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.
1 A niche in a mosque showing the direction of Mecca.
Copyright © 2008 Shetha Al-Dargazelli & Louay Fatoohi
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