Al-Hasan ibn Abi al-Hasan Yasar Abu Sa`id al-Basri (death. 110 A.H), al-Faqih, the great Imam of Basra, leader of the ascetics and scholars of his time. The son of a freedwoman of Umm Salama's (the Prophet's -- Allah bless and greet him -- wife) and a freedman of Zayd ibn Thabit's (the Prophet's -- Allah bless and greet him -- stepson). Umm Salama nursed him. His mother took him as a child to `Umar who supplicated for him with the words: "O Allah! Make him wise in the Religion and beloved to people." As a man he became known for his strict and encompassing embodiment of the Sunna of the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him --, famous for his immense knowledge, austerity and asceticism, fearless remonstrances of the authorities, and power of attraction both in discourse and appearance. One of the early formal Sufis in both the general and the literal sense, he wore all his life a cloak of wool.

Al-Hasan is one of the great hadith masters and narrators of the Tabi`in. It was on the basis of al-Hasan and his students' fame as Sufis that Ibn Taymiyya stated: "Tasawwuf's place of origin is Basra" in his essay al-Sufiyya wa al-Fuqara'. By the Prophet's -- Allah bless and greet him -- hadith: "The likeness of my Companions is like salt in food. Food is not good without it."

One of the most remarkable hadiths al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih is from al-Hasan al-Basri, from Anas, from the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- who related that after Allah allows him to intercede for the dwellers of the Fire, Allah shall say: "By My Power, by My Majesty, by My Supremacy, and by My Greatness! I shall take out of the fire whoever said: la ilaha illallah."

A group of women went out on the day of `Eid and went about looking at people. They were asked: "Who is the most handsome person you have seen today?" They replied: "It is a shaykh wearing a black turban." They meant al-Hasan al-Basri.