taqwā

Four Requirements for Seeking Knowledge

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

The seeking of knowledge cannot really be achieved except with four things: time (al-farāgh, being free to study), sufficient wealth (al-māl, to avoid preoccupation with seeking a living), preservation (al-ḥifẓ, memorization) and piety (al-waraʿ, religious cautiousness).

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 3:243, article 1602.

One Bad Quality Can Spoil Numerous Good Ones

It is reported that ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb – Allāh be pleased with him – said to a young man while exhorting him:

A man might have ten qualities, nine of them good and one bad, but the nine good ones can be spoiled by the one bad quality. Beware of the slips and faults of youth.

ʿAbd Al-Razzāq Al-Ṣanʿānī, Al-Muṣannaf 8240.

Why is Knowledge Learned?

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

Knowledge is only learned to [apply it and] put into practice the Taqwā of Allāh the mighty and sublime.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm article 943.

Sermon of Uthman on Guidance before Death

It is reported that ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – once addressed the people in a sermon. He praised Allāh, then said:

O people! Fear Allāh and obey Him, for piety is a valuable prize. Verily the most intelligent person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death, and acquires through the light (guidance) of Allāh a light for the darkness of the grave.

The servant of Allāh should fear lest Allāh the Mighty and Sublime resurrects him blind though he used to see. A few comprehensive words can be enough for a wise man, whereas the deaf (who does not listen to guidance) is being called from afar.

And know that whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is with has nothing to fear; but whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is against, then in whom can he hope after Allāh?!

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm 4:116,117.

The Humble Elite

It is reported that Imām Al-Shāfʿee – Allāh have mercy on him – said, The loftiest in status are those who do not know their own status, and the most virtuous of them are those who do not know their own virtue.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 10:99