Sufyan al-Thawri R: On Subsistence…
Sufyan al-Thawri R said, “Live moderately. Beware of imitating arrogant people. And in your food, drink, clothing, and means of conveyance, seek out that which is not specifically purchased by profligate and extravagant spenders. And when you seek out advice, let the people you go for advice be the people of piety – people who fear Allah (the Possessor of might and majesty) and who are trustworthy.”
Sufyan said, “In our view, a person does not have an understanding of the religion until he thinks of a hardship as a blessing, and comfort and luxury as being a hardship.”
Sufyan said, “Zuhd (abstinence from the dunya) means not having long-term hopes for this world, and it does not mean eating coarse food and wearing a tattered robe.”
A man said to Sufyan, “Advise me.” Sufyan said, “Work for this world in proportion to the time you will stay in it. And work for the Hereafter in proportion to the time you will stay in it (for eternity)- and peace (be upon you).”
Sufyan said, “If you want to know the true value of this world, look at the value (and character) of those people who have it (i.e., of those people who are rich and prosperous).”
When Sufyan was asked whether or not a person in debt should eat meat, he replied, “No,” meaning that having a debt can be great burden upon a person in the Hereafter and that a person in debt should therefore forsake certain life’s luxuries so that he can repay his debt.
Source: The Biography of Sufya al-Thawri, Compiled by Salahuddin Ibn Ali ibn Abdul Mawjood.