This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)
* The believer remains in fear until his innermost being is granted the book of safety. He conceals it from his heart and never reveals it to it. This happens to a few individuals only.
* The pious are those who are pious to Allah (mighty and glorified is He) in their public and private lives and watch Him under all circumstances. Their hearts shiver in fear of Him by night and day. They are afraid that tribulations might attack them during the night and cut them off from Him and, with them failing to be patient, they would turn to disbelief. They are afraid that the Angel of Death (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) might come to them while they are doing evil deeds. “They do what they do while their hearts are full of fear” (from 23.60), afraid of being rejected, afraid of the foreknowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) about them.
Al‑Fudhayl bin ‘Iyādh (may Allah show mercy to him) used to say to Sufyān Ath‑Thawrī (may Allah show mercy to him) whenever he met him: “Let’s weep over the foreknowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) about us.” How excellent these words are! They are the words of someone who is a knower of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and who is knowledgeable of Him and of His management. As for the “foreknowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He)” that bin ‘Iyādh referred to when saying “weep over the foreknowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) about us,” it is His following saying: “These are to go to Paradise and I do not care, and these are to go to the Fire and I do not care.” He mixed them all in one place so one cannot know to which of the two groups he belongs. They did not become conceited because of what became visible of their deeds, because all deeds are assessed according to their final outcome.
The pious are those who give up the acts of disobedience and sins, both the apparent and hidden ones, dissimulation, hypocrisy, and working for the sake of the creatures and worldly purposes. Therefore, today they are in the paradise of obedience and tomorrow they will be in the midst of gardens and springs, sitting among trees that never fade, fruits that never run out, and rivers that never run dry. How could the water dry up when it springs from beneath the Throne? For everyone of them there is a river of water, a river of yogurt, a river of honey, and a river of wine. These rivers will be with them wherever they go, without a cleft in the ground. Everything in this world has an equivalent in the hereafter and more. Everything in Paradise has its prototype in this world. “They receive what their Lord gives them” (from 51.16) (mighty and glorified is He) of bliss that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and has never occurred to any human being. “Whose fruits are nigh to cull” (69.23). When one of them reclines on his couch, the fruits come to his mouth and he eats them while resting. The roots of the trees are upward whereas their fruits are downward. Their roots are silver and their branches are gold. When it occurs to one of them to eat some of the fruits, they advance to his mouth, so he picks what he likes and then they return to their places. Everything in Paradise sings for the people of Paradise and entertains them. Their speech is lovely and in the finest sound. This is true even of its rivers, trees, and everything there.
O seekers of this world, this world is ephemeral and tiring! Seek the everlasting Paradise, which is the place of comfort, the place of bliss, and the place of thankfulness. In Paradise there is no ablution, no prayer, no pilgrimage, no obligatory alms‑giving, no tribulations to be endured with patience, no illnesses, no chronic diseases, no poverty, and no fear of departure. O people, soon death will call on you and snatch you away! You will be as if you had not been created or seen! Turn your hearts away from your families, children, and property. Renounce all the creatures of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and do not rely on anyone of them in trivial or important matters. O Allah, grant us trust in You under all circumstances and awareness of the powerlessness of anyone other than You, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”
* Give up your wish in favor of His, your preference in favor of His, your decision in favor of His, and your will in favor of His. He is “One who certainly works His will” (from 11.107). “He shall not be questioned as to what He does, but they shall be questioned” (21.23). His company is like the company of lions and snakes, which is why the people of Allah are standing in His presence on the feet of fearfulness and caution. Neither their night is an ordinary night nor is their day an ordinary day. Their eating is like that of the ill, their sleep is like the sleep of those who are drowning, and their speech is out of necessity. The patient feels satisfied with very little of food. He eats while being afraid of his food, unable to tell whether it is good for him or not. The drowning person slumbers only when sleep is irresistible, just to be awakened by the waves of the sea of power, the sea of “One who certainly works His will” not what they will. They are scared of being drowned by the waves and Him sending some animals to eat them. They wish that the waves would throw them ashore and allow them into the palace of His nearness, private conversation, and sightings.
* O young man, the people of Allah have given up everything other than working [for Him], saying that everything else is mere nonsense and a shell. They have sought the kernel, clenched to it, and renounced the shell. They have sought the help of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) in their quest for what is indispensable. The True One (mighty and glorified is He) is indispensable, whereas everything else can be dispensed with. So when He saw and recognized their truthfulness in their quest, He granted them amnesty, well‑being, and His nearness: “There, authority is Allah’s, the True One” (from 18.44).
Every heart that has no fear is like a town without trees or sheep without a shepherd. Such a town is nothing but ruins and such sheep are doomed to become food for the wolves. When a person is afraid, he keeps wandering throughout the night. He cannot settle in one place so he is always on the move. The destination of the travel of the people of Allah is the abode of the True One (mighty and glorified is He).