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Author Topic: Imam Shafi Complaining about his Memory  (Read 438 times)
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« on: Jan 02, 2012 08:39 AM »

Often times as students of knowledge we set our goals in terms of Ayāt and Abyāt, or how many verses and lines of text to memorize. It is easier to gauge our progress by taking measure of how much we have memorized. In times of distress or confusion regarding what to do in our lives, it is natural to seek out the counsel of trusted scholars and supplicating to Allah to remove the distress from us.

However is there anything else that we can focus on in our daily lives that can limit what we are caused to forget of the Qur’ān or Ahādīth? Is there anything we can do every day that will open our heart and intellect and make them better receptacles for knowledge?

Imām ash-Shafi’ī undoubtedly had a powerful memory. It is reported that he memorized al-Muwata from Imām Mālik in a single day. However he began to sense a deficiency in his ability to memorize and retain information, so he asked his Shaykh, the famous Wakī’ bin al-Jarrāh about that. So this situation was turned into prose:
شَكَوْتُ إِلَى وَكِيعٍ سُوءَ حِفْظِي... فَأَرْشَنِي إِلَى تَرْكِ الْمَعَاصِي
I complained to Wakī’ of a deficiency in my ability to memorize ** So he instructed me to abandon sin

وَقَالَ بِأَنَّ الْعِلْمَ نُورٌ ... وَنُورُ اللهِ لَا يُؤتَاهُ عَاصِي
And he said to me that knowledge is a light ** And the light of Allah is not granted to a sinner. [1]

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