Enthusiasm for Islamic Knowledge

Enthusiasm for Islamic Knowledge

Yahya ibn Yahya ibn Kathir ibn Wislan ibn Shimlal ibn Munghaya was a great faqih (jurist) of Andalus. He was born in the year 152 Hijri1 and studied hadith under the great Imam Malik Rahimahullah, during the last days of the Imam’s life. He was present when the Imam breathed his last and also at his janazah (funeral prayer). He then returned to Andalus, where many enthusiastic people flocked to sit at his feet and learn from his vast knowledge.

One day, while he was in the lesson of Imam Malik Rahimahullah, an elephant passed by. All the students left to see the elephant, except Yahya ibn Yahya,
who remained seated. Imam Malik Rahimahullah was surprised at his lack of interest in the passing spectacle and asked, “Who are you and where are you from?”
“From Andalus,” Yahya replied.

Imam Malik Rahimahullah then asked, “Why did you not go out to see the elephant?”
Yahya replied, “I came from my homeland to see you and learn from your guidance and knowledge. I did not come here to look at elephants.”
Imam Malik was so impressed, that he called him ‘The wise man of Andalus.’
Ibn Abd al-Barr Rahimahullah, the renowned scholar of hadith, said, “Yahya ibn Yahya returned to Andalus with a great deal of knowledge. Fatawa (verdicts) used to be sent to him after Isa ibn Dinar had passed away. The leaders and general populace accepted his verdicts. He was indeed a great jurist.”


True Islamic knowledge is gained when the seeker makes a concerted effort to learn.
Reference : Pearls from the Path, Volume 1; p.37; Muslims at Work Publications; 2010

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