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Wisdom of the Wise

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Qatādah (رحمه الله) mentioned,

“The best provision is that which does not cause you to transgress and that which does not preoccupy and divert (you away from the worship of Allāh).”

[Tafseer At-Tabarī, Surāh Ash-Shūrā, verse 27, vol.13, pg.39 Dār ibn Hazm print, 1st edition]

Signs of true happiness and success

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751AH) (رحمه الله) said,

“From the signs of happiness and success is that every time the servant increases in his knowledge (of the religion), he increases in his humility and mercy. And when he increases in his (good) actions, he increases in his fear and is more cautious. And the older he gets, his desire and craving (for the worldly affairs) decreases. And whenever he increases in his wealth, he increases in his generosity and spending (in good). And the more he increases in rank and status, he increases in drawing close to the people and fulfilling their needs and being humble towards them.”

[Al-Fawāid, pg.227, Dār ‘Aalam al-Fawāid print, 2nd edition]

Hubaysh Ibn Mubashir ath-Thaqafī al-Faqeeh (d.258AH) (رحمه الله) stated,

“I sat with Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Yahyā Ibn Ma’een while many people were present and they all agreed that they do not know a righteous man who is miserly.”

[Al-Ādab ash-Shar’eeyah, vol.3, pg.487, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

Yahyā ibn Abī Katheer narrated from his father that he said,

‘Abū Dardā ( رضي الله عنه) had severe pain in his eye up until he lost his sight.

It was said to him,

“If only you had supplicated to Allāh (to cure you)?”

Abū Dardā said,

“I haven’t finished supplicating for the forgiveness of my sins yet, so how am I going to supplicate for my eye?”

[Siyar ‘Alām an-Nubalā, vol.2, pg.349, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]

Imām ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said,

“From the signs of wretchedness and misery is that whenever the servant increases in his knowledge, he increases in arrogance and boasting. And every time he increases in his deeds, he increases in his haughtiness, and in looking down upon the people, and thinking good of himself. And the older he gets, the more he increases in his craving and desire for the worldly affairs. And every time he increases in his wealth, he increases in his stinginess, and increases in withholding from spending (in charity and in good). And whenever he increases in his rank and status, he increases in his arrogance and conceit.”

[Al-Fawāid, pg.227, Dār ‘Aalam al-Fawāid print, 2nd edition]

Shaqeeq ibn Ibrāheem (d.194AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

The door of success is closed to the creation due to six things:

1. Being preoccupied with the blessings (of Allah) and not showing gratitude for them.
2. Their desire for knowledge of the religion while leaving off acting upon it.
3. Hastening to sins and delaying repentance.
4. Being deluded by the company of the righteous but not emulating them.
5. The worldly life is departing from them whilst they are still chasing it.
6. The Hereafter is drawing nearer to them while they are turning away from it.

[Al-Fawāid, pg.258, Dār ‘Aalam al-Fawāid print 2nd edition]

Imām ibn al-Qayyim (d.751AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

Sincerity and Tawheed (to single out Allāh in worship) are a tree in one’s heart. Its branches are (righteous) deeds and its fruits are a good and blissful life in this world and everlasting bliss in the Hereafter. And just as the fruits of Paradise never cease and will never be restricted, so are the fruits of Tawheed and sincerity in the life of this world.

And Shirk (associating partners with Allāh), lying and showing off are a tree in one’s heart, its fruits in the life of this world are fear, worry, distress, tightness of the chest and darkness of the heart, and its fruits in the Hereafter are Zaqqoom (a bitter and extremely hot tree with a foul stench which grows at the bottom of the Hell-Fire) and everlasting torment.

[Al-Fawāid, pgs.240-241, Dār ‘Aalam al-Fawāid print, 2nd edition]

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d.187AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

“This world is not the place for permanent residence, Ādam was only sent down to it as a punishment.”

[Sīyar ‘Alam an-Nubalā, vol.8, pg.434, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]

Hasan al-Basrī رحمه الله mentioned,

“Verily, those who came before you used to view the Qur’ān as correspondences from their Lord. So they used to ponder over it during the night and would put it into practice during the day.”

[At-Tibyān fee Ādab hamalat al-Qur’ān, pgs.61-62, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

Sometimes we need that wake up call to fix ourselves up

Abū ‘Abdullāh Muhammad Ibn Sallām al-Jumahī al-Basrī (d.232AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

“Man is in a state of heedlessness until he is awoken by an illness.”

[Tāreekh Baghdad, 3/276, taken via: ]

The great leader and scholar, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (d.101AH) رحمه الله said,

“I am not better than anyone amongst you, however I carry a heavier burden (accountability in front of Allāh) than you.” 

[Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubalā, vol.5, pg.127, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]

Hilal bin al-‘Ulaa’ (d.280AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

“Seeking knowledge (of the religion) is difficult, memorisation of it is more difficult than the seeking of it, and acting upon it is more difficult than the memorisation of it.”

[At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of Abū Qāsim al-Asbahānee, narration no.2165, vol.3, pg.404, Dār al-Lu’lu’ print, first edition]

“It is the month for (an increase in) recitation of the Qur’ān and feeding others.”

[Latāif al-M’aārif, pg.375, Dār ibn Katheer print, 11th edition]

Talq Ibn Habeeb (died before 100AH) رحمه الله used to kiss his mother’s head and he would not walk on top of a house if his mother was below him (inside the house) out of honour and respect for her.

[Birr al-Wālidayn by Al-Tartoushī, pg.39, 1440AH print]

Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“The deeds are presented (to Allāh) on Mondays and Thursdays. Thus, I love for my deeds to be presented (to Allāh) whilst I am fasting.”

[Sunan at-Tirmidhī, no.747, declared saheeh by Albānee]

Ibrāheem an-Nak’aee (d.96AH) رحمه الله would cry to his wife on Thursdays and she would cry to him and he would say,

“Today our deeds are presented to our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic.”

[Latāif al-M’ārif, pg.287, Dār ibn Katheer print, 11th edition]

Al-Muzanee (d.264AH) رحمه الله mentioned, 

“I entered upon ash-Shāf’iee during the illness from which he died, so I said,

“How is your state O teacher?”

Ash-Shāf’iee said,

“I am travelling away from this world, separating from my brothers, drinking from the cup of death, arriving to Allāh and going to meet my evil deeds and by Allāh, I do not know if my soul is going to Paradise so that I may congratulate it, or if it is going to the Hell-Fire so that I may mourn it”

[Manāqib ash-Shāf’iee by al-Bayhaqī vol.2, pgs.293-294]

Yahyā bin Mu’ādh (d.258AH) رحمه الله mentioned, 

“The hearts are like pots, they boil with what is in them and their tongues are their ladles, so look to a man when he speaks, for indeed his tongue will pour out to you what is in his heart, be it sweet or sour, pleasant or bitter and other than that. And it will become clear to you the contents of his heart.” 

[Ad-Daa wad-Dawā’ pg.364, Dār ‘Aalam al-Fawāid print, 2nd edition]

Shurayh al-Qādee (d.78AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

Verily, when I am struck with an affliction, I praise Allāh four times:

  1. That the affliction was not greater than it was. 
  2. Affording me patience with it. 
  3. Granting me help and success to say, “to Allāh we belong and to Him we shall return”, due to the reward that I hope for. 
  4. For not afflicting me in my religion (faith). 

 [Siyar ‘Alām An-Nubala’, vol.4, pg.105, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]

‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (رضي الله عنه)  removed the leather covers which were covering the spoils from the Battle of Jalula in front of the people. Upon seeing the rubies, aquamarines and other assorted jewels, he started weeping. 

‘Abdur Rahmān bin ‘Awf (رضي الله عنه) asked, 

“What makes you weep, O leader of the Believers? By Allāh, it is a time to thank Him (not to feel sorrow).”

‘Umar said, 

“By Allāh! What makes me weep? By Allāh, a people are not given such things except they start becoming jealous and hating each other. And they do not become jealous of each other, except that they start fighting amongst themselves.”

[Tāreekh at-Tabārī, vol.4, pg.480]

Imām Al-Bukhārī رحمه الله narrates,

“I heard some of our companions narrate that, Hammād Ibn Salamah went to visit Sufyān Ath-Thawrī (as he was sick), so Sufyān said to him,

“O Abā Salamah, do you think that Allāh will forgive the likes of me?” 

Hammād said,

“By Allāh, if I was given a choice between Allāh calling me to account and my parents calling me to account, I would choose the accounting of Allāh, and that is because Allāh is more merciful to me than my parents.”

[Siyar ‘Alām An-Nubalā, vol.7, pg.449, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition.]


‘Umar رضي الله عنه said to his companions,

“Wish for something.”

 One of them said,

“I wish that this house was full of dirhams (silver coins) so that I may spend it in the way of Allāh.”

Another one said,

“I wish that this house was full of jewels so that I spend it (for Allāh’s sake).

‘Umar said,

“I wish that this house was full of men like Abū ‘Ubaydah (ibn Al-Jarrāh), Mu’aadh (bin Jabal) and Hudhayfah (ibn al-Yamān) so that I can use them in the obedience of Allāh.”

[At-Tāreekh al-Awsat, no.173, taken via:]

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr (d.463AH) رحمه الله mentioned that it used to be said,

“Whoever (truly) loves you forbids you from evil and whoever hates you allures you to it.”

[Al-‘Ādab ash-Shar’eeyah, vol.1, pg.251, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

Sufyān Ath-Thawrī (d.161AH) رحمه الله was crying during the night until the morning. When morning arrived, it was said to him,

“All this crying from the fear of sins?” 

Sufyān then took some hay from the ground and said:

“The sins are lighter than this (hay), I only weep from the fear of an evil ending.”

Imām ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله commenting on the above:

“This is from the greatest of understanding, that a person fears that his sins will be a reason for him to be forsaken at the point of death and will come between him and a good end.”

[Ad-Daa’ wad-Dawaa’ pg.390, Dār ‘Aalam al-Fawāid print, 2nd edition]

Ibn Muflih (d.763AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

“How fearful I am that the Mushaf (a copy of the Qur’ān) might be in your home, yet you are committing what it contains of Allāh’s prohibitions and therefore you would fall under Allāh’s statement:

فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ

“They threw it (the Scripture) away behind their backs.””

[Qur’ān 3:187]

[Al-Ādab ash-Shar’eeyah, vol.2, pg.446, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

Al-‘Amash (d.148H) رحمه الله narrates,

“We used to attend funerals and we did not know who the bereaved were, due to the much crying (of those who were in attendance). And their crying was over themselves and not over the deceased.”

[Al-‘Āqbiah fī Dhikr al-Mawt wal-Aakhirah, by Al-Ishbīlee, pg.154]

‘Abdullāh ibn Mas’oud رضي الله عنه saw a man laughing during a funeral and said to him,

“You’re laughing whilst at a funeral?! By Allāh, I will never speak to you again.”

[Al-‘Āqbiah fī Dhikr al-Mawt wal-Aakhirah, of Al-Ishbīlee, pg.154]

Al-Hasan al-Basrī (d.110AH) رحمه الله used to say,

ميت غد يشيع ميت اليوم 

“Tomorrow’s dead are burying today’s dead.”


Muhammad ibn Sīreen (d.110AH) رحمه الله heard a man say to another man,

“I have done this and that for you.” 

Ibn Sīreen said to him,

“Keep quiet! There is no goodness in doing good to others if you keep account of it.”

[Tafseer Al-Qurtubee, Sūrah Al-Baqarah, verse no.264, vol.4, pg.330, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Eesā رحمه الله mentioned, 

‘Umar (ibn al-Khattāb) used to have upon his face two dark lines due to crying.”

[Siyar Aʿlām An-Nubalā, vol.28, pg.83, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition] 

‘Abdullāh ibn Mas’oud رضي الله عنه mentioned,

“When the righteous are mentioned then bring to mind ‘Umar (ibn al-Khattāb). Verily ‘Umar was more knowledgeable than us regarding the Book of Allāh and had greater understanding of the religion than us.”

[Siyar Aʿlām An-Nubalā, vol.28, pg.81, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]

Shaykh ‘Abdul Muhsin al-Abbād (حفظه الله) mentioned,

“Indeed, the greatest calamity that befell Islām was the death of our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). And the greatest calamity after that is the death of his (ﷺ) inheritors (the scholars).” 

[الشيخ محمد بن عثيمين من العلماء الربانيين, ص.٤]

It was said to Ibrāheem ibn Adham (d.162AH) رحمه الله:

“Why is it that we supplicate but we are not responded to?”

He said,

  • “Because you know Allāh, but you do not obey Him
  • You know the Messenger, but you do not follow his Sunnah (path)
  • You know the Qur’ān, but you do not act upon it
  • You consume the blessings of Allāh, but you do not give thanks for them
  • You know Paradise, but you do not seek it (by working for it)
  • You know the Hell-Fire, but you do not flee from it (by staying away from sins and disobedience)
  • You know the Shaytān, however you do not oppose him, rather you obey him
  • You know death, but you do not prepare for it
  • You bury the dead, but you do not take lessons from it
  • And you forget about your shortcomings and busy yourselves with the shortcomings of the people.”

[Tafseer al-Qurtubee, tafseer of Sūrah al-Baqarah, verse no.186, vol. 3, pgs.182-183, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

Muhammad ibn K’ab al-Qarzee  (d.108AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

“When Allāh intends to show goodness to a servant, He places in him three qualities: 

  1. Understanding of the religion 
  2. Abstinence from the worldly affairs 
  3. Awareness of his shortcomings.”

[Az-Zuhd of Ibn al-Mubārak, no.282]

The great scholar, Ibn Muflih (d.763AH) رحمه الله mentioned, 

“If it was not for calamities the servant would become arrogant and ungrateful and would have transgressed and oppressed. But through calamities Allāh protects him from that and purifies him from his inner impurities. So glorified and exalted is He, Who gives mercy through His trials and tests (the servants) with His bounties.” 

[Al-Ādaab Ash-Sh’areeyah, vol.2, pg.299, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

‘Umar Ibn al-Khattāb رضي الله عنه said,

“If a caller were to call from the heavens and call out, ‘O people, indeed you will enter Paradise, all of you except one man’, I fear that I would be that one man.”

[Majmū’ Rasāil al-Hāfiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, vol.4, pg.106, Risalah:At-Takweef min an-Nār]

A man said to Ibn ‘Abbās رضي الله عنهما

“I wish to enjoin the good and forbid the evil.” 

Ibn ‘Abbās said to him,

“If you do not fear being exposed by these verses then do so, otherwise begin with yourself first and foremost.” 

Ibn ‘Abbās then recited,

أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ

“Do you enjoin righteousness upon people while you forget and ignore your own selves?” [Qur’ān 2:44]

And the saying of the Most High,

 لم تقولون ما لا تفعلون كبر مقتا عند الله أن تقولوا ما لا تفعلون

“Why do you say that which you do not do? It is most hateful to Allāh that you say that which you do not do.” [Qur’ān 61:2-3]

And His saying regarding what Shu’ayb عليه السلام (said to his people),

وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُخَالِفَكُمْ إِلَىٰ مَا أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ

“I do not want to do that which I am forbidding you to do.” [Qur’ān 11:88]

[Latāif al-M’aarif pg.64, Dār Ibn Katheer print, 11th edition]

Shaykhul Islām ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله) mentioned,

…”And for this reason it was said,

“Stay chaste and your womenfolk and children will remain chaste and be righteous and dutiful towards your parents, your children will be righteous and dutiful towards you.”

For verily the recompense is in accordance to the deed and as you do with others, others will do with you and from the punishment for a sin, is another sin after it (i.e. that you will perform further acts of sin).””

[Majmoo’ al-Fatāwa vol.15, pg.319]

The illustrious Companion, Mu’awīyah  (رضي الله عنهما) said,

“I am able to please everyone except for the envier of a blessing, for he will not be pleased until it (the blessing) is removed.”

[Tāreekh Dimshiq, vol.59, pg.200]

It was said to Muwarriq al-‘Ijlee (d.105AH) رحمه الله, 

“Will you not admonish and remind your friends?” 

He replied,

“I hate that I say something which I do not do.”

[Latāif al-M’aarif pg.64, Dār Ibn Katheer print, 11th edition]

‘Abdullāh ibn Mas’oud (رضي الله عنه) said,

“Sudden death is a relief for the believer and a grievous calamity for the disbeliever.”

[Ibn Abee Shaybah no.12007]

‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها) said,

“Sudden death is a mercy for the believer and a grievous calamity for the evildoer.”

[Ibn Abee Shaybah no.12132]


Mālik ibn Deenār (d.127AH) رحمه الله used to say,

“O people of the Qur’ān, what has the Qur’ān cultivated in your hearts? For verily the Qur’ān is the spring of the hearts, just as the rain is the spring of the earth.”

[Tafseer al-Qurtubee, vol.18, pg.509, Resalah Publishers, 1st edition]

Aboo Bakr Al-Warāq (d.378AH) رحمه الله mentioned,

“Whoever pleases his limbs with (forbidden) desires has indeed planted the trees of regret in his heart.”

[Al-Bayhaqī in Az-Zuhd, no.356]

‘Abdullāh ibn al-M’utaz (d.296AH) رحمه الله stated,

“The one who has humility in seeking knowledge is the one who accumulates the most (beneficial) knowledge, just as the low-level ground is the ground that accumulates the most water.”

[Al-Ādab Ash-Shar’eeyah, vol.2, pg.28]


Yahyā bin J’afar (رحمه الله) mentioned, 

“If I was able to increase the lifespan of Muhammad bin Ismā’eel (Imām al-Bukhārī) from my lifespan, I would. For my death would be the death of just one man, whereas his death would be the departing of knowledge.”

[Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubalā, vol.12, pg.418, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]

Abdullāh ibn Muslim al-Marwazī narrates,

“I used to sit with Ibn Sīreen (in his circles of knowledge), and later abandoned doing so, and began to sit with the ‘Ibādeeyah (a deviated sect from the Khawārij). I then saw in a dream that I was with a people who were carrying the funeral of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). I went to Ibn Sīreen and informed him (of the dream). He said,

“What is the matter with you, you sit with a people who wish to bury what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) came with!””

[Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubalā, vol.4, pg.617, Resalah Publishers, 2nd edition]


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