< Thoughts & Readings

Monday, May 05, 2003  

The People of This World and Those of The Next When the people of this world, the distracted, and those who mix [good with evil acts] give their love to the people of the Hereafter (those who possess knowledge and practice it, who are the saints and the virtuous), when they revere them and envy their obedience and attentiveness to God (high and majestic is He), they are doing well and this is a sign of their [ultimate] happiness and success. It may even lead them to emulate those people of virtue, tread their paths, perform the good works they do, and acquire their praiseworthy attributes. This does, in fact, frequently occur. We have heard that a group of heedless and mixed-up people gathered one day and sent one of their ranks with twenty dirhams to buy fruits, perfume, and other things to enliven their gathering. He went to the market and found everyone crowding around a watermelon, each eager to buy it, the reason being that Bishr ibn al-Harith, may God have mercy on him and grant people to benefit from him, had touched it with his hand. The man bought it all for the money that he carried and took it back to his companions. It had taken him long to return, so they asked him, "You took such a long time, yet return with only this watermelon?" He replied, "This watermelon possesses something wondrous!" They asked what that might be, and he said, "Bishr ibn al-Harith has touched it with his hand and I competed for it and acquired it for all our money." They asked, "And who might this Bishr be?" "A worshipper," he replied, "who has obeyed God and was honored by Him!" Hearing this they exclaimed to each other, "If the man of obedience ends up being so honored by God in this world, how will it be for him in the Hereafter?" They all repented and abandoned their frivolous and futile activities. Events like these are frequent occurences for unaware and heedless people when they take to respecting and loving those possessed of taqwa and attentiveness to God. On the other hand, when people of the Hereafter and of attentiveness give their love to the heedless and mixed-up people of the world, begin to appreciate them, find their condition pleasant, and envy their enjoyment of the world's passions and manifold pleasures, this indicates that their power of discernment is weakening, their resolution is crumbling, and that they have little or no sincerity in their traveling toward God the Exalted and the Hereafter. Just as this world is vile and insignificant, with all that it contains, so too is he who has desire, greed, and attachment for its passions and pleasures and is excessively concerned with acquiring and developing them. Thus when the people of the Hereafter enter a state in which they envy and respect a person of that description, they may end up even lowlier than he in degree and level of ambition. On the contrary, people of religion and the Hereafter must raise their ambition, rise above seeking material security in the world and in its people, and be repelled and disgusted by all its passions and fleeting pleasures; for in reality these are but befouling, defiling dirt. The world has been likened to a putrid carcass and to disgusting refuse, in the words of the Messenger of God himself, may blessings and peace be on him and on his family, and in the words of the righteous predecessors. "The world is a putrid carcass," says one hadith. It was likened to that filth which is expelled from man's gut in the hadith of al-Dahhak. Al-Fudayl ibn 'Iyad, may God have mercy on him, said, "Were I to be told, 'Take the world; it is licit, there will be no asking to account!' I would still be repelled by it as any of you is repelled by a carcass he passes and which he fears may render foul his clothes." Al-Yafi'i, may God have mercy on him, related in one of his books the story of the vizier who once went out with a magnificent escort which so impressed a group of strangers that they kept enquiring who he was, until a woman by the roadside replied. "How long will you go on asking, 'Who is this? Who is this?' This is a creature who has fallen from the consideration of God and has been afflicted by Him with the state which you now behold." Overhearing what she said, the vizier returned to the king and asked to be relieved of his office. Then he went to Makkah the Ennobled as a penitent man, and there he remained until he died. When people of religion and the Hereafter behold worldly people eager to accumulate [wealth] and preoccupied with passions, they must feel sorry for them and pray that they may be freed and saved from turning away from God that others have fallen prey to, and from their heedlessness of the Hereafter, which is their ultimate return and their appointed time. God forbid that the people of the Hereafter might wish to become like them! It is only so with people lacking discernment, sincerity with God, true renunciation, or true desire for the Hereafter, which is better and more enduring (Quran, 87:17). He who is like this will have accepted what is base in exchange for what is better (Quran, 2:61) and will have failed to appreciate the value of God's gift to him. This gift is His choice that a believer will travel to Him and to the Hereafter, and His preserving him from the affliction of turning away and being forgetful of Him and of pursuing the ephemeral, lowly, valueless things of the world. The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be on him and his family, said, "Had the world weighed in the sight of God so much as the wing of a gnat, He would never have given a disbeliever a sip of its water!" There are many other well-known hadiths in this regard. Success is in the Hand of God; the whole matter belongs to Him; there is no power nor might except with God, transcendent and exalted is He. -Imam 'Abdullah ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad, Knowledge and Wisdom (Fusul al-'ilmiyah wal usul al-hikamiyah)

posted by SuFiSTiC | 5/05/2003 12:15:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
Md Mubaraq
Md Firdaus

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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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