Imaam Muhammad Ibn Taahir AlMaqdisi (r.a.)

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Imaam Muhammad ibn Taahir Al-maqdisi (r.a.) was born in Baitul Maqdis in year 448 Hijri and he passed away in 507 Hijri in Baghdad on return from Haj. He use to travel quite fast and he performed many Haj and ‘Umrah. He was of the Daudi ( Zaahiri ) School of taught.

Haafiz Zhahabi (r.a.) , after naming the different cities / towns to which Imaam Muhammad ibn Taahir (r.a.) travelled, says: “these are 40 towns to which he traveled. There are others as well which I did not mention.

Imaam Al-Sam’aani (r.a.) says he heard some Shuyookh mentioning: that Imaam Muhammad ibn Taahir (r.a.) use to WALK approximately 17 farsakhs in one night! And if he walked day and night he would cover 20 Farsakhs!!! (This equals to approximately 100 kilometers! –on foot!!! )

He himself mentions regarding his struggle: “I urinated blood twice while on journey in search of Hadith.Once in Makkah and once in Baghdad. This happened due to me walking BAREFOOTED on the hot plains!!” -subhaanallah!-

He further states: “I never rode a conveyance at all during my journeys except once. And I use to carry my books on my back!

I never asked for my needs from anyone. Instead I use to live on whatever I use to receive without asking.”

Haafiz Abu-Taahir Al-Silafi (r.a.) says: “I heard Muhammad ibn Taahir Al-Maqdisi (r.a.) saying: ” I wrote Sahih Bukhari , Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abi Dawud 7 times and Sunan Ibn Majah 10 times and earned something to live on.

He also stated: “once while I was in Toos, somebody informed me that Sheikh Abu’Amr Al-Isbahani (r.a) has a certain hadith which I wanted to hear so the next morning I left for Isbahaan. (Walking and with no food!) When I reached I read the hadith to the Sheikh. He then gave me 3 pieces of bread and 2 pears. I had nothing else besides that.

Once I was in Egypt by Abu Ishaaq Al-Habbaal (r.a.) when a person from my home-town ( Baitul Maqdis ) came to me and whispered into my ears that: “your brother has come after fleeing from the war in Baitul Maqdis” I continued reciting the lesson but I couldn’t continue. The Sheikh asked me as to what was wrong, I replied that there was nothing to be concerned about. He insisted that I tell him what that man had whispered to me. So I told him. He asked: “for how long haven’t you seen your brother?” I replied: A FEW YEARS. He said: ‘ then why aren’t you going to meet him? “I said: After I finish the lesson.

He said: “what magnificent enthusiasm you people have oh Ahl hadith!” he then stopped the lesson immediately and left.

He says:” I was in Tinnees for a while by Imaam Abu Muhammad ibnul Haddaad (r.a.) and others and things became difficult on me until I only had 1 Dirham left. And on that day I needed to buy paper as well as bread. I began to contemplate that if I bought bread I would not be able to buy the paper and if I bought paper I would not be able to buy bread to eat. I stayed like this for 3 days and nights and I did not eat anything!

On the morning of the forth day I said to myself: “if I buy paper I would not be able to write due to extreme hunger. So I placed the Dirham in my mouth and proceeded to purchase the bread. On the way I mistakenly swallowed the Dirham!!…

Surprised, I began to laugh!

Abu Taahir ibnul Khattaab (r.a.) met me and enquired as to why was I laughing. I avoided the reply. He insisted and I refused to tell him. Then he took an oath and asked me, so I told him. He then took me by my hand to his house and gave me food to eat.

As mentioned earlier, this great Imaam Passed away in Baghdad on his way back from Haj in the year 507 Hijri.

Imagine…

walking 100 kilometers a day with books on your back everyday…

not seeing your brother and family for years…

being hunger struck so often …

urinating blood! …

and in this way to travel to more than 40 towns / cities in search of knowledge!

Compare this to …

Using a car…

Going home every week/ month…

Eating 3 meals a day…

Sleeping on soft beds…

Walking in soft  cool sandals or shoes which do not result in urinating blood…

Seeking the very same knowledge …

Thereafter for someone in this era to claim to have greater knowledge than those of the past does not make sense does it?!

It is as if the first group is saying:

شغلنا عن مكسب العلم عن مكسب الغني      كما شغلوا عن مكسب العلم بالدنيا

فصار لهم حظ من الجهل والغني               وصار لنا حظ من العلم والتقي

A poet said concerning the student of today:

ودخلت فيها جاهلا متواضعا    و خرجت منها جاهلا مغرورا

May Almighty Allah make us all true students of deen. Ameen