character

Arguing with a Scholar or an Ignoramus

Yūnus reports: Maymūn b. Mihrān once wrote to me saying:

Beware of dispute and argumentation about the religion, and do not argue with a scholar nor an ignoramus. As for the scholar, he will withhold his knowledge from you, and will not be concerned with what you do. As for the ignorant person, he will only cause roughness in your heart and he will not obey you [anyway].

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan no. 302.

The Rarity of Zuhd in Leadership

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

I have not seen less zuhd (abstinence) in anything than leadership; you can see a man renouncing food, drink, wealth and clothing, but if his leadership is contested, he vehemently defends and has enmity over it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 7:262.

Benefitting from Being Happy with what Allah has Provided

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

Whoever is happy (satisfied) with what Allāh has apportioned for him, it will suffice him and Allāh will bless it for him, but whoever is not satisfied, then [what is apportioned for him] will not suffice him and it will not be blessed.

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Kitāb Al-Riḍā ʿan Allāh bi Qaḍāʾihi article 95.

Umar on Trustworthiness

It is reported that ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Do not expose yourself to what does not concern you, stay away from your enemy, beware of [taking as] your friend anyone except the trustworthy amongst people – and there is no one who is trustworthy except one who fears Allāh; and do not accompany the sinner in case you learn his sinfulness, and do not let him know your secrets, and consult those who fear Allāh for your affairs.

Ibn Abī Shaybah, Al-Muṣannaf 34476.

Two Qualities of the Noble

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

A man does not become noble until he has two qualities: he is undesirous of what other people possess, and he pardons and overlooks them.

Ibn Ḥibbān, Rawḍatu Al-ʿUqalāʾ p167.