Sufyān Al-Thawrī

Why is Knowledge Learned?

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

Knowledge is only learned to [apply it and] put into practice the Taqwā of Allāh the mighty and sublime.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm article 943.

The Behavior of The Seeker of Knowledge

It is reported that ʿAlī – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

When you learn knowledge, preserve it, and do not mix it with laughter and falsehood, such that the hearts refuse (dislike) it.

Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baghdādī, Al-Jāmiʿ li-Akhlāq Al-Rāwī wa Ādāb Al-Sāmiʿ 1:232

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

It is upon whoever seeks knowledge to have a solemn, dignified demeanour, fearful [of Allāh]; and to follow in the footsteps of those who went before him.

ibid.

ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. Mahdī reports:

A man laughed in [the circle of] Hishām Al-Dustawāʾī, so Hishām said to him, “Young man! You seek knowledge laughing?” He replied, “Is it not Allāh who makes [us] laugh and cry (as stated in the Qurʾān)?” So Hishām replied, “Then go and cry.”

Op. cit. 233

Ismāʿīl b. Yaḥyā reports:

Sufyān once saw me joking with a man from Banī Shaybah at the House (Kaʿbah). I laughed, so he said to me, “You laugh here? A man used to hear a single ḥadīth and its demeanour and guidance would be seen on him for three days.”

Op. cit. 234

The Influence of Companionship

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

There is nothing that corrupts a person or rectifies him more than [his] companion.

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā article 504.

Studying Manners

It is reported that Abū Bakr Al-Maṭū’ī said:

I sat in the circle of Abū ‘Abdillāh Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal for twelve years while he read the Musnad to his children, and I never wrote a single ḥadīth, I only looked at his behavior, character and etiquette.

Ibn Al-Jawzī, Manāqib Aḥmad, article 210.

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan b. Ismā’īl said, ‘I heard my father say:

There would gather in the circle of Aḥmad five thousand people or more; less than five hundred would write, the rest would learn from him good manners and behavior.’

Ibid.

It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī said:

A man who wanted to write ḥadīth would [learn] manners and worship for twenty years before starting.

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyā`, 6:361.

Lowering the Gaze

It is reported that Salmān Al-Fārsī – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

I would rather die and be resurrected, die and be resurrected, and again die and be resurrected than to see the private part of a Muslim’s body or for a Muslim to see mine.

Imām Aḥmad, Al-Zuhd p192. 1st ed. 1983. Dār Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmīyah. Beirut, Lebanon.

It is reported that ‘Abdullāh b, ‘Umar – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Verily, part of disregarding the trust upon you is to look inside [other people’s] apartments and houses.

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Kitāb Al-Wara’ article 71.

It is reported that Anas b. Mālik – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

If a woman passes in front of you, lower your eyes until she has passed by.

Ibid. article 72.

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

Let not your sight follow the nice looking back of a woman [as she passed], for indeed the look causes the desire in the heart.

Ibid. article 77.

It is reported on the authority of Al-Wakī’ b. Al-Jarrāḥ:

We went out one Eid with Sufyān Al-Thawrī and he said, “The first thing we will do on this day of ours is to lower our gaze.”

Ibid. article 66.

It is reported that Ḥassān b. Abī Sinān – Allāh have mercy on him – went out one Eid and when he returned home his wife said, “How many beautiful women have you looked at today?” After she kept asking him, he said, “Woe to you! I have looked at nothing but my toe from when I went out to when I returned to you.”

Ibid. article 68.