This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)
* O young man, when there is an opportunity for action on something you have been commanded to do, be as brave and active as a lion in executing it; when there is an opportunity to do one of the prohibitions, be as inactive as a sick man to avoid it; and when tribulations and decrees of destiny come your way, forget yourself and be calm. The Commander of the Believers (Āmīr al‑Mu’minīn) ‘Alī bin abī Ṭālib (may Allah be satisfied with him and ennoble his face) has said: “Be as passive as a dead person in relation to whatever brings benefits to you and prevents evil from you.”
The lover hears and sees in relation to the True One (mighty and glorified is He), but he is blind and deaf in relation to the creatures. The longing has taken over his five senses. His body is with the creatures but his essence is with the Creator. His feet are on the earth but his aspiration is up in heaven. His cares are kept hidden in his heart. Therefore, the creatures do not perceive this. They see his feet but they cannot see his aspiration and cares for they are in the safe of the heart which is the safe of the True One (mighty and glorified is He). Where do you stand with respect to this, O liar? You are busy with your property, children, social prestige, and association of creatures and means with God. How can you then claim to be near to the True One (mighty and glorified is He)? Telling lies is a form of wrongdoing, because the reality of wrongdoing is to leave something in the wrong place. Repent from your telling lies before its evil consequences catch up with you.
* O you whose hearts are dead, why do you sit here in my presence? O servants of this world and the sultans, O servants of the wealthy, O servants of the rise and fall of market prices! If the price of a grain of wheat becomes as high as one gold coin I would not care. The believer has no concern about his sustenance because of the strength of his certitude and his trust in his Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Do not count yourself among the believers. Put yourself in a different class. Glory be to Him who has made me stand among you!
* Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has already allotted the worldly shares. He would not increase or decrease them by a single atom. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has completed the creation, the assignment of subsistence, and the appointment of the times of things. The Pen with which He wrote down everything that is to happen until the Day of Resurrection has already run dry.” Do not devote energy to obtaining what has already been decided to be yours, for that sort of effort is utter messing about and foolishness. Allah has planned all your circumstances and has appointed for them specific dates. As long as the lower self has not been made calm by striving, it would not believe in this and would not relinquish its greedy keenness and persistence on obtaining things. Before it reaches a state of calmness, the lower self can believe in this only verbally.
Be sensible, and acquire good manners by putting my teachings into practice. Do not devote energy to getting what is predestined, already done, inevitable, and bound to come to you at the time assigned to it in the foreknowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “Even if the servant says: ‘O Allah! Do not provide for me’, Allah will provide for him despite his wish.” What you earn in return for your work is from Allah (mighty and glorified is He); even earning a single broad bean is from Allah (mighty and glorified is He). The creatures have nothing to do with it.
* O young man, religion in the sight of Allah is Islam, and the reality of Islam is surrender! You have to reach the state of Islam first and then fulfill surrender. Purify your outwards by Islam and purify your inwards by surrender.
Surrender yourselves to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and be satisfied with His management of your affairs. Give up your will and accept the destiny that your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) has decreed. Accept all of what destiny brings. Your Lord knows you better than you know yourselves. Accept His words with certitude. Receive His commandments and prohibitions with total acceptance. Receive His religion with all of your hearts, and make it your inner and outer covers. Take full advantage of your lives before your death, before the advent of a “Day from Allah that cannot be turned back” (from 30.43), which is the Day of Resurrection.
* Woe to you! Do not be an idiot, disputing with Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and arguing with Him with your foolishness and ignorance. Otherwise, you will put at peril your capital, which is your religion. Close your eyes, reflect, behave with good manners, know who you are, know your status, and be humble inside. You are a servant, and the servant and all his property are owned by his master. He does not have the right to do with himself as he wishes. The servant must give up his own wishes in favor of his master’s, his choice in favor of the choice of his master, and his opinion in favor of his master’s.
You behave with impudence with Allah (mighty and glorified is He) for the sake of your own benefit, whereas the people of Allah behave impudently with their Lord only for the sake of the creatures. They appeal to Him on behalf of the creatures and persistently repeat their appeal for their sake. They are those who have already bidden farewell to the creatures and purified their hearts from the creatures so that not a single atom of the creation is left in them. They exist with Him, by Him, and for Him. They are in total relaxation with no tension, total honor with no humiliation, total receiving with no deprivation, total fulfillment with no withholding, total acceptance with no rejection, total happiness with no sorrow, capability with no powerlessness, strength with no weakness, and favor with no anger. They have been vested with clothing of nobility and He handed to the hands of their hearts the authority of delegating power, enabling, and acting with “‘be,’ and it is” (from 2.117) (takwīn).1 The power to act with “‘be,’ and it is” has become in their hands an inexhaustible treasure and a river that never runs dry. Whenever they become afraid, He increases their sense of security. Whenever they fall behind, He puts them at the front. Their words are heard, and their intercession [on behalf of others] is accepted. He made over to them the kingdom of this world and the hereafter in a way that is incomprehensible to the creatures. They are called “great” in the heavenly kingdom.
* The believer in the oneness of God does not listen to the sultan or Satan. He has turned away from them, existing by his heart in the presence of Allah. He sees the True One’s (mighty and glorified is He) actions of management of him and His creatures. He sees how the leaves of the door of the divine decree and destiny are opened and closed. He sees the creatures as totally powerless, weak, ill, poor, humiliated, and mortal. He has no friend and no foe; no one to offer a prayer of supplication for and no one to curse. If his Lord (mighty and glorified is He) wishes him to curse someone, he does, and if He wishes him to offer a prayer of supplication for someone, he does. He behaves according to the commandments and prohibitions. His heart has joined the angels whom Allah (mighty and glorified is He) described as follows: “They do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and they do as they are commanded” (from 66.6). He speaks as the limbs and senses will speak on the Day of Resurrection. When the limbs and senses are blamed by one of those people whom they spoke against, they will answer: “Allah who has made everything speak has made us speak” (from 41.21). The servant who attains to this spiritual station becomes extinct in relation to himself, existing only with respect to his Lord (mighty and glorified is He). O Allah, correct our prayer of supplication to you and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”
* O people, ensure that your children and your family members acquire good manners! Instruct them to worship Allah (mighty and glorified is He), be in ultimate politeness with Him, and be satisfied with Him. Your concern about earning your living must not reach your hearts, but it must be restricted to your effort and work. I can see that most of you have relinquished the education of their children and have become mainly concerned with earning their living. Reverse your actions in order to succeed.
1 The term takwīn refers to the ability to act with the divine power of “‘be,’ and it is” which God confers on the elite believers, as stated in the following saying of God: “O My servant! Obey Me and then you will be like Me: you will say for anything: ‘Be,’ and it is”. The meaning of the Qur’anic term “‘be,’ and it is” is made clear in the following verse: “We only say to something We wish: ‘Be,’ and it is”[16.40].