Many brothers quote in etiquettes of Gusht/Jawlah that making Fikr of Deen for a short while is better than 60 to 70 years of Nafl Ibadah.
Is there any narration to this effect or has a particular narration been used and misunderstood/misinterpreted?
Firstly, this statement: ‘Pondering for a moment is better than 60 years of worship’ is not authentically reported from Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam). This is actually the statement of a great Saint; Sirri Saqti (rahimahullah)
(see: Kashful Khafa, vol: 1 pg: 278)
Therefore, when quoting this, one should rather attribute it to Sirri Saqti (rahimahullah), instead of Rasulullah (sallalahu’alayhi wasallam)
As far as the meaning of this statement is concerned, the following was written in an earlier response to a similar query:
‘Pondering’ here means pondering over the greatness of Allah Ta’ala (by looking at his marvelous creations). This is understood by the title of the chapters in which Abush Shaykh Al Asbahani (rahimahullah) has cited such narrations.
(Kitabul ‘Azamah, Chapters of pondering over the signs of Allah Ta’ala pg. 33)
Shaykh Sirri Saqti (rahimahullah) probably said this is because a person may gain more closeness to Allah Ta’ala and he may recognise Allah Ta’ala’s greatness to a much greater extent by pondering over his signs than if he had to engage in optional worship for many years.
‘Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah) offers a different explanation. He says ‘pondering’ here means to ponder over the frightening events of the day of judgement and how under prepared we are for that day.
(Faydul Qadir, vol. 4 pg. 582)
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In the writers’ view, in light of what ‘Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah) said, this statement can be used to show the merit of pondering (making fikr) for the upliftment of Din in the lives of the masses, and as to how we can all best prepare ourselves for the day of Qiyamah. Since this is the ultimate purpose of the Gusht/jawlah.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar