|His Eminence Shaykh: `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Al-Shaykh
All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets.
Knowledge is the noblest pursuit and the most important gain. Indeed it is, since knowledge is the condition for realizing the worship of none but Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Allah (Exalted be He) says: So know (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that, Lâ ilâha illallâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), and ask forgiveness for your sin Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) has borne witness to His Oneness, and He has also made the elite among His Creation, i.e., the close angels bear testimony to this fact, and then from among humankind, He made the elite, i.e., those who have knowledge bear witness to the same fact. Allah (Exalted be He) says: Allâh bears witness that Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in Justice. Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
A person who has acquired knowledge has, in fact, gained great blessings; our Lord (Exalted and Glorified be He) has negated the equality between those who have knowledge and those who do not in His Words: Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?”
Knowledgeable people are more apt to be more fearful and mindful of Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) because of the knowledge they have attained about His Signs and Creation, and also because they realize the Rights of Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) upon them. Allah (Exalted be He) says: It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh. Shar`y knowledge is the legacy of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and all the other previous Prophets (peace be upon them), as our Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Scholars are the heirs of the prophets. The prophets did not leave behind Dinars or Dirhams; rather, they left behind knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share.
To speak about the merits of knowledge of Shari`ah, one finds no difficulty clarifying its excellence. All people, the knowledgeable and the ignorant, agree to this. Moreover, an ignorant person dislikes the trait of ignorance and feels displeased to be described as such, and should they be described as having knowledge, they would be pleased. This is only because they know the merit and excellence of knowledge. True knowledge is to know Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He), His Names, Attributes and Rights; to meditate upon His Creation; to ponder over His Divine Law and to act accordingly, i.e., by following the commands and avoiding the prohibitions; and then to invite people to adopt the same and spread it among them. It is this knowledge that increases the believer’s Iman (faith), leads them to attain the Good Pleasure of their Most Merciful and Most Compassionate Lord, and a lofty place in Paradise.
|True knowledge is not ornamented words, embellished phrases, elegantly arranged sentences, choosing sophisticated structures, odd words, and rarely used expressions, which make it difficult or almost impossible for the reader to catch the meaning or understand the point being discussed. A given sentence may also be ambiguous, carrying several possible meanings without clarifying or hinting at the intended meaning. Rather, “True knowledge”, according to the words of the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him), is: “Well-verified research or authentic report; other than this is embellished nonsense.”
This was the way of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (nation based on one creed) and the pious followers after them. It was characteristic of their knowledge to the extent that the words of the Salaf were described as “few but very beneficial”. The scholars of this Ummah followed the very way of their Salaf. Of the scholars who treaded this path and adopted this Manhaj (methodology) are the eminent Imams of Salafiyyah call (those following the way of the righteous predecessors) in Najd (may Allah forgive and be merciful to them); and their disciples in this country and abroad have followed in their footsteps until this time. The efforts of these virtuous scholars coincided with the support of the rulers of this blessed country to Salafiyyah call. A manifestation of their support to this call is the establishment of the Council of Senior Scholars in this country, so that this Council may be the authority responsible for Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) in this blessed state. Since its establishment in 1391 A.H. this Council has been undertaking great tasks. It has issued useful researches and important Fatwas. It has compiled some of its researches into seven volumes. Also, “Majallat Al-Buhuth Al-Islamiyyah” (Islamic Magazine) is affiliated to the Council. This magazine is concerned with publishing Fatwas issued by the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’, the Fatwas issued by the (former) Grand Mufty His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al Al-Shaykh (may Allah be merciful to him), the Fatwas issued by His Eminence Shaykh `Abdul-`Aziz ibn Baz (may Allah be merciful to him), the Fatwas we issue, and the recent decisions taken by the Council of Senior Scholars. In addition, the Council is interested in the documented scholarly researches written and sent by the researchers to be evaluated by the Committee of Referees and then be published in the magazine.
The first issue of this blessed magazine was published in 1395 A.H. according to Royal Decree no. (1/137) on 08/07/1391 A.H. The Council of Senior Scholars was formed for its first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the declaration of the Work Regulation in the Council of Senior scholars [was issued]. Article (11) of the Regulation states that a periodical magazine be issued; where such periodical shall be scholarly, authentic and temporarily issued every four months. The number of its issues until now is eighty-one; and its first editor in chief was Shaykh `Uthman Al-Salih (may Allah be merciful to him). He remained in this position until the fifth issue. He has enriched the magazine with his experience and has earnestly proceeded with it until he handed it over to His Eminence Dr. Muhammad ibn Sa`d Al-Shway`ir who has been assigned editor-in chief from the sixth issue that was published in 1403 A.H. until now (may Allah grant him a long life of obedience to Him). His Eminence’s long experience in media, in addition to his scholarly background, his open-mindedness, and hard work have had a great impact on the development of the magazine step by step until it has reached its advanced state that it now enjoys.
This blessed magazine, which is now publishing its eighty-first issue, is considered one of the most important scholarly and researchable references for seekers of knowledge. This is because it is enriched with authenticated researches, in addition to its being distinguished with publishing the Fatwas issued by learned scholars and following up the decisions that are issued by the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its researches.
All praise be to Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) for this blessing. I appreciate the serious and continued efforts of His Eminence the editor-in chief of the magazine and all the personnel working there; and before this I also thank Their Eminences the members of the Committee of Researches and everyone who has contacted the magazine to publish a research, provide information, a certain comment or suggestion. The magazine, seeking to improve the level of its services, and continuing to preserve its scholarly power, welcomes such contributions. All are guided in this by fear of Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) and earnestness in spreading the religion of Islam and inviting to it.
I supplicate Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) to guide our rulers to what He loves and is pleased with and to make them rightly guided and guiding through whom He raises high the light of this religion. I also beseech Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) to guide us and our fellow scholars to all that makes His religion victorious, help us say and do what is right, and bless the efforts of all, and to make this magazine a pulpit calling to guidance and enlightening on goodness. Indeed, He (Exalted and Glorified be He) is All-Hearing and Responsive.
The Grand Mufty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars and the Department of Scholarly Research and Ifta’