If someone feels that he is capable of practicing the Qur’aan and Ahaadeeth without an ustaad after having studied a little Arabic or after residing for a while in an Arab country and learning elementary Arabic, or due to him having a good ability of understanding and reasoning, then he has fallen into deception. This is irrational and foolish. It is imperative to study under the guidance of an ustaad. There are so many Ahaadeeth that cannot be understood without an ustaad (teacher).
For example, it appears in one hadeeth that Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said, ” An excellent person is he who does not possess a flourishing business, unknown to others and engages in ‘ibaadah (worship) in seclusion and in the open.” Thereafter the narrator said, “Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam tested the quality of the coin.”
One will unable to understand the meaning of testing the quality of the coin without professional guidance. The Ustaad will explain in ancient times people used to place the coin between the thumb and middle finger and click their fingers causing the coin to give off a sound, through which the quality of the coin would be understood. In the similar manner, Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam clicked his fingers, indicating the speedy departure of the this person from the world. Only a few will cry over him and he has a very small estate. (Mishkaat Vol.2 Pg 442)
Similarly, in the past there was no tradition of placing nuqtaa (dots for the alphabets). The names of several narrators are such that when written without dots they appear identical. For example, one narrators name is حبّاط Habbaat. A second narrators name is خيّاط Khayyat and a third’s name is حنّاط Hannat.
When these names are written without dots, they all appear identical . How will one be able to differentiate between them without the guidance of an ustaad? There are some names that will be confusing even if dots are placed. One narrator’s name is أسيد – Aseed. A second narrator’s name is أسيد – Usayd and a third’s name is أسيّد Usayyad. The names seem alike despite the dots being placed and only through the ustaad (teacher), will one be able to identify the name.
Pg 138, Malfoozat Of Faqeehul-Ummah