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Tuesday, July 15, 2003  

On Abstaining (Wara) Part 1 of 2 Abu-l-Husayn Abd al-Rahman bin Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Yahya al-Mazaki reported ... from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of God said, "Part of the beauty of Islam is that a person leaves what does not concern him." As for wara, abstaining from unlawful acts, it means to leave everything whose rightness is doubtful. Thus Ibrahim bin Adham said, "Abstaining from the unlawful is to leave every doubtful situation and to leave what does not concern you. It is the abandonment of the superfluous." Abu Bakr al-Siddiq said, "We used to pass by seventy lawful situations for fear that we would find ourselves in one situation that was forbidden." And the Prophet said to Abu Hurayrah, "Be heedful of the lawfulness of your acts. You will be the most worshipful of people." I heard Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami say ... that Sari said, "The people who abstained from unlawful acts in their era were four - Hudhayfah al-Murtaish, Yusuf bin Asbat, Ibrahim bin Adham and Sulayman al-Khawwas. They looked into how to care for the lawful and when matters became difficult for them they took refuge in needing little." And I heard him say ... that Shibli said, "Abstaining from the unlawful means to refrain from everything other than God Most High." And I heard him say ... that Ishaq bin Khalaf informed us, "To be scrupulous in speaking is harder than to be scrupulous with gold and silver. To renounce social position is harder than to renounce gold and silver because you spend both of them in search of social position." Abu-l-Sulayman al-Darani said, "Abstaining from the unlawful is the beginning of renunciation of the world, just as contentment with one's lot is a branch of satisfaction with the will of God." Abu Uthman said, "The reward for abstaining from the unlawful is an easy accounting on the Last Day." Yahya bin Muadh said, "Abstaining from the unlawful means to stop at the limit of religious knowledge without making interpretations." I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say ... that Abd Allah ibn al-Jalla said, "I knew someone who stayed in Mecca thirty years and would not drink any other water than Zamzam which he drew himself with his own pitcher and a rope and would not eat food imported from an outside city." I heard him say ... that Ali bin Musa al-Tahirati said, "A small coin belonging to Abd Allah bin Marwan fell into a polluted well. He paid thirteen dinars to have it brought out. When asked about this, he said, 'The name of God Most High is upon it.'" And I heard him say ... that Yahya bin Muadh said, "Abstaining from the unlawful has two aspects: Exterior abstaining, which is not to make a move except for the sake of God Most High and interior abstaining, which is not to admit anything other than God Most High into your heart." Yahya bin Muadh said, "Whoever does not look into the fine points of abstaining from the unlawful will not attain the sublimity of the gift." And it is said, "The one whose attention to religion is meticulous is the one whose importance at the resurrection will be great." Ibn al-Jalla said, "Someone who takes up the dervish life unaccompanied by fear of God eats what is totally unlawful." Yunus bin Ubayd said, "Abstaining from the unlawful is to leave the doubtful and to call the ego to account for its every glance." Sufyan al-Thawri said, "I never saw anything easier than abstaining from the unlawful. Leave everything that makes a mark upon your conscience." Maruf al-Karkhi said, "Guard your tongue from praise as you have guarded it from blame." Bishr bin al-Harith said, "The hardest works are three: to be generous when you have little, to be scrupulous about what is lawful when in retreat from the world and to tell the truth before someone from whom you hope for benefit or fear harm." It is told that the sister of Bishr al-Hafi went to Ahmad bin Hanbal and said, "We spin on our terrace while the torches pass by us outside and their beams fall upon us. Is it permissible for us to spin in their rays?" Ahmad asked, "Who are you? May God Most High forgive all your sins!" She answered, "I am Bishr al-Hafi's sister." Ahmad wept and said, "From your house issues true care for the divine law! No, do not spin in their rays." Ali al-Attar said, "I passed through the streets in Basra. Old men were sitting there while boys played around them. I asked, 'Aren't you ashamed to show so little respect for these elders?' One of the boys answered, 'These old men had little care for the lawful, so they have inspired little respect.'" It is said that Malik bin Dinar made his home in Basra for forty years, but it never felt right to him to eat any of the dates of Basra, dry or fresh. He died without having tasted them. Each time the date harvest would pass, he would say, "People of Basra! This stomach of mine has not shrunk any. Has anything of yours increased?" -Imam Abu-l-Qasim al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism (Risalah Qushayriyyah)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 7/15/2003 09:56:00 PM |
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."
(Bukhari)
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
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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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