Kathir bin Qays rahmatullah alayh relates: “I was sitting in the masjid of Damascus with Abu Darda radiAllahu anhu. A person came to Abu Darda radiAllahu anhu and said: “O Abu Darda, I have left Madinah and come to you so that I may learn a particular Hadith from you. I have been given to understand that you have heard this Hadith from Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. I have not come to you for any other purpose.”
Abu Darda replied: “Without doubt, I have heard Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam saying:
“Whoever takes a path seeking knowledge therein, Allah Ta’ala will make easy for him, a path to jannah. The angels, out of happiness, will place down their wings for the seeker of knowledge (laying down the wings is out of humility for the seeker of knowledge.)”
Alhamdulillah, today marks my one year as being a Taalib Al-Ilm in this Country. It’s unbelievable how fast time flies, SubhanAllah. It was just the other day I stumbled upon this foreign country not knowing the language, culture, the currency or how I would even manage to make do. But, through the Fadhl of Allah Ta’ala, this past year was perhaps the most productive and beneficial year I’ve ever had, Alhamdulillah.
The Classical Scholars of Islam have always stressed that learning Deeni knowledge can only come through sacrifice. And part of that sacrifice has always come from leaving one’s hometown and family to travel in search of this knowledge. Nearly all the great scholars that I can think of at the moment, have engaged in such a journey.
And definitely, I can see the wisdom behind it. It’s not easy to leave one’s family and comfort zone, especially when migrating from the West to a less developed nation. But, when one strives for something, they learn its true value. They don’t take for granted their limited time nor their golden opportunity. And of course, the barakah from Allah Ta’ala is being showered down constantly upon such a person, which is all one needs.
People travel for difference purposes. Some travel for marriage, others travel for wealth. In the previous generation this was common, many left their respective home countries (Middle East, SubContinent) to Western countries in hopes for a better life.
Our Master, Sayyiduna Ali radiAllahu anhu, was asked: “What shall I gain; knowledge or wealth?” Our Master radiAllahu anhu replied:
• Knowledge is the inheritance of the Prophets alayhissalaam and wealth is the inheritance of Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and Qaroon
• The more knowledge you gain, the more friends you have and the more wealth you gain, the more more enemies you have…
• As time passes, the value of money decreases and the value of knowledge increases,
• Wealth needs to be guarded, while knowledge guards you,
• You will always fear the theft of money, but knowledge cannot be stolen from the heart,
• On the Day of Judgement, Allah Taa’la will ask you two questions regarding your wealth; how it was earned and how it was spent. These are two separate questions regarding Wealth whereas one question regarding knowledge will be asked: How much you acted upon it,
• Knowledge helps you gain money but money cannot buy you knowledge.
For me, coming to seek knowledge was the best decision I ever could have made. It has opened doors that I would not have imagined in my wildest dreams. At the same time, there are many areas I need to improve on for the coming year, inshaAllah:
1) Arabic: My Arabic is still not good for someone who has been living in this environment for one year. I need to first of all overcome my inhibitions and speak Arabic with others and be willing to make mistakes. My problem is that I only speak it, when I am sure I won’t make any mistakes, but I need to just speak without worrying. Also, I need to stop being lazy in looking up words in the dictionary.
2) Attending Duroos: I only attend my classes, but not random lessons that go on throughout the year. However, the goal is not just to study kitaabs and earn ijaazahs, but rather to embody the knowledge that you gain, and this can only be done from spending time at the feet of Ulema.
3) Staying Focused: With all that goes on in my life, sometimes I lose focus in what my purpose is here. Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala has given me an opportunity not afforded to many others and I can’t let others and other things make me forget that blessing nor sway me away from making seeking knowledge my number one objective.
All in all, I can not complain. This is certainly a chance to grow in more ways than one, and I pray that Allah Ta’ala gives me the necessary tawfeeq to make the most of it!