How does a student of knowledge arrange his time?

Answered by our Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu ‘Abdirrahmān Yahya bin ‘Ali Al-Hajūri – may Allāh preserve him – on the 14th, Dhūl-Hijjah, 1441H


How does a student of knowledge arrange his time in order for him to attain benefit and not loose enthusiasm for verily when we increase in revision we happen to get tired and a bit bored?


Indeed it has come in the hadith

كانَ النبيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّمَ يَتَخَوَّلُنا بها، مَخافَةَ السَّآمَةِ عَلَيْنا”

“The Prophet ﷺ used to give us sermons/admonishings certain days in order not to bore us.”

So with repetition and constantly doing a thing there occurs something of boredom for the one who didn’t become accustomed to that a lot, and those who are accustomed boredom goes from him and loss of enthusiasm, so he doesnt become at ease except in doing what he is accustomed to, and having said that if you lost enthusiasm from revision take a bit of rest in reading a good book, take a bit of rest in the biographies of some imams like imam Ahmed, Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Bukhāri, of all the imams, the likes of these well known imams, take a bit of rest in researching a topic, because if you are busy with memorizing then simple researching is more easy than memorizing, so if you want to research a topic you find that it confuses you, you look in this book and this book, you will forget loosing enthusiasm, researching will make you forget boredom and many things that occupy the mind and uneasiness, and if you feel loosing enthusiasm in seeking knowledge and that you’ve become fatigued by this, and you have desire to pray, pray!, for verily you are seeking assistance in this with this

(اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا)

“Seek aid in Allāh and be patient;” [Al’A’rāf, 128]

If he is for example revising and he has desire to make wudhu and pray and make duā and rest, this is good, this is blessing from Allāh, you are still in the obedience of Allāh and seeking assistance in the obedience of Allāh with the obedience of Allāh, if you loose enthusiasm in revising then go and enter a lesson, you will not finish the lesson inshāAllah, especially some of the general lessons that doesn’t have a lot of difficulty verily it is only reading from books and researching and what is of that nature, perhaps what happens of good and what is hope of tranquility the loss of enthusiasm will go from you, so treat yourself with yourself, don’t leave yourself to loose enthusiasm, and don’t leave it to subordinate you to waste, if loss of enthusiasm happens and you become from those who went to waste, if your (break) period is to sins, you expose yourself to destruction, and if it occurs a period from the obedience of Allāh to the obedience of Allāh you are in good, as comes in the hadith

من كانت فترته الى سنتي فقد اهتدى

“Whoevers (break) period is to my Sunnah then he is guided..”

And this occurs becoming fatigued and loosing enthusiasm but it occurs with being at ease, with for example you become more tired, and what makes you become tired people become double that amount of tiredness in indulging in falsehood, in what there is no benefit in it returning to their religion, and if there occurs some tiredness in the obedience of Allāh this is a blessing,

(فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ ○ وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَب)

“So when you have finished (from your occupation), then stand up for Allāh’s worship (i.e. stand up for prayer). And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations.” [Inshirāh, 7-8]

And don’t feel that you are worn out you have no enthusiasm, you have this and over burdening and busying, I can’t do this, don’t burden yourself with this, feel that you are at ease within the limits of what you are capable of, lessons that are not difficult, things easy to memorize, small books to study which are easy to understand, everything MashaAllāh there is nothing to ware one out, don’t enter into things that you won’t understand or your intellect won’t retain, this could cause frustration and relapsing, and it could also cause having bad thoughts because you will say I am not for knowledge, I am considered from the time wasters, and you will keep on belittling yourself until frustration comes to you, it is not like this, but look at something that you can excel in, it is easy for you and you benefit from it, in order for you not to belittle yourself and also that you are not qualified for this so Shaytān comes to you from this angle that you are not fit for this and maybe you leave, so there is no exceeding the bounds nor falling too short, a person doesn’t consider himself nothing and he doesn’t exalt himself and become haughty hence will be destroyed from where he doesn’t perceive, we ask Allāh for assistance.

Translated by: Abu ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi

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