Fear of Mistake In Knowledge And Guidance
from the Characteristics of the Salaf


From the morals and manners of the Salaf was that they would have terrible fear that mistakes would enter into their knowledge, practice and in their directing the nation (Ummah) to what is good in the world and the Hereafter.
Do not think that any of them loved to be elevated in rank and any worldly matter. They hated giving religious verdicts (fataawah) because the one who gives the verdict (fatwah) has entered a station between Allaah and His worshippers.
"Do not say about that which your tongues put forth falsely "This is lawful (halaal) and this is forbidden (haraam)", so as to invent lies against Allaah. Those who invent lies about Allaah will never prosper" (Surah Nahl 16:116)
'Abdul-Rahmaan ibn Abi Lailah (rahimahullah) said, "I have met 120 companions of the Messenger of Allah . None of them spoke without wishing his brother's speech be sufficient, and none of them gave a fatwah without wishing his brother would suffice him in it".
Fudayl ibn 'Iyaad (rahimahullaah) said, "To send dinars (money) on a people is more beloved to me than to spend on them my speech, and therefore easier on my soul".
Some people requested that Sufyaan ibn 'Uyainah (rahimahullaah) sat with them to give a lecture, but he refused them by saying, "I am not of the correct statue to relate to you knowledge nor you to listen. The likeness of you and I is like the saying:
"Expose all your faults and them come to a mutual concealment!"
Abu Muslim al-Khawlaani (rahimahullaaah) said, "Many people live amongst the people just with their knowledge, destroying their souls" i.e., with vanity and egoism.
Abu Haazim (rahimahullaah) used to say, "The scholars of our time have been content with speech and with no practice! The Salaf use to practice but not speak. After them the people practiced and spoke being followed by a people who spoke but did not practice. There will come a time when people will not speak nor practice.
'Abdul-Raheem as-Sulami (rahimahullaah) said, "We met people who learned the Qur'an ten verses (ayaats) being followed by another ten. They would not move to another ten without practicing the first ten".
'Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak (rahimahullaah) reported on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ziyaad that he said, "I saw Abu Umamah speaking to a person who had been weeping and crying to Allaah in prostration in the mosque saying: "You would have been as yourself had this been your house!"
It was said to Ash-sha'bi (rahimahullaah) "Deliver your verdict to us O Scholar ('aalim)! He replied to them, "do not say scholar to the likes of me, but the 'aalim is the one who humbles his joints from the submissive fear (khushoo') of Allaah".
Sufyaan ath-Thawri (rahimahullaah) said, "Whoever's knowledge makes him weep, then he is a scholar ('aalim). Allaah the Most High said, "Verily those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them they fall down on their faces in humble prostration"
(Sura Bani Israel 17:107)
He also said, "When the verses (aayaat) of Ar Rahmaan (The Most
Merciful) was recited to them they fall in prostration weeping" (Sura Maryam 19:58)
So reflect in your soul dear Muslimoon. Have you fulfilled the rights of your knowledge and actions as they used to???