From the Wise Words of Ibn al-Mubarak

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

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Some nice quotes of Ibn al-Mubarak (rahimahullah), taken from the upcoming biography:

Ibn al-Mubarak said:

‘How many people carry the Qur’an in the hearts but the Qur’an curses them from inside their hearts! If the bearer of Qur’an disobeys his Lord, the Qur’an calls him from inside his chest saying, ‘By Allah, you have not carried me (i.e. memorised me) for this! Will you not be shy from your Lord?’

‘There is nothing in this world for a person except one’s daily portion of food.’

‘If a person’s goodness outweighs his errors, then his errors are not mentioned, and if his errors outweigh his goodness, then his goodness is not mentioned.’

A man once said to Ibn al-Mubarak: ‘Is there anyone who will advice us?’ He replied, ‘Rather, is there anyone who will accept the advice?’

‘This world is a prison for the believer and the best of deeds in prison is to have patience and to overcome one’s anger. The believer has no country in this world, indeed his country lies in the Hereafter.’

A man said to him, ‘Advice me.’ So he said, ‘Abandon looking at things for long periods of time and you shall be granted Khushu’ (humbleness), abandon excessive speech and you shall be granted wisdom, abandon excessive food and you shall be guided to ‘Ibadah (worship), abandon looking towards the faults of others and you shall be guided to seeing your own faults and abandon delving into the issues that concern the Being of Allah `azza wa jall, and you shall be guided away from doubts and hypocrisy.’

Another man once said to him, ‘I see myself as being in a better state than someone who killed a person wrongfully.’ He said to him, ‘Indeed the security you feel for yourself (and have given yourself) is worse than a person who killed another wrongfully!’

‘Make your places of gathering to be with the poor and be cautious of sitting with the people of innovation.’

He loved to spend on others and assist his companions when they were in financial difficulties. It is reported that he once said to al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyyadh, ‘Were it not for you and your companions, I would never have done business.’

And this quote is just a beauty:

‘Indeed the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets, but if they fall into covetousness and greed, who shall be taken as leaders? The merchants and businessmen are the trustees of Allah, so if they are treacherous, who can be trusted? The warriors are the guests of Allah so if they become extreme (or take spoils without right), with whom can we defeat the enemies? The righteous and ascetic ones are the kings of the earth but if they become insincere (i.e. have riya’), who shall be followed? The governors/rulers are the shepherds (protectors) of the people, but if the shepherd becomes a wolf, who shall protect the flock?’


Sources include: Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, Tanbih al-Mughtarin, Tadhkirat al-Huffadh, Hilyat al-Awliya’ and Dhayl Jawahir al-Mudhiyyah.