The Value of Time part 2

  • Qadhi Iyaadh rahimahullah wrote a biography of the Maliki scholar of fiqh and hadith Muhammad ibn Suhnoon and said, “He had a servant called Umm Mudaam. Once he was in her house, and was busy writing a book until evening.  When it was time for dinner, she asked permission to serve dinner, but he replied, “I am busy at the moment.” After waiting for a long period, Umm Mudaam started feeding Muhammad ibn Suhnoon until he finished, while he continued working.  He continued writing till fajr.  He then asked, “Last night I was too busy, bring what you have.”  She replied, “By Allah I fed it to you.”  He said, “I didn’t notice.”

  • Yaqoot al Hamawee writes in his book, “Abu jafar al Tabari said to his companions: “What would you think of writing a tafsir of the Quraan?” They asked, “How long will it be?” Abu jafar al Tabari replied, “30,000 pages.”  His companions said, “Lives would end before its completion.”  So he restricted it to around 3,000 pages and dictated it in 283-290 AH.  Then he said, “What do you think of writing a book on history from the time of Adam to our time?”  His companions asked, “How long will it be?” He replied, “30,000 pages.”  They said the same reply as before.  So he restricted it again to around 3,000 pages and finished in 303AH.                                                                              Ibn Jarir al Tabari’s students, counted the number of days he had lived, and divided the number of pages by those days, it came to 14 pages a day.” Ibn Jarir al Tabari was born in 224 AH and died in 310AH, some of his kitaabs are still read to this day, which are an eternal reminder of him more so than his children, for they would eventually disappear in the past, whilst these writings remain a legacy, over a 1000 years.
  • Imam ibn al Jawzi said, “The scholar’s book is his eternal child.”
  • Imam Muhammad ibn Ahmed, from Samarqand, lived inBaghdad, used to study so much, whilst walking in the streets, many a time was hit by horses and knocked into ditches.
  • Abu Hussein the student of Abu Hafs Umar ibn Uthman al Baghdadi, known as ibn Shaheen, said, “Ibn Shaheen said to us, “I wrote 330 books, including al tafsir al kabir which is a 1000 volumes, al musnad, which is 1,300 volumes, al Tarikh which is 150 volumes and al zuhd which is 100 volumes.”
  • Abu Nu’aym al Asfahaani, a scholar of hadith, history and Sufism, born 336AH and passed away 430AH, it is said about him, “Abu Nu’aym was at his time a scholar sought by all seekers of knowledge.  There was no one who had more knowledge of hadith and the chains of narrations than him.  All scholars of hadith used to travel in order to meet him, each of them were allocated a day in which he would read to him until zuhr, and when he would leave to go to his house, some would read to him on the way, and he was never tired of teaching.  He had no other food other than teaching and writing.”
  • Ibn al Jawzi’ said, “ If I were to describe my state, then I am never content with reading books, and when I see a book that I had not seen before, it is as if I have found a treasure.  I look at the catalogue of books at the Madrasah al Nizammiyah, and it contained around 6,000 books.  I also looked at the index of the writings of Abu Hanifah, Al Humaidi, shaykh Abdul Wahhab, ibn Nasir and other books which I was able to read.  And if I was to say that I read 20,000 books, then in truth it would be more and I was then still a student.”
  • Imam ibn al Jawzi’ in a letter of advice to his son, said,” Know, dear son, that days are but hours, and hours are but breaths, and every soul is a container, hence let not any breath pass without any benefit, such that on the day of judgement you find an empty container and feel regret! Be aware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best way possible.  Send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it.”
  • Al Hafiz Ibn Rajab says, “Ibn Jawzi wrote more than 340 books, some of which contain twenty volumes while some are only one notebook long.”          Al Muwaffaq Abdul Latif said, “Ibn al Jawzi wasted no time.  He used to write four notebooks everyday and wrote every year between 50 to 60 volumes.”
  • Abu Muzaffar, the grandson of Ibn Jawzi said, “I heard my grandfather (Ibn Jawzi) saying while on the pulpit, towards the end of his life; “I wrote with these two fingers of mine 2,000 volumes.”

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