Giving to spread Knowledge

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh’s mercy be upon him – was criticized for spending on [other people in] other lands and not his own. In response, he said, “I know the locations of virtuous, sincere and truthful people who seek and study ḥadīth and do it well because people are in need of them. They are needy, and if we leave them, their knowledge will be lost; but if we help them, they will spread knowledge to the Ummah of Muḥammad – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him. I do not know of anything more virtuous, after Prophecy, than spreading knowledge.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā`, in his biography of ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak.

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.

I sit with the Salaf

It is reported from Nu’aym b. Hammâd:

‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak used to often stay at home, so he was asked, “Don’t you get lonely?” He replied, “How could I get lonely when I am with the Prophet – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him (i.e. I read his hadîth)?”

Also on the authority of Nu’aym b. Hammâd:

It was once said to ‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak, “O Abû ‘Abd Al-Rahmân, you often sit alone at home.” He said, “I am alone? I am with the Prophet – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – and his Companions.” Meaning: reading hadîth.

Ibn ‘Asâkir, Târîkh Dimishq Vol. 32 p458.

Shaqîq b. Ibrâhîm reports:

It was once said to ‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak, “After you have prayed with us you don’t sit with us?” He replied, “I go and sit with the Sahâbah and the Tâbi’în.” We said, “And how can you sit with the Sahâbah and Tâbi’în (when they have all passed away)?” He replied, “I go and read the knowledge I have collected, I find their narrations and deeds. What would I do with you? You sit around backbiting people.”

Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` in his biography of ‘Abdullah b. Al-Mubârak.