ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb

One Bad Quality Can Spoil Numerous Good Ones

It is reported that ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb – Allāh be pleased with him – said to a young man while exhorting him:

A man might have ten qualities, nine of them good and one bad, but the nine good ones can be spoiled by the one bad quality. Beware of the slips and faults of youth.

ʿAbd Al-Razzāq Al-Ṣanʿānī, Al-Muṣannaf 8240.

Umar on Trustworthiness

It is reported that ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Do not expose yourself to what does not concern you, stay away from your enemy, beware of [taking as] your friend anyone except the trustworthy amongst people – and there is no one who is trustworthy except one who fears Allāh; and do not accompany the sinner in case you learn his sinfulness, and do not let him know your secrets, and consult those who fear Allāh for your affairs.

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf 34476.

If a Person is Exposed, It’s not his First Sin

Anas b. Mālik reports:

A young man who had stolen was brought to ʿUmar (for punishment). He said, “By Allāh I have never stolen before this time.” So ʿUmar responded, “You lie, Allāh would not (or does not) surrender a servant of His on the first sin.”

Abū Dāwūd, Al-Zuhd article 56, and others. Graded ṣaḥīh by Ibn Kathīr and others.

The Zuhd of Abu Ubaydah and the Tears of Umar

It is reported from ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar:

When ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb arrived in Al-Shām, he said to Abū ʿUbaydah – Allāh be pleased with them: “Take us to your home.” Abū ʿUbaydah said, “And what will you do with my home?” ʿUmar replied, “Just take us there.” Abū ʿUbaydah said, “You only want to cry your eyes out over me.” So he entered his house and saw nothing [by way of furnishings] in it. ʿUmar asked, “Where are your things? I see nothing but rags, a water-skin and a dish (tray), and you are a governor! Do you have food?” So Abū ʿUbaydah went over to an old pail (bucket) and took out some scraps, and ʿUmar began to weep. Abu ʿUbaydah said to him, “I told you you would cry your eyes out over me. O Commander of the Believers, sufficient for you from the dunyā is what delivers you to your place of rest.” ʿUmar said, “The dunyā changed us all except you Abū ʿUbaydah.”

Abū Dāwūd, Kitāb Al-Zuhd article 123, and others.

Beware the Sinful Scholar

It is reported that Harim b. Ḥayyān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

“Beware of the sinful scholar (al-ʿālim al-fāsiq).” This reached ʿUmar, so he wrote to him in fear, “Who is the sinful scholar?” He wrote back, “I did not intend but good; this is when there is an imām (leader, taken as an example) who speaks knowledge, but practices sins, confusing the people, and thus they go astray.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:49.