There is no doubt that all of us would like to know ‘how do I encourage myself and rise my passion of reading?’ ‘What are the ways to drive my soul to overcome the ‘laziness’ which keeps me away from reading about my deen -even though it seems like I have time for everything else-?’
The answer is broad.
But undoubtedly one of the main ways is to always remind one’s self about the importance and benefit of reading [see previous post], and also one of the critical means to increas one’s zeal to be constant in reading [and all acts of worship in general] is: reading about those who ‘have had a hand’ in this, those who have achieved something we would like to. When we read on how the scholars of Islam -and even some of the students of knowledge- endure and make themselves patient upon reading, and we see the high noble status they reach: surely that increases our enthusiasm and our zeal.
Here are some -just some- [Think over them & Enjoy] :
– Imam Ibraahim al-Muzani [the main student of Imam ash-Shafi’ee] said about himself: ‘I have read ar-Risalah 500 times, now for a period of 50 years. Everytime I read it I benefit something new.’
[ar-Risalah is the first book to be written in Usul-Fiqh (the principles of Fiqh). Very important book. We also benefit about the importance of repeating a book, especially the important books.]
– In tarteeb al-Madaarik of Qaadhi Iyaadh he writes in the biography of the Maaliki faqeeh and Muhaddith; Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Baghdaadi who passed away in 375 H, he said about himself: “I read the mukhtasar [summarization] of Ibn AbdulHakam 500 times, and al-Muwatta [of Imam Maalik] 45 times, and the mukhtasar [summarization] of al-Barqi 70 times, and al-Mabsoot 30 times.”
– Sheikh Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Hanbali read al-Mughni of Ibn Qudaamah 23 times, to the extent that he almost memorized it. [For those who dont know al-Mughni: It is one of the main reference books of Islamic Fiqh, the best print which is the verification by shheikh Turki is 14 Volumes, each volume is around 500pages!]
– Badr-ud-deen Ibn Jama’ah narrates about his sheikh –Imaam Nawawi-: When I visited him in his house, he had to move some of the pile of books just so that I can get space to sit !
And, ‘I asked him about his sleep?’ So he replied: ‘when I get tired I just lean on these books and sleep!’
– And in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, in the introduction, Imam Nawawi writes under the biography of Abul Husayn Abdulghaffar naysaaburi who passed away in 448H: ” He was a sheikh, trustworthy, famous, many used to travel to him, the Imams of different places transmitted from him …… and al-Hafidh Hasan samaraqandi read to him Saheeh Muslim 30+ times, and Abu Sa’id al-Buhayri read to him 10+ times.’
– Imam Ad-Dhahabi transmitted from Sharafud-deen Abul Hasan al-Yunini that he heard him saying: “That he verified his script of Saheeh al-Bukhaari and he heard it [being read to him]: 11 times in one year.” [the manuscript and the verification of al-Yunini on Saheeh al-Bukhari is the best of all, as mentioned by the experts, Maybe now we now why!]
– From the book of al-Kattaani that he found in ‘Thabt as-Shihab Ahmad ibn Qasim’: ‘I saw the handwriting of al-Fayroozabaadi (the author of al-Qamus) at the end of the last volume of Saheeh al-Bukhaari: “I have read Saheeh al-Bukhaari more than 50 times.”
And maybe some will say: ”and how can we be like them [the Ulamaa of the past]!?” Well here are some examples from people who are still alive alhamdulillaah:
– I [Abdulazeez] heard myself from sheikh Abu Ishaq al-Huwayni saying: ‘…and I alhamdulillaah have read the book at-Tankil [of sheikh al-Mu’allimi] more than 40 – 50 times…’
– I was informed by a brother close to sheikh al-Maghrawi that the sheikh has read ‘Majmoo Fataawa of sheikh-ul-islam Ibn Taymiyya’ ten or eleven times !
– I have a very good friend of mine who is a revert to Islam, in the first two years of his Islam he read: the translation of The Quran around 22-26 times, and also the two Saheehs [Bukhaari & Muslim], and also Sunan at-Tirmidhi, and Sunan Abu Dawud !
[Please ask yourself how many years have you been a Muslim ?]
The beauty of reading is that you always benefit. Even if you read a book and got one benefit, you have benefited and you are better now.
Thanks for reading.