knowledge

The Dislike of answering Hypothetical Questions

Whenever asked about a matter, Zayd b. Thābit – Allah be pleased with him – would himself ask, “Has this happened?” If they told him that the matter had not yet occurred he would not inform them of an answer, but if they told him it had happened he would answer them.

Al-Ājurrī, Akhlāq Al-‘Ulamā` no.81; Al-Khatīb, Al-Faqīh wa Al-Mutafaqqih Vol2. P13.

Attributing words to the Prophet

Abū ʿUmar Al-Shaybānī reports:

I would sit with Ibn Mas’ūd a whole year without him saying “Allah’s Messenger – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said…” When he did actually say “Allah’s Messenger – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said…” he would tremble and add, “…or something similar to this” or “words to that effect.”

Al-Dhahabī, Tadhkirah Al-Huffādh Vol.1 p15.

Imām Al-Dhahabī said:

[Ibn Mas’ūd] was one of those who were very careful and conscientious in the delivery of narrations and he was very strict in reporting; he used to reprimand his students for any negligence in precisely narrating the wordings of narrations.

Steps to Knowledge

Sufyān b. ‘Uyainah – Allah have mercy on him – said:

The first step in knowledge is to listen, then to be quiet and attentive, then to preserve it, then to put it into practice and then to spread it.

Abū Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyā` Vol.3 p283.

Knowledge transforms the student

Al-Hasan Al-Basrī – Allah have mercy on him – said:

When a man sought knowledge, it would not be long before it could be seen in his humbleness, his sight, upon his tongue and his hands, in his prayer, in his speech and in his disinterest (zuhd) in worldly allurements. And a man would acquire a portion of knowledge and put it into practice, and it would be better for him than the world and all it contains – if he owned it he would give it in exchange for the hereafter.

Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqā`iq Vol.1 p.156.

The Companions’ Sincerity in Knowledge

ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. Abī Laylā – Allah have mercy on him – said:

I have met one hundred and twenty Companions of the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him; there was not one amongst them who would narrate a ḥadīth except that he wished his brother would suffice him instead, and there was not one amongst them who gave a fatwā except that he wished his brother would suffice him instead.

Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqā`iq Vol.1 p140, no.49.