Ibn Al Juwziee said:
Whoever does not read the stories of the Salaf and the path that they tread, he can never tread that path. It is befitting for a person to know and understand that the nature of an individual (character) is a thief. If a person leaves his nature with the people of his time, his nature will steal from theirs and he will become similar to them. But if he reads into the lives of the Salaf his nature will join theirs and he will learn from their character.
The following are just a few examples from the past and present day scholars informing of their love of knowledge and their preference of it over relaxation.
It was reported by Ibn al Qayyim in his book: “Rawdatul Muhibeen”, I was informed by my Sheikh (Ibn Taymiyyah), he said:
When I became sick the doctor said to me: Verily your research and Islamic lecturing increases your illness. I (Ibn Taymiyyah) replied: I can not stop, and I will debate you in your knowledge! If a person becomes happy and joyful doesn’t this strengthen their soul or spirit, and as a result wards off illness? The doctor responded: Of course. So I (Ibn Taymiyyah) said: Verily my spirit is pleased with knowledge and it strengthens my nature and due to that I find relaxation. The doctor responded: This is something our knowledge doesn’t apply to.
It was reported by Sheikh Muhammed bin Hadee to some of his visitors that he was told a story by Ahmed Al Hakimy, the brother of Sheikh Hafith Al Hakimy:
One year while Sheikh Hafith Al Hakimy was on Hajj or during Ramadan in Mecca, he was looking for the book titled: “Creation of The Servant’s Action” by Imam Al Bukhari. While in Mecca he was informed that someone had arrived from India with a copy of the book and that he had given it to the library there in The Haram. Sheikh Hafith visited the library and requested to borrow the book under the condition that he would not leave the Haram and that he would return the book the following day after the rising of the sun. He took the book and requested for someone to bring him paper and a pen. He sat and made his own copy of the book. Then he continued to memorize the book until Fajr. After Fajr he rested for a short period of time and then woke up. Upon waking, he returned the original book to the library and said: Here is your original, and here is an extra copy (the copy he himself wrote) and the book is in my head (memorized).
May Allah grant Sheikh Hafith Al Hakimy ease in his grave and raise him with the righteous ameen.
It was also mentioned by Sheikh Ahmed An Najmee the following:
We (as young boys) were instructed by our teacher Sheikh Abdullah Al Qara’wee to memorize the Quran in preparation for the month of Ramadan. We would memorize during the day, and toward the end of the day we gathered to test one another in memorization. I (Ahmed An Najmee) memorized a hizb for that day. Surprisingly, Hafith Al Hakimy memorized a full Juz! We continued for a full month, and everyday Hafith would memorize a full Juz completing the entire Quran in one month!
It was reported by Sheikh Abdul Kareem Al Kudair:
I was informed by one of the widows of Sheikh Abdul Azeez bin Baz that one day he returned home from the hospital, and upon entering the house she noticed that he was very tired and exhausted. After falling to sleep, she changed his alarm clock from the normal set time for night prayer, to a later time. The Sheikh woke at his normal time without the clock and inquired why the clock did not work. His wife informed that she had changed the time in order for him to relax. He admonished her and said: Relaxation is in Paradise!
From Lecture titled:”Radiant Pages From The (examples) of The Worship of The Scholars”
Translated By Our Brother: Mustafa George