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.

The Real Faqīh

‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allah be pleased with him – said:

Shall I not tell you who the real faqīh is? He is one who does not make people despair of Allah’s mercy, yet he does not give them concessions to disobey Allah. He does not make them feel safe from Allah’s plan and he does not leave the Quran.

There is no good in worship that involves no efforts to gain fiqh, and there is no good in seeking fiqh without seeking a thorough understanding. And there is no good in reading without contemplating.

Al-Ājurrī in Akhlāq Al-‘Ulamā’ no. 45, Al-Khaṭīb in Al-Faqīh wa Al-Mutafaqqih Vol. 2 pp338-339.

Worse than not knowing

Imām Muslim reports in the introduction to his Saḥīḥ that Yaḥya b. Saʿīd once said to Al-Qāsim b. ʿUbaydillāh:

“Abu Muḥammad! It feels horrible and grave that you should be asked a question about this religion and not have knowledge about it or a way to get out [and not look like you don’t know].” He replied, “And why is that?” Yaḥya replied, “Because you are the son of two great Imāms of Guidance, Abu Bakr and ʿUmar.” Al-Qāsim said, “Even more horrible than this – to those who understand what Allāh has taught us – is that I should say something without knowledge or report a narration from someone who is not reliable.”

Al-Qāsim b. ʿUbaydillāh was the great grandson of Abu Bakr Al-Ṣiddīq on his mother’s side and the great grandson of ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb on his father’s side. His grandfather was ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar – Allāh be please with them all.