Excerpts from Kitab al-Zuhd

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah,

- Some gems I pulled out from my books, something for us to contemplate and implement insha’Allah.

Statements of Salman al-Farisi

“O Jarir, lower yourself for Allah. Indeed whoever lowers himself for Allah `azza wa jall in this world, will be raised by Him on the Day of Judgment.”

“The most sinful amongst the people, are those who speak about the disobedience of Allah `azza wa jall the most.”

“People will continue to remain in a state of goodness so long as the first of them teach the latter ones. If the first generation passes away before the latter have learnt, then that is when they shall fall into destruction.”

“If the people knew how much Allah helps the weak ones, they would never even grab iron poles (to strike others with). Truly, Allah `azza wa jall feels shy upon seeing His slave extend his two hands towards Him, asking Him for goodness, that He should return them empty (and unanswered).”

“There is no-one who performs wudu’ (ablution) with perfection and then comes to the mosque for no other reason other than for worship except that he comes as a guest of Allah `azza wa jall, and Allah has taken it upon Himself to honour His guests.”

“Do not be the first person to enter the market-places, nor be the last person to leave it, for indeed in them are the mounts of Shaytan and the focus of his flag/banner (i.e. it’s the battlefield of Shaytan).”

[pg. 172 - 173]


Statements of ‘Aisha (radhiallahu `anha)

“Abu al-Duha said, ‘Someone who had heard ‘Aisha recite the verse: “And stay in your homes…” [al-Ahzab: 33] said that she wept until her khimar (head-covering) became wet.”

‘Aisha: “Lessen your sins, for indeed you will not meet Allah `azza wa jall with anything better than scarcity of sins.”

And she once wrote to Mu’awiyyah saying, “Amma ba’d: Indeed if the slave (of Allah) acts disobediently to Allah, then those who used to praise him from amongst the people, will turn out to be the ones who criticize and rebuke him.”

‘Aisha: ‘I wish I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”

[pg. 187-188]


Statements of Abul-’Aliyah

“There will come a time upon the people when the Qur’an shall become ruins and disappear from their chests; they shall find no sweetness or delight in it. If they fall short in what they’ve been commanded with, they say ‘Allah is All-Forgiving and He is the Most Merciful’ and if they do what they’ve been prohibited from doing, they say ‘We shall be forgiven for we have not associated anything in worship with Allah.’ Their entire affair is covetousness with no truth or sincerity. They wear sheep’s clothing over the hearts of wolves and the best of them in his Deen ends up being the deceitful and hypocritical one.”

“The fasting person is in a state of worship so long as he does not backbite, even if he is fast asleep on his bed.”

“If you visit a people (as a guest), and they ask you to sit, then sit wherever they have placed the pillow for you, because they are the most acquainted with their homes.”

“We considered it to be from the greatest of sins that a man should learn the Qur’an and then sleep without reading anything of it.” In another narration he said, “… and then sleep until he forgot it.”

[pg. 241-242]


Statements of Muhammad ibn Sirin

“If Allah wants goodness for a slave, He places in his heart an admonisher commanding him and prohibiting him.”

“Do not honour your brother with something he dislikes.”

Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd once described Muhammad ibn Sirin saying: As for Ibn Sirin, then he was never faced with two matters in his faith except that he abided by the most accurate and sound of them both.”

Musa ibn al-Mughirah: I saw Muhammad ibn Sirin entering the marketplace at midday. He was praising Allah, glorifying and remembering Him, so a man said to him, ‘O Abu Bakr! Now? (i.e. dhikr at this hour?).’ He said, ‘Indeed, it is an hour of heedlessness (marketplace ghaflah).’

If Ibn Sirin was called to a Walimah or to a wedding, he would first go to his house saying, ‘Give me sawiq (mushy drink made with barley, sugar and dates).’ It was said to him, ‘O Abu Bakr! But you’re going to a wedding where you can drink sawiq!’ He would reply, ‘I hate to unleash my hunger on the people’s food.’

He (rahimahullah) used to fast on alternate days, and on the day when he was not fasting, he would eat dinner but he would not take any supper. Then he would have Suhur (pre-dawn meal), and wake up fasting.

[pg. 345 - 347]


‘Kitab al-Zuhd‘ by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal

(published 2006, Dar al-Imam Ahmad, Cairo)

11 thoughts on “Excerpts from Kitab al-Zuhd

  1. this statement of Abul Aaliyah is the most striking & heaviest of all:

    “……They wear sheep’s clothing over the hearts of wolves and THE BEST OF THEM IN HIS DEEN ENDS UP BEING THE DECEITFUL & HYPOCRITICAL ONE.”

    Allaahul Mustha’aan…..may He save us from an evil end.


  2. Assalaamu alaykum wa rahamtu Allaahi wa barakaatuh,

    You have shared some real gems with us sister. May Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala make them heavy on your scale and grant us the tawfeeq to learn from them. May Allaah also grant you the best of this world and the Hereafter. Ameen.

    If you can find any more material that elaborates more on this quote please post it for us insha Allaah:

    “We considered it to be from the greatest of sins that a man should learn the Qur’an and then sleep without reading anything of it.” In another narration he said, “… and then sleep until he forgot it.”

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaah.

    • Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      From my understanding of the quote, Abul-’Aliya is saying that it’s wrong and sinful for a person to learn the Qur’an and then abandon it (and its reading) such that he ends up forgetting it and becoming ignorant of it. I believe the part where it says ‘sleep without reading anything of it’ is an indication (and not a literal meaning) that implies one wakes up and goes to sleep every day without looking to the Book of Allah. Wallahu a’lam.

  3. SubhanAllah beautiful <3
    I love your blog
    JazakAllah khayr

    I pray that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala gives you all good both in this world and the Hereafter ameen.

  4. Hey sis, good to see you back on here :)

    You can try googling for the book insha’Allah, otherwise I’m sure you can locate a copy on waqfeya or islamport.com

    I’ll try and do a search for you when I get home insha’Allah. If I find it, I’ll email it across bi’ithnillah.

  5. Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

    Wallahi I love this blog and I love this post. Ma Sha Allah! Sometimes I actually steal some of the quotes from here and use it on other social networking websites. Jazakillahu Khiaran!

    I had a question about the quote from Abu ‘Aliyah. Is that his kunya, or was that his actual name? If it was his kunya, then what what his actual name? The only reason why I’m asking is because I found the same exact quote narrated from Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (R). If you can find some information about that, that would be awesome.

    I can’t stress the fact about how much I love this blog. Especially the new tarbiya posts. I am in desperate need of that myself. May Allah accept this work, and increase you in goodness!

    Jazakillahu Khairan, Wassalamu Alaikum

    • Sorry…I meant to say that I heard the first quote from Abu ‘Aliyah narrated from Mu’adh Ibn Jabal.

      Sorry for missing that.
      Ma’ Assalamah

  6. Wa `alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Barakallahu fik akhi, I pray these posts bring us all much benefit.

    Abul-’Aaliya = his real name was Rufay’ ibn Mihran. He was a Tabi’i originally from Khurasan/Central Asia who became Muslim as a prisoner of war during the initial battles between the Farisi empire and the growing Muslim empire. He grew into one of the Ummah’s foremost early scholars and one its righteous.

    Sometimes, one statement might be attributed to more than one person, so you will come across issues in that. In Imam Ahmad’s book, this particular statement was attributed to Abul-’Aaliyah so I took it down as such. Wallahu A’lam.

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