Steps to Acquiring knowledge – Imam ash-Sha’bi [d. 105 A.H]

Imām al-Sha’bī was once asked, ‘How did you attain all this knowledge?’ He replied:

بنفي الاعتماد و السير في البلاد و صبر كصبر الحمار و بكور كبكور الغراب

“By independency, by travelling through cities, by having patience like that of a donkey and by rising early like the rising of crows.”
[ ‘Uluww al-Himmah by Muhammad Isma’il al-Muqaddam]

Here are a few points of benefit that we can derive:

  • Be independent in your studies. Don’t rely on someone or something to always motivate you and push you to learn.
  • Learn how to motivate yourself! Be free from distractions and limitations.
  • Do not procrastinate.
  • Travel! Keep on the move! Go from A to B, then B to C! Don’t be stagnant in your life; always have a peak that you’re reaching for.
  • If knowledge is not in your immediate vicinity, seek it out and go to where it is!
  • Be patient. More patient than the donkey overloaded with cargo. Bear all the hardships on this path, bear the trials and tribulations.
  • Get up early! The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘My Ummah has been blessed in its early portion (of the day).’ Seek out the blessings of the morning. Tips for Time Management are in this hadith! You may not have time during the day, but you’ll always have time in the mornings.
  • Give yourself no excuses, because most of the time an excuse is a barrier that you place between you and your goals.

Source: Fajr Blog

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