Imām Al-Zuhrī

The Opportunity of Fasting Ashura

It is reported that Imām Al-Zuhrī – Allāh have mercy on him – was traveling and fasted ʿĀshūrāʾ, so he was asked:

“How comes you fast the Day of ʿĀshūrāʾ when traveling but not so during the fast of Ramaḍān?” He replied, “For Ramaḍān, the number of days can be made up later, but ʿĀshūrāʾ will be missed.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān ḥadīth 3518.

Taking Knowledge in Stages

It is reported that Al-Zuhrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said to Yūnus b. Yazīd:

O Yūnus! Do not try to overcome knowledge, for verily knowledge is [like vast] valleys: whichever of them you take will stop you before you traverse it. Instead, take it over the days and nights. And do not take knowledge all at once, for whoever tries to take it all at once will lose it all at once. Rather take it bit by bit over the days and nights.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm article 652.

Sometimes the Manners Surpassed Knowledge

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

We used to sometimes come to a scholar and what we learned of his manners was more beloved to us than the knowledge we took from him.

Abū Nuʿaym, Ḥilyatu Al-ʾAwliyāʾ #4575

The Revival of Knowledge

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

Those of our scholars who went before us used to say,”Adherence to the Sunnah is salvation, but knowledge is taken away quickly, so the revival of knowledge means the stability of religion and worldly affairs, and the loss of knowledge means the loss of all that.”

Al-Lālakā`ī, Sharh Usūl I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah article 136

Calami­ties that Af­flict Knowl­edge

Imām Al-Zuhrī said:

Verily, knowledge has calamities [that afflict it]. One of its calamities is when the scholar is left, until he goes away with his knowledge. Another calamity is forgetting [knowledge]. Yet another calamity is lying about [knowledge], and this is the worst type.

Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm article 684.