Drop By Drop
One of the students of Hadith used to crave and yearn for seeking knowledge. He would sit in the gatherings of scholars and learn from them.
When some time passed, he felt it did not benefit him, as he could not gain any knowledge. So he thought to himself, “I am not fit for this knowledge.”
He gave it up thinking he didn’t have the capacity and that he was not qualified for seeking knowledge.
After having left the circles of knowledge, one day, he passed by a rock on which water was falling, drop by drop. The continuous dripping of water (over the years) had affected the rock to the point that it had made a hole in it. The man stood there for a while, contemplating and reflecting, and thought, “This water, in spite of its softness, had an effect on this hard rock. My mind and heart are surely not harder than this rock and neither is knowledge softer than water.”
(This left a deep impression on him and) he was determined to go back seeking knowledge, which he did and excelled at. He later became one of those referred to because of knowledge.
– Al-Jaami’ Li-Akhlaaq-ir-Raawee Wa Adaab As-Saami of Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi