Islamic Studies

The Muslim Seeks to Benefit: Sheikh al-Azhar Mahmoud Shaltout

Sheikh al-Azhar Mahmoud Shaltout [May Allah have mercy upon him] wrote:

“If you ponder deeply over the questions of the faithful, found in the Qur’an, you will notice the trademark of the believer is that he [strictly] inquires about what is beneficial to him in his worship, daily life and his faith. He does not ask about the souls departure after death, how one is punished in the grave, the size of Paradise, its width and its height, or similar questions which busy the people and bring no benefit to them in this life and the Hereafter.”

Translated from Contemporary Religious Rulings that Address the Problems of the Muslims pg. 11

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reward him.

    I’m a bit confused- how is it not a trademark of a believer mentioned in the Qur’an to ask about the things of the barzakh and after life? Wouldn’t knowing about these things bring a Muslim closer to wanting to do good and wanting to stay away from evil? knowing the punishment might help deter sinful actions, and knowing the reward might help encourage one to seek the rewards with Allah ‘Azza wa Jal.

    I want to be amongst those who have the trademark of the believer, bi’idnillah! I don’t understand how these questions are not a part of that. unless it’s with regards to knowing “extras” which are not necessarily beneficial. ie: making duaa for a white palace on the right side of Jannah.

    And this is obviously from my own shortcomings and lack of understanding, and not at all to take away from the greatness of the Shaykh rahimahullah.

  • “unless it’s with regards to knowing “extras” which are not necessarily beneficial.”

    You got it


  • As-Salamalaikum,

    I am a grad student and I am having a very difficult time with one of my ultra-anti-Islamic professors. He keeps on insisting that it is a barbaric religion because it cuts off peoples’ heads for blasphemy, and that it’s silly because it wants you to believe in jennies. Anyhow, I gave him Yusuf Ali’s latest edition of the Holy Qur’an. But it’s clear that his mind is already made up so at this point do I have an obligation to continue debating with him or can I just let him be? JAK.

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