Two Types of Conveying Knowledge and Who is to Carry Them Out

Posted on January 8, 2014

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Questioner: How is it possible to reconcile his saying صلى الله عليه وسلم, “Convey from me even if only an aayah,” with the condition that a caller should have copious knowledge?

Shaykh Saleh al-Fawzaan: 

There is no contradiction here walhamdulilaah, because the conveyance is of two types: conveying the text and conveying the meaning.

The first type: conveying the text [i.e., the wording] is something everyone who has memorized a text from Allaah’s Book or the Sunnah of His Prophet can do, he can help the people memorise it … when he’s memorised a Surahor an aayah he can teach the people that Surah and when he has memorised a hadith he can teach it to the people—this is conveying the text and anyone can do it, for this reason the Quraan is taught by many people who do not have knowledge but they have memorized the Quraan and can recite well, and [likewise] people who do not have knowledge teach hadithsto the people but they are good at having memorised the hadith and teaching it to the people. Having understanding [fiqh] is not a condition for conveying a text.

The second type: conveying meanings, i.e., the explanation of these texts and clarifying the rulings and wisdom contained therein—this is the one that requires knowledge and no one should carry this out except a scholar. So there is no contradiction between the obligation of conveying and the fact that no one calls the people except someone who has knowledge of what he is calling to, because da’wah requires understanding. Conveying the meaning, the meanings of the texts and their explanations and clarifying them to the people is different to the first type which everyone who has memorized something from the Book of Allaah or theSunnah of His Messenger can do and teach the people about, this is good … that he sits and teaches the people and makes them memorise the Quraan and memorise the hadiths and [other] texts, this is very good but we say to him: do not explain the meanings to the people when you don’t know them [yourself].

[Al-Ijaabaat al-Muhimmah fil-Mashaakil al-Mulimmah, pp. 279-280]

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