It is recommended to borrow books. Wakee`, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “The first blessing of
Hadeeth is borrowing books.”However, there is an etiquette even for borrowing, such as:
• Thanking the one who you borrowed from, and asking Allaah the Exalted to grant him goodness. One
should also not keep the book more than they need, and should not hold it back if the owner asks for it, or
if they do not need it. There is no doubt that one of the reasons of weakness of borrowing books among
people is that they do not return the books to their owners, or are late without any excuse or reason.
• Yoonus ibn Zayd, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Az-Zuhri said to me: ‘Yoonus, beware of
taking books illegally.’ I said: ‘What does that mean?’ He said: ‘Holding them back from their owners.”
• Al-Khateeb, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Due to people withholding books, more than one
person has refused to give books to borrow.”
• Sufyaan, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Do not allow anyone to borrow your book.”
• Ar-Rabi` ibn Sulaymaan, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Al-Buwayti wrote to me, saying:
‘Preserve your book, because ifyou lose a book, you will not find blessing.”
• The middle opinion in the issue of lending books is that you lend to a person that will preserve the book
and return it on time.
• Some said: “Do not lend your book unless you know that the one you lend to is of knowledge and
• Some, when asked to borrow a book, would say: “Show me your books,” and if they find then preserved
and cherished, they would lend it to them, but if they found them dusty or changed in figure, they would
• One may not fix a book without the permission of its owner, and may not write anything in the empty
spaces of the beginning and ending unless they knew the owner would not mind or they took permission
for that. They should not let anyone else borrow it without the owner’s permission, and they should protect
it from water, dirt, and misuse.
• The one borrowing must inspect the book before taking it and after giving it back to make sure that it is
in good condition.
The summary of all that has preceded is that reading comprises two matters:
• Patience and struggle so that the Muslim becomes an excellent and persistent reader.
• Sincerity, so that they can benefit from what they read, and knowledge become stationed in their heart,
and so that they earn reward for their action.
We ask Allaah the Exalted to grant us beneficial knowledge, keenness in acquiring it, benefit us in what
we read, and an increase in knowledge. He the Exalted is the Best to ask from and the Most Generous to
place one’s hopes.
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