A Man Should Sit Where He Benefits

It is reported that:

ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – would sometimes ride to Makkah and return without entering it (meeting anyone there), and he used to sit with Aslam the freedman of ʿUmar (himself a scholar), so it was said to him, “You leave Quraysh, and instead sit with the slave of Banī ʿAdī!” So he replied, “A man [should] sit where he benefits.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:388.

It is reported that:

ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – would enter the masjid and cut his way through the people until he would sit in the circle of Zayd b. Aslam. Nāfiʿ b. Jubayr said to him, “Allāh forgive you, you are the sayyid of the people, yet you come traversing the people to sit with this slave.” So ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn replied, “Knowledge is to be sought and come to and looked for wherever it is.”

Ibid.

The Foolish Gathering

It is reported that Muʿāwiyah b. Qurrah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Do not sit with the foolish using your knowledge, and do not sit with the knowledgeable (scholars) using your foolishness.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:154.

I Would Rather Sing a Song

It is reported that a man once came to Al-Shaʿbī – Allāh have mercy on him – and asked him about something, so he replied:

“Ibn Masʿūd used to say such-and-such [about this issue].” The man asked, “But tell me your opinion.” He replied, “Are you not all astonished by this man? I inform him of what Ibn Masʿūd [said] and he asks me my opinion. My religion is more important to me than that. By Allāh, I would rather sing a song than inform you of my opinion.”

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan ḥadīth 108.

Hidden Safety

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

Safety lies in not wanting to be known.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 7:258.

The Diagnosis and the Cure

It is reported that Qatādah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Verily the Qurān guides you to your disease and your treatment: as for your disease, it is your sins; and as for your treatment, it is to seek the forgiveness of Allāh.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 9:347 no. 6745.