This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)
* O young man, do not behave like a grown‑up cock when you are still a young chick inside an egg. You have no right to speak until your body has fully developed, your egg has cracked and released you, and you have become a young chicken beneath the wing of your mother, beneath the wing of the Law of your Prophet (prayer and peace be on him and on his family), until he feeds you so that your faith becomes strong and complete. When righteousness has flowed into you, you will start to pick your sustenance from the grains of the favor of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). At this stage, you will become a rooster for the hens. You will comfort them, love them, become a guardian for them, deal with the tribulations, and sacrifice yourself for them. Once the servant has become sound, he will carry the burdens of the earth and the creatures and become a spiritual pivot for them. The Prophet is reported to have said: “The person who acquires knowledge, puts it into practice, and teaches others will be called ‘great’ in the kingdom of heaven.”
I say about you what the Commander of the Believers ‘Alī bin abī Ṭālib (may Allah be satisfied with him and ennoble his face) has said: “I have within me so much Knowledge. If I could find those who can carry it and who are its real people, I would not have locked up the door of secrets and would have opened its gates and manufactured its keys, but [I say] ‘O my innermost being keep the secrets hidden until its people come’”! Keep what you have as a secret, but if you are asked for it, disclose it. I cannot reveal all that I have, because some spiritual states should be kept secret.
Ibn Sam‘ūn (may Allah, high is He, show mercy to him) used to say: “Believing what I say merits the degree of sainthood. If the person is already a saint, he will further rise in ranking.” Such words are accepted, believed, and put into practice only by someone who serves the Law, acts in accordance with it, and sincerely complies with it. It is the guidance of the Book and the Sunna. He has succeeded, by Allah, the person who is brought up according to their teachings, who grows up while complying with them, and who never exceeds their limits; he has succeeded indeed. I am afraid that your practice of Islam and your faith are mere façade. Perfect your practice of Islam and your faith. This way your fear, fasting, prayer, and night vigil will increase. The people of Allah went wandering, joined the wild animals, and competed with them for the herbs of the earth and the water of the springs, with the sun becoming their sunshade and the moon and the stars their lamp. Exert strenuous efforts in performing works of obedience and acts that draw you near before you arrive in His presence. Do not wrong yourselves by disobeying Him and being impudent to Him. O Allah, grant us success in obeying You, keep us away from the acts of disobeying You, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”
* By Allah, you are a liar under all circumstances. You do not know the way to the door of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). How can you point to it when you are blind? How can you guide others when you are blinded by your passion, natural inclination, and pursuit of your lower self, love for this world, superiority, and lustful desires? Woe to you! You love to stay in this world, therefore you will achieve nothing. When will you find the door of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He)? When will you put prayers before the business of your shop and your profits? When will you put the hereafter before your worldly interests? When will you put the Creator before the creatures? When will you put the beggar before yourself? When will you put obeying the commandments of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), observing His prohibitions, and enduring with patience the tribulations that come from Him before your passion and habitual practice? When will you put answering Him before answering His creatures?
O young man, be sensible! You are in sheer illusion. You are a falsehood with no truth, an outward with no inward, and a show of publicity with no substance. Come to me since the acts of disobedience are still on your outward, before they reach your heart and you become persistent and then persistence develops into disbelief. Do something before it is too late. Use the little that you have to get the great amount that you lack. Do something since the rope is still in your hand. The Prophet (prayer and peace be on him and on his family) has said: “The repentant sinner is like one who has never committed any sin, even if he kept sinning seventy times a day.” If you listen to the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him), act in accordance with his words, and behave well in his company by following his companions, he will introduce your heart to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and let you hear His words. When someone’s obedience to Allah and his servitude to Him have become confirmed, he will become capable of hearing His words.
* If you borrow another person’s words and utter them, pretending that they are yours, the hearts of the righteous people will hate you. If you do not have works that match those words, you do not have the right to speak. On the face of it, the matter looks to be wholly about work. Allah (high is He) has said: “Enter Paradise a reward for what you have done” (from 16.32). The believer does not make the angels weary with much babble and talk about things that do not concern him. Rather, his heart fears the True One (mighty and glorified is He), so no doubt his limbs and senses are also afraid of Him. The tongue of his heart keeps silent, so his mouth’s tongue also does not speak. His heart calms down because of His majesty so his limbs and senses follow suit, leaving the angels restful and at ease.
* Among the speakers there are some who speak from their hearts and others who speak from their lower selves, passions, and devils.
* O people, seek to be steadfast in worshipping your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) for He has praised those who are obedient in His presence. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him and on his family) is reported to have said: “When the servant has stood praying for a long time in His (mighty and glorified is He) presence, his sins will scatter away as the dry leaves fall down from the trees on a windy day.” As the servant behaves truthfully in his obedience to his Lord (mighty and glorified is He), his sins scatter away from his outward, inward, and the whole of him; his heart will become enlightened and his innermost being will become pure.