Download PDF: [S] The Joy of ‘Ilm

Ustad ibn Umaid, who was an adviser to the government, used to admit that he once felt that there was no greater joy in the world than being an adviser to the government. However, he admits that when he witnessed a debate between Imam Tabarani – may Allah be pleased with him – and another scholar, he realised that this position in government was nothing.


It’s mentioned that once the both scholars were trying to outdo each other in the faculty of Hadith. As a matter of fact, the argument became so heated that they began to shout at each other. Suddenly, the other scholar shouted to Imam Tabarani – may Allah be pleased with him –that he knows such a Hadith which no one in the world is aware of. Imam Tabarani – may Allah be pleased with him – them asked him to reveal this Hadith.


The other scholar replied, “I heard from Abu Khalifah who heard from Sulayman bin Ayub that …”

The moment Imam Tabarani – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this, he told the person to keep silent. He then revealed to the person that Abu Sulayman was his name and the Ustad of this person Abu Khalifah was actually his student. He then told the person to listen to the Hadith from himself as by doing do, one less will appear in the Sanad. When the other scholar heard this, he could not give an answer and remained quiet.


Ustad ibn Umaid further mentions that when he saw the joy of Imam Tabarani – may Allah be pleased with him – after this incident, he realised that the joy enjoyed by him was nothing and he wished that he was in the place of Imam Tabarani – may Allah be pleased with him. (Tadkirah Al Huffaaz)


There is no doubt that the joy which is experienced by a scholar when he sits on the floor and studies can never be achieved by anyone. However, the people of the world will never be able to understand or comprehend this. The people of the world merely consider the true ‘Ulama as mere paupers and destitutes and nothing else.


It is mentioned that when the eminent student of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Abu Hanifah – may Allah be pleased with him, namely Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Mohammed Ash Shaybani – may Allah be pleased with him, used to solved any intricate Shari’ah matter while sitting in his house, he used to jump up and exclaim, “Where are the sons of the Sultan at this time. Someone should ask them, have they ever experienced the joy which I am feeling at this moment.”


This joy which is felt by the ‘Ulama is joy in the real sense of the word. All other joys are merely joys of the world and which is only temporary.