Our Salaf: Two Golden Statements of Haatim Al-Asam
Haatim Al-Asam (rahimahullaah) said:
A man among the people of knowledge used to increase in aversion against the things of the worldly life and (increased) in abandoning it; but as for today a man increases in love of the things of the worldly life through his knowledge and in seeking after it. A man used to spend his wealth for knowledge, but today a man gathers wealth through his knowledge. An increase in apparent (good) deeds and the (effects of inner piety) used to be seen in a seeker of knowledge, but today (the effects of inner corruption) and apparent corruption are seen in many of the people of knowledge.
He (rahimahullaah) also said:
The knowledgeable one becomes more fearful of Allaah every day because every hour brings him closer (to death).
[Source: Seerah As-Salaf As-Saaliheen of Imaam Ismaa’eel Ibn Muhammad Al-Asbahaanee: section: Those who followed the Taabi-een in goodness]