Shaykh al-Fawzaan on Diplomas and Certificates in Islaamic Fields

Q: Am I qualified to call to the Salafee ‘aqeedah if I have attained an excellent mark in a course offered by a da’wah office?

A: This (being truly qualified) does not happen except by way of knowledge. If you know the correct ‘aqeedah and have a complete understanding of it, then you have attained knowledge of it. But it is not sufficient for you to have an excellent (academic) mark without understanding ‘aqeedah.

How many times has someone got mumtaaz (excellent grades) with the highest honors but he has no understanding!?

And how many times has someone with only passing grades attained true knowledge and understanding!?

It is not about certificates of achievement; it is about having knowledge and a true understanding of it.

– Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

Source: “Mathaahir Dha’f al-‘Aqeedah” p.39

Moosaa ibn John Richardson


1. Musa Ibn John Richardson is doing his masters in Umm Ul Qura so he has no reason to downplay certificates or diplomas.

2. We have in fact seen this in the West where people have gotten diplomas, certificates with good grades or otherwise in Islamic studies and when you really check out the matter they are deficient in knowledge. For example many write a CXC Cambridge Arabic course and figure that they are experts in Arabic language after when in fact they can’t hold a conversation past 3 sentences. And we have an institution in Trinidad called the Darul Uluum from which several “alims” and “alimas” graduate yearly and also several “muftis” but with all these titles they have no knowledge.

3. Additionally, some who have graduated from the Islamic University of Madinah (not all) have little understanding of ‘Aqeedah (not even knowing the basics of Asmaa and Sifaat in some cases), Manhaj (and this is the biggest sore point), Fiqh (some even give fatwa and extend the process use in fiqh into Aqeedah and Manhaj!), Hadeeth (quoting many spurious Hadeeth often), Usuul Ul Fiqh (but they using it wrongly often). But the people are fooled by the certificate because of their ignorance of what knowledge and who the knowledgeable ones are.

4. Shaikh Muqbil said: How many people have doctorates in Fiqh and understand nothing, how many have doctorates in Hadeeth and don’t understand one Hadeeth, for these certificates give creditation to many people to take certain positions which they do not deserve, and how does the title Dr help you when are are ignorant about the Shariah of Allah?

Allahu Musta’aan.


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