It’s Raining Pens…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This has got to be one of my favourite quotes…  Muhammad ibn Mubashshir al-Karmînî said,

Muhammad ibn Salâm al-Baykandî’s pen broke whilst in the gathering of a Shaykh, so he announced “a pen for a dînâr”, whereby pens began to fall upon him (from all directions).

[Siyâr A’lâm an-Nubalâ. – Volume 10, Page 629]

I can’t remember where I got this from (google search results only yield my TTI signature), but it shows the seriousness of the salaf with respect to seeking knowledge.  Compare their level to ours; if their pen broke in a gathering they would announce their willingness to buy a new one (for a ridiculous price too)!  Yet today you sit in front of a Shaykh, there are droves of people but only a fraction of them are writing or recording the dars.  When a pen of theirs brakes, runs out of ink or their recorder’s batteries die, khalâs, they’re done!

How many of us value the ahâdîth and âthâr so much that we advertise our willingness to by a bic biro for a high price, just to continue documenting them?  We know that asking around would disturb the lesson and you may have to weave through tens of people just to find someone who has a spare pen and is willing to lend it.

Mâ shâ’ Allâh!  Here we have a predecessor who didn’t want to waste time in this fashion, who knew the value of islamic knowledge and so took a swift course of action that would secure himself a deal; one that would ultimately allow him to resume his learning.  The plan somewhat backfired as Al-Baykandî got more than what he bargained for and found himself the target of a volley of pens!

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