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Our Salaf Neither Exaggerated Their Status Nor The Importance of Their Gatherings

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Imaam Fudayl Ibn Iyaadh [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “If you are able not to be known, then do so. Is there anything against you if you are unknown? Is there anything against you if you are not praised? Is there anything against you if you are considered blameworthy in the sight of the people but praiseworthy in the sight of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]?” (1)

Imaam Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is enough a trial that a person is pointed out due to his religious or worldly affairs, except the one whom Allaah protects”. (2)

Al-A’mash [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “We tried very hard to get Ibraaheem An-Nakha’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] to sit at a place where people can listen to him and we wanted him do do so, but he refused”. (3)

Imaam Maalik [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “I used to come to Naafi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] the freed slave of Ibn Umar [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father], whilst I was a young boy, so he would come down and talk to me, and he would sit in the mosque after the morning prayer, hardly anyone would come to him. When the sun rose, he would go out, and he used to wear a cloak and not speaking to anyone. I used to see him after the morning wrapped in a black cloak”. (4)

Khalaf Bin Tameem [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: I saw Ath-Thawree at Makkah and many people came to him; so he said: “To Allaah do we belong! I fear that Allaah has made this Ummah to be lost when the people are in need of the likes of me”. (4.1)

Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Some of them rejoice due to abundance of followers, and Iblees deceives him (the person) that this joy is because of the large number of students of knowledge, but what is intended is the large number of companions and being constantly mentioned, and from that is being amazed by their statements and knowledge. This deception is revealed when some of them (followers) abandon him for someone else who is more knowledgeable him, so this becomes difficult for him. This is not the characteristic of the sincere one in teaching, because the likeness of the sincere (teacher) is that of doctors who treat the sick for the sake of Allaah [Almighty], so if some of the patients are cured by a doctor amongst them, the other rejoices. We mentioned earlier the narration of Ibn Abi Laylah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] – and we repeat it again with another chain of transmission – who said, “I have met a hundred and twenty companions of the Messenger [peace and blessinsg of Allaah be upon him] amongst the Ansaar and not a single man amongst them was asked about a hadeeth, except he wished that his brother would suffice him in (answering)”. (5)

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “There are many cases in which the souls are mixed with Ash-Shahawaat Al-Khafiyyah [i.e. desires that are concealed, subtle etc] that corrupts its fulfilment of (perfect) love of Allaah, servitude to Him and establishment of the religion sincerely for the sake of Allaah, just as Shaddaad Ibn Aws [may Allaah be pleased with him] said, ‘O Arabs! Indeed, the affair I fear for you the most is Riyaa [showoff] and Shahwa Al-Khafiyyah’. It was said to Abu Daawud As-Sijistaani, ‘What is Ash-Shahwa Al-Khafiyyah?’ He said, ‘Love of leadership’”. (6)

[Ref 1: Hilyatul Awliyaa 8/89]
[Ref 2: Taareekh Dimashq 18/33]
[Ref 3: Siyar 4/529]
[Ref 4: Siyar 5/98]
[Ref 4.1: Siyar 7/275]
[Ref 5: talbees Iblees 159-160]
[Ref 6: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 10 /214-215]

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