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Persevering in the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) is a personality who requires no introduction. Nevertheless, while most people are aware of the acceptance which he and his kitaab received from Allah Ta‘ala, not many people are aware of the great hardships which he underwent in the pursuit of ‘ilm (the knowledge of Deen). Below are two incidents in this regard:

‘Umar bin Hafs (rahimahullah) narrates:

We were with Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) in Basrah, acquiring and writing the ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). On one occasion, a few days passed in which we saw no sign of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah). Thereafter, we managed to locate him and found that he was in a certain house. (He remained confined to the house because) he did not possess any clothing and his provisions were exhausted. Hence, we collected some dirhams (silvers coins) and used the amount to acquire clothing for him.

Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) personally relates the following:

Once, I went to (acquire hadeeth from) Aadam bin Abi Iyaas (rahimahullah). After some time, (my money was depleted and) there was a delay in my allowance arriving. For that period in which I had no money, I resorted to living on grass. However, I did not inform anyone of my difficulty and constraints. On the third day of my living in this condition, a stranger came to me and handed me a bag of dinaars (gold coins) saying, “Use this for your needs.”

(Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 12, pg. 448)

Lessons:

1. Often, a person views the success and acceptance of a certain personality, and fails to realise that his success rests on the foundation of sacrifice, effort and hardship. Hence, if a person wishes to achieve anything in life, he must make the appropriate effort and sacrifice, understanding that it is the necessary price he will have to pay to achieve his dream. Thus, if we want to become the special friends of Allah Ta‘ala, we must be prepared to put in the necessary effort and sacrifice all the sins that stand in the way of this goal.

2. The ‘Ulama of the past went through extraordinary difficulties to acquire the knowledge of Deen, travelling far and wide to acquire even a single hadeeth. Allah Ta‘ala has now made it easy for us to acquire the knowledge of Deen as there is an abundance of ‘Ulamaa. We should thus make an effort to refer to them regularly for guidance and knowledge.

3. A Muslim is an embodiment of concern for his brother Muslim, always trying to help and assist him. Hence, ‘Umar bin Hafs (rahimahullah) and his companions collected some money to assist Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah).

4. When a person has taqwa and turns to Allah Ta‘ala, He will certainly assist him and come to his aid. If it will not happen immediately, it will happen after some time, but it will certainly happen. Hence, Allah Ta‘ala sent a person to assist Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah).

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