It is very incredible to know about struggles of the scholars in seeking knowledge. Many of them have sacrificed their wealth, treasure, and property for the sake of seeking knowledge. However, we know that our treasure is one of the test for Muslim in the world and it is very naturally loved by humans. Just the opposite, maybe we feel, it’s very hard to sacrifice a little of our property in seeking knowledge.
As good thulabul ‘ilm, we must always follow our predecessors, how they respect knowledge and how they give attention in seeking knowledge. Formerly, many scholar have devoted all their possessions as well as they can. Moreover, there is a statement from one of scholar, Syu’bah, He said:
مَنْ طَلَبَ الْحَدِيثَ أَفْلَسَ
“Whoever studying hadith / seeking science of religion, It will go bankrupt”
Imam Asy-syafi’i rahimahullah said,
لَا يَصْلُحُ طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ إِلَا لِمُفْلِس
“Not worth it for those who seek knowledge except those who prepared poor / broke”
Ibnu Sa’ad said, that I listen Musa bin Dawud said,
أفلس الهيثم بن جميل في طلب الحديث مرتين
“Al-Haytham ibn Jamil went bankrupt twice when looking for a hadith.”
So, that is a thing that we should contemplate ourselves how we should respect knowledge properly when we compare again with their scholar’s attitude. If we deeply search in history book, there are many examples about story which give us depiction how scholars are really staggering in their life high dedicated in Islamic knowledge.
Imam Abu Hanifah said in Jaami’u bayanil ‘ilmi wa fadhlihi I/509 no.819
«الحكايات عن العلماء ومجالستهم أحب إلي من كثير من الفقه؛ لأنها آداب القوم وأخلاقهم»
“The stories of the scholars and sit with them (to study knowledge) are more I like than much fiqh’s problem, because these stories contain good manners and their behavior”
Such, the scholars tell us that sometimes read stories about pious generation and below (scholars who follow the best generation) are preferable than study theory.
Allah azza wa jalla said,
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى وَلَكِنْ تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُون
“There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur’an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe”
(Yusuf : 111)
And then, Ibnu Mubarak had been asked,
: قيل لابن المبارك، إلى متى تطلب العلم؟ قال: «حتى الممات إن شاء الله
“When will you finish in seeking knowledge ? He said, until the death comes insyaa Allah”
The spirit that scholar have make them enthusiastic in seeking knowledge, however, they have given many examples we can follow them in our lives. The Prophet Muhammad Shalallahu alaihi wassallam have declared a good news,
من خرج في طلب العلم فهو في سبيل الله حتى يرجع
“Whoever is go out to seek knowledge, then he is in the way of Allah until he returns” (narrated by At-tirmidzi)
Based on the hadith above, many scholars have showed us how they truly practice it (May Allah bless and accept all their good deeds). In seeking knowledge, the scholars didn’t go out in a short times maybe for one, two or three days but for several months, years, or decades. Moreover, they usually faced many distraction and obstacles in their trips, such as thirsty, hungry, distress, and other dangers threats them at any times.
فقد رحل الإمام أبو عبد الله محمد بن إسحاق بن منده لطلب العلم وعمره عشرون سنة، ورجع إلى بلده وعمره خمسة وستون عاماً، وكانت مدة رحلته خمسة وأربعين عاماً، وسمع فيها العلم وتلقاه عن ألف وسبعمائة شيخ، فلما رجع إلى بلده تزوج وهو ابن خمسة وستين عاماً، ورزق الأولاد، وحدث الناس وعلمهم
“Al-Imam Abu Abdillah Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Mandah had gone to travel to seek knowledge when he was 20 years old, and returned back when he was 65 years old. So He had made a trip for 45 years. At that time, He had listened and took a knowledge from 1700 teachers. Then He returned to his country and marred when he was 65 years old. He was blessed with several children, then he deliver his knowledge (hadith ) to the ummah and teach them.”
Actually, there are still a lot of stories about how scholars respect knowledge in their life, and an outstanding story has been collected in history book created by scholars. But, I only can partly write it in this assignment. So, hopefully we can slightly imitate and follow them in good attitude of seeking knowledge.
Alhamdulillahilladzi bi ni’matihi tatimmush sholihaat, wa shallallahu ‘ala nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alihi wa shohbihi wa sallam.
 Jaami’u bayaanil ‘ilmi wa fadhlihi I/410 no.597
 Al-Jami’ liakhlaqir rawi, 1/104 no.71
 Rihlah fi thalabil hadits pg. 205,
 Jaami’u bayaanil ‘ilmi wa fadhlihi no.586
 Tadzkirah Al-Huffazh 3/1032 created by Al-Imam Adz-Dzahabi
This is specially proposed to fulfill assignments in Etiquette’s of Seeking Knowledge
Deni Setiawan Abu Muhammad [ST 10031274]