Shaykh Muhammad al Ameen ash Shanqeeti rahimahullaah said:
“Indeed I came from my land – Mauritania – and I have with me a treasure which is hardly found at all with anyone. And it is qanaa’ah (contentment).
And had I wanted high rank, I would have known the path to achieve it. But I do not give preference to this worldly life over the Hereafter. And I do not sacrifice knowledge in order to attain worldly goals.”
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments on this statement:
The statement from Shaykh ash Shanqeeti, and the like of him from the people of knowledge, was not intended by them to be a declaration of commendation for themselves.
They only intended by this (statement) to benefit the creation, such that the people would imitate them and that they would be upon this path (of theirs) – because we know this from their condition – meaning the condition of the scholars – and because they did not intend to commend themselves. And they were the people furthest from that.
And he (Shaykh ash Shanqeeti) rahimahullaah, as was mentioned by Shaykh Bakr, was from the people of zuhd. If you were to see him then you would not say anything other than he was from the people of the desert, such that you would find upon him an ordinary cloak, which did not accord with fashion; and likewise the clothes (of his).
And you would not find him giving great attention to his own smartness and that of his clothes – may Allaah have mercy upon him.
(Sharh hilyah taalib il ‘ilm p32 of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)