A MAN said to Al-Hasan Al-Basri: “People sit around you so they may find fault with you!” So he replied, “Indeed, I encouraged my soul to aspire for Paradise, so it aspired for it. Then I encouraged it to aspire for protection from Hellfire, so it aspired for it. Then I encouraged it to aspire for redemption from the people, but I didn’t find a way to that. Indeed people were not pleased with their Creator though He provides for them, so how can they be pleased with another creation like themselves?” (Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya, 9/318)

Malik Bin Dinar said: “Since I have known (the reality of) people, I have not taken delight in their praise nor have I hated their criticism.” It was said to him, “Why is that?” He said, “The one who praises from amongst them is excessive and the critic from amongst them exaggerates!” (Tarikh Dimishq, 59/307)

Ayesha wrote to Mu’awiya (may Allah be pleased with them): “I have heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, ‘Whoever gains the Pleasure of Allah by the anger of the people (i.e. thereby gains their anger), Allah suffices him against the people’s troubles. And whoever gains the pleasure of the people by the Anger of Allah (i.e. in the process he gains His Anger), then Allah leaves him to the people.” (Al-Tirmidhi, no. 2414, authenticated by Al-Albani)

Imam Al-Shafi’i said: “There is nobody except that he has someone who loves him and someone who hates him. So if that’s the case, let a person be with the people who are obedient to Allah! (as they love and hate for the sake of Allah and they are not unjust)” (Hilyat Al-Awliya, 9/124)