Ibn Al-Jawzi [May Allah shower him with Mercy] said [1]:

“I looked at myself in comparison to my kinship, who have spent their lives in acquiring the Dunia while I have spent the times of my childhood and youth in seeking knowledge; [and] saw that I did not miss from what they gained except that which if I had acquired, I would have regretted.

Then I contemplated on my current state, and saw that my Livelihood in this Dunia is more generous then theirs, and my status between the people is higher than theirs, and what I attained from gaining this knowledge is [something that] cannot be counted”.

Ibees then told me:

“And have you forgotten about all your exhaustion and sleepless [nights]?!”

So I said:

“O ignorant one, how insignificant was the cutting of the hands in comparison to the sight of Yusuf [Peace be Upon him], and what road is ever long when it leads to one’s friend” [2].


[1] Sayd Al-Khater by Ibn Al-Jawzi p. 231; Muntalaqaat Talib Al-Ilm by Muhammad Husien Ya’kub p. 139

[2] Ibn Al-Jawzi [May Allah shower him with Mercy] is explaining how any pain, suffering, or exhaustion suffered during the road to knowledge is insignificant compared to the benefits gained from knowledge, that it will not even be worth mentioning. He then makes reference to what Allah [Glorified is He] said in the Quran [Surah Yusuf 12:31]: (So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for them a banquet and gave each one of them a knife and said [to Joseph], “Come out before them.” And when they saw him, they greatly admired him and cut their hands and said, “Perfect is Allah ! This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel.”).

He [May Allah shower him with Mercy] is making reference in that quote to how these women cutting their hands was insignificant to them compared to their seeing of Yusuf [Peace be upon him], and how all the pain they may be in at the time is not even worth mentioning compared to the glance they just had at the beauty of Yusuf [Peace be upon him], in such a way that the first thing they said after cutting their hands was not an expression of pain or discomfort, rather they said: “Perfect is Allah! This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel”.

Similarly, he gives the example of a man travelling on a long road to meet a friend or a loved one, and how this road, its length, and all the hardships he may face in it is insignificant compared to the joy and satisfaction they hope for at the end of this road, making the length of the road and any difficulty the traveller may face in it lose its significance.

قال ابن الجوزي –رحمه الله-: ولقد تأملت نفسي بالإضافة إلى عشيرتي الذين أنفقوا أعمارهم في اكتساب الدنيا، وأنفقت زمن الصبوة والشباب في طلب العلم، فرأيتني لم يفتني مما نالوه إلا ما لو حصل لي ندمت عليه. ثم تأملت حالي فإذا عيشي في الدنيا أجود من عيشهم، وجاهي بين الناس أعلى من جاههم. وما نلته من معرفة العلم لا يقاوم.ـ

فقال لي إبليس: ونسيت تعبك وسهرك!؟

فقلت له: أيها الجاهل، تقطيع الأيدي لا وقع له عند رؤية يوسف, وما طالت طريق أدت إلى صديق

Long Road