The Final Words of Advice from Sayyiduna Ja’far as-Sadiq [d. 148 AH]

It has been narrated that Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ great-great-great grandson, Ja`far al-Sadiq ibn Muhammad al-Baqir ibn Zayn al-`Abidin ibn Husayn ibn Fatimah bint Muhammad ﷺ, was on his deathbed and some people from Kufa (a city in `Iraq) entered upon him. They pleaded him to tell them of someone they could go to after he passed away for learning about the Dīn. He then said,

“Stick to the opinions of the people of Medina for this city forces out its bad folk (and only good people remain) as the bellows expel the impurities from iron. And follow the path of those early Muslims who have already passed. Right now, I am the most knowledgeable of you and I follow (the way of the Prophet ﷺ) and do not engage in blameworthy innovations. After me, follow the opinions of the people of Hijaz. Follow the fortunate blessed helper of Islam, the one who clings to the path of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. I tested him and found him to be an excellent scholar of jurisprudence. He is not subject to his whims and desires… If you follow him, you will obtain your due portion of Islam. If you go against him, you will become misguided and ruined… He studied [under me for a period of time] and took from me what he needed… I have pointed you to a man who is trustworthy.”

The people said,
“(We are still not sure whom you mean.) Please clarify.”

Ja`far al-Sadiq answered,
“He is Malik ibn Anas. Follow the opinions of Malik (after me).”

[Ibn Rushd, Muqaddimah Vol 1, page 10]

The Counsel of Jesus [Part 1]

Imam Malik relates that Jesus, the Son of Mary—peace be upon him—said:

Do not speak much without remembering God, for in not doing so, your hearts will harden. Surely, a hard heart is far from God, and you are not even aware. Moreover, do not look at the sins of others as if you are masters, but rather look at your own sins as if you are servants. For, surely, humanity is of two types: those afflicted with sins and those who are not. So have mercy on those afflicted with sins, and praise God if you are free of them.

Az-Zurqani comments:

“Looking at our own sins as if we were servants” means to fear that our masters will come to know of the sins. Humanity is either sinful, and thus in tribulation, or sinless, and thus in an innocent state. Having mercy on those tribulated with sin means to pray for them (that their sins are removed), neither to examine their sins nor to expose them, and to counsel them with gentleness and kindness.