It is reported that Abû Hurayrah – Allâh be pleased with him – said, “People say, ‘Abû Hurayrah reports so many [hadîth ],’ but if it were not for two verses in Allâh’s book, I would not narrate a single hadîth .” Then he recited, “Verily, those who hide what Allâh has sent down of the Book (Al-Baqarah: 174),” and “Verily, those who hide what We have sent down of clear explanation and guidance. (Al-Baqarah: 159)” He then said, “Our brothers, the Muhâjirûn, used to be occupied with trading in the markets, and our brothers, the Ansâr, would be occupied with dealing with their wealth and property, but Abû Hurayrah used to stay with Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – for his fill, and would be present when they were not.”

This wording has been reported by Al-Hâfidh Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, Jâmi’ Bayân Al-‘Ilm Vol.1 p464.

Commenting on this narration, Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr states, “In this narration there are a number of meanings to understand, including:

[1] The hadîth from Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – has the same ruling as the revealed Book of Allâh ‘azza wa jall.
[2] Knowledge should be shown, spread and taught.
[3] One should stick with the scholars.
[4] One should be satisfied with the little he can get of worldly provision in order to pursue his desire for knowledge.
[5] One should prefer knowledge over being occupied with worldly pursuits and income.