Sufyān Al-Thawrī

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.

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.

Brotherhood or Bigotry?

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

If you loved a man for Allāh and then he innovates in Islām and you don’t hate him for it, you never [truly] loved him for Allāh.

Abū Nu’aym, Hilyatu Al-Awliyā` 7:34.

I’m the Man [the youngster who puts himself forward]

It is reported that there was a young man who was from the people of knowledge who used to put himself forward, speak and behave haughtily with his knowledge in front of those older than him. This angered Sufyān [Al-Thawrī] and he said, “The Salaf were never like this; they never used to claim leadership, or sit at the head of the gathering until they had sought this knowledge for thirty years, and you act haughty in front of those who are older than you. Get up, I never want to see you even come close to my circ le.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Al-Madkhal ilā Al-Sunan Al-Kubrā 2:74.

The Disease of this Ummah and its Doctor

It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “Wealth is the disease of this Ummah, and the scholar is the doctor of this Ummah. So if the doctor brings the disease to himself, how will he cure the people?”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā`, Vol. 7 p243.