Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Learning about Imam Bukhari and the extent of his pursuit for knowledge made me think about myself and the standard of education we’ve set for ourselves nowadays. If we can even make up our minds in the first place about what we want to study, we choose a program that doesn’t take too much time or effort. “Four years of university or college max. and I’m out”, we tell ourselves. We don’t want to study, and if, somehow, we develop the motivation to study, we only study as much as we need to to get good marks. And as soon as we’ve submitted that assignment or done that exam, we start emptying our brains of the information we crammed in last minute, just to get good marks.

Imam Bukhari memorized thousands of ahadith, their chains of narrators, and more. He knew what he knew because he felt that he was responsible for the preservation of that knowledge. We know what we know because we’re trying to get that certificate or that degree. And so, as soon as we have it, we get rid of the truly valuable stuff, the knowledge, and frame the thing that shouldn’t matter, the paper that claims we know something or another.

We think we’re so smart and qualified, having gone through this and that system of education, but we’re not willing to put in the effort to truly learn something for the benefit of learning it. And if, somehow, we’re actually putting in some effort to try to learn something, we think we’re doing SO much, that we need a whole lot of “chill time” to make up for the time we spent working. So we’re left with as much time wasted as the amount of time we spent working.

Learning about Imam Bukhari and the extent of his pursuit for knowledge made me realize that I haven’t accomplished anything, that I need to be more focused, that I need to “chill” less and work more. I need to figure out my skills and use them to try to benefit the deen. I need to have concrete goals when it comes to every aspect of my life, of my learning. I need to get my life together.

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Wassalam,

Areej Hashmi

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