In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah] said,
“Al-Awzaa’ee [rahimahullaah] was an Imaam who was taken as an example to be followed”.
Sufyaan Bin Uyaynah [rahimahullaah] said,
“Al-Awzaa’ee [rahimahullaah] was an Imaam of his era. He performed Hajj several times and entered Makkah, so Sufyaan Ath-Thawree [rahimahullaah] grabbed the rope of his camel, Maalik Bin Anas [rahimahullaah] followed behind him and Ath-Thawree said, ‘Give the Shaikh a place to sit’ until he got him to sit at the Kabah and both of them took knowledge from him”.
Imaam Maalik and Imaam Al-Awzaa’ee [rahimahumallaah] engaged in discussion several times at Madeenah from Dhur prayer until Asr prayer; then from Asr prayer to Maghrib prayer. Al-Awzaa’ee overwhelmed him in the subject matter regarding military expeditions and Maalik overwhelmed him in Fiqh or some affairs of Fiqh.
Al-Awzaa’ee [rahimahullaah] said,
“Follow the footsteps of the pious predecessors even if the people reject you, and beware of the speech of men even if they beautify and make it look good, because the affair is very clear and you are upon the straight path”.
He also said, “Exercise patience upon the Sunnah, stop were the pious predecessors stopped, say what they say, refrain from what they refrained from, and be sufficed with what sufficed them”.
He said, “Knowledge is that which has been transmitted from the companions of Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and what did not come from them is not knowledge”.
Al-Waleed Bin Muslim said,
“After performing the morning prayer, Al-Awzaa’ee sat and engaged in remembrance of Allaah unt sunrise, and he used to attribute this deed to the pious predecessors”.
He engaged in much worship, performed the prayer in an excellent manner, refrained from doubtful matters due to fear of Allaah, devoted himself to piety and used to keep quiet for a long time. He used to say, “Whoever prolongs the night prayer, Allaah will make easy for him the standing on the day of judgement”, and he based this speech of his on Allaah’s statement:
وَمِنَ ٱلَّيۡلِ فَٱسۡجُدۡ لَهُ ۥ وَسَبِّحۡهُ لَيۡلاً۬ طَوِيلاً
إِنَّ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ يُحِبُّونَ ٱلۡعَاجِلَةَ وَيَذَرُونَ وَرَآءَهُمۡ يَوۡمً۬ا ثَقِيلاً۬
And during night, prostrate yourself to Him (i.e. the offering of Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers), and glorify Him a long night through (i.e. Tahajjud prayer). Verily! These (disbelievers) love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day (that will be hard). [Surah Al-Insaan. Aayaat 26-27]
Al-Waleed Bin Muslim said,
“I have not seen anyone who exerts himself in worship more than Al-Awzaa’ee”.
Many people have stated that once he performed hajj and did not sleep during his journey, rather he was engaged in prayer. And when he felt sleepy, he reclined on a saddle.
A woman once came his wife and saw that Al-Awzaa’ee prayer mat was soaked and asked, “Perhaps a toddler urinated on it?”. His wife replied, “This is the effect of the Shaikh’s tears due to weeping in Sujood and this what he does every day”.
He used to say, “The love for Ali and Uthmaan [may Allaah be pleased with them] is not combined in a heart except that of a believer”.
An Excerpt From Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah. Vol 10. Pages 116-117