Mar 112008
 

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

* O young man, curtail your hopes and decrease your greedy keenness on this world. Pray like someone who is about to depart this world. Come here into my presence as someone who is about to leave this world. If destiny would allow you to come on another day, that would be something you had not counted on. The believer should not sleep unless his will is written and placed under his head, so that if the True One (mighty and glorified is He) awakens him in good health that would be good fortunate, otherwise his family would act according to his will after his death and ask Allah to show him mercy. If you do that, your eating will become like that of someone who is about to leave this world, your presence among your family will become like that of someone who is about to depart from this world, your meeting with your brothers and friends will become like that of someone who is about to leave this world. How can it not be like this for someone whose affairs are in the hand of someone else? Only a few creatures will come to know what they will do, what will happen to them, and when they will die. All of this is stored in their hearts. They see that as clearly as you see the sun, yet their tongues do not reveal it. The first to view this is the innermost being. Then the innermost being informs the heart, the heart then informs the tranquil self (an‑nafsu al‑muṭma’enna) which keeps it secret. It gets informed of this after acquiring good manners and serving and accompanying the heart. It qualifies for this after a lot of strife and suffering. The person who attains to this spiritual station is the deputy and representative of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) on earth. He is the door of the innermost beings. He has the keys of the safes of the hearts, which are the safes of the True One (mighty and glorified is He). This is something beyond the comprehension of the creatures. All that appears of it is merely an atom from its mountain, a drop from its sea, and a lamp from its sun. O Allah, I apologize to you for speaking about these secrets, but You know that I am overwhelmed. A certain righteous person once said: “Beware of what merits an apology.” But when I get up to sit on this chair [to preach], I become unaware of you [O people!] to the extent that no one is left in front of my heart to apologize to and restrict myself because of.

* You have to curtail your hopes, for everyone who has succeeded has done so by the curtailment of hopes. Decrease your greedy keenness on this world for your allotted worldly shares will come to you even if you were not keen on getting them. You will not leave this world before receiving all that is yours. Woe to you! You are in illusion. Abandon the lower self and passion for you have no escape from the hand of death. Death cannot be escaped. Whichever direction you take and whatever you do, it will be in front of you and around you. Do not be concerned with the Day of Resurrection, for the day of your death is a private resurrection for you, whereas the Day of Resurrection is a universal resurrection for you and for others. The first resurrection will show you the second one. If you see the Angel of Death (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) come to you with a laugh and relaxed face, and his assistants likewise, greet you, and take your soul gently, as he took the souls of the prophets, the martyrs, and the righteous (Allah’s prayer and peace be on all of them), then expect good at the Resurrection. The first day will show you the second Day and its details. If you see good [on the first day], you will have good [on the second], and if what you see [on the first day] is bad, it will be bad [on the second]. The Angel of Death came to Moses (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on them) holding an apple in his hand. He let him smell it and took his soul during that. Similarly, anyone who is close to Allah will have the Angel of Death take his soul in the easiest manner and in the most beautiful way.

     

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

Mar 112008
 

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

* O you who are enjoying the bliss of this world, you will soon leave your bliss! How fine this piece of poetry is:

Listen, for you are able to hear
if you do not take the initiative it will be too late.
Eat as you like and live in ease,
the end of all of this will be death.

Soon, your wealth and life will vanish, your eyesight will deteriorate, your mind will lose its sanity, and your capacity for food and drink will decrease. You will see the pleasures but you will be unable to have anything of them. Your wife, children, and maidservant will hate you and wish for your death. Care and grief will be thrown on you. This world will abandon you and the hereafter will receive you. If you have done good for the hereafter, it will receive and embrace you, but if you have no such works, the grave will be your place and the Fire will be your final abode. It is illusion [that you are in]. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) used to say: “The real life is that of the hereafter” and repeat it to himself and to his companions (may Allah be satisfied with all of them).

* Use your good health and your leisure time in obedience to Allah (mighty and glorified is He) before the approach of an illness that ruins your health and business and a matter that takes away your leisure time. Make full use of your affluence before you become poor, for affluence does not last forever. Be generous to the poor and share with them your wealth, for what you give them is credit that you have with your Lord and will be useful for you in the hereafter. Woe to you! Take full advantage of your life before your death. Learn a lesson from death, for the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) used to say: “Death is sufficient a preacher.” Death wears out every new thing, brings near every distant thing, and muddles every pure thing. There is no escape from death. It may come in this very hour and on this very day. This matter is under the control of someone else; it is not in your hands. Everything that you have is a loan: your youth, good health, leisure time, affluence, and life are all on loan to you. Therefore, make what really matters to you your concern.

* Death is watching you while you are unaware. You have forgotten to wait for it despite the fact that it is standing in front of you. It will soon come your way — targeting your well‑being and lives. The soul of one of you will go, while his body stays behind like the corpse of a sheep. Who will have mercy for you will bury you in the ground before the earth’s wild beasts and insects eat you. Your family, friends, and enemies will stay with their food, drink, and pleasures, and they may or may not ask Allah to show mercy to you. Many kings were killed by their enemies who then threw them in the wilderness, deliberately without burial, to ensure that they are devoured by dogs and insects. How ugly the king who ends up like this is! How good this piece of poetry of one of them is:1

One that death can remove is not a real kingdom
The real kingdom is that of the One who does not die!

The sensible among you is one who remembers death and is satisfied with whatever destiny brings, thanking for what he likes and enduring with patience what he dislikes. Focus your reflection on matters related to your religion, instead of reflecting on lustful desires and pleasures, and reflect on death and what follows it.

* O people, die before you die. Die as far as your lower selves and your wills are concerned. Remember death frequently and prepare for it before its arrival and then you will have died before you die. Death, then, will be easy for you and will not represent a burden or grief. The arrival of the day of death and the Day of Resurrection is inevitable, so wait for them. These two days have been decreed by Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and cannot be turned back.

* Remembering death is a remedy for the diseases of the lower self. I have spent years remembering death frequently, by night and day. I have prospered by remembering it and I have overpowered my lower self through that remembrance. One night I remembered death and wept from the onset of night until the beginning of dawn. I kept on weeping and saying: “O Allah, I ask You that the Angel of Death does not take my soul away but that You do.” At the beginning of dawn, my eyes dozed off and I saw a handsome old man with beautiful features coming in through the door. I said to him: “Who are you?” He replied: “I am the Angel of Death.” I said to him: “I have asked Allah (mighty and glorified is He) that He not you would take away my soul.” He asked: “But why did you ask Him for that? What is my guilt? I am just a servant following orders. I am commanded to be gentle to some people and rough to others.” He then embraced me and wept, so I wept with him. I then woke up while I was still weeping.

* O you who are in the company of their worldly goods and great expectations! The appointed times of death will soon come and separate you from your hopes. Hurry up before the arrival of these appointed times. Look at sudden death. Death is not necessarily preceded by an illness. Iblīs is your enemy so do not heed to his advice. Do not trust him for he is not trustworthy. Beware of him. He wants you to die while you are standing on the foot of heedlessness, disobedience, and disbelief. Do not be forgetful of your enemy for his sword will not be prevented from hitting the truthful person or the disbeliever. Only a few individuals escape it. He removed your father Adam and your mother Eve (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on them) from Paradise and he works diligently to prevent you from entering it. He urges you to commit disobedience, sins, disbelief, and noncompliance. All acts of disobedience are attributed to him, after Allah’s decree and His destiny. All creatures are subject to affliction except Allah’s sincere servants who have realized their servanthood to Him (mighty and glorified is He), so he has no authority over them. At times, he can cause them some harm, for when it is time for a decreed matter to take place, the eye becomes blind. His effect on them touches only the body, not the heart or the innermost being; only matters relating to this world, not matters pertaining to the hereafter; only matters relating to the creatures, not matters related to the Creator (mighty and glorified is He). He approaches the creatures mainly through the attachment to this world and the lower self. Seeking this world is a burning fire.

O young men, occupy yourselves with what concerns and is good for you. Preparing for what follows death is of concern to you, striving against your lower self is of concern to you, paying attention to your faults is of concern to you, but attending to the faults of other people is of no concern for you. Remember death and work in preparation for what is after it, for the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “The intelligent person is one who calls himself to account and works in preparation for what follows death, whereas the incompetent person is one who lets his lower self follow its passion, yet still wishes for forgiveness from Allah.”

Footnotes

1 The poet is the pious Umayyad caliph ‘Umar bin ‘Abd Al‑‘Azīz (682-720).

     

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, attach your heart to your Lord, so when Iblīs comes to seduce you and make you change course, seek the help of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) to drive him away. Seek His help as did those before you. Do good works then think well of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). Thinking well of Him and obeying Him will bring about marvelous results for you. There is so much good in thinking well of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), His prophets, His messengers, and the righteous among His servants (Allah’s prayer and peace be on all of them).

* O people, strive, work diligently, and do not despair for relief may come at any time. Have you not heard that Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has said: “Allah may bring after that something new to pass” (from 65.1)? Fear your Lord and pin your hopes on Him; have you not heard His following words: “And Allah warns you of Himself” (from 3.28)? As much as you have fearfulness and caution you will have safety. Put your trust in your Lord; have you not heard His following saying: “And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him” (from 65.3)? O Allah, let us do without Your creatures! Let us do without those who amassed the wealth of Your creatures, placed it beneath their feet, and withheld it from Your creatures while being totally indulgent in their pompous pride. The poor beg and appeal to them for help but they turn a deaf ear to them. O Allah, include us among those who get what they need through You and appeal to You for help in their serious problems! Amen.

Sufyān Ath‑Thawrī (may Allah, high is He, show mercy to him) was asked: “Who is the ignorant person?” He replied: “One who ignores Allah (mighty and glorified is He) until he asks Him (mighty and glorified is He) for help with his needs.” His likeness is as the likeness of a man to whom the king assigned a job in his house, yet he left his work and went out to the door of a man in the same neighborhood and asked him for a piece of bread to eat. Should the king know about that, would not he hate him and prevent him from entering his house?

O you who are dead at heart, listen to these words! What losers you are that you die without knowing your Lord (mighty and glorified is He)! O Allah grant us knowingness of You, working sincerely for You, and ceasing to work for other than You! Grant us knowledge of Your outward Law and Knowledge of the inward. Grant us patience and satisfaction. Sweeten for us the bitterness of Your affliction which You foreknow will come our way. Cause the flesh of our hearts to die so that we do not feel the pain of the scissors of Your power, and thus Your companionship will last for us forever. Amen.

     

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

Mar 112008
 

Source: Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)

* The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “The sense of shame stems from faith.” O servants of Allah, how impudent and how daring you are to your Lord (mighty and glorified is He)! Showing modesty to the creatures but impudence to the True One is utter foolishness and madness. The reality of modesty is feeling a sense of shame with your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) in both your private and public lives so that modesty with the creatures comes to be a consequence not a cause. The believer feels a sense of shame with regard to the Creator, whereas the hypocrite feels a sense of shame with respect to the creatures.


          

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

Mar 112008
 

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

* The people of Allah accustom themselves to afflictions and do not get annoyed like you. One of them used to be afflicted everyday with a tribulation so that on the day when no affliction came his way he used to say: “O Allah, what sins have I done today that You have not sent to me my daily affliction?” Afflictions are of various kinds; some target the body, while others target the heart. Some of them are suffered in relation to the creatures, whereas others in relation to the Creator. There is no good in someone who has not been subjected to suffering. Afflictions are the hooks of the True One (mighty and glorified is He).

* A few individuals have on them remnants of sins of which they are cleaned by the tribulations and afflictions, so they earn degrees in the hereafter that they would not earn without them. You have to be satisfied with the divine decree, observe the Law, and perform good works under all circumstances: in hardship and prosperity, when it is something you love and when it is something you hate. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “If a person is not satisfied with the decree of Allah, there is no medicine for his foolishness.” What He has decreed will come to pass, whether the servant is dissatisfied or satisfied. Woe to you! O you who protest against Allah (mighty and glorified is He), do not speak nonsense! No one can turn back or stop the divine decree. Submit and then you will find comfort. You cannot turn back the night and day. When the night comes, it sets in whether you agree or disagree, and the same is true of the day. Both come without you having a say in the matter. The same is true of the decree of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and His destiny. They are either in your favor or against you. If the night of illness comes, submit and say good bye to the day of well‑being. If the night of poverty comes, submit and bid farewell to the day of affluence. If the night of what you hate comes, submit and say goodbye to the day of what you love. Receive with a patient heart the night of diseases, illnesses, poverty, and the loss of worldly goods. Do not reject anything of the decree of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and His destiny, otherwise you will perish, your faith will vanish, your heart will become impure, and your innermost being will die.

Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has said in one of His books: “I am Allah. There is no god other than Me. When someone submits to My decree, receives My affliction with patience, and offers thanks for My favors, I record him in My presence as a truthful person and I gather him on the Day of Resurrection in the company of the truthful. As for one who does not submit to My decree, does not endure with patience My afflictions, and does not give thanks for My favors, let Him seek a lord other than Me.” If you do not submit to the divine decree, do not endure with patience the affliction, and do not give thanks for the favors, you do not have a lord. Seek a lord other than Him, but there is no lord other than Him. If you like, be satisfied with the divine decree and believe in destiny, whether good or bad, sweet or bitter, for what has come your way could not have been averted through precaution and what has passed you by could not have been made to come your way by exerting efforts and seeking it. When your faith has been confirmed, you will come to the door of sainthood. At this stage, you will become one of the men of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) who have fulfilled their servitude to Him. The distinctive sign of the saint is his compliance with his Lord (mighty and glorified is He) under all circumstances. He becomes total compliance without asking “why” and “how,” while carrying out the commandments and observing the prohibitions. No doubt, then, his company [of Allah] will last. He becomes a front with no back, a state of nearness with no remoteness, purity with no impurity, and goodness with no evil.

* Nothing turns you away from the obedience to Him and the belief in His oneness other than your sins, your ignorance, and the ruined state of your homes and sanctuaries. You will soon regret. Listen to the verses of the Qur’an with the ears of your hearts. Rush to Him from every door, bid farewell to every door, and cling to the door of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He). It is He who is the Remover of harm. It is He who “answers the cry of the distressed person when he calls on Him” (from 27.62). Be patient with Him and then you will experience goodness. Thank Him when He answers you and be patient when His answer is delayed. Courage is an hour of patience.

O Remover of harm and affliction, remove the harm and affliction from us, for You answer the needy person when he prays to You! O Doer of what He wishes, O You who are Capable of everything, O Knower of everything! It is You who has full knowledge of our needs, and it is You who is capable of providing for them. It is You who knows about our faults and sins, and it is You who is Capable of erasing and forgiving them. Do not refer us to someone other than You, do not assign us to someone else, do not send us to the door of someone other than You, and do not turn us to someone else.

* O young man, go out with your heart, stripped naked of all of your possessions, and be secluded from the whole of you so that you will be compensated for all of that. Woe to you! The creatures cannot bring you any benefit or cause you any harm unless Allah (mighty and glorified is He) gives His permission first. Your hearts are in His hand and He moves them as He wishes, sometimes putting them at the service of others and sometimes giving them authority over others. Have you not heard that Allah has said: “Whatever mercy Allah opens to people there is none to withhold” (from 35.2)?

O young man, when affliction comes your way, receive it with faith, patience, submission, and a smile! Be patient with it until its days are gone and its times are over. O seeker, do not escape from the door of your Sought After One because of the arrows of His afflictions! Stand firm and then you will find your Sought After One. When the seeker is afflicted, he needs a master who medicates him during his ordeal, heals him with drinks of patience and thankfulness, commands him to take one thing and keep away from another, and instructs him to turn away from his lower self and refuse to accept its advice. If the person is truthful in the company of his shaikh, Allah (mighty and glorified is He) will sooner or later bring benefits to him. O You who separate between the salty water and the sweet water, separate us from any anger at You and dispute with You against Your decree! Separate us from the acts of disobedience to You with an isthmus of Your mercy. Amen.

* O young man, if Allah causes you any harm or affliction, no one else can remove it. Why, then, do you say to someone who is as powerless as yourself: “Save me from what has hurt me”? If sickness or harm from the creatures comes your way, causing you loss of worldly property and wealth, no one can remove it other than Him. If you suffer loss of property, hunger in your stomach, or abandonment by the brothers and neighbors to the extent that they refuse to give you a morsel or as little as an atom, and if this world seems too strait for you despite its spaciousness, be certain at heart that all of that is from Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and that there is no remover of all of that except Him. No one can remove it other than the One who caused it. It is He who threw it at you so it is He who can remove it. It is He who dressed you with these clothes and it is He who can take them off.

Be sensible and do not associate creatures and means with Allah. Believe in one Lord only not in many. It is He who puts things at the command of others, the One who gives authority to someone over another, the Ruler, the Judge, and the Doer. His destiny comes with sickness in its hand and knocks on the door of your good health. His destiny comes with hardship in its hand and knocks on the door of your prosperity. His destiny comes with grief and sadness in its hand and knocks on the door of your happiness. His destiny comes with fear in its hand and knocks on the door of your sense of security. All these come from Him, and no one can remove them other than Him.

This world is the prison of the believer. Having been put inside it, his feet will start to move and then he will attain the spiritual state of knowingness, at which point the walls of the prison will collapse and the doors will become wide open before him. His heart will acquire feathered wings, so it will fly to the heaven of the Knowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and join the spirits that are there. This is something beyond your comprehension. The hearts of the people of Allah and their souls eat from the plate of the favor of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) while they are still in this world, as the souls of martyrs eat in Paradise. It is here where becoming in no need to the creatures happens. It is here where the kingship of the heart takes place. They are kings in this world and kings in the hereafter. They are chieftains in this world and chieftains in the hereafter.

* Obey and do not disobey. Believe in the oneness of God and do not attribute partners to Him. Your reliance on the creatures and means is a form of polytheism. Woe to you! You are mad! Dissatisfaction and protestation do not give you something or take away another. Your anger would not delay something or bring forward another. The strike of affliction and its removal are both in Allah’s hand. It is He who has sent down the disease and the remedy. It is He who has created the disease and the remedy. He subjects you to afflictions to make you know Him through them, to show you His signs and His power in sending down the affliction and in removing it, and to show you His ability to remove and send down His plate [of grace]. Afflictions show the way to the door of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and knock on it. They bring the heart and the True One (mighty and glorified is He) together. They promote one’s status. Do not hate afflictions for you have benefits in what you hate. Set aside asking “why” and “how.” If you endure the afflictions with patience, they will purify you of the outward and inward sins.

The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “Affliction will continue to come the believer’s way until he comes to walk on earth with no sin.” His sins will be erased from his scrolls and the angels who recorded them will forget them. A certain righteous person used to say: “O Allah, people love You for Your favors and I love You for Your affliction!” One of the people of Allah used to say on the day when no affliction came his way: “O Allah, what sin have I committed today so that you have deprived me of affliction?”

Woe to you! If you are not satisfied with His decree, do not consume His sustenance and seek a lord other than Him. Allah (Exalted is His affair) has said in one of His utterances: “O son of Adam, if you are not satisfied with My decree and are impatient with My affliction, go and seek a lord other than Me!” Be patient with your Lord (mighty and glorified is He), for you have no lord other than Him. There is no second lord. There is no other creator. There is no other provider. Be patient with the will of this One Lord.

* O young man, do not escape from affliction but endure it with patience. It is inevitable and enduring it with patience is also inevitable. How could the nature of this world and the how it was created be changed for your sake? The prophets, who are the best of all creatures, had always to suffer afflictions. The same applies to the followers who emulate them, who walk on their path, and who follow in their footsteps. Our Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) was the beloved of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) and the one for whose sake everything exists yet he was constantly afflicted with poverty, need, hunger, fighting, wars, and harm from the creatures up to the time when he left this world. Take, for instance, the case of Jesus (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) who is the spirit of Allah and His word, who was created by Him without the involvement of a male, who used to heal the blind person and the albino and raise the dead, and whose prayers were always answered. Allah caused his people to insult him, defame his mother, and beat him. He finally escaped from them with his companions, but they tracked them down, arrested them, beat them, and tortured them. Then they intended to crucify Jesus (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) but Allah (high is He) rescued him from them and caused the person who led them to him to be crucified instead.

Moses (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) was also afflicted with the calamities that happened to him, and each one of the prophets (prayer and peace be on them) had his share of affliction. This is what He did to the prophets and messengers (prayer and peace be on them) who are His beloved ones, so who are you to wish to change Allah’s foreknowledge about you and about this world?

Renounce your will and your choice. Renounce your conversation with your lower self, passion, and this world of yours. Renounce your conversation with the creatures and your intimacy with them. If you accomplish this, the conversation of your heart will come to be with your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and your intimacy will be with Him. His remembrance will camp in your heart. You will be remembering Him and He will be remembering you. He will snatch your heart and your limbs and senses to Him and keep them. You will come to want what He wants, and anything else will be resented by you. When a person becomes one of the spiritual beings who have attained to Him, he will wander among the servants of Allah and various countries, and He will use him to protect the creatures from tribulations and afflictions. He will take what His lord (mighty and glorified is He) has given him. This is the real gift, while everything else is worthless.

* The best interests are enclosed within the folds of disliked things. Be sensible and acquire politeness. Afflictions come to the hearts of the truthful persons, salute them, and intercede on their behalf. The person who has established a strong relationship with Allah embraces afflictions, kisses them on the forehead, and endures them with patience, compliance, and contentment. They stay with him for a while before being taken away and asked: “How did you find the place and the hospitality?” They will reply: “An excellent place and an excellent host. An excellent gift and an excellent receiver!” One of these righteous people (may Allah show mercy to him), who was afflicted with a tribulation, was asked: “How are you doing in this affliction?” He replied: “Ask the affliction about me!”

Be patient with your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) for He removes your affliction and promotes you spiritually in His eyes as a reward for your patience. Be with Him against your lower selves. Be with those who are truthful in His company — who work with Him, by Him, and for His sake. O Allah, put things at our command, provide for us, open up opportunities for us, and make things easy for us and on us! Amen.

Faith that is shaken by illness, poverty, hunger, and loss of worldly things is not real faith. The essence and the well‑being of faith become visible and its light shines at the time of affliction. Its courage also becomes apparent when the army of affliction comes. Your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) is fully aware of what you do. O kings, O slaves, O elite people, O common people, O rich, O poor, O people of private cells, O people of public places, no one has a veil that can hide him from Him! He (high is He) is with you wherever you may be. O Allah, protect, forgive, pardon in the form of subtle kindness, patience, tolerance, care, sufficiency, good health, and well‑being! Amen.

With regard to everything that you are involved in of good and evil, truthfulness and lies, sincerity and polytheism, obedience and disobedience, He (high is He) is Knowledgeable, an Expert, Watchful, Present, and a Witness. Feel a sense of shame as He has His eyes on you. Look with the eye of faith and then you will see His glances coming from your six directions. Is this preaching not sufficient for you? Only if you heed and hear with the ears of your hearts! All that you need is fear of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) in both your private and public lives. Be vigilant with Him (high is He) and be aware of His glances at you and of the Honorable Recording Angels who are with you. Be afraid of Him, not of the punishments prescribed by His Law and which may be applied to you by your sultan and your prince. If you will be afraid of Him, your ruler will not tire with you.

O you who are poor, O you who are hungry, O you who are naked, O you who are in need! You appeal to other than Him for help? Your silence is better and more beneficial to you. His knowledge of your situation should be sufficient for you not to put in a request. He has afflicted you in order for you to come back to Him. So, return with your heart to Him and stand firm and then you will experience good. Do not insist on a quick response from Him, do not accuse Him of stinginess, and do not harbor doubts about Him. He has caused you to experience hunger, nakedness, and poverty in order to look and see, in terms of differentiation not in terms of knowledge, whether you will cling to His door or to someone else’s door, whether you will be satisfied or dissatisfied with Him, whether you will complain to Him or complain from Him, and whether you will shout at Him or beseech Him gently. He afflicts you with tribulations to see how you behave.

O ignorant ones, you have left the door of the Wealthy One (high is He) and clung to the door of someone who is poor! You have left the door of the Generous One and clung to the door of someone who is stingy. You have left the door of the Merciful One and clung to the door of one who is merciless. You have left the door of the Capable One and clung to the door of one who is powerless. O ignorant ones, He will soon gather you together and make you stand in His presence! This will happen on the Day of Assembly. He will gather you, you of all races, O all of you creatures! The Invincible One has said: “This is the Day of Separation. We have assembled you together with those of the ancient times. So if you have a scheme, try it against Me” (77.38‑39).

On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will assemble all creatures on an earth other than this; an earth on which no blood of an innocent creature had ever been shed and on which no sin had ever been committed. There is no doubt or uncertainty about that. Allah (mighty and glorified is He) has said: “And because the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and because Allah will raise up those who are in the tombs” (22.7). The Day of Resurrection is “the Day of Loss and Gain” (from 64.9), “the Day of the Sigh [of Remorse]” (from 19.39), the Day of Remorse, the Day of Reminding, the Day of Compliance, the Day of Testimony, the Day of Retribution, the Day of Happiness, the Day of Sorrowfulness, the Day of Fear, the Day of Security, the Day of Bliss, the Day of Torment, the Day of Rest, the Day of Toil, the Day of Thirst, the Day of Giving Drinks, the Day of Clothing, the Day of Nakedness, the Day of Wining, the Day of Losing, the Day on which “the believers will rejoice in the victory from Allah” (from 30.4‑5). O Allah, we seek refuge in You from the evil of that Day, beg You to grant us its good, and [pray to you that You] “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

* Evict from your hearts all opponents, peers, and partners, for the True One (mighty and glorified is He) does not accept any partner — in particular in the heart, which is His abode. One day, when they were still little boys, Al‑Ḥasan and Al‑Ḥussein1 (peace be on them) were playing in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him), and he was happy with them and totally busy with them. So Gabriel (peace be on him) came and said to him: “This one will be poisoned and that one will be killed.” He told him this in order to remove them from his heart and to convert his happiness with them to grief about them. The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) loved [his wife] ‘Āisha (may Allah be satisfied with her), so she came to be involved in that notorious story. She was, thus, removed from his heart despite his certainty of her innocence, because he (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) recognized the aim of the True One (mighty and glorified is He) behind that event. And as Jacob (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) loved Joseph (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him), he came to experience what he experienced and He separated him from Joseph. Similar things frequently happened to the prophets and saints (Allah’s prayer and peace be on all of them), who are the beloved of the True One (mighty and glorified is He). Because He is jealous, He evicts from their hearts anyone other than Him.

* Afflictions and tribulations realize faith, knowingness, and Knowledge. They differentiate between the kernel and the shell. The person who remains compliant throughout is a kernel, whereas one who disputes about them is a shell. When the person is compliant with His Lord (mighty and glorified is He), the shell of creatures is peeled from his heart so he becomes a kernel with no shell. When the person’s belief in the oneness of God and his trust in Him have gathered strength and he has come to see Him with the eye of certitude, he will never turn back and leave the way of the True One (mighty and glorified is He), will never run away from His door, and will adhere to truthfulness and integrity.

* How much you fear hunger and poverty! If you had certitude you would not have thought of these. Comply with your Lord’s (mighty and glorified is He) will. If He subjects you to hunger, endure it with patience, with a good feeling in your hearts. If He satisfies your hunger, offer thanks to Him. He knows your best interests better than you do. He is not stingy or gives little. It is related that seventy prophets (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on them), who are buried between Al‑Multazam2 and Al‑Muqām,3 were killed by hunger and lice. Did not he have something in His kingdom to satisfy their hunger? But He chose and accepted that for them. He did that to them in order to promote them; not because they were insignificant in His eyes, but because this world is insignificant in His sight. When He wants one of His servants exclusively for Himself, He deprives him of his will and places a screen between him and other things so that his lower self melts down, the fire of his natural inclination subsides, and his soul finds living in this world a heavy burden and longs for the hereafter where His Lord (mighty and glorified is He) is. He will therefore wish for and enjoys the taste of death in order to be alone with His Lord (mighty and glorified is He). This is what happens in most such cases.

* The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “We prophets are subjected to afflictions more than other people, next are those who are closer to us, and so on.” When the believer is afflicted, he endures his affliction with patience. He conceals his affliction from other creatures and does not complain to them. This is why the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “The cheerfulness of the believer is on his face, whereas his sorrow is in his heart.” He greets people cheerfully to conceal what is in his heart. The believers hide the treasures of their inwards. They place a cover over the true nature of their hearts. Sorrow is the true nature of the hearts, whereas fear is the true nature of the souls. Sadness is a cloud that showers on the hearts various kinds of wisdom and secrets.

Why do not you endure with patience sadness and heartbreaking when Allah has said in one of His utterances: “I am with those whose hearts are broken on My account”? Whenever the hearts are broken because of remoteness, the setter of nearness sets them. Whenever they become estranged from the creatures, intimacy with Allah (mighty and glorified is He) comes to them. Whenever they become alienated from the creatures, they seek the intimacy of the nearness to Allah (mighty and glorified is He). The longer their sorrow in this world lasts, the longer will their happiness be in the hereafter. The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) was in continuous sorrow and in permanent reflection as if he was listening to a speaker who speaks to him or to someone who was calling on him. Those whom he ordered the people to follow — his representatives, deputies, and heirs — are likewise in relation to the lengthiness of their sadness and the permanence of their reflection. How could they fail to emulate his works when they are in his station, being fed his food, having their thirst quenched by his drink, and being put on the backs of his horses, and fight with his swords and spears?

Footnotes

1 The grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad (prayer and peace be on him).

2 The spot between the Black stone and the door of the Ka‘ba.

3 The station of prophet Abraham next to the Ka‘ba.

     

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, your speech is from your tongue not from your heart, from your appearance not from your essence. The sound heart runs away from the speech that comes from the tongue. Upon hearing it, it becomes like a bird in a cage and like a hypocrite in the mosque. When a truthful person meets a hypocrite scholar in a session, leaving that session becomes his only wish. The people of Allah are able to recognize marks on the faces of the dissimulators, hypocrites, impostors, pretenders, enemies of Allah (mighty and glorified is He), and enemies of His Messenger (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him). Their signs are on their faces and in their words. They flee from the truthful as they flee from lions, for they are afraid of being burnt by the fire of their hearts. The angels move them away from the truthful and the righteous. Each one of them is great in the sight of the common people but is worthless in the eyes of the truthful; a human being in the sight of the common people, but a cat that carries no weight in the eyes of the truthful.

O young men, you have to find a physician of the Law, for he can treat your illnesses. Follow his instructions and take the medicine that he prescribes and then your good health will be restored. Follow the young servant and he will take you to the master. The Law is a young servant, whereas Knowledge is a master. Follow it, see where it enters, and enter after it. Seek the door of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and behave well in the company of the Law, which is the young servant that stands at the door. If you do not follow the Law you will not reach Knowledge. Have you not heard these words of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He): “And what the Messenger gives you, take; and what he forbids you, abstain from” (from 59.7). If you become well‑mannered in the company of the Law at the door of your Lord (mighty and glorified is He) and cultivate good behavior with Him, He will love you, open to you the door of nearness, and seat you at the table of His favor and generosity. You will become His guests. He will speak to your hearts, entertain your innermost beings, and teach them the Knowledge that He teaches to the elite among His creatures. So, His Law will be between Him and the creatures, whereas His Knowledge will be between Him and you, because the Law is common, whereas Knowledge is special. The Law is faith, whereas Knowledge is direct seeing.

* O Allah, make us work and be sincere in our works, grant us acquaintance with Your Knowledge, steadfastness in our acquaintance and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.” Praise be to Allah Lord of the worlds. “O Our Lord, perfect our light for us, and forgive us. You are Capable of everything” (from 66.8). “O My Lord, enable me to be thankful for Your favor that You have conferred on me and on my parents, and to do righteousness that is pleasing to You, and do good to me in my offspring. I repent to You and I am one of the Muslims” (from 46.15). “Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of invincibility, above what they describe. And peace be on the messengers. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds” (37.180‑182). Praise be to Allah with whose favor all good works are completed.

     

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