Posts Tagged ‘Wise sayings’

Ibn Hubayra, al-Hasan al-Basri and al-Sha’bi

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment


It is al-Hasan’s story when Ibn Hubayra sent for him and for al-Sha’bi, and he said to the former, “Abu Saeed (Hasan), what do you think we should do with letters that come to us from Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik, with their controversial contents? If I implement them, they incur the wrath of Allah; but if I do not implement them, I fear for my life.” “Here,” al-Hasan said to him, “you have with you al-Sha’bi, the jurist of al-Hijaz.” So he asked him. Al-Sha’bi made light of the matter.

“Implement as much as possible and make adjustments,” he replied. “You are only a servant who takes orders.”


Then Ibn Hubayra turned to al-Hasan and asked, “What do you think, Abu Saeed?” “O Ibn Hubayra,” he replied,

“fear Allah when obeying the commands of Yazid and do not fear Yazid when obeying the commands of Allah.


O Ibn Hubayra, Allah will protect you from Yazid, but Yazid cannot protect you from Allah.


O Ibn Hubayra, no creature should be obeyed who commands the disobedience of the Creator.


Look then at what Yazid wrote to you, and compare it with the Book of Allah, may He be exalted. What agrees with the Book of Allah, may He be exalted, you may implement; and what disagrees with the Book of Allah, you should not implement.


Allah should have for you a priority over Yazid, and the Book of Allah should have for you a priority over his letters.”


Ibn Hubayra patted al-Hasan on the shoulder. “This old man has told me the truth. By the Lord of al-Ka’ba,” he said.


He then ordered al-Hasan to be given four thousand [dirhams], and al-Sha’bi two thousand. Al-Sha’bi said, “We made light of the matter for him, now he has made light of the reward for us.”


Al-Hasan sent for the poor; when they came, he distributed the money to them. Al-Sha’bi accepted the money and gave thanks for it.


[Al-Iqd Al-Farid, vol. 1, page 68]


Classes of men: Different narrations

May 27, 2013 Leave a comment


Khalid ibn Safwan said,

“People are of three classes:

1] a class of scholars,

2] a class of orators, and

3] a class of litterateurs;

and there is a group of brainless people among them who make prices rise, who cause markets to be sluggish, and who render waters turbid.”


Al-Hasan said,

“Men are of three kinds:

1] a man who is like food and is indispensable,

2] a man who is like medication and is needed only from time to time, and

3] a man who is like disease and is not needed at all.”


Mutarrif ibn Abd Allah ibn al-Shikhkhir said,

“People are of three kinds: human beings, monkeys, and people who have been steeped in the water of people.”


Al-Khalal ibn Ahmad said,

“Men are of four kinds:

1] a man who knows, and knows that he knows – this one is a scholar, so ask him questions;

2] a man who knows, and does not know that he knows – this one is forgetful, so remind him;

3] a man who does not know, and knows that he does not know – this one is   an ignorant man, so teach him;

4] and a man who does not know, and does not know that he does not know – this one is a stupid man, so do not have anything to do with him.”


A poet said:

Is it not an affliction that you are ignorant,
And that you don’t know that you don’t know?
If you don’t know and are not like one who knows,
How then will you know that you don’t know?


Another poet said:

It is a real disease when you teach an ignorant man
And he ignorantly claims that he knows more than you.


Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God be pleased with him, said,

“People are of three kinds: religious scholars, learners seeking salvation, and uncivilized rabble who are favorably inclined to every wind.”


Wise men said,

“Friends are of three kinds:

1] a friend who loves you sincerely, gives to you generously, and exerts himself to help you;

2] a friend with good intentions who limits himself to his good intention toward you but does not offer his generosity and help; and

3] a friend who flatters you and is distracted from you by his own affairs, and showers down his lies and oaths upon you.”


Al-Shabi said,

“Commenting to his companions about a man passing by, Abd Allah ibn Masud said, ‘This man does not know and does not know that he does not know, and he will not learn from one who knows.’ ”

[Al-Iqd al-Farıd, volume II, page 142]


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