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Monday, February 23, 2004  

The Beginning of the Path is a Powerful Urge of Divine Origin Which Should be Strengthened, Protected, and Responded to Know that the path begins when a powerful urge is cast into the heart of the servant which troubles and unnerves him, and drives him towards God and the last abode. It turns him away from this world and from being, like others, engaged in amassing and grooming it, tasting and enjoying its pleasures, and being deceived by its ornaments. This urge is one of the hidden warriors of God; it is a gift of solicitude and a sign of right guidance. It is often bestowed upon a servant as he listens to those people who stir in him fear [of God] as well as desire and yearning [for Him], and when he looks at the men of God and they look at him. It can be given without cause. It is commanded and encouraged to actively subject oneself to receive such gifts, for to expect to receive something when not standing at the door and subjecting oneself therein is foolish and unintelligent. The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, said, "Your Lord has gifts in these days of your time, subject yourself to receive them!" He whom God honors with such a noble urge must know how precious it is. Let him also know that it is one of the greatest favors of God, Exalted is He, such that he will never fully know how truly precious it is, nor will he ever be able to show gratitude enough for it. So let him thank God, Exalted is He, to his utmost for having selected him from among his peers to receive it. How many a Muslim reaches the age of eighty or more and neither finds this yearning nor is affected by it a single day of his life! A disciple [murid] should do his best to strengthen, protect, and respond to his urge. Strengthening it is by remembering God often, reflecting on what He has, and keeping the company of the people of God. Protecting it is by keeping away from the company of those who are veiled and by ignoring the insinuations of devils. Responding to it is by hastening to return to God and sincerely seeking His nearness -- by neither waiting, postponing, procrastinating, nor delaying. This is a chance that one is given and should seize; the door is now open for him, and he should enter. He is being called, and he should be swift. Let him beware of letting one day pass after the other, for this is the work of the Devil. He must advance and not weaken. He must refuse manufacturing excuses, such as saying that there is no time or that he is not good enough for the task. Abu'l-Rabi', may God have mercy on him, said, "Go to God with your limps and your broken limbs. Do not wait for full health for that would only be idleness."Imam Ibn 'Ata'illah said in his Hikam, "To say that the work must be postponed until one is free is but idleness of the soul." Repentance, its Conditions, and Protecting Oneself from Sins A disciple on the path to God should begin with sound repentance from all his sins. If he has treated unjustly any of God's creation, he should correct this by giving everyone their due. If this is not possible, he should ask them to release him from those obligations. Whoever is encumbered with debts to creation cannot proceed towards the Real. It is a condition for sound repentance that one feel sincere remorse for his sins and be wholly determined not to repeat such actions as long as e lives. If he does not refrain from them, or is still harboring the intention to repeat them, his repentance is false. A disciple should always be extremely aware of his shortcomings towards his Lord. When these shortcomings bring him sadness and his heart breaks, let him know that God is with him, for He says, Transcendent is He, "I am with those whose hearts break for My sake." A disciple should pretect himself from the smallest of sins -- let alone the major ones -- with more urgency than protecting himself from lethal poison. Should he commit [such a sin], he should be more frightened than if he had taken poison, for sins are to the heart what poison is to the body. The heart of a disciple is more precious to him than his body. A disciple has no capital other than protecting and improving his heart. The body is a target for disease, soon to be destroyed by death. Its death, however, means only that one has to leave this grief and anxiety-laden world. But if the heart is ruined, the Hereafter is ruined. The only one to be rescued from the wrath of God and gain His rewards and win His pleasure will be the one who comes to Him with a heart that is "whole." - Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Two Treatises of Imam al-Haddad



posted by SuFiSTiC | 2/23/2004 02:32:00 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."
(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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