‘Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.’ [Surat Hud, 11:15-16]
It is reported that ‘Umar b. ‘Abd Al-‘Azîz once wrote to Al-Hasan Al-Basrî to get a brief exhortation from him, so Al-Hasan wrote back , “The dunyâ distracts and preoccupies the heart and body, but al-zuhd (asceticism, not giving importance to worldly things) gives rest to the heart and body. Verily, Allâh will ask us about the halâl things we enjoyed, so what about the harâm?” [Al-Bayhaqî, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabîr, article 26;Taken from: Sayings of the Salaf]
‘Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delights(you indulged in, in this world)!’
[Surat at-Takathur, 102:8]
Zuhd of ‘Umar ibn Khattab (رضي الله عنه)
It was narrated that Abu al-Ashhab said:
‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) passed by a garbage dump and stopped there, and it was as if his companions were bothered by it (the smell). He said, “This is the world of yours which you are so eager for and you weep over.”
[Az zuhd by Imam Ahmad]
‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) delivered a speech to the people when he was the caliph, wearing an izar on which there were 12 patches. [Az Zuhd by Imam Ahmad]
‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) circumambulated the House of Allah wearing an izar on which there were 12 patches, one of which was made of red leather. [At tabaqat al kubra, saheeh]
‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah said:
I set out for Hajj with ‘Umar ibn Khattab (رضي الله عنه) from Madinah to Makkah and back again and no tent was set up for him. He used to put a cloak or a mat on a tree and shade himself beneath it.”
[At tabaqat al kubra, saheeh]
One day Mother of the Believers Hafsah bint ‘Umar (رضي الله عنها) entered his (‘Umar’s (رضي الله عنه)) place and saw that he was living a harsh and ascetic life.
Allah has bestowed a lot of good things upon us, and has granted you ample provisions. Why do you not eat food better than this and wear finer clothes than this?
You tell whether this is right or wrong.
And he mentioned Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) of Allah and the hard life he had lived, and he kept reminding her of how the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) of Allah had lived when she was with him, until he made her weep. Then he said:
I had two companions who followed a certain path, and if I follow a hard path, perhaps I will join them in their life of luxury (in paradise).
[Az Zuhd by Imam Ahmad]
Anas Ibn Malik (رضي الله عنه) said:
I heard ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) say one day, when I had gone out with him to a garden and there was a wall between me and him, and he was inside the garden,
” ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab (رضي الله عنه), the Amirul Muminin. Well done! By Allah, O little son of Al Khattab, you should fear Allah or else He will punish you.’
[Muwatta Malik, sahih]
Source: The Lives of the Companions