The first thing with which the student [of knowledge] begins with [is] memorisation of the Qur.aan. Then he memorises a short text from every subject, starting with the most important.
Shaykh Ihsaan Ilaahee Zaheer informed me about our Shaykh, Muhammad al-Gondalwi that he would not read the newspapers or magazines – so as not to [inadvertantly] memorise them! That is because if he were to read anything, he was [instantly] able to memorise it.
I did not put [pen to paper and record] any hadeeth in my book “Saheeh [al-Bukhaaree]” except that I washed before [doing so], and then prayed two rak’ahs.