In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Bishr Ibn Al-Haarith Bin Abdir Rahmaan Bin Ataa Bin Hilaal Bin Maahaan Bin Abdillaah Al-Marwazee. He was well known as one who abstained from the extra permissible things of the worldly life. His grandfather Abdullaah accepted Islaam through Ali Bin Abee Taalib [radiyallaahu anhu].
Bishr [rahimahullaah] learnt a lot from Imaam Hammaad Bin Zayd [rahimahullaah], Imaam Abdullaah Ibnul Mubaarak [rahimahullaah], Imaam Ibn Mahdee [rahimahullaah], Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah], Imaam AbuBakr Bin Ayyaash [rahimahullaah] and others. Thereafter, he busied himself with worship, isolated himself from the people and stopped narrating.
The Imaams Who Praised Him:
Many of the Imaams of the Sunnah praised him due to his devotion in worship, abstinence from the extra permissible things of the worldly life and fear of Allaah. Imaam Ahmad [rahimahullaah] said when Bishr’s death reached him, “None was like Bishr [rahimahullaah], except Aamir Bin Abdi Qays [rahimahullaah]. His affair would have been perfected if he got married”.
Ibraaheem ar-Harbee [rahimahullaah] said, “There was none in Badhdaad who was more sensible and restrained his tongue more than Bishr Al-Haafee”.
When he came home one night, he placed one of his feet inside his house and the other outside, then he remained in this state until morning. Then he was asked, “How much have you reflected during the night?” He said, “I reflected upon the Christian Bishr, the Jewish Bishr and the Zoroastrian Bishr, and I am also called Bishr; then I said to myself, ‘What is it that gave me precedence for Allaah’s favour and thus He gave me Islaam? I reflected upon Allaah’s favour and His mercy because He guided me to Islam, included me amongst those He specified for it [i.e. because there are other people called Bishr but they are not Muslims] and clothed me with the clothes of His beloved servants’”.
One day he knocked at the door of someone, so a young female servant said, “Who is it?” He said, “Bishr Al-Haafee (i.e. Bishr the barefooted)”. The girl said, “If only you bought shoes for a Durham, the word Haafee would have disappear from us”.
Al-Khateeb Al-Bagdaadi [rahimahullaah] stated that Bishr had three sisters and all of them were devout worshippers like him and even more god fearing.
An Excerpt from Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah. Vol 10. Pages 297-299