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Targheeb and Tarheeb
  Al-Wasiyyat us-Sughraa (The Concise Legacy)
Author: Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah
Article ID : TZK050004  [23426]  
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This is a command, and a command signifies obligation. Therefore, to seek help from Allah and to entreat to Him in the matter of livelihood and others is a major principle. Further, it is important in seeking a livelihood that one should acquire wealth with generosity of heart so that he may be blessed in it, and without greediness. Neither should he make wealth the primary aim; rather, he should regard wealth much as he regards the toilet, which he has need of but it has no place in his heart, and he only resorts to it when necessary.

A marfoo` Hadeeth which is related by Tirmidhi and others is, "He who gets up in the morning with this world his greatest concern, Allah disperses his collected gains and puts its loss in front of him, and only that of the world comes to him which is written for him. And he who gets up in the morning with the Hereafter his greatest concern, Allah gathers for him his works and creates richness in his heart due to them, and the world comes to him subserviently."

One of the Salaf said, "Each of you is in need of the world but you are in more need of your portion in the Hereafter. Therefore, if you are in search of your portion in the Hereafter first and foremost (and you should be so), then achieve your portion of the world in passing, such that it is taken care of as it comes.

Allah Exalted says, I have only created jinns and men that they may serve Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He who gives (all) sustenance, Lord of Power, steadfast (forever).

With regard to the best skill, or specifying one skill over another, be it handicraft or trade, building or agricultural, etc., this varies among people, and I know of no all-embracing answer, except that when an opportunity presents itself to a person, then he should seek help in decision from Allah through the Istikhaarah learnt from the Teacher of Goodness , because there is unlimited blessing in that, and then adopt whatever is easy for him. Thus he will not have to go to great hardship in another line, unless there is any Sharee`i objection to the initial possibility, in which case it is a different matter.

Regarding Knowledge

As for which book(s) one may depend on for the different fields of Knowledge, this is a wide topic, and again, the answer to this varies according to people's backgrounds in different lands. This is because in each land, one field of learning or way or mode of thinking may be easier than another, but the source of all good and blessings is that one seeks help from Allah the Glorified in acquiring knowledge inherited from the Prophet SallAllahu 'alayhi wa Sallam, because that is what is truly fit to be named "Knowledge". Anything else is either not knowledge at all even though people call it so, or it is knowledge which is not beneficial, or it is beneficial knowledge, in which case it is neccessarily true that there exists in the inheritance of Muhammad SallAllahu 'alayhi wa Sallam that which replaces it, being similar to or better than it.

The person's effort should thus be to understand the purposes of the Messenger in his commands, prohibitions and his various other sayings. When the heart is contented that something is indeed what the Messenger intended, then he should not waver from it as far as possible, whether it is regarding his duties to Allah or to the people. In all branches of knowledge, he should strive to hold firmly to principles narrated from the Prophet ; if he is in doubt regarding any matter about which the people of knowledge have differed, then he should supplicate to Allah with the du`aa' which appears in Saheeh Muslim narrated by 'Aa'ishah, that when the Messenger first stood for the night prayer, he would say, "O Allah! Lord of Jibreel, Meekaa'eel, and Israafeel, Originator of the Heavens and the Earth, Knower of the Unseen and the Present ! You judge among your slaves regarding what they have differed in. Guide me to the truth regarding that in which they have differed, for truly, You do guide whomsoever You wish to a path that is straight." This is because Allah Exalted has said, as narrated by His Messenger from Him, "O My slaves, all of you are astray except those that I have given guidance to, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you."

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