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Sayings of Al-Hasan Al-Basree

Sayings of Al-Hasan Al-Basree

Excerpted from :
The Men of Madina - Volume 1

Muhammad Ibn Sa'd
-translated by Aisha Abdarrahman at-Tarjumana Bewly

Translation of vol. V of Ibn Saídís Kitab at-Tabaqat al-Kabir

Abu Hilal said, "When al-Hasan finished his hadith, he would say, 'O Allah, you see our hearts full of idolatry, pride, hypocrisy, showing-off, reputation, doubt and uncertainty in your deen. 0 Turner of hearts, make our hearts firm in Your deen and make our deen Straight Islam!"'

'Umara ibn Mihran said that al-Hasan was asked, "Why do you not visit the rulers and command them to the correct and forbid them the incorrect?" He replied, "'Thee believer should not waste himself. Their swords precede our tongues when we speak. They speak thus with their swords." And he made a striking gesture with his hand.

'Umara said, "I did not see anyone whose words are in harmony with his actions except al-Hasan."

It is related that al-Hasan said, "When a young man is devout, we do not recognise him by his speech. We recognise him by his actions. That is beneficial knowledge."

'Umara said that al-Hasan told him that he disliked voices trilling when reciting the Qur'an.

Al-Hasan said, "Guard against having a bad opinion of people."

Ar-Rabi' ibn Subayh said, "Al-Hasan disliked being praised to his face. If invocation was made for him, that delighted him."

Ghalib al-Qattan said, "I brought al-Hasan a letter from 'Abdu'l-Malik ibn Abi Bashir and he said, 'Read it.' So I read it and there was a supplication in it. Al-Hasan said, 'Many a true brother of yours was not actually born of your mother."'

It is related that 'Imran ibn Khalid al-Khuza'i said that a man told him, "Matar asked al-Hasan about a question and said, 'The fuqaha' oppose you.' He said, 'May your mother be bereaved, Matar! Do you see a faqih at all? Do you know what a faqih is? The scrupulous ascetic faqih is the one who does not care about who is above him nor mock the one below him, and who does not accept ephemeral rubbish in exchange for the knowledge which Allah has taught him."'

It is related that when al-Hasan saw a funeral, he would say, "Praise belongs to Allah who has not made me part of that which is snatched away." He said, "He would not relate anything that day."

Muhammad ibn 'Umar said, "Al-Hasan died in 110." Isma'il ibn 'Ulayya said that it was in Rajab. There were a hundred days between the deaths of Muhammad ibn Sirin and him, al-Hasan dying first.

Hammad ibn Zayd said that al-Hasan died on Friday night. He said that Ayyub and Humayd at-Tawil washed him. He was brought out when the people left. He said, "My father took me with him," and Mu'adh ibn Mu'adh said, "Al-Hasan was ten years older than Muhammad."

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Islam does not concentrate on filling men’s minds with philosophical ideas, or on excessive dream-like spirituality, or on physical training and perfection, or on self-serving materialistic philosophies such as exist nowadays in both East and West. Islam drew up a balanced, integrated program for man’s development, taking into account his physical, intellectual and spiritual needs, based on the sound principle that man is formed of body, mind and soul.