Speech

Three People to Stay Away From

It is reported that ʿAlī b. ʾAbī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Do not be with the sinner (fājir), for he will beautify to you the things he does, and he will want you to be like him; and he will beautify to you the worst of his practices; and his entrance upon you and leaving from your company will cause ignominy and discredit [of you].

And do not accompany the fool (aḥmaq), for he will exhaust himself [to help you] but will not benefit you, and he may want to benefit you but end up harming you; his silence is better than his speaking, his distance is better than his closeness, and him dying is better than him living.

And do not accompany the liar, for life will not benefit you with him, he will tell others what you say, and tell you what others say; and if you speak the truth, it will not be believed.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir AlʿIlm no. 1379.

Maymun b. Mihran Describes The Salaf He Met

It is reported that Maymūn b. Mihrān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

I have met men in front of whom I would be ashamed to speak, and I have met men who used to say nothing but the truth, or be silent. And I have met men who had never seen the sky properly, out of fear of their Lord.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm article 2039.

Not Speaking in Front of Elders

Samurah b. Jundub – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

I was young during the time of Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ and I had memorised things he had said; nothing stopped me from speaking except for the fact that there were amongst us men who were older than me.

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Kitāb Al-Janāʾiz #964.

Al-Ḥasan b. ʿUtaybah reports:

Sufyān Al-Thawrī said to Sufyān b. ʿUyainah, “Why do you not speak (narrate)?” He replied, “While you are alive, no way.”

Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baġdādī, Al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq Al-Rāwī #698.

Ḥusayn b. Al-Walīd Al-Naysābūrī said: a reliable person informed me:

ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar (Al-ʿUmarī, great-great grandson of ʿUmar) was once asked about something to do with ḥadīth, so he replied, “As long as Abū ʿUthmān (his older brother) is alive, then no.”

Op. cit. #699.

It is reported that ʿĀṣim said:

Zirr (Ibn Ḥubaysh) was older than Abū Wāʾil (Shaqīq b. Salamah); so if they ever sat together [in a gathering] Abū Wāʾil would not speak with Zirr (out of respect).

Op. cit. #702.

It is also reported that:

When Ibrāhīm and Al-Shaʿbī were together, Ibrāhīm would not speak about anything, because of his age.

Op. cit. #703.

It is reported from Abū ʿAbdillāh Al-Muʿayṭī that he said:

I saw Abū Bakr b. ʿAyyāsh in Makkah. Sufyān b. ʿUyainah came to him and knelt in front of him. Abū Bakr asked him, “How are you Sufyān? Sufyān, how is your father’s family?” Then a man came and asked Sufyān about a ḥadīth, so Sufyān said, “Do not ask me as long as this Shaykh is sitting here.”

Op. cit. #705.

It is reported from Al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī Al-Khallāl that he said:

We were once with Muʿtamir b. Sulaymān while he was speaking to us, when Ibn Al-Mubārak approached. Muʿtamir cut short his speech. It was said to him, “Speak (or narrate) to us.” He replied, “We do not speak in front of our seniors.”

Op. cit. #706.

And it is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak was once asked about an issue in the presence of Sufyān b. ʿUyainah, so he replied, “We have been forbidden from speaking in front of our seniors.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar Aʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:420.

The Best Things a Person Can be Given

It is reported from Ḥabīb Al-Jallāb that he asked ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak – Allāh have mercy on him:

“What is the best thing a person is ever given?” He replied, “Innate intelligence.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “Good conduct.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “A compassionate brother to consult.” He then asked, “And if not that?” He replied, “Long silence.” He asked, “And if not that?” Ibn Al-Mubārak replied, “Then an early death.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 8:397.

Nine Things to Say Often

It is reported that Muḥammad [Ibn Sīrīn] – Allāh have mercy him – said:

We were once in the house of ʿAlqamah b. Qays. Rabīʿ b. Ḵuthaym entered upon us and sat in a corner of the house. Then he said, “Speak only a little except for nine things: subḥānallāh, al-ḥamdulillāh, lā ilāha illallāh, Allāhu ʾakbar, reciting the Qurān, enjoining good, forbidding wrong, asking Allāh for what is good and seeking His protection from harm (evil).”

Hannād b. Al-Sarīy, Al-Zuhd #1108.