The value of time

  • Time is like a sword, if you don’t slay it, it will slay you!
  • Every dead person envies you for the time you have.

  • Imam Shafi’i rahmatullahi alayhi said “I accompanied the Sufis and I only benefited from two of their sayings, first; time is a sword, if you don’t slay it, it will slay you! And second; keep your soul occupied with good; otherwise it will keep you occupied with evil.”
  • Umar bin abdul Aziz (r.a) said: “night and day are ever working on you, thus work in them.”
  • Once a man said to a Tabi’in, Amr bin Abd Qays, “Talk to me.” Amr bin Abd Qays replied, “Hold the sun!” What he meant was, “stop for me the sun or prevent it from continuing its movement so that I can talk to you.”
  • Abdullah ibn Mas’ud Radiallahu anhu said, “I have never regretted anything as much as my regret over a day on which the sun sets and my life span decreases while my good deeds have not increased.”
  • Hasan Al Basri, Rahmtullahi alayhi said, “O son of Adam, you are but days, such that with every day that goes by, part of you departs with it.”  He further added, “I have seen people who were more protective of their time than you are of your dinars.”
  • Abdur Rahmaan ibn Mahdi said about his teacher Hammaad ibn Salamah al Basri, “If it was said to Hammad: ‘You shall die tomorrow’ He would not be able to increase in his good deeds.”  Musa ibn Ismail said about Hamaad ibn Salamah, “If I told you that I have never seen Hamaad ibn Salamah laughing, I would be telling the truth.”
  • Imam Abu Yusuf Rahamtullahi alayhi, a very close companion of Imam Abu Hanifah, attending his circle for 17 years, according to others 29 years, never missing Zuhr prayer with him nor leaving him except in illness.  Shuja ibn Makhlad said he heard Abu Yusuf say, “A son of mine died, and I did not attend his washing or burial, and left my neighbours and relatives in charge of that, lest I should miss some part of Abu Hanifah’s lecture and regret it for the rest of my life.”
  • Ammar ibn Raja’ said about Ubaid ibn Ya’ish, the shaykh of Bukhari and Muslim, I heard him say, “For thirty years I never had time to eat at night, my sister used to feed me while I wrote hadith.”
  • Imam Yahya ibn Ma’in was born in Baghdad in 158 AH.  He started writing hadith at the age of 10. His father was one of the noble scribes under Abdullah ibn Malik, in charge of the water tax, and left Yahya ibn Ma’in a million dirhams, all of which he spent on acquiring knowledge of hadith until he didn’t even have sandals to wear.                                                                 Muhammad ibn Nasr said, “I heard Yahya ibn Ma’in say ‘I wrote by hand a million hadith.”  Writing each hadith 50 times in order to remember it.    Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, “Any hadith unknown to Yahya ibn Ma’in is not a hadith.  Yahya ibn Ma’in is a man created for this purpose, to reveal the lies of the liars.                                                                                           Salih Ibn Ahmad said I heard from Abu Abdullah, “I heard my father saying that Yahya ibn Ma’in left behind 114 containers of books, and four large containers.” Whenever Shaykh Yayha went for hajj, he would go via Madinah, and on return, go through Madinah.  When he went for hajj in 233 AH, he entered Madinah before hajj began, fell ill and passed away.  People heard of his arrival and his death, the tribe of Banu Hashim brought out the bed on which the Prophet Salallahu alayhi wasallam was washed, and used it to prepare for his burial.  And he was buried in al Baqi.
  • Abul Abbas al Mubarrid says, “I have not seen anyone who valued knowledge more than these three: Amr ibn Bahr born in 163 AH and died in 255 AH; al Fath ibn Khaqan a writer and poet chosen by the Abbasid caliph al Mutawakkil as a companion and minister.  He passed away in 237 AH; and Ismail ibn Ishaaq al Qadhi, the Maliki imam scholar of fiqh inBaghdad, born in 200 AH and passed away in 282 AH.   As for Amr ibn Bahr, whenever he found a book, he would read it from cover to cover, to the extent he used to rent the shops which sold paper, and spend the night reading the books they stored.  As for al Fath al Khaqan, he used to carry a book in his sleeve, he would leave the Caliph al Mutawakkil to go to the bathroom or for prayer, and he would take the book out and read while walking until arriving at his destination and the same on the way back.  As for Ismail ibn Ishaaq al Qadhi I have never seen him without a book in his hand, or looking through books, searching for one to read, or dusting the books.

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