Instead of Becoming a Hermit…

Wuhaib ibn Al-Ward said, “I told Wahb ibn Munabbih, ‘I want to go into solitude away from people.’ “He said:

You can’t escape people, nor people escape you. You have needs [to be taken care of] by them, and they have needs [to be taken care of] by you.

But be among them [as] one who is deaf [at times and at times] listening, blind [at times and at times] seeing, silent [at times and at times] speaking.

Al-Khaṭṭāb reported it in Al-ʿUzlah, p. 98, and Abū Nuʿaim in Al-Ḥilyah, vol. 8, p. 144. Also see Al-Siyar, vol. 4, p. 550.

Translated by Mikail ibn Mahboob Ariff