Statements and Anecdotes of the Auliya – Part Four

Abū Dāwūd al-Ṭayālisī said: I asked ‘Abdullāh bn al-Mubārak: “In whose company do you sit at Khurāsān?” He said: “I sit in the company of Shu‘bah and Sufyān [both residents of ‘Irāq].” Abū Dāwūd al-Ṭayālisī said: He means that he would look into their books. (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8: 164)

Shaqīq ibn Ibrāhīm al-Balkhī said: ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Mubārak was asked: “When you pray with us, why do you not sit with us?” He said: “I travel with the Ṣaḥābah and Tābi‘īn.” We said to him: “From where are the Ṣaḥābah and Tābi‘īn?” He said: “I go and look over my ‘ilm [i.e. written records of ḥadīth and āthār]. Thus, I comprehend their sayings and their deeds. So what am I to do with you?! You backbite people.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8: 164-5)

Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said:

المؤمن من يعلم أن ما قال الله عز وجل كما قال، والمؤمن أحسن الناس عملا وأشد الناس خوفا، لو أنفق جبلا من مال ما أمن دون أن يعاين، لا يزداد صلاحا وبرا وعبادة إلا ازداد فرقا، يقول: لا أنجو، والمنافق يقول: سواد الناس كثير، وسيغفر لي ولا بأس علي، فينسئ العمل ويتمنى على الله

“The believer is the one who knows that whatever Allāh – Mighty and Majestic is He – said is as He said. The believer is the best of people in terms of deeds and the severest of people in terms of fear. If he were to spend a mountain of wealth, he would not feel safe [from Allāh’]s punishment unless he sees [the reward in the ākhirah]. He increases in neither piety, goodness nor worship, except he increases in fear, with the thought that I will not attain salvation. The hypocrite thinks: the masses of people are many, I will be forgiven and there is nothing wrong with me. Thus, he postpones doing good and has tall hopes about Allāh.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:153)

Hazrat Bishr ibn al-Ḥārith al-Ḥāfī

من عامل الله بالصدق استوحش من الناس

“Whoever deals truthfully with Allāh, he will be alienated from the people.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8:347)

A man came to ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd and said: “O Abū ‘Abd al-Rahmān, impart to me some comprehensive and beneficial words [of advice].” He said: “Worship Allāh and do not associate anything with Him. Move with the Qur’ān wherever it moves. Whoever brings the truth to you accept it from him even if he is distant and disliked; and whoever brings falsehood to you reject it even if he is beloved and close.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 1:134)

‘Itrīs ibn ‘Arqūb al-Shaybānī [a Khārijī] came to ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd and said: “Destroyed is the one who does not command good and forbid evil.” He said: “No, rather [say]: Destroyed is the one whose heart does not approve of good and whose heart does not disapprove of evil” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 1:135)

Hazrat ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd (RA) said:

إني لأكره أن أرى الرجل فارغا، لا في عمل الدنيا ولا في عمل الآخرة

“Indeed I hate to see a man doing nothing, neither is he engaged in the work of dunyā nor is he engaged in the work of ākhirah.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 1:130)

Qābūs ibn Abī Ẓabyān said: I said to my father: “Why do you come to ‘Alqamah [ibn Qays al-Nakha‘ī] and leave the companions of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace)?” He said: “I saw the companions of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) asking ‘Alqamah and seeking fatwa from him.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:98)

‘Alqamah ibn Qays said: “I was a man that Allāh had given a beautiful voice in reciting Qur’ān. ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd would send for me and I would read to him the Qur’ān. When I would finish from my recitation, he would say: ‘Give us more of this!’” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:99)

Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī said: “‘Alqamah would marry into a household that was lower [in status] than his household, intending humbleness by means of this.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:100)

‘Alqamah ibn Marthad said: “Zuhd reached its peak at seven of the Tābi‘īn, amongst them was al-Aswad ibn Yazīd. He strove hard in worship, fasting until his body became green and yellow. ‘Alqamah ibn Qays [his uncle] would say: ‘Why do you torture this body?’ He said: ‘It is the comfort of this body that I seek!’ When he approached death, he wept. He was asked: ‘Why this worry?’ He said: ‘Why should I not worry, and who is more deserving of that than me? By Allāh, even if I was presented with forgiveness from Allāh, shame of Him for what I have done would concern me. Indeed at times a man is guilty of a small crime against another man who has forgiven him, yet he remains embarassed of him.’ Al-Aswad had performed 80 Ḥajjs.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:103)

Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said:

إن المؤمن يصبح حزينا ويمسي حزينا ولا يسعه غير ذلك لأنه بين مخافتين: بين ذنب قد مضى لا يدري ما الله يصنع فيه؟ وبين أجل قد بقي لا يدري ما يصيب فيه من المهالك؟

“Indeed a believer reaches the morning in grief and reaches the evening in grief, and nothing besides that is possible for him, because he is between two fears: between a sin that has transpired and he does not know how Allāh will deal with it, and between an appointed time of death that yet remains, he does not know what destructive acts he will fall into within it.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:132)

Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Īsā al-Yashkurī said: “I did not see anyone with more prolonged grief than al-Ḥasan [al-Baṣrī]. I never saw him except I though he had recently suffered some tragedy.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:133)

‘Imrān al-Qaṣīr said: I asked al- Ḥasan about something and I said: “The Fuqahā’ say this and this.” He said: “Have you ever seen a Faqīh with your eye? The Faqīh is only the one who renounces the dunyā and has insight into his religion; the one who is punctual in his worship of his Rabb.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 2:147)

Hazrat Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah (RH) said:

ليس العاقل الذي يعرف الخير والشر، إنما العاقل الذي إذا رى الخير اتبعه وإذا رأى الشر اجتنبه

“The intelligent person is not the one who recognises good and evil. Rather, the intelligent person is the one who when he sees good, he follows it, and when he sees evil, he refrains from it.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8:339)

Ibn Ḥumayd said: A man sneezed in the presence of ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Mubārak and he did not say alḥamdulillāh. Ibn al-Mubārak said: “What does a person who sneezes say when he sneezes?” He said: “alḥamdulillāh”. Ibn al-Mubārak then said to him: “yarḥamukAllāh.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8:170)

Bishr ibn al-Ḥārith [al-Ḥāfī] said: A man asked ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Mubārak about a ḥadīth while he was walking. He said: “This is not from respecting ‘ilm.” Bishr said: I liked that a lot. (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8: 166)

Hazrat ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Mubārak (rahmatullahi alayh) said:

لو أن رجلين اصطبحا فى الطريق فأراد أحدهما أن يصلى ركعتين، فتركهما لأجل صاحبه كان ذلك رياء، وإن صلاهما من أجل صاحبه فهو شرك

“Were two people to accompany each other on a journey, and one of them wanted to pray two rak‘ahs, but he leaves them out because of his companion, that would be [a form of] ostentation. And if he prays them because of his companion, it would be [a form of] shirk.” (Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’, 8: 171)

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