My Dear Beloved Son or Daughter |
by Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali on 11/14/02
(read 1018 times)
My Dear Beloved Son or Daughter
Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali (May God Shower
His Mercy Upon Him)
Imam Ghazali's Arabic Book "Ayyuhal Walad" from His
Three-Volumes Collection of Short Books "Majmu'a Rasail Imam
Translated into English
From the Urdu Translation of the Book
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction of the
Imam Ghazali's Response to the
Benefits Narrated by Hatim bin Ism
Qualities of a Spiritual Guide
Obedience to a Spiritual
Reality of Tasawwuf (Spiritual
Reality of Servitude to
Reality of Reliance on God
Reality of Sincerity to God
Advice According to One's
Individual Capable of Benefiting from
Staying away from Affluent and Kings
Not Accepting Gifts from
Four Matters Worthy of Our
The Method of Developing an Intimate Relationship with Allah
(God) ..................... 26
The Method of Relating to the Slaves of
An Insistent Advice to Study and
A Supplication (Du'a) that can Always be
The English translator has added all explanations given within
square brackets and parenthesis and assumes all responsibilities for
any mistranslations and seeks Allah's forgiveness for that. All text
in Arabic has been transliterated into English and has been
italicized. For doing the English translations of the verses from
the Holy Quran, some help has been sought from the English
translation of Quran by famous European Muslim scholar Muhammad Asad
called "The Message of the Qur'an". The Urdu translation, used for
doing this English translation, has been published by Dar-al
INTRODUCTION OF THE BOOK
It has been learned that one of the students of Imam Ghazali
(Rahmatullahi Alayhe [RA - May Allah shower His mercy upon
him]), who acquired a lot of knowledge and spiritual benefits from
him over a number of years, had a thought in his heart. He thought
that he spent a lot of time learning from Imam Ghazali (RA) over a
number of years from different branches of religious knowledge and
gave a lot of sacrifices towards that end. However, he still did not
know which branch of knowledge from among the branches of knowledge
he studied, would be of real help to him, would illumine his grave,
would be beneficial to him on the Day of Judgment and which branches
of knowledge would not be of benefit to him on the Day of Judgment,
so that he could refrain from those branches of knowledge because
the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon
"A'auzu Billahi Min 'Ilm-il La Yanfa'au".
"I seek Allah's refuge from the knowledge which is of no
This disciple of Imam Ghazali (RA) kept thinking along these
lines for a few days and then wrote a letter to Imam Ghazali with
the view of getting an answer to his dilemma along with some other
questions. Furthermore, he asked in his letter to Imam Ghazali (RA)
for some advice and to teach him a supplication that he could always
recite. He wrote in his letter that although Imam Ghazali (RA) has
written numerous books on this issue such as "Ahya al-Uloom
ad-Deen" (Revival of the Knowledge of the Path to God),
"Kimiya as-Sa'ada" (Alchemy of the Ultimate Success and
Happiness), "Jawahir ul-Quran" (Priceless Gems of the Holy
Quran), "Arba'een" (Forty Steps), "Minhaj ul 'Aabedeen ila
Jannatu Rabbul 'Aalameen" (Best Way for the Worshippers of God
Leading them Towards the Paradise of the Lord of All Universes),
etc., this weak individual is in need of something that he could
always study and always act upon its injunctions. In reply to his
letter, Imam Ghazali (RA) sent him the following advices.
IMAM GHAZALI'S RESPONSE TO THE LETTER
In the Name of Allah (God), the Most Compassionate and the Most
All praises belong to Allah alone, the Lord of all the universes
and blessings and peace of Allah be upon His messenger Muhammad and
on all of his descendents and followers.
My dear beloved son and true friend!
May Allah, the Exalted, grant you a long life for His worship and
obedience and may He enable you to walk on the path of His beloveds.
You should know that the fountain of all good counsel is the holy
existence of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon
him) because the constitution of all counsel is based on his
Ahadith (traditions) and Sunnah (outward character and
conduct as well as internal states). Every counsel (advice) contrary
to his Ahadith (traditions) and Sunnah (outward
character and internal states) will be of no benefit. Countless
accounts of advices have been written and told in the light of the
Ahadith (traditions) and Sunnah (outward character and
internal states) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him). If you have received any guidance from them
then you do not need any advice from me. However, if you have not
received any counsel from the counsels of Prophet Muhammad (Peace
and blessings of Allah be upon him) then tell me, in all these
years, what knowledge have you acquired from me? My dear beloved
son! Among the counsels of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him), is the counsel:
"'Alamatu I'radiAllahi 'Anil 'Abdi Ishtighaluhu Bima La
Ya'nehe Wa Inimra'un Zahabut Sa'atuhu Min 'Umrihi Fi Ghairi Ma
Yukhlaq Lahu Lihariyyun Ayyatula 'Alaeyhe Hasratun."
"A servant of Allah's involvement in useless things is an
indication that Allah has removed His special favors from him/her
(or has removed him/her from His Grace). And if the servant is
spending even a moment from his/her life on things other than for
which Allah has created him/her for, then it's a matter of great
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
has furthermore said:
"Mun Jaawazal Arba'eena Sinatu Wa Lam Yughlab Khairuhu 'Ala
Sharrehi Fal Yatajahhaza Ilan Nari."
"An individual whose state, even after forty (40) years of age,
is such that good in him/her does not prevail over the evil in
him/her, then [this individual] should get ready to go to Hell."
My dear beloved son! It's very easy to give this advice to all
the people of the whole world but it's very difficult to act upon it
oneself. It's because, those in whose hearts the pleasures of the
world and following of their desires [from the lower self] dominate,
they find the advice and guidance bitter. These people's hearts are
trapped in the worldly desires and pleasures. In this respect, this
individual is worthy of special mention, which learns wisdom,
philosophy and worldly learning like that and thinks that this
knowledge will be a cause of salvation for him/her in the life
hereafter along with earning for him/her fame and prestige in the
world. He/she thinks that it's not necessary to act on this
knowledge and that he/she is exempt from acting upon it. This
belief, which is wrong, is of those who study philosophy. All Glory
and Honor to Allah the Great. This individual does not even know
this much that the knowledge that he/she acquires on which he/she
does not even act upon, will be a reason for punishment for him/her
on the Day of Judgment. Does this person not know that the Holy
Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
"Inna Ashaddan Nasi 'Azabun Yaumal Qiyamati 'Alimu Lum
Yunfa'huAllahu Bi 'Ilmihi."
"On the Day of Judgment, the most severe torment will be given to
the scholar (person of knowledge) to whom Allah had not benefited
from his/her knowledge (i.e. he/she did not act upon the acquired
It has been narrated in the traditions of the intimates
(friends/saints) of Allah, that one saint saw Shaykh Junaid Baghdadi
(RA) in his dream after his death and asked him:
"O Abu al-Qasim! Inform me about your state after your
Shaykh Junaid Baghdadi (RA) responded:
"Worships and signs (Isharaat) all turned out to be
useless. But some Rak'at (cycles) of prayers I did at the
time of Tahajjud (third part of the night) were of
My dear beloved son! Do not be deprived of good deeds, do not be
without the knowledge of the external matters (Shari'ah), and
do not be without internal excellences (noble inner qualities). Have
firm certitude that only knowledge without good deeds will not
benefit you on the Day of Judgment. You can understand this
[important] point from the example that if someone is passing
through a jungle or desert holding ten sharp swords, good arches
along with some other weapons, and knowing the art of war and method
of using these weapons and all of a sudden is confronted by a lion.
Tell me, can this person be saved without using these weapons? You
know very well that this person cannot be saved. Likewise, you
should know that if someone knows hundred thousand points of
knowledge (or Fiqh/legal issues) but does not act on them
then this knowledge will be of no benefit to this person.
Second example is of a person who is sick and knows that his/her
cure lies in such and such medicines but does not use these
medicines, and then will the knowledge of medicines and of their
ability to cure his/her illness is of any help in actually curing
the illness [of this person]? You can understand it quite well that
merely having the knowledge of wisdom cannot cure the
[spiritual/inner] diseases. A poet has said that even if you take
(buy) two thousand pounds of wine you will not be intoxicated until
you drink from it.
Acquiring a lot of knowledge and continually browsing a lot of
books but not acting upon that knowledge will not be of any benefit
to you unless and until you make yourself deserving of Allah's mercy
through deeds of righteousness. Until then, the Grace of Allah will
stay away from you. Listen, Quran says the following in this
"Wa Anna Laeysa Lil Insaani illa Maa Sa'aa"
"Human beings will get only what they have strived for."
This proves that human beings can achieve success only after
struggling and striving. My dear beloved son! I know that you might
have read that this verse of Quran was abrogated. I suppose that
this verse was abrogated but what do you say about the following two
"Famaey Ya'mal Mithqaala Zarratin Khairaey Yarahu Wa Maey
Ya'mal Mithqaala Zarratin Sharraey Yarahu."
"And so, the one who shall have done an atom's weight of good,
shall see it, and the one who shall have done an atom's weight of
evil, shall see it." (Quran, 99:7-8)
"Famun Kana Yurju Liqaa-a Rabbihi Fal Ya'mal 'Amalun
"Hence, whoever looks forward [with hope and awe] to meeting
his/her Lord [on the Day of Judgment], let him/her do righteous
deeds, and let him/her not ascribe unto anyone or anything a share
in the worship due to his/her Lord." (Quran, 18:110)
"Innal Lazina Aamano Wa 'Aamaylus Sawlihaatey Kaanat Lahum
Jannaatul Firdausee Nuzula Khalideena Feeha."
"Verily, those who believe in Allah and perform righteous deeds,
for them the highest Paradise is for their hospitality in which they
will live forever."
At another place (in Quran), Allah the Exalted has said:
"Illa mun Taaba Wa Aamana Wa 'Aamila 'Aamalun
"Except for those who repented [from their sins and wrongdoings]
and believed and performed righteous deeds."
And what do you say about the following holy Ahadith
(traditions of Prophet Muhammad [May the peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him])?
"Buniyal Islamu 'Ala Khamsin Shahadatu Al La Ilaha IllAllahu
Wa Iqamus Salaata Wa Eetaa-uz Zakaata Wa Saumu Shahre Ramadana Wa
Hijjul Baeyta ManIstata-a Ilaeyhi Sabeela."
"Islam's foundations are on five things: to testify that there is
none worthy of worship (or Lordship) other than Allah and Muhammad
(May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His messenger,
to establish regular prayers (Salaat), to pay the
zakaat (obligatory charity), to fast in the holy month of
Ramadan, and to perform Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of God) if one
possesses the capacity (financial and physical) to do so."
"Al Imanu Iqrarum Bil Lisaaney Wa Tasdeequm Bil Janaaney Wa
'Aamalum Bil Arkaaney."
"Iman (faith) is to testify with tongue, and to certify
with one's heart, and to act on the teachings (of Islam)".
After the explanation of this truth, if you get the thought in
your heart that I am saying that a slave [of God, i.e., a human
being] will go to Paradise not on the basis of Allah's Grace but on
the basis of his/her own [good] deeds, then you should understand
that you have not understood what I said. On contrary, what I am
saying is that a slave will enter Paradise because of Allah's Favor,
Generosity, and Blessings. However, unless the slave makes
himself/herself deserving of Allah's Mercy through his/her worship
and servitude (obedience), until then he/she will not be entitled to
Allah's Mercy and Favor. I am not narrating this fact instead Allah,
the Exalted, is saying:
"Inna Rahmata Allahi Qareebum Minal Muhsineen."
"Verily, the Mercy of Allah is close to the doers of good."
It means, how a slave [of God] will enter Paradise without the
Mercy of Allah, the Exalted? I repeat this [important point], how
will a slave enter into the Paradise [without Allah's Mercy]? But if
someone says that one will enter into the Paradise because of one's
faith (Iman) then there are many difficult valleys
(obstacles) in front. Among them, the first difficult way (obstacle)
is to safely take with oneself one's faith (Iman).
My dear beloved son! Have the conviction that unless and until
you work, you will not get the pay (or compensation of your work).
There was man from among the Children of Israel who used to
excessively worship Allah. Allah sent an angel to him to test him
"Allah, the Holy, says that you put yourself in trouble for no
use since your worship is not accepted by Him and you will go to
Hearing this message from the angel, the righteous man
"Allah, the Exalted, has created us for His worship and servitude
and our job is to serve Him [no matter what] and He is the Owner [of
each and everything and everyone including myself] and the Powerful
Then this angel appeared in the Presence of Allah, the Exalted,
"O my Lord! You are the Knower to the secrets of this universe
and You also know what Your worshipper slave has replied."
On this Allah, the Exalted, said:
"If this slave of Ours does not turn his face away from Our
worship and servitude, then We will also not turn Our Face away from
"Ishhadu Ya Malaaikatey Anni Qad Ghafartu Lahu."
"O My angels! All of you be [My] witnesses that I have forgiven
My dear beloved son! Listen to what the Messenger of Allah,
Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says:
"Haasibu Qabala Un Tuhasabu Wa Zinu Qabala Un
"Take accounts of your selves (i.e. judge and correct your
selves) before you will be taken into accounts [on the Day of
Judgment] and weigh your deeds (i.e. critically self-analyze and
correct the shortcomings in your deeds) before your deeds will be
weighed (judged then punished or rewarded on the Day of
Ali (May Allah bless his countenance) said:
"Mun Zanna Annahu Bidunil Juhdi Yasilu Fahuwa Mutminun Wa Mun
Zanna Annahu Bibazlil Juhdi Yasilu Fahuwa Mut'ibun."
"A person who thinks that he/she will go to the Paradise without
(righteous) deeds is misguided and the person who thinks that he/she
will go to the Paradise only through striving is merely busy with
Shaykh Hasan Busri (May Allah shower His Mercy upon him)
"Talabul Jannati Bila 'Amalin Zambum Minaz Zunubi."
"To desire Paradise without good deeds is a sin from among the
Another intimate of Allah says:
"Al Haqiqatu Terku Mulahizatil 'Amali La Terkul
"The reality [of knowledge] is that one acts on it (i.e.
knowledge) without admiring it (i.e. one's good actions), however
one should not stop performing [good] deeds [even if there is a
danger of one admiring one's own good deeds]."
Our master of the two worlds (in this life and in the life
hereafter), Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him) says in a much better, clear, pure, and beautiful way
compared to the above sayings:
"Al Kayyeysu Mun Daana Nafsahu Wa 'Amila Lima Ba'dal Mauti Wal
Ahmaqu Manit Taba'a Nafsahu Hawaha Wa Tamanna 'Ala Allahi Illa Mani
Wafi Riwayati 'Ala Allahil Mughfirati."
"Intelligent is the one who subdued his/her Nafs (self,
i.e., evil desires and inclinations of the lower self) and performed
[good pious] actions for the life hereafter and mindless (stupid) is
the one who subdued his/her Nafs to pleasures, greed, and
[evil and vain] desires and thought that Allah is with him/her." In
some (Hadith) traditions it says: "[This mindless person]
hopes for Allah's forgiveness."
My dear beloved son! You stayed awake at nights to continually
rehearse (memorize/repeat) knowledge and sacrificed your sleep to
study it. If your intention was to gain worldly (material) benefits
and worldly prestige and status then:
"Fawailul Laka Thumma Wailul Laka."
"There is sadness (woe) for you and again there is sadness (woe)
However, if your intentions were to establish (strengthen first
in yourself and then in the rest) the Path to God (Deen)
brought by Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him), attaining moral uplift and civilization, and eliminating
evil from your self then:
"Fatuba Laka Thumma Tuba Laka."
"For you is the happiness and blessings and again for you is the
happiness and blessings."
"Sahrul 'Uyuna Bighairi Wajhika Sana ay'un
Wa Baka uhunna Bighairi Faqdika Batilun"
"[O my Lord!] The wakefulness of the eyes, except for beholding
[the beauty of] Your Countenance, is useless.
And unless it's for [the sorrow of being separate from] You, the
weeping (tears) of the eyes for someone [or something] else [other
than You O Lord!] is gravely wrong."
A tradition (hadith of Prophet Muhammad [May peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him]) says:
"'Ishu Ma Shay'ta Fa Innaka Mayyeytu Wahbib Ma Shay'ta Fa
Innaka Mufariqatun Wa'mil Ma Shay'ta Fa Innaka Tujza Bihi."
"[O Human Being!] Spend your life the way you like but [keep in
mind that one day] you will die, and love whoever you like but [keep
in mind that one day you] will get separated from him/her, and
perform deeds the way you like but [keep in mind that one day] you
will surely get their just compensation [good or bad depending on
What benefit have you derived for yourself and what have you
achieved from studying knowledge, i.e., knowledge of argumentation
(Ilmul Kalaam), social values (Ilmul Ikhlaq), medicine
(Ilmut Tib), astrology (Nujoom), linguistics, poetry,
conducting wars, etc.? What benefit have you obtained other than
wasting your life and gaining worldly fame? I have read in Prophet
'Isa's (Jesus [Peace of Allah be upon him]) Gospel (Injil)
that between the time the copse (dead body of a human being) is
placed in a casket and brought to the grave, Allah, the Exalted,
asks the corpse forty (40) questions with His Power. In the first
question Allah, the Exalted, asks:
"'Abdi Qad Tahherta Munzaral Khalqi Sineena Fahul Tahherta
"O My Slave! You decorated (beautified) yourself [with knowledge
of outward matters] for many years to show off to the [mortal]
creations [of Mine]. But for My sake only, did you ever purified
your heart [from evil and heedlessness] even for a moment?"
[Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
said in an authentic tradition: "Allah does not Look at your faces
and your bodies but Looks at your hearts (the state it's in, what
goes into it, and what transpires into it, therefore it's extremely
important to purify the heart which is forever in Allah's
My dear beloved son! Everyday, the Voice of Allah resonates in
"'Abdi Ma Tasna'u Bighairi Wa Anta Majfufum Bikhairi."
"O My slave! Why do you worship [Me] for show off and
ostentation, even though the good and the bad [circumstances] are
both in My Hands? For this reason, you should worship me [alone]
with sincere intention and devotion [and not to impress any of My
mortal creations who are not capable of benefiting or harming you
even by a little except by My Will]."
My dear beloved son! Knowledge without actions is madness and
actions without knowledge are useless. The knowledge that today,
does not keep you away from sins and that does not evoke in you the
desire to obey Allah, remember, will not save you tomorrow from
Hellfire. If you do not perform righteous deeds today and do not
make up for the time you wasted in the past then on the Day of
Judgment you will be saying:
"Ferje'yna Na'mal Saaliha."
"Send us back [to the world, O our Lord!] so that we [can]
perform the righteous deeds."
Then it will be said to you:
"O you the mindless one! That is where you are coming from."
My dear beloved son! Create courage in yourself and create
movement in your body for struggle [on the Path of God]. Make
efforts for performing pious deeds because then you will be going to
the grave. Those, who already are in the grave before you, are
waiting for you every moment to see when you come to them. Beware!
Without fruits (good deeds) do not even get close to them. Abu Bakr
Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him) says:
"Hazihil Ajsaadu Qafasut Tuyouri Awo Astabalud Dawab."
"These bodies are either cages of birds or dwellings of
So think where you are in? If you are in the cage of birds then
when you will listen to "Irji'I ila Rabbika!" "Return to your
Lord!", you [will be liberated and] will fly to a very high place to
"Ihtuzza 'Arshur Rahmaani Limauti Sa'adibne Muadh."
"The Throne of the Compassionate One shook with the death of
Sa'ad bin Muadh."
But God forbid if you are among the animals for whom it has been
"Uulaaika Kal An'aami Bal Hum Adallu."
"These people are like animals yet even more misguided."
Be certain that you will arrive carrying your luggage from the
place of Zawiya (spiritual retreat) to the place of
Hawiya (Hell), i.e., from this world to straight to the Hell.
Once Shaykh Hasan Busri (May Allah shower His Mercy upon him) was
given cold [and sweet] drink. As soon as he took it in his hand he
took a sigh and fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness,
people asked him what had happened to him. He replied:
"Zakartu Umniyyata Ahlin Naari Heena Yaquluna Le Ahlil Jannati
Un Uufidu 'Aleyna Minal Ma'i."
"I remembered the wish of the inhabitants of Hell when they will
plead to the inhabitants of Paradise to give them a little
O beloved! If knowledge without actions had been sufficient for
you and if you did not need actions then why Allah, the Exalted,
would say at the dawn:
"Hul Min Ta ibin Hul Min Sa ilin Hul Min
"Is there anyone who repents from sins? Is there anyone who asks
[Me of anything]? Is there anyone who begs [Me] for
Then this proclamation of Allah, the Exalted, would have been
useless. In fact, this proclamation of Allah, the Exalted, at dawn
"Kanu Qaleelum Minal Laili Ma Yahja'oon."
"There are only a few [slaves of Allah] who sleep little in the
last part of the night [right before dawn which is a blessed time
for coming close to Allah]."
Once a group of companions were praising Abdullah bin Umar (May
Allah be pleased with them both) in front of the Messenger of Allah
(May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) on which the
Messenger of Allah (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him)
"Nay'mur Rajula Huwa Lau Kana Yusalli Bil Laili."
"He is a good man. I wish he prayed the Tahajjud prayers
(optional prayers in the blessed last part of the night before dawn
which is indispensable for making spiritual progress in the Path of
One day the Messenger of Allah (May Peace and Blessings of Allah
be upon him) said to a companion:
"La Takthirin Nauma Bil Laili Fainna Kathratan Naumi Bil Laili
Tad'oo Sahibahu Faqirai Yaumal Qiyamati."
"Do not sleep too much at night because the one who sleeps too
much at night will be empty handed on the Day of Judgment (i.e.
he/she did not avail the opportunity of coming close to Allah
through Allah's remembrance, prayers, and devotions to Allah at
night especially in its last part)."
"Waminal Laili Fatahajjad Bihi Nafilatal Laka."
"[O Beloved Prophet! (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon
him)] And in [the last] part of the night perform the
Tahajjud prayers [for the sake of Allah] which will be very
beneficial for you." (Quran)
In the above verse, it's a commandment from Allah to His Prophet
(May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).
"Wa Bil Ashaarihum Yustaghfiroon."
"And those [true slaves of Allah] at the time before dawn, plead
for Allah's forgiveness." (Quran)
In the above verse, there is an expression of gratitude [from
Allah to such slaves].
"Wul Mustaghfireena Bil Ashaari."
"And those [true slaves of Allah] seek [Allah's] forgiveness at
the time before dawn." (Quran)
In the above verse, there is a mentioning [of such slaves of
Our master of both the worlds, the Messenger of Allah (May Peace
and Blessings of Allah be upon him) says:
"Allah, the Exalted, really likes three sounds: of the rooster
[that wakes people up for Tahajjud prayers], secondly of the
recitation of the Holy Quran, and thirdly of those who in the last
part of the night plead to Allah, the Exalted, for His forgiveness
and repent [to Him]."
Shaykh Sufyan Suri (May Allah shower His Mercy upon him) [who was
an intimate of Allah], says:
"Inna Allaha Ta'ala Khalaqa Reehun Tahabbu Waqtal Ashaari
Tahmilul Azkaara Wal Istighfaara Ilal Malikil Jabbari."
"Allah, the Exalted, has created a wind, that blows in the last
part of the night. At that time, those [slaves of Allah] who engage
in Allah's remembrance and ask [Allah for His] forgiveness, their
voices are presented [by this wind] to the Court of Allah, the
Shaykh Sufyan Suri (May Allah shower His Mercy upon him) has also
"When the night begins, an angel from beneath the Throne (of
Allah) makes the proclamation that all the worshippers should wake
up, so those who are granted Tawfiq (good fortune/capability)
by Allah get up and start praying. In the middle of the night, a
second angel makes the proclamation that all obedient and respectful
slaves of Allah should get up. Thus they get up and continue to pray
until Sehr (the last blessed part of the night). When it's
time for Sehr then a third angel makes the proclamation that
all those who seek Allah's forgiveness should get up. Thus they get
up and seek Allah's forgiveness. When it's time for dawn, then a
fourth angel makes the proclamation 'O you the heedless ones! Get up
[the day break has come]!' Then these people get up from their beds
like the dead will get up from their graves [upon resurrection on
the Day of Judgment]."
My dear beloved son! It has been told in the will of Luqman
(Peace of Allah be upon him) that he, advising his son in his will,
"Ya Buneyya La Takununnad Deeku Akyas Minka Fainnahu Yunaadi
Bil Ashaari Wa Anta Na'imun."
"My son! Do not let the rooster be more intelligent than you are.
It shouldn't happen that he (i.e. the rooster) gets up at the last
part of the night to make proclamations [for Tahajjud prayers
and remembers his Lord] while you keep sleeping [in a deep sleep of
heedlessness, carelessness, and ignorance]."
This reality is made clear in the following verses (of
"Laqad Hatafet Fi Junhil Laili Hamamatun
'Ala Funanin Wahnun Wa Inni Na'imun
Kazabtu Wa Baitil Allahi Lau Kuntu 'Aashiqan
Lama Sabaqatni Bil Buqa'il Hamaaimun
Wa Az'amu Anni Haa'imun Zu Sababatin
Lahu Bi Wa La Abki Wa Tabkil Bahaaimun."
"At night, the dove sitting on the branch [of a tree] is calling
on [to its Lord]
While I am in a deep sleep
By the Lord of the House of Allah (Ka'aba)! I am a liar!
If I had been a true lover [of Allah]
Then the doves would not have won over me in weeping [in the pain
of separation from my Beloved (Allah)!
Alas! I do not even wet my eyes [with tears] while claiming to
love [my Beloved Lord!]
While the animals keep weeping [in their love for their
My dear beloved son! Our purpose is that you should know what
obedience and worship are. Obedience and worship are to follow the
Shari'ah (law) of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) then whether the commandments are for
performing the righteous deeds or for restraining oneself from evil
or whether [the commandments] are for following his words or deeds,
in other words, whether you do something or not do something,
whether you say something or not say something, all these must be in
accordance with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him). If you say something then say it
according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him). If you keep silent then be silent
according to the commandments of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him). If you do something or do not do
something then do it in accordance with the teachings of Prophet
Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). If you do
something and you consider it an act of worship but you do not do it
to obey the commandment of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) then this will not be counted as worship but
instead will be counted as a sin even though it might be prayer or
fasting. Do you not know that if someone fasts on the [first] day of
the two Eids (i.e. two foremost Islamic celebrations) or on
the days of Hajj (pilgrimage) then this person will be
committing sin? Even though it is fasting but since it's not done in
accordance with the commandment of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him) that's why this person is being
sinful. Similarly, if someone performs prayers at a forbidden time
(e.g. after Asr [late afternoon] prayer but before sunset or
after Fajr [dawn] prayer but before sometime after sunrise,
etc.) or at an illegally occupied place then he/she will be called
Athim (sinner) and Fasiq (law breaker). Even though it
apparently looks like [a legitimate act of] worship but since it was
not done in accordance with the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (May
peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), it is not correct. If a
husband has relations with his wife then it is not a sin even though
it apparently looks bad. However, since it is done in accordance
with the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) therefore it is Halal (permissible or
within legal limits). Therefore, it is known [now] that worship is
the second name (synonym) of obedience (i.e. worship means
Similarly, prayers and fasting are counted as worship when they
are performed in accordance with the [Divine] guidelines. Therefore,
my dear beloved son! All of your words and deeds should be in
accordance with the commandments of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him). That is, whatever actions you
perform and conversations you have should be in accordance with the
Shari'ah (Divine law), because whatever the knowledge and
actions of [God's] creations, not in accordance with the
Shari'ah (Divine law), are clearly misguided and keep them
(i.e. creations/human beings primarily) away from the truth. This is
the reason why Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him) abrogated all [religious] learning from the previous eras.
Therefore, you should not do anything without the guidance of
Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and
be certain that you cannot walk (move forward) on the Path of Allah,
the Exalted, with [merely] the knowledge that you have acquired.
However, this Path [of God] must be traveled through hard work and
Mujahadah (intense inner spiritual struggle and exercises)
and the pleasures of the self and desires [from the lower self] must
be cut (wiped out) with the sword of Mujahadah (intense inner
spiritual struggle and exercises). These desires of the lower self
cannot be eliminated through immoralities and through the deceptions
of false Sufis (i.e. those who claim to be Sufis [True Sufis are
those who possess an intimate relationship with God due to the
emergence of purified souls after they wiped out evil from the
deepest recesses of their souls through Mujahada - spiritual
struggles] but in reality they are not, they are simply speaking the
words of Sufis and acting like them on the outside while being
hollow and devious from the inside). Allah, the Exalted, does not
like fine points, i.e., depths of philosophy, and dark times, i.e.,
a life engulfed in sin (evil and immorality). The tongue speaking
the words of deep wisdom and beauty while the heart worshipping
heedlessness [from God] and desires of the lower self, this is a
sign of mighty misfortune.
Unless you cut (eradicate) the desires (inclinations and
tendencies) of the lower self with the sword of truth and
Mujahada (intense inner spiritual struggle and exercises),
until then the light (illumination) of Ma'arifah (deep
intimate knowledge, understanding, consciousness, awareness,
relationship with Allah) will not be born in your heart.
My dear beloved son! You have asked [me] about some [spiritual]
issues, among which, some cannot be described completely in writing
and speech. When you reach that [high spiritual enlightenment] state
then you will know them yourself. The lesson of love is not taught
but it's born and learned by itself. If you reach that [high
spiritual] state then knowing [these issues] will be equivalent to
moving from one [spiritual] state to another (Mustahilaat).
Because Ishq (intense love) is another name for love and
intense desire to seek what one loves (Zauq). Love and
Zauq (intense desire to seek what one loves) can neither be
described in speech nor in writing and its spirit (meaning) cannot
be presented. Just like sweetness, sourness, and bitterness cannot
be described by anyone who wants to describe them in writing or
speech. Therefore, let it be known, that if you reach this
destination [of high spiritual station/enlightenment] then you will
know [all this] by yourself. But if you are not able to reach this
destination [of high spiritual station] then the truth can be
described to some extent in writing and speech.
My dear beloved son! Some of your questions are such that to
whatever extent they could be addressed in writing and speech, have
been answered in my book Ahya al-Uloom ad-Deen (Revival of
the Knowledge of the Path to God) and in other books in detail that
you can read. However, they will be explained here too, in a concise
way Inshallah (God-willing).
Secondly, you have asked what is essential for those walking on
the Path of Allah, the Exalted (i.e. the seekers of Allah).
[First condition is that] You should have the knowledge that
the first thing that should be present [in a seeker of Allah] is the
belief of fear of Allah to such an extent that a seeker does not get
involved in an innovation (bid'a, i.e., a matter which is
contrary to the established principles of Quran and Sunnah
[teachings, actions, outward conduct and inner states of Prophet
Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) such as
contentment, patience, gratitude, certitude in God, intimate
relationship with God, Ma'arifah (deep intimate knowledge and
recognition of God], intense love of God, etc.)]). The second
condition is that true and complete repentance (Taubatun
Nasuh) should be done in such a way that [a seeker of Allah]
will not return to this humiliation [of sins]. The third
condition is that even enemies should be kept satisfied to such
as extent that none of the creations has any obligation left on
him/her. The fourth condition is that one [a seeker of Allah]
should acquire [enough knowledge] from the knowledge of
Shari'ah (Divine law) so that through it, he/she will be able
to follow and obey the commandments of Allah, the Exalted [that are
obligatory on him/her]. It is not an obligation to learn from the
knowledge of Shari'ah (Divine law) anymore than that. From
other branches of knowledge one should learn to the extent that is
obligatory on him/her. This fact should be in your knowledge that it
has been narrated in the traditions of the intimates of Allah
(saints) that Shibli (May Allah shower His Mercy upon him) said:
"I served 400 spiritual masters and guides and I adopted (acted
on) only one out of the 4000 Ahadith (traditions) of Prophet
Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that they
narrated and left the rest of the Ahadith (traditions). It's
because, when I deliberated on this one Hadith (tradition),
then I found my salvation in this one Hadith (tradition). I
found in this one Hadith (tradition) the knowledge of all who
came first and all who came last:
'Aymal Lid Dunya Be Qadre Maqamika Feeha Wa'mal Le Akhirateka
Be Qadre Baqaa'ika Feeha Wa'mal Lillahi Be Qadre Hajateka Ilaeyhe
Wa'mal Lin Naari Be Qadre Sabrika Alaeyha.'
'Work for the world (or worldly life) as much as you live in it
and work for the life hereafter as much as you want to live there
and work for Allah, the Exalted, as much as you are in need of Him
and work for the Hell as much as you can be patient with its pain
and sufferings.' "
My dear beloved son! It is known from this Hadith
(tradition) that you do not need much knowledge because to study
knowledge more and to acquire it more is Fard Kifayah (i.e.
it is an obligation on the entire Muslim community and this communal
obligation is discharged when a group of people from within the
community do it, but if there is no one doing it in the community
then the entire community will be sinful for not discharging the
Divine obligation). Pay special attention to this next tradition so
that you will attain [a high level of] certitude:
A TRADITION: It is said that among the students and
mureeds (disciples who seek spiritual elevation/enlightenment
through the attainment of purification of their soul from all evil
desires and tendencies under the guidance of a spiritual guide who
has in turn completely attained this purification and high station
before Allah through training, guidance, and proximity of another
spiritual guide) of Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His
Mercy upon him), was a student and disciple named Hatim Ism (May
Allah Shower His Mercy upon him who in turn later on became a great
spiritual master through the training and guidance of Shaykh
Shafeeq). One day Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy
upon him) said to him:
"O Hatim! For how long have been in my company (spiritual
proximity) and have been listening to what I have been saying
Shaykh Hatim Ism (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him) replied:
"Thirty Three years!"
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi asked:
"In that [long] time period, what benefit have you derived from
Shaykh Hatim Ism (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"[I have] obtained eight (8) benefits [from you]."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaeyhe Raji'oon."
"To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return (it's a
supplication from Quran that is made at times of loss and
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him) then
"O Hatim! I have spent my lifetime in teaching and training and
you have just gained eight benefits from me!"
Shaykh Hatim Ism (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"O my teacher! If you asked [me] for the truth then the reality
is what I [just] told you. I do not need any more [benefits] and
these benefits from knowledge are quite sufficient because I am
certain that I will attain salvation [and success] in this life and
in the life hereafter through these eight benefits."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him) asked
"All right! Tell me what are those eight benefits?"
BENEFITS NARRATED BY HATIM BIN ISM (RA)
"O my teacher! The first benefit is that I looked
at the people of this world and saw that everyone has a beloved. But
these beloveds of the people [of the world] are such that some of
them (i.e. the beloveds) are with them (i.e. the people) until their
illness that brings death, some of them are with them until death,
some of them are with them until they reach their graves, and after
burial all the lovers return from there. None of their beloveds go
with them in their graves to live with them there and to provide
their company [in the darkness, solitude, narrowness, and horror of
the grave]. I contemplated on this and said to myself that only that
is a good beloved who goes with them in the grave and lives with
his/her lover, who will provide the company, who will illuminate the
grave, who will be a partner on the Day of Judgment and its
destinations (stations that one goes through after burial until the
Day of Judgment). I saw that the only beloved who has these [good]
qualities is my good (pious/righteous) deeds. After this
[determination and awareness], I made my good deeds my beloved so
that it goes with me in my grave [when I die], will provide me with
its company, will become an illuminated candle in my grave, will be
my partner in all stages of life hereafter, and never ever separate
away from me."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him) said:
"Bravo O Hatim! You have told a very good thing. Now narrate the
"O my teacher! The second benefit is that I glanced
at the people of the world and saw that everyone was following after
the pleasures and desires from the Nafs (lower self that
instructs one to commit evil) and [everyone] is subservient to the
desires from the lower self. Upon seeing that, I deliberated on the
following holy verse [from Quran]:
'Wa Amma Mun Khafa Maqama Rabbihi Wa Nahun Nafsa 'Anil Hawa Fa
Innal Jannata Heyal Mawa.'
'But the one who has stood in fear of his/her Sustainer's
Presence, and restrained his/her inner self from the base (low and
evil) desires, Paradise will the place of rest [for this person].'
(Quran, Chapter 79, Verses 40-41)
I developed the certitude that the Wise Quran is correct and the
book of Allah is the truth. Then I established a front against my
Nafs (lower self) and became determined to oppose it. I
molded it (i.e. my lower self) in such a shape that I did not
fulfill any of its desires until it started to find peace [and
satisfaction] in the worship of Allah, the Exalted."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"May Allah, the Exalted, provide His blessings in your good
deeds. Now narrate the third benefit."
"O my teacher! The third benefit is that when I
glanced at the people I saw that every person, with great pain and
hard work, is busy in accumulating the possessions (money, wealth,
goods) of this mortal world and is very happy that he/she has a lot
of goods and material possessions. But when I contemplated on the
following holy verse from the bounteous Quran:
'Ma 'Indakum Yanfadu Wa Ma 'IndAllahi Baaqin.'
'All that is with you is bound to come to an end, whereas all
that, which is with Allah is everlasting.' (Quran, Chapter 16, Verse
Then whatever [material possessions] I accumulated in the world,
I spent it all in Way of Allah by distributing it among pious
indigents and beggars so that it (the material possessions that I
distributed in the Way of Allah) will get deposited with Allah, the
Exalted, as my trust and will become source of immense good and
ransom (i.e. salvation) in the life hereafter."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"O Hatim! May Allah grant you His Compensation (reward for your
spending in His Way)! You said a very good thing and have done a
very good thing. Now narrate the fourth benefit."
"O my teacher! The fourth benefit is that I looked
at the people of the world and saw that some of them think that
grandeur and honor belong to the nation or tribe (group) that is big
and powerful, that's why they are expressing pride in their tribe
(nation or group). Some of them are such that they think that the
grandeur is obtained through abundance of wealth, [material]
possessions, family and relatives that's why [some] people are
expressing their pride in their wealth and children. Some [people]
are such that they think that their grandeur and honor is in
displaying anger, beating, killing, murder and pillage and they
express their pride in that. Some [people] are such that they think
that their grandeur is in wasteful spending that's why they consider
their wasteful spending a source of honor and express their pride in
that. But I deliberated on this verse in which Allah, the Exalted,
'Inna Akramakum 'IndAllahi Atqakum.'
'Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who
is most deeply conscious (i.e. fearful) of Him.' (Quran, Chapter 49,
Therefore this is correct and is the truth and the creations'
thoughts are false and wrong conjectures. That's why I adopted
Taqwa (pious reverence, consciousness, awe, and fear of
Allah) so that I get counted as the one with the highest rank in the
sight of Allah, the Exalted."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"O Hatim! May Allah be pleased with you. You have said a very
good thing. Now narrate the fifth benefit."
"O my teacher! The fifth benefit is that I looked
at the people who were complaining about each other. It was found
that they were doing all this because of envy, jealousy, and enmity
and the main cause of that is [the desire and competition for]
greatness, grandeur, [material] possessions, wealth, and knowledge.
I contemplated on the following verse from the Holy Quran in which
'Nahnu Qasumna Baeynahum Ma'eeshatahum Fil Hayatid
'It is We who distribute their means of livelihood
(sustenance) among them in the life of this world.' (Quran,
Chapter 43, Verse 32)
Then I thought that Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has appointed
the possessions and ranks since the first beginning [of the
creation] and no one has any control [or say] in this matter.
Therefore, I did not compete or had jealousy with anyone and
remained agreed to Allah's distribution [of worldly bounties] and
[His appointed] destiny and got along with the whole world [by
giving up all jealousies and enmities against God's creations]."
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"O Hatim! You are saying the truth and you are doing the right
thing. Now narrate the sixth benefit."
"O my teacher! The sixth benefit is that when I
glanced at the people, I saw that every person is having enmity with
someone else for some reason. Then I deliberated on the following
'Innash Shaytana Lakum 'Aduwwun Fettakhizuhu 'Aduwwa.'
'Verily, Shaytan (Satan) is your enemy so treat him as
your enemy.' (Quran, Chapter 35, Verse 6)
After that, I developed the certitude that Allah's saying is the
truth, I should not have any enmity with anyone other than
Shaytan (Satan). Since then, I considered Satan as my enemy
and did not obey any of his orders. Instead, I developed obedience
[of Allah] and followed the commandments of Allah, the Exalted and
adopted only His worship and servitude. The correct way is the
Sirat al-Mustaqeem (the straight path of guidance in which
there is no crookedness) as Allah, the Exalted, has Himself
'Alam A'had Ilaeykum Ya Bani Aadama Al La Ta'budush Shaytana
Innahu Lakum 'Aduwwum Mubeen Wa Ane'buduni Haza Siratum
'Have I not obtained this promise from you that O you the
Children of Adam! Never ever obey the Shaytan (Satan). No
doubt, he is your avowed (open) enemy and worship Me alone [because]
this is the straight path.' "
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"O Hatim! You did a very good thing and said a very good thing.
Now narrate the seventh benefit."
"O my teacher! The seventh benefit is that I looked
at the people and saw that every person is preoccupied with his/her
livelihood and search for sustenance and is involved in an intense
effort. In this regards, he/she is not even differentiating between
Halal (permissible) and Haram (forbidden) but instead,
is getting humiliated with doubtful and Haram (forbidden)
earnings. Then I deliberated on the following verse:
'Wa Ma Min Daabbatin Fil Arde Illa 'AlalAllahi
'And there is no living creature on earth whose sustenance is not
the responsibility of Allah.' (Quran, Chapter 11, Verse 6)
Then I developed the certitude that the Wise Quran is the truth
and is correct and that I am also among those living creatures [of
God] that are present on earth. So thus, I got engaged in the
worship of Allah and developed the certitude that He will bring to
me [my] sustenance because He has promised [to provide me with]
Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
"You did a very good thing and told a very good thing. Now
narrate the eighth benefit."
"O my teacher! The eighth benefit is that when I
looked at the people I found that every person's reliance [or trust]
is on someone or something. Some have trust [or rely] on their
[material] possessions, some trust [or rely] on other people.
Therefore, I pondered on this holy verse in which Allah, the Blessed
and Exalted, says:
'Wa Maey Yatawakkal 'AlalAllahi Fahuwa Hasbuhu.'
'And for everyone who places his/her trust in Allah, He [alone]
is enough [for him/her].' (Quran, Chapter 65, Verse 3)
'Wa Huwa Husbi Wa Nai'mal Wakeel.'
'And He is sufficient for me and He is the best Helper.'
[Therefore, I adopted complete reliance on Allah in every
When Shaykh Shafeeq Balkhi (May Allah Shower His Mercy upon him)
heard these [eight] benefits, he said:
"O Hatim! May Allah grant you His Tawfeeq (i.e. enable you
to do righteous deeds and to walk on His Path). You have told [us]
very good things. I have seen in Taurat (Torah), Injil
(Gospel of Prophet Jesus), Zabur (Psalms), and in the
praiseworthy differentiator between right and wrong (i.e. the Holy
Quran), that all these books [of God] mention these eight benefits,
i.e., all four books in their teachings have told [us] these eight
benefits. Whoever acts on these [eight principles] is like as if
he/she has acted on all four [holy] books."
My dear beloved son! You [now] know from these traditions that
you do not need a lot of knowledge.
Now let's return to our explanation and I will tell you the
internal (inward) conditions for the student and seeker on the Path
The fifth condition that is obligatory on the seeker on
the Path of Allah, the Exalted, is that he/she should have a
Shaykh al-Kamil (the perfected spiritual guide) who guides
him/her and removes evil qualities [and morals] from the seeker and
replaces them with noble qualities [and morals]. The example of
[Shaykh's spiritual] training is just like that of a farmer who when
looking after a crop sees the unnecessary grass that emerged, pulls
them out of the crop. Likewise, whatever weeds that pop up in the
farm, he (i.e. the farmer) uproots them from the crop and throws
them away. Then the farmer puts water and fertilizers in the crop so
that the crop grows [better] and develops a good quality. Likewise,
in every condition, the traveler on the Path of Allah has no cure or
solution but to have a Murshid al-Kamil (a true Shaykh or a
perfected spiritual guide). Because, Allah, the Exalted, has sent
Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to His
slaves (human beings) so that he proves to be an illuminated proof
(guide) in the Way of Allah and so that he brings people to the Way
of Allah, the Exalted. When the Messenger of Allah (Peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him) departed from this world, he
appointed his deputies and caliphs in his place so that they become
a proof (Daleel) of the Way of Allah, the Exalted, until the
Day of Judgment.
Therefore, for the seeker [of God], there should be a perfected
spiritual guide (Shaykh al-Kamil) who, for the sake of
walking on the Path of Allah, is an illuminated proof as a deputy
(spiritual heir) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him).
QUALITIES OF A SPIRITUAL GUIDE (SHAYKH)
The heir of Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him) who is made one's Shaykh (spiritual guide) should
be a scholar but every scholar cannot be a Shaykh al-Kamil (a
perfected spiritual guide). For this work [of guiding people
spiritually by purifying their souls and helping them progress with
their souls in the Way of Allah] only that person can be qualified
who has some specific qualities. Here we briefly narrate some [such]
qualities so that every nut head (crazy) and misguided person could
not claim to be a Shaykh (spiritual guide) [as it is
necessary to define these qualities due to the presence of a large
number of fake impersonators claiming to be Shaykhs whose
sole purpose is to deceive people to gain material benefits thus
causing great damage to this important aspect of Islam by
disillusioning people and misguiding many].
I say this that only that person can be a Shaykh
(spiritual guide) who after having turned his/her face away from the
love of the world, [love of] honor, and [love of worldly] ranks, has
given the Bay'a (a way of promising Allah on the hand of a
Shaykh to turn away from evil inwardly and outwardly and to
excel utmost in the Path of God by obeying God's commandment,
staying away from His prohibitions, and struggling with one's soul
to excel oneself in the Path of God by purifying one's soul seeking
God's nearness and approval) to a perfected spiritual guide [who in
turn has given the Bay'a to his perfected spiritual guide and
so on] so that this [spiritual] chain [in this way] goes back all
the way to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him). This person must have done all kinds of
Riazat/Mujahada [spiritual struggles] and has obeyed every
commandment of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him). This person must eat less, sleep less, prays more
(performs prescribed five daily prayers along with optional
prayers), fasts more, and does a lot of spending [in the Way of God]
and charity. This person should have in his/her temperament (inner
and outer personality) all good moral qualities and patience,
gratitude, certitude [in Allah], generosity, contentment,
trustworthiness, tolerance, seriousness [of purpose in life],
humility, obedience [to Allah], truthfulness, shyness (modesty,
reserve, fear of wrongdoing), dignity (an aura of honor and
respect), tranquility, and other qualities like these should be a
part of his character and conduct. This person should have acquired
a light (illumination) from the lights (illuminations) of Messenger
of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so that all evil
qualities like miserliness, jealousy, enmity, expectations from the
world [and its inhabitants], anger, rebellion, etc., have been
eliminated from him and he should not be dependent on anyone for
knowledge except for that knowledge which we [specifically] obtain
from the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon
These [above] mentioned qualities, among some qualities of
perfected spiritual guides and leaders who lead spiritually on the
Path of God, are capable of making one a deputy/heir of the
Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Following such spiritual guides is the correct way.
OBEDIENCE TO A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
Such spiritual guides are very difficult to find. But if someone
has obtained this wealth and this blessing that he/she found such a
spiritual guide and this spiritual guide includes him/her among his
disciples (Mureeds) then it is necessary for this disciple to
have outer and inner respect (honor and etiquettes) for his/her
OUTER ETIQUETTES (RESPECT)
Outer etiquettes [to one's spiritual guide] include that [the
disciple] does not argue with him/her and if some argument starts
and if he/she thinks that the spiritual guide has forgotten
something then he/she should not object to it. The disciple should
not stand in place of prayers all the time but when its time for
prayers then he/she should go to the place of prayers and perform
prayers then. When [the disciple] is done with prayers then he
should wrap up the praying mat and should not perform a lot of
optional (extra and non-obligatory) prayers in front of the
Shaykh (spiritual guide) after every [obligatory, i.e., five
daily] prayers. Whatever the perfected guide commands, the disciple
should obey it to the best of his/her capacity [It is extremely
important for everyone to understand here that, of course, a true
spiritual guide cannot and will not command a disciple to do
something which is Haram (forbidden) in the Shari'ah
(the law of Allah). On contrary, the fake impersonators claiming to
be spiritual guides lacking in the aforementioned qualities, can
command their disciples to do things that are Haram
INNER ETIQUETTES (RESPECT)
Inner etiquettes [to one's spiritual guide] include that whatever
the disciple apparently hears from the Murshid (spiritual
guide), he/she should not entertain even a small grain of doubt in
his/her heart about the Shaykh's (spiritual guide) words or
deeds otherwise the disciple will be called a hypocrite. If the
disciple cannot do that then he/she should abstain from the company
of the spiritual guide until his/her inside becomes like his/her
The sixth condition is that the disciple (the seeker of
truth) refrains from the deceptions of the Nafs (the lower
self which is a subtle, invisible [to an outer eye yet clearly
visible to a person having an inner eye or deep insight], inner
presence [or subtle faculty like the soul] that commands one to evil
by whispering it into the heart of a person). This is only possible
if the seeker abandons the gatherings of the bad-character folks and
the ignorant people. In this way, the domination of Shaytan
(Satan) over his/her heart will come to an end and all Satanic
(evil) influences will get eradicated from their roots. This Satanic
group could be from among the humans or from among the Jinn
(an invisible creation of God that was created from fire. Satan
belongs to this group and he gets his recruits from this group).
The seventh condition is that in every situation, [a
seeker] should give preference to humility and lack of greed over
wealth and should adopt contentment [and satisfaction with the Will
of Allah]. These seven things are essential for the traveler on the
Path of Allah, the Exalted, and the seeker [of the truth].
REALITY OF TASAWWUF (IHSAN, SUFISM, SPIRITUAL
You have asked, what is Tasawwuf? Tasawwuf is the
name of two qualities: First [quality] is that [the slave] should be
obedient to Allah, i.e., he/she should be acting on the
Shari'ah (the outer laws of Islam including obligations,
commandments, and prohibitions). And second [quality] is that [the
seeker] is the one who is sympathetic and a doer of good towards
[all of] Allah's creations [which is not possible without purifying
one's soul from all evil qualities and then embellishing one's soul
with all good qualities]. One who has perseverance in acting on the
Shari'ah and has the qualities of [desiring] betterment (true
success) for the entire humanity is a "Sufi" (this actually
is the correct use of this term as opposed to the wrong uses of the
term that are prevalent today). Loyalty [and obedience] to Allah is
that [the seeker] sacrifices his own happiness for the sake of
Allah. Sincerity to [all] people [of the world] is that [the seeker]
does not keep relations with the people for his/her own motives [but
instead is selfless towards them and performs selfless duty to them]
and refrains from selfishness. But instead should dedicate
himself/herself for the good (welfare) of [all] the people [of the
world], however the condition is that, this welfare should be in
accordance with the Shari'ah (the Divine laws).
REALITY OF SERVITUDE TO GOD
You have asked, what is servitude? Servitude has three things:
First is to obey the commandments of Shari'ah (the outer laws
of Islam). Second is to be content with the decree and destiny
appointed by Allah, the Exalted. Third is to leave one's desires and
prerogatives and to be happy with the Desire and Prerogative (Power)
of Allah, the Exalted.
REALITY OF RELIANCE ON GOD (TAWAKKUL)
You have also asked, what is reliance on God (Tawakkul)?
You should know that Tawakkul is that, one should have firm
belief and certitude in what Allah, the Exalted, has promised. In
other words, one should believe that you will surely get whatever
Allah, the Exalted, has destined for you. Then if the entire world
tries to stop it, it (Allah's Decree for you) cannot be stopped. But
for that which is not written in your destiny [by Allah], if you and
the entire world make efforts for it, you will never get it.
REALITY OF SINCERITY TO GOD (IKHLAS)
You have also asked, what is sincerity to God (Ikhlas)?
You should know that Ikhlas is that, all of your deeds should
be exclusively for the sake of Allah [and His pleasure]. Whatever
you do, it should not be for show off (ostentation/Riya).
When you do good deeds, your heart should not be inclined towards
people [to impress them and to gain their praise]. Your heart should
not be pleased at the admirations (praises) of the people, nor
should [your heart] be grieved at their complaints [or criticisms].
You should know that Riya (show off/ostentation) is born out
of people's praises and honors and the cure of [the spiritual
disease of] Riya (show off/ostentation) is that you consider
the entire universe subservient to the Power (Control) of Allah, the
Exalted, and consider all creations [of Allah] equivalent (similar)
to the pebbles and stones, you should understand this that stones do
not have the power to bring you either grief or comfort. If you
consider all creations like this (i.e. like stones and pebbles) then
you will get rid of Riya (show off/ostentation). Until you
have this belief that the [mortal] creations have power to bring you
grief and comfort, then Riya (show off/ostentation) will
never get out of your heart.
My dear beloved son! Your remaining questions are such that some
of them have been addressed in books written by us (i.e. me) which
you can see there and some [of your] questions are such that writing
their answers is forbidden. So whatever is written, keep putting
them into practice so that those matters will be clarified to you,
which you do not yet know.
My dear beloved son! After this, whatever matter you find
difficult and do not understand, then do not ask [about such
matters] other than with the tongue of your heart.
"Wa Lau Annahum Sabaru Hatta Takhruja Ilaeyhim Lakana Khairal
"If those people had exercised patience [instead of screaming
outside your house] until you (O Prophet Muhammad [Peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him]!) yourself had come out [of your
house], then it would had been good for them." (Quran, Chapter 49,
Accept the advice of Khidr (Peace be upon him):
"Fala Tas-alni 'Un Shaeyin Hatta Uhdithu Laka Minhu
"If you want to follow me [O Moses (Peace be upon him)!], then do
not question me about anything [that I may do] until I myself
mention (explain) it to you." (Quran, Chapter 18, Verse 70)
Don't hurry! When the time comes you yourself will be told [about
such matters] and shown.
"Sa Urikum Ayate Fala Tusta'jiloon."
"We (i.e. Allah) will soon show you our signs, therefore, do not
desire to hasten [this matter]."
So don't ask before [the right] time, when you reach that
[spiritually elevated] stage then you yourself will see it.
Therefore, have this certitude that unless you go towards this
destination, until then you will not reach there nor will you be
able to see.
"Awalum Yaseeru Fil Arde Fayanzuru."
"Have they not toured the earth so that they would see
My dear beloved son! By Allah! If you illuminate your heart [by
purifying it by removing from it the darkness of evil] then
certainly you will see amazing things. You should strive with your
utmost in every step [of the way towards your destination]. Other
than that, the purpose will not be achieved.
Shaykh Zun Noon Misri (May Allah shower His Mercy upon him) said
something so good to a student of his from among his students:
"In Qadarta 'Ala Buzlir Ruhi Fata'ala Wa illa Tushtaghil Bi
Nazahatis Sufiyyati Wal Qaal."
"If you have the courage to exert your utmost [with your soul in
this way] then come [and step in this way] otherwise do not just get
indulged in the nice things that Sufis say."
My dear beloved son! I will now end my explanation on [following]
eight admonitions (advices).
Among these [eight admonitions], you have to do four of them and
you do not do four of them so that your knowledge does not become
your enemy on the Day of Judgment. First, those four things will be
mentioned that you should not do.
1. PRINCIPLES OF DEBATE
Firstly, as much as it's possible you should not have [religious]
debates with everyone and do not argue with anyone on any [religious
or non-religious] issue because there are many [hidden] calamities
(harms) in it and has more harms than benefits. This work (debates
and arguments) is the fountainhead (source) of all evil things such
as ostentation (show off/Riya), jealousy, arrogance,
resentment, enmity, pride, egoism, etc. If an argument starts
between you and someone else [about an issue] and you desire the
truth to prevail then your intention to argue in this matter is said
to be correct. In this regards, there are two indications (signs) of
your right intentions: First [indication] is that, if truth is
revealed from either your tongue or from the tongue of the opponent,
it makes no difference to you. In other words, you are satisfied
(content) in both cases that the truth has been revealed. Second
indication [of your right intention] is that you consider it better
to argue on this [issue with your opponent] in solitude [and not in
front of an audience]. But if you argue [or debate] on an issue and
if you are certain that you are correct and the opponent is only
arguing [for the sake of arguing] then you beware and do not argue
with him/her and end your discussion right at that point otherwise
grudges [and resentments] will born out of this and no benefit
[whatsoever] will be achieved.
Here I explain a benefit. You should know that to ask questions
about [religious and spiritual] issues is like narrating the
diseases of the heart and its causes in front of a doctor (curer) of
the heart. Furthermore, the efforts made by this doctor (curer) to
cure the diseases of the heart, are like responding to the questions
asked about [various] issues. You should have the certainty that
ignorant people are like those patients who have a sickness
(disease) in their hearts and [true] scholars are like doctors and
curers. Imperfect scholars are not capable of curing [the diseases
of the heart] and perfected scholar (Shaykh al-Kamil) can
cure the diseases. Furthermore, [a perfected scholar] can find the
[root] causes of the disease, but if the disease becomes worse and
if its causes are not found then an expert doctor (curer) should be
consulted who can tell that this disease can be cured and this
disease cannot be cured with any medicine. To be indulged in curing
an incurable disease like this is equivalent to wasting time. Now
you should understand that:
CATEGORIES OF PATIENTS: Ignorant [people who are like]
patients are of four kinds and among these [four] categories, the
patients belonging to one category can be cured. The remaining four
categories of patients are incurable.
First patient is the one who asks questions because of jealousy
or who objects. Jealousy is such a lethal disease that has no cure.
Just understand, that whatever answer you will give, no matter how
good it is, he/she will consider you an enemy and his/her fire of
envy and jealousy will be further ignited. Therefore, it's better to
not respond to this person. A poet has said something good in this
"Kullul 'Adawati Qad Turja Izalatuha
Illa 'Adawata Mun 'Aadaka Min Hasadin."
"Every kind of animosity can be rectified (corrected) but the
animosity born out of jealousy is not possible to be rectified."
Therefore, its solution is that you leave this jealous one so
that he/she stays infected with this disease.
"Fa 'AaRid 'Um Mun Tawalla 'Un Zikrina Walam Yurid Illal
"So stay away from the individual who [because of jealousy] turns
his/her face away from Our remembrance and desires nothing but [the
pleasures of] the life of the world."
Second kind of patient is the one whose cause of disease is the
lack of intelligence and foolishness. This disease is also
incurable. Prophet 'Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) said that I am
[with the Permission of God] not incapable of bringing dead to life
but I am incapable of curing the fools and the ignorant folks.
Ignorant fool is the one who spends very little time acquiring
knowledge and has not even started [learning] intellectual and
transmitted religious knowledge but objects to those scholars who
have spent their lifetime acquiring intellectual and transmitted
religious knowledge. This individual has no knowledge that his/her
objection is considered agonizing by this individual [even though
he/she is not aware of it], others like him/her, and scholars.
Likewise, undoubtedly, this objection must seem agonizing to the one
who is a great scholar. This individual does not even know that the
objection he is having on the scholar is of no avail (useless) [to
him/her]. This great scholar's depth of knowledge and insights is
not even known to him/her and to others like him/her. So if this
person cannot even understand that (i.e. the knowledge and depth of
understanding of the scholar) then it is his/her foolishness. One
should stay away from this kind of person and should not even give
[him/her] a response.
ADVICE ACCORDING TO ONE'S COMPREHENSION: Third kind of
patient is the one who, due to his/her restlessness and impatience,
do not understand the teachings of the spiritually elevated ones
(saints) and keeps relying on his/her lack of intelligence, for
whatever this individual understands, understands it according to
his/her own interest (benefit). This [kind of] person is
simpleminded and mindless and his/her mind is incapable of
understanding the truth. This kind of person should not even be
given a response, because Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) has said:
"Nahnu Ma'aashirul Anbiyaee Umirna Un Natakallamun Nasa 'Ala
"Our group of prophets have been ordered [by Allah] to talk to
the people according to their minds (i.e. mental
INDIVIDUAL CAPABLE OF BENEFITING FROM ADVICE: Fourth kind of
patient is the one who is seeking the right path of guidance
(Sirat al-Mustaqeem), is obedient, sharp and intelligent, and
he/she should not have anger, following of the desires from the
lower self (Nafs), jealousy, and desire for wealth and fame.
Therefore, this person who is searching for the path of truth and
for correct method (guidance), whatever question he/she asks or
objections he/she makes is not due to jealousy or to find fault or
to test. This type of person is that patient who can be cured.
Therefore, to answer the questions of this person is not just
legitimate but it's obligatory (Wajib).
2. REALITY OF PREACHING
You are being admonished that you refrain from preaching and
making speeches because there are great calamities and harms in it.
If you think that whatever you preach you have already acted upon
it, then keep this in mind also that Allah, the Exalted and the
Truth, said to Prophet 'Isa (Jesus - Peace be upon him):
"Ya Ibna Maryama A'azee Nafsaka Fa In At-ta'azta Fa Izin Nasa
"O Son of Mary! You [should] admonish you self (Nafs)
[first], then if it accepts your advice then give advices to others,
otherwise have shame before Me."
If such situations get created that you have to preach, then
refrain from two things: Firstly, in your sermon refrain from
colorful narrations, gestures and signs (secretive language),
flowery and decorated language, pleasing poetry, illegal talk that
is against the Shari'ah (Divine laws), and lies of [fake]
Sufis (spiritually elevated individuals). It is because Allah, the
Exalted, does not like those who are pretentious (showy). But if
[some preacher's sermon or talk] exceeds the boundaries of pretense
and show (i.e. one is only trying to impress others with a seemingly
eloquent language) then know that this preacher's inner being
(heart) is bad and his/her heart is heedless [of God's remembrance].
Because the purpose of sermon (religious talk) is not to display
one's capabilities but it is to mention the punishment of the
hereafter. It is to narrate one's shortcomings in Allah's servitude
and to express regrets on useless endeavors and the life wasted [in
useless pursuits]. It is to mention the difficult stages of the life
hereafter that are obstacles in our way ahead. Likewise, it is to
mention the method of passing through this world while keeping our
faith (Iman) intact, the spectacle of the Angel of Death
(Malik ul-Maut) at the time of death, the questioning in the
grave by Munkir Nakeer (two angels that appear in the grave
after burial), and to mention the stations of the Day of Judgment.
In addition, the [fearsome] spectacle of accountability in the field
of Hashr (a vast field where all humankind will be assembled
after resurrection on the Day of Judgment), the weighing of [our]
actions [that we did in the world] in Mizaan (the mighty
scale/balance created by the Almighty Allah for weighing our actions
on the Day of Judgment), walking on the bridge [called] Sirat
(a bridge over Hell which leads to the Paradise which is thinner
than a hair and sharper than a sword on which all human beings will
be made to walk) and crossing it, and to map other horrors of the
Day of Judgment. The preacher should narrate all these matters of
fear in front of the people and should inform them about these
matters. Other than that, the people sitting in the gathering
(audience) should be reminded of their [inner and outer] faults and
shortcomings so that the fear of the punishment of the hereafter is
born in their hearts and to the greatest extent possible they should
have regrets over the time they lost [in vain pursuits] and should
try to make up for that (i.e. the lost time), and they should shed
tears over the time spent without worship (God's remembrance). All
these things that I mentioned above should be narrated in a sermon
[or religious talk]. For instance, if the water from the flood
reaches the door of someone's house creating such a threat that
within seconds it could engulf the entire house and drown it along
with his/her children. At that time [of an impending disaster just
about to be unleashed], the owner of the house will scream in the
house and will say "Al-Hazr Al-Hazr", this is, "Beware!
Beware! Run quickly! Flood Water has arrived!". In a horrific time
like this, the owner of the house will never mention the flood in
colorful sentences, gestures and signs (secretive language), flowery
and decorated language, or in an embellished colorful poetry. The
example of the sermon should be like this (i.e. to have fear oneself
and then instill that same fear of wrongdoings in others with a
sense of extreme urgency as in the case of an impending disaster).
Secondly, while giving sermons (religious talks or preaching),
one should not allow such thoughts to enter into one's heart that
after listening to his/her sermon people will shout slogans of
praise, become ecstatic, tear their clothes, raise a load uproar in
the gathering, and audience will start saying that the gathering was
very good and that so-and-so gave a very good sermon. These kinds of
thoughts are included in [pure] Riya (show
off/display/ostentation/desire to impress others) and to be pleased
with such things is a proof that you lack intelligence. In truth,
your intention should be to summon God's creations from this world
to the next, to summon them from sins (wrongdoings) to servitude [of
God], from greed to the detachment of the heart from the world [and
to adopt contentment], from miserliness to generosity, from
ostentation (Riya) to sincerity (Ikhlas - doing things
only seeking the Countenance of Allah), from arrogance to humility,
from heedlessness [of Allah's remembrance] to consciousness
(awareness of God), from pride to piety. Instill in their hearts the
love of the life hereafter so that they get inclined towards the
life hereafter. This way, disenchant their hearts from the world so
that they will consider [the love and attachment of] the world an
enemy [stopping them from realizing their full potential and the
purpose for which Allah has sent them in this world]. In the same
way, do not keep people in a [state of] deception about Allah's
Plenitude and Mercy by misstating facts (saying wrongful things),
but instead, create in them piety (fear of Allah) and
God-consciousness and see (determine) what they have in their hearts
which is against the approval of Allah and [see] what they are
inclined towards which is against the Shari'ah (Divine Law)
of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Along with it, keep an eye on their morality and deeds so that their
wrongful deeds come to an end and are replaced with good morals
(character and conduct) and good deeds. Those people who are
dominated by the fear [of Allah], create in them so much hope that
when they get up from your gathering, some [noble] inner qualities
have been inculcated (born) in them and their exterior [demeanor and
character] have been changed also. The people who were lazy in
Allah's worship, should get inclined towards worshipping Allah [as a
result of your preaching] and develop in their hearts a deep rooted
desire for servitude of God and those who are daring and audacious
(bold) in committing sins should get developed in them the fear of
Allah. A sermon (religious talk) which is not like this and if the
preacher (speaker) does not narrate these things, then it (the
religious talk) will became a source of calamity for the preacher
and the audience. This type of a person is a Shaytan (Satan)
[who after becoming a slave of his/her degraded lower self, thinks
that he/she will display his/her abilities in the sermon and will
obtain the fame and grandeur of the world]. This Shaytan
(Satan) misguides creations [of God] from the path of true guidance,
sheds their blood, and involves them in an eternal destruction. The
creations of God should stay far away from this individual. These
people spread such a turmoil (Fasad) in religion that is not
even spread by Satan (Shaytan). The person who has the power
to get such preacher off the pulpit (Minbar), it is
obligatory (Wajib) on him to get such people deliberately
removed from the pulpit and to stop them from giving sermons so that
these people are not able to say wrong things about commanding right
and forbidding evil ('Amr bil Ma'roof Wa Nahi 'Anil
3. STAYING AWAY FROM AFFLUENT AND KINGS (RULERS)
Third [admonition about things you should avoid] is that you
should not [even] greet any king, any affluent, or any ruler and
stay away from their proximity (company) and gatherings and more
than that you should not even lift an eye to look at them. Because,
in seeing them and in keeping their company, has many calamities
hidden in them. But if ever you happen to be in their company by any
chance, then refrain from praising them. [As a Hadith
"Fa InnAllaha Yaghdib Iza Mudihal Faasiqu Waz Zalimu Wa Iza
Madaha Wa Mun Da'aa Li Zalimin Bitoolil Baqaaii Faqad Ahabba Aye
Ya'siyAllahu Fil Arde."
"Verily, Allah, the Exalted, is angry when any transgressor
(Fasiq) and an oppressor (Zalim) is praised and the
one who prays for a long life for an oppressor, is as if he/she has
liked that he/she walks on earth as a sinner."
4. NOT ACCEPTING GIFTS FROM THE RULERS
Third [admonition about things you should avoid] is that you
should not accept any gifts from rulers even though you know that
what they are giving is from Halal (legal/permissible)
sources. The reason for this is that to have an intention over their
possessions causes great damage and turmoil in the Deen (the
path to God/religion). The concessions and rewards that come from
them, give birth to oppression, transgression, and sins which are a
cause of damage to the Deen (the path to God/religion). The
least [minimum] corruption that is born out of this is that you will
start to love the oppressors and when a person loves another then
he/she prays for a long life for them (the oppressors). If an
oppressor has a long life then the oppression will continue longer
and there will be more turmoil and corruption in the world and what
can be worse than that? Beware! Beware! Shaytan (Satan) will
misguide you and will create this thought in your heart, "First
thing you should do is that take the money from these rulers and
then distribute it among the indigents (poor) and cause them some
comfort and fulfill their needs". Beware! Never accept this kind of
advice from any Shaytan (Satan) either from among the
Jinns (an invisible creation of God who, if inclined towards
evil, become Satan's recruits in causing harm to the human beings by
inciting them to evil) or from among the humans, and do not get
trapped in their machinations (plots/conspiracies) to get deceived
by them because Satan has spilled the blood of many using this
strategy and still continues to spill blood. There are so many
calamities embedded (hidden) within this fact that we have explained
in our book "Ahya al-Uloom ad-Deen" (Revival of the Knowledge
of the Path to God). You can search (find) them there.
FOUR MATTERS WORTHY OF OUR ACTIONS
My dear beloved son! Refrain from the [above mentioned] four
things but the things that you have to do are also four in number
and it will be appropriate that you take full care of them. [These
four things to do are:]
1. THE METHOD OF DEVELOPING AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH
The first thing is that, every matter that is between you and
Allah should be conducted [by you] in such a way that if your
servant does the same for you then you, instead of being sad, will
like it, commend it, and will not be in any way angry about it.
Likewise, if there is anything you do not like about your servant
doing it for you, you should also realize that if you fell short in
your servitude to your Lord then your Creator will also not like it.
The reality that needs to be mentioned here [and the fundamental
point that needs to be driven home here] is that your servant is not
created by you but only hired by you. But you been created, raised
(cherished), and owned by your Real Creator and Owner [whom you are
a slave of, therefore, your obligation to not in an way displease
your Lord either in thought, word, or deed, is tremendous].
2. THE METHOD OF RELATING TO THE SLAVES OF ALLAH
The second thing is that every matter that is between you and
other slaves of Allah should be conducted by you in such a way that
if they do the same to you [what you are doing to them] then you
will like it and will not be grieved by it. As it has been said [in
a Holy Hadith (a tradition of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in which
Allah is telling us something)]:
"Fala Yakmalu Eemanu 'Abdi Hatta Yuhibba Lisaa-irin Nasi Ma
Yuhibba Li Nafsihi."
"My (Allah's) slave's faith (Iman) is never complete
unless he/she likes for all human beings what he/she likes for
3. AN INSISTENT ADVICE TO STUDY AND LEARN
The third thing is that if you want to increase your knowledge
and want to read (study) a scholarly book then think that your
lifetime will be over in no more than a week. In this situation,
[think and realize] what kind of knowledge will benefit you, so only
indulge in that kind of knowledge. If you have the knowledge that
your life will last for no more than a week, then in that week (i.e.
in the last week of your life) you will never read such scholarly
books in which you will learn things like [the art of] religious
debates, argumentation, dictionary, linguistics and grammar, poetry,
poetic collections, and essay writing. The reason for doing that [in
the situation when your life ends in one week] is that you have
developed an understanding that such knowledge will provide no
benefit to you. For this reason, you will keep yourself busy the
whole week with contemplation of the heart and recognizing the
faults in your Nafs (self) [so that you can make amends
wherever you can in the short time that is left]. You will turn your
face away from the world [and the life therein] and after purifying
your heart from all evil qualities and embellishing (decorating) it
(your heart) with the love of Allah and with beautiful noble [inner]
qualities, you will get busy with Allah's worship and servitude. It
is [even] possible that in any day or night of that [last] week [of
your life] you will not even visit anyone even though [you know
that] there is no likelihood of you dying on that very day or night.
My dear beloved son! Listen to one more thing, remember it,
understand its reality, contemplate on it, and act on it, so this
way you will certainly earn your salvation. If you are given the
news and told that the next week the king will visit your house,
then certainly in the whole week, you will not do any work other
than having the obsession that king's glance should not fell on
such-and-such thing so I should clean it. In this way you will clean
everything in your house, decorate everything and that includes your
body, your dress, the walls and floors of your house, etc. You will
clean all of these things. Now you should yourself think and
understand! What should I explain to you about this hint? You
yourself are intelligent so a hint should be enough for you. That's
why, Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has
"InnAllaha La Yunzuru Ila Suwarikum Wa La Ila 'Aamalikum Wa
Lakin Yunzuru Ila Qulubikum Wa Niyyatikum."
"Verily, Allah does not look at your faces and your actions but
he looks at your hearts and your intentions."
When the Supreme Ruler's (Ahkamul Hakimeen) sight is on
your heart then why do you not purify your heart? If your desire is
to acquire knowledge of the matters of the heart then you should
study [my book] "Ahya al-Uloom ad-Deen" ("Revival of the
Knowledge of the Path to God" also known as "Revival of Religious
Learnings") and our other books, because to acquire such knowledge
is personally obligatory (Fard al-'ayn) on all Muslims. To
acquire other knowledge is a communal obligation (Fard Kifaya
- an obligation on an entire community which is discharged by the
entire community if there is a single group within the community
that fulfills the communal obligation). But this knowledge should be
acquired to such an extent so that you can obey the commandments of
Allah, the Exalted. If Allah, the Exalted, grants you the
Tawfeeq (capability/motivation) then you should necessarily
acquire this knowledge.
4. NOT STOCKPILING FOOD
The fourth thing is that you should not accumulate more than one
year's provision for your family from the possessions of the world.
Because Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
accumulated one year's worth of provision (food) for some of his
wives and said:
"Allahumma Aj'al Quta Aale Muhammadin Kafafun."
"O my Allah! Make this provision (food) sufficient for the family
of Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)."
But Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
did not accumulate provisions (food) for all of his wives (Azwaj
al-Mutahharat), but instead, he accumulated provisions (food)
for one year for those of his wives (Azwaj al-Mutahharat)
only whose reliance (Tawakkul) on Allah was weak. And for
those Ummahatil Mu'mineen (Mothers of the Believers - the
wives of the Prophet), whose certitude [in Allah] was perfect and
had strong Tawakkul (reliance on Allah), for them the Prophet
(Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not even accumulate
even one day's worth of provisions. For instance, for 'Aisha Siddiqa
(May Allah be pleased with her) and for other Mothers of Believers
A SUPPLICATION (DU'A) THAT CAN ALWAYS BE
My dear beloved son! In this book, I have answered all of your
questions. Now you should gather courage and act on all of them and
do not forget me in your supplications (Du'a). You have also
desired that I should write a supplication (Du'a) for you
[that you can always recite], so you should search for supplications
in the book of Ahadith (the traditions of Prophet Muhammad
[Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]) [especially] in Sahah
Sitta (the six most authentic collections of the traditions of
Prophet Muhammad [Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]) and
memorize them. Likewise, many supplications have come [to us] from
the methods of the Ahl al-Bayt (the family of Prophet
Muhammad [Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]), so search for
them there. Recite the following [supplication], in particular,
after every prayer (Salaat):
"O my Allah! I desire from You the completion
(abundance/perfection) of Your blessings and from purity (inner and
outer) I desire its permanence and from Your mercy [I desire] its
inclusion [in all matters] and from health [I desire] its attainment
and from sustenance [I desire] its increase and from life [I desire]
its happiness and from life [I desire] its real success and from
good qualities [I desire] their completion and from your rewards [I
desire] the reward which is the most common and from your plenitude
[I desire] the plenitude which is the sweetest and from your favors
[I desire] the favor which is the most plentiful and from deeds [I
desire] the deed which is the best and from knowledge [I desire] the
knowledge which is the most beneficial and from the sustenance [I
desire] the sustenance which is the most plentiful.
O my Allah! You become ours (grant us benefits) and do not burden
us (protect us from harms). O my Allah! Grant us salvation when we
die and reform our deeds and grant us safety in your days and nights
and grant us your mercy in our houses and in our possessions and
cover our sins and fault with the cover of your forgiveness and do
us favors by correcting all our faults [inner and outer] and give us
confidence and reliance on You.
O my Allah! Grant us perseverance and persistence in our
Deen (religion/Path to God). Save us from such deeds in the
world that will become a source of shame (humiliation) on the Day of
Judgment and lessen the burdens of our sins on us and grant us a
life of the pious ones and be sufficient to us in all our affairs
and protect us from the evil of the evildoers. Liberate us and our
ancestors, from the fire of Hell, from loans, and from oppression O
You the Victorious One (Ya Aziz)! O You the Forgiving One
(Ya Ghaffar)! O You the Generous One (Ya Kareem)! O
You the Coverer of faults (Ya Sattar)! O You the Tolerant One
(Ya Haleem)! O You the Powerful One (Ya Jabbar)! O You
the Magnificent One (Ya Azeem)! O You the One Who Punishes
(Ya Qahhar)! O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O You the
Compassionate One (Ya Rahman) in this world! O You the
Merciful One (Ya Raheem) in the life hereafter! O You the
Supreme Merciful One (Ya Arhum ur-Rahimeen)! You are the
Grantor of the Excessive Mercy! And may the mercy and blessings of
Allah always descend on Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him) who is the best of all [of God's] creations [from eternity
to eternity] and on his descendants and on his companions. All
praises are solely due to Allah the Lord of all the Universes
This book comes to end with the help of the Absolute Sovereign
(Al-Malik) and the Giver of all (Al-Wahhab)!