< Thoughts & Readings


Saturday, March 27, 2004  

On Sorrow (Huzn) God Most High has said, “And they said, ‘Praise to God Who has made sadness depart from us’" [35:34]. Ali bin Ahmad bin Abdan informed us through Abu Said al-Khudri that the Messenger of God said, “Nothing afflicts a believing servant, whether sickness or fatigue or sadness or pain that troubles him, without God Most High removing some of his evils from him.” Sadness, huzn, is a state that contracts the heart from being scattered in the valleys of unconsciousness. Sadness is one of the characteristics of those involved in active search. I heard Abu Ali ad-Daqqaq say, “The sorrowful person experiences in the Way of God in a month what, without his sorrow, he would not experience in years.” A hadith says, “God loves every sorrowing heart.” And in the Torah, “When God loves a servant, He puts mourner in his heart and when He is dissatisfied with a servant, He puts a festive flute in his heart.” It is related that the Messenger of God was in continuous sorrow and reflection. Bishr bin al-Harith said, “Sadness is a king who, when he dwells in a place, does not please to have anyone else dwell there.” It is said that a heart that has no sadness in it is as a house with no one living in it; it falls into ruins. Abu Said al-Qarshi said, “The tears of sorrow blind, while the tears of yearning make the sight dim but do not blind.” God Most High said, “And his [Jacob’s] eyes grew white from sorrow and he fell into silent melancholy” [12:84]. Ibn Khafif said, “Sadness deters the ego from the pursuit of pleasure.” Rabia-Adawiyyah heard a man lamenting, “What great sorrow!” “You should cry, ‘What little sorrow!’” she returned. “If you were really sorrowful, you would not be able to breathe!” Sufyan bin Uyaynah said, “If a sorrowful person in this community wept, God Most High would have mercy on the whole community for the sake of his tears.” Dawud al-Tai was dominated by sadness. He used to say, at night, “My God, concern for You ruins other concerns for me and comes between me and sleep.” And he used to say, “How should a person for whom every moment means grave misfortune seek to be distracted from sorrow?” It is said that sorrow prevents one from eating, while fear prevents one from sinning. A Sufi was asked, “What indicates a person’s sorrow?” He replied, “The extent of his groaning.” Sari-al-Saqati said, “I would love for the sadness of all humanity to be cast upon me.” Many people have discussed sadness. All of them have said that only sadness for the sake of the next world is praiseworthy. Sadness for the sake of this world is not commendable. Only Abu Uthman al-Hiri disagrees. He said that every sort of sadness that is not the result of a sin has merit and increase in it for the believer. If it does not necessarily make him one of the spiritual elite, still it must purify him. There was a shaykh who, when one of his companions went on a journeym used to say, “If you see any sorrowing person, send him my greetings.” I heard Abu Ali ad-Daqqaq say, “There was a Sufi who used to ask the sun when it set, ‘Did you rise today upon one who sorrows?’” No one was able to see Hasan al-Basri without thinking that he has been afflicted by troubles. Waki said when Fudayl died, “Today sorrow has left the earth.” One of our predecessors said, “The majority of the good deed the believer will find in his record on the last day will be care and sorrow.” I heard Abu Abd’Allah al-Shirazi say that Fudayl bin Iyad said, “Those who came before us used to say that everything owes a tithe and the tithe of the mind is long sadness.” I heard Abu Abd’al-Rahman al-Sulami say that Abu l-Husayn al-Warraq said, “One day I asked Abu Uthman al-Hiri about sorrow. He said, ‘A sorrowful person has no leisure for questions about sorrow. Strive to find sorrow – then ask!’” -Imam Abu-l-Qasim al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism (Risalah Qushayriyyah)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 3/27/2004 06:58:00 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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