Words Of Wisdom – Councel In Three’s

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Words Of Wisdom – Councel In Three’s



“Wisdom is the lost property of the believer.

If he finds it then he is most deserving of


[1] It has been reported that the Prophet

(salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The
one who wakes up in the morning and complains

about the scarcity of livelihood,
it is as though he is complaining against his

Lord. The one who wakes up and is
sad over the affairs of the dunya, it is as

though he has woken up angry with
Allah. And the one who humbles himself in front

of a rich man because of his
wealth will have lost two-thirds of his


[2] Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“There are three things which
cannot be attained through another three:

wealth with hope, youth with dyeing
[the hair], and health with medication.”

[3] ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radyAllahu`anhu)

said, “Good interaction with people is
half of intelligence, good questioning is half

of knowledge, and good planning is
half of subsistence.”

[4] ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“The one who leaves the dunya
Allah the Exalted will love him; and the one

who leaves sins, the Angels will love
him; and the one who has no craving for the

possessions of the Muslims, the
Muslims will love him.”

[5] ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“Surely from the blessings of this
world, sufficient is Islam as a blessing;

surely from the multitude of
preoccupations, sufficient is obedience as a

preoccupation; and surely from the
causes for reflection, sufficient is death as a


[6] ‘Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (radyAllahu`anhu)

said, “How many are deluded by the
blessings showered on them; how many are tested

by the praise heaped on them;
and how many are duped into a sense of security

by Allah hiding their sins.”

[7] Prophet Dawud (`alayhi sallam) said, “It

was revealed to me in the Psalms that
a sensible person should only occupy himself

with three things – making
provisions for the Day of Judgement, seeking

sustenance for his life, and seeking
pleasure within what is permissible.”

[8] Abu Hurayrah (radyAllahu`anhu) related that

the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam) said, “There are three saviours and

three damnations, three [high] ranks
and three absolutions. As for the saviours,

they are: fearing Allah the Exalted in
secret and in public, spending moderately in

poverty and in richness, and justice
in contentment and in anger. As for the

damnations, they are: sever miserliness,
following one’s desires, and self-infatuation.

As for the [high] ranks, they are:
spreading the greeting of salam, providing food

(for guests, as well as the poor
and needy), and praying at night whilst people

are asleep. As for the absolutions,
they are: making ablution in cold nights,

walking to the congregational prayers,
and awaiting the next prescribed prayer having

just finished a prescribed prayer
[in the mosque].”

[9] Jibreel (‘alayhi-sallam) said, “O Muhammad!

Live as long as you will, for you will surely

love whomsoever you wish, for you will leave

them; and do whatever you wish,
for you will be recompensed accordingly.”

[10] The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

said, “There are three individuals
whom Allah will shade under the shade of His

Throne on a day when there will
be no shade except His shade – the one who

makes ablution in difficult
conditions, the one who walks to the mosque in

the darkness, and the one who
feeds the hungry.”

[11] It was said to Prophet Ibrahim (`alayhi

sallam), “Why did Allah take you as a
friend?” He said, “For three things – I always

chose Allah’s commands over the
commands of others; I never worried about what

Allah had already allotted for
me (of livelihood); and I never lunched and

supped except with a guest.”

[12] A wise man said, “Three things drive away

anguish – remembrance of Allah,
meeting His awliya’ (those close to Him), and

talking to ascetics.”

[13] Al-Hasan al-Basri said, “He who has no

manners has no knowledge; he who
has no patience has no Religion (din); and he

who has no God-consciousness has
no closeness to Allah.”

[14] It has been narrated that a man from Bani

Isra`il went to seek knowledge
and their prophet came to hear of this. He

called for the man and said to him, “O
young man! I will tell you of three things in

which lies the knowledge of all those
who have come and all those to come – fear

Allah in secret and public, hold your
tongue regarding people and do not speak of

them except in goodness, and
ensure that the bread that you eat is halal.”

Upon hearing this, the young man
refrained from leaving [to seek knowledge].

[15] It has been narrated that a man from Bani

Isra’il collected eighty chests full
of scriptures and books of knowledge but did

not benefit from his knowledge.
Allah the Exalted revealed to their prophet to

say to this collector, “Even if you
had collected a lot of knowledge it will not

benefit you except if you do three
things – do not love the dunya for it is not a

home for the believers, do not
befriend Satan for he is not a companion for

the believers; and do not hurt
anyone for that is not the way of the


[16] It is reported that Abu Sulayman al-Darani

said in his supplication, “O my
Lord, if you ask me about my many sins, I will

surely as You for Your
forgiveness; and if you ask me about my

miserliness, I will surely ask You for
Your generosity; and if you make me enter Hell,

I will inform the people of Hell
that I love You.”

[17] It is said, “The happiest of all people is

he who has a sincere heart, a patient
body, and contentment with what he possesses.”

[18] Ibrahim al-Nakha`i said, “Those who were

destroyed before you were
destroyed due to three traits – excess in

speech, excess in food, and excess in

[19] Yahya ibn Mu`adh al-Razi said, “Glad

tidings to the one who leaves the
dunya before it leaves him, prepares for his

grave before he enters it, and pleases
his Lord before he meets Him.”

[20] `Ali ibn Abi Talib (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“He who does not have the sunnah
of Allah, the sunnah of His Messenger (saw),

and the sunnah of His chosen ones, has
nothing.” It was asked, “What is the sunnah of

Allah?” He replied, “Safeguarding
secrets.” It was asked, “What is the sunnah of

the Messenger (saw)?” He replied, “Being
gentle with people.” It was asked, “What is the

sunnah of His chosen ones?” He
replied, “Bearing people’s harm.”

[21] Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) also said, “People

before us used to advice each other
of three things – the one who works for his

Hereafter, Allah will take care of the
matters of his din and dunya for him; and the

one who beautifies his inner self,
Allah will beautify his appearance; and the one

who rectifies that which is
between him and Allah, Allah will rectify that

which is between him and

[22] `Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) also said, ‘Be in

Allah’s estimation the best of people,
and in the estimation of your nafs the worst of

people, and in people’s estimation
just a man from amongst the people.’

[23] It was said that Allah revealed to Prophet

‘Uzayr (`alayhi sallam), “O ‘Uzayr!
If you committed a small sin, do not look at

its smallness; rather look at Whom
you have sinned against. If you are granted a

small blessing, do not look at its
smallness; rather look at the One who has

granted it to you. And if a calamity
befalls you, then do not complain against Me to

My creation, just as I do not
complain against you to My angels when your bad

deeds are raised to Me.”

[24] Hatim al-Asamm said, “There is not a

morning that passes except that Satan
says to me, ‘What do you eat? What do you wear?

Where do you live? I say to
him, ‘I eat death, I wear the shroud, and I

live in the grave.”

[25] The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

said, “The one who comes out of
humiliation of disobedience into the honour of

obedience, Allah the Exalted will
make him rich without wealth, strengthen him

without soldiers, and honour him
without a clan.”

[26] It has been reported that he (salAllahu

‘alayhi wa sallam) went out to his
companions and said, “How do you find

yourselves this morning?” They replied,
“As believers in Allah.” He said, “What is the

sign of your iman (belief)?” They
replied, “We are patient in times of hardship,

grateful in times of ease, and
content with whatever has been predestined.”

The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam) said, “By the Lord of the Ka`bah, you

are truly believers!”

[27] Allah revealed to one of the Prophets,

“Whoever meets Me [on the Day of
Judgement] while he loves Me, I will make him

enter My Paradise. Whoever
meets Me while he fears Me, I will spare him My

Hell. And whoever meets Me
and is ashamed because of his sins, I will make

the angels who record deeds
forget his sins.”

[28] `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (radyAllahu`anhu)

said, “Fulfil that which Allah has
made obligatory upon you and you will be the

best of worshippers; refrain from
the prohibition of Allah and you will be the

best of ascetics; and be pleased with
what Allah has allotted for you and you will be

the richest of people.”

[29] Salih al-Marqadiy once passed by some

houses and said, “Where are your
first inhabitants? And where are your old

dwellers?” So he heard a voice saying,
“Their legacy has come to an end, underneath

the soil their bodies have
decomposed, and their actions remain as

necklaces around their necks.”

[30] `Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) said, “Give to

whomsoever you wish and you will
become his master; ask from whomever you wish

and you will become his
prisoner; and do not seek help from whomsoever

you wish and you will be his

[31] Yahya ibn Mu`adh said, “Leaving all of the

dunya is taking all of the dunya;
the one who leaves all of it has taken all of

it and the one who takes all of it has
left all of it; so, taking it is leaving it;

and leaving it is taking it.”

[32] It was said to Ibrahim ibn al-Adham, “How

did you attain zuhd
(asceticism)?” “With three things,” He said, “I

saw that the grave is lonesome
and that I would have no companion therein; I

saw that the path is long while I
had no provisions; and I saw that the

Omnipotent would be the Judge while I
had no valid argument (in my defence).”

[33] Shibli said, “If you find delight in

Allah’s company then renounce the
company of your nafs.” And he said, “Had you

tasted the sweetness of closeness
to Allah you would have known the bitterness of

estrangement (from Him).”

[34] Sufyan al-Thawri was asked about the

sweetness of closeness to Allah the
Exalted. He replied, “It is that you do not

find delight in a beautiful face, nice
voice, or eloquent tongue.”

[35] Ibn `Abbas (radyAllahu`anhu) said, ‘Zuhd

(asceticism) is composed of three
letters, z-h-d. ‘Z’ is zadun lil ma`ad

[provision for the Hereafter]. ‘H’ is hudan

[guidance for the Religion]. And ‘D’ is dawam

`ala al-ta`a [constancy in

[36] Ibn `Abbas (radyAllahu`anhu) also said,

“Zuhd (asceticism) is composed of
three letters, z-h-d. ‘Z’ is for leaving zina

[adornments], ‘H’ is for leaving hawa
[desires] and ‘D’ is leaving the dunya [this


[37] A man once came to Hamid al-Laffaf and

said to him, “Advise me.” He said,
“Have for your Religion (din) a cover, just

like a copy of the Qur’an (mushaf) has
a cover.” The man asked, “And what is the cover

of the din?” He replied,
“Leaving speech except that which is necessary,

leaving the dunya except that
which is necessary, and refraining from mixing

with people except when it is
necessary. Also know that the essence of

asceticism is refraining from the
prohibitions be they minor or major, fulfilling

all the obligations be they easy or
difficult, and leaving the things of this world

for its people be they great or

[38] Luqman al-Hakim, peace be upon him, said

to his son, “O my son! Man is
composed of three thirds – a third for Allah, a

third for himself and a third for
the worms. The third that is for Allah is his

soul; the third that is for himself is his
actions, and the third that is for the worms is

his body.”

[39] ‘Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) said, “Three things

enhance memorisation and
eradicate phlegm – siwak, fasting, and reading

the Qur’an.”

[40] Ka`b al-Ahbar (radyAllahu`anhu) said,

“Fortresses for the believers are three –
the mosque is a fortress, the remembrance of

Allah is a fortress, and the reading
of the Qur’an is a fortress.”

[41] A wise man said, “Three things are from

the treasures of Allah the Exalted
that He does not give except those He loves –

poverty, illness and patience.”

[42] Ibn `Abbas (radyAllahu`anhu) was once

asked, “Which is the best of days?
Which is the best of months? Which is the best

of actions?” He replied, “The best
of days is Friday, the best of months is

Ramadan, and the best of actions is
performing the five daily prayers in their

prescribed times.” After three days `Ali
(radyAllahu`anhu) came to hear of the questions

and the answers of Ibn `Abbas.
`Ali said, “If the scholars, the ascetics, and

the jurists of the East and the West
were asked, they would not have replied as well

as Ibn `Abbas , except that I say,
“The best of actions is that which Allah

accepts from you, the best of months is
the month in which you make sincere repentance

to Allah, and the best of days is
the day in which you leave the world to [meet]

Allah the Exalted while you are a

[43] A poet said:
Do you not see how the two ever-renewables

[night and day]
Wear us out, while we jest in secret and in

Trust not this world and its pleasures
For its homes are not real homes
And work for your benefit before your death
And be not deceived by the abundance of friends

and brothers

[44] It is said that, “If Allah wants good for

His servant He gives him the
understanding of the din, reduces his

attachment to the dunya, and grants him
awareness of his faults.”

[45] The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi

wa sallam) said, “I was made to love
three things from your world – perfume, women,

and prayer.” The companions
were sitting with him and Abu Bakr

(radyAllahu`anhu) said, “You have spoken
the truth, O Messenger of Allah! I was made to

love three things from this world
– looking at the face of the Messenger of Allah

(salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and
giving my daughter in marriage to the Messenger

of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam).” ‘Umar (radyAllahu`anhu) said, “You

have spoken truthfully, O Abu Bakr!
I was made to love three things from this world

– commanding good, forbidding
evil, and worn garments.” `Uthman

(radyAllahu`anhu) said, “You have spoken
truthfully, O `Umar! And I was made to love

three things from this world –
feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and

reading the Qur’an.” `Ali
(radyAllahu`anhu) said, “You have spoken

truthfully, O `Uthman! I was made to
love three things from this world – serving the

guest, fasting in the summer, and
fighting with the sword.” As they were

discoursing, Jibreel (‘alayhi-salam) came and

“Allah the Exalted sent me when He heard your

discussion and has ordered you
to ask me what I would have loved if I were to

be from the people of this world.”
The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa

sallam) asked, “If you were to be
from the people of this world what would you

have loved?” Jibreel (alayhi-sallam) replied,
“Guiding those led astray, keeping the company

of contented strangers, and
helping families afflicted with hardship.” He

continued, “The Lord of Honour
loves three things from His servants – giving

one’s utmost, crying when in regret,
and being patient in times of poverty.”

[46] An ascetic said, “The one who only

considers his own opinion as correct will
be misguided; the one who thinks he is rich due

to his wealth will be
impoverished; and the one who seeks prominence

through a creature will be

[47] An ascetic said, “The fruits of ma`rifa

(knowledge of Allah) are three – being
ashamed from Allah the Exalted, loving Him and

enjoying his Company.”

[48] The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

said, “Love is the basis of ma`rifa,
chastity is the sign of conviction, and the

peak of conviction is Godconsciousness
and contentment with what Allah the Exalted has


[49] Sufyan ibn `Uyaynah said, “Whoever loves

Allah, Allah will make him love
those whom He loves; and the one who loves

those whom Allah the Exalted
loves, Allah will make him love that which has

made Him love them; and the
one who loves that which made Allah the Exalted

love those whom He loves will
wish that no one knew him.”

[50] The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

said, ‘Truthfulness of love is in three
things – choosing the speech of the beloved

over the speech of others, choosing
the company of the beloved over the company of

others, and choosing the
pleasure of the beloved of the pleasure of


[51] Wahb ibn Munabbih al-Yamani said, “It is

written in the Torah that he who
is greedy is in fact poor even if he owns the

whole world; he who obeys [God] is
obeyed even if he is a slave; and he who is

content is rich even if he is hungry.”

[52] A wise man said, “The one who knows Allah

will not find any pleasure in
the company of creatures; the one who knows the

world will not desire anything
from it; and the one who knows the justice of

Allah the Exalted will not feel the
need to present his grievances to Him in order

to obtain redress.”

[53] Dhu al-Nun al-Misri said, “Anyone who

really fears something flees from it;
anyone who really desires something seeks it;

and anyone who finds the
[sweetness of the] company of Allah becomes

estranged from his nafs.”

[54] Dhu al-Nun al-Misri also said, “The one

who knows Allah the Exalted is a
captive, his heart is seeing, and his actions

for Allah are many.”

[55] He also said, “The one who knows Allah the

Exalted is loyal, his heart is
alert, and his actions for Allah are pure.”

[56] Ibn Sulayman al-Darani said, “The origin

of every good in this world and
the Hereafter is fear of Allah; the key to the

dunya is satiety; and the key to the
Hereafter is hunger.”

[57] It is said that worship is a craft: its

marketplace is isolation, its capital is

and its profit is Paradise.

[58] Malik ibn Dinar said, “Remedy three things

with three – pride with humility,
greed with contentment, and envy with sincere



[Preparing for the Day of Judgement – Imam Ibn

Hajar al-‘Asqalani]