Sufyān b. ʿUyainah

The Importance of Tolerating the Anger of the Scholar

It is reported from Imām Al-Shāfiʿī:

There were two men who used to visit Al-Aʿmash, one who was concerned with ḥadīth and one who was not. One day Al-Aʿmash became angry with the man who studied ḥadīth, so the other said to him, “If he ever got angry with me like he got angry with you I would never go back to him.” To this Al-Aʿmash said, “In that case he would be a fool like you, leaving what benefits him because of my bad character (behaviour).”

Al-Khaṭīb, Al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq Al-Rāwī 1:338.

It is also reported from Imām Al-Shāfiʿī:

It was said to Sufyān b. ʿUyaynah, “People come to you from around the world, and [sometimes] you get angry with them? They might depart and leave you.” He replied, “In that case they would be fools like you, leaving what benefits them because of my bad character (behaviour).”

Op. cit. p339.

It is reported that Muʿāfā b. ʿImrān said:

The one who gets angry against a scholar is like someone who gets angry with the pillars of a mosque.

Ibid.

The Importance of Knowing Different Opinions Before Giving Fatwa

Saʿīd b. Abī ʿArūbah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whoever has not heard the differences of opinion, then do not consider him a scholar.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm wa Faḍlihī no. 1521.

It is reported that Sufyān b. ʿUyainah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

The most audacious people in giving verdicts (fatwā) are those who know the least about the differences of opinion amongst the scholars.

Op. cit. 1527.

It is reported that Imām Mālik – Allāh have mercy on him – was asked:

“Which kind of person is allowed to give verdicts (fatwā)?” He replied, “It is not allowed to give verdicts except for the person who knows what people have differed over.” He was asked, “Do you mean the differences of the people of (mere) opinions?” He replied, “No, the different opinions of the Companions of Muḥammad ﷺ, and the one who also knows the abrogating from the abrogated [texts] in the Qurān and in the ḥadīth of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ – such a person can give fatwā.”

Op. cit. 1529.

It is reported that Yaḥyā b. Sallām – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

It is not right for the one who does not know differences of opinion to give verdicts, and it is not allowed for the one who does not know about the various statements [of the scholars] to say: I prefer such-and-such opinion.

Op. cit. 1534.

Not Speaking in Front of Elders

Samurah b. Jundub – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

I was young during the time of Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ and I had memorised things he had said; nothing stopped me from speaking except for the fact that there were amongst us men who were older than me.

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Kitāb Al-Janāʾiz #964.

Al-Ḥasan b. ʿUtaybah reports:

Sufyān Al-Thawrī said to Sufyān b. ʿUyainah, “Why do you not speak (narrate)?” He replied, “While you are alive, no way.”

Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baġdādī, Al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq Al-Rāwī #698.

Ḥusayn b. Al-Walīd Al-Naysābūrī said: a reliable person informed me:

ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar (Al-ʿUmarī, great-great grandson of ʿUmar) was once asked about something to do with ḥadīth, so he replied, “As long as Abū ʿUthmān (his older brother) is alive, then no.”

Op. cit. #699.

It is reported that ʿĀṣim said:

Zirr (Ibn Ḥubaysh) was older than Abū Wāʾil (Shaqīq b. Salamah); so if they ever sat together [in a gathering] Abū Wāʾil would not speak with Zirr (out of respect).

Op. cit. #702.

It is also reported that:

When Ibrāhīm and Al-Shaʿbī were together, Ibrāhīm would not speak about anything, because of his age.

Op. cit. #703.

It is reported from Abū ʿAbdillāh Al-Muʿayṭī that he said:

I saw Abū Bakr b. ʿAyyāsh in Makkah. Sufyān b. ʿUyainah came to him and knelt in front of him. Abū Bakr asked him, “How are you Sufyān? Sufyān, how is your father’s family?” Then a man came and asked Sufyān about a ḥadīth, so Sufyān said, “Do not ask me as long as this Shaykh is sitting here.”

Op. cit. #705.

It is reported from Al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī Al-Khallāl that he said:

We were once with Muʿtamir b. Sulaymān while he was speaking to us, when Ibn Al-Mubārak approached. Muʿtamir cut short his speech. It was said to him, “Speak (or narrate) to us.” He replied, “We do not speak in front of our seniors.”

Op. cit. #706.

And it is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak was once asked about an issue in the presence of Sufyān b. ʿUyainah, so he replied, “We have been forbidden from speaking in front of our seniors.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:420.

The Highest Standard

It is reported that Sufyān b. ‘Uyainah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
Verily, the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ is the highest standard; things are measured by him: his character, lifestyle and behavior. Whatever agrees with [these] is true and correct, and whatever contradicts [them] is wrong.

Al-Khatīb Al-Baghdādī, Akhlāq Al-Rāwī wa Ādāb Al-Sāmi’ article 8.

The Blessings of Marriage according to the Sunnah

Yaḥyā b. Yaḥyā Al-NaysābūrĪ reports:

I was once with Sufyān b. ‘Uyainah – Allah have mercy on him, when a man came to him and said, “O Abū Muḥammad, I complain to you of so-and-so”, meaning his wife, “I am the lowest and most despicable thing to her.” [Sufyān] lowered his head for a few moments, then said, “Perhaps you wanted her in order to better your status.” The man said, “Indeed, o Abū Muḥammad.” Sufyān said, “Whoever goes for glory will be tried with ignominy, whoever goes for wealth will be tried with poverty, but whoever goes for religiousness, Allah will bring together for him glory and wealth with the religion.” He then started to narrate to him:

We were four brothers: Muḥammad, ‘Umrān, IbrāhĪm and I. Muḥammad was the eldest, ‘Umrān was the youngest, and I was in the middle. When Muḥammad wanted to marry, he desired status and married a woman of higher standing, so Allah tried him with ignominy. ‘Umrān desired wealth, so he married a richer woman and Allah tried him with poverty: [her family] took everything from him and gave him nothing.

I pondered their situation. Mu’ammar b. Rāshid once came to us so I consulted him on the situation and told him the story of my brothers. He reminded me of the ḥadĪth of Yaḥyā b. Ja’dah and the ḥadĪth of ‘Ā`ishah. The ḥadĪth of Yaḥyā b. Ja’dah states that the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said, “A woman is married for four things: her religion, her status (lineage), her wealth or her beauty; so take the religious one and be successful.” The ḥadĪth of ‘Ā`ishah states that the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said, “The most blessed woman is she who is easiest to maintain.”

Thus, I chose [to marry a woman of] religion and modest dowry, in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and Allah gave me status and wealth along with the religion.

Abū Nu’aym, Hilyatu Al-Awliyā` 7:289, 290.

Note
The first ḥadĪth is recorded by Al-BukhārĪ and Muslim. The second is found in Al-Nasā`Ī and other collections but has been graded weak by scholars including Shaykh Al-AlbānĪ. However, scholars point out there is another narration that supports and adds to its meaning. This ḥadĪth states:
It is from the blessing in a woman that she has an easy dowry, an easy proposal [via her guardian] and an easy womb (i.e. she is fertile and bares children without difficulty). One of the reporters of this narration, ‘Urwah, said “And I say from myself, one of the first signs of evil from a woman is for her to have a high dowry.”
This ḥadĪth is recorded by Imām Aḥmad and others and is graded ḥasan by Shaykh Al-AlbānĪ.