Hasan al-Basri

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Quotes & Sayings

1. The friends of God (awliya) are those who renounce this world and attain true knowledge of God.
2. The wise man is he who considers this world as nothing and with this consideration he seeks the next world and does not regard the next world anything seeking His proximity.
3. One who knows God considers Him to be his friend and he who recognizes this world considers Him to be his enemy.
4. Patience is of two sort; firstly, patience in misfortune and affliction, and secondly patience to refrain from the things which God has commanded us to renounce and has forbidden us to pursue.
5. A grain of genuine piety is better than a thousand fold weight of fasting and prayer.
6. Meditation on God is the most essential quality of the lover of God since he recognises his Pure Self and becomes conscious of his moral attainments during his concentration on the Attributes of God. Meditation is the mirror which reveals you your virtues and vices.
7. How excellent is he who takes no thought of his own interest so that his patience is for God's sake not for the saving of himself from Hell; and his asceticism is for God's sake, not for the purpose of bringing himself into Paradise. This is the mark of true sincerity.
8. He who has attained contentment requires nothing; he who has sought retirement from the world found peace; he who has trodden his passion and lust under foot got freedom; he who has rid himself of jealousy attained friendship and he who has lived with patience for a little while, gained an eternal abode.
9. Humility is constant fear accompanying the heart.
10. Renunciation of the world is that you loathe its devotees and all its contains.
11. Seek sweetness in three things; prayer; making remembrance of God, and reciting the Holy Quran.
12. You must beautify your character i.e., cultivate moral character.
13. Learning religion, moderation in the world, and knowledge of what constitutes your duty toward God Most High.
14. A sheep is more aware than a human being, for it responds to the warning of the shepherd, but ignorant is man who disobeys the commands of the Lord and follows the behests of the devil (his lower mind).
15. Evil company degenerates the seeker.
16. Accumulating wealth is worse than drinking wine which is prohibited by the scriptures.
17. He who takes to solitude finds safety in it. And he who disowns allegiance to his carnal soul is set free.
18. He is wise who digs out the foundation of the world and builds instead the castle of other worldliness (eternity) on it.
19. Whosoever recognizes God, considers the world as his enemy and he who loves the world turns enemy of God.
20. He who gives up his spiritual practices to play the philanthropy in the world, trying to mould its evil ways, is ruined.
21. Whosoever loves silver and gold is humiliated by the Lord and he who considers himself the leader of the community is misled and belittled.
22. The Lord in the Quran says, "I shall forgive thee all thy transgressions if ye shall cast thy glances on none besides Me."


23. Sell this present world of yours for the next world and you will gain both in entirety, but do not sell the next world for this world, for so shall you lose the two together. Act towards this world as if it were not, and towards the world to come as if it would never cease to be. He is a wise man who regards this world as nothing, and so regarding it, seeks the other world, instead of setting at nought the other world and seeking this. Whoso knows God regards Him as a friend and whoso knows this world regards Him as an enemy.
24. He who is content, needing nothing, and who has sought solitude, apart from mankind, will find peace: he who has trodden his carnal desires underfoot, will find freedom : he who has rid himself of envy will find friendship, and he who has patience for a little while will find himself prepared for Eternity.
25. God has said: " When My servant becomes altogether occupied with Me, then I make his happiness consist in the remembrance of Myself, and when I have made his happiness and his delight consist in that remembrance, he desires Me and I desire him, and when he desires Me and I desire him, I raise the veils between Me and him and I become manifest before his eyes. These do not forget Me, when others forget."



  1. The Book of Sufi Chivalry (Kitab al-Futuwwah) by Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami
  2. Readings from the Mystics of Islam - Margaret Smith
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