THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood radiallaahu 'anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam would supplicate: "O Allaah! I ask You for guidance, piety, safety and well-being, and contentment and sufficiency." [Allaahumma innee as'alukal-hudaa wat-tuqaa wal-'afaafa wal-ghinaa].1
Imaam as-Sa'dee (d.1376H) - rahimahullaah - said:
This du'aa (supplication) is from the most comprehensive and beneficial du'aas (supplications), since it includes asking Allaah for well-being with regards to both the Religion and the world. Thus, al-hudaa (the guidance) is beneficial knowledge, and at-tuqaa (i.e. taqwaa or piety) is righteous actions and leaving-off what Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden; and this is (asking) for correctness and well-being of a person's Religion. For indeed, the Religion comprises of beneficial knowledge and recognising the truth - which is guidance - and standing firm upon obedience to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and this is piety.
And al-'afaafa (well-being and safety) and al-ghinaa (contentment and sufficiency) comprises of being safe from (the harms of) the creation and that the heart is not attached to them. And it also comprises of being contented with Allaah and what He provides, and seeking whatever will cause the heart to be satisfied with Him. So with this, happiness in this worldly life is completed, and the heart tastes true sweetness and delight - and this is a goodly life. So whosoever is granted the provisions of guidance, Piety. well-being and contentment has indeed achieved true happiness, and has acquired all that could be possibly sought after, as well as being saved from all that is dreadful and frightening."2
KNOWLEDGE AND HUMILITY
Imaam adh-Dhahabee (d.748H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"Whosoever seeks knowledge for actions, then his knowledge makes him humble and fearful, and causes him to weep at (the deficiencies in) himself. But whosoever seeks knowledge for the sake of merely teaching, giving verdicts, in order to brag, or to show-off; becomes foolish, arrogant and looks down in contempt at the people, and is destroyed by pride, and the people hate him. "Truly he succeeds who purifies his soul, and he fails who corrupts it." [Soorah ash-Shams 99:4-5]. Meaning that it is corrupted with sin and disobedience."3
REMEMBERING THE GUIDANCE
Al-Qaadee 'Iyaadh (d.591H) - rahimahullaah - relates: "Mu'sab ibn 'Abdullaah said: When Imaam Maalik (d.179H) would mention the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, his colour would change and he would have to lean down, and those in his gathering would feel disturbed. So one day, on being asked about this, he said: If you had seen what I have seen, you would not have rejected what you had seen. I have seen Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir (d.130H) - and he was the leader of the Reciters - that he would never be asked about a hadeeth (Prophetic narration), except that he would weep, until we had mercy upon him. And I have seen Ja'far ibn Muhammad (d.148H) who used to smile alot. Yet whenever the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would turn pale. I have never seen him narrating the hadeeth of the Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, except in a state of purification. And when times deteriorated, I never saw him except in one of three conditions: Either Praying, observing silence, or reciting the Qur'aan. He never uttered a word having no significance, and he was one of the Scholars and worshippers who had great fear of Allaah. Whenever 'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn al-Qaasim (d.126H) mentioned the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, he turned pale, as if the blood had been drained from his face, and his tongue dried-up due to reverence for Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. I went to 'Aamir ibn 'Abdullaah ibn az-Zubayr (d.123H), and whenever the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would weep so much, until he was unable to weep any longer. I saw az-Zuhree (d.124H) - and he was from the kindest of people, and closest to them - that when the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was mentioned to him, he would not be able to recognise you, nor would you be able to recognise him. I came to Safwaan ibn Sulaym (d.132H) - and he was one of the mujtahid Scholars and worshippers - that whenever he mentioned the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam he would weep, and he would not stop weeping, to the extent that the people would have to get up and leave him."4
And it is from the likes of such weeping souls that we have inherited the knowledge of our Religion!
1. Related by Muslim (no.2721).
2. Bahjatul-Quloobul-Abraar (p.198).
3. Siyar A'laamun-Nubulaa (18/192).
4. Related by Ibn Taymiyyah in Kitaabul-Waseelah (p.92)