‘I am eighty years old yet what I fear most are women’ - Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab

He was Abu Muhammad Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab Al-Makhzoomee, a devout and contented slave. His name Sa’îd [bliss] made him blissful with acts of obedience to Allâh while he was very far away from sins and ignorant dispositions.

Bakr bn Khunais [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] said: I said to Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab when I saw some people engrossed in Salâh and other acts of worship: O Abu Muhammad, won’t you join these people in worship? He said: ‘O nephew; that is not worship.’ ‘What then is worship?’ I asked. He replied: ‘Pondering over the commands of Allâh and abstaining from what He has prohibited as well as carrying out His obligations.’

‘AbdurRahmân bn Har’malah [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] reported from Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] that he said: ‘Whoever guards over the Five Daily Prayers in congregation has filled the earth and seas with worship.’

Ibn Har’malah [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] also reported that he said: ‘I have never missed a Salâh in congregation since forty years ago.’

In the report of ‘Uthmân bn Hakeem [may Allâh bestow mercy on him], he said, I heard Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] say: ‘Since thirty years ago, the Muadhin would not make call for Salâh except that I was in the Masjid.’

In another report he said: ‘I had never missed the Opening Takbeerah since fifty years ago while I never looked at the skull of any man observing Salâh since fifty years ago.’

Khâlid bn Dâwud [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] said he asked Sa’îd Al-Musayyab [may Allâh bestow mercy on him]: What breaks the Salâh? He replied: ‘Transgressions; but fear of Allâh screens them.’

Ibn Har’malah [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] also reported about him: ‘I performed forty hajj.’

He also reported from him that it happened one night that Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab went out for Ishaa Prayer while it was raining and everywhere was marshy and dark, so ‘AbdurRahmân bn ‘Amr bn Sahl [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] with his slave boy met him on the way [back home]. The former had a lamp with them. When ‘AbdurRahmân got to his house while Sa’îd’s house was farther, he turned to enter his compound but asked his slave boy to keep on leading Sa’îd with the lamp. Sa’îd however refused and said: ‘I don’t need your light; Allâh is better than your light.’

It was said to him: Why hasn’t Al-Hajjaaj [bn Yûsuf] sent for you or hurt you in any way? He replied: ‘By Allâh I don’t know except that he observed the Salâh one day beside his father and was shortcoming in its rukoo’ and sujood so I took some pebbles and threw them at him. Thereafter Al-Hajjaaj began to say: I have never cease to pray well. ’

Yahyâ bn Sa’îd [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] reported: We went visiting Sa’îd while he was sick. Nâfi’ bn Jubayr was with us. His slave wife said: He has not eaten since three days ago, so tell him to eat. Nâfi’ bn Jubayr then said: ‘You are still on earth so you have to carry out what will better your lot there, so eat something.’ Sa’îd replied: How will someone in this kind of condition eat? A body either to hell or Jannah. Nâfi’ then said: ‘Supplicate to Allâh for recovery, you have always been hurting Shaytan with your sittings.’ He said: ‘Allâh the Mighty has rather removed me from your midst safely.’

A gift of money close to thirty thousand [dinar] was made to Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab. He reacted thus: ‘I have no need of it or the children of Ma’rwaan until I shall meet Allâh who will judge between me and them.’

‘Alee bn Zayd [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] reported from Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab that he said: ‘I am eighty years old yet what I fear most are women.’

In another report, his sight had gone when he was eighty years old.

‘Alee bn Zayd [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] also reported from him: ‘Shaytan would never lose hope of getting at someone until he seduces him with women.’

‘Ubaydullaah bn ‘AbdurRahmân [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] narrated that he heard Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab saying: ‘Allâh’s Hand is upon His slaves. Whoever raises himself Allâh will let him down and whoever belittles himself Allâh will raise him. People are under the protection of Allâh carrying out their deeds. Whenever Allâh wants to expose a slave, He will remove him from His protection and the people will begin to see his faults.’

Ibn Har’malah [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] reported: ‘I never heard Sa’îd abusing any of the foremost scholars except when he said: ‘May Allâh curse so-and-so he was the first to change the Messenger of Allâh’s decree that goes thus: ‘The owner of the bedding owns the child while the stone is for the adulterous man.’’’

Al-Muttalib bn Hantab [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] entered upon Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab reclining while he was sick, then he asked him about a hadith. He said: ‘Make me sit well.’ They sat him well. Then he said: ‘I hate that I narrate a hadith of the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] while reclining.’

[He would therefore not teach the Qur’ân while lying on his back as some teething youths do today.]

Sufyân bn ‘Uyaynah [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] said that Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab said: ‘This world is worthless and it turns to every worthless person. The most worthless of the people is he who hankers after it world illegally and desires it undeservedly and places it in a wrong point.’

Ath-Thaurî [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] reported from Yahyâ bn Sa’îd [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] that Sa’îd bn Al-Musayyab [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] left a hundred dinar behind and said: ‘I used it to guard my Deen and dignity.’

He once said: ‘Whoever seeks sufficiency with Allâh; all the people will need him.’

Adapted from Hilyah Al-Auliyaa vol.1 pp.279-286

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