ʿAbdullāh b. Masʿūd

Truthfulness Expels Sin & Lying Expels Goodness

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

Verily a man continues to be truthful until he is written with Allāh as a true believer (ṣiddīq); and he persists in truthfulness until there is not even the space of a needle for sinfulness left in his heart to settle. And a man lies and persists in lying until there is not even the space of a needle for goodness in his heart to settle.

Wakīʿ b. Al-Jarrāḥ, Al-Zuhd ḥadīth 398.

The Danger of Over-Suspicion

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

The victim of theft might continue to suspect and conjecture [about who stole from him] until he becomes worse [in sin] than the thief.

Al-Bukhārī, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no. 1289. Its chain of transmission was graded ṣaḥīḥ by Al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no.974.

Praising Oneself with Iman

Abū Wāʾil reports:

A man once came to ʿAbdullāh [ibn Masʿūd] – Allāh be pleased with him – and said, “We were once travelling when we met another group of travellers, so we asked them, ‘Who are you?’ They replied, ‘We are the believers!'” So [Ibn Masʿūd] said, “So why didn’t they just say, ‘We are from the people of Jannah?!'”

Abū ʿUbayd Al-Qāsim b. Sallām, Kitāb Al-Īmān, article 11. Shaykh Al-Albānī graded the chain of transmission of this and the following narration ṣaḥīḥ according to the standard of Bukhārī and Muslim.

ʿAlqamah reports:

A man once said to ʿAbdullāh [ibn Masʿūd], “I am a believer.” ʿAbdullāh said to him, “Why don’t you just say ‘I am in Jannah’! No, but [we say]: we believe in Allāh, his angels, his scriptures and his Messengers.”

Op. cit. article 12.

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.