When Imam-un-Nahw, ‘Allamah Maulana Ghulam Jeelani Meeruthi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه was studying Kafiyah (a book of ‘Ilm-un-Nahw) during his student life, it was his practice to read Kafiyah daily after Fajr Salah like Huffaz. He رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه had not memorised the entire Matn ‘متن’ [actual text of a book] when the holidays of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak started at Madrasah, so he رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه would memorise the remaining Matn at home daily after Zuhr Salah and finally, he became the Hafiz of the entire Matn of Kafiyah in the same month of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak. (Basheer-ul-Qaari, pp. 7; summarised)
O the devotees of knowledge! Knowledge is like a tree. For profound knowledge like a strong tree, it is necessary to have a strong grip on its seed, i.e. Matn. This is the very reason that our pious predecessors رَحِمَهُمُ اللّٰە would pay special attention to Matn but nowadays we have lost attention to Mutoon ‘متون’ [plural of Matn]. This is probably the reason that nowadays one does not remember even the basic facts of subjects. The following are some questions; just contemplate that can you answer them without the help of any book?
٭ What is the definition of Maal?
٭ What is the definition of Makruh Tahreemi?
٭ What is the definition of Qiyaas?
٭ How many Anwa’-e-Tashbeeh [انواع تشبیە] are there and what are they?
٭ What is the definition of Hadees-e-Hasan?
٭ How many Mawani’-e-Tanween [موانعِ تنوین] are there and what are they, etc.?
A person does not remember many other basic facts similar to these even after studying them, and not paying attention to the base for knowledge, i.e. Mutoon is also a reason for it.
What is Matn?
Such a collection of comprehensive words which has been presented beautifully to mention the base for any subject is called ‘Matn’.
Types of Matn
There are two types of Mutoon: (1) Mutoon-e-Mansoorah in which Matn is mentioned in the form of Nasr [prose] such as Matn-e-Manaar [متنِ منار] in Usool-ul-Fiqh. (2) Mutoon-e-Manzoomah in which Matn is mentioned in the form of Nazm [poetry] such as ‘الفیە ابن مالك’ in ‘Ilm-un-Nahw.
Remember! To gain expertise in different branches of knowledge, along with knowing their basics, it is necessary to remember them as well. Along with reading text, our pious predecessors رَحِمَهُمُ اللّٰە would greatly believe in memorising it. This is the very reason that they would memorise and remember thousands of pages. For example, Imam Shaafi’i رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه had memorized the Muwatta of Imam Maalik رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه (the Hadees book written by Imam Maalik) at the age of 12. (Hilya-tul-Awliya, pp. 78)
Likewise, Sadr-ush-Shari’ah رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه once made the intention of memorising Kafiyah, and he memorised it completely in a single day. (Seerat-e-Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, pp. 33)
Benefits of memorizing Mutoon
1 As Mutoon are based on the Asl [base] of a subject, objections, difficulties, ambiguities, explanations, etc. are not mentioned in them. Due to it, the base for different branches of knowledge is known through Mutoon.
2 In Mutoon, blessed ‘Ulama mention the essence and summary of their scholarly life which will require many lives if we try to acquire them by our own selves. Therefore, through Mutoon, one can benefit from the lifetime efforts of ‘Ulama (scholars) of Deen.
3 It is not possible to read the books of all branches of knowledge with explanations. If their Mutoon are read and memorised, one can acquire [the knowledge of] many different branches of knowledge as there is a saying in Arabic: ‘من حفظ المتون فقد حاز الفنون’, i.e. The one who has memorised Mutoon has acquired [the knowledge of] many branches of knowledge.
4 While teaching and giving Dars, a person can make his lecture effectively strong because of the memorisation of Mutoon.
O the devotees of knowledge! If you also wish to become a massive tree of knowledge, start studying the base for knowledge, i.e. Mutoon carefully and make a habit of memorising them. The following are the names of 5 famous Mutoon of different branches of knowledge.
Different famous Mutoon
٭ : نخبة الفکر A comprehensive Matn of Usool-ul-Hadees
٭: العقائد النسفیە A Matn of Ilm-ul-Kalam
٭: المنارA Matn of Usool-ul-Fiqh
٭ : مختصر القدوریA Matn of Fiqh
٭: تھذیب المنطق و الکلامA Matn of Ilm-ul-Mantiq
Likewise, ‘Ulama have not written only one but many Mutoon of other branches of knowledge as well. Just have courage! Step ahead, get the copies of Mutoon and start memorising them.