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Imam Ahmad said:

“My wife Umm Saleh [1] stayed with me for 20 years (i.e. until she passed away).

We did not dispute together, even on single word” [2-3].


[1] ‘Abbasah bint al-Fadl (may Allah have mercy on her)

[2] Tabaqaat al-Hanabilah 1/429

[3] Benefitted from:

قال أَحْمَد أقامت أم صَالِح معي عشرين سنة فما اختلفت أنا وهي فِي كلمة


Imam Ahmad said after a man said to him: [Achieving a state of] well-being is ten parts, nine of it is in Taghaful (being intentionally inattentive and being able to neglect and overlook people’s faults and shortcomings).

So Imam Ahmad said: [Rather, achieving a state of] well-being is ten parts, all of it is in Taghaful [1-2].


[1] Al-Forou’ (5/261)

[2] Taghaful is a forgotten virtue which involves overlooking people’s faults, sins, and shortcomings, while being fully aware of it. Examples of this can be seen in the words and actions of the Messenger of Allah, as well that of the Companions and the Salaf after them. Allah said: (And [remember] when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed [another] of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part) [At-Tahrim 66:3]

من كان يرجو أن يسود عشيرة *** فعليه بالتقوى ولين الجانب
ويغض طرفا عن إساءة من أساء *** ويحلم عند جهل الصاحب

Whoever hopes to be a leader among his people, Then he ought to adhere to piety and softness [in his dealings]

As well as being neglectful of the faults of others, and being patient and forgiving during the mistakes of his companions


Qutaibah Ibn Saeed said:

I arrived to Baghdad, and did not have a goal except to meet Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, but he was the one that actually came to me with Yahya Ibn Ma’een. We [sat and] studied [together], then Ahmed Ibn Hanbal stood up and sat before me, and said: Dictate to me this, then we studied together, then he stood up again and sat before me, so I said: Oh Abu Abdullah, stay seated in your place.

So he said: Don’t worry about me, I want to take knowledge as it is supposed to be taken [1].


[1] Manaqib al-Imam Ahmed by Ibn al-Jawzi

قال قتيبة بن سعيد: قدمت بغداد, وما كانت لي همة إلا أن ألقى أحمد بن حنبل, فإذا هو قد جاءني مع يحيى بن معين, فذاكرنا, فقام أحمد بن حنبل وجلس بين يدي وقال: أمل علي هذا, ثم تذاكرنا, فقام أيضا وجلس بين يدي, فقلت: يا أبا عبد الله, أجلس مكانك. فقال: لا تشتغل بي, إني أريد أن آخذ العلم على وجهه.ـ

Imam Ahmad said: We have written the [Prophetic] traditions from six [different] routes and seven routes and have not precisely verified it, so how can he who writes it from only one route [do so]?! [1]


[1] Manaqib Al-Imam Ahmed by Ibn Al-Jawzi p.57

قال الإمام أحمد: نحن كتبنا الحديث من ست وجوه أو سبع وجوه لم نضبطه, كيف يضبطه من كتبه من وجه واحد؟!ـ

Ma’rouf al-Karkhi’s was mentioned in a gathering of Imam Ahmad. So some of the attendees said: He has little knowledge.

So Imam Ahmad said: Hold [your tongue], may Allah forgive you, is it not the intent of knowledge except to reach that which Ma’rouf had reached?![1]

ذكر في مجلس أحمد بن حنبل أمر معروف الكرخي, فقال بعض من حضر: هو قليل العلم. فقال أحمد: أمسك عافاك الله, وهل يراد من العلم إلا ما وصل إليه معروف؟!ـ


[1] Mukhtasar Al-Mu’amal (1/74)

Imam Ahmad said: Oh my son! The winner is he who wins tomorrow (Day of Judgment) and does not have for anyone with him any liability  [1].


[1] Tareekh Madinat Dimashq (5/308)

قال الإمام أحمد: يا بني! الفائز من فاز غدا ولم يكن لإحد عنده تبعة.ـ

Imam Ahmad said: Zuhd (Asceticism) in this worldly life is in: Shortening hope and despairing from what is in the hands of the people [1].


[1] Tabaqat Al-Hanabilah (1/39)

قال الإمام أحمد: الزهد في الدنيا: قصر الأمل, والإياس مما في أيدي الناس.ـ

Abdullah said:

I was sitting with my father, may Allah have mercy on him, one day, and he looked at my feet and they were soft and had no cracks, so he said to me: What are these feet; why don’t you walk barefoot so that your feet becomes rougher [1].


[1] Tareekh Madeenat Dimashq (92/298)

قال عبد الله: كنت جالسا عند أبي رحمه الله يوما, فنظر إلى رجلي وهما لينتان, ليس فيهما شقاق, فقال لي: ما هذه الرجلان, لم لا تمشي حافيا حتى تصير رجلاك خشنتين.ـ

Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said: When Abu Zur’ah came, he stayed at my father’s [home], and he used to study a lot with him.

I heard my father one day say: I have not prayed today except the Obligatory [prayers]; I preferred studying with Abu Zur’ah over my Nawaafil (supererogatory optional prayers) [1].


[1] Al-Aadab Ash-Shari’ah (2/165)

قال عبد الله ابن الإمام أحمد: لما قدم أبو زرعة نزل عند أبي، فكان كثير المذاكرة له. فسمعت أبي يقول يوماً: ما صليت اليوم غير الفرائض, استأثرت بمذاكرة أبي زرعة على نوافلي.ـ.

Imam Ahmad said when speaking of Al-Layth Ibn Sa’d:

Al-Layth has profound knowledge and his narrations of Hadeeth are authentic. There is no one among the Egyptians more reliable than him.

How authentic is what he narrates!

I saw from whom I saw and none are like him, he had a Faqeeh’s body[1], his tongue was Arabic, he perfected his recitation and grammar, and had memorized Hadeeth and Poetry, and was great in his memory … 

Then Imam Ahmad counted other beautiful attributes of Al-Layth ibn Sa’d [2].

May Allah shower them with Mercy


[1] The actual Arabic used is (فقيه البدن) i.e. Faqih Al-Badan, is a phrase sometimes used by Scholars to describe whomever from the People of Knowledge who had profound knowledge of Fiqh and reached to such an excellence that it seemed that this Fiqh had intermingled with their Flesh, Blood, Body, and Soul.

[2] Tahzeeb Al-Asmaa 2/382

قال أحمد بن حنبل: الليث كثير العلم، صحيح الحديث، ليس فى هؤلاء المصريين أثبت منه، ما أصح حديثه، فقال أحمد: رأيت من رأيت، فلم أر مثل الليث، كان فقيه البدن، عربى اللسان، يحسن القرآن والنحو، ويحفظ الحديث والشعر، حسن الذاكرة، وعد خصالاً جميلة عنه

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