Patience and Acceptance [Realities of Faith] It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allâh have mercy on him – said when asked ‘what is îmân (faith)?’: It is perseverance (al-sabr) from the things that are forbidden by Allâh the Mighty and Majestic and acceptance. He was asked, “What is perseverance and acceptance?” He replied, “al-sabr is to persevere in holding back from what Allâh has forbidden, and [acceptance is] acceptance of what Allâh the Mighty and Majestic has commanded.” Abû Bakr Al-Daynûrî, Al-Mujâlasah wa Jawâhir Al-‘Ilm 3:535. The Many Pretenders of Faith [Munafiqun] It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allâh have mercy on him – used to say, “If it were not for the munâfiqûn, you would feel all alone in the streets (the streets would be empty).” It is also reported that Al-Sha’bî – Allâh have mercy on him – said the same thing, “If it were not for the munâfiqûn, you would feel all alone in the streets (the streets would be empty).” It is reported that Mâlik b. Dînâr – Allâh’s mercy be upon him – said, “I swear, if the munâfiqûn started growing tails, the believers wouldn’t find a spot of ground to walk on.” Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ articles 936-938. Following the Salaf in these Changed Times It is reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basrî that he said, “If a man from amongst the Salaf were to be sent forth today, he would not recognize anything from Islam.” He put his hand on his cheek and added, “Except this prayer (salâh).” Then he said, “But by Allâh, this does not apply to the person who lives in this unfamiliar time, never having seen the Righteous Predecessors, but who sees [instead] the innovator calling to his bid’ah, and the follower of worldly wealth calling to his materialism, but Allâh protects him from all this and makes his heart love and aspire to those Righteous Predecessors, asking about their way, searching and trying to follow in their footsteps, and adhering to their path. Such is a person who will be recompensed with an immense and great reward. So be you all like this, by Allâh’s permission”. Ibn Waddâh, Al-Bida’ Vol. 1 p190. The Successful Pilgrim It was said to Al-Hasan Al-Basrî, “People say that the one who has been on Hajj is the one who is forgiven.” He said, “And the sign of this is that he leaves the evils he used to do.” Ibn Abî Al-Dunyâ, Al-Tawbah article 70. Which life to Pursue? It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî often used to say, “O youth! Seek the hereafter, for we often see people pursuing the hereafter and finding it as well as the dunyâ (worldly wellbeing), but we have never seen anyone pursue the dunyâ and gain the hereafter as well as the dunyâ.” Al-Bayhaqî, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabîr, article 12. A Comfortable Life It is reported that ‘Umar b. ‘Abd Al-‘Azîz once wrote to Al-Hasan Al-Basrî to get a brief exhortation from him, so Al-Hasan wrote back , “The dunyâ distracts and preoccupies the heart and body, but al-zuhd (asceticism, not giving importance to worldly things) gives rest to the heart and body. Verily, Allâh will ask us about the halâl things we enjoyed, so what about the harâm!” Al-Bayhaqî, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabîr, article 26. The Sunnah is Wisdom Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur`ân) and Al-Hikmah (wisdom) and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [Al-Baqarah 2:129] And remember (O members of the Prophet’s family) that which is recited in your houses of the Verses of Allâh and Al*!-Hikmah. [Al-Ahzab 33:34] It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allâh have mercy on him said, “Al-Kitâb is the Qur`ân, and Al-Hikmah is the Sunnah.” It is also reported that Qatâdah – Allâh have mercy on him said, “And [he will] teach them The Book and Al-Hikmah, i.e. the Sunnah.” Al-Lâlakâ`î, Sharh Usûl I’tiqâd Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamâ’ah Vol.1 p86, 87; Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol.1 p98; and Al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr. Shaykh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymîyah said (Majmû’ Al-Fatâwâ Vol.3 p366), “A number of the Salaf said that Al-Hikmah refers to the Sunnah, because that which was recited in the houses of [the Prophet’s] wives – Allâh be pleased with them – apart from the Qur`ân was his Sunnah – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him.” The World in Three Days It is reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said: The life of this world is made up of three days: yesterday has gone with all that was done; tomorrow, you may never reach; but today is for you so do what you should do today. Al-Bayhaqî, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabîr p197. The Faces of Nifâq It is reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said: It used to be said: it is part of al-nifâq (hypocrisy) to be inwardly different from what you are on the outside, to say one thing and do another and to be different in how you enter and how you leave. And the root of al-nifâq is lying. Abû Bakr Al-Kharâ`itî, Masâwî Al-Akhlâq wa Madhmûmihâ p62. Preventing Heart Disease Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allah have mercy on him – said: Do not sit with an adherent of bid’ah for he will cause a disease in your heart. Ibn Waddâh, Al-Bida’ p124. Knowledge transforms the student Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allah have mercy on him – said: When a man sought knowledge, it would not be long before it could be seen in his humbleness, his sight, upon his tongue and his hands, in his prayer, in his speech and in his disinterest (zuhd) in worldly allurements. And a man would acquire a portion of knowledge and put it into practice, and it would be better for him than the world and all it contains – if he owned it he would give it in exchange for the hereafter. Ibn Al-Mubârak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqâ`iq Vol.1 p.156. Until the Heart is sealed Explanation of the verse: Nay, but their hearts were covered over by what (sins) they earned. [Al-Mutaffifîn: 14] Al-Hasan (Al-Basrî) said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, until the heart becomes blind and dies.” Qatâdah also said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, one sin after another, until the heart dies and becomes black.” Ibn Zayd said, “Their sins overcome their hearts until no good can get through to them.” Mujâhid explained, “They used to consider the heart like a hand: when a person sins, his heart starts to scrunch up,” and he folded his little finger, “and when he does another sin,” he folded the next finger and continued until he had his fist clenched. “Then a seal is placed over it, and they used to say that this is the ‘covering’.” Al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr, Sûrah Al-Mutaffifîn. Sunnah, Bid’ah and Arabic ‘Abdullah b. Zayd Al-Numayrî reports that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî said: They (the heretics) were destroyed by their inability in Arabic (al-‘ujmah). Al-Bukhârî, Al-Târîkh Al-Kabîr Vol.5 p99. And Imâm Al-Shâfi’î said: People didn’t become ignorant and didn’t differ amongst themselves except because they left Arabic and leaned towards the language of Aristotle. Quoted by Al-Suyûtî in Sawn Al-Mantiq p15. He said on p22: I have found Salaf before Al- Shâfi’î indicate what he did: that the cause of heresy (al-ibtidâ’) is ignorance of Arabic language. A Realistic Faith Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allah have mercy on him – said: Faith (îmân) is not by embellishment or wishful thinking, but it is what settles in the heart and is verified through your works. Whoever says good but does not do good will have his words compared to his deeds by Allah. Whoever says good and does good will have his words raised by his deeds. This is because Allah ‘azza wa jalla said: To Him ascends the good word, and the righteous deed raises it. [Sûrah Al-Fâtir: 10] Ibn Battah in Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol. 3 p120, and Al-Khatîb Al-Baghdâdî in Iqtidâ’ Al-’Ilm Al-’Amal no.56. Loftier Goals in Life Commenting on 2:201 of the Quran which states: Our Lord! Give us the good of this world and the good of the hereafter… Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allah have mercy on him – said: The good of this world is knowledge and worship, and the good of the hereafter is Paradise. Al-Âjurrî in Akhlâq Al-’Ulamâ’ no. 30 and Ibn Jarîr in his Tafsîr of this verse. Scholars of tafsîr like Ibn Jarîr and Ibn Kathîr point out that ‘the good of this world’ is general and includes all those things which have been allowed for us to enjoy and which are considered useful by people for day-to-day living. And they point out that above this; the good of this world includes those things which will lead to success in the hereafter. This narration reminds us of these loftier things we should ask Allah for, and that the good of this life embraces what is required or recommended for a worshipper of Allah to acquire on this Earth, like knowledge of his religion and good deeds.