This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)
Do not try to pass off your counterfeit coins for the assayer is an expert. He will not accept any coin from you without testing it first with the touchstone. Throw away any counterfeit coins and consider them worthless. The assayer will not accept from you your metal before it has been put into the bellows and purified of the impurities, so do not think that it is an easy business.
Most of you lay claim to sincerity when in fact they are hypocrites. Were it not for the test, the claims would have been even more. When someone claims to be patient, we test him with exasperation. When someone claims to be generous, we test him with demands. When someone lays claim to something, we test him with its opposite. When the servant detaches himself from this world, the hereafter, and anything other than Allah and places his heart in the abode of His nearness, favor, and subtle kindness, He will not trouble him with providing his food, drink, or clothes or looking after his interests. His heart will be purified of any involvement in that.
* This world is the abode of tribulation, and the greatest tribulations are the lustful desires of the belly and of the genitals. What benefit would the unmarried man derive from breaking his fast during the daytime, wandering in the marketplaces, indulging in lustful desires and pleasures and spending time in the company of human devils, by whom I mean bad mates? It is like starting the fire of lustful desire in the firewood of the lower self. O Allah, strengthen us to strive against our lower selves, grant us sustenance, and guide us so that we guide people! Enlighten our hearts and make us a light from which people seek illumination. Give us the drink of your intimacy so that our thirst will be quenched and anyone who is thirsty will quench his thirst through us. Grant us gifts and satisfaction and inspire us with thankfulness in the state of being given favors and satisfaction in the state of having them withheld and having the doors closed. Confirm our truthfulness and obliterate our lies and falsehood. Amen.
* O young man, retire from kingship if you wish for the permanent company of the King of kings. Kingship is a veil from the King, favor is a veil from the Benefactor, and tribulation is a veil from the One who causes it. Attachment to the creatures, who are made and fashioned, is shackles to the hearts, innermost beings, and essences. When Allah (mighty and glorified is He) wants to confer a lot of good on someone, He fetters him, makes him stand in His presence on the feet of his heart, and provides him with a pair of wings to fly in the air of His Knowledge and then seek refuge in the tower of His nearness. Despite that, He will impose on him fear, the renunciation of any interests, and the abandonment of any sense of conceit as a result of his state. He will fear that the hand of Divine jealousy might clip his wings and screen him off from knowing Him after he has known what is there. As long as the servant is in this world, he must have fear and give up any sense of vanity, regardless of the spiritual state that he attains. This is so because this world is the abode of change and replacement, whereas the hereafter is the abode of permanence wherein no change or replacement takes place.
O young man, pass through the market of the creatures. Enter from one door and leave from another. Move away from them with your heart and intention and be like a lone bird that does not offer intimacy or accept it. Make sure that you do not see others and do not show yourself to them. Be like this until the appointed time comes to pass and your heart draws near to the door of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). You will see the hearts of the people of Allah there. They will receive you, say to you “congratulations on your safety,” and kiss you on the forehead. The hand of subtle kindness will then come from inside, receive you, carry you, conduct you in a solemn procession, approach you, feed you, quench your thirst, and anoint you with perfume. It will then take you out and seat you at the door, watching and waiting for any questing seeker who will come. You will take him by the hand and hand him to the hand that received you when you arrived. When this has happened to you, come out to the creatures and be among them like the physician among the sick, like a man of reason among the insane, and like a compassionate father among his children. Before this happens, you remain unworthy of respect! You would be a hypocrite with the creatures, a servant for them, and a follower who works for their purposes. You think you are medicating them when in fact you are associating them with Allah. Your treatment of them turns into a form of punishment for you because it is based on ignorance and inexperience. This is why the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “The person who worships Allah with ignorance causes more damage than good.