zuhd

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.

The Rarity of Zuhd in Leadership

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

I have not seen less zuhd (abstinence) in anything than leadership; you can see a man renouncing food, drink, wealth and clothing, but if his leadership is contested, he vehemently defends and has enmity over it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 7:262.

Two Qualities of the Noble

It is reported that Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

A man does not become noble until he has two qualities: he is undesirous of what other people possess, and he pardons and overlooks them.

Ibn Ḥibbān, Rawḍatu Al-ʿUqalāʾ p167.

Roasted Skins and Stone

Muḥammad b. Sīrīn – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

A man amongst the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ would go three days without finding anything to eat, so he would take some animal skin, roast it and eat that. If he found nothing at all, he would tie a rock to himself to straighten his back.

Al-Mundhirī, Al-Tarġīb wa Al-Tarhīb. Graded ḥasan by Al-Albānī. See Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Tarġīb wa Al-Tarhīb article 3310.

The Zuhd of Abu Ubaydah and the Tears of Umar

It is reported from ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar:

When ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb arrived in Al-Shām, he said to Abū ʿUbaydah – Allāh be pleased with them: “Take us to your home.” Abū ʿUbaydah said, “And what will you do with my home?” ʿUmar replied, “Just take us there.” Abū ʿUbaydah said, “You only want to cry your eyes out over me.” So he entered his house and saw nothing [by way of furnishings] in it. ʿUmar asked, “Where are your things? I see nothing but rags, a water-skin and a dish (tray), and you are a governor! Do you have food?” So Abū ʿUbaydah went over to an old pail (bucket) and took out some scraps, and ʿUmar began to weep. Abu ʿUbaydah said to him, “I told you you would cry your eyes out over me. O Commander of the Believers, sufficient for you from the dunyā is what delivers you to your place of rest.” ʿUmar said, “The dunyā changed us all except you Abū ʿUbaydah.”

Abū Dāwūd, Kitāb Al-Zuhd article 123, and others.