Brotherhood

The Lucrative Brother

It is reported that Bilāl b. Saʿd – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

A brother who, whenever you meet him, points out to you one of your faults (for you to correct yourself) is better for you than a brother who, whenever you meet him, puts a dīnār (money) in your hand.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm no. 1428.

The Best Things a Person Can be Given

It is reported from Ḥabīb Al-Jallāb that he asked ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him:

“What is the best thing a person is ever given?” He replied, “Innate intelligence.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “Good conduct.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “A compassionate brother to consult.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “Long silence.” He asked, “And if not that?” Ibn Al-Mubārak replied, “Then an early death.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:397.

How to Look at Yourself and Others

It is reported that Bakr b. ʿAbdillāh Al-Muzanī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

When you see someone older than you, say: he has preceded me in īmān and righteous actions so he is better than me; and when you see someone younger than you, say: I have preceded him in sinning and disobedience so he is better than me. And when you see your brothers honouring and revering you, say: this is a virtue they have attained; and when you see them falling short (in their treatment of you) say: this is [because of] a sin I committed.

Ibn Al-Jawzī, Ṣifatu Al-Ṣafwah, article 505: Bakr b. ʿAbdillāh Al-Muzanī.

Mixing with People of Good Character

It is reported that Al-Fuḍayl b. ʿAyyāḍ – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Do not mix except with those who have good character; for the one who has good character brings nothing but good, whilst the one who has bad character brings nothing but evil.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān, #87044

Two Rare Things in Decline

It is reported that Yūnus b. ‘Ubayd – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

I do not know anything rarer than a good dirham (money earnt lawfully) whose owner spends it on something right, or a brother in Islām in whose company one finds peace. And they are only getting rarer.

Abu Nu’aym, Hilyatu Al-Awliyā` 3:17