This article is from Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir)
* O sincere one, run away from the association of partners with Allah to the door of your Lord. Stop at it and do not escape when tribulations come. If you stood at His door and tribulations came to you from your rear, cling to the door, for they will be fended off from you by your belief in the oneness of God and the charisma of your truthfulness. When tribulations come to you, resort to patience and steadfastness and recite these words of Allah (mighty and glorified is He): “Allah confirms those who believe with the firm word in the life of this world and in the hereafter” (from 14.27); His (high is He) following utterance: “So Allah will suffice you against them; He is the Hearer, the Knower” (from 2.137); and His following words: “Is not Allah sufficient for His servant?” (from 39.36). Say frequently: “There is no might or strength but by Allah, the High, the Great” (lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāhi al‑‘Alīyī al‑‘Adhīm), and frequently ask for forgiveness and glorify the Lord. Remember the True One (mighty and glorified is He). By truthfulness you will be protected from the army of tribulations and the army of the lower self, passion, and Satan. How well I know you, and how little you know me!
“He whom Allah guides is rightly guided” (from 18.17).“And he whom Allah guides will have none to mislead him” (from 39.37). “He whom Allah sends astray there is no guide for him” (from 7.186). Our Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) used to love and wish that those who had gone astray would accept guidance, so Allah revealed this to him: “You do not guide whom you like but it is Allah who guides whom He wills” (from 28.56). So he (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) said: “I have been sent with guidance, but guidance is not under my control. And Satan tempts people, yet temptation is not under his control.”
The belief of the followers of the Book and the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is that the sword does not cut because of its nature, but it is rather Allah (mighty and glorified is He) who cuts with it; that the fire does not burn because of its nature, but it is rather Allah (mighty and glorified is He) who burns with it; that food does not satisfy hunger because of its nature, but it is rather Allah (mighty and glorified is He) who satisfies hunger with it; and that water does not quench thirst because of its nature, but it is rather Allah (mighty and glorified is He) who quenches thirst with it. The same applies to all things of all kinds; it is Allah (mighty and glorified is He) who uses them to produce their effects while they are only instruments in His hand with which He does whatever He wills. When Abraham the Intimate (prayer and peace be on our Prophet and on him) was cast into the fire and the True One (mighty and glorified is He) wanted that the fire would not burn him, He made it “coolness and safety” (from 21.69) to him. It is rightly reported that the Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) has said: “On the Day of Resurrection, the Fire will say: ‘Pass through, O believer, for your light has put out my flames’”! The slave may need to be beaten with the stick, whereas a sign is sufficient for the freeman to understand.
* O you who worship with an absent heart, your likeness is as the likeness of a donkey that has its eyes blindfolded while turning the mill! It thinks that it has walked many miles when in fact it has not left its place. Woe to you! You stand up and sit down in your prayer, and suffer hunger and thirst in your fasting, yet without having a single atom of sincerity and belief in the oneness of God; what benefit would you derive from this? What would you earn other than weariness? You pray and fast while the eye of your heart is on what other people have in their houses, in their pockets, and on their plates. You look at them in the hope that they may present you with gifts, you show them your worship acts, and let them know of your fast and strife.
O you who have made the creatures as partners to Allah, what you have are worthless! Turn back from your attribution of partners to Allah. O hypocrite, O dissimulator, O you who have turned away from the attributes of the truthful, spiritual, godly ones! Have you not realized that I scrutinize you, have authority over you, and ask you for evidence on your claims? The Prophet (Allah’s prayer and peace be on him) is reported to have said: “If the claims of people were to be accepted without evidence, some people would claim the blood and property of others. But the evidence must be provided by the claimant and the oath is required of the person who denies it.”
How much you talk and how little you act! Reverse your actions in order to succeed. When someone comes to know Allah (mighty and glorified is He), his tongue will stop moving, his heart will start to speak, his innermost being will become pure and serene, and his status will raise in His sight. He will feel intimacy and find comfort with Him and he will find Him sufficient for all his needs, to the exclusion of everyone else.
O fire of the hearts, be coolness and safety! O hearts, get ready for the day on which the mountains will be removed and the earth will be made to appear in full view. The real man is one who, on that day, will stand steadfast on the feet of his faith in his Lord, his trust in his Lord, his love for his Lord, and his longing for his Lord; on the feet of his knowingness of Him in this world before the hereafter. The mountains of the means and the creatures will be removed, whereas the mountains of the Creator of all means will remain in place. The mountains of the kings of the outward and the images will be removed and vanish, whereas the mountains of the kings of the inward will appear and stand firm. The Day of Resurrection is the day of change and replacement. These mountains at whose strength, hardness, and great size you marvel will become like carded wool and will be uprooted. Their hardness will vanish and they will be made to move faster than the clouds. The sky will become like “muhl” (from 70.8), which is molten copper. The nature of the earth and the sky will totally change. The bout of this world will be over — that is the bout of the Law, the bout of deeds, the bout of planting, the bout of duties. The bout of the hereafter will come — that is the bout of destiny, the bout of rewarding according to deeds, the bout of the harvest, the bout of rest from duties, the bout of giving every rightful owner what he has the right to, the bout of giving everyone who deserves favors his entitlement. O Allah, grant our hearts and our limbs and senses steadfastness on that day and “give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”
* You have to practice sincerity. Pray for the sake of Allah not for the sake of His creatures. Fast for the sake of Allah not for the sake of His creatures. Live in this world for His sake not for the sake of His creatures or for the sake of yourselves. When performing any act of obedience, be devoted to Allah not to His creatures.
You will not be able to perform righteous deeds with sincerity unless you practice the curtailment of hopes. You will be able to curtail hopes only by remembering death. You will not be able to remember death unless you see the ruined graves and reflect on their dwellers and what they were involved in. Sit at the destroyed graves and say to yourselves: “Those used to eat, drink, have sexual intercourse, dress up, and amass worldly things. What is their state of affairs now? What benefit would all of that bring them? They do not have with them other than whatever good deeds they did.”
There are among you, O people of this town, those who do not believe in the raising of the dead on the Day of Resurrection, adopting the doctrine of dahriyya,1 but they hide their belief in fear of being killed. I know a group of them, but I view you by the Law of Allah (mighty and glorified is He) and conceal what I know about you for the sake of the Knowledge of Allah (mighty and glorified is He). I view you one by one but turn a blind eye to you. O Allah, draw a veil over our shortcomings, forgive us, and grant us guidance, sufficiency, and care! Amen.
1 The term dahriyya is derived from the Arabic word dahr which means “long period of time.” The dahriyya believe there is no Creator for this world and that it is the passage of time that causes people to die. Consequently, they do not believe in the Resurrection. This group of disbelievers is mentioned in the Qur’an: “And they say: ‘There is nothing but our life in this world; we die and live, and nothing destroys us but time.’ They merely conjecture” (45.24).
Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
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