The time they gave for seeking Knowledge

The path to knowledge is lengthy and it is a lifetime project. The seeker of knowledge will continue to seek it until he meets Allaah.

It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

لَن يَشبَعَ المُؤمِنُ مِن خَيرٍ يَسمَعُهُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ مُنتَهَاهُ الجَنَّةُ

The believer will never have enough of listening to good things (seeking knowledge) until he reaches Paradise.

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2686) who said: It is hasan ghareeb. It was classed as saheeh by al-Haakim (4/129) and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. It was classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Tirmidhi.

Below are some examples which shows the amount of time spent by some of the scholars of the past in their pursuit of seeking knowledge. This is something in which people vary and no one has the right to stipulate specific times.

(1) Ibn ‘Aqeel al-Hanbali (rahimahullaah) said:

ويقول ابن عقيل الحنبلي رحمه الله :

” إني لا يحل لي أن أضيع ساعة من عمري ، حتى إذا تعطل لساني عن مذاكرة أو مناظرة ، وبصري عن مطالعة ، أعملت فكري في حال راحتي وأنا منطرح ، فلا أنهض إلا وقد خطر لي ما أسطِّرُه ، وأنا أُقَصِّر بغاية جهدي أوقات أكلي ، حتى أختار سف الكعك وتحسِّيَه بالماء على الخبز ، لأجل ما بينهما من تفاوت المضغ ، توفرا على مطالعة ، أو تسطير فائدة لم أدركها فيه ، وإن أجلُّ تحصيل عند العقلاء هو الوقت ، فهو غنيمة تنتهز فيها الفرص ، فالتكاليف كثيرة والأوقات خاطفة “

انظر “صلاح الأمة في علو الهمة” (4/ 169-170)

“It is not permissible for me to waste an hour of my life even when my tongue is not busy with memorizing or debating with others, or my eyes are not busy in reading. I would think even when I am resting or relaxing, so I would not get up without an idea to write down. I limit the time I spend eating as much as I can, to such an extent that I choose a few crumbs and follow it with water rather than bread, because bread takes more time to chew, so as to save my time for reading or writing down some useful ideas. The best thing for the wise man to save is time.”

Source: Salaah al-Ummah fi ‘Uluw al-Himmah (4/169-170)

(2) Ibn al-‘Attaar, the student of al-Nawawi, said:

قال ابن العطار تلميذ النووي :

” ذكر لي شيخنا رحمه الله أنه كان لا يضيِّع له وقتا ، لا في ليل ولا في نهار ، إلا في الاشتغال بالعلم ، حتى في الطريق يكرر أو يطالع ، وأنه دام على هذا ست سنين ، ثم أخذ في التصنيف ، وكان لا يأكل في اليوم والليلة إلا أكلة بعد عشاء الآخرة ، ويشرب شربة واحدة عند السحر ، ويقول أخاف أن يرطب جسمي ويجلب لي النوم “

انظر “صلاح الأمة في علو الهمة” (4/ 175)

“Our Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) told me that he never spent any time, by night or by day, without being busy with knowledge, and even on the road he would be reading. He continued like this for six years, then he began to write books. He never ate during the day or the night, except a meal after ‘Isha’ prayer, and he drank only once, just before dawn. He said: I am afraid that my body may become hydrated and make me want to sleep.”

Source: Salaah al-Ummah fi ‘Uluw al-Himmah (4/175)

(3) Regarding Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah), it is said that:

“…أنه يطلب طعاما ولا غداء ولا عشاء ولو بقي مهما بقي لشدة اشتغاله بما هو فيه من العلم والعمل بل كان يؤتي بالطعام وربما يترك عنده زماناً حتى يلتفت إليه وإذا أكل أكل شيئاً يسيراً ، وما كان يذكر شيئاً من ملاذ الدنيا ونعيمها ولا كان يخوض في شيء من حديثها ولا يسأل عن شيء من معيشتها بل جعل همته وحديثه في طلب الآخرة وما يقرب إلى الله تعالى .”

غاية الاماني في الرد على النبهاني للإمام محمود شكري الألوسي (2/174)

“He (rahimahullaah) was never heard asking for food – dinner or supper – no matter how long he remained busy with some matter related to knowledge and action. Rather, he would sometimes be given food that he would leave for a long time before even turning to it, and if he ate from it, would only eat small bits. He would never mention the delights of this world, and would never speak or ask about it. Rather, all of his concern and conversation was in seeking the Hereafter and what could bring him closer to Allaah, the Exalted.”

Source: ‘Ghayat al-Amani Ghayat fil radd ‘ala al-nabhanee of Imaam Muhammad Shakaree al-Alusi (2/173)

(4) az-Zarnuji (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said:

دخل حسن بن زياد فى التفقه وهو ابن ثمانين سنة، ولم يبت على الفراش أربعين سنة فأفتى بعد ذلك أربعين سنة. وأفضل الأوقات شرخ  الشباب، ووقت السحر، وما بين العشائين . وينبغى أن يستغرق جميع أوقاته، فإذا مل من علم يشتغل بعلم آخر.

“al-Hasan bin Ziyad began studying at the age of 80, and for 40 years, he did not sleep an entire night on his bed, and then he gave fatawas for 40 years.

And the best of time is the prime of youth, the early mornings, and what is between the two evening prayers. And it is required that one makes use of all his time; if he is bored with one subject, he should move on to another.

وكان محمد بن الحسن لا ينام الليل، وكان يضع عنده الدفاتر، وكان إذا مل من نوع ينظر فى نوع آخر، (وكان يضع عنده الماء، ويزيل نومه بالماء، وكان يقول: إن النوم من الحرارة فلا بد من دفعه بالماء البارد.)

and Muhammad bin al-Hasan ash-Shaybani would not sleep at night. He would place his books in front of him, and if he became bored of one book, he’d move on to another. He would also place in front of him a container of water that he’d use to keep himself awake, saying: “Sleep comes from heat, and one must repel it with cold water.””

Source: ‘Ta’lim al-Muta’allim wa Turuq at-Ta’allum’ (p. 23) and at-Tarbiyyah al-Islameeah usooliha (1/212).

Author: Islamic Treasure

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