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Ibnul-‘Uthaimeen addresses saying “whoever studies from a book, will have more wrongs than rights”
 
Books
 
 
The noble Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen rahimahul-llaah was asked:
 
Is it permissible to seek knowledge only from the books without the scholars, particularly if it is difficult to seek knowledge from the scholars due to their rarity? And what is your opinion on the saying “whoever his Shaykh is his book, his wrong will be more than his right”?
 
And the noble Shaykh replied:
 
“No doubt, knowledge can be sought from the scholars and from the books, because the book of the scholar is the scholar himself, he is speaking to you via his book. So, if it is difficult to seek knowledge from people of knowledge, then knowledge can be sought from the books, however seeking knowledge from people of knowledge is (faster or easier) than seeking it from the books, because the one who seeks it from the books will be more exhausted and he will need to exert a very big effort, and even then it is possible that some matters will be hidden from him like the divine principles and guidelines which people of knowledge laid down, so it a must that he has a reference to people of knowledge as much as possible.
 
As for his saying: “whoever his guide is his book, his wrong will be more than his right”, this is neither correct in its abstract nor it is false in its abstract, as for the person who takes knowledge from any book that he finds then no doubt he will make many errors, as for the person who relies in his seeking on books of men who are known for trustworthiness and knowledge, then this person will not have too many errors rather he could be right in most of what he says”.
 
Source: collection of Fatwas, 26/197.
 
 
وقال في مجموع الفتاوى (26/197)
 
س 84: سئل فضيلة الشيخ- رحمه الله-: هل يجوزتعلم العلم من الكتب فقط دون العلماء وخاصة إذا كان يصعب تعلم العلم من العلماء لندرتهم؟ وما رأيكم في القول القائل:
من كان شيخه كتابه كان خطؤه أكثر من صوابه؟
 
فأجاب بقوله: لا شك أن العلم يحصل بطلبه عند العلماء وبطلبه في الكتب، لأن كتاب العالم هو العالم نفسه، فهو يحدثك من خلال كتابه، فإذا تعذر الطلب على أهل العلم، فإنه يطلب العلم من الكتب، ولكن تحصيل العلم عن طريق العلماء أقرب من تحصيله عن طريق الكتب؟ لأن الذي يحصله عن طريق الكتب يتعمب أكثر ويحتاج إلى جهد كبير جدَا، ومع ذلك فإنه قد تخفى عليه بعض الأمور كما في القواعد الشرعية التي قعدها أهل العلم والضوابط، فلابد أن يكون له مرجع من أهل العلم بقدر الإمكان.
 

وأما قوله: ” من كان دليله كتابه فخطؤه أكثر من صوابه “، فهذا ليس صحيحًا على إطلاقه ولا فاسدَا على إطلاقه،أما الإنسان الذي يأخذ العلم من أي كتاب يراه فلاشك أنه يخطئ كثيرَا وأما الذيْ يعتمد في تعلمه على كتب رجال معروفين بالثقة والأمانة والعلم فإن هذا لا يكثر خطؤه بل قد يكون مصيبَا في أكثر ما يقول


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