Imām Al-Bukhārī

Lofty Manners & Conduct of the Salaf [Examples]

Miscellaneous Examples

It is reported that Jābir b. ʿAbdillāh – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Have taqwā of Allāh and behave modestly (with a sense of shame), and cover yourselves; let not any of you bathe except behind a covering.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān #7398.

It is reported that Mujāhid – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

It is disliked for a man to stare at his brother or follow him with his gaze when he gets up, or to ask him where he has come from.

Op. cit. #9580.

It is reported that ʿAṭā b. Abī Rabāḥ – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Sometimes a man narrates a ḥadīth to me, so I remain quiet as if I am listening carefully, although I had heard the ḥadīth before he had even been born.

Al-Ḏahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:87.

It is reported that Al-Aḥnaf b. Qays – Allāh have mercy on him – would try to make space whenever a man came to him, and if there was no space, he would make it appear that he was trying to make space for him.
Op. cit. 4:94

Muḥammad b. Abī Ḥātim reports:

I heard Al-Buḵārī say, “I have never eaten leek.” So I asked, “And why is that?” He replied, “I hate to annoy anyone with its foul smell.”
Op. cit. 12:445

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak was asked about an issue in the presence of Sufyān b. ʿUyaynah, so he said, “We have been forbidden to talk in front of our seniors.”
Op. cit. 8:420

It is reported from Al-Ḵalīl b. Aḥmad – Allāh have mercy on him – that if he ever benefitted someone with something, he would never make out that he had benefitted him, but if he ever benefitted from someone, he would show him that he had benefitted from him.
Op. cit. 7:431

It is reported that Al-Layth [b. Saʿd] – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

I used to walk with Ṭalḥah, and he [once] said, “If I knew that you were older than me by even one night, I would never walk in front of you.”

Abū Nuʿaym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyāʾ 5:17.

Knowledge on the Mind

It is reported that Imām Abū Dāwūd Al-Sijistānī – Allah have mercy on him – said:

Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal never used to involve himself in the things of this world that people involved themselves in; but when knowledge was mentioned, he would speak.

Ibn Al-Jawzī Ṣifatu Al-Ṣafwah 2:519.

It is reported that Al-Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad said:

Muḥammad b. Ismā`īl Al-Bukhārī was distinguished with three qualities – in addition to the rest of his praseworthy traits: He never spoke much, he never yearned for what people had. He would never occupy himself with other people’s affairs; all his attention was towards knowledge.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 12:449

The Salaf and the Quran in Ramadan

It is reported that Al-Aswad [b. Yazīd Al-Nakha’ī] used to complete the recitation of the Quran in Ramadan every two nights; sleeping between al-maghrib and al-‘ishā. Outside of Ramaḍān, he used to complete a recitation every six nights.

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyā` 1:250.

It is related from Al-Rabī’ b. Sulaymān, “Muḥammad b. Idrīs Al-Shāfi’ī used to complete reciting the Quran in the month of Ramadan sixty times, all in the prayer.”

Ibid. 4:107

It is reported that Abul-Ash-hab said, “Abū Al-Rajā` [Al-Aṭārudī] would complete with us a recitation of the Quran in the night prayers of Ramadan every ten days.”

Ibid. 1:348

It is reported that Qatādah used to complete a recitation of the Quran once every seven nights, and when Ramadan came, once every three nights. During the last ten nights, he would complete a recitation every night.

Ibid. 1:364

It is reported that Al-Bukhārī used to complete a recitation [of the Quran] once a day in Ramadan, and would pray after Tarāwīḥ every night, completing another recitation every three nights.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 12:439

Notes

After mentioning some similar examples from the Salaf, Ibn Rajab says in Laṭā`if Al-Ma’ārif p319:

The prohibition of reciting the Quran in less than three days [found in some ahadith] refers to doing so regularly [throughout the year]. As for virtuous times, like Ramadan – especially the nights in which it is hoped Laylatu Al-Qadr will occur – or virtuous places, like Makkah – for those who enter it and are not residents there, then it is recommended to increase in reciting the Quran, making the most of the time and the place. This is the position of [Imam] Aḥmad, Isḥāq [ibn Rāhūyah] and other Imams, and the practice of others [from the Salaf] indicates [they held the same position].

Intentions First

The Prophet Muhammad – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said:

Actions are but by intentions, and everyone will have what he intended. So whoever migrated to Allah and His Messenger, he migrated to Allah and His Messenger. But whoever migrated for some worldly benefit, or to take a woman in marriage, then his migration was only to what he migrated to.

Al-Bukhāri, Muslim and others.

Traditionally, Muslim scholars chose to begin their works by quoting this hadīth, or report, from the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Here is a brief commentary taken from Ibn Rajab’s Jāmi’ Al-‘Ulūm wa Al-Hikam, in which he explains the entire Forty Hadīth collection of Al-Nawawi:

Imām Al-Bukhārī (as Al-Nawawi later did in his Forty Hadīth) begins his Sahīh collection with this hadīth, reminding us that any deed through which Allah’s pleasure is not sought is futile; it will bear no fruits in this life or the hereafter.

ʿAbd Al-Rahmān b. Mahdī, the great scholar of hadīth, said, “If I were to compile a work in chapters, I would place this hadīth at the beginning of each one.” He also said, “Whoever wishes to author a book, he should begin with the hadīth about intentions.”

This hadīth forms a fundamental principle of Islām and an axis around which this way of life revolves.

It is reported that Imām Al-Shāfi’ī said, “This hadīth constitutes a third of all knowledge, and it relates to seventy areas of fiqh (correct understanding of the religion).”

It is reported from Imām Ahmad that he said, “The foundations of Islām are upon three hadīth: the one reported by ʿUmar – ‘Actions are but by intentions’, the one reported by ‘Āishah – ‘Whoever does a deed that does not conform to our commands will have it rejected’ and the one reported by Al-Nu’mān b. Bashīr – ‘The halāl and harām are clear…’”

This hadīth teaches us the principle that acceptance of our deeds and whether or not they are regarded as righteous depends primarily on what the intention behind them is. If the intention is good and pure – to receive Allah’s pleasure and reward, the deed is righteous. Otherwise the deed is futile and false. This is the first thing that needs to be dealt with.

The second condition which needs to be met for our deeds to be accepted by Allah is that they should be in conformity with Islām’s true teachings as taught to us by the Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him – and as understood and applied by the Righteous Predecessors. Hence, the Prophet stated:

Whoever does a deed that does not conform to our commands will have it rejected.

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.