scholars

The Importance of Tolerating the Anger of the Scholar

It is reported from Imām Al-Shāfiʿī:

There were two men who used to visit Al-Aʿmash, one who was concerned with ḥadīth and one who was not. One day Al-Aʿmash became angry with the man who studied ḥadīth, so the other said to him, “If he ever got angry with me like he got angry with you I would never go back to him.” To this Al-Aʿmash said, “In that case he would be a fool like you, leaving what benefits him because of my bad character (behaviour).”

Al-Khaṭīb, Al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq Al-Rāwī 1:338.

It is also reported from Imām Al-Shāfiʿī:

It was said to Sufyān b. ʿUyaynah, “People come to you from around the world, and [sometimes] you get angry with them? They might depart and leave you.” He replied, “In that case they would be fools like you, leaving what benefits them because of my bad character (behaviour).”

Op. cit. p339.

It is reported that Muʿāfā b. ʿImrān said:

The one who gets angry against a scholar is like someone who gets angry with the pillars of a mosque.

Ibid.

A Man Should Sit Where He Benefits

It is reported that:

ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – would sometimes ride to Makkah and return without entering it (meeting anyone there), and he used to sit with Aslam the freedman of ʿUmar (himself a scholar), so it was said to him, “You leave Quraysh, and instead sit with the slave of Banī ʿAdī!” So he replied, “A man [should] sit where he benefits.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:388.

It is reported that:

ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn – Allāh have mercy on him – would enter the masjid and cut his way through the people until he would sit in the circle of Zayd b. Aslam. Nāfiʿ b. Jubayr said to him, “Allāh forgive you, you are the sayyid of the people, yet you come traversing the people to sit with this slave.” So ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn replied, “Knowledge is to be sought and come to and looked for wherever it is.”

Ibid.

The Foolish Gathering

It is reported that Muʿāwiyah b. Qurrah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Do not sit with the foolish using your knowledge, and do not sit with the knowledgeable (scholars) using your foolishness.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:154.

I Would Rather Sing a Song

It is reported that a man once came to Al-Shaʿbī – Allāh have mercy on him – and asked him about something, so he replied:

“Ibn Masʿūd used to say such-and-such [about this issue].” The man asked, “But tell me your opinion.” He replied, “Are you not all astonished by this man? I inform him of what Ibn Masʿūd [said] and he asks me my opinion. My religion is more important to me than that. By Allāh, I would rather sing a song than inform you of my opinion.”

Al-Dārimī, Al-Sunan ḥadīth 108.

Three Traits of the Scholar

It is reported that Abū Ḥāzim Salamah b. Dīnār – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

You cannot be a scholar unless you have three traits: you do not transgress against those above you, you do not look down on those lesser than you, and you do not take any dunyā in return for your knowledge.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 3:282, article 1655.