Sufyān Al-Thawrī

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.

The Narrations are the Religion

It is reported that Muḥammad b. Sīrīn said, “They used to consider themselves on the [right] path as long as they followed al-athar (guidance of the Sunnah and Salaf as passed down in the narrations).”

Al-Lālakā`ī, Sharḥ Usūl I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamā’ah Vol.1 p120.

It is reported that ‘Uthmān b. Ḥāḍir said, “I said to Ibn ‘Abbās: ‘advise me.’ He replied, ‘It is upon you to be upright, follow al-athar, and beware of innovating [in religion].’”

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā Vol. 1 p214.

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak said, “Let it only be the narrations (al-athar) that you rely upon, and take from reasoning and opinion that amount that will help you to understand and explain ḥadīth.”

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm wa Faḍlihi Vol. 3 p329.

It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī said, “The narrations (al-āthār) are the religion.”

And it is reported that he also said, “A man should not even scratch his head except based on a narration.”

Al-Harawī, Dhamm Al-Kalām wa Ahlihī Vol. 2 p264.

It is reported that Al-Musayyib b. Rāfi’ Al-Asadī said, “We only follow, we do not innovate; we follow behind and do not start anything [in the religion], and we will never stray as long as we adhere to the narrations.”

Al-Harawī, Dhamm Al-Kalām wa Ahlihī Vol. 2 p265.