Harun ibn ‘Abdullah al-Hammal said: Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal came to me at night and knocked on my door.

I said: “Who is it?”

He said: “I am Ahmad.”

So I hastened towards him and I greeted him and he greeted me.

I said: “[Do you have] a need oh Abu ‘Abdullah?”

He said: “Yes, you distracted my heart today.”

I said: “With what oh Abu ‘Abdullah?”

He said: “I passed by you today and you were teaching the people while seated in the shade, and the people were under the sun, and in their hands are pens and notebooks.

Do not do [this] again, if you sit, sit with the people.” [1]

Reference:

[1] Manaaqib al-Imam Ahmad by Ibn Al-Jawzee, p. 220

قال هارون بن عبد الله الحمال: جاءني أحمد بن حنبل بالليل، فدق علي الباب، فقلت: من هذا؟ فقال: أنا أحمد. فبادرت إليه فمساني ومسيته، قلت: حاجة يا أبا عبدالله؟ قال: نعم, شغلت اليوم قلبي. قلت: بماذا يا أبا عبد الله؟ قال: جزت عليك اليوم وأنت قاعد تحدث الناس في الفيء، والناس في الشمس بأيديهم الأقلام والدفاتر، لا تفعل مرة أخرى، إذا قعدت فاقعد مع الناس

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