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The Life and works of Imam Jabir bin Zayd - Piety

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With regard to his way of life, Jabir led a pious and ascetic existence. He once said, "I asked of my God three things which He granted me; a good wife, a good riding camel and my daily bread upon which to live from day to day." Speaking about his wealth, Jabir told his companions, "I am the richest of all of you; I possess no dirham, nor do I owe any one a dirham." al-Hajjaj b. 'Uyaynah said, "Jabir b. Zaid used to visit us in our mosque; one day he came wearing an old pair of shoes and said, "Sixty years of my life have passed; these shoes of mine I like more than any other thing which is past, unless it be good work I have done." Muhammad b. Sirin said, "Abu al-Sha'tha' was pious. Simplicity and piety are the main attributes of Jabir's life.

Jabir was well-known for never bargaining in three things: the cost of travelling to Makkah, the price of a slave that he bought in order to set free, and a sheep bought for sacrificial slaughter. He used to say: 'One does not bargain over something through which he seeks closeness to God Almighty. Whenever a stuq came into his possession, he would break it and throw it away, so that no Muslim would be tempted to use it: a stuq is a counterfeit dirham.

His heart was filled with faith in God, sincere calls to God's religion were always on his lips and his limbs constantly performed the good deeds that please God. Hind bt. al-Muhallab said, 'Jabir b. Zayd more than anyone used to give much of his time to myself and my mother. Anything that he knew would bring me closer to God, may He be exalted and glorified, he would command me to do, and anything" which he knew would make me distant from God, he would forbid me to do; he also used to tell me where to wear the veil'. She used to place her hand on her forehead, indicating the place for the veil on a Muslim woman's face.

He was more intelligent than to be deceived by the temptations of bid'ah (heresy), whether manifest or hidden. He was more tearful of God than to keep quiet about an evil act when he saw it. He was more courageous than to comply with the actions of oppressors or be satisfied with the conduct of tyrants. He was more concerned with fulfilling Islam's message than to weary of the duties of teaching in every place

He once noticed one of the chamberlains performing prayers on top of the Ka'bah. So he shouted out to him: 'You, praying on top of the Ka'bah! You are not facing any qiblah!' ibn Abbas heard him from another part of the mosque and said: 'Jabir b. Zaid is somewhere in town. That is him speaking.' This gifted teacher knew which of his students had a sound mind, a spark of talent and a keen eye, as well as being concerned for the affairs of Muslims and working to better guide them and direct them to the nobler path.

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