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.
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