Gems From A Deeply Pious Tabi’ee:
Al-Hasan Al-Basree (rahimahullaah) [d110H]
Umar Ibn Al Khattaab (radiyallaahu anhu) said:
O Allaah! Make him well-versed in religion and make people love him.
The Salaf’s Praise For Abu Sa’eed Al-Hasan Ibn Abil-Hasan Yasar al- Basree (rahimahullaah):
Muhammad Ibn Sa’d says that al-Hasan al-Basree was all embracing in his knowledge, a real scholar of a high standard, one who excels in jurisprudence, reliable as a source, trustworthy, a sincere worshipper, overflowing with learning, outspoken, beautiful and handsome. He was also one of the bravest men. No one looks like him except a prophet. That is why Ibn Burda says: No one is similar to the Companions of the Prophet as he was. Thus Abu Qatada says: Keep close to this old man, for I have seen no one whose opinion is like that of Umar as al-Hasans is. So Anas Ibn Malik says: Ask al-Hasan for he still remembers while we forgot.
Muadh Ibn Muadh says: I said to Al Ashaath: You have met Atta and you had questions to ask why didn’t you ask him? He said: I have never met anyone after al-Hasan al-Basree but was small in my eyes. Hammam says: It is said that the earth will never be lacking in seven men; through them people will get rain, and with their blessing they will be defended and I hope that al-Hasan is one of them.
Abu Jaafar Al Razi says: I remained a student of al-Hasan for ten years during which I always heard something new. Once al-Hasan described the effect of the Qur’aan on the believer. He said: Son of Adam! By God if you recite the Qur’aan then believe in it then your sadness will be long in this life, so will be your fear and your weeping. That is why one contemporary of al-Hasan says: I never saw
anyone who had such a long time of sadness as al-Hasan al-Basree. Everytime I met him I thought he had a new misfortune.
Khaled Ibn Safwan was a close neighbour of al-Hasan al-Basree. Describing him once he said: I never saw a man like him. His outward appearance is identical to his inner reality, his words are identical to his deeds; if he enjoins what is right he is the first to do it, and when he forbids what is wrong he is the farthest one from it. I found him never in need of other people, but people were in need of him.
Hajjaj Al Aswad says: A man once expressed the following wish. He said: I wish I were a hermit like al-Hasan, as pious as Ibn Seereen, as a good worshipper as Ubadah Ibn Abd Qays and as understanding of jurisprudence as Saeed Ibn Al Musayyib. Those who heard these wishes said: All these are found in al-Hasan al-Basree.
Gems From A Deeply Pious Tabi’ee:
“I have known people and kept company with groups who neither rejoiced when the things of this world came to them, nor grieved when they lost anything in this world. The life of this world was more insignificant to them than dust. One of them might live for a year or for sixty years without ever having a garment that would entirely cover him, and without ever having anything that would come between him and the ground, and without ever having any food that he could ask to be prepared for him in his own home. When night came, they would be on their feet, with their foreheads flat against the earth, tears rolling down their cheeks, secretly calling on Allaah to save them on the Day of Judgement. If they did something good, they never stopped being grateful for it, and they were always asking Allaah to forgive them for it. By Allaah, they were not safe from wrong actions, and were saved only by their constant turning in repentance. May Allaah be pleased with them and grant them His mercy…”
“Do not sit idle, for indeed Death is seeking you!”
When al-Hasan finished his hadeeth, he would say, “O Allaah, you see our hearts full of idolatry, pride, hypocrisy, showing-off, reputation, doubt and uncertainty in your deen. O Turner of hearts, make our hearts firm in Your deen and make our deen Straight Islam!”
“When a young man is devout, we do not recognise him by his speech. We recognise him by his actions. That is beneficial knowledge.”
“Son of Adam, you are no more than a few days. Whenever a day passes, a part of you has gone.”
“Son of Adam, never please anybody if this entails the Wrath of Allaah. Never obey anybody if this entails disobedience to Allaah. Never thank anybody for something which Allaah granted you. Never blame anybody for something which Allaah did not grant you. Allaah created people and they steer the course predetermined for them. Whoever thinks that extra care and interest will increase his provisions, let him try such extra care and interest in increasing his life span, changing his color, or increasing the size of his limbs and build!”
“Whoever gives money undeserved high esteem, Allaah will humiliate him.”
“Two bad comrades are the dinar and the dirham. They are useful to you only when they leave you.”
“Death has shown the reality of this worldly life. It did not leave any happiness for those who are wise.”
“The laughter of a believer is a sign of the inadvertence of his heart.”
“A believer believes in what God has said. He is the best of men in his deeds, but he fears God most, so that if he spends the size of a mountain of money, he would not be sure of his reward until he sees this with his own eyes. The more righteous and charitable the believer is, the more afraid of God he becomes. While the hypocrite says: Men are too many, I shall be forgiven. There is no harm on me. Thus he acts badly, but wishes many things from God.”
“Guard against having a bad opinion of people.”
It is related that ‘Imran ibn Khalid al-Khuza’i said that a man told him, “Matar asked al-Hasan about a question and said, ‘The fuqaha’ oppose you.’ He said, ‘May your mother be bereaved, Matar! Do you see a faqih at all? Do you know what a faqih is? The scrupulous ascetic faqih is the one who does not care about who is above him nor mock the one below him, and who does not accept ephemeral rubbish in exchange for the knowledge which Allaah has taught him.”‘
Al-Aajurree reports that a man came to al-Hasan (al-Basree) and said, “O Abu Sa’eed! Let me debate with you about the Religion.” Al-Hasan replied, “As for me, I know my religion, If you have lost your Religion then go and look for it.”
“Nifaaq is the difference between the inner and the appearance, between statement and action and between entering and leaving and it used to be said that the foundation of nifaaq upon which it is built is lying.”
“Fear is the basis of morality, and sadness the characteristic of his religion; life is only a pilgrimage, and comfort must be denied to subdue the passions.”
Ibn Abee Mulaika: “I encountered thirty Companions of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) every one of them fears hypocrisy for himself and Al-Hasan Al-Basree used to say about it: ‘No one fears it but a believer and no one feels safe from it but a hypocrite.'”
“Whoever learns something in the name of Allaah, seeking that which is with Him, he will win. And whoever learns something for other than Allaah, he will not reach the goal, nor will his acquired knowledge bring him closer to Allaah.”
A group of Muslims came to al Hasan al Basree seeking a verdict to rebel against al Hajjaaj. So they said, “O Abu Sa’eed! What do you say about fighting this oppressor who has unlawfully spilt blood and unlawfully taken wealth and did this and that?” So al Hasan said, “I hold that he should not be fought. If this is the punishment from Allaah (Ta’aala), then you will not be able to remove it with your swords. If this is a trial from Allaah (Ta’aala), then be patient until Allaah’s Judgement comes, and He is the best of Judges.” So they left Al Hasan, disagreed with him and rebelled against al Hajjaaj – so al Hajjaaj killed them all.
When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz became caliph, he wrote to Hasan al-Basree to write him the description of a just Imaam, and Hasan wrote him:
“Know, commander of Believers, that God has made the just Imaam the prop of every learner, the straightener of every deviator, the reform of all corrupt, the strength of all weak, the justice of all oppressed, the refuge of all who are pitied. The just Imaam, O commander of Believers, is like a herdsman, solicitous for the camels he tends, desiring the sweetest pasture for them, driving them away from any dangerous grazing place, protecting them from beast of prey, and shielding them from the harms of heat and cold.
And the just Imaam, commander of the Believers, is the guardian of the orphan, and the treasury of the poor, fostering the little ones, and providing for the old ones. The just Imaam, Commander of Believers, is as the heart is to the members of the body: all are sound when it is sound, and all corrupt when it is corrupt. The just Imaam, commander of Believers, stands intermediary between God and His servants; hearkening to God’s words, and making them hearken; looking to God, and making them to look; obedient to God and making them obedient.
Therefore commander of Believers, act not in what God the Mighty and Glorious has given you like a slave whose master has trusted him and given into his care his wealth and his children, who then squanders his master’s wealth and drives his children away, and reduces the family to poverty and scatters their fortune.
And know, commander of the Believers, that God has sent down (His prescription for) the legal punishments to chide (people) away from wickedness and immorality. How shall it be, if he who administers them, deserves them? And He sent down (the law of) retaliation to give life to His servants. How will it be if the man who gives them retaliation puts them to death?
Remember, O commander of Believers, death and what comes after it, and how few partisans you have there, or aids against it. Therefore make provision for death, and against the greater terror which follows it.
And know, commander of Believers, that there is a place for you other than the place where you are now. Your stay there will be long, and your friends will be separated from you. You will be committed to its depths as a completely solitary individual. Therefore, make provision of what you may take with you – ‘On the day when a man shall flee from his brother, his mother, his father, his consort, his sons’ (80:36), and remember, commander of Believers, ‘When that which is within the tombs shall be cast out, and that which is in the breasts exposed’ (100:9), when secrets are made manifest, and ‘The record leaves nothing, great or small, without numbering it’ (18:49).
And now, commander of Believers, you are in leisure, before the dissolution of death and the serving of hope. Therefore commander of Believers, do not give judgement among the servants of God according to the usages of pre Islamic period (bi hokum al jahilan), and do not travel the way of transgressors with them, and do not put he arrogant in power over the humble, for such will not watch over any believer or the protected religious groups (dhimma), so that you will have to acknowledge your own faults and the faults of others, and bear your own burdens and other burdens too. Do not be deceived by those who would lead a pleasant like by causing damage to you, and eat the good things of this world by causing the good things of your afterlife to disappear. And do not regard your power in this world, but look toward what will be your power when you are captive in the bonds of death, and forced to stand before God Most High in the company of the angels and prophets and apostles, and faces are turned to the Living and Self-subsisting One.
And I, O commander of Believers, though I have not attained by my rigors what prudent men attained before me, yet have not desisted from offering you solicitude and advice, sending you my letter as a doctor causes a beloved friend to drink disagreeable medicine, because he hopes to offer him health and soundness.
And peace be upon thee, O commander of the Believers, and the mercy of God, and His blessing.”