance in ones child about the affairs of his religion, including those that he requires for his life is desired. This is one of the forms of your sincerity to your child.

The Twelfth Advice

وصية للمعلمين
من ابتلاه الله بالتدريس : أسأل الله العظيم أن يشكر سعيكم ، وأن يعظم أجركم ، وأن يجزيكم
على أبناء المسلمين كل خير ، فنعم ما يصنعه المعلم من كلمات طيبة ،ولا يعلم مقدار ما يبذله
المعلم والموجه لمن يعلمه إلا الله . الرفق بالطلاب ، واحسان الظن بهم ، وعدم التشويش عليهم ، وعدم التضييق عليهم ؛ فإن النبي
صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : )اللهم من ولي من أمور أمتي شيئًا فرفق بهم فاللهم ارفق به ، ومن
ولي من أمور أمتي شيئًا فشق عليهم فاللهم اشقق عليه.(
بعض المدرسين يأتي بأسئلة تعجيزية ، وبعضهم يحاول أن يضيق على الطلاب ، وكأن
الاختبار شيءٌ من المنافسة والأذية والإض ا رر ، وهذا لايجوز )لاضرر ولاض ا رر(
رفقًا رفقًا بأبناء المسلمين ، ولنتق الله في هذا الابن الذي يأتيك موتر الأعصاب شارد الذهن
مهمومًا مغمومًا مكروبًا ، ولربما يسهر ليله ويتعب نفسه ، فينبغي الرفق بمثل هؤلاء خاصة وأنهم
ذرية ضعيفة ، فإن الله سمى الأطفال خاصة صغار السن سماهم ذرية ضعيفة .

Advice to the teachers:

To those who Allah tests with teaching the people, I ask Allah, the Most Great to thank you for your endeavours, to magnify your reward and to reward you with every good for what you are doing for the Muslim children. It is amazing what the teachers are doing from their good and beneficial words and no one knows what the teachers are giving and what they will receive for it except Allah.

Being kind to the students, having good thoughts of them, not confusing them and not making things difficult on them are all necessary for the Prophet (pbuh) said; “O Allah, whoever has been given authority over the affairs of my people and is gentle with them, then be gentle with them, and whoever has been given authority over the affairs of my people and makes things difficult on them, then make things difficult on them”.

Some of the teachers produce very difficult questions trying to make things really difficult upon the students, as if the exam is some sort of competition which contains harm and pain.

This is not permissible because the Prophet (pbuh) said; “There is not to be any causing of harm nor is there to be any reciprocating of harm”.

Kindness, kindness to the Muslim children. We must fear Allah with regards to the child who comes to you in a state of nervousness, absentminded, distressed, worried and troubled. He may have stayed up the entire night and exhausted himself, so it is upon you to be especially gentle with these types of people because they are weak children.
Indeed Allah called those children small in age weak children.

The Thirteenth Advice

وأيضًا عدم سبهم وشتمهم واحتقارهم . بعض المعلمين إذا أ رى التقصير من الطالب سبه وشتمه
وأهانه بل ربما ضيق عليه ، ربما يخرج هذا الطالب بهمّ وغم يبقى معه دهره كله ، ولربما
يصاب بمرض في نفسه أو في عقله ، وهذا لا يجوز . واذا كنت في المدرسة و أ ريت من يشدد فذكره بالله وذكره أن حوله بحول الله وأن قوته بقوة الله ،
والله يرحم من عباده الرحماء . أيضًا الشدة المبالغ فيها تنفير ولو كان المعلم يدرس أفضل العلوم ، ولربما يكره بعض الطلاب
كتاب الله -والعياذ بالله- لصغرهم وجهلهم بسبب الأذية والإض ا رر ، ينبغي تهيئة مايعين الطلاب
على بلوغ هذه الغايات الطيبة .

Also they (students) should not be insulted, cursed or scorned at. If some teachers see a deficiency in a student, they insult him, curse him, belittle him, and sometimes they make things difficult on him. It is possible that this could cause distress and sadness to the student and could possibly remain with him for his entire life. This could also afflict him with certain illnesses relating to his body and mind. This (form of scorning) is not permissible.

If you are in the school and you see someone being harsh then remind him about Allah, remind him that his power is from Allah and his strength is from Allah, and that Allah is merciful to those who show mercy.

Also, excessive harshness could drive away students, even if the teacher is imparting knowledge regarding the greatest of subjects. It is even possible that some students begin to dislike the book of Allah (and we seek refuge in Allah from this) due to their young age and ignorance because of the harm and pain that was caused (by this scorning). It is compulsory that we prepare that which will aid the students to reach this pleasant objective.

The Fourteenth Advice

أسئلة الاختبار أمانة في أعناقكم ، )ولا إيمان لمن لا أمانة له( ؛ فإفشاء الأس ا رر أو تنبيه
الطلاب على مواضع الأسئلة أو السكوت على الغشاشين ذنب كبير وشر مستطير ؛ يخرج
للأمة من يتسمى بالعلم غشا وزو ا ر ، فتحمل بين يدي الله إثمه .

The exam questions are a trust that you have on your necks. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “There is no Eemaan for the one who has no trust”. Revealing the secrets, or informing the students about the questions or remaining silent when someone cheats is a grave sin and a great evil. People will come out from this ummah and knowledge will be attributed to them when in reality they are cheaters and those who have done evil, and you will hold the burden when you are in front of Allah.

The Fifteenth Advice

درجات الاختبار أمانة ؛ فاتقوا الله في طلابكم وأعطوا كل ذي حق حقه وزنوا بالعدل ، وأحسنوا
فإن الله يحب المحسنين . نعم ، لا نسوي بين الخامل وبين المجد ، يستطيع المدرس الموفق الناجح أن يعطي كل ذي حق
حقه، لكن بطريقة ليس فيها إض ا رر .

The exam results are a trust, so fear Allah with regards to your students, give everyone their rights, be just and do good, for indeed Allah loves the good doers. Yes, we do not make equal the lazy and the hardworking. It is possible for the blessed and successful teacher to give everyone their due rights, and this must be done in a manner whereby no harm is caused.

The Sixteenth Advice

امتحان الدنيا يذكر بامتحان الآخرة :
يدخل الطالب إلى الاختبار وقد هيئت له الأمور ، فكيف إذا قدم على الله في يوم تشخص فيه
الأبصار ؟
يا للعجب أن تجد الآباء والأمهات مشفقين على الأبناء والبنات وهم يذهبون إلى الاختبا ا رت
والأكف ترفع بالدعوات ولا يبالي الأب بابنه حينما يصير إلى الله في الامتحان الأكبر ! من منا سأل الله لنفسه وأولاده أن يجيره الله من عذاب الآخرة ؟
فإن الامتحان كل الامتحان في الآخرة ، هنا إذا لم ينجح ينجح في دور ثان ، ولكن هناك إذا
فرق بين الأب وابنه ف ا رقًا لا لقاء بعده أبدًا فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ .

The exam of this world reminds us of the exam of the hereafter: The student enters the exam and many different things have been prepared for him. So how will he be when he meets Allah on the day when the eyes will stare in horror?

It is strange that we find fathers and mothers who care about their sons and daughters taking them to the exams and their hands are raised supplicating (to Allah) yet they do not care about those same children in regards to what state they will meet Allah for the greatest exam! Who from us asks Allah for himself and his children to be saved from the punishment of the hereafter?

For indeed the greatest test is the test of the hereafter. In this world, if an individual does not succeed (in an exam), perhaps he may do the second time round.

However, in the hereafter if the father and his child are separated, then there will be no meeting for them after this separation for eternity, for indeed a group will be in paradise, and a group will be in the hellfire.

نسأل الله أن ييسر على أبناء المسلمين ويكتب لهم التوفيق والنجاح ، والله أعلم .

We ask Allah that he eases the affairs of the Muslim children and He writes for them guidance and success. And Allah knows best.

مفرَّغة ومجموعة ومهذبة من أربعة أجوبة صوتية متفرقة مع خطبة لمعالي الشيخ د.محمد بن محمد المختار الشنقيطي – المدرس بالمسجد النبوي وعضو هيئة كبار العلماء

Parts of a Q&A and a Khutbah, delivered by the great ‘Alim, Doctor Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Mukhtar ash-Shinqeeti – teacher at Madeenah.

May Allah allow us to follow the footsteps of the sahaba and the true scholars of Islam that followed in those very same footsteps.

والله تعالى أعلم

وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين

أخوك أبو ناصر

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