Translated by Omar Mohiuddin (3rd Year Alim Student, DarusSalam Seminary)
Hāfiẓ ʿIrāqī in his commentary on the Alfīyah and Hāfiẓ Sakhāwī in Fatḥ al-Mughīth related that ʿAbd Allāh b. Ḥanbal once asked his father: “Do you think that a student should stick to one who has knowledge and record what he has? Or should he set out to a place where there are scholars so that he may learn and study with them?’ Imām Aḥmad replied: ‘He must travel and record knowledge from the people of Kūfah, Baṣrah, Madīnah, and Makkah. He should give people the knowledge that he has and learn from them.’”
Yaḥyā b. Maʿīn said: “There are four that maturity is generally not observed in.” He mentioned that one of them is a man who studies in his locality and does not travel in search of knowledge.
And it was once said to Imām Aḥmad: “Should one travel in search of knowledge?” He replied: “Indeed! ʿAlqamah b. Qays al-Nakhaʿī and al-Aswad b. Yazīd al-Nakhaʿī were both from Kūfah, ʿIrāq. Narrations on ʿUmar’s authority were transmitted to them, but neither was satisfied until he came to Madīnah to hear from him directly.”
(Ṣafaḥāt fī Ṣabr al-ʿUlamāʾ, 47)