What are the manners of learning? What is adab in learning?
The Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- said: “Either be a teacher, a learner, a listener, or a lover of knowledge. Do not be the fifth (beyond these) and you will perish.” (Majma al-Zawaid, vol.1, p.122.)
Ali -May Allah be well-pleased with- said: “I will be the slave of anyone who teaches me a letter,” and thus pointed out the importance of learning and respecting the teacher.
For all competent believing men and women, it is individual obligation (fard ‘ayn) to acquire knowledge about acts of worship such as wudu, ghusl, prayer, fasting, zakat and pilgrimage together with the knowledge about Islamic creed.
Acquiring knowledge sometimes becomes a communal obligation (fard kifa-i). It is a communal obligation to learn the sciences necessary for the operation of worldly affairs, such as medicine, calculus, syntax, grammar, reading and writing, and learning the chains of the narrators of the hadiths.
Sometimes learning can be haram. As a matter of fact, it is haram to learn sciences such as sorcery, magic, and divination.
The following hadith of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- is sufficient to express the value of knowledge: “If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.” (Abu Dawud 3641; al-Tirmidhi 2682; Ibn Majah 223).
“Wisdom and knowledge are the lost property of the believer. Wherever he finds it, he will take it.” (al-Tirmidhi, ‘Ilm, 19)
“.. And when you are told to rise up, rise up Allah will rise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge…” (al-Mujadila, 11)
The following are the points that one should pay attention to in the journey of knowledge, which is such an important job:
The traveler of knowledge must be patient and compete in patience. If jihad is patience for an hour, then seeking knowledge is patience for the rest of our lives.
Being sincere in deeds
It is the most important thing not to depart from sincerity in the deed. Our aim should be reaching the pleasure of Allah and the Hereafter, we should avoid hypocrisy/show off, and stay away from the desire to be arrogant towards our friends. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- said: “Whoever learns knowledge in order to argue with the dissolute, to show superiority to scholars, or to attract people’s attention to himself, his place will be in Hell.” (al-Nasai 2654)
To act according to the knowledge
Acting with knowledge is the fruit of knowledge. Whoever learns and does not act according to his knowledge will be like the Jews whom Allah denounced: “The similitude of those who were charged with the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law, but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes (but understands them not). Evil is the similitude of people who falsify the Signs of Allah: and Allah guides not people who do wrong.” (al-Jum’a, 62: 5)
Study the books
After memorizing and consolidating the summaries, it is necessary to study, take notes and spare time for the books that cover the topics comprehensively. Recording details, problem solutions, and ambiguous differences of rulings helps one to acquire depth on a subject. One should never be content with a piece of information heard, on the contrary, try to memorize and interpret it.
The books that are needed should be read as much as possible, because such books are a means of education, but by increasing to study them, knowledge increases. We should make use of such books as much as we can.
To be determined
Perseverance has a very high share in learning. It is an important motto not to settle for less if possible to collect more. It is necessary to learn useful topics without delay. Hope and procrastination can deprive the traveler of knowledge from that knowledge. There are many downsides to procrastination. It is a common saying that “halaka’l-musawwifun: those who postpone are destroyed”.
Making good use of time
The seeker of knowledge should appreciate the times when he is vigorous and free, healthy, young and when he is less busy. It is necessary to spend the time in the right places before obstacles such as family, children, income etc. arise.
Being polite towards the teacher
In principle, knowledge is not taken from the book, on the contrary, a teacher is required to get the keys of knowledge in order not to make mistakes. Therefore, one should not fail to show respect to the teacher. Because this is the key to success.
It is necessary to treat the teacher with respect and courtesy at all times. It is necessary to be equipped with respect and decency while sitting, speaking, asking questions and listening…
Even when turning the pages of the book, one should behave in a manner of decency. It is necessary to abandon talking before the teacher and talking at length.
Also, it is necessary not to interfere with the teacher’s speech. It is more appropriate not to ask private questions, especially in front of other people.
The student should not give boredom to his teacher. Calling him only by his name is a good deed, but it is appropriate to call him my teacher or our teacher.
If teacher makes a mistake, it should not discredit him from your eyes, as this deprives you of his knowledge. Who can be free of mistakes?