The First Man Who Traveled in Pursuit of Sacred Knowledge
Translated by Afnan Alam (3rd Year Alim Student, DarusSalam Seminary)
Imām Bukhārī, as well as Imām Muslim, related a narration on the authority of Abū Hurayrah (Allāh be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Allāh created Adam (peace be upon him) in his image. He was sixty cubic lengths tall. When He created him, He said: ‘Go and greet this group. (They were a group of angels in attendance.) Listen to how they greet you. Verily, your greeting shall be the greeting of your progeny.’ Adam said: ‘May peace be upon you.’ And they replied: ‘Peace be upon you and Allāh’s mercy.’ Thus, they added: ‘and Allāh’s mercy’ to the greeting. Whoever enters Paradise is in his image; while people have continued to become shorter after him until now.”
The scholars explained that the words: “Go and greet this group. Listen to how they greet you” indicates that they were far away from Adam. As well, this narration is evidence that going to seek knowledge is recommended. It indicates that Adam (peace be upon him) was the first to travel in pursuit of ʿilm.
(Ṣafaḥāt fī Ṣabr al-ʿUlamāʾ, 34)