ETP – Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge – Book 1 – class 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين, أما بعد

                                       ~~~~~             Link to PDF notes

Our teacher began with praising Allaah and sending salaat and salaam on the Messenger of Allaah, his family, companions and followers until the Last Day:

Today we continue where we left off from the poetry of Abu Is-haaq Al-Ilbeeriyy about his beautiful advice to the one who had verbally abused Abu Is-haaq and insulted him, and Abu Is-haaq replied with this beautiful, amazing and eloquent poetry which the people ended up memorizing, copying, distributing and carrying it generation after generation. We shall also come across some shocking statements which aren’t expected from Abu Is-haaq to the person who had insulted him and those statements express the affirmation of Abu Is-haaq to what that individual said about him. This shows us the great deal of humbleness which Abu Is-haaq was upon.

Review >>>

The author said:

text 1


  • The word تفت (Ta-futtu) means it breaks and it crushes.
  • What breaks and crushes?  الأيام  (Al-Ayyam) are the days.

So the author said: The days are crushing.

  • فؤادك (Fu’aadaka) means your heart.

Which means: The days are breaking up your heart.

  • The word  فتا  (Fat-taa) is a verbal noun of the verb تفت (Ta-futtu) which means a breaking.
    • An example to this is: The verb ضَرَبَ  which means he hit and the verbal noun from ضَرَبَ   is  ضَرْبًا.   The verb  فَتَحَ  which means he opened and the verbal noun for it would be فَتْحًا .

fathan dharban

So here, there is something breaking and crushing and there is something that is broken and crushed.

What is the benefit of bringing the verbal noun after the verb? Emphasizing!


So the author says:

  تَفُتُّ فُؤَادَكَ الاَيَّامُ فَتًا  (The days are breaking up your heart, what a breaking!) Meaning, what a breaking are these days doing to your heart?

The author moves on to say:

    وَتَنْحِتُ جِسْمَكَ الساعات نَحْتًا 

  • وَتَنْحِتُ (Wa Tanhitu) this literally means it carves.
  • جِسْمَكَ (Jismak) means your body.
  • الساعات (As-saa’aat) means the hours.
  • نَحْتًا (Nahtaa) is the verbal noun of تَنْحِتُwhich means a carving.

So the author means:

وَتَنْحِتُ جِسْمَكَ السَّاعَاتُ نَحْتًا  (And the hours carve your body! A carving!)  So the poet expresses that the passing of the days, break your heart and it is as if the days are breaking your heart into pieces by the passing of the day. What is meant here is what a carving the hours do to your body. What does this mean?  As we said this was a beautiful starting point to open the ears of the one who is advised. Because here, what is the poet reminding and bringing to the one who is advised’s attention? Since the days are passing and the time is running and you are nearing your fate, what is written to you is coming to you and you do not know when it is coming to you and the older you are the closer the chances are of you meeting your fate sooner or later.

So if someone came up to you and started this advice, especially someone who spoke bad about you and insulted you, this would at least want him to know what is coming after,  meaning what you are going to say.

Therefore, this is a beautiful way to start the advice as Allaah said:

   اللَّـهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةً ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعْفًا وَشَيْبَةً يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْقَدِيرُ  

Allaah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful (i.e. Able to do all things).  (30/54)


   وَمَن نُّعَمِّرْهُ نُنَكِّسْهُ فِي الْخَلْقِ أَفَلَا يَعْقِلُونَ  

And he whom We grant long life, We reverse him in creation (weakness after strength). Will they not then understand? (36/68)

Meaning,  Whoever We extend life for, We turn him from the state of strength to the state of weakness. From a state of liveliness to a state where he was not able to do what he was able to do before. So by the passing of the days, weakness occurs, to both the body and the heart.

As we move on, we will Inhaa’Allaah mention what is recorded of the early generations and what is meant by early generations we are reffering to those generations where the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wasallam) praised, saying:

 خير الناس قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم       

“The best of people are those of my generation, then the ones after them, then the ones after them.”

We learn from this that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wasallam) praises the first three generations. Why?  Because  the closer we are to the source of the spring, the purer the water is.  Those people had the sunnah of the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wasallam) and words of wisdom as their breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they were sad at times of food, because of missing the times for acquiring knowledge. They took the knowledge from the Master itself, the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wasallam).

Ali bin Abee Taalib said:

خير الكلام ما قل ودل   –  ‘The best of speech which is little and meant a lot.’

The Prophet  (sallAllaahu `alayhi wasallam) was given the miracle, of many meanings being summed up in a few words. As Imaam Shaafiee’  said he gathered 80 benefits from the hadith:  ‘Oh, Umair, what did the little birdy do?” !!

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, said regarding this beautiful verse:

 إنّ الّليل و النهار يعملان فيك، فعمل فيهما    –  ‘Verily the day and the night work in you, so work in them’

i.e, they are working in you as the poet mentioned in the first verse.

Al Hasan Al Basri said:

“ O son of Adam, you are not except days. If a day is gone, part of you is gone”.

Ibn Al Jawziyy (Died in late 500’s , end of 6th century), The King of Preachers:

He used to make people laugh and cry in the same gathering. He was so well versed in softneing hearts. He said:

“The days are three. Yesterday has gone with whatever it contains, and tomorrow it may be that you don’t see it. It is only this day of yours which is relevant  so strive in it.”

Umar ibn al Khattab wrote to Abee Musa:

“Verily, power in working is that you don’t delay the work of today to tomorrow. For if you do that, the work will pile up on you.  And you will not know which you are to take, and you will neglect.”

Ibn Mas’ood said:

“I have never regretted anything as much as regretting a day in which the sun sets were my life decreased and my work did not increase.”

i.e, he has never regretted than over a day, by which he grew older (by a day), but didn’t do much in that day.

Ibn Jawzi also said:

“O you, who reached the age of 40, and all of his life is slumber and heedlessness.

O, you, tiring his body in gathering wealth, then he knows not who he gathered it for!!

Let your tested self know that it’s a pledge for what it has earned.*

Wont the decieved take an example from the One whom he buried?

How many tyrants has he seen departing his home, then he dwelled in a house of humility.

How ironic!! The animal ponders over the outcomes, and you don’t see, except what is present.

You barely are concerned with the supply of winter until the cold grows!

Neither the supply of summer until the heat grows!

And whoever was of such a quality in his worldly matters, will be blind in the hereafter and more astray from the path.**

Here is the bird, when it knows the female is about to lay its egg , it starts moving in the straws to build the nest before the laying.

O, wonder! What have you done nearing your departure to your grave?

We were created turning through six journeys until the abode settles with us.

The first journey is that of the extract of clay,

And the second : the mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge,

And the third is from the wombs to the worldy life.

And the fourth: from worldly life to the grave,

The fifth : from the grave to where we are presented(before our Lord),

Then the sixth to the dwellings.

And we have passed half the way and whats coming next is harder!!

My Brothers!, the years are phaces and the months are levels, and the days are miles and every breath is a step

And the acts of obedience is the capital and sins are highjackers,

And the Profit is Paradise, and the loss is Hell fire.”

It may be the people imagine that there will be less obstacles, less work when you grow. But the more u grow the more oppurtunities , relations and work you will have. So the time will be straitened out on you, and you will go weak and tired.  So when we are old, the time will be less, the body will be old, and health will be lacking and the energy will be less, and the obligations and responsibility will be hand full. So take the oppurtunity when it comes. In the passing of days every body part will become weak, and you become a container of illnesses, pains in joints, depression of the calamities of life, even in the enjoyments of life. And the tests could reach to an extend that you are not able to play along with the people in their gatherings.  This is why Allaah swore by the Time, in many verses of the Qur’aan.  In surah Al-`Asr, Al-Fajr, AdDuhaa, etc.

       وَالْعَصْرِ ﴿١﴾ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ ﴿٢﴾ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ   

By time, * Indeed, mankind is in loss, * Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.  (103/1-3)


By the morning brightness. (93/1)


By the dawn. (89/1)

Because this time is the only chance you have to work for your deeds. So everyone is in loss, except for the exception- those who believe, and work righteousness. And belief can only come in what is known, so it also shows importance of knowledge and acting upon that knowledge by doing righteous good deeds.

We ask Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa to mend our affairs and to cause us to die as Muslims as Allaah said:

   وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ      

Do not die except as Muslims. (3/102)

How can we not die except as Muslims when the matter of death is not in our hands?  This means Allaah is calling us to take the necessary means to cause us to die as Muslims.

Hence the forthcoming verses of poem…

وَتَدعُوكَ المَنُونَ دُعَاءَ صِدق   أَلا يَا صَاحِ أَنْتَ أُرِيدُ أَنت 

Death calls you, a sincere call…     You! O, my friend!, Its you (none other) I want!!

May Allah Accept from Us. Aameen.

———————End of Dars———————


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