The Virtue Of Reading Books


Quote 1:

Imaam al-Bukhari was asked: “What is it that strengthens one’s memory?

He replied: “Constantly looking through books.

Quote 2:

Abu ‘Amr bin al-‘Ala’ said:

I never entered upon a man or passed by his door – seeing him with a book in his hand, and his companion doing nothing – except that I judged him to be the more intelligent one.

Quote 3:

‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said:

I never saw a better admonisher than the grave, or anything more satisfying than a book, or anything safer than lack of socialization.

Quote 4:

al-Hasan al-Lu’lu’i said:

Forty years of my life have passed in which I never awoke or went to sleep except that a book was resting on my chest.

Quote 5:

It was said to Abi al-‘Abbas Ahmad bin Yahya (Tha’lab):

The people have greatly missed you. If only you could leave your house for just a bit and show yourself to the people so that they could benefit from you, and you could benefit from them.

So, he stayed silent for an hour, and said:

If we accompanied the kings, they would act arrogantly with us

And would belittle the rights of those they were accompanying;

Or if we accompanied the merchants, we would become sorrowful

And would become mere counters of money;

So, we remained in our homes, extracting knowledge

And filling with it the stomachs of these pages…

Quote 6:

From what was memorized in the past:

What a great speaker and companion the book is!

You can seclude yourself with it if your friends bore you;

It does not reveal your secrets, and is not arrogant

And you can gain from it wisdom and uprightness…

[Translated by Abu Sabaayaa – Collected by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in ‘Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadlih,’ the chapter titled: ‘The Virtue of Looking Through Books and the Praiseworthiness of Tending to Them’]

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