The following question was posed to Shaikh Zaid al-Madkhali (rahimahullah):
Translated by Our Brother Abu Muadh Taqweem Aslam
Q: Do those who follow the lessons of the Salafi scholars online or via radio gain the blessing of the gathering?
A: These whom you have mentioned have many great gains:-
Firstly: They are considered students of knowledge, [i.e. in the sense that they are using their time listening to salafi lessons online, learning and benefitting] and the student of knowledge is the best of the people in degree, and the best of the people of his time if he intends the removal of ignorance from himself through seeking knowledge and to act upon his knowledge and spread it.
Secondly: The student of knowledge whether he sits in isolation alone or in a group, serenity descends upon him, and mercy envelops him, and the Angels of Allah surround him. So these individuals who follow the circles of knowledge from the Book and the Sunnah and other means of knowledge, they have a great reward and their reward does not decrease from the level of reward of those physically present in the circles with the scholars of knowledge in’sha’Allah.
[Translator’s note: This has within it a great encouragement for those who find themselves in circumstances whereby they are unable to attend Salafi lessons in-person, to listen and follow online from wherever they may be across the world.
It should be highlighted though, that this is not to be understood as a licence to purposely exclude oneself from the physical gatherings with the ability to attend, upon the excuse of being able to listen online anyway. Those who find themselves in a position to attend Salafi lessons, of students for example, in-person within their localities should make the effort in accordance to their ability to attend and be with their brothers and sisters. It is from the blessing of Allah lessons are now held by Salafi students in various locations across the U.K. and elsewhere, such blessings are deserving of gratitude to be demonstrated upon them. However, those who are genuinely unable to physically attend, then their is great benefit nevertheless in following online, and that is an opportunity not be wasted.]