Advice from the Salaf

Posts in this category contain advice and exhortation from the Salaf.

Qualities of Those Who Fuel Fitnah

ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Do not be from those who are hasty, who broadcast (what should not be broadcast), who plant trouble by divulging what should be secret, for you will face severe, prolonged and heavy tribulations.

Al-Bukhārī, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no. 327. Its chain of transmission was graded ṣaḥīḥ by Al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no.250.

Three Things to Satisfy Yourself With

ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAwn – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

There are three things that I like for myself and for my brothers:

That the Muslim man looks to the Qurān; he learns it, recites it, ponders it and refers to it. Second, that he looks to the narrations and the Sunnah; he asks about it and follows it with all his efforts. Third, that he leaves alone all these people except when doing good.

Al-Bukhāri, Al-Ṣaḥīḥ, no. 97 (in annotative, discontiguous form). The chain of transmission is connected in Al-Marwazī, Al-Sunnah, no. 108.

Two Calamities for Fitnah

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

Stay away from the sinful amongst the scholars and the ignorant amongst the worshippers, for these two are the calamity of everyone who would fall into fitnah.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān ḥadīth 1753.

The Correct Reaction to Knowledge

Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī reports that Abū Qilābah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

O Ayyūb, when Allāh brings about knowledge for you, bring about worship of him, and do not let your [sole] concern be to narrate it.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm, article 1279.

It is reported that the inscription on the ring of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī – Allāh be pleased with them – read:

You know, so now act (علِمت فاعمل).

Op. cit. article 1280.

Taking Knowledge in Stages

It is reported that Al-Zuhrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said to Yūnus b. Yazīd:

O Yūnus! Do not try to overcome knowledge, for verily knowledge is [like vast] valleys: whichever of them you take will stop you before you traverse it. Instead, take it over the days and nights. And do not take knowledge all at once, for whoever tries to take it all at once will lose it all at once. Rather take it bit by bit over the days and nights.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm article 652.