Al-Fawzan On Depending On Books And The Internet For Knowledge

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān Al-Fawzān was asked the following question after delivering a lecture on Being Upright on the Religion of Allāh, at a university in Saudi Arabia.

Question 3: Is it allowed for a student of knowledge who studies at this university to take knowledge from the Internet? [The questioner] says we have advised him but he says some scholars have allowed this.

Response: Knowledge is not to be taken from the Internet, cassettes (recordings) or books; rather knowledge is only taken from the scholars. Knowledge is through direct personal learning (al-talaqqī), one must learn and understand [knowledge] from the scholars. If knowledge could be taken from books, or whatever else takes their place, the scholars, in the past, would not have travelled to [other] scholars to learn from them and take knowledge from them. And Allāh the Lofty and Sublime said (what means):

And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out (in battle) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they [who are left behind] may get instruction in religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware [of evil].

Meaning of Qurān 9:122

Thus, it is necessary to travel to the people of knowledge, to the Islamic universities and colleges, to learn Islamic knowledge wherever it is found, and a person must not suffice himself with browsing (reading from books), listening to cassettes or the likes; one only benefits by these things as utilities. As for depending on them and [then] considering oneself a knowledgeable person (scholar), this is a gross error, yes.

Al-Fawzān, Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān. ‘Being Upright On The Religion Of Allāh’. Official Website of His Eminence Shaykh Dr Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān Al-Fawzān. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. Available at: