Boasting and Pretending to Have Sinned

It is reported that Al-ʿAwwām b. Ḥawshab – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Boasting that you did a sin (when you did not) is worse than committing the sin.

Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm, article 3073.

Ibn Qutaybah, explaining what is meant by boasting here, said:

It is when a person says, ‘I fornicated’, when he did not, or to say, ‘I killed a man’, when he did not, boasting and showing off. This is worse upon a man than committing the sin because he did not avoid the sin except that he would have done it if able. He is therefore like the one who does it, by intention. He goes even further by removing the cover (of reputation) from himself, and by the depravity of his audacity to commit sin and his lack of concern.

Dua of the Horse

Muʿāwiyah b. Khadīj (or Ḥudayj) reports that he once passed by Abū Ḏarr Al-Ġifārī – Allāh be pleased with him – while the latter was standing with a horse of his, so he asked:

“What are you doing with this horse of yours?” Abū Ḏarr replied, “I think this horse has had his supplication answered.” Muʿāwiyah asked, “And what supplication does a beast have?” He replied, “By him in whose hand is my soul, there is no horse except that it supplicates every twilight before the dawn: O Allāh, you have given me to a servant of yours and have put my provision at his hands, so make me more beloved to him than his wife, his property and his children.”

Imām Aḥmad, Al-Musnad, ḥadīth 21334.

Note: The report of this supplication as being from the Arabian horse is also related via Abū Ḏarr from the Prophet ﷺ himself in the Sunan of Al-Nasāʾī and elsewhere in the Musnad of Aḥmad, and has been graded Ṣaḥīḥ by Al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Susan Al-Nasāʾī ḥadīth 3581 and Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Tarġīb ḥadīth 1251, although scholars have differed on this. In any case, an authentic report from a Companion about matters of the unseen has the ruling of being from the Prophet ﷺ because the Companions did not speak about the unseen except after learning about it from the Prophet ﷺ.

How to Look at Yourself and Others

It is reported that Bakr b. ʿAbdillāh Al-Muzanī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

When you see someone older than you, say: he has preceded me in īmān and righteous actions so he is better than me; and when you see someone younger than you, say: I have preceded him in sinning and disobedience so he is better than me. And when you see your brothers honouring and revering you, say: this is a virtue they have attained; and when you see them falling short (in their treatment of you) say: this is [because of] a sin I committed.

Ibn Al-Jawzī, Ṣifatu Al-Ṣafwah, article 505: Bakr b. ʿAbdillāh Al-Muzanī.

Peo­ple Change & Allah For­gives

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Do not be hasty in praising people or blaming them, for perhaps what pleases you from a person today will displease you tomorrow, and perhaps what displeases you today, will please you tomorrow. Indeed, people change. It is Allāh who forgives the sins. And Allāh is more merciful to his servant the day he meets him than a mother who lays out a bed for her child in an empty patch of land and feels [the ground]: if there is a risk of being stung, it will be her instead of him (her child), and if there is a risk of being pricked by a thorn, it will be her instead of him.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān article 6177, and others.

When the Sinful and the Rabble Take Knowledge

ʿAbdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

The people will not cease to be well as long as they take knowledge from their seniors. When they take it from their juniors and their bad people, they will be destroyed.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm article 1057.

Al-Firyābī reports:

When Sufyān [Al-Thawrī] would see these rabble writing knowledge his face would change (in anger). So I asked him, ‘O Abū ʿAbdillāh, we notice that when you see these people writing knowledge, it is hard upon you.’ He replied, ‘Knowledge used to be with the Arabs and with the leaders of the people, but when it left them and went to these types – meaning the rabble of society – the religion was changed.’

Op. cit. article 1072.