The Ruling On Isolating Oneself
Ibn Al-Jawzee said:
“Mingle with others in a good way but at the same time be strictly isolated because isolation safeguards you from having to deal with bad people and preserves your dignity….
Practice isolation for it is the basis of all good, and beware of bad companionship, and let the books and reading about the lives of our predecessors be your companions.”
[“Sincere Counsel To Students Of Sacred Knowledge” by Ibn Al-Jawzee, p.67 & 84]
A scholar was once asked:
“What do you say about the isolation of an ignorant person?”
And he replied:
Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee said:
“The ideal here is that a person does not neglect any duties he may have towards others even if they do not ask him to perform them, and that he does not get involved in falsehood that is not binding on him even if they invite him.
Indeed, whoever gets occupied with what does not concern him will miss out on what does concern him, and whoever gets busy with falsehood will become apathetic with the truth. So be with the people in good and stay away form their evil, and aim to be a witness who is like he wasn’t there ad a learned man who is like an ignoramus (1).” [Isolation, p.117-118]
(1) Al-Hasan Al-Basree said, “If a man sits amongst people, and they perceive him to be ignorant, when in fact he is not ignorant, then this is truly the Muslim who possesses understanding (of the religion).” [An-Nisaa’ee, book of knowledge, #20]