On the recommendation to withdraw when things are corrupt or one fears a temptation in one's deen or falling into the unlawful and doubtful things

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

69. Chapter: On the recommendation to withdraw when things are corrupt or one fears a temptation in one's deen or falling into the unlawful and doubtful things

Allah Almighty says, "So flee to Allah. Truly I am a clear warner from Him to you." (51:50)

597. Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Allah loves a fearful, self-sufficient, inconspicuous slave." [Muslim]

598. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said, "A man said, 'Messenger of Allah, who is the best of people?' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'A believer who does jihad in the way of Allah with his self and his wealth.' They said, 'Then who?' He said, 'A man who withdraws into a mountain ravine and worships his Lord.'"

One version has, "Who is fearful of Allah and spares people from his evil." [Agreed upon]

599. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The time will soon come when the best property of a Muslim will be some sheep which he takes to the peaks of the mountains and to places where the rain falls, in order to flee out of the fear that his deen will be tempted." [al-Bukhari]

600. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah did not send any Prophet but that he herded sheep." His Companions said, "Including you?" He said, "Yes, I used to herd them for money (qirats) for the people of Makka." [al-Bukhari]

601. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "One of the best of livelihoods that people can have is that of a man who holds the reins of his horse in the way of Allah, hastening on its back, and whenever he hears the sound of war or alarm, he flies to it looking for either the killing or the death that he will find there, or that of a man among some sheep at the top of one of these mountains or in the bottom of one of these valleys who establishes the prayer and pays the zakat and worships Allah until certainty (death) comes to him. He does not involve himself with people except in a good way." [Muslim]