Al-Awzāʿī

Learning What Not to Learn

It is reported that Imām Al-Awzāʿī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Learn what not to take like you learn what to take.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿu Bayyān Al-ʿIlm article 435.

See No Evil

It is reported on the authority of Al-Walīd b. Mazyad that he said:

I heard Al-Awzāʿī say, when I asked him, “Who is a fool?” He replied, “One who is blind to what is wrong (evil), [though] he has insight into what is good.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 7:116.

Asking for less refutation [signs of Ahl Al-Bidah]

It is reported from Al-‘Abbās b. Al-Walīd that ‘Uqbah said:

I was once with Arṭa’ah b. Al-Mundhir when one of the people in the gathering said, “What do you say about a man who sits with the followers of the Sunnah and mixes with them, but when the followers of Bid’ah are mentioned he says, ‘Spare us from mentioning them, do not talk about them?’” Arṭa’ah said, “He is one of them, do not let him confuse you about his condition.” I felt this was strange, so I went to Al-Awzā’ī – and he used to clarify these matters when they came to him. He said, “Arṭa’ah is right, the matter is as he said; this person forbids talking about [Ahl Al-Bid’ah], so how can [people] be on guard against them if they are not exposed?”

Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimishq 8:15.

A Morning with the Salaf

It is reported that Imām Al-Awzā’ī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

At the time of Fajr, or a while before it, the Salaf would be as if birds were sitting on their heads: (still ) concentrating on themselves [and their worship], so much so that even if one of their closest friends came to them after having been parted from them, they would not notice him. They would remain in this state until just before sunrise. Then, they would meet each other and sit in the circles. The first thing they would discuss is the matter of their afterlife and what would become of them in the hereafter. Then they would begin the circles of Quran and Fiqh study.

Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimishq 35:184, 185.

Guilty by Association

It is reported that Imām Al-Awzā’ī – Allāh have mercy on him – used to say:

Whoever hides his heresy (bid’ah) from us, his companionship is not hidden from us.

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā article 420.

It is reported that when Sufyān Al-Thawrī – Allāh have mercy on him – came to Baṣrah he started to look into the matter of Al-Rabī’ – i.e. Ibn Ṣabīḥ
(1) – and his status amongst the people. [Sufyān] asked, “What does he believe?” [People] replied, “He believes in nothing but the Sunnah.” He asked, “Who are his companions?” They replied, “The People of Qadr (those who denied Allāh’s pre-decree).” He said, “Then he is a Qadarī (like them).”

Ibid. article 421.

(1) Al-Rabī’ b. Ṣabīḥ is described in biographies as being a truthful reporter, but with a bad memory; a devout worshipper and a mujāhid.

It is reported that Al-Fuḍayl b. ‘Ayyāḍ – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

The souls [of people] are in groups gathered together: those of them that identify with each other come together, and those that are different diverge. It is not possible for an adherent of the Sunnah to incline towards an adherent of Bid’ah except out of hypocrisy (nifāq).

Ibid. article 429.