ʿUbay b. Kaʿb

Four Rewarding Exhortations about People

Al-Muzanī reports:
I heard Al-Shāfiʿī say:

A man once asked Ubay b. Kaʿb – Allāh be pleased with him, “Exhort me with something I can benefit by and by which I will be rewarded.” He replied, “Be brotherly with brothers according to how righteous they are, do not expend your speech on those who are not interested in it, do not seek anyone to meet your need who does not care if he does not fulfil it, and do not envy the living except for something you would envy the dead.”

Al-Ājurrī, Juz fīhi Ḥikāyāt ʿan Al-Shāfiʿī article 24.

Learn Arabic, Speak Arabic

One of the reported instructions ʿUmar wrote to Abū Mūsā Al-Ash’arī and those under his governance during the former’s Caliphate was, “Seek knowledge and understanding of (fiqh) the Sunnah and seek knowledge and understanding of Arabic.”

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf Vol.6 p126.

It is reported that he said, “Learn Arabic, for it strengthens the intelligence and increases one’s noble conduct (al-murū`ah).”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab Al-Īmān Vol.4 p187.

It is also reported that he said, “Do not learn the language of the non-Arabs, and do not enter upon them in their churches on their festivals, for indeed wrath descends upon them.”

ʿAbd Al-Razzāq Al-Ṣan’ānī, Al-Muṣannaf Vol.1 p411.

It is also reported that he was once circumambulating the Ka’bah when he heard two men speaking in a language other than Arabic behind him. He turned to them and said, “Find some way to learn Arabic.”

ʿAbd Al-Razzāq Al-Ṣan’ānī, Al-Muṣannaf Vol.5 p496.

It is reported that Ubay b. Ka’b – Allāh be pleased with him – said, “Learn Arabic just as you learn to memorize the Qurān.”

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf Vol.7 p150.

It is reported that Ibn ʿUmar – Allāh be pleased with them – used to hit his children for making language errors.

Tahdhīb Al-Tahdhīb Vol.9 p292.

It is reported that Shu’bah – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “Learn Arabic, for it increases the intelligence.”

Tahdhīb Al-Tahdhīb Vol.4 p303.

It is reported that ‘Attā b. Abī Rabāḥ – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “I wish I were fluent in Arabic,” when he was ninety years old.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā`, in his biography of ‘Attā b. Abī Rabāh.

It is reported that Ibn Shubrumah – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “Men have never worn a garment more beautiful than Arabic.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab Al-Īmān Vol.4 p197.

Take the Quran

Abu Al-‘Āliyah reports that a man once asked ‘Ubay b. Ka’b – Allah be pleased with him – for advice. He said:

Take the Book of Allah as your leader (imām) and be pleased with it as a judge and ruler. It is what your Messenger left amongst you. It will be an intercessor for you. It is to be obeyed. It is a witness never doubted. In it is a mention of you and those before you, and judgment for whatever happens amongst you. And in it is news about you and whatever will come after you.

Al-Dhahabī in Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā’, in the biography of ‘Ubay b. Ka’b