I've come across some great words from Imam Shafi'i and thought I'd share some.
Feel free to add quotes/stories
All humans are dead except those who have knowledge;
and all those who have knowledge are asleep,
except those who do good deeds;
and those who do good deeds are decieved ,
except those who are sincere;
and those who are sincere are always in a state of worry.
Whosoever loves that All‚h should open-up his heart for him and grant light to him, then let him abandon speech about that, which does not concern him, and abandon sins and turn away from acts of disobedience. Then there will be between him and All‚h a hidden treasure of good actions. So if this is done, then All‚h will open up such knowledge for him that will pre*occupy him. And indeed in death is the greatest pre-occupation.
Truly the Faqih is a Faqih because of his actions
Not because of his articulated speech or saying
And likewise a leader is a leader because of his nature
Not because of his nation or his men
And likewise a rich man is a rich man due to his state
And not due to his possessions or wealth.
When my heart was hardened, and my courses constrained; I made my hope a stairway, to Your forgiveness. My sin burdened me heavily,but when I measured it by Your forgiveness, Lord, Your forgiveness was the greater.
(in his final sickness)
Let not your tongue mention the shame of another
For you yourself are covered in shame and all men have tongues.
If your eye falls upon the sins of your brother
Shield them and say: “O my eye! All men have eyes!”
If you fear becoming deluded and impressed by your deeds then remember whose pleasure you are seeking, and the joy (Paradise) in which you want to be, and what punishment you fear. Whoever thinks about these things will diminish his deeds.
Never do I debate a man with a desire to hear him err in his speech, or to expose the flaws in his argument, and thus vanquish him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently supplicate, ‘O Lord, help him so that truth may manifest itself in his heart and on his tongue. If it be that the truth is on my side, may he follow me; and if the truth be on his side, may I follow him.
The foolish one addresses me with words of disgrace, but I hate to respond to him in a similar manner. The more ignorant he proves, the more patient I become. Just like the incense; the more it's burnt, the more it releases its fragrance.