Getting Ahead of Yourself

It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whoever takes leadership quickly (too early) will harm a lot of [his] knowledge (will not learn what he needs); and whoever does not take leadership can continue to seek knowledge until he reaches [where he needs to be].

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan #554.

The Best Things a Person Can be Given

It is reported from Ḥabīb Al-Jallāb that he asked ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him:

“What is the best thing a person is ever given?” He replied, “Innate intelligence.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “Good conduct.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “A compassionate brother to consult.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “Long silence.” He asked, “And if not that?” Ibn Al-Mubārak replied, “Then an early death.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:397.

Speaking Against the Rulers is the Way of the Persians and Romans

ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar – Allāh be pleased with them – said:

A man from [the tribe of] the Anṣār once came to me during the caliphate of ʿUthmān. He spoke to me and I realised he wanted me to fault ʿUthmān; he spoke at length and he had some heaviness in his speech and could not finish speaking quickly. When he had finished, I said to him, “We used to say, while the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was still alive, the best of the Ummah of the Messenger of Allāh after him is Abū Bakr, then ʿUmar, then ʿUthmān. And by Allāh, we do not know that ʿUthmān has ever killed anyone without right or committed any major sin; but it is an issue of this wealth [with you people]: if he gives you, you are happy, and if he gives to his kin, you are angry. You only want to be like the Persians and Romans, who leave no leader of theirs without killing him.”
Then his eyes filled with tears and he said, “O Allāh, we do not want this.”

Imām Aḥmad, Faḍāʾil Al-Ṣaḥābah, article 64, except for the last sentence. Shaykh Waṣīyullāh ʿAbbās graded its chain of transmission ṣaḥīḥ in his study of the work.

The last sentence about the crying is in the Masāʾil of Ibn Hāniʾ 2:171.

The Correct Reaction to Knowledge

Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī reports that Abū Qilābah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

O Ayyūb, when Allāh brings about knowledge for you, bring about worship of him, and do not let your [sole] concern be to narrate it.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm, article 1279.

It is reported that the inscription on the ring of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī – Allāh be pleased with them – read:

You know, so now act (علِمت فاعمل).

Op. cit. article 1280.

From the Fruits of Sincerely Seeking Knowledge

It is reported that Ibrāhīm b. Adham – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whoever seeks knowledge sincerely, for the servants of Allāh to benefit by and to benefit himself, then being hidden (from fame) is more beloved to him than seeking loftiness. He is the one who becomes more lowly to himself, strives more in worship, fears Allāh more, yearns for Allāh more, and becomes more humble amongst people. He cares not what he has of this dunyā night or day.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān article 1653.