The Scholar-Messenger and The Roman King

It is reported from Al-Shaʿbī – Allāh have mercy on him – that he said:

ʿAbdul-Malik [ibn Marwān, the Khalīfah] once sent me to the king of the Romans, and I stayed with him for a number of days. When I wanted to leave, he asked me, Are you from the House of [your] king (his family)? I replied, I am just a man from the Arabs. He gave me a parchment and said, Deliver this to your companion (the Caliph). When ʿAbdul-Malik had read it, he said to me, Do you know what it says? I replied, No. He said, It says in it, I wonder at a people who have made other than this man king over them. I said, By Allāh, if I had known I would not have carried it to you. [The Roman king] only said this because he has not seen you. ʿAbdul-Malik said, Rather, he envied me for having you, and was trying to incite me to kill you. This reached the Roman king; and when it did, he said, I wanted nothing but this.

Ibn Al-ʿImād, Shadharāt Al-Dhahab 2:26

Hiding Righteous Tears

It is reported from Ḥammād b. Zayd that he said, I never saw a man who used to smile more at people than ʾAyyūb.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:17

It is reported from Ḥammād b. Zayd that ʾAyyūb [Al-Sakhtiyānī] was once in a gathering when he was effected (moved to tears) by an exhortation, so he began wiping his nose saying, How severe a cold can be!

Op. cit. 5:20

It is also reported from Ḥammād that ʾAyyūb was once overcome with weeping, so he said, A shaykh, when he gets very old, dribbles.

Op. cit. 5:22

Never Give Up Re­pent­ing

It is reported that a man came to ʿAlī – Allāh be pleased with him – and asked, What do you think about a man who committed a sin? He replied, He must seek Allāh’s forgiveness and repent to Him. [The man] said, He did that, but then sinned again? [ʿAlī] said, He must seek Allāh’s forgiveness and repent to Him. The man again said, He did that, but returned to sin. [ʿAlī] said, He must seek Allāh’s forgiveness and repent to Him. The man said for the fourth time, He did, but then sinned again. ʿAlī then said, Until when? Then he said, He must seek Allāh’s forgiveness and repent to Him; and not give up until it is Shayṭān who is defeated [overcome].

Hunād b. Al-Sarī, Kitāb Al-Zuhd article 910

Filthy Silk

It is reported that a shaykh (older man) once came and greeted ‘Alī – Allāh be pleased with him, wearing a cloak decorated with silk at the front. He said to the man, What is this filth under your beard? The man looked around and said, I do not see anything. Another man said, He means the silk embroidery. The shaykh said, In that case, we will throw it away and never wear [such a thing] again.

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf article 25187

Refusing Good Treatment

A cushion was once passed to ‘Alī – Allāh be pleased with him, upon which he sat, and said, None but a donkey refuses good treatment (honour/respect).

Sa’īd b. Manṣūr, Al-Sunan. See Al-Albānī, Al-Ḍa’īfah 12:465, where he graded the chain of narration ṣaḥīḥ.