One of The Important Aims of The Students of Hadeeth

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:

I saw that solely being preoccupied with studying Fiqh and listening to (transmission) of hadeeth is not enough to rectify the heart, except combined with (the authentic narrations about) softening of the hearts and looking into the biographies of the pious predecessors. As for having knowledge of Halaal and Haraam only, it does not have a great strength (specifically) in softening the heart; rather the softening of the heart is (attained) by mentioning the narrations on the subject matter and the stories of the pious predecessors. That is because they (the pious predecessors) grasped the intent behind narrating (ahaadeeth), demonstrated the tangible obligated actions by way of them, the practical encounter with their meanings and the goals behind them. And there is nothing that will make you experience this, except after cultivation and experience. Indeed, a group of the pious predecessors aspired to see that a righteous slave should look to his character and upright guidance and not (merely) the knowledge he has acquired. That is because his character and upright guidance are the fruits of his knowledge. So understand this! The student of Hadeeth and Fiqh should combine (seeking after hadeeth and fiqh) with studying the lives of the pious predecessors and the Zuhhaad, so that it can be a means to softening the heart. Indeed, books have been compiled regarding the affairs and manners of each one of those well-known outstanding men (of piety). A book has been compiled regarding the affairs of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, Ibraaheem Bin Ad-ham, Bishr Al-Haafiy, Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Ma’roof and other than them amongst the scholars and the Zuhhaad. (1)

Imaam Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is incumbent that the seekers of Hadeeth should be the (possessors of the) most perfect (behaviour, traits, manners, etiquettes etc) amongst the people, the most humble amongst the people, the greatest in their impartiality and adherence to the religion, the least in (deviating from good conduct) and (being overcome by) angry; and that is due to constantly lending an ear to the narrations that combine the excellent manners and etiquettes of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], the lives of the virtuous pious predecessors, the path of the scholars of Hadeeth and the virtues of the (pious ones and scholars) who have passed away; so they adhere to the most refined and excellent (aspects of those traits, etiquettes, manners etc) and turn away from the most despised and lowly (traits, behaviour, manners, etiquettes etc)”. (2)

[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Saydul khaatir’ Page 171. Daar Ibn Rajab. 1st edition 2003. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Jaami Bayaan Al-Ilm 1/78. Slightly paraphrased]

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