Three Men and Three Women

It is reported that ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

There are three types of men and three types of women. As for the women, then [one] is the chaste, Muslim, gentle, loving and childbearing woman. She helps her family in difficult situations and does not help situations to overcome her family. Rarely will you find such women. Another is a vessel, she does nothing more than bear children. The third type is a shackle, Allāh puts her around the neck of whomever he wills, and when he wills to remove it, he removes it. Men are [also] three kinds. [The first is] a chaste, easy, gentle man who possesses opinion (insight) and is worthy of being consulted; and when a matter befalls him, he follows his insight, and approaches matters as they should be. [The second is] a man who has no opinions of his own, and when a matter befalls him he goes to the one who does have insight and should be consulted, and he adopts his opinion on the matter. The third is a man who is confused, lost and aimless; he neither follows (seeks) guidance, nor obeys any guide.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 10:39 ḥadīth 7131.

In the House of Ali and Fatimah

It is reported that ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

We only used to own a single ram’s skin (leather mat), we used to sleep on one end of it and Fāṭimah used to knead dough on the other end.

Wakīʿ b. Al-Jarrāḥ, Al-Zuhd article 114.

A Man Should Sit Where He Benefits

It is reported that:

ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – would sometimes ride to Makkah and return without entering it (meeting anyone there), and he used to sit with Aslam the freedman of ʿUmar (himself a scholar), so it was said to him, “You leave Quraysh, and instead sit with the slave of Banī ʿAdī!” So he replied, “A man [should] sit where he benefits.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:388.

It is reported that:

ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – would enter the masjid and cut his way through the people until he would sit in the circle of Zayd b. Aslam. Nāfiʿ b. Jubayr said to him, “Allāh forgive you, you are the sayyid of the people, yet you come traversing the people to sit with this slave.” So ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn replied, “Knowledge is to be sought and come to and looked for wherever it is.”

Ibid.

The Foolish Gathering

It is reported that Muʿāwiyah b. Qurrah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Do not sit with the foolish using your knowledge, and do not sit with the knowledgeable (scholars) using your foolishness.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:154.

I Would Rather Sing a Song

It is reported that a man once came to Al-Shaʿbī – Allāh have mercy on him – and asked him about something, so he replied:

“Ibn Masʿūd used to say such-and-such [about this issue].” The man asked, “But tell me your opinion.” He replied, “Are you not all astonished by this man? I inform him of what Ibn Masʿūd [said] and he asks me my opinion. My religion is more important to me than that. By Allāh, I would rather sing a song than inform you of my opinion.”

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan ḥadīth 108.