By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org
Ibn Sa‘d reports on the authority of Muhammad ibn Umar al-Waqidi that Imam Malik said:
When Abu Ja’far (Caliph Al-Mansur, d. 158H/775CE) performed Hajj, he called me. I went to see him and we talked. He asked questions and I replied. Then he said, “I have resolved to have several copies made of these books that you have composed. I will send one copy each to every Muslim city. I shall order the people to abide by its contents exclusively. I will make them set aside everything else than this new knowledge, because I find true knowledge in the tradition of Medina.” I said:
يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لا تَفْعَلْ فَإِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ سَبَقَتْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَقَاوِيلُ وَسَمِعُوا أَحَادِيثَ وَرَوَوْا رِوَايَاتٍ وَأَخَذَ كُلُّ قَوْمٍ بِمَا سَبَقَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَعَمِلُوا بِهِ وَدَانُوا بِهِ مِنَ اخْتِلافِ النَّاسِ أَصْحَابَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَغَيْرَهُمْ ، وَإِنَّ رَدَّهُمْ عَمَّا اعْتَقَدُوهُ شَدِيدٌ فَدَعِ النَّاسَ وَمَا هُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا اخْتَارَ كُلُّ أَهْلِ بَلَدٍ لأَنْفُسِهِمْ
O commander of the faithful! Do not do that, because the people have received various reports, heard several statements, and transmitted these accounts. Each community is acting upon the information they have received. They are practicing and dealing with others in their mutual differences accordingly. Dissuading the people from what they are practicing would put them to hardship. Leave the people alone with their practices. Let the people in each city choose for them what they prefer.
Mansur said, “Upon my life! Had you complied with my wishes I would have ordered so.”
[Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Ibn Sa’d 1/441]
Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.
Category: Wisdom الحكمة