السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
This is just a small benefit for the brothers and sisters from the west who may be studying different knowledge based texts In Sha Allah and I ask Allah to bring some benefit through it.
1. Ask Allah’s help and read the whole text to gain a general idea about it.
2. As for the excerpt from the text that you are studying then read explanations of it (at least two basic ones) and summarize what you have learnt (pre-reading and summarizing)
3. Then listen to the tapes of a scholar or student of knowledge who has explained the text. And summarize the points he has given and compare it to your own summary from books. However, if there is a scholar or student of knowledge in your vicinity benefit from him directly.
Another point is that if one can pre-read & summarize, then listen to the tapes of a scholar, then go to his Shaikh or teacher and adds different benefits which he may not have come across then this is more complete.
4. Ask about that which is problematic to the people of knowledge if you don’t know.
5. Do review with trustworthy brothers or sisters who are serious about seeking knowledge.
6. Act upon it through belief or action.
7. Teach it once you are qualified to do so.
By doing the first 6 steps it would be as if you learnt the text five-six times by reading the text, summarizing the explanations of the scholars, listening to the tapes of the scholars and summarizing them, going to a scholar or student of knowledge (if possible), reviewing it with trustworthy companions and acting upon it. Also, teaching, once one is able, is from the best of means to review one’s work.
We must remember that knowledge is to be spread. It doesn’t belong to particular individuals or organizations. Hence, as the scholars have said, once a person seeks knowledge and is precise regarding what he teaches and doesn’t deviate from the statements of the scholars regarding his understanding of issues then this can bring much good.
May Allah give us guidance to work hard in seeking this knowledge.