Numerous factors lead a person to buy a book, including the status of the book, the author’s fame,
attractiveness of the title, advice of others, desire to research, need of the book, desire to form a library of
a student of knowledge, the look of the book, the quality of its paper, and the beauty of its print, the
inexpensiveness of the book, and so forth.
The Muslim reader, and especially, the student of knowledge, must be keen on acquiring the books that
they need if they are able, either through purchase, rent, or borrowing. Here is some advice regarding
• Knowing good books, and that occurs through acquiring lists of good books from people of knowledge,
and asking experienced people and those with insight and ability to differentiate, and seeking their counsel
• Prior preparation before buying and acquiring a book, such as:
• Making a list of books you wish to purchase now, and books you wish to purchase in the future.
• Keeping in mind the monetary capabilities that help one realize the urge and desire, and determining
priorities during times of decreased finances.
• Specifying the bookstores you wish to go to.
• Taking the opportunities of book fairs and sales that some bookstores have.
• Be keen on purchasing and acquiring books that deal with Qur’aan and Hadeeth, in specific, such as
exegesis and explanations of each, and books pertaining to sciences of the religion, in general.
• Be keen on buying books of fundamentals and the books of the pious predecessors that one cannot
suffice without. Do not fill your library or confuse your thoughts with useless books, especially those of the
people of innovation, because they are deadly poisons. You must purchase books that rely on authentic
evidence, that are weaved with the understanding of the pious predecessors, and that clarify the reasoning
behind rulings. Of the most important books to build the library of the student of knowledge are the famous
books of Hadeeth and the compendiums of Sunnah, such as Bukhaari, Muslim, Ibn Maajah, At-
Tirmithi, An- Nasaa’i, and Abu Daawood, as well as Musnad Ahmad, and the books of the two Shaykhs:
Shaykh Al- Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, and his student, Ibn Al-
Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, as well as other books, such as:
• The books of Al-Haafith Ibn `Abd Al-Barr, may Allaah have mercy on him, the greatest of which is At- Tamheed.
• The books of Ibn Qudaamah, may Allaah have mercy on him, the greatest of which is Al- Mughni.
• The books of Ath-Thahabi, may Allaah have mercy on him, such as As-
Siyar and Taareekh Al- Islaam.
• The books of IbnKatheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, such as his exegesis and Al- Bidaayahwa
• The books of Ibn Rajab, mayAllaah have mercy on him, such as Jaami` Al Uloomwa Al- Hikam and
• The books of other scholars, such as Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy on him, Ash- Shawka ani, may Allaah have mercy on him, Muhammad ibn `Abd Al-Wahhaab, may Allaah have mercy on him,
As-San`aani, may Allaah have mercy on him, Muhammad Al Ameen Ash- Shinqeeti, may Allaah have mercy on him, and other sincere, hardworking past and present scholars of this Ummah.
• Be keen on purchasing books that have been verified that the text has been precisely determined and
that are keen on clarifying the authenticity of the Ahaadeeth, in terms of authentic or weak, such as the
books of Ahmad Shaakir, may Allaah have mercy on him, Al Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him,
as well as collegiate theses that served many books of knowledge.
• Acquire books of jurisprudence and verdicts that teach the Muslim the rulings of worship.
• Be keen on acquiring books of those that are known to be virtuous and regarding whom facts testify in
terms of their progress in the religion of Allaah the Exalted.
Such people are the furthest away from cheating people, earning reputation, and wealth.
• When purchasing books of unknown authors, it is good to choose some paragraphs from the book to
read before buying it, in order to be sure of the quality of the contents, so that the buyer does not become
deceived by the attractive colors and lofty prints.
• Choose books that have good and strong binding, and make sure that the cover holds together.
• Make sure the book is free of any dirt or printing mistakes, such as the pages being folded or upside
down. Also, be aware some parts being erased, deficient, or some sections being out of order or
• Read the index of the book before buying it, in order to rate it and to know the importance of what it
consists of, in terms of topics, as well as to unveil some of the contents that the titles in the index refer to.
• When purchasing books, you must choose versions that are clean and have clear letters, because if the
letter is too small, it hurts the eyes when reading. Some said: “Do not write with small letters, lest you
become regretful and insulted by others.” If you keep the book, then when you become old and your
eyesight weakens, you will regret it. Then, if you pass it on to those after you, and it tires them out, you will
have made yourself susceptible to being censured.
• Be keen on purchasing books that have good punctuation. Also, be keen on acquiring books that have a
good sectioning system and good branching system, or images that clarify and help in understanding the
• If you buy a book that has an index showing printing errors, hasten to place the corrections, if one is able,
in their due places. If you do not do so, you might read the book with its mistakes and forget to go to the
index of corrections.
• If you purchase a book, then hasten to add it to your index of books in your library.
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