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The First Person to Travel to Seek Knowledge

Reference: Ar Rihlah fee Talab al Hadeeth P. 106
Author: Al Khateeb al Baghdaadee
Translator: Abu Abdul-Waahid, Nadir Ahmad

Musa believed or said that there was nobody more knowledgeable than him, so he was then ordered to travel to al Khadir [1]. Some of the people of knowledge stated that the fatigue that Musa - peace be upon him - went through by traveling, and the patience he had for the humility and subjection that he demonstrated to al Khadir after his wearisome journey, keeping in mind Musa's status with Allaah, his dignity and the nobility of his prophet-hood, that this is evidence of the lofty status of knowledge as well as the lofty status of the people of knowledge. It is also evidence of the humility that one should have towards the person knowledge is sought and taken from.

If there were anyone who would be too great to humble himself due to his lofty status, it would have been Musa [at that time]. So when he exhibited his eagerness and seriousness for benefit, and left his land while acknowledging the need to learn some knowledge that is unknown to him, it demonstrates that there is nothing in creation that is higher than this state, nothing is greater than it.

And more than one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah - may Allah bless him and grant him peace - traveled to distant lands to hear just one Hadeeth, as well as a number of Taabi'een after them. We will mention the stories that reached us with the aid of and will of Allaah ...

[1] There is more than one way to pronounce the name (Greens), in the books of Hadeeth, some of the narrators bare this name and its pronounced 'Khidir'. However, with the companion of Musa - the one mentioned in this article - the correct pronunciation is al Khadir, with a fat-ha on the 'Kha' and a Kasra on the 'Daad'.

Taken from:

أول من رحل لطلب العلم
المرجع: الرحلة في طلب الحديث ص : 106المؤلف :الخطيب البغدادي

وقد كان موسى قد حدث نفسه بأنه ليس أحد أعلم منه أو تكلم به من ثم أمر أن يأتي الخضر قال بعض أهل العلم إن فيما عاناه موسى من الدأب والسفر وصبر عليه من التواضع والخضوع للخضر بعد معاناة قصده مع محل موسى من الله وموضعه من كرامته ، وشرف نبوته دلالة على ارتفاع قدر العلم ، وعلو منزلة أهله ، وحسن التواضع لمن يلتمس منه ويؤخذ عنه ، ولو ارتفع عن التواضع لمخلوق أحد بارتفاع درجة ، وسمو منزلة لسبق إلى ذلك موسى ، فلما أظهر الجد والاجتهاد ، والانزعاج عن الوطن والحرص عن الاستفادة مع الاعتراف بالحاجة إلى أن يصل من العلم إلى ما هو غائب عنه دل على أنه ليس في الخلق من يعلو على هذه الحال ، ولا يكبر عنها وقد رحل غير واحد من أصحاب رسول الله في الحديث إلى البلاد البعيدة ، وعدة من التابعين بعدهم نحن نورد أخبارهم التي أدت إلينا ذلك عنهم بمشيئة الله ومعونته

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