Abdullaah ibn Mas’uud said:

“O people, verily you will invent new things and new things will be invented for you, so when you see an innovation, then you must return to the first affair.”

Ad-Daarimee (no. 174)

Sufyaan ath-Thawree[2] (rahimahullaahu ta’aala) wrote to ‘Abbaad ibn ‘Abbaad al-Khawwaas al-Arsoofee[3] (rahimahullaahu ta’aala) saying, “As for that which comes after:

“Indeed you are in an era which the Companions of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallaam) used to seek refuge from encountering, and yet they had knowledge which we do not have, and they had a place of honour which we do not have. So how is it for us now that we have reached that time, having scanty knowledge, little patience, few people who assist goodness, and there being corruption amongst the people and distress in the world?!

Hence you must take to the original affair and hold tight to it,[4] and you should take to being unknown, for indeed this is the age to remain unknown.[5]

And take to remaining aloof and secluded, and associating little with the people, because when the people used to meet, some of them would benefit the others. But as for today, then that has gone, and in our view, salvation lies in abandoning them.[6]

And beware of the rulers: of drawing close to them and mixing with them in any affair. And beware of being deceived, for it will be said to you, ‘Intervene and ward off some danger from the oppressed or oppose tyranny.’ But all of that is indeed the deception of Iblees. Yet the shameless, evil reciters have taken [such positions] as a means [to improve their standing].[7]

And it has been said: Fear the trial of the ignorant worshipper and the sinful, immoral scholar, for indeed their is a trial for everyone who is tempted and subjected to trials.[8]

And when a question or some verdict is put forward to you, then seize the opportunity, but do not vie or compete for them[9]. Take care not to be like the one who loves that his saying is acted upon, or that his saying should be publicised or heard – and when it is not, then the effects of that [rejection] can be seen on him.[10]

Beware of loving leadership, for indeed it is more beloved to men than gold and silver. However it is an obscure matter that can only be recognized by the mediating scholars.[11]

So examine your heart and work upon the intention. And know that a matter has come close to the people, such that a man would prefer to die [in order to avoid it].

Was-Salaam.”[12]

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