At the Doorstep of Knowledge

It is reported from ‘Abdullâh b. ‘Abbâs – Allâh be pleased with them – that he said:

After Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – passed away, I said to a man from the Ansâr, “Come, let us ask [and learn from] the Prophet’s Companions, Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him, for they are many in number today.” He replied, “I am surprised at you Ibn ‘Abbâs – do you really think people need you when there are so many Companions of the Prophet – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him?” So he did not involve himself in this endeavor, but I busied myself asking [the Companions about issues]. If I heard of a hadîth being reported by a man, I would come to him and if he was taking his midday nap I would lay down my garment and lie outside waiting for him, with  the wind blowing dust in my face. The man would come out [for Dhuhr] and see me in that state, and he would exclaim, “O nephew of Allâh’s Messenger! What has brought you here? You should have sent for me and I would have come to you!” I would say, “Rather I should come to you [to seek knowledge].” I would then ask him about the hadîth I heard. The man [who I originally invited to seek knowledge with me] remained as he was, and when he saw how people would gather around me [to seek knowledge] he said, “For sure, this young man was more intelligent than me.” [Al-Dârimî, Al-Sunan Vol. 2 p129.]


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