Allah SWT mentions in the Qur’an how knowledge can be a means of guidance and also a means of causing some to go astray. Knowledge must be approached with sincerity, and an open mind and it should be taken from the right sources, not a search engine. Just like a doctor would not and could not be granted certification in medicine through mere study of medical books on their own, you should not expect something as sacred, strong and deep as the Qur’an to be sought through a few searches online.

To further elaborate the importance of this point, here is a short story whose lesson highlights the importance of heart to heart learning from a teacher, “verily knowledge is sought from the people of knowledge, knowledge is sought upon the knees”:

يَظُنُّ الْغُمْرَ أَنَّ الْكُتْبَ تَهْدِي ** أَخَا فَهْمٍ لإدراكِ الْعُلُومِ

وَمَا يَدْرِي الْجَهُولُ بأنَّ فِيْها ** غوامضَ حَيَّرَتْ عَقْل الْفَهِيْمِ

إذا رمت العلوم بغير شيخٍ ** ضللت عن الصراط المستقيم

وتلتبس الأمور عليك حتّى ** تصير أضلّ من توما الحكيم

Translates to:
The novice thinks that a book guides ** He connects as brothers quick-wit and obtainment of knowledge

And the ignorant does not understand that in it ** Are obscurities perplexing the mind of the even the sagacious

When you aim for the sciences without a Shaykh ** You stray from the straight path;

And matters become dubious to you until ** You become more astray than Tuumaa ‘the Wise’.

Related to this, Shaykh Aymen Souid [hafidhahullah] narrates a thought provoking story:

“Touma the ‘wise’ was a man who used to practice medicine by merely learning the theory from books, without the assistance of a qualified person.

He once read the hadith about the black seed “The black seed is a cure for every disease” as “The black snake is a cure to every disease”.

This mistake was a result of a little dirt mark that was in his book under the word حبة (seed) which he read as حية (snake).

Touma then put this into practice and started to treat his patients with black snakes (by grounding them into drinks) which killed his patients.”

Lessons from the story:

1) Allah swt raises people in status through knowledge and He swt can also lower their status through knowledge.

This can result from:

a. Lack of sincerity or

b. Arrogance whereby the person doesn’t feel the need to refer back to someone more knowledgeable than themselves.

None of which are qualities that befit or benefit the student of knowledge.

2) Misreading a hadith led to the death of a number of people. Imagine those who misinterpret the Quran and Sunnah due to their ignorance and thus cause generations to go astray? And by Allah death is easier than this!

Remember that Allah swt did not reveal the Qur’an except that He selected the best of mankind, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to teach it.