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From the Fruits of Sincerely Seeking Knowledge

It is reported that Ibrāhīm b. Adham – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whoever seeks knowledge sincerely, for the servants of Allāh to benefit by and to benefit himself, then being hidden (from fame) is more beloved to him than seeking loftiness. He is the one who becomes more lowly to himself, strives more in worship, fears Allāh more, yearns for Allāh more, and becomes more humble amongst people. He cares not what he has of this dunyā night or day.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān article 1653.

The Behavior of The Seeker of Knowledge

It is reported that ʿAlī – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

When you learn knowledge, preserve it, and do not mix it with laughter and falsehood, such that the hearts refuse (dislike) it.

Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baghdādī, Al-Jāmiʿ li-Akhlāq Al-Rāwī wa Ādāb Al-Sāmiʿ 1:232

It is reported that Mālik – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

It is upon whoever seeks knowledge to have a solemn, dignified demeanour, fearful [of Allāh]; and to follow in the footsteps of those who went before him.

ibid.

ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. Mahdī reports:

A man laughed in [the circle of] Hishām Al-Dustawāʾī, so Hishām said to him, “Young man! You seek knowledge laughing?” He replied, “Is it not Allāh who makes [us] laugh and cry (as stated in the Qurʾān)?” So Hishām replied, “Then go and cry.”

Op. cit. 233

Ismāʿīl b. Yaḥyā reports:

Sufyān once saw me joking with a man from Banī Shaybah at the House (Kaʿbah). I laughed, so he said to me, “You laugh here? A man used to hear a single ḥadīth and its demeanour and guidance would be seen on him for three days.”

Op. cit. 234

Who Can Feel Secure From Trial?

It is reported that Jubayr b. Nufayr said:

I entered upon Abū Al-Dardāʾ – Allāh be pleased with him – at his home in Ḥims and found him standing in prayer at his place of prayer. When he sat for tashahhud he started to seek protection with Allāh from al-nifāq (hypocrisy). So when he had finished praying, I said “May Allāh forgive you o Abū Al-Dardāʾ, what have you got to do with nifāq?” He said, “O Allāh forgive!”, three times, and replied, “Who can feel secure from trial, who can feel secure from trial? By Allāh, a man can be tested with fitnah in a single hour and turn away from his religion.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 1:857.

Beware the Sinful Scholar

It is reported that Harim b. Ḥayyān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

“Beware of the sinful scholar (al-ʿālim al-fāsiq).” This reached ʿUmar, so he wrote to him in fear, “Who is the sinful scholar?” He wrote back, “I did not intend but good; this is when there is an imām (leader, taken as an example) who speaks knowledge, but practices sins, confusing the people, and thus they go astray.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:49.

Sermon of Uthman on Guidance before Death

It is reported that ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – once addressed the people in a sermon. He praised Allāh, then said:

O people! Fear Allāh and obey Him, for piety is a valuable prize. Verily the most intelligent person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death, and acquires through the light (guidance) of Allāh a light for the darkness of the grave.

The servant of Allāh should fear lest Allāh the Mighty and Sublime resurrects him blind though he used to see. A few comprehensive words can be enough for a wise man, whereas the deaf (who does not listen to guidance) is being called from afar.

And know that whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is with has nothing to fear; but whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is against, then in whom can he hope after Allāh?!

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm 4:116,117.