It is reported that Abū Hurayrah – Allāh be pleased with him – said, “People say, ‘Abū Hurayrah reports so many [hadīth ],’ but if it were not for two verses in Allāh’s book, I would not narrate a single hadīth .” Then he recited, “Verily, those who hide what Allāh 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 Muhājirūn, used to be occupied with trading in the markets, and our brothers, the Ansār, would be occupied with dealing with their wealth and property, but Abū Hurayrah used to stay with Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’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-Hāfidh Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm Vol.1 p464.

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

[1] The hadīth from Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him – has the same ruling as the revealed Book of Allāh ‘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.