Salaf on Fatwa: Hesitancy in legal verdicts unless necessary

Al-Mu’afa ibn ‘Imran reported: Sufyan al-Thawri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “I met the jurists and they disliked to answer a question or a request for a legal verdict. They would not issue a legal verdict unless no one else could be found, then they would give their judgment.”

Source: Akhlāq al-ʻUlamāʼ lil-Ajurrī 1/102

عن الْمُعَافى بْن عِمْرَان عَنْ سُفْيَانَ رحمه الله قَالَ أَدْرَكْتُ الْفُقَهَاءَ وَهُمْ يَكْرَهُونَ أَنْ يُجِيبُوا فِي الْمَسَائِلِ وَالْفُتْيَا وَلَا يُفْتُونَ حَتَّى لَا يَجِدُوا بُدًّا مِنْ أَنْ يُفْتُوا

1/102 أخلاق العلماء للآجري كتاب أخلاق العالم الجاهل المفتتن بعلمه