Khâlid b. ‘Umayr Al-’Adawî reports, ‘Utbah b. Ghazwân – Allâh be pleased with him – once gave us a sermon. He praised Allâh, then said:
The life of this world has announced its departure and is quickly turning away, and nothing remains of it save the likes of the last drop of water in a vessel as its possessor tries to catch it. You are moving on to an abode that has no end, so move on with the best [deeds] that you have. For it has been said to us that a rock can be dropped from the edge of Hell and fall for seventy years without reaching the bottom. Yet, by Allâh, it will be filled. Do you not then wonder? And it has been said to us that a single entrance to Paradise is as wide as a journey of forty years, yet there will come a day when it will be crowded.
I have seen myself as the seventh of seven [followers of] Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him; we had no food save the leaves of trees which put sores round our mouths. I once got a cloak which I tore in half to share with Sa’d b. Mâlik: I used half as my waist-wrap and he used the other. And yet today, there is not one of us except he has become a governor over some city – and I seek refuge with Allâh that I consider myself great and important when I am small in front of Allâh. Verily there was never prophet-hood except that it gradually changed until it ended up being a kingship, and verily you will see what the governors after us are like.
Sahîh Muslim no. 7624
It is reported that ‘Alî b. Abî Tâlib – Allâh be pleased with him – said:
Goodness is not in your wealth and offspring being plentiful; true goodness is when your [good] deeds are plenty and you have great understanding and forbearance, and when you compete to worship your Lord. If you do good you praise Allâh and thank Him, and if you sin you beg Allâh’s forgiveness. There is no good in this life except with two types of men: A man who sins but then corrects himself through repentance, and a man who strives and hastens to get [the good] of the hereafter.
Ibn ‘Asâkir, Al-Tawbah article 13.