The Ease of the Salaf in Their Practice of Islam

1 – ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud said, in describing the way of the Companions:

“Whoever amongst you wishes to follow someone, then let him follow those who have died, as you cannot be sure to protect yourself from the fitnah of those who are alive. These are the Companions of Muhammad: they were the best of this Ummah, were the purest of it in heart, the deepest of it in knowledge, and were the least of it in burdening themselves. Allah chose them to accompany His Prophet and to establish His Religion, so realize their virtue and follow in their footsteps, as they were upon the upright guidance.”

[Ibn al-Qayyim’s ‘Ighathat al-Lahfan’; 1/159]

2 – Ibn Mas’ud also said:

“Beware of exagguration and digging too deeply into matters, and follow the original path.”

[Ibn Rajab’s ‘Jami’ al-‘Ulum wal-Hikam’; 1/270]

3 – Anas bin Malik narrated:

“We were with ‘Umar, so I heard him say: “We were forbidden from burdening ourselves.””

[‘Ighathat al-Lahfan’; 1/159]

4 – ‘Amr bin al-‘As narrated:

“I had a wet dream on a cold night on the expedition of Dhat as-Salasil, so, I feared that I would die if I took a bath. So, I performed tayammum, then prayed the morning prayer with my companions. They mentioned this to the Prophet, so he said: “O ‘Amr! You led your companions in prayer while you were in a state of impurity?” So, I informed him of what had prevented me from taking a bath, and said that I heard Allah’s Saying: {“And do not kill yourselves; verily, Allah is Merciful to you.”} [an-Nisa’; 29]

So, the Messenger of Allah smiled and did not say anything.”

[Reported by Abu Dawud (334), and it is authentic]

5 – ‘Abdullah bin Shafiq narrated:

“Ibn ‘Abbas once was preaching to the people from after the time of ‘Asr until the Sun had set and the stars appeared, and the people began to cry: “The prayer! The prayer!” Then, a man from Banu Tamim came to Ibn ‘Abbas and said: “The prayer! The prayer!” So, Ibn ‘Abbas said to him: “Are you going to teach me the Sunnah, may you be deprived of your mother? I saw the Messenger of Allah combine between the Dhuhr and ‘Asr, and between the Maghrib and ‘Isha’ without being on a journey or in a state of fear. This was because he did not want to put his Ummah to hardship.” This statement of his did not sit well with me, so, I went to Abu Hurayrah and asked him about it, and he confirmed it.”

[‘Sahih Muslim’; # 705]

6 – It was also narrated:

“One time it rained, so, Ibn ‘Abbas said to the one calling to the prayer: “When you say “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” then say after it: “Pray in your homes.”” The people were uneasy with this, so, he said: “One who was better than me (meaning, the Prophet) did this. Verily, the Friday prayer requires effort, and I did not want to make you come out in the mud.””

[‘Sahih al-Bukhari’; # 901]

7 – It was narrated of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

“One time, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar was asked about a type of cheese that was produced by the Magians, so, he said: “Whatever I find in the marketplace of the Muslims, I buy and do not ask about.””

[‘Jami’ al-‘Ulum wal-Hikam’; 1/269]

8 – It was narrated:

“‘Umar bin al-Khattab was out riding with ‘Amr bin al-‘As when they came across a water fountain. ‘Amr said to the owner of the fount: “O owner of this fount! Does your fountain attract any beasts?” So, ‘Umar said: “O owner of the fount! Do not tell us, as we come across beasts and they come across us.””

[az-Zarqani’s explanation of Malik’s ‘Muwatta”; 1/70]

9 – al-Imam ash-Sha’bi said:

“If you are faced with two (permissible) choices, then the easiest of the two is the closest of them to the truth, due to Allah’s Saying: {“Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire hardship for you.”} [al-Baqarah; 185]

[al-Qasimi’s ‘Mahasin at-Ta’wil’; 1/427]

10 – Sufyan ath-Thawri said:

“Verily, knowledge is to accept an allowance of ease from one you trust. As for extreme strictness, then anyone can be good at this.”

[‘Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa Fadlih’; p. 255]

11 – Ibrahim an-Nakha’i said:

“If you are faced with two (permissible) choices, then assume that the most beloved of them to Allah is the easiest.”

[Ibn Qudamah’s ‘al-Mughni’; 3/150]

12 – ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, Mujahid, and Qatadah said:

“The best of two options is the easiest of them, due to His Saying: {“Allah desires ease for you…”}.”

[‘al-Mughni’; 3/150]

13 – It was narrated:

Imam Ahmad bin Hambal was asked about wearing clothing made by the disbelievers and the People of the Book without first washing them, so, he answered: “Why do you ask something that you have no reason to ask? The people – since we have been living amongst them – have had no problems with this (wearing the clothes without washing them).””

[‘Jami al-‘Ulum wal-Hikam’; 1/269]

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