intentions

Boasting and Pretending to Have Sinned

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

Boasting that you did a sin (when you did not) is worse than committing the sin.

Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm, article 3073.

Ibn Qutaybah, explaining what is meant by boasting here, said:

It is when a person says, ‘I fornicated’, when he did not, or to say, ‘I killed a man’, when he did not, boasting and showing off. This is worse upon a man than committing the sin because he did not avoid the sin except that he would have done it if able. He is therefore like the one who does it, by intention. He goes even further by removing the cover (of reputation) from himself, and by the depravity of his audacity to commit sin and his lack of concern.

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.

Hiding Righteous Tears

It is reported from Ḥammād b. Zayd that he said, I never saw a man who used to smile more at people than ʾAyyūb.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:17

It is reported from Ḥammād b. Zayd that ʾAyyūb [Al-Sakhtiyānī] was once in a gathering when he was effected (moved to tears) by an exhortation, so he began wiping his nose saying, How severe a cold can be!

Op. cit. 5:20

It is also reported from Ḥammād that ʾAyyūb was once overcome with weeping, so he said, A shaykh, when he gets very old, dribbles.

Op. cit. 5:22

Sincere Faith

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

Three things are from Imān: when a man has nocturnal emission during a cold night, so he gets up – only Allāh sees him – and he has a full wash (ghusl); when a person fasts on a hot day; and when a man prays in a barren land, where none but Allāh sees him.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab Al-Īmān article 51

Five Essential Qualities of a Mufti

Ibn Battah records that Imām Ahmad – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

No man should appoint himself to issue verdicts (fatwa) until and unless he fulfills five characteristics:

  • First, he should have a [firm and good] intention; for if he does not, he will have no light upon him, and nor will his words.
  • Second, he should be forbearing, tranquil and serene.
  • Third, he should be strong upon what he is involved in, strong in its knowledge.
  • Fourth, he should have sufficient means (wealth), otherwise the people will chew him up.
  • Fifth, he should know people and their ways.

Ibn Battah, Ibtāl Al-Hiyal p24.

After quoting this statement, and before his commentary on it, Ibn Al-Qayyim states:

This is one of the proofs of the eminence of Imām Ahmad and his lofty status in knowledge and insight; for these five are the pillars of fatwā, and to the extent that there is deficiency in any of them, to that extent faults will appear in the mufti.

I’lām Al-Muwaqi’īn, 6:106