The enthusiasm to share whatever beneficial knowledge we come across sometimes results in the oversight of flooding peoples timelines, inboxes, or ears. This leads to ‘information indigestion’.
Do not be too frequent to the extent that the audience or recipients are burdened. This is an established principle of knowledge.
Despite the high level of the eagerness that the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum) had to learn from Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), he too would consider this principle.
The Method of Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam)
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says:
‘Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would carefully consider the times in which he would advise us, for fear of us tiring.’
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 68)
The Practice of the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum)
The narrator of this Hadith; Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu’anhu) himself had one set day in the week (a Thursday) in which he would address the public. When he was approached about this he replied: “I do not want to bore you.” [he then cited the Hadith mentioned above].
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 70)
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu’anhuma) says:
‘Advise the people once a week. If you are requested, then agree for up to three times a week. Do not bore the audience… You should only lecture them when they are eager to listen to you.’
(Adabul Imla wal Istimla, vol.1 pg. 334. Also see Al-Madkhal of Bayhaqi, no.1704)
Note: It should be noted that this applies to when sharing knowledge with general people. As far as dedicated students that are in institutions of learning, they will obviously be lectured with much more frequency.
A Repulsive Trend
Some people have the habit of forwarding whatever piece of information they come across. This results in a flood of posts crowding people’s inboxes and timelines! One should rather choose that which is most beneficial. Not everyone has the same amount of time to spare!
One who occasionally shares such information is actually following the sunnah.
If we are doing so with more frequency, then ideally, it should be with the request or permission of the recipients.
Further, we should rather allow the recipients to willingly subscribe to our frequent messages/broadcasts/emails etc, instead of forcing it upon them.
Another form of Tiring the Audience
The above principle applies to lectures as well. Many of our senior ‘Ulama have discouraged lengthy lectures which tire out the audience. Yes, occasionally, when needed, the lecture can be lengthy, but not on a frequent basis.
My Beloved Father; Shaykhul Hadith, Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (hafizahullah) passionately discourages the habit of lectures at Walimah functions etc. wherein the actual purpose for gathering is to have a meal. To lecture people on such occasions has several harms, one such being the issue of boring the audience. This is not in keeping with the spirit of the sunnah in sharing knowledge.