I did not come here to look at Elephants!!!!

It was narrated, regarding Yahya bin Yahya: “…that when he was a young boy, he travelled from al-Andalus to Madinah in order to study with al-Imam Malik. One day, he was attending a lesson, along with Malik’s students. Suddenly, someone called out: “The elephants are here!” So, the companions of Malik all went out to look at the elephants that were passing by, except for Yahya, who stayed in his place.

al-Imam Malik then said to him: “Why did you not come out to see the elephants? I’m sure you’ve never seen one in al-Andalus.”

Yahya replied: “I came from my homeland to look at you, and to learn from your guidance and knowledge. I did not come here to look at elephants.”

So, Malik became impressed at this boy’s seriousness, and called him ‘The Wisest of al-Andalus.’”

[”Uluww al-Himmah’; p. 78]