ikhlās

Do Not Beautify Yourself with Knowledge

It is reported that Ḥabīb b. ʿUbayd – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Learn knowledge, understand it and benefit from it (live by it); and do not study it in order to decorate yourself with it, for if you live long you will likely see a time when knowledge will be used for beautification like a man beautifies himself with his garments.

Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqāʾiq no. 1056.

Hidden Safety

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

Safety lies in not wanting to be known.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 7:258.

Evils of Those who Love Authority

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

There is no one who loves authority (leadership) except that he envies, transgresses, chases the faults of others and dislikes anyone being mentioned in a good light.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm article. 971.

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.

Seeking Reputation

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar – Allāh be pleased with them – said:

Whoever tries to make people hear of his deeds, Allāh will make [some] of His creation hear of him (expose him), and belittle him. Ibn ʿUmar then began to cry.

Wakīʿ b. Al-Jarrāḥ, Al-Zuhd #308.