The crave for fame and leadership are illnesses from which only a few amongst the people are free. Thus, when a servant craves or is pleased to be celebrated when he comes in (to a gathering) or when his intentions are just focused on impressing the people.and getting their praise, then that is a major aspect amongst the aspects of show-off and fame seeking. On sound examination of selves it is obvious that just a few are free of the illness and that those seeking the path to piety and scholarship are not also completely free of it. Al-Imaam ash-Shaatibee (RAH) said, "The last of what is removed from the hearts of the pious is love for Authority and leadership." The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said on his death, "Sympathize with the Arabs. The worst of what I fear for you is associating partners with Allaah and the concealed cravings." (Bayhaqee).
Explaining the concealed cravings
Al-Imaam Ibn al-Atheer said, "The concealed craving is the desire to show ones deeds to the people (show off)." Thus, the pious predecessors took cautions and were protected from the evil of the lust for fame. AI-Imaam Ayyoob AI-Imaam Abu Uthmaan Ayyoob bn Keesaan as- Sakhtiyaanee al-Basaree was born sixty six years after the migration of the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) from Makkah to Madeenah in the City of Basra were he grew up amongst the Banee Huraysh. Over time, al-Imaam Ayoob as-Sakhtiyaanee acquired knowledge from about all of the best and the greatest Scholars of the deen at the time from amongst those who were direct students of the companions of the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). From them was al-Imaam Hasan al-Basree, Saalim bn Abdullaah bn Umar, Naafithe freed slave of Abdullaah bn Umar, Saeed bn Juabyr, Ataa bn Abee Rabaah al-Aswad,Ikrimah the companion of Abdullaah bn Abbass, Muhammad bn Sireen, Muhammad bn Muslim az- Zuhree amongst others (RAH). He was also reported to have had a meet with the eminent companion Anas bn Maalik (RA).
Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee was so respected for his knowledge and piety right at the early stages of his life such that one of his teachers al-lmaarn Hasan al-Basree (RAH) said, "Ayyoob is the leader of the youths amongst the people of Basra." Muhammad bn Sireen was also amongst those from whom al-Imaam Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee acquired a great deal of knowledge. Yet, Ibn Sireen (RAH) reported narrations from him. Once Ibn Sireen (RAH) reported a hadeeth and he was asked from whom he heard the narration and he said, "The well established reporter, the well established reporter,Ayyoob narrated to me." Abdullah bn Awn (RAH) one of the most eminent students of Muhammad bn Sireen (RAH) said, "When Muhammad bn Sireen died and we said, Who is next?, we said, Ayyoob." Thus, al-Imaam Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (RAH) became one of the greatest scholars ever in the history of Islaam. AI-Imaam Maalik bn Anas was one of the colleagues of Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (RAH). They both acquired knowledge together from some of their teachers even when Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee traveled more (RAH). Concerning al-Imaam Ayyoob, al-Imaam Maalik bn Anas said, "He was of the most fervent worshippers and one of the best of the people." He also said of him, "When I saw his great respects for the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) I wrote narrations from him." He also said, "He was amongst the Scholars, those who act based on knowledge and are God-fearing." Al-Imaam Maalik had close to a thousand eminent learned people from whom he learnt yet he says to his students, "I have never reported to you a narration from anyone except that Ayyoob was more preferable to him." Abdullaah bn al-Mubaarak says of him, "I have not seen any Scholar more preferable than him." Amongst the students of al-Imaam Ayyoob were al-Imaam Hammaad bn Zayd, Sufyaan ath-Thaoree (Ameer al-Mumineen fee al-Hadeeth), Sufyaan bn Uyaynah, Hammaad bn Salamah and Shubah bn al-Hajjaaj (RAH).
Taking care of Show-Off
Hammaad bn Zayd as a student, was always with al-Imaam as-Sakhtiyaanee and he is adjured by some of the Scholars as the greatest Authority concerning al-Imaam as-Sakhtiyaanee RH. He says of him, " walk with him (Ayyoob) and he takes paths thatwonder where it leads him to in aversion from the people so that they do not say- This is Ayyoob." Another of his student, Shubah bn al-Hajjaaj (RAH) said, "Sometimes go out with Ayyoob for a purpose and he will not allow me walk with him. So, he comes out here and there so that he is not noticed." He also said, "Ayyoob said, I was mentioned and I do not like to be mentioned."
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited