Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* Woe to you! You are unceasingly busy accumulating one gold coin on top of another. These will be scorpions and snakes that will bite you. The gold coin is the house of fire and the silver coin is the house of cares. This world is an abode of engagements and the hereafter is an abode of terrors, and the servant is between them until he is finally made to settle, either in Paradise or in the Fire. O young man, do not consume that whose branch and root you do not know, for the consumption of prohibited things darkens the heart. How could the impatient person consume what is lawful? The person who consumes only lawful things is one who has patience to fight his lower self, passion, and devil. It is the patient warrior who consumes lawful things only. O Allah, grant us what is lawful and keep us away from the unlawful! Grant us from Your favor, good, and nearness, and grant our hearts, innermost beings, and limbs and senses from the same. Amen.

* The wealth that you have is not yours but it is rather a deposit that has been entrusted to you. It is to be shared between yourselves and the poor. Do not appropriate the deposit, otherwise its Owner will take it from you. When one of you cooks a pot of food, he must not eat from it alone; he must feed from it his neighbor, the beggar who comes to his door, and the guest who asks for hospitality. Do not turn away the beggars when you are capable of giving them, for turning them away results in the removal of the favors. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “When someone turns a beggar away from his door without an acceptable excuse, the guardian angels will not come close to his door for forty mornings.” You have made it common practice for your tongues to say the following when beggars come: “May Allah ease your hardship. May Allah help you!” You turn him away despite your ability to give him. What makes you certain that Allah would not enrich him and impoverish you? Woe to you! Were not you poor without a single atom then Allah enriched you, removed your poverty, and increased your benefits and sustenance beyond your expectations? Then, He sent to you a poor person, someone whom He referred to you, to console him with something of what He has given you, yet you turn him away in disappointment and do not accept His assignment. He will soon re possess all that He has given you, return you to your poverty and beggary, cast hardness toward you in the hearts of the creatures, and at the same time leave you with little patience. O Allah, grant us wakefulness before death, repentance before death, guidance before death, knowingness before death, doing business with You before death, returning to Your door before death, and entering to the abode of Your nearness before death! Amen.

* O slaves of this world, O slaves of the hereafter! You are ignorant of Allah (mighty and glorified is He); of this world, which is His; and of the hereafter, which is His! You are walls. As for you, this world is your idol; and as for you, the hereafter is your idol. In your case, lustful desires and pleasures are your idol; and in yours, praise, commendation, and people’s acceptance of you are your idol. Everything other than Allah is an idol. The people of Allah wish for His face. Woe to you! The Resurrection is close to you. It is merely a nap followed by a wake up. It is a retreat followed by an advance: “Is not the morning nigh?” (from 11.81).

The Day of Resurrection is the day of the pious, the day of the victory of the pious, the day of happiness of the pious. The pious are those who are so in both their private and public lives, in affliction and adversity, and in what they love and hate. They are the servants of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and His brave men. They are the brave men and the heroes. They are the masters and the chiefs. They have the foundation of faith and its edifice. They avert attributing partners to Allah and hypocrisy, outwardly and inwardly. They renounce this world and the creatures. They do not satisfy the needs of their lower selves.
You will not attain nearness to Allah (mighty and glorified is He) until you leave everyone other than Him. How can you obtain what is in the presence of Allah when you love this world and work hard for it? When you donate some of your worldly possessions, you donate the worst of what you have! When fine food was brought to anyone of the righteous predecessors, he used to say to his servant: “Take this food to the house of the poor so and so.” Do not you feel ashamed? When you have to pay obligatory alms, you produce the worst gold you have! You produce bad coins instead of good ones, silver instead of jewels. When you have something that is worth a gold coin, you evaluate it at half its real value in order to understate the obligatory alms that you must pay to the poor. And when you have in your possession some food, you donate what is unsavory and eat the tasty. You worship your lower self and you are unable to disagree with it. You are a follower of your passion, devil, and evil companions. The pious are free of any attachments to their families or relatives. They are one in a million. Do not exert any effort as Allah (mighty and glorified is He) will not accept from you other than what is pure. He will not give a seat at His table to someone unless he is clean. He does not allow on His table any meat other than what has been slaughtered by the hand of the person who will eat from that plate. He does not accept the meat of the dead. The seeker of the creatures and this world is a rotten, dead corpse. Attributing creatures and means to Allah is a filthy thing. Our Lord does not accept other than what is offered for the sake of His face. He does not take a share of anything that is not offered to Him exclusively. He relieves the partners attributed to Him from all obligations of this partnership.

* You have made your only concern to work hard and secure your allotted shares in this world and protect them. You have forgotten death and what is after it. You have forgotten Allah and the fact that He can change things and left Him behind your backs. You have turned away from Him and accompanied this world, the creatures, and the means. Most of you worship the gold coin and the silver coin and neglect worshipping the Creator, the Provider. All these calamities are the product of your lower selves, so you have to imprison them in the jail of strife and you have to cut off their supplies and prevent them from acquiring what they like. Cut off their supplies so that all that they wish for will be a slice of dried bread and a drink of water. This will then come to be all that they long for. If you fatten them by satisfying all sorts of lustful desires, they will devour you. As one righteous person has said: “If you fatten your dog, it will devour you.” What good is to be expected from them when Allah (high is He) has said about them: “surely the lower self commands committing evil, except such as my Lord bestows mercy on; my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful” (from 12.53)?

* Woe to you! O servant of this world, O servant of the creatures, the cloak, the turban, the gold coin, the silver coin, praise, and dispraise! Woe to you! The whole of you is dedicated to this world, the whole of you is dedicated to things other than your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Where is His share of you in your private and public lives? He has created you only to worship Him. Everyone who has reason, intelligence, and proper thinking worships his Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and consults Him in his affairs, whereas one who is reasonless does not do this, and his heart is metamorphosed because of his interest in the creatures and his love for this world.

Many people lay claim to Islam by their outward, yet they say as the disbelievers say: “There is nothing but our life in this world; we die and live, and nothing destroys us but time” (from 45.24). The disbelievers have said this and many of you say it but try to conceal it. They say it through the actions they commit, hence they are worthless in my eyes and they do not carry the weight of a gnat’s wing; so what weight would they have the sight of the True One (mighty and glorified is He)? They have no reason and no faculty to distinguish between harm and benefit.

O servants of Allah, remember death and what is after it! Remember the True One (mighty and glorified is He) and His management of His creatures. Reflect on His Lordliness and greatness. Reflect on that when you have withdrawn from the company of your families and when the other eyes have gone to sleep. Once the heart has become suitable for Allah (mighty and glorified is He), He will not allow it to remain involved in buying and selling and relying on the means. He will distinguish it, save it, raise it up from its fallen state, give it a seat at His door, and let it sleep on the lap of His subtle kindness. O you who have turned away from your Lord (mighty and glorified is He), you will see when the dust has cleared! You will soon see the destruction of your house and the strike of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) against you if you do not back down from your wrongdoing, pay heed, and take notice.

Woe to you! The robe of your practice of Islam is shredded, the robe of your faith is unclean. Your faith has no substance, your heart is not open to Islam, your innermost being is impure, your breast is not expanded for Islam, and your inward is in ruins although your outward is prospering. The pages of your record are full, this world of yours which you love so much is leaving, and the grave and the hereafter are approaching you. Pay attention to your affairs and what you will be soon facing, for your death may come today, or even this very hour, and you will be separated from your hopes. The person who really knows what he is seeking sees whatever he has to do as insignificant. The person who is truthful about love does not sit with other than His Beloved. Someone may ask: “I have heard about Paradise and the bliss it contains through His (mighty and glorified is He) following words: ‘And in it is all that the souls desire and the eyes find sweet’ (from 43.71), so what is its price?” We would answer: “Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has said: ‘Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth for the Paradise they are to have’” (from 9.111). Hand over the soul and wealth and then Paradise will be yours.

* O young man, there is no Paradise before this world and no getting close to Paradise. The servant comes near this world and wishes to possess it. Then once its shortcomings have become visible to him, he will renounce it and come to be content from it with a single palm date and what is indispensable. He will take that from it with the hand of the Law, piety, and pious restraint. He will take that with the hand of the heart not the hand of the lower self, passion, and the Devil. When all this has happened to him, Paradise will come to him, because renouncing this world is the price that must be paid for Paradise and the key to it. So, when his heart has entered it and his feet have settled there, he will be able to walk, and its affairs will become easy for him. While he is in this state he will see the men of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) walking toward Him. He will ask them: “Where are you going?” They will say: “To the door of the King.” They will fill him with yearning for Him, draw his attention to Him, urge him to renounce Paradise and what he has, and say to him: “We are among those about whom Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has said: ‘They seek His face’” (from 6.52). The land of Paradise will become too strait for him despite its spaciousness, and he will seek to leave it, pleading to it: “Show me the door so that I can go out. I have become like a bird in a cage. My heart is imprisoned in your jail, for the previous world is the prison of the believer, whereas you are the prison of the knower.” He will then leave it running and catch up with the people who “seek His face.” This is the way of the seekers. As for the way of those who are attracted, the lightening flash of nearness will snatch them at the first step not gradually and without means. O Allah, attract our hearts to You and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* No one can benefit from poverty other than the patient believer who practices pious restraint. How could he not be patient with it when this world is his prison? Have you ever seen a prisoner seek joy in his jail? The believer wishes to leave this world, wishes to escape from it. There is an enmity between himself and his lower self. He wishes for it enduring hunger, thirst, deprivation of clothing, and humiliation so that it can help him be obedient. Poverty is useful for him and he is able to endure it with patience. O traders of dates! Look after your dates and you will succeed!

Woe to you! You claim that you obey me, yet you travel away from me! You claim that you obey me; where are you going then? You are building walls. You work without sincerity, you start things but you never finish them, you are an outward with no inward, you are all about creatures with no Creator, you are full of this world with no hereafter, and you worship with no knowledge.

* O young man, why do you care about this world? When it gives you things, it keeps you busy, and when it deprives you of things, it fills you with sighs of disappointment. If you have too little of this world you become weak, and if you have too much of it you feel too heavy. While any of you is in the midst of things that he loves, diseases, illnesses, grieves, and cares attack him. There is no benefit in it for anyone other than the person who spends it in obeying Allah (mighty and glorified is He).

* O people, empty yourselves of the cares of this world as much as you can! Do not wish for something that will depart you soon. If the believer could renounce his food, drink, clothes, and wife, he would do. If he could rid himself of his lower self, natural inclination, and passion so that he would not seek anything other than his Lord (mighty and glorified is He), he would do. Prevent your tongues from talking about things that do not concern you. Increase your remembrance of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Stay at home and go out only when necessary and to attend the Friday prayer, collective prayers, and sessions of remembrance. If any of you can work from home, let him do so.

* Every heart that is full of this world, lustful desires, and pleasures is a shell that is only suitable for the Fire. If you find in your heart anything from this world, you should know that you will be punished. Allah (high is He) has said: “I have not created the jinn and the human beings but to worship Me. I do not seek sustenance from them or ask them to feed Me. Allah is the Provider, the Powerful One, the Strong One” (51.56 58). Most of you are under an illusion — laying claim to Islam, yet possessing nothing of what Islam is about. Woe to you! The mere name of Islam will bring you no benefits. You rush to meet its requirements outwardly but not inwardly. Therefore, your work is worthless. Your outward is in the miḥrāb,1 but your inward is indulgent in dissimulation and hypocrisy. Your outward is the outward of a hermit, whereas your inward is full of unlawful things and you have a mistress at home! The Law will not call to your punishment outwardly because you have not shown any infringement. However, Knowledge will condemn you to hatred and castigation inwardly. Suppose that you escaped the punishment today, who would save you tomorrow [at the Resurrection]?

* Respond to the Messenger, the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him), when he calls you to what revives you. What can a dead heart hear? How can it see? As for the heart that is dead because of its love for this world, love for the creatures, and pinning hopes on them, how can it hear or see?

Know this world and then you will renounce it. Know the lower self and then you will disobey it. Know the creatures and then you will renounce them. O you who are dead at heart because of seeking this world, wishing for it, and loving it! As for you, O ascetics, your quest for Paradise has constrained you from attaining to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He)! Woe to you! You have missed the way. Get the neighbor before the house, and the companion before the way.

* If you glorify this world’s tyrants, Pharaohs, kings, and rich yet forget Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and do not glorify Him, the verdict on you will be as the verdict on the idol worshipper. Those whom you glorify will become your idols. Worship the Creator of the idols and then the idols will humble themselves to you. Draw near to Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and then the creatures will come near to you. As much as you glorify Allah (mighty and glorified is He), His creatures glorify you. As much as you love the Creator, the creatures love you. As much as you fear Him, His creatures fear you. As much as you honor His commandments and prohibitions, His creatures honor you.

* O seekers of this world, O lovers of this world, is it other than a temporary maidservant in comparison with Paradise? Paradise is the resident female slave. Paradise is the lady. Aḥmad bin Ḥanbal (may Allah, high is He, show mercy to him) used to say: “I feel sorry for hearts that have been corrupted by the love of this world although they have memorized the Qur’an.”

* You earn instead of religion worldly status and you amass rents, gold coins, clothes, houses, maidservants, horses, and servants. All these things will soon be separated from you. Return to your Lord. Reverse your actions in order to succeed. Give up falsehood, confusion, and madness. What is the point in collecting something that you will have to leave for others to inherit while you will alone face the reckoning and interrogation about it? You will not benefit even a single atom from what you accumulate. Nothing of it will fall into your hand, yet it is you who will have to face the reckoning, punishment, loss, and regret. You have no reason. Buy reason from me. Sit in front of me and listen to the good advice that I offer you. I know what you do not know and I see of the hereafter what you cannot see. Woe to you! It is righteous works that protect you from the torment when you are in your graves. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “When the believer is taken down into his grave, the charitable alms [that he gave] will sit at his head, his prayer to his right, his fasting to his left, and patience at his feet. The torment will then approach him near his head, so the charitable alms will say: ‘There is no way for you from my side.’ Then it will approach him from the right, so prayer will say: ‘There is no way for you from my side.’ It will then approach him from the left, so fasting will say: ‘There is no way for you from my side.’ Then patience will say [to the charitable alms, prayer, and fasting]: ‘I am at the ready, if you need me I will help you’”.

* Be in this world with renouncing hearts. Do not settle in it as if it is the homeland, for it is not the homeland or the abode of permanent residence. There is another homeland. This abode is the prison of the believer in comparison with the abode of the hereafter. Therefore, the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “This world is the believer’s prison and the disbeliever’s Paradise.” It remains his prison even if he lives a thousand years in it, enjoying its bliss, whereas the hereafter is his salvation, happiness, Paradise, bliss, reward, empire, authority, and wealth. As for the practicing, truthful knower, his reward will be available in this world before the hereafter, which is nearness to his Lord (mighty and glorified is He). He wishes that Paradise will never be created. He sees the Resurrection and paradise too crowded. He can see that the Resurrection will result in the disclosure of his secret because on that Day the innermost beings will show on the faces. He can see that he will be raised from his grave covered with jewels and dressed up in fine clothes and will be received by processions and youths of Paradise, yet his heart is ever renouncing all that. He hates crowdedness for he feels completely satisfied with his Lord (mighty and glorified is He). He loves the Benefactor not the benefits. He loves to enter into the presence of the King from the door of the innermost being not in processions. He dislikes crossing Paradise because he has given up everything other than Him. He wishes not to see Paradise so that he will not become attached to it, he will not be changed by it, his footsteps will not end before reaching his Lord (mighty and glorified is He), and he will not be occupied with anything other than Him. What a loser is one who does not come to know Allah (mighty and glorified is He) in this world before the hereafter, smell the breeze of His nearness, eat from His food and His grace, and quench his thirst by the drink of His intimacy.

* The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “Woe to the person who leaves his dependents behind him with good things but come to meet his Lord with bad things!” I find that this is what the majority of you do. They amass silver and gold coins with a hand that is not the hand of pious restraint and leave them to their families and children to inherit. The reckoning will be for them to face, whereas it will be for others to enjoy the wealth they left. Sorrow will be for them to suffer, whereas joy will be for others. O you who will leave this world to others to inherit, listen to the words of your Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him)! Do not leave for them what is unlawful and come to meet Allah (mighty and glorified is He) in the company of evil and torment. The hypocrite entrusts his children to the wealth that he leaves for them to inherit, whereas the believer entrusts his children to his Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Even if he were to leave for them this entire world with all that it has, he would not entrust them to it. He is experienced and well aware that many people placed their children in the care of the wealth they left for them, yet their children were humiliated and impoverished and begged from people. The blessing was taken away from the wealth they left for them. The blessing disappeared from it because it was not collected by the hand of pious restraint and because they relied on it, placed their children in its care, and forgot their Lord (mighty and glorified is He).

The hypocrites are slaves of the creatures, the silver and gold coins, authority, power, and earnings, and they are slaves of the wealthy, kings, and sultans, while they are enemies of the person who calls them to their Lord (mighty and glorified is He), guides them to Him, and shows them the ugliness of what they are involved in. The believers are always with their Lord (mighty and glorified is He), in affliction and in adversity, in hardship and in prosperity, at times of being given and at times of having things withheld from him, in good health and in sickness, in poverty and in affluence, when people gather around them and when people keep away from them, and under all circumstances. Their hearts do not leave Him, not even for a single moment. They are Muslims, submissive, obedient, satisfied, and compliant. They have given up disputation. They are unconscious and nothing awakens them other than the commandments and prohibitions.

* The hour of courage is an hour of patience. Repent all of you this moment, with all of your hearts. Remember death and what is after it. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) used to say: “Remember frequently the destroyer of pleasures, for whenever it is remembered, when there is little of something, it increases it, and when there is excess of something, it decreases it.” Remembering death is a remedy for the disease of the lower selves and food and benefits for the hearts. Forgetting death hardens the heart and makes it too lazy to exercise obedience, whereas being concerned with the creatures and seeing them as the source of harm and benefit drive it into disbelief, darken it, and screen it off from its Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Reliance on the means decreases faith, puts out the light of certitude, screens off the heart from its Lord (mighty and glorified is He), invokes His hatred, causes it to fall from His grace, and locks up the door of His nearness.

Alas for you, how can you be prepared to die when you are in the state you are in now, with your hearts being empty of faith, certitude, belief in the oneness of God, sincerity, and knowingness of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He)? How great your objection to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) is! Woe to you! Who do you think you are? How impertinent you are! You have made objecting to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) by the night and day your only business. The person who objects to His Lord will not find the breeze of nearness — not even a single atom of it. Give up objecting to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He), O you whose hearts are impoverished, O you who have turned your backs to faith! O Allah, gather us together with those whom You love, separate us from those whom You hate, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* O seekers of this world, as long as you are seeking her, you will remain in tiredness! She seeks anyone who runs away from her. She tests the person who escapes from her by running after him. If he looks back at her, she takes this as an indication that he is a liar. She will catch him, put him at her service, and then kill him. But if he does not look back at her, she will conclude that he is truthful and put herself at his service. The person can benefit from her only after renouncing her and running away from her. Run away from her, for she is a murderer, cheat, and witch. Leave her with your hearts before she leaves you. Renounce her before she renounces you. Do not marry her, but if you marry her do not let your religion be her dowry. She marries then gets divorced. How fast she marries and gets divorced! If you seek her by means of your religion then your religion will be her dowry, for the religion of the hypocrite is the dowry of this world, the blood of the martyred believer is the dowry of the hereafter, and the blood of the lover is the dowry of the nearness to the Master.

Woe to you! As long as you serve this world, she will harm you and will not do you any good. But if she comes to serve you, she will be beneficial to you and will not harm you. Evict her from your heart and then you will see her good, service, and humility. She appears to the believer’s heart in the best form, wearing all kinds of ornaments. He asks her: “Who are you?” She answers: “I am this world.” Then he turns away from her, and immediately her flaws become visible and its beauty turns into ugliness. Woe to you! You lay claim to renunciation of this world, yet you love the gold and silver coins, run after them, and humiliate yourself to the kings and wealthy people for their sake. You have lied in your claim to renunciation! One of the righteous people (may Allah show mercy to him) is reported to have said: “Once I saw in a dream a beautiful, attractive woman, so I asked her: ‘who are you?’ She replied: ‘I am this world.’ I said to her: ‘I seek refuge in Allah from you and your evil.’ She replied: ‘Dislike the gold and silver coins and then you will be protected from my evil’”.

O liars, one of the essential attributes of the person who is truthful in obeying the will of his Lord (mighty and glorified is He) is that he hates anything other than Him in both the inward and outward realms! The outward realm is represented by this world, its lustful desires, its sons and their possessions, the praise and commendation of creatures, and their welcoming attitude and acceptance. The inward realm is represented by Paradise and its bliss. Anyone who meets these requirements will be truly obeying the will of Allah. His heart will draw near to his Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and he will sit near to Him and be His guest. At this point, this world and its plate and the hereafter and its plate will both come. The former will come with its ornaments and the latter will come with its modesty. They will both become maidservants for him. Their plates will be for the lower self not for the heart. The food of this world and the hereafter is for the lower self, whereas the food of nearness is for the heart. What I am calling to is what Allah (mighty and glorified is He) wants His creatures to do, not what you call to.

O hypocrites, the sensible person is one who reflects on the ultimate consequences and is not deceived by how things appear at first. The sensible person is one who carefully reviews this world and the hereafter, both of which are maidservants for the people of Allah — serve them and obey their orders. He listens to this world describing itself, and the hereafter speaks to him, so he buys from it what is useful to him. He renounces this world because it is ephemeral and turns away from the hereafter because it is not eternal but a created thing and because it screens off from its Lord (mighty and glorified is He) anyone who binds himself to it and wishes for it instead of Him. This world will say to him: “Do not seek me and do not marry me for I keep moving from one house to another, from one king to another. Whenever I get married to someone, I kill him and seize his wealth. Beware of me for I change husbands continuously and I am murderous and perfidious. I do not keep my word with the person that I make a covenant with.” The hereafter will say to him: “I am marked for buying and selling, as my Lord (mighty and glorified is He) has said: ‘Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth for the Paradise they are to have’ (from 9.111). I can see on your face the mark of nearness, so do not buy me, for Allah (mighty and glorified is He) will not let you stay with me.” So if he achieves this, abandons them, and distances himself from them seeking his Lord (mighty and glorified is He), He will send this world back to him so he will get his allotted shares thereof, without him doing that out of necessity, and He will return the hereafter to him to be his housekeeper.

O seekers of this and that, listen to me! O you who are ill with this and that! What I have explained to you is a medicine, so use it. When the person renounces something, that thing starts to seek him. Renounce the creatures so that the Creator will love you. The likeness of the beloved who is in the presence of Allah (high is He) is as the likeness of a patient on the lap of a gracious physician who personally attends to him.

O people, listen to my words and renounce this world for your desire for and love of it screen you off from the hereafter and from the nearness to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and blind the eyes of your hearts. Your stay with this world screens you off from the hereafter and your stay with the lower self screens you off from the True One (mighty and glorified is He). O ignorant ones, do not seek this world at the expense of your quest for the hereafter so you lose in the end! The hereafter is a mistress, whereas this world is her female slave; the slave follows the owner. This world is inferior and the hereafter is superior; the inferior one follows the superior. Do not eat the food of this world before taking the antidote which is the renunciation of this world and the departure from it with your heart, from the sea of wisdom to the sea of divine providence, from the medicine to the physician who teaches you how to differentiate between its poison and meat. Have you not heard and seen that the snake charmer seizes the snake, slaughters it, cooks it, extracts its poison, and then eats its meat? The True One (mighty and glorified is He) assigns the poison of this world to the disbelievers, those who are arrogant to Him, and those who forget Him. He assigns its meat from which poison has been removed to those who believe in Him, who are humble to Him, who remember Him, and who forget everyone else. How would not He prepare pure meat for them when they are His guests? He treats them as the lover treats the beloved. He extracts for them the sweet from the midst of the bitter and purity from the midst of impurity. As for those who are sought after, food, drink, clothes and all that they need are purified for them.

The would be ascetic is someone who tries his best to make the right judgment about things — so sometimes he purifies things and sometimes he does not, sometimes he stands and sometimes he sits. As for the ascetic, most things have become clear. His right decisions are more than the wrong ones. For the knower, however, everything has become totally clear. He recognizes the difference between the pure and the contaminated. What is pure calls on him, revealing itself, and what is impure does likewise.

The people of Allah have had all their directions united, so that only one direction is left for them. The directions of the creatures have become too narrow for them, whereas the direction of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) has become wide-open for them. They have blocked the directions of the creatures by the hands of their truthfulness and opened the directions of the Creator by the hands of their hearts. No wonder, their hearts have expanded, grown, and become great, and protection has stood at the doors of their hearts preventing anyone from entering into them except their Owner and Creator. Every one of these people is like the sun and the moon in this world. They are its two sources of light. Their faces are turned toward the True One (mighty and glorified is He), whereas their backs face the creatures. If their faces would turn to this world, everything that grows on it would burn.

You are dead walking on the face of the earth. Be sensible. You have no reason. You are not one of the men of Allah. The men of Allah know the men of Allah. The men of Allah are not interested in knowing the chiefs and heads of the creatures.

Your words reveal what is in your heart. The tongue is the speaker of the heart. If you find that you love one person and hate another, do not love the former and hate the latter because of your lower self and your natural inclination, but scrutinize them both by the Book and the Sunna. If they approve of the one whom you love, continue to love him, and if they disapprove of him, discontinue your love. And if they approve of the one whom you hate, abandon your hatred to him, and if they disapprove of him, continue to hate him. Woe to you! You hate me because I speak the truth and take you to task. No one hates me and is ignorant of me other than one who is ignorant of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), given to much talk but little work. No one loves me but one who is knowledgeable of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), given to much work but little talk. Nearness to the True One has left me in no need of anything. There is plenty of water all around me and I am like a frog, so I cannot speak of what I know. I wait for the water to seep away and then I speak. Then, you hear the news about you and about others. 

Footnotes

1 A niche in a mosque showing the direction of Mecca.

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* O knowledgeable scholar! If you were in possession of the fruit and blessing of knowledge you would not go to the doors of sultans seeking shares for your lower selves and lustful desires. The knowledgeable scholar has no legs with which he goes to the doors of the sultans and the creatures, and the ascetic has no hands with which he takes people’s property.

* 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.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* Woe to you! Do not be double‑faced, double‑tongued, and with two different kinds of work like so‑and‑so. I have been given the authority to confront every liar, hypocrite, and impostor. I have been given the authority to confront everyone who is disobedient to Allah (mighty and glorified is He), the greatest of whom is Iblīs and the smallest is the sinful person. I have been given the authority to fight everyone who has gone astray, leads others astray, and calls them to falsehood. In doing so, I seek the help of [the following words of remembrance]: “There is no might or strength but by Allah, the High, the Great (lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāhi al‑‘Alīyī al‑‘Adhīm)”. O Allah, guide us to what makes You satisfied with us, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* Woe to you! Hypocrisy has become firmly stuck to your heart, so you need Islam, repentance, and cutting the waistband [which Christians wear]. Be sensible! You will see when the dust has cleared whether you are riding a horse or donkey: “And you will know its tidings after a while” (38.88). The person who listens to my words, puts them into practice, and acts with sincerity will be one of those who are drawn near because these are words from the kernel with no shell.

* As for the hypocrite, he has a clever tongue but a clumsy heart. All his knowledge is in his tongue. This is why the Prophet (prayer and peace be on him and on his family) has said: “The most that I fear for my nation is a hypocrite with a clever tongue.”

* O hypocrite, you will not succeed in this business through your hypocrisy and pretence! You can see your cunningness, you can see your acceptance by the hearts of people, but you cannot see what lies in front of you! You are a source of misfortune to yourself in this world and in the hereafter, and to those whom you teach and order to follow you. You are a dissimulator, impostor, and swindler in relation to people’s property. No doubt, you will not have a prayer answered or a place in the hearts of the truthful. You have gone astray from Allah’s (mighty and glorified is He) way with His knowledge. You will see when the dust has cleared whether you are riding a horse or donkey. When the dust has cleared, you will see the men of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) riding horses and thoroughbreds, whereas you are on a broken donkey behind them and the demons and devils will grasp you. The people of Allah attain to a state in which they have no prayer of supplication and make no requests. They do not ask for benefits to be brought or harms to be repelled. Their supplication will come to be at the command of their hearts, sometimes for themselves and sometimes for the creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication while being unaware of what they are doing. O Allah, grant us ultimate politeness with You under all circumstances and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* It is the habit of the believer to reflect first and then speak, whereas the hypocrite speaks first and then reflects. The tongue of the believer is behind his mind and heart, whereas the tongue of the hypocrite is in front of his mind and heart. O Allah, include us among the believers, do not include us with the hypocrites, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* May Allah confer no blessing on you, O hypocrites! How many you are! Your efforts are totally dedicated to cultivating your relationships with the creatures and undermining your relationships with the Creator. If you treat me as your enemy, this means that you are treating Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and His Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him and on his family) as your enemies because I support them. Do not overstep the mark for “Allah has full control over His affair” (from 12.21).

Joseph’s (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) brothers tried hard to kill him but without success. How could they have succeeded when he is a king in the sight of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), one of His prophets, and one of the truthful elite, and when He had preordained that benefits would flow to the creatures through his hands? Similarly, the Jews tried to kill Jesus, the son of Mary (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on them), because they became envious of him as a result of the marvelous signs and miracles that he performed, so Allah Almighty revealed to him that he must leave their country for Egypt. He left it, and this happened when he was thirteen years old. It was one of his relatives who took him and helped him to escape. Then his influence increased and he became well‑known throughout that country, so a group of people decided to kill him but they failed for “Allah has full control over His affair.” You are doing the same, O hypocrites of this age! You wish to kill me. You are unworthy of respect! You will be kept well short of that.

Force yourselves to perform works of obedience and refrain from acts of disobedience and reprehensible deeds and then this forcing will turn into a natural inclination. Try to understand the words of your Lord, put them into practice, and act sincerely in accordance with them. Our Lord (mighty and glorified is He) speaks a speech that can be heard and understood. In this world, Moses (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) and Muhammad (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) heard His words. In the hereafter, the believers among His creatures will hear His speech. Our Lord can be seen. We shall see Him on the Day of Resurrection as we now see the sun and moon. We have no doubt about this today and we shall have no doubt about it tomorrow [at the Resurrection]. Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has servants who are willing to sell Paradise and its contents for a glance [of Him]. Once He has established the truthfulness of their intentions and that they are irrevocably ready to trade Paradise for a single glimpse, He will make glimpses available to them indefinitely. He will make their nearness permanent. He will compensate them for the pleasures of Paradise with His nearness.

O you who are ignorant of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), His Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him), and His men! Woe to you! Advance one step with the feet of your hearts to the food of the favor of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). Can you not see how I am putting it in front of you? Anyone of you who accuses me of telling lies will himself be called a liar by his clothes, his house, and the angels who surround him. I do not care about the accusation of telling lies that you level at me, O hypocrite, O impostor!

* I can see that the majority of you make public any bad thing they come across and conceal any good thing that they see. Do not do that. You are not in charge of people. Leave people under Allah’s (mighty and glorified is He) veil. Release people from your hands for their reckoning is a matter for their Lord. If you have known Allah (mighty and glorified is He), you will have shown mercy to His creatures and left their shortcomings undisclosed. If you have known Him, you will have ignored anyone other than Him and you will have known the others through Him. If you deal with Him, you will resent dealing with others. If you have known His door, your hearts will have turned away from the doors of others. If you have seen the favors to have come from Him, you will have thanked Him and forgotten thanking others. Ask Him to provide for your needs and do not ask others. Believe in His oneness and then you will be unified. The person who believes in His oneness will be unified. The person who seeks [Him] will find [Him]. The person who surrenders and submits [to Him] will be saved. The person who complies with His will will be granted success. The person who disputes with destiny will be destroyed.

* O hypocrite, it is natural that you do not understand what I have to say because you disbelieve my words. If you want to comprehend and understand what I say, repent from your hypocrisy, act with sincerity, and renounce your worldly interests and anything other than your Master. The first stage of this business is declaring that “there is no God save Allah (lā ilāha illā Allah) (from 47.19), Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (Muhammadun rasūlu Allah)” (from 48.29), and its last stage is seeing stones and clay as equal. I mean by “stone” the gold which is the beloved of the creatures and the thing they seek.

* Suppose that you have succeeded in concealing your reality from the people of the Law, how can you hide yourself from the people of Knowledge who can see by the light of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and are able to know the creatures by their marks? In the sight of the common people, you are one who performs the prayer, keeps the fast, is obedient, pays the obligatory alms, makes the pilgrimage, practices pious restraint, is pious, and is an ascetic. In the eyes of the people of Knowledge, however, you are a hypocrite, impostor, and inhabitant of hell. When you come into their presence, they see the ruins of your house and of the house of your religion. They see the traces of hypocrisy on your face. They know you from your marks but they do not utter a word. The nearness to the True One (mighty and glorified is He) has sealed their mouths, His covering has held their tongues, and the tongue of His generosity and patience has prevented them from speaking. Otherwise, their secrets would have become public.

O hypocrites, fulfill the requirements of Islam so that you acquire faith, certitude, knowingness, private conversation, direct speech, and discourse. Be sensible, do not be satisfied with the appearances and neglect the substance. Work and act with sincerity and then you will be saved. Serve the practicing knowledgeable scholars. The person who serves will himself be served. The person who acts with humility will be elevated. Give service and then you will become a master. Have you not heard this saying: “The master of the people is their servant”? You serve very well yourself, your wife, and your son but you hide your money away from the poor and spend it in satisfying your passions and purposes. Your wealth will soon vanish.

You are afraid of the watchman on your street and the ruler of your town more than you fear your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). You treat them with veneration and present them with gifts because they know that your home is in ruins and are aware of your scandals. Woe to you! Soon, your wealth will disappear and your friends, who are evil companions, will abandon you and become your enemies. The watchman on your street and the ruler of your town will spread the word about your disgrace because you do not pay them anymore. How would Allah (mighty and glorified is He) bless you when you are spending His favors on acts of disobedience to Him? Soon, you will start to beg but no one will give you a handout and the garbage dumps and sewage places will be your abode. It is also possible that the Angel of Death will come to you while you are in this situation and thus you will move from one misery to another. Be sensible and feel ashamed in the presence of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). This world will not last forever but the hereafter will. The lustful desires of this world do not last but the pleasures of the hereafter do. The believer sells this world for the hereafter and the creatures for the Creator.

* O hypocrite, your time is being spent on nothing. O backslider, your time is being wasted and your capital is melting away, so no doubt you will make no profit. Your capital is your religion, and since you are using your capital to consume worldly things, you are in effect consuming your religion, so it is diminishing and vanishing. It vanishes through your work for the sake of the creatures and your quest for fame, the gold coin, the silver coin, social prestige, and acceptance [by the creatures]. You are the enemy of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). You are hated by Him, by the hearts of the truthful among His servants, and by His angels. The angels curse you, the earth under you curses you, the sky above you curses you, and your clothes curse you. So you are cursed by the Creator and by the creatures. Have you not known that the hypocrite is “in the lowest depths of the Fire” (from 4.145)? Surrender (become a Muslim) and then repent. Do something before death surprises you, before you are suddenly overtaken and end up in regret when regret is useless. I know you but I cannot point at you. We are commanded in the Law to leave you and others unexposed. But I speak out, however, without mentioning names. I refer to you indirectly, without pointing to you explicitly. As the saying goes: “My words are aimed at you, so listen to what I am going to say to my neighbor.” The slave may need to be beaten with a stick but a nod should be enough for a freeman.

The True One (high is He) looks at the private and public lives of the creatures and also at their hearts. He does not accept from them other than what they offer to Him and do for the sake of His face. Do not put on a show, do not cheat, and do not try to conceal your faults for “He knows the secret and what is yet more hidden” (from 20.7),and “He knows the treachery of the eyes and what the breasts conceal” (40.19).

* How much I call on you but you do not hear me, and when you hear you pretend to be deaf and do not answer! How far you are! You are being called from a distant place. Your voice comes from the depths of the earth not from the castle of nearness and the shore of the sea of favor. Your whole concern is with your bellies, genitals, bodies, and amassing worldly goods. This is poison. Hunger is the food with which Allah (mighty and glorified is He) satisfies the stomachs of the truthful on earth. O you who are afraid of poverty, the real poverty is the fear of poverty, and the real affluence is being satisfied with Allah (mighty and glorified is He) not with the silver and gold coins! O young man, make yourself live the experience of the Resurrection [before it has come]! Enter with the feet of your reasoning to the Fire and Paradise and look at what is there with the eyes of your faith and certitude. The believer continues to work until both of his reasoning and sight come to be sound. After achieving this, he puts himself through the experience of the Resurrection. He stands in the presence of His Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and reads the scrolls of his works. He sees in them his good and bad deeds. He can see that his bad works have outnumbered his good ones and that because of his bad works he will fall into the Fire. He wishes to cross over the ṣirāṭ1 so he will step on it, poised between fear and hope, between falling to his death and crossing safely. While he is in this situation, Allah (mighty and glorified is He) will reach out to him with His mercy, giving the order for him to be brought back, widening the ṣirāṭbeneath his feet, and extinguishing with the water of His mercy the flames of the fire so that the fire will say to him: “Pass through, O believer, for your light has put out my flames!” The believer reflects on all of this, imagines it graphically, and believes in it as a fact. He keeps his belief in it until it becomes a matter of certainty for him.

* One of the righteous is reported to have said: “The hypocrite remains in one and the same state for forty years, whereas the truthful person changes forty times every day.” The hypocrite is involved with his lower self, passion, natural inclination, devil, and worldly interests. He never leaves their service. He never expresses an opinion that is different from theirs. He never says anything that contradicts what they say. His whole concern is with eating, drinking, dressing up, having sex, and amassing wealth. He does not care in what way he gets all that. He ensures the prosperity of his body and worldly affairs but ruins his heart and religion. He pleases the creatures but dissatisfies the Creator. The longer his hypocrisy lasts, the harder and darker his heart becomes, so he becomes more unmoved and undisturbed by any admonition, unable to learn a lesson from any advice, and incapable of remembering when he is given a reminder. No doubt, therefore, he remains in one and the same state for forty years. The truthful person, on the other hand, does not remain in one state because he is involved with the Transformer of hearts, submerged in the sea of His power, with one wave raising him up and another sending him down. With respect to the True One’s (mighty and glorified is He) management of affairs, he is like a feather in the desert, like a stalk in the farmer’s field, like the corpse in the hands of the washer of the dead, like the child on the lap of the nursing mother, and like the ball in front of the polo player’s mallet. He has surrendered his outward and inward to Him and he is satisfied with His management of his affairs and His looking after him. He is not concerned with his eating, sleep, and lustful desires, but the whole of his concern is with the service of his Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and His satisfaction with him. This is why a righteous man has said: “As for the people of Allah, their eating is like that of the sick, their sleep is like that of the drowned, and their speech is only uttered out of necessity.” How could not they be like this when they have seen with their hearts what no one else has ever seen? They have forgotten everything other than their Lord (mighty and glorified is He). They have become unconscious as far as this world, the hereafter, and anything other than Him are concerned. They have camped at His door. They used compliance as their pillow at His doorstep, and content and satisfaction as their quilt, while the divine decree and destiny serve them, kiss them on the forehead, and carry them on their heads.

Footnotes

1 A narrow bridge that every person will have to cross on the Day of Resurrection.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

 

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* O young man, the word Ramadan1 consists of five letters: rā’, mīm, dhād, alif, and nūn. The rā’ is derived from raḥma (mercy) and ra’fa (graciousness); the mīm from mujāzāt (recompense), maḥabba (love), and minna (favor); the dhād from dhamānlilthawāb (assurance of reward); the alif from ulfa (affinity) and qurb (nearness); and the nūn from nūr (light) and nawāl (earning of grace). If you give this month its due and act properly during it, these things will come to you from the True One (mighty and glorified is He). They will come to you in this world in the form of strength and enlightenment to your hearts, and as favors and earning of grace, outwardly and inwardly. In the hereafter there will come to you what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and has never occurred to any human being.

Most of you are out of touch with Ramadan. Respect for any command comes in proportion to the respect shown to the commander. As for anyone who is out of touch with Allah (mighty and glorified is He), His Messenger, His prophets, and the righteous among His servants (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on all of them), how can he be in touch with this month? Most of you have seen their fathers, mothers, and neighbors fast, so they joined them as a matter of habit not worship. They think that fasting is merely about abstaining from food and drink, so they do not fulfill its conditions and requirements.

O people, give up habitual practice and keep to worship. Fast for the sake of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). Do not get bored of fasting and worshipping in this month. Do righteous works during it, and make sure that you act with sincerity. Make a regular practice of doing the prayer of tarāwīḥ.2 Illuminate the mosques, for this will be a light for you on the Day of Resurrection. If you obey and honor Allah (mighty and glorified is He) in this month, it will be an intercessor for you in the presence of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) on the Day of Resurrection. Give fasting its due so that it gives you yours. Give it so that it gives you, becomes a witness for you in the presence of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He), praises you, and asks for you a share of His favor, generosity, blessings, grace, graciousness, subtle kindness, safekeeping, substance, and protection.

Woe to you! What benefit would you derive from fasting if you break it on unlawful food and sleep during these noble nights having committed acts of disobedience? Woe to you! You fast out of dissimulation and hypocrisy as long as you are among the creatures, and once you are on your own you break your fast! Then you come out and say: “I am keeping the fast,” whereas throughout the day you are involved in verbal abuse, leveling defamatory accusations, swearing false oaths, and taking people’s money by fraud, trickery, and exaction. This kind of fast does not do you any good and does not count as a fast. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “There are so many people who fast yet get nothing from it other than hunger and thirst, and there are so many people who spend the night worshipping yet earn nothing from it other than fatigue and vigil.”

There are among you those who are Muslims outwardly but like idol‑worshippers inwardly. Woe to you! Renew your practice of Islam, your repentance, your apology, and your sincerity so that your Master (mighty and glorified is He) will accept you and pardon your past sins. O you who are fasting, thank your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) for preparing you for the fast and enabling you to keep it! When one of you fasts, let his ears, sight, hands, legs, limbs and senses, and heart all fast. Let all his outward and all his inward fast. When you fast, give up telling lies, giving false witness, backbiting, defaming people, and embezzling their property. In principle, you fast in order to purify yourselves of your sins and keep away from them, so what would you benefit from your fast if you commit these sins yet again? Have you not heard these words of the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him): “The fast is a suit of armor (junna)”, for it protects and covers the person who wears it? This is why the shield is called mijanna, because it protects its owner and prevents the arrows from striking him, and the person who is out of his mind is called majnūn, as his mind has been screened off.3 The fast is a suit of armor for anyone who fasts with pious restraint, piety, and sincerity, for in this case it prevents the tribulations of this world and the hereafter from striking him.

O you who are fasting, comfort the poor and the needy with a share of your food at the time of breaking your fast for it increases your reward and is a sign of acceptance of your fast at the time of breaking it! All this will disappear and nothing will remain other than what you do in preparation for yourselves in the hereafter. Therefore, do such preparations as long as you can. On the Day of Resurrection, you will be gathered hungry, thirsty, naked, afraid, ashamed, and terrified. The person who feeds the poor and the needy in this world will be fed on that Day. The person who gives drink in this world will be given drink on that Day. The person who provides clothing for the poor and the needy in this world will be supplied with clothes on that Day. The person who is afraid and feels ashamed before the True One (mighty and glorified is He) in this world will be made to feel safe on that Day. The person who is merciful to others in this world will have Allah (mighty and glorified is He) show mercy to him on that Day.

In this month, there is a night that is the greatest night of the year, which is Laylatu Al‑Qadr (night of power).4 This night has signs which the righteous can recognize. Among the servants of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) there are those who have the veil removed from their eyes so they see the light of divinity that is held in the hands of the angels, the light of their faces, the light of the doors of heaven, and the light of the face of the True One (mighty and glorified is He), because on that Night He manifests Himself to the people of the earth.

O people, do not make obtaining your food your concern because it is a low concern. You have been put to test by the need to eat and drink, but you have been spared the trouble of securing sustenance, so do not have any concern about it. Glory be to the Self‑Sustained One who never eats or drinks. He gives but is never given substances, He feeds but is never fed, He is the Self‑Sustained One who has no belly. He never eats, drinks, or sleeps. Your greedy keenness has increased, whereas your pious restraint and faith have decreased. Woe to you! This world lasts for only one hour, so spend it in obedience.

Footnotes

1 As written in the Arabic script.

2 Special prayers performed in the month of Ramadan.

3 The Arabic words mijanna and majnūn both share with junna the same root.

4 The night on which the first verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (prayer and peace be on him).

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

 

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “Gabriel has said to me: ‘Allah will not treat mercifully anyone who does not show mercy to people’”. Allah treats with mercy His merciful servants. Treat with mercy those who are on earth so that those who are in heaven treat you mercifully. O you who wish for mercy from Allah (mighty and glorified is He), weigh up its price and you will then get it. Its price is nothing other than showing mercy to His creatures, being compassionate with them, and treating them with good intention. You would like to get something for nothing, so you will get nothing. Pay the price first and then take the priced thing. Woe to you! You lay claim to knowingness of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), yet you show no mercy to His creatures! You have made a false claim. The knower treats with mercy every creature from the point of view of Knowledge, and he shows mercy to some people and not others from the viewpoint of the Law. The Law differentiates, whereas Knowledge unites. Allah (high is He) has said: “And enter the houses by their doors” (from 2.189).

The truthful, sincere, practicing shaikhs are the doors to the True One (mighty and glorified is He) and His ways to His nearness. They are the heirs and deputies of the prophets and messengers (prayer and peace be on them). They are the individuals whom the True One (mighty and glorified is He) has singled out and the ones who call to Him. They are ambassadors between Him and the creatures. They are the physicians of religion and the teachers of the creatures. Accept from them and serve them. Surrender your ignorant lower selves to their commandments and prohibitions.

All forms of sustenance are in the hand of Allah (mighty and glorified is He): the sustenance of the bodies, the sustenance of the hearts, and the sustenance of the innermost beings. So request them from Him not from someone else. The sustenance of the bodies is food and drink, the sustenance of the hearts is the belief in the oneness of Allah, and the sustenance of the innermost beings is the private remembrance [of Allah].

Show mercy to your lower selves by striving against them, instructing them to observe the commandments and prohibitions, and training them. Be merciful to the creatures by commanding them to do what is right, forbidding them from committing what is wrong, offering them truthful advice, and taking them by the hand to the door of their Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Mercy is one of the attributes of the believers, whereas harshness is one of the attributes of the disbelievers.

Maintain a connection with the person who cuts you off, give to the person who deprives you, and pardon the person who wrongs you. If you do this, your rope will be connected to the rope of Allah (high is He) and what you have will be connected to what He has, because these morals are among the morals of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). Respond to the call of the muezzins who call you to the mosques, which are the home of hospitality, the home of private conversation. Answer their call for you will find salvation and satisfaction in them. If you respond to the call of His caller, He will admit you to His house, answer your prayers, draw you near, teach you knowingness and Knowledge, show you what He has, teach your limbs and senses the proper conduct, clean your hearts, purify your innermost beings, confer on you guiding inspiration, place you in His presence, lead your hearts to the abode of His nearness, and give them permission to enter into His presence. He is generous. If you respond to His call and do not underestimate it, He will answer your prayers, treat you kindly, and confer favors on you. The Invincible One has said: “Is the reward of goodness anything but goodness?” (55.60). If you act properly, He will give you good rewards. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “As you treat others, you will be treated. As your state of affairs is, those who have authority over you will be. It is either in your favor or against you.”

* The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “Keep to good manners in your social relationships with people so that when you are dead they pray for Allah to show mercy to you and when you are alive they yearn for you.” Heed to this good advice. Tie it to your hearts and do not forget it. It points out to you an easy work that carries much reward. How good fine manners are! They are a source of comfort to the person who has them and to others. How detestable are bad manners! They are a source of fatigue to the person who has them and a source of harm to others.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* O servants of Allah, beware of injustice for it results in darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Injustice darkens the heart and the face. Beware of the prayer of supplication of the wronged person. Beware of the weeping of the wronged person and of the burning in his heart. The believer does not die before revenge has been exacted on the person who did him injustice and before he has witnessed his death, the black signs of death covering his door, his children become orphans, the seizure of his property, and the transfer of his authority to someone else. When the believer’s behavior becomes controlled by his heart, judgment will often be delivered not against him but in his favor, he will not be humiliated but humiliation will be inflicted [on others] in his favor, he will not have his shares reduced but reduction of the shares [of others] will be made to his advantage, and he will not have the women of his family exposed to publicity, humiliated, or surrendered to the hands of wrongful people.

* O people, refrain from engaging in idle gossip, amassing worldly goods, and quarreling over them. You will be punished [at the Resurrection] on account of the worldly goods that you have in your hands if you do not give the dues of the poor and the needy and spend the rest in obedience to Allah (high is He) and in worshipping Him. Woe to you! You are trustees of this property, so do not you feel a sense of shame that you have neighbors who are poor and starving to death while you have turned away from them? Have you not heard His following words: “And spend of what He made you inherit” (from 57.7)? He has informed you that you have been appointed trustees of the wealth but you have considered it your personal property and engaged in mutiny, rebelling against Him. He has not commanded you to spend all of it on charity but appointed for the poor a specified entitlement which is the obligatory alms, expiatory gifts, and votive offerings. Discharge your obligations to the poor then discharge your obligations to the family and relatives. Comforting with charitable alms, in addition to giving the obligatory alms, is part of the good manners of the believer. The person who does business with Allah (mighty and glorified is He) makes profit. The Most Truthful of Speakers has said in His truthful Book: “And what you spend He replaces it” (from 34.39).

* O people, do not do injustice to yourselves and do not do injustice to others. Injustice ruins homes, cuts off lineages, darkens hearts and faces, and decreases sustenance. Do not commit injustice for we will have a resurrection. We will certainly be resurrected. It will come soon. We have a Creator who will certainly make us stand before Him, call us to account, interrogate us, and ask us about what we did, be it insignificant or major, including the things that are as tiny as an atom. I am offering you good advice and I do not ask for a fee in return.

Do not come close to usury for this amounts to waging war against your Lord and causes the blessing to disappear from your property. Lend a gold coin for one gold coin. If anyone of you is able to give a loan to a poor person and after sometime donate it to him for the sake of Allah, let him do it. He will thus make him happy twice: the first time when he gives him the loan and the second when he turns the loan into a donation. Do this as an act of relying on your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and having confidence in Him. He compensates, rewards, and gives blessings. Make strenuous efforts not to turn away a beggar. Give him whatever you can. Giving little is better than deprivation. If you have nothing at all to give, do not chide him, but send him away using kind words and never break his heart.

This world is a passage that is crossed as night and day alternate. When someone dies, he experiences his own resurrection and comes to know what he has to his credit and what he has against him. Everything has an opposite counterpart: well‑being and affliction, good and evil, affluence and poverty, life and death, and honor and humiliation. All of these things are opposites. When one of them arrives, its opposite departs, and in the end there is death.

* The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “Each one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.” The father will be held responsible for his children and his wife, and the children and the wife will be held responsible for him. Every master will be held responsible for his slave. Every slave will be held responsible for his master. The teacher will be held responsible for the pupils. The chief will be held responsible for the people of his village. The king will be held responsible for the people of his kingdom. The Commander of the Believers, who is the shepherd of all people, will be held responsible for his flock. There is no one among you who will not be held individually responsible.

Make every effort that you do not do injustice. Make every effort to give the rights to those who are entitled to them. Give gifts to one another. Show mercy to one another. Do not backbite one another. Do not subjugate one another. Help each other, ignore any wronging between yourselves, and do not expose each other’s faults. Tolerate your wrongdoing to each other. Leave people under the veil of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). Command what is right and forbid what is wrong, without prying or spying. Denounce any wrongdoing that is apparent but do not concern yourselves with what may be hidden. Do not expose others’ faults so that Allah (mighty and glorified is He) will not expose yours. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) loved refraining from exposing people’s faults and hated keeping an eye on the shortcomings. Therefore he (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “Suspend the application of the punishments prescribed by the Law whenever there are doubts.” He also said to ‘Alī bin Abī Ṭālib (may Allah be satisfied with him and ennoble his face): “O ‘Alī! Give evidence only on something [that is clear] like this,” and he pointed to the sun.

O young man, the practice of beneficence is to give all that you are required to give and accept only some of what you are entitled to. If you can, donate all that is due to you and add more on top of it. This depends upon the strength of your faith, certitude, and confidence in your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). When you weigh some goods, tip the balance in the customer’s favor, for thus Allah will tilt the balance in your favor on the Day of Resurrection. O you who are in charge of weighing, tilt the balance in favor of the person for whom you weigh so that the balance will be titled in your favor [in the hereafter]! It has been reported that the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) once borrowed a few silver coins, and when he came to settle the debt he said to the man who weighs: “Weigh and tilt the balance in favor of the creditor.” When anyone of you borrows something from another person, he should pay him back something that is better than what he borrowed from him and add some extra, even though this was not stipulated originally.

O people, buy from Allah the nearness to Allah (mighty and glorified is He), buy from Allah Allah! As for your allotted worldly shares, they and their dates of arrival have already been determined. They will not increase or decrease whether you seek them or not, whether you worship your Lord or disobey Him, whether you behave properly or badly. Those that are assigned for later dates cannot be made to come earlier and those that are assigned for earlier dates cannot be delayed. Allah is the Provider, whereas everyone else is provided for. He is the Wealthy One, whereas everyone else is poor. He is the Capable One, whereas everyone else is powerless. He is the One who sets things in motion, the One who causes things to come to a halt, the One who grants authority to someone over another, and the One who puts things at the command of others. All creatures are instruments in His hands. He has assigned a means for everything. Forget the creatures then the means and this world as far as your hearts, private lives, essences, and innermost beings are concerned. Evict from your hearts everything other than Him. Beware of the situation where He would look into your hearts while they quest for other than Him and wish for someone else. Submit and surrender to Him. Believe in the oneness of God and be consistent in this. Be satisfied with the preordained decree and be extinct to the One who preordains. Listen to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He), but be deaf to His creatures. Be deaf and blind as far as the creatures are concerned.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* The Prophet is reported to have said: “One result of the excellence of the person’s practice of Islam is neglecting what does not concern him.” Every person who practices Islam and applies it is interested in what is really relevant to him and turns away from what is irrelevant to him. Being busy with what is of no concern to you is the business of those who are idle and in illusion. The person who is deprived of the pleasure of His Master is he who did not act on what he was commanded but instead occupied himself with irrelevant things. This is deprivation itself, resentment itself, and banishment itself. Woe to you! Obey the commandments, refrain from the prohibitions, show acceptance at times of affliction, and then surrender yourself to the hand of destiny without asking “why” or “how.” Allah’s (mighty and glorified is He) care for you combined with His knowledge of you are better than your care for yourself combined with your ignorance of your Lord. Be satisfied with what He gives and occupy yourself with offering thanks for it. Do not ask Him for more, for you do not know where your best interest lies.

* Give up the involvement in much babble and idol gossip and squandering money. Do not spend much time in the company of relatives, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances without good reason, for that is an illusion. Most of the telling of lies takes place between two, and disobedience does not happen but between two. None of you should go out of his home except to pursue essential personal and family interests. Make every effort not to be the first to speak and that your speech is only in answer to a question. When a person asks you about something, answer him only when there are benefits for both of you in doing so, otherwise do not answer him. When you see a Muslim brother do not ask him “where are you going to?” or “where are you coming from?” He may be unwilling to tell you about his personal affairs and thus he would lie, so it would be you who forced him to lie.

Feel a sense of shame from the Honorable Recording Angels (Al‑Kirām Al‑Kātibīn)1 Do not dictate to them what you should not be saying. Dictate to them what would make you happy on the Day of Resurrection, words of glorification of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, and words that relate to your and other creatures’ interests. Increase their ink with your tears and strengthen their pens with your belief in the oneness of God, then leave them sitting at the door and enter into the presence of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He).

Curtail hopes. Keep death in front of your eyes. When anyone of you comes across his brother, he should greet him and bid him farewell as if he is about to depart from this world. Similarly, when he leaves his home, he should greet his family with his heart, for the Messenger of Death may summon him and thus prevent him from returning to them. His final moment may be on the road. Therefore, the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “None of you should sleep the night unless his will is written and placed under his head.” If one of you has a debt and is capable of paying it back, he should repay it and not postpone the repayment, for he does not know whether or not he will have the opportunity to repay later. The person who is capable of repaying the debt but does not do is thus involved in wronging himself, because the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “The postponement [of repayment] by the affluent person is an act of wrongdoing.”

* O young man, do not occupy yourself with what is irrelevant to you so you miss what concerns you! Thinking of the states of another person and his faults is of no concern to you, whereas reflecting on your states is of concern to you. All of the speech of the person with a lower self, passion, and natural inclination will be against him rather than in his favor. He is like the person who collects firewood by night so he does not know what he is gathering. When the lower self has calmed down and the fire of passion and natural inclination has subsided so that it cannot reach the lower self, the faculty of reason will grow, faith will strengthen, tranquility will arrive, and the differentiation between the truth and falsehood will come, so the person will refrain from falsehood and speak the truth. The Law will then come to him and he will act according to it, so he will become a servant of the Law. He will obey the Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) with regard to his commandments and prohibitions because he has heard the True One (mighty and glorified is He) say: “And what the Messenger gives you, take; and what he forbids you, abstain from” (from 59.7). He has come to know that this verse applies to all the commandments and prohibitions brought by the Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him). He will, thus, perform the works of obedience that he commanded and refrain from committing the sins he (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) prohibited. At this stage, he will become a pious Muslim. If he continues like this, he will become a knower of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and knowledgeable of Him. He will have tranquility, silence, and ability to listen to what is spoken to him in his heart. He will be continuously spoken to and he will be in permanent happiness. O Allah, grant us the pleasure of Your nearness, the delight of Your private conversation, and feeling happy with You, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* Be sensible and do not talk about things that do not concern you. Occupy yourselves with what you have been commanded to do and do not waste your time on irrelevant things. Be pious to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and repent to Him. When someone shows piety to Him, He protects him; and when He protects someone, He elevates him to the door of His nearness. He elevates him to everlasting life. He elevates from the stars to the Seventh Heaven. You will soon see the Resurrection. You will see how Allah (mighty and glorified is He) will gather those who are pious to Him in the shade of His Throne and seat them at tables on which there is white honey, whereas the other people are immersed in heat and sweat. While sitting at those tables, they will see the creatures and their states; some people will be taken to the gardens of Paradise and others will be carried away to the Fire. They will be sitting there and their houses in Paradise are in front of them. Their wives and their youths of Paradise will be visible to them. They will see the things that have been assigned to them before they reach them.

* O you who are forgetful! Take little from what leaves you and take in abundance from what stays with you and does not leave you. Do many righteous works. Fast and be sincere in fasting. Perform prayer and be sincere in your prayer. Make the pilgrimage and be sincere in that. Pay the obligatory alms and be sincere in it. Remember your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and be sincere in remembering Him. Serve the righteous, draw near to them, and be sincere in your service to them. Occupy yourself with your own faults and do not pay attention to the faults of others. Command the practice of what is right and prohibit what is wrong. Do not expose the private affairs of people and keep them secret. Disapprove any wrongdoing that is apparent but do not concern yourselves with what may be hidden. Focus on yourselves and do not pay attention to others. Do not speak a lot about things that are of no concern to you, for the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “One result of the excellence of the person’s practice of Islam is neglecting what does not concern him.” Your faults are your business but the faults of others are of no concern to you.

* O young man, talk about things that concern you and give up discussing matters that are irrelevant to you. When you know Allah (mighty and glorified is He), your fear of Him will increase and your speech in His presence will decrease. This is why the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “When someone comes to know Allah, his tongue becomes exhausted,” meaning that he becomes mute. The tongue of His lower self, passion, natural inclination, habit, telling of lies, slander, and falsehood will become dumb, whereas the tongue of his inward will speak, and the tongue of his heart, innermost being, essences, truthfulness and his purity will speak. The tongue of his falsehood will become dumb, but the tongue of his truth will speak. The tongue of his talking about things that are of no concern to him will become incapable of speech, whereas the tongue of his heart will speak about things that concern him. The tongue of his quest for his lower self will become dumb, whereas the tongue of his quest for the True One will speak. In the early stage of acquiring knowingness, speech will stop and the person’s whole existence will melt away. He will become extinct to himself and to everyone else. Then, if the True One (mighty and glorified is He) wills, He will resurrect him. If He wants him to speak, He will create for him a tongue with which He enables him to speak. He will cause him to speak what He wants of words of wisdom and secrets. His speech will be a remedy within a remedy, a light within a light, a truth within a truth, a rightness within a rightness, and a purity within purity, for he will speak only at the command of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), by means of his heart. If he speaks without being commanded to do so, he will perish. He will not speak unless he is given a command, or as a result of an irresistible thing that overcomes him. If this was the case, the True One (mighty and glorified is He) is far too generous to call someone to task because of an irresistible motive that has no lower self, passion, natural inclination, devil, and willfulness, as He does not call the dead to task for making some utterance, or a dreamer for his wet dreams and for what he sees and does in his sleep. The words of those whose lower selves have died were heard only after the death of their lower selves. As for someone who speaks before reaching this stage, his silence is better than his speech. No one should advance to the first row save the brave. The person who advances to the first row without having bravery and expertise will perish.

Footnotes

1 These are the angles who record the works of every person.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* Be humble and do not be arrogant. Humility raises people up, whereas arrogance brings them down. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “When someone behaves with humility with Allah, Allah (mighty and glorified is He) raises him up.” Allah has some servants who do righteous works that are as great as the mountains, like the deeds of the predecessors, yet they humble themselves to Allah and say: “We have done nothing that can cause us to enter Paradise. If we would enter it, it would be by the mercy of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), and if He would deny us admission, it would be on account of His justice.” They continue to stand in His company on the foot of bankruptcy.

* Be humble, for the more you humble yourself the more you become prominent, get elevated, and gain a higher status. If you do not behave with humility, this will indicate your ignorance of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), His Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him), His prophets, His saints, His Law, His Knowledge, His power, His status, this world of His, and the hereafter of His. How often you hear but do not understand, understand but do not work, and work but with no sincerity so that your presence and your absence are one and the same!

* O hypocrite, why do you want to listen to these words? Get out of here. You are the enemy of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), the enemy of His Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him), His prophets, and His saints (Allah’s prayer and peace be on all of them). Were it not for my patience and sense of shame in the presence of Allah, I would come down, grab you by the scruff of your neck, and throw you out.

You are in illusion. O people, work and be sincere! Do not be conceited and do not claim doing a favor to Allah (mighty and glorified is He) for deeds that He Himself has enabled you to do! The vain person is ignorant. The person who claims to have done Allah a favor is ignorant. The person who behaves arrogantly with the creatures is ignorant. Humility is from Allah and arrogance is from Satan. The first one who behaved with arrogance was Iblīs, so he was cursed, hated, thrown out, and deprived. If self‑abasement and humility did not represent such a high spiritual degree He would not have used them to describe those whom He loves and who love Him, as in His (high is He) following saying: “O you who believe! If anyone of you turns back from his religion, Allah will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him — [who are] humble to the believers, proud with the disbelievers” (from 5.54). The believers humble themselves to the believers, but are honorable in their attitude toward the disbelievers. Their humbleness to the believers is an act of worship and their honorableness with the disbelievers is a work of worship. The believer never adopts an attitude of arrogance toward the creatures, but he rather abases himself and behaves with humbleness to them. He conceals his spiritual state by his self‑abasement and humility. He is in fact close to the king and is in his house. When he goes out and about with him, he disguises himself as a servant so that no one would recognize his nearness to the king. If the vizier and the king went out, having disguised themselves, and then the vizier was recognized by one of his friends and started to talk to him, the vizier must not treat him with arrogance and respond by saying: “The king is with me.” Instead, he must smile to him, do his business for him, and give him the impression that the person who is with him is his servant, thus concealing his true identity.

O young man, you have no knowledge of the spiritual states of the people of Allah and you do not believe in their words! It is your involvement with the creatures that has screened you off from them. Your pursuit of worldly status and your quest for leadership have screened you off from them. If you were truthful in seeking the people of Allah, you would have seen them and benefited from their words.

* Be humble so that you will be given a high status. Take off the clothes of arrogance and put on the cloths of humility so that you will be raised. All that you are involved in is an illusion within an illusion. If you turn away from the notion of the lower self, the notion of passion, the notion of Satan, and the notion of this world, the notion of the hereafter will come to you, as well as the notion of the angel, and finally the notion of the True One (mighty and glorified is He), which is the ultimate goal. When the heart has become sound, it will stop the notion and ask it: “What kind of notion are you? Where are you from?” It will reply: “I am the notion of such‑and‑such.” Woe to you! Most of you are in illusion within illusion. You are worshipping the creatures in your cells.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* One who is ignorant of Allah behaves with dissimulation and hypocrisy, whereas one who is knowledgeable of Him does not do that. The fool disobeys Allah (mighty and glorified is He), whereas the sensible person obeys Him. One who is full of hatred disobeys Him, but the lover obeys Him. One who greedily accumulates worldly goods behaves with dissimulation and hypocrisy, whereas one who has curtailed hopes does not do that. One who is forgetful of death puts on a show, whereas one who remembers it does not behave hypocritically. One who forgets that Allah (mighty and glorified is He) looks at him behaves with dissimulation, whereas one who is aware that He watches him does not do that. One who is neglectful behaves dissemblingly, but one who is wakeful does not put on a show.

* O young man, do not speak to any creature about what you are involved in of the affairs of this world and the hereafter. Keep what you are involved in out of sight, behind locked doors. Cover the face of your spiritual state and do not let anyone see anything of it except the eyes. If the cover is a veil that totally covers the face, it will be even better for you.

This is the end of the days of intermission. There are the market of hypocrisy and the market of dealing on the basis of hope of salvation and fear of punishment. You wish to obtain worldly things and fear their remoteness. You wish for nearness to the creatures and fear that they may keep away from you. The kings have become gods for many creatures. This world, affluence, well‑being, might, and strength have all become gods. Woe to you! You have mistaken the branch for a root, the one who is provided for for a provider, the slave for a master, the poor person for a rich one, the powerless person for a powerful one, and the dead person for a living one. You are unworthy of respect! We do not follow you and do not adopt your creed. We would rather keep away from you. We stand on the hill of safety — on the Sunna, and on the relinquishment of heretical innovations. We stand on the hill of the belief in the oneness of God, of sincerity, of abandoning dissimulation and hypocrisy, and of seeing the creatures as powerless, weak, and overpowered. We accept the divine decree and give up dissatisfaction. We adhere to patience and give up complaining. We walk with the feet of our hearts to the door of our King (mighty and glorified is He). Putting someone at the command of another and giving authority to someone over another are both from Him. The ability to create and provide sustenance are also both from Him.

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

Mar 112008
 

This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* O young man, beware of envy for it is a bad companion. It was envy that wrecked the house of Iblīs, destroyed him, rendered him one of the people of the Fire, and made him cursed by Allah (mighty and glorified is He), His angels, His prophets (Allah’s prayer and peace be on them), and His creatures. How can a sensible person be involved in envy when he has heard these words of Allah (high is He): “We have apportioned between them their livelihood in the life of this world” (from 43.32), and “or do they envy people for what Allah has given them?” (from 4.54); these words of the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him): “Envy consumes good deeds as the fire consumes firewood”; and these words of one of the learned scholars: “How good envy is! How just it is! It kills first the envier!” The envier is in fact objecting to Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and disputing with Him about His actions, creatures, and distribution of shares.

* How long will it be before you give up envying your brothers and hoping to obtain what they have? Woe to you! You envy your Muslim brother for his wife, children, house, and worldly possessions, although all those are already created to be his and you have no share in them. You hope to have his wife, although she is created to be his in this world and in the hereafter. You wish for affluence, although it has already been decreed that straitened circumstances will be your lot. You will be punished and hated because you quest what has not been allotted to you. How enthusiastic you are in seeking this world despite the fact that you will not have of it other than what has been allotted to you! O Allah, awaken our hearts from their forgetfulness, awaken us so that we heed to You, put us at Your service, and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

     

Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved