Al-A'mash: One Interesting Character
bu Sabaya - Taken from
One of the scholars who is most interesting to read about is the
Sulayman bin Mihran (died 148AH), also known as al-A'mash (one who has weak vision). al-A'mash had quite an interestingpersonality, as he was very pious and knowledgeable while also having a rough, sarcastic attitude that makes one smile constantly while reading through his
.Here are some of his funny incidents which have been collected from
'Siyar A'lam an-Nubala"
al-A'mash went out to some neighbourhood one day, and some people came up to him to ask himregarding
. His companions said to him: "Won't you narrate to these poor souls?" al-A'mashreplied: "Who would hang pearls on pigs?"
Some people came to al-A'mash one day, and he came out of his house to greet them, saying: "Wereit not for the fact that there were people in my house that I hate more than you, I wouldn't have comeout to see you." Abu Dawud al-Ha'ik asked him: "Abu Muhammad, what is your opinion on prayingbehind al-Ha'ik?" al-A'mash replied: "No problem, as long as one doesn't have
." He also asked:"What do you say about accepting his testimony?" al-A'mash replied: "Only if it is accompanied bytestimony from two trustworthy people."
The governor 'Isa bin Musa sent a notebook along with a thousand
s to al-A'mash for him towrite down
in it. So, al-A'mash wrote:“In the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful: Say:'He is Allah, One” and sent the book back to him. He sent to him, saying: "Do you think that I don't know any Qur'an?" al-A'mash sent back, saying: "Do you think that I sell
?" He kept the moneyfor himself.
'Abdullah bin Idris said to al-A'mash: "What prevents you from getting a haircut?" He replied: "Thecuppers talk too much." So, he said: "I will bring you to a cupper who will not say a word to you untilhe finishes cutting your hair." He brought him to Junayd, a cupper who was also a
. So,'Abdullah warned him not to talk to al-A'mash, and he agreed. However, when he had cut half of al-A'mash's hair, he said: "O Abu Muhammad, what is the status of the
of Habib bin Abi Thabit regarding menstruation?" So, al-A'mash got up, screamed, and ran away, sitting for a month with onlyhalf of his hair cut.
A knowledgeable man with a long beard came to al-A'mash and asked him a basic question about the prayer. So, al-A'mash turned to us and said: "Look at him! His beard could carry four thousand
, and he asks a question that the children in school would ask!"
It is said that al-A'mash had a son who was very slow, and he told him: "Go buy a rope for us tohang our clothes on." The boy asked: "How long do you want it to be, father?" He replied: "Ten cubitslong." The boy then asked: "How wide do you want it to be?" al-A'mash replied: "As wide as my badluck with you!"
Husayn bin Waqid was reciting Qur'an to al-A'mash, and asked him: "How do you like myrecitation?" al-A'mash replied: "Better than the recitation of any disbeliever."