(Yunus bin ‘Ubaid [rahimahullah] – Part One)
Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) was a great ‘aalim and saint, who had the good fortune of meeting the illustrious Sahaabi, Sayyiduna Anas bin Maalik (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and narrating ahaadeeth from him. He studied under giants of knowledge and piety, the likes of Hasan Basri, Muhammad bin Seereen and ‘Ataa (rahimahumullah), whilst great luminaries, such as Shu’bah, Sufyaan Thauri and Hammaad bin Salamah (rahimahumullah), are among his students. (Al-Muntazam vol. 8, pg. 25 and Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 6, pgs. 288)
When he became ill, the great saint of the time, Ayyoob Sakhtiyaani (rahimahullah) sorrowfully exclaimed, “There is no good in life after you (have left this world).” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 2, pg. 301)
Yunus (rahimahullah) passed away in the year 139 A.H. Muhammad bin ‘Abdillah Ansaari (rahimahullah) relates that he had seen the grandchildren of the great Sahaabi, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), carrying the bier of Yunus (rahimahullah) on their shoulders. Seeing this, one of them exclaimed, “By Allah, this is (true) honour!” (Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 6, pg. 295)
After he had passed on, Asma‘ee (rahimahullah) saw one of the companions of Yunus (rahimahullah), who had also passed away, in a dream. He asked him, “From where are you coming?” The man replied that he had come from the company of Yunus At-Tabeeb – the (spiritual) doctor. When Asma‘ee (rahimahullah) asked him who this person was, he replied, “The jurist, the intelligent one.” Asma‘ee (rahimahullah) further asked, “(Is he Yunus) the son of ‘Ubaid?” The man replied in the affirmative. Hearing this, Asma‘ee (rahimahullah) enquired from him as to where Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) was. He replied that he is in gardens of purple flower trees, living happily with the damsels of Jannah, because of the consciousness of Allah Ta‘ala that he possessed. (Al-Manaamaat – Ibnu Abid Dunya #193)
Despite being such a great and illustrious person, Yunus (rahimahullah) was extremely humble. He was not beguiled by his fame in any way, but was rather constantly concerned about himself. He would say, “I can count one hundred such good qualities which not (even) one of them are found in me.” This concern was such that he would regularly make istighfaar (seek forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala), even when delivering the lessons of hadeeth. Moreover, at the time of his death he glanced at his feet and began crying. When he was asked the reason for this, he replied, “(I am crying because) my legs have not become dusty in the path of Allah.” (Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 6, pg. 289 & 291)
A man once came to Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) complaining of difficulty in his livelihood and how this has resulted in him falling into depression. Yunus (rahimahullah) asked him, “Would you like to exchange your eyes, with which you see, for one hundred thousand dirhams (silver coins)?” The man replied, “No.” Yunus (rahimahullah) then asked him, “Would you like to exchange your hands for one hundred thousand?” The man replied, “No.” Yunus (rahimahullah) then asked, “Would you like to exchange your legs?” The man again replied in the negative. In this manner, Yunus (rahimahullah) reminded him of other favours and bounties that he was enjoying from Allah Ta‘ala. Thereafter, he said to him, “I see you enjoying bounties that are worth hundreds of thousands of dirhams, yet you are complaining of poverty!” (Ash-Shukr – Ibnu Abid Dunya #101)
1. No matter how great a person may become, and no matter how many good deeds and attributes he has to his name, he should never allow this to deceive him and cause him to become proud and complacent. Rather he must always be humble and thankful to Allah Ta‘ala for the good that he does, for indeed it is only Allah Ta‘ala Who allowed him to carry out those actions. Furthermore, he should constantly cry over his sins and focus on rectifying any weaknesses within him.
2. Being afflicted by problems and difficulties is an inevitable phenomenon of life. Hence, while we do accept that we may be going through a problem, we should not forget the countless other bounties that Allah Ta‘ala is constantly showering upon us. By adopting this mindset, a person will not become overwhelmed by the problem and will see the brighter side of things instead of becoming depressed by the situation.