This is an English translation of the book Hilyat Tālib al-‘Ilm by Shaykh Bakr Abū Zayd (may Allāh have mercy on him).

Some scholars prefer to teach their students the etiquette of seeking knowledge before teaching them other subjects. This is because Islamic knowledge cannot be properly obtained and fully digested prior to the acquisition of certain important etiquettes. Abdullah ibn al-Mubārak (may Allāh have mercy on him) said:

“They (the Pious Predecessors) used to learn manners before acquiring knowledge.”

This book is taught to students of knowledge in Islamic institutions and universities around the world. In order to really benefit from it, one should study it with a Shaykh as there are a lot of points that require elaboration.

One of the best explanations in Arabic was done by Shaykh ibn al-‘Uthaymīn (may Allāh have mercy on him) and is available online. In English, there is a very good explanation done by Dr. Bilal Philips (based mainly on Ibn al-‘Uthaymīn’s) which is available through the Islamic Online University.

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