All praise is due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon Allah’s Messenger, his household, his companions, and whoever followed his guidance.
To proceed, we do advise those concerned and occupied with memorizing the Qur’an to fear Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and to be dutiful to Him, for He is the one who has guided them towards that goodly and blessed direction, namely memorizing the Book of Allah. This is a tremendous affair as it is the religion of Allah which He sent down as guidance to people. So memorize the Qur’an so proficiently that it is not forgotten, for this requires patience and perseverance.
It takes some people only two or three readings of a Qur’anic text to memorize it, yet this is not sufficient to firmly commit the Qur’an to one’s memory. As a matter of fact, it demands a great deal of repetition and long practice and perseverance, for the Qur’an is more liable to escape (from one’s memory) than a camel from its tying rope.[1a] If a person does not strongly and meticulously commit it to his memory and on top of that neglects to study it and to read it regularly, it will certainly escape from his memory faster than a camel escapes from its tying rope. So long as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has guided you to study and memorize the Qur’an, it behooves you to perfect that memorization.
Having done with its memorization, you should then embark on learning the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. Memorize as much as you can from it, such as ‘Umdatul- Ahkam and Bulugh Al-Maram. Memorize Imam Muhammad Ibn Adbulwahhab’s (رحمه الله) Book of Tawhid, whose subject matter is the tawhid of worship; and Imam Ibn Taymia’s (رحمه الله) “Al- Aqidatul-Wasitiyah”, on the topic of tawhid pertaining to the Names and Attributes and on the topic of ‘aqidah and manhaj. These are the foundations of Islam. If you learn them strongly and accurately, all of your ‘aqidah and manhaj related matters will be rectified.
Likewise, I advise you to be sincere towards Allah, the Lord of the Universe, (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) for all these matters that I have mentioned to you, i.e. memorizing the Qur’an and memorizing these texts and books, are amongst the greatest acts of worship whereby we seek nearness to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). We are in need of sincerity towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) with regards to these acts. So cultivate yourselves upon sincerity towards Allah, the Lord of the Universe, (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and study the texts that encourage towards sincerity from Riyadus-Salihin and from other than it, from the Qur’an itself.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says: And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him).(Qur’an, 98:5)
Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah (Alone) by obeying Him and doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah’s sake only and not to show off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship. (Qur’an, 39:11)
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) commands the Messenger ﷺ to single Him out for worship and orders him to be sincere. Similarly, He commands the Ummah and those who follow him to be sincere. No act of worship is accepted unless it is carried out with sincerity, for sincerity is a great condition from the conditions for accepting acts of worship. Any act of worship that is performed seeking nearness to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) must fulfill two conditions: sincerity towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and following the Messenger ﷺ; that is to say, your deed should emanate from the Book and the Sunnah and be established upon them.
So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness, i.e. by following the Messenger ﷺ, and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.(Qur’an, 18:110)
That is to say, neither type of shirk should enter into this worship, be it major or minor shirk such as showing off.
Therefore, sincerity is an affair that is of considerable importance, and without it acts of worship are null and void, and are of no benefit in this life as well as in the hereafter. Worse still, they should bring destruction upon the one who performs them. For the one who shows off, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) shall make a display of him; and the one who seeks to be heard, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) shall expose him and disgrace him on the Day of Resurrection before those who will be witnessing. So do not recite the Qur’an in order to be said about you that so-and-so is a reciter. Indeed, one of the first three people upon whom hellfire will be enflamed is such a reciter.
As the noble Messenger ﷺ said:
Indeed the first people who will be judged on the Day of Resurrection are: a man who died as a martyr. He will be brought forth, and He (Allah) will make His favors known to him and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do with them? He will say: I fought in Your cause until I died as a martyr. Allah will say: You have lied. Rather, you fought in order to be said that you are brave, and that was said. Then a command will be passed regarding him and he will be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
And a man who acquired knowledge and taught it (to others), and learned the Qur’an and taught it (to others). He will be brought forth, and He (Allah) will make His favors known to him and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do with them? He will say: I obtained knowledge and taught it and recited the Qur’an for Your sake. Allah will say: you have lied. Rather, you acquired knowledge so as to be said that you are a knowledgeable man and recited the Qur’an so as to be said that you are a reciter, and that was said. Then a command will be passed regarding him and he will be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
And a man whom Allah increased his provision and granted every type of wealth. He will be brought forth, and He (Allah) will make His favors known to him and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do with them? He will say: I left no way in which You like money to be spent without spending in it for Your sake. Allah will say: you have lied. Rather, you did that in order to be said that you are a generous man, and that was said. Then a command will be passed regarding him and he will be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hellfire. [Reported by Muslim (1905) from the narration of Abu Hurairah radhi Allaahu anhu]
This hadith causes fear in every Muslim and makes him think seriously about every action he performs, every word he utters, and every movement he makes. It makes him observe Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in everything he does. It behooves every believer to try to be from the people of uprightness and people of sincerity and to achieve the level of Ihsan in his worship, and that is to worship Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) as if you see Him, and since you do not see Him then He sees you. Therefore, it is binding upon man to cultivate himself upon these affairs, not to be cultivated upon the love of showing off and fame or any insignificant worldly pursuits and interests that do not weigh with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) the wing of a mosquito. So you recite the Qur’an and memorize it so as to act upon it. Hence, the Prophet ﷺ and the senior companions used to read ten verses to the other companions in order to memorize them and never moved on to other verses until they had memorized them and acted upon them, so they used to acquire knowledge and action simultaneously. This is a great manner of cultivation that Muslims have become totally oblivious to.
As for the Messenger ﷺ, then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) revealed the Qur’an to him gradually in sequential parts in proportion to the events and occasions over a period of twenty-three years. All this was done in order to raise the Ummah upon understanding this Qur’an, acting upon it, and implementing it.
The Messenger ﷺ used to teach them the Qur’an part by part, ten verses in each, and explain to them its meaning so that they would learn it and implement it. They would not proceed to the next text until they have grasped its meaning and put it into action. If it were a text pertaining to ‘aqidah, they would hold as a belief what is contained therein; if it were an exhortation to fight in the cause of Allah, they would hope in fighting in the cause of Allah or would actually set off for the battleground; and if it were an exhortation to charity and a righteous act or a promise of reward or a warning, they would never surpass it until they have fully comprehended all its content.
This is a great cultivation indeed, yet people now are not capable of it. O young people! Bear this in your minds, for the Ummah is in need of sincere scholars who are free from whims and desires and purely devoted to Allah.
O brothers, nowadays desires are blowing the youth of the Ummah away (from the right salafi path) — desires pertaining to partisanship and other than it. A student of knowledge would devote himself sincerely to teaching the Qur’an, yet would be umbilically attached to parties that do not act upon that Qur’an but rather follow their own desires. So beware of this type of people, and upon you is sincerity towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), seeking knowledge and acting upon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. And I hope that you continue to pursue that blessed course which started with memorizing the Qur’an until you become from the firmly established scholars whom Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has praised and in whose favor He has said:
It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. [Qur’an, 35:28]
So much so, that some people of knowledge have stated that knowledge is fear of Allah, and this is not attainable except for scholars, scholars who have true knowledge of Allah, uphold His Names and Attributes and worship Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) therewith, and believe in Paradise as if they see it with their very eyes and believe in Hell as if they see it with their very eyes. In line with this, Handhalah (رضي الله عنه) said:
Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) met me and said: How are you, Handhalah? I replied: Handhalah has become a munafiq (i.e. hypocrite).
He said: Glorified is Allah! What are you saying? I said: When we are in the company of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and he reminds us of Hell and Paradise, it is as if we can see them with our very eyes. But when we leave the company of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ , we turn to our wives, children and properties, and so we tend to forget much (of what we heard from him).
That is to say, they become busy with farming and attending to their wives, etc. which he deemed to be hypocrisy. When he is in the company of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, he is in a different state from that when he is away from his company.
Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) said: By Allah! I do experience the same. So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and entered upon him. I said: Handhalah has become a munafiq (i.e. hypocrite), O Allah’s Messenger. So Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: And what’s that? I replied: When we are in your company and you remind us of Hell and Paradise, it is as if we can see them with our very eyes. But when we leave your company, we turn to our wives, children and properties, and so we tend to forget much (of what we hear from you). Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, if you persist upon that state which you achieve in my company and upon remembering (Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your pathways; however, O Handhalah, there is time for this and time for that. He said this three times. [Reported by Muslim (2750)]
Yet who amongst us now reaches that level?
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has commanded that this Qur’an be contemplated: That they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember [Qur’an, 38:29]
By Allah, the souls cannot rise to that high levels or come up to the same standing as that of the companions. Yet the Qur’an is the means of elevation. By Allah, souls shall never rise to high levels except through this Qur’an and this Sunnah. Through genuine commitment, sincere belief and open sensibility, souls and minds get uplifted to superior status such that this world becomes of little worth to them and their lives become just as insignificant. Hence when the companions of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to sit with him, it was as if they saw Paradise with their own eyes. Due to the strength of their belief, they presented their hearts and souls as a sacrifice in the cause of Allah for they deemed them to be of no value.
Now you see many Muslims thoroughly preoccupied with this worldly life, such that al-wahan has crept up on us, and that is the love for this worldly life and hatred of death. Thus with this kind of life and with the deviant cultivation, they acquire at misguided schools, Muslims have become scum, as the scum on a stream of water. By Allah, were they to understand this Qur’an, to be raised upon it in the correct manner, and to found their ‘aqidah and manhaj upon it, this condition of theirs would alter completely. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:
When you conduct ‘inah  transaction, and you follow the tails of cows, and you are content with farming, and you abandon jihad, Allah shall inflict disgrace upon you which He will not withdraw until you return to your religion.
That is to say, to that Qur’an and to the Sunnah by way of understanding it, implementing it, believing in it, and recognizing its lofty status with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), and with His Messenger and with the believers. If they return (to their religion) with this kind of spirit, Allah will reestablish their position and status in this life. But if they did not acknowledge the status of this Qur’an and went about taking their aqidah from here and there and importing their manhaj from here and there, they would be moving from one pitfall to another until they recover their awareness.
The youth need to learn the Qur’an and to get the proper cultivation (based upon it) and to recognize its lofty status. They should also display the banner of the Qur’an and the Sunnah to the Ummah by spreading and disseminating the essence of the Qur’an which will raise them to the high standing that the companion achieved, in order that the Ummah return to its genuine religion — the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ, not this party, nor that group, nor that school of thought, nor that other sect.
Implementing the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ is the one and the only way out. There is no other remedy for the Ummah except that. All these distorted visions and empty slogans destroy the Ummah worse and worse. They are of no avail or use to the Ummah in any way.
If memorizing and learning the Qur’an and the Sunnah is done with the purpose of ensuring victory and support for one’s party, then this is not the correct way. Today we find those who study to obtain degrees in order to promote their own parties, such that they distort and twist the religion of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and the speech of the scholars, all this in favor of their own parties. Some read the Qur’an as a means to promote their own party, some read the Qur’an as a means to promote their own sect, while others read the Qur’an as a means to promote their own ‘aqidah and manhaj. No! This is not the correct way. The correct way is to submit to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, not to direct them (i.e. the course of their interpretation) according to your frame of mind and desire.
We want memorizers of the Qur’an who understand it and comprehend it in accordance with the understanding of the righteous salaf, not the understanding of the people of innovations and misguidance or the understanding of the deviant parties. No matter what, do not put your trust in these parties, and do not lean towards them in matters of your religion. Rather, turn to the books of the salaf, the books of ‘aqidah, the books of hadith, the likes of the two Sahihs, the four books of Sunan , Ahmad’s Musnad, and other Masanid  and Ma’ajim . We advise you to turn to these books, not to nashids and movies and other nonsense that has compromised and softened the youth of this Ummah.
These people have no knowledge. Therefore, it is obligatory that the youth be warned against their nonsense and their tricks and deception. They raise the youth upon fun and amusement and upon love for that. This was not the case with the companions, the followers, nor with the Imams up to this time of ours. Now amusement has become the primary occupation and interest before anything else. While the neglectful person intends to occupy himself with seeking knowledge, these people divert him towards these means of entertainment, namely nashids, movies, music, and so on and so forth. Indeed they have caused this Ummah more calamities on top of the ones it is already suffering. They claimed to save the Ummah from the state of loss it has come to, yet they only added to its trials and tribulations.
What is important though is that the sole remedy lies in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ and the way of the salaf. That is to say, how they used to cultivate themselves, how their relationship with the Qur’an was, what their occupation was and how they spent their time. To the salaf, time was more precious than gold, yet now countless hours are wasted in amusement and absolute nonsense. Therefore, be cautious, O brothers, and commit yourselves to memorizing the Book of Allah and invest your time in memorizing it and memorizing the Sunnah, then memorizing some portion of the mutun (texts) that I mentioned to you above, and then acquire knowledge from scholars and traverse this path upon that clear and noble methodology. After that you will become the men of this Ummah, and by the Will of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) you shall direct it towards goodness by means of knowledge, proof, and evidence and the correct cultivation.
We ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) to save the Ummah by virtue of sincere men, and sincere men do not materialize except through the way part of which I elucidated above that is attained through correct cultivation upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah and holding in high esteem the manhaj of the salaf and keeping steadfast upon it and leading the Ummah to that good and to that path of guidance. We ask our Lord to accomplish that, for verily our Lord is indeed All-Hearer of invocation. And peace and blessings be upon Allah’s Messenger, his household, and his companions.
[1a] Reported by Al-Bukhari (5033) and Muslim (791) from the narration of Abu Musa (رضي الله عنه).
1 [TRANS] This is when one sells merchandise with a deferred payment agreement yet buys it back at a lesser amount of money than its original price before the whole sum of money is paid back by the first buyer. See ‘Awn Al-Ma’bud Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud, vol.9, p:242
2 Reported by Abu Dawud (3462) from the narration of Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنهما) and authenticated by Al-Albany in As-Sahih Al-Jami’ (423)?
3 [TRANS] Compilations of hadiths arranged according to a fiqh-based sequence. The most famous books of As-Sunan are Sunan of Abu Dawud, Sunan of Tirmithi, Sunan of Nasa’i, and Sunan of Ibn Majah.
4 [TRANS] Collections of hadiths arranged according to the names of narrators from the companions.
5 [TRANS] Books of hadith in which the compiler collects narrations from the basic collections of hadith such as Al-Bukhari’s Sahih and Muslim’s Sahih, etc. and arranges them according to a specific thematic organisation, e.g. fiqh-based sequence.