Sayings of the Salaf Part One

Verbal Security 

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAmr b. Al-ʿĀs – Allāh be pleased with them – said:

Leave alone what you have nothing to do with, and do not speak about what does not concern you, and secure your tongue like you secure your money.

Ibn Ḥibbān Al-Bustī, Rawḍatu Al-ʿUqalāʾ 1:55.

The Value of Avoiding Haram Income

It is reported that Mālik b. Dīnār – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

It is better for a man to leave one ḥarām dirham than to give one hundred thousand in charity.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm 5:125.

Knowledge is the Good of this Life

It is reported that Abū Al-Dardāˀ – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

There is no good in this life except for one of two men: a man listening carefully, receiving and holding [knowledge]; or someone knowledgeable speaking.

Ibn Ḥibbān, Rawḍatu Al-ʿUqalāʾ 1:42.

Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

It is reported that Abūl-ʿĀliyah said:

There will come upon the people a time when their hearts will be derelict of the Qurān; they will find neither sweetness nor pleasure by it. If they fall short of doing what they have been commanded to do, they will say: Allāh is most forgiving, merciful (He will forgive us), and if they do what they have been forbidden from doing, they will say: we will be forgiven, we haven’t committed any shirk with Allāh. Their affairs will all be based on [false] hope, having no truth and sincerity with it. They will wear the skins of lambs over hearts of wolves. The best of them in his religion will be someone who compromises.

Imām Aḥmad, Al-Zuhd article 1741.

The Scholar, the Ignorant, the Heedless and the Fool

It is reported that Al-Khalīl b. Aḥmad said:

Men are of four types: There is the man who knows and he knows that he knows. He is knowledgeable, so follow him and ask him. And there is the man who does not know, and he knows that he does not know. He is ignorant, so teach him. And there is the man who knows, but he does not know that he knows. He is heedless, so remind him. And then there is the man who does not know, but he does not know that he does not know (he thinks he knows). This is the fool (idiot), so beware of him.

Ibn ˁAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiˁ Bayān Al-ˁilm wa Faḍlihī article 1538.

Who Can Feel Secure From Trial?

It is reported that Jubayr b. Nufayr said:

I entered upon Abū Al-Dardāʾ – Allāh be pleased with him – at his home in Ḥims and found him standing in prayer at his place of prayer. When he sat for tashahhud he started to seek protection with Allāh from al-nifāq (hypocrisy). So when he had finished praying, I said “May Allāh forgive you o Abū Al-Dardāʾ, what have you got to do with nifāq?” He said, “O Allāh forgive!”, three times, and replied, “Who can feel secure from trial, who can feel secure from trial? By Allāh, a man can be tested with fitnah in a single hour and turn away from his religion.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 1:857.

Beware the Sinful Scholar

It is reported that Harim b. Ḥayyān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

“Beware of the sinful scholar (al-ʿālim al-fāsiq).” This reached ʿUmar, so he wrote to him in fear, “Who is the sinful scholar?” He wrote back, “I did not intend but good; this is when there is an imām (leader, taken as an example) who speaks knowledge, but practices sins, confusing the people, and thus they go astray.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:49.

Imam Ahmad on Boycotting the Khawarij

Al-Khallāl records that Imām Aḥmad – may Allāh have mercy on him – said about the Khawārij:

Do not sell food or clothes to them, and do not buy from them. And he said, The Khawārij are renegades, an evil people.

Al-Khallāl, Al-Sunnah 1:155

Sermon of Uthman on Guidance before Death

It is reported that ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – once addressed the people in a sermon. He praised Allāh, then said:

O people! Fear Allāh and obey Him, for piety is a valuable prize. Verily the most intelligent person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death, and acquires through the light (guidance) of Allāh a light for the darkness of the grave.

The servant of Allāh should fear lest Allāh the Mighty and Sublime resurrects him blind though he used to see. A few comprehensive words can be enough for a wise man, whereas the deaf (who does not listen to guidance) is being called from afar.

And know that whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is with has nothing to fear; but whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is against, then in whom can he hope after Allāh?!

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm 4:116,117.

Just Playing

It is reported that Imām Mālik – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whatever you fool around with, don’t fool around with your dīn (religion).

Al-Lālakāʾī, Sharḥ ʾUṣūl ʾIʿtiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah 1:163

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