In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Bazzaar [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated – while mentioning Ibn Taymiyyah’s [may Allaah have mercy upon him] – humility: I have never seen or heard of anyone like him in that during his era. He was humble in the presence of the elder, the young, the one of lofty status, the one of low status, the rich and the poor. He used to draw close to the righteous poor person, honor him, show him sympathy and comfort him with his pleasant speech more than the rich, to the extent that he himself served and helped the person to fulfil needs, as an act of worship to seek the Pleasure of his Lord. He was never tired of those who sought a religious verdict or asked question; rather he received the person with a cheerful face, and was soft and gentle, stood with him until the person himself decided to depart, whether old or young, a free person or slave, a scholar or commoner, a resident or one who came afar – neither imposed himself on the person (interrupted him) alienate him through speech. Rather, he responded to the person, sought to make him understand and acquainted with the difference between what is wrong from what is right – with kindness and simplicity. He adhered to humility in the presence of the people and in their absence – humble when standing, sitting, walking, in his gatherings and that of others. One of his companions said, “Ibn Taymiyyah reached a level of humility and generosity – during my stay in his presence – to the extent that he would not call me by my name; rather, he called me by the best of titles, showed me the height of good manners and reached a level of humility to the extent that when we departed from his house with the intention of reading (studying), he carried the copy of the manuscript himself, and he would not let any of us carry it. I used to apologize to him for that – out of fear of bad manners, and he would say, ‘If I had carried it on my head, it would have been more befitting. Should I not to carry what contains the speech of Allaah’s Messenger peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]?’ He used to sit on the floor and abandon the forefront of the gathering, as a result of which I was shy of sitting there”. This companion of his was amazed by the great extent of his humility, and this was his state of humility, graciousness and generosity to everyone he responded to, accompanied or met- to the extent that everyone who met him spoke about his humility in the manner I have stated or more than that. Glorified be Allaah and free is He from all imperfections – the One who blessed, granted and made him incline towards good and have a love for it. (1)
In Madaarij As-Saalikeen Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] spoke about generosity and its different levels, then he said that to be generous with one’s knowledge is from those loftiest levels of generosity. *To be generous with knowledge is more virtuous than generosity with wealth, because knowledge is more noble than wealth. *To be generous with knowledge necessitates that when a questioner asks a question related to the religion, you give him [or her] a detail and sufficient answer and not an answer that is only sufficient to address the needs of the questioner. *Indeed I [i.e. Ibnul Qayyim] have witnessed something amazing about Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] in relation to this affair. When he [Ibn Taymiyyah] used to be asked about an affair that requires a ruling, he would mention in his response-if he was able to do so- the Madhab of the four Imaams, the reason behind the difference of opinion and the position that carries more weight. He would also mention the other issues related to the subject matter which might even be more beneficial for the questioner than the issue he [or she] asked about. *The Sahaabah [may Allaah be pleased with them] asked the Prophet [peace and blessings of allaah be upon him] about performing ablution with sea water, so he said, ‘’Its water is purifying [i.e. can be used for ablution] and its dead [animals] are lawful [to eat].’’ [Bulooghul Maraam’ Hadeeth 1. Book of Purification]. So, the Prophet answered their [main] question and then generously gave them [an extra response] regarding what they would be more in need of -at certain times- than the initial affair they asked about. (2)
Ibn Abdul Haadee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: When he [Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah] was imprisoned, he found the prisoners preoccupied with various types of games by way of which they pass the time, such as chess, backgammon and the likes, which [lead people] to neglect the five daily prayers. The Shaikh [Ibn Taymiyyah strongly disapproved of that. He commanded them to adhere to the five daily prayers and to turn to Allaah through performance of righteous deeds, glorification of Allaah, seeking forgiveness for their sins and supplication. He acquainted them with what they were in need of from the Sunnah, aroused their desire for it and urged them towards it, until a lot of good came about in the prison due to that which was [present] in the prison, such as preoccupation with knowledge and [affairs] of the Religion, and became better than many of the schools. And it became [such] that many among the prisoners chose to remain with him after they were released and those returning to the prison [i.e. revisiting to benefit from Ibn Taymiyyah] were so numerous that it became crowded. (3)
To be continued…InShaaAllaah
[Ref 1: A’laam Al-Aliyyah. page 50]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Madaarij As-Saalikeen 2/43-44. فصل : مراتب الجود – Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from Al-Uqood Ad-Du’riyyah Fee Dhikri Manaaqib Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah 330-331. slightly paraphrased]