Ishaq ibn Hane’ al-Naysabouri said:

Abu Abdullah told me: Come early one day so that you may narrate to me something about Zuhd (Asceticism) [1].

So I came early to him, and told the mother of his child: Bring me a rug and a pillow. So she set it up in the corridor.

Abu Abdullah came out and with him he had the books and the inkwell. He looked at the rug and the pillow and said: What is that?

So I said: For you to sit on.

So he said: Remove them, for indeed Zuhd is not attained except through Zuhd [2].

So I removed them, and he sat on the sand [3].

Reference:

[1] Ahmed Ibn Hanbal (268)

[2] Sifat Al-Safwa 2/233

[3] Manaqib Al-Imam Ahmad p. 176

قال إسحاق بن هانئ النيسابوري: قال لي أبو عبد الله: بكر يوما حتى نعارضني بشئ من الزهد. فبكرت إليه، وقلت لام ولده: أعطيني حصيرا ومخدة، فبسطته في الدهليز، فخرج أبو عبد الله، ومعه الكتب والمحبرة، فقال: ماهذا؟ فقلت: لنجلس عليه. فقال: ارفعه، الزهد لا يحسن إلا بالزهد. فرفعته، وجلس على التراب.ـ

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