The Advice of Sufyân ath-Thawrî.
The advice of Sufyân ath-Thawrî , May we have the ability to understand and follow this great advice. Aameen Thuma Aameen,
Sufyân ath-Thawrî wrote to ’Abbâd ibn ’Abbâd al-Khawwâs al-Arsûfî saying:
“To proceed: You are in a time which the Companions of Rasulullah (SAW) used to seek refuge from reaching, and they had the knowledge that we do not have, and they had precedence which we do no. So how is it for us, when we reach that, having little knowledge, little patience, few helpers upon what is good, corruption of the people and pollution of this world?!
So take to the original state of affairs and cling to it. I advise you to remain unknown, since this is the age for remaining anonymous (khumûl). And remain aloof and mix little with the people, since before, when the people met, they would benefit from each other. But today that has gone and your safety – in our view – lies in abandoning them.
Beware of the Rulers. Beware of coming near to them and of mixing with them in any of the affairs. Beware of being deceived, so that it is said to you: Intercede [for me], so that you help one oppressed, or repel an act of oppression – because that is from the deception of Iblîs, which the wicked reciters have taken as a means to attain a favourable position. It used to be said: Beware of the trial of the ignorant worshipper and the wicked scholar, because the trial of these two is indeed a trial for everyone put to trial.
If you find questions and need for fatwâ, then take advantage of it – but do not compete desirously for it. And beware of being like the one who loves that his saying is acted upon, or that his saying is publicised or listened to, and if that is abandoned, the effects of that are seen upon him.
And beware of the love of leadership, since leadership may be more beloved to a man than gold and silver- but it is something difficult and obscure; and this will not be understood except by wise Scholars. So seek after your lost soul and work with correct intention and know that there has come near to the people a matter which a person would be desirous of death.”