virtues of the scholars

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to the people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month. Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfill his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah the Exalted will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day when the footings are shaken.”
—  [(al-Muʻjam al-Awsaṭ 6192) (Narrator: Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنه)]
9 Good Character Traits...

Dawud (عليه السلام) said, 

“My Lord Almighty enjoined upon me nine traits. 

  1. He enjoined me to revere (fear) Him in privacy and in public, 
  2. to be just in a time of anger or pleasure, 
  3. and to be moderate in a time of wealth or poverty. 
  4. He enjoined me to reconcile with those who cut me off, 
  5. to give to those who deprive me, 
  6. to forgive those who wrong me, 
  7. to let my observation be a lesson, 
  8. to let my silence be reflection, 
  9. and to let my words be remembrance of Allah.” 

Source: [(Islah al-Mal 311)]  

The Prophet [p.b.u.h] said: ‘There are seven persons whom Allah will shade on a Day when there is no shade but His. They are 1). a just ruler, 2). a young person who grew up in the worship of Allah, 3). a person whose heart is attached to the mosques, 4). two persons who love each other who meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allah, 5). a man whom a beautiful woman of high status seduces but he rejects her by saying I fear Allah, 6). a person who spends in charity and conceals it such that his right hand does not know what his left hand has given, 7). and a person who remembered Allah in private and he wept.
—  [Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]
It is reported from Husayn Al-Karābīsī that he said: I spent the night with Al-Shāfi’ī. He would pray for about a third of the night. I hardly ever saw him recite more than fifty verses (in the prayer), one hundred at most. Whenever he came to a verse about mercy, he would ask Allāh for His Mercy, for himself and for the believers; and whenever he came to a verse about punishment, he would seek Allāh’s refuge from it, and ask salvation for himself and for all the believers. So it is as if both hope and fear were brought together for him.
—  [Al-Bayhaqī, Ma’rifatu Al-Sunan articles 362, 365]
Virtue Of Knowledge

قال رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم : فضل العالم على العابد كفضلي على أدنكم ، ثم قال رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم : إن اللّه وملائكته وأهل السموات والأرض حتى النملة في جحرها ، وحتى الحوت ليصلون على معلم الناس الخير.

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said: “The virtue of the scholar over the virtue of a worshipper is like my virtue over the least of you, then the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Indeed, Allāh, His angels, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in his hole and the fish, send blessings upon the one who teaches people goodness.”

● [رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني]

No matter your condition, you can always improve

Abdullah bin al-Mubarak was a scholar known for simultaneously combining numerous traits of virtue. In fact, his friends would sit and count all of the good things that were part of his character and personality. Adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullah) related that they said:

“Let’s sit and count the good traits that Ibn al-Mubarak has.”

So, they ended up listing:

“Knowledge, Fiqh, literature, grammar, language, zuhd, eloquence, poetry, praying at night, worship, Hajj, Jihad, bravery, instinct, strength, speaking little in what doesn’t concern him, fairness, and lack of conflict with his companions.”

Reading through his life story, one sees exactly this and cannot help but to derive brief yet heavy lessons from how this man lived.

In ‘Tartib al-Madarik’ (1/159), Al-Qadee ibn ‘Iyaad mentioned that Ibn al-Mubarak was asked about the circumstances in which he began studying. He replied:

“I was a youth who drank wine and loved music and singing while engaging in these filthy acts. So, I gathered some friends to one of my gardens where there were sweet apples, and we ate and drank until we passed out while drunk. At the end of the night, I woke up and picked up the stringed oud [1] and began singing:

‘Isn’t it time that you had mercy on me * And we rebel against those who criticize us?’

And I was unable to pronounce the words as I intended. When I tried again, the oud began speaking to me as if it were a person, saying the verse:

أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ

“Isn’t it time for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allah’s reminder?”

(Surah al-Hadid:16)

So, I said: 'Yes, O Lord!’ And I smashed the oud, spilled the wine, and my repentance with all its realities came by the grace of Allah, and I turned towards knowledge and worship.”

1. Guitar like instrument with a small neck.