Advice from Abu Darda on Thinking and Remembering

A man once asked Abū Al-Dardāʾ – Allāh be pleased with him – for advice. He said:

Remember Allāh in good times and He will mention you in hard times. When you remember those who have passed away, consider yourself like one of them. And when you think of involving yourself in some worldly matter, consider first what it will lead to in the end.

Al-Dhahabī in Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ, under the biography of Abū Al-Dardāʾ.

Ibn Umar on Bidah [Hasanah]

‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar – Allah be pleased with them both – said:

Every bid’ah (religious innovation) is misguidance, even if people think it is good.

Al-Lālakā’ī in Sharh Usūl I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamā’ah Vol 1. P134, no.111; and Ibn Battah in Al-Ibānah Al-Kubraa Vol.1 p219, no. 213

The Sound of Your Own Voice

Nu’aym b. ‘Abdillah, the scribe of the righteous Caliph ‘Umar b. ‘Abd Al-‘Azīz – Allah have mercy on him, narrates that ‘Umar b. ‘Abd Al-‘Azīz said:

The fear of showing off and vying with others prevents me from saying much of what could be said.

Abdullah b. Mubārak in Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqā’iq Vol. 1 p193, no. 126.

Relative Values

Anas b. Mālik – Allah be pleased with him – said:

You people do things today that you regard as less significant than a strand of hair, whereas we, during the time of the Prophet – peace and blessings be upon him – used to consider them destructive sins.

Al-Bukhārī in his Ṣaḥīḥ, Chapter on sins that are seen as insignificant but which should be kept away from.

Loftier Goals in Life

Commenting on 2:201 of the Quran which states:

Our Lord! Give us the good of this world and the good of the hereafter…

Al-Hasan Al-Baṣrī – Allah have mercy on him – said:

The good of this world is knowledge and worship, and the good of the hereafter is Paradise.

Al-Ājurrī in Akhlāq Al-‘Ulamā’ no. 30 and Ibn Jarīr in his Tafsīr of this verse.

Scholars of tafsīr like Ibn Jarīr and Ibn Kathīr point out that ‘the good of this world’ is general and includes all those things which have been allowed for us to enjoy and which are considered useful by people for day-to-day living. And they point out that above this; the good of this world includes those things which will lead to success in the hereafter. This narration reminds us of these loftier things we should ask Allah for, and that the good of this life embraces what is required or recommended for a worshipper of Allah to acquire on this Earth, like knowledge of his religion and good deeds.