Three Traits of the Scholar

It is reported that Abū Ḥāzim Salamah b. Dīnār – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

You cannot be a scholar unless you have three traits: you do not transgress against those above you, you do not look down on those lesser than you, and you do not take any dunyā in return for your knowledge.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 3:282, article 1655.

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.

Four Things the Wise do Not Trust

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

The insightful and wise do not trust that they are safe from four things: a past sin about which it is not known what the Lord Almighty will do, the remaining lifespan wherein it is not known what destruction lies, some (apparent) advantage a person is given but which could be a lure (from Allāh) in recompense for his wrongdoing, a misguidance that has been beautified – so that he thinks it is guidance – and a momentary deviation of the heart, for a person can be stripped of his religion without realizing it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:406.

Arguing with a Scholar or an Ignoramus

Yūnus reports: Maymūn b. Mihrān once wrote to me saying:

Beware of dispute and argumentation about the religion, and do not argue with a scholar nor an ignoramus. As for the scholar, he will withhold his knowledge from you, and will not be concerned with what you do. As for the ignorant person, he will only cause roughness in your heart and he will not obey you [anyway].

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan no. 302.

The Rarity of Zuhd in Leadership

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

I have not seen less zuhd (abstinence) in anything than leadership; you can see a man renouncing food, drink, wealth and clothing, but if his leadership is contested, he vehemently defends and has enmity over it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 7:262.