Biography of Imam Sufyan Ibn 'Uyaynah [Died 198 AH]
This is the biography of the notable Imam, Sufyaan ibn 'Uyaynah, may Allah have mercy on him, who linked the generation of the Tabi'in with that of the followers of Atba' al-Atba (the second generation after the Sahabah). He was the rare and unique scholar of his age, and he was a torch for the Sunnah and a proof upon the Ummah, may Allah Have mercy upon him.
This is a series of biographies of some scholars and some Muhaddiththeen of this Ummah which Allah has endowed with glory and. sublimity till the Day of Judgement. We will focus on private and public aspects of the lives of these scholars, such as their characteristics, manners, etiquettes, knowledge, religiosity and worship. How dire our need to these qualities in this age is! For, there is no way by which this Ummah can reclaim its lost glory and strength except by adopting those qualities that were the characteristics of our predecessors, and to revive what has become extinct of these attributes.
Stories of the lives of these scholars have, for sometime now, become unknown to many Muslims, let alone non-Muslims. This led to the extinction of the light by which the confused find guidance. This light is waiting to be rekindled so that the path [to success in this world and the Hereafter] might continue to be illuminated. People are now fed up with mere talks. They now want to see the reality of this religion, as was the case during the time of those scholars and other Muslims who followed them.
Living the reality of this religion was an integral part of the lives of these outstanding scholars. Their breathings and movements were all for Allah. When they spoke they did so for the sake of Allah and when they kept silent, it was also for the sake of His pleasure.
They illuminated the world with their religiosity, knowledge, worships and deeds. If you look at their conducts and manners, you would say: 'These are conducts and manners of the Prophets.' If you read about their business transactions and their dealings with people, you would see a practical interpretation of the Qur'an, and the reality of the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him.
Therefore, remembering these people softens the hearts and stirs up idle limbs into action for the sake of Allah. This will perhaps make you join the group of the righteous.
Whenever a quality of one of the righteous people was mentioned in the presence of Makhlad ibn al-Husayn he would say: "Do not make any mention of us while you speak about them; for a healthy person who walks is not like the infirm one who must sit."