It is reported that Imam Malik said, “I heard Rabi’a bin ‘Abdir-Rahman say, ‘The people under the care of their scholars are like children in the laps of their fathers.’” [Ibn Batta, al-Ibana al-Kubra, vol. 1 p44]
Before Malik and Abu Hanifa’s encounter, Imam Malik used to say, “Beware of the people of opinion.” Abu Hanifa’s school was called the “school of opinion.” Before their meeting, there was a lot of talk and exchange of letters but they only met during the rituals of the Hajj.
Imam al-Dhahabi (rahimahullah) described Imam Malik ibn Anas (rahimahullah) in his encyclopedia of biographical history: Imam Malik was tall, muscular and blonde. He had a large light beard and did not trim his moustache short. Green eyes. Clean clothes. [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, p. 8/48]