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Chapter 12.3. About Sufyan Al-Thawri

Sufyan al-Thawri was more austere in his dress than Hasan [al-Basri]. One who did not know him would think he was a beggar upon seeing him. Despite the depth of his scrupulousness, if he found some lawful food he would eat heartily from it. If he found nothing lawful to eat, he would swallow sand. He might go three days without eating anything despite people offering him abundant wealth. If he became satiated from lawful food he would increase his worship. He was the most otherworldly of people in his time, his gatherings were stripped of any worldly pretensions. No one was more humble than the sultans, kings, and wealthy in his gatherings; and no one more dignified than the poor and indigent. He was overwhelmed by the fear of Allah's wrath. When he was afflicted with the disease that would eventually kill him, his urine was carried to a doctor who said, "There is no cure for this disease. Sadness and fear have shattered his liver."

lt is said that there was no one in his era more fearful of Allah than him, and no one more awestruck before Allah. When he died, one of the scholars said, "O people of extravagance, consume the world at the expense of your religion. Sufyan has died." He meant by this that no one remained who inspired shyness and restraint.