It is said that Sayyiduna Omar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu) asked Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis salaam) to give him some advise when they both found themselves in Medina Shareef, Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis assalaam) replied, “O Omar! Save yourself from this state, wherein, outwardly you are the friend of Allah, yet, inwardly you are His enemy. Those whose inner self is not in concordance with their outer self are hypocrites and for them will be extreme punishment”.
Sayyiduna Abdul Wahid bin Yaazid (radi Allahu anhu) has expressed, “Sayyiduna Hasan Basri (radi Allahu anhu) has reached a lofty position in Tassawaf simply because whenever he advised any person to perform any action he firstly did so himself. Whenever he prohibited a person, he always firstly refrained himself. I have therefore, never seen a person whose inner self is precisely as his outer self”.
Sayyiduna Mu’awwiya bin Qurra (radi Allahu anhu) has stated, “Whenever I heard a person being praised, I had always found him less then his tribute, except for Sayyiduna Wakee’ah (radi Allahu anhu). I have always found him to be even more superior then his acclaim”.
Sayyiduna Abdullah Antaaki (radi Allahu anhu) states, “To refrain from internal sins is the most superior of acts”. When he was asked the reasons, he replied, “Simply because he who refrains from internal sins will have a better chance of refraining from external sins. Therefore, he whose internal self is better then his external self, this indeed is the Mercy of Allah. While he whose both selves are equal, this indeed is equality. He on the other hand he whose external self is better then his internal self, he indeed is an oppressor”.
It is because of this that the great Sufis hide their worship. They state that he who hides his worship will be made famous in the world and will become distinguished as a beloved slave of Allah.
The Holy Prophet (Sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “He who loves for the sake of Allah, and despises for the sake of Allah, he who gives up for the sake of Allah and refrains for the sake of Allah, has perfected his Imaan”.
It is said that the Almighty Allah sent revelation to Sayyiduna Moosa (alaihis assallam), querying whether he had done anything for the sake of Allah. The great Prophet replied, “O Allah, I have recited the Salaah for you, I have performed the Fast and given Charity, including many other deeds”. The Almighty proclaimed, “O Moosa! These actions were for you (for your benefit). Have you loved one of My friends, for My sake, and have you despised My enemy for My sake?”
Sayyiduna Hasan Basri (radi Allahu anhu) states, “If a person claims to love a certain person for the sake of Allah, yet does not consider it bad when that person transgresses the Laws of Allah, verily, he is a liar in his claim”.
Sayyiduna Maalik bin Dinaar (radi Allahu anhu) is reported to have always welcomed a dog which sat next to him. On further inquiry, he replied, “The dog is without doubt better then an evil person”.
Sayyiduna Ahmed bin Harb (radi Allahu anhu) has said, “To love those who are pious, to sit in their company and to practice upon their words and actions is one of the most advantageous actions for the heart. But to sit in the company of bad people, to witness their actions and not to think bad of their actions, is one of the most disadvantageous actions for the heart”.
It is recorded that Sayyiduna Esa (alaihis salaam) once advised his companions, “Scorn those who are disobedient and have no love for Allah. Refrain from their company, yet turn towards Allah. To think evil of the disobedient is to turn towards Allah”.
When his companions inquired as to which company they should adopt, he replied, “Sit in the company of those of whom when you see remind you of Allah, through whom your good deeds increases and through whom deeds for the betterment of the Hereafter are increased”.