Do not be an إمعة

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه، أما بعـد

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Abd al-Rahman ibn Yazeed reported from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه that he said:

لا يكون أحدكم إمعة ، قالوا : وما الإمعة يا أبا عبد الرحمن ؟ قال : يقول : ” إنما أنا مع الناس إن اهتدوا اهتديت ، وإن ضلوا ضللت ، ألا ليوطن أحدكم نفسه على إن كفر الناس أن لا يكفر

“Do not be an im’ah*.” He was asked, ‘And what is an im’ah O Aba Abd al-Rahman?’ He replied, “A person who says, ‘Verily I am with the people – guided with those who are guided and misled with those who are lost (i.e. I do what they do).’ Do not settle your self to the example of people of disbelief (i.e. there is no following in evil).” 

[Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 8765 – see also Al-Ibanah al-Kubra of Ibn Battah]

* إمعة (im’ah) generally denotes a person without character; one who is a lackey or unquestionably obedient to whatever is proposed.

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1. Ash-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah Bakr Abi Zayd رحمه الله تعالى said:

تمتع بخصال الرجولة، من الشجاعة، وشدة البأس في الحق، ومكارم الأخلاق، والبذل في سبيل المعروف، حتى تنقطع دونك آمال الرجال

“Enjoy qualities of manhood (masculinity) that include courage (bravery), forthrightness upon truth, noble manners and giving for the sake of good causes until the ambitions of men (die).

وعليه، فاحذر نواقضها، من ضعف الجأش، وقلة الصبر، وضعف المكارم، فإنها تهضم العلم، وتقطع اللسان عن قوله الحق، وتأخذ بناصيته إلى خصومة في حالة تلفح بسمومها في وجوه الصالحين من عباده

Therefore (equally) beware of the qualities that oppose them; such as (having) weak confidence, lack of patience and weak nobility, for they destroy knowledge and cuts (off) the tongue from speaking the truth; and they lead him head-long to his enemies (in such a state) where they (these opposing qualities) wipe the faces of the righteous with their poisons.”

[ Hilyat al-Taalib al-‘ilm, p.9 – complete book found here ]

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2. Reported by Abu Nu’aym in ‘Hilyatul-Awliyaa‘ [1/79-80]and from him al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi in ‘al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih‘ [1/49-50]:

Kumayl ibn Ziyad said: “Ali lbn Abi Talib took hold of my hand and walked me towards the desert. When we reached it he sat down, then took a deep breath and then said:

‘O Kumayl ibn Ziyad – the hearts are receptacles, so the best of them is the one which preserves best – memorise what I say to you: The people are three:

– Aalim Rabbaani (righteous scholar),
– One (whose) learning being upon the path of salvation,
And the confused rabble who follows everyone who calls out – bending along with every wind – they are not enlightened by the light of knowledge, nor do they lean upon a firm support…

Full text can be found here

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3. Also of benefit: Forty Hadeeth on Islamic Personality and Character-building

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May Allaah strengthen our characters upon the Haqq.

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