2 ways of obtaining ‘ilm: Shaykh Shaatibee

Al-Imaam ash-Shaatibee, may Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned two
ways of obtaining knowledge:

Al-Imaam ash-Shaatibee, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:

One Way: Is taking knowledge orally (directly from the scholars) which
is the most beneficial of the two ways and the safest of them…

Second Way: Browsing over books of writers and authors of (Islamic)
literatures. Whereas it (this way of obtaining knowledge) is also
beneficial in relation to its field with two conditions:

Firstly: That he obtains an understanding of what was intended
regarding that requested science and (that) he becomes familiar with
the terminologies of its authors, which will complete for him his
comprehension of the books, (in reality) that occurs through the first
way of taking knowledge from the scholars orally or it returns to
it… whereas books on its own without the guideline of the scholars
does not benefit the student anything, which is something usually

Secondly: That he strives for the books of the early scholars for
verily they are more established in it (knowledge) than other than
them of the later scholars and the basis for that is by experience and
by narrations.

Reference: al-Muwaafaqaat (1/96).

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