Al-Shaʿbī

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.

Two Calamities for Fitnah

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

Stay away from the sinful amongst the scholars and the ignorant amongst the worshippers, for these two are the calamity of everyone who would fall into fitnah.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān ḥadīth 1753.

Not Speaking in Front of Elders

Samurah b. Jundub – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

I was young during the time of Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ and I had memorised things he had said; nothing stopped me from speaking except for the fact that there were amongst us men who were older than me.

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Kitāb Al-Janāʾiz #964.

Al-Ḥasan b. ʿUtaybah reports:

Sufyān Al-Thawrī said to Sufyān b. ʿUyainah, “Why do you not speak (narrate)?” He replied, “While you are alive, no way.”

Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baġdādī, Al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq Al-Rāwī #698.

Ḥusayn b. Al-Walīd Al-Naysābūrī said: a reliable person informed me:

ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar (Al-ʿUmarī, great-great grandson of ʿUmar) was once asked about something to do with ḥadīth, so he replied, “As long as Abū ʿUthmān (his older brother) is alive, then no.”

Op. cit. #699.

It is reported that ʿĀṣim said:

Zirr (Ibn Ḥubaysh) was older than Abū Wāʾil (Shaqīq b. Salamah); so if they ever sat together [in a gathering] Abū Wāʾil would not speak with Zirr (out of respect).

Op. cit. #702.

It is also reported that:

When Ibrāhīm and Al-Shaʿbī were together, Ibrāhīm would not speak about anything, because of his age.

Op. cit. #703.

It is reported from Abū ʿAbdillāh Al-Muʿayṭī that he said:

I saw Abū Bakr b. ʿAyyāsh in Makkah. Sufyān b. ʿUyainah came to him and knelt in front of him. Abū Bakr asked him, “How are you Sufyān? Sufyān, how is your father’s family?” Then a man came and asked Sufyān about a ḥadīth, so Sufyān said, “Do not ask me as long as this Shaykh is sitting here.”

Op. cit. #705.

It is reported from Al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī Al-Khallāl that he said:

We were once with Muʿtamir b. Sulaymān while he was speaking to us, when Ibn Al-Mubārak approached. Muʿtamir cut short his speech. It was said to him, “Speak (or narrate) to us.” He replied, “We do not speak in front of our seniors.”

Op. cit. #706.

And it is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak was once asked about an issue in the presence of Sufyān b. ʿUyainah, so he replied, “We have been forbidden from speaking in front of our seniors.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:420.

The Scholar-Messenger and The Roman King

It is reported from Al-Shaʿbī – Allāh have mercy on him – that he said:

ʿAbdul-Malik [ibn Marwān, the Khalīfah] once sent me to the king of the Romans, and I stayed with him for a number of days. When I wanted to leave, he asked me, Are you from the House of [your] king (his family)? I replied, I am just a man from the Arabs. He gave me a parchment and said, Deliver this to your companion (the Caliph). When ʿAbdul-Malik had read it, he said to me, Do you know what it says? I replied, No. He said, It says in it, I wonder at a people who have made other than this man king over them. I said, By Allāh, if I had known I would not have carried it to you. [The Roman king] only said this because he has not seen you. ʿAbdul-Malik said, Rather, he envied me for having you, and was trying to incite me to kill you. This reached the Roman king; and when it did, he said, I wanted nothing but this.

Ibn Al-ʿImād, Shadharāt Al-Dhahab 2:26

Rubbish Opinions

Mālik b. Mighwal said:

Al-Sha’bī once said to me, “When these [people] report to you from Allāh’s Messenger – praise and peace of Allāh be upon him, adhere to it; but when they merely opine, throw it in the trash.”

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan 1:78.