Balancing Deen and Dunya: Imam al-Dhahabi
Imam al-Dhahabi under the biographical entry for the noble companion Abu al-Darda (Allah be pleased with him) said:
Amash narrates from Khaithamah that: Abu al-Darda said: I was a trader before the sending (of the Prophet, Allah bless Him and give Him peace). When Islam came I combined between trading and worship, however they did not combine together, so I left trading and engaged in worship.
Imam al-Dhahabi commented on this saying:
What is superior is to combine between both matters along with jihad. That which he (Abu al-Darda) said is the way of a group of the early muslims (salaf) and the Sufi’s. There is no doubt that the nature/disposition of people differ in regards to this. Some of them are capable of combining (between both), such as al-Siddiq, Abd al-Rahman bin Awf and as was Ibn al-Mubarak. And some of them are unable to, and limit themselves to worship. Some are able to in the beginning but then can no longer do so, and likewise the opposite. All of this is allowed, however it is necessary that the rights of the wife and family are fulfilled.