REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
CONTENTS OF BOOK III
THE BOOK OF DESTRUCTIVE EVILS
Evils of power and show 209
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Destructive Evils
LOVE OF POWER AND SHOW
The Prophet said : the greatest of what I fear most for my followers is Riya or show of piety and secret greed. It is more secret than the movements of black ants on a smooth stone in the darkest night. For that reason, the experienced learned men have become baffled to save themselves from its injuries. By it the religious men are tried as they want to get respect from the people for their learning and piety. They wish to get praise and respect in meetings. When show is a secret disease and a great window for the devil, the causes of show should be known, We shall divide this chapter into two sections-(1) Love of power, name and fame and (2) show.
LOVE OF POWER, NAME AND FAME
Know, O dear readers, that lover of name and fame is bad and. to live in an unknown state is good, but if name and fame spread without search, it is not bad. The Prophet said: It is sufficient for the evil of a man if hells shown by fingers regarding his temporal and spiritual worlds. But he is saved whom God saves. He also said : God does not look to your figures but He looks to your hearts and actions, Hazrat Ali said : spend but don't disclose it. Don't raise your personality to attract attention of the people, rather keep it secret and remain silent, you will then remain safe. The pious men will be satisfied with you and the impious people will remain dissatisfied. Hazrat Ibrahim-Adham said : He who loves name and fame does not know God to be true. Abu Ayyub Saktani said: By God, a man does not know God to be true till be knows well that his address should not be known by anybody. When many people gathered in the assembly of Zikr of Khaled-o-Ma'ad, he used to go away from it.
Once ten persons were walking with Hazrat Talha. He said It is the wing of greed and bed do Hell. Once Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud came out of his house when a host of men were following him. He said to them : Why do you walk behind me. By God, hadd you known why I keep my door closed, two of you would not have followed me. Once Hasan Basari came out followed by a group of people, He said to them : Have you got any necessity with me? If
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you have got, it is good or else it is not good to have this feeling in the mind of a believer. Once Hazrat Ayub came out and many people followed him, He said : Had I not known that Gpd knows that I hate your following me, I would have feared the dislike of God. sufyan Saori said : The wise men of yore hated the dress at which the people looked with prolonged eyes Once a man requested Bashr-b- Hares to advise him. He said : He who loves name and fame does not get the taste of the next world.
MERITS OF STAYING BEHIND THE EYES OF MEN
The Prophet said : there are many a man whose body is besmeared with dust, whose hairs are disheveled whose dress is torn who is disregarded by men, but be fulfills his promise taken in .the name of God. If he says : 0 God, I seek from you Paradise, God will grant him Paradise: When he seeks anything of the world, He does not give it to him. The Prophet said : Shall I not inform you of the dwellers of Paradise?- every weak and neglected man. If he is given oath in the name of God, makes him to fulfill it. Shall I not inform you of the inmates of Hell?-every proud, haughty and harsh man. The Prophet said : those who are dishevelled in hairs, dust ridden, dressed with torn and tattered clothes, hated by people, those who are not given permission to go to the ruler when prayed for, who are not given girls in marriage when sought, who are not heard when they talk, whose wants and complaints are extinguished in their minds-they are the dwellers of paradise. If their light is distributed among the people on the Resurrection Day, it would be sufficient for them.
The Prophet said : There is such man among my followers who is not given gold coin when begged for, who is not given silver coin when begged for, who is not given a piece of cloth when begged for, but who is given even Paradise by God when it is prayed for to God. If he wants from Him anything of this world, he does not give it to him. Don't think that God is dissatisfied with him as God does not give him anything of the world. How many men there are dressed with tattered clothes whom God make to fulfill their oaths if made in the name of God.
Once Caliph Omar entered the mosque and saw that Hazrat Ma'az-b- Jabal was weeping by the side of the grave of the Prophet. One being asked the reason of his weeping, he said : I heard the Prophet of God say : A little show is Shirk or setting up
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partner with God. God loves religious men who are not searched
for in their absence, who are not taken notice of even in their
presence, whose hearts are lighted by the light of providence and
who are free from all sorts of darkness end dirtness. Once there
was famine in Medina. There was a religious man there whom
the people considered as mean. He stayed in the mosque of
Medina. When the people were engaged in prayer to God to ward
off famine, a man with tattered clothes came there, prayed two rak'at in short and then began to invoke God with his hands spread out: 0 Lord, I swear by you, shower rain just now. Hardly had he raised up his hands and his invocation ended, the entire sky was filled up with clouds and there was shower of rain. It was so profuse that the dwellers of Medina feared to be drowned, Then he prayed : 0 God, you know best that it is sufficient for the people, so lift up rain. Then the rain stopped. The religious man followed the man who prayed for rain and recognised his abode. Why he went to him at dawn, he came out and said : I have come to you on account of necessity. He said : Tell me your necessity. He said : Oblige me by accepting my invitation. He said : God is pure. It is a wonder that I would oblige you by accepting invitation. Then he said : How did you acquire the rank which I saw? He said : I obeyed what God ordered me and prohibited me. So I invoked God and He accepted my invocation.
Hazrat Ibn Masud said: Be fountain of learning, be light of guidance, be lamp of night, be jewel of heart and put on old clothes, you will be known to the dwellers of heaven and live unknown to the dwellers of this world. The Prophet said : God says : The object of envy is that believer who makes light the burden on himself, gets delight in prayers, good in divine service, worship[s in secrecy, lives behind the eyes of men, is not shown by fingers and keeps patience. The Prophet made a sound by his hands and said : His death is quick, his heritage is very little and his mourners are very few.
Hazrat Abdullah-b-Omar said : The dearest man to God is Goraba. The people asked : Who is Gorabah? He said : He who flees away from the society with his religion and gathers together with Jesus Christ on the Resurrection Day. Sufiyan Soari said : I wish to see myself with the poor of Medina who live in want of necessary food and with difficulty. The sage Fazil said : If you can make yourself such as the people do not know you, it is better.
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You should be in such a condition that nobody can know you and nobody praises you. It does not matter if you become mean before the people but good to God.
Question : Is there more fame for anybody than that of the Prophets and learned men? Have they lost the merits of not remaining behind the eyes of men?
Answer: Search for name and fame is bad, but if name and fame come from God without seeking them, it is not bad. It is true that it is injurious for the weak and not for the strong. The weak man is like a .drowning man with whom many men are about to . be drowned. Nobody among them should help him as they have chance of being drowned and nobody can help another. The drowning man should introduce himself to the strong man, so that he may rescue him and get merits.
CONDEMNATION OF LOVE OF POWER : God says: 1 have kept the next world for those who no not wish to have fame. it) the world or create disturbance-28 : 83. Q God says : I will give those who wish to have this world's life and its grandeurs full rewards of their activities therein and those rewards will not be reduced. They are those for whom there is nothing in the next world but Hell fire and what they did therein will be baffled. This will be result on account of the love of power and there is the greatest delight in love of power out of all worldly delights. The Prophet of God said ; Wealth and power grow in mind hypocrisy as raih grows herbages. He also said : As two hungry wolves do injury by entering the pound of goats, so fame and wealth destroy, the good qualities of a believer by entering into his religion. The Prophet said to Hazrat Ali : To follow the dictates of passion and greed for praise destroys mankind.
MEANING OF LO?:'3 OF POWER : Know, 0 dear readers, that wealth and love of`power are two worldly things. Wealth means possession of beneficial thing and love of power means exercise of power over those from whom search is made to get allegiance, obedience and honour. As a rich man meets his objects and necessities by being the owner of gold and silver so the possessor of power keeps the minds of the public subdued in such a manner that they do whatever he wished them to do. Man's mind cannot to subdued without belief and introduction; and physique and wealth are subservient to mind. If mind can be
subdued, physique and wealth are also subdued along with mind. The condition of mind again is the result of faith, knowledge and idea. As a man loving wealth likes to be owner of servants and slaves, so one who loves power to subdue free people and to get their services. Loves to be the owner of their
CAUSES OF LOVE OF POWER. The reason of love of power is that for which gold and silver are loved, rather love of power is more than that. Gold and silver are not loved for their sake, but for the fact that therewith necessary things can be purchased, Similar is the case with love of power, because it means to bring the mind of another under one's control. There are three cause for which power is more loved than wealth.
(1) First cause : To get wealth by power is easier than to get power by wealth. It a kind man or a man who renunciated the world wishes to earn money, it is easier for him as the wealth of those whose minds have been brought under control is under his control. So power is an weapon to earn money. If there is power, wealth comes, but if there is wealth, power does not come in all circumstances. For this reason, power is more liked than wealth.
(2) Second cause: Wealth is easily ruined and thiefs and dacoits can rob it. Oppressors may have greed to get it and there arises the necessity of keeping guards to save it. There arises thoughts in mind for its upkeep. When a man can become owner of human minds, these calamities do not appear. Power is such a wealth over which thiefs have got no control, oppressors have got no power and power is safe from theft and plunder.
(3) Third cause: Right over mind increases gradually without efforts, as when the minds of the people fall into the snare of respect of a man, the superiority of his action and knowledge is proclaimed by endless mouths for whcih his name and fame spread. As a result many minds bend down to show respect to him. On the other hand, wealth does not increase without efforts.
Mind is not free from love of wealth and power for two reasons, one reason is open and another secret. The open reason is the removal of fear. A man possessing enormous wealth hopes to get more wealth and there is no limit to it. For this reason, the Prophet said: There is no satisfaction of two greeds, greed for knowledge and greed for wealth. Love of power is like that
Love of power and show
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disease. He wishes that people from distant places will come and show respect to him. The second cause is more powerful. The soul of man is included within the commands of God. God says: They ask you about soul. Say; It is a command from my Lord-17:18 Q. It is therefore inclued within the spiritual world and there is no permission to explain it and the Prophet also did not explain it.
I Soul has got four natures, animal nature, the nature of ferocious beasts, devil's nature and divine nature. Soul's animal nature is food, drink and copulation. Soul's nature of feroeious beast is to kill, assault and give trouble. Soul's divine nature is to boast, seek honour, power, love of lordship etc. As there is divine command in soul, it loves divine nature. It means full knowledge of Tauhid or unity of God and to know that God has got no equal. The perfection of sun is in its uniqueness Had there been another sun, there would have been harm to the sun and it would not have retained power as it would not been unique in shedding its luster. God. is unique in His existence as there is existence of nothing along with Him. Whatever exists besides Him is sign of His power and it has got no independent existence Everything exists for His existence. Rather he expresses Himself through His creations. He has got no equal. The sun suffers no loss because of its shedding rays throughout the world As rays are included within the sovereignty of one sun and cannot be separated from it, similar is the case with God who domina'es over everything in the world and there is no existence of anything without Him. Whatever exists in the world is lighted through His radiant light.
Every man is an object of love by nature as he is unique in his attributes, as Pharaoh said: I am your highest Lord - 79 : 24 Q. There is no man in whose mind this does not exist but he does not express it Slavery is compulsory in nature but power is dear. As man's soul has got connection with God, it is natural with him to seek power and lordship. All things are divided into three classes- (1) Some things which are naturally unchangeable, for man cannot see things such as God's existence and attributes. (2) Some things which are changeable an the creations have no power over them, such as sky, stars, angels, jinn, devil mountains, rivers and seas and the wonderful matters beneath mountains, rivers and seas. (3) Some things which can be changed by men such as earth, minerals, trees. So there are
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principally two kinds of things - one kind of things can be changed by men such as things made of earth; and another kind of heavenly things cannot be changed by men, such as existence of God, angels, jinn.
Man loves the sky as he wishes to extend his power of research and investigation of its secrets. The thing that comes within the preview of knowledge is included within knowledge and the wise men rule over them. For this reason, man loves knowledge about God, angels stars, sky and the wonderful matters underneath the oceans and mountains. It is a part of power and lordship. Another kind of things are underneath the ground. Man has got power over it. it is also of two kinds, material and immaterial. Material things are wealth, gold, silver etc. Man wants to lord over them and loves to hoard, spend and give them in charity. It is termed as power which is included within the supreme power of God. It is naturally dear to men. Immaterial things are minds of men. Men love power to lord over minds of peoples. So the object of mind is full and complete progress in knowledge and power.
They have got different steps and degrees. There are real and unreal progress. Unreal progress arises out of three causes. The first cause is that the subject of knowledge of God is limitless, while man's wisdom is limited. So if the knowledge of man increases, he becomes much near God. The second reason is the connection of God's knowledge with the objects of knowledge and the full expression of the objects of knowledge. As: man's knowledge is limited, the more is the knowledge of a man regarding God, the more be becomes near God. The third reason is that God's knowledge is ever lasting and eternal without any loss or decrease. So whoever's knowledge is not changed with regard to the object of knowledge, he becomes very close to God.
The objects of knowledge are of two kinds - changeable and unchangeable. Knowledge of changeable thing is described below. You know that Zaid is in a house. This knowledge is not perfect as Zaid may not be in that house and might have gone out. This knowledge is faulty and not sufficient. This applies to everything in the world. Knowledge about unchangeable thing is that of God, His attributes, His creations and His conduct of heavens and earth and their arrangements. He who acquires knowledge of these things comes near God and this knowledge
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remains with his soul even after his death. It will serve as a become light which will run in front and sides. Then they will say: 0 my lord, perfect our light. This knowledge will be a valuable asset at that time. This is a secret lamp. He who has got no such secret lamp cannot expect perfection of his light. He who has got no basic spiritual knowledge of God cannot expect to get that light and will remain in darkness from which there will be no outlet. It will be the darkness of the fathomless bottom of sea. No benefit will be derived without that spiritual knowledge, Knowledge of literature or poetry or science will be of no avail on that day, however export it is. The knowledge of Arabic language, Quran and Hadis will be a helping hand to that knowledge. These are materials to purify the soul. God says: He purifies soul will get salvation - 91: IOQ. God says: I shall show My paths to those who strive hard for Me. There are helpers to spiritual knowledge. he who knows that everything in the world is the action of the Almighty and that his will, strength and wisdom are His creations, gains perfect knowledge of God. These have got no connection with the exercise of power, show etc.
POWER: No man can have full power, but he can have real knowledge. Full unlimited power belongs to God only. Full and perfect knowledge remains with soul even after man's death, but his power ends after his death. Power should be exercised to acquire spiritual knowledge and if it is bereft of that, it has got no value. He who regards this temporary taste of power as full progress is a fool and the majority of men are immerged in that idea and they are thus ruined. They forget the knowledge which takes them near God. That progress arises out of knowledge and freedom. This knowledge implies knowledge of God and freedom implies freedom from passions and low desires which the angels enjoy. Their nature then becomes like the nature of
FULL PROGRESS HAVE GOT QUALITIES - (1) No change of anything owing to greed, (2) result not without perfection just like full progress of knowledge and (3) full progress of freedom from passions and other worldly desires. If a man possesses full power, it shows the path towards full knowledge and full freedom. Power dies with his death, but spiritual knowledge remains with his soul to gain full perfection. Now see how the fools think that full power can be gained by wealth and lordship.
The ignorant people purchase the world in exchange of the next world as God says: Wealth and children are adornment of this world's life but the ever lasting good works are better to your Lord in reward and better in hopes. So knowledge and freedom are everlasting good works which will go with soul but wealth and power will vanish. God explains it by an illustration. This world's life is like a shower of rain which God sends from the sky. God says: Give them illustration of world's life. It is like the rain shower from the sky.
It is understood from the above that wealth and power are considered as progress arising out of ignorance which has got no root. He who searches it takes the world's life as his goal. The saint Abu Tayyab said: He who loses time in earning wealth for fear of poverty creates wants. What he earns for what is necessary leads him to real progress.
GOOD AND BAD THINGS OF POWER
I have already said that lordship means to subdue human hearts and to exercise power over them and as such the rules which are applicable to wealth are also applicable to lordship as they end with the end of death. This world is a seed ground for the next world. Whatever is done in the world is a provision of the next world. As food, drink and dress are necessary to the limit of necessity, so also some power is necessary for the maintenance of men. As food is necessary for life, so servants are necessary for works and friends are necessary to show him the path of religion, guide is necessary for the same purpose and kings and rulers are necessary for his upkeep from lad people. So love of servants, friends, spiritual guide, rulers and kings is not bad. Power is a means like riches to achieve the ultimate goal. This love is not for itself but of achieving the goal. This love should be to such an extent as a man loves places of stools for calls of nature or as a man loves his wife for satisfaction of his sexual desire at his sweet will. When he has got no sexual passion, he leaves his wife. Similar is the condition of wealth and power. He should love these two things with ultimate object.
THREE OBJECTS: There arc three objects of seeking name and fame. Out of them, two objects are lawful and one unlawful. Thee object which is unlawful is to seek rank after creating belief in the minds of the people, while he is not qualified with that
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qualification. He expresses to them that he is high in pedigree or that he is a real learned man or that be is a pious and God fearing
One of the objects which are lawful is to seek rank by the qualities which a man has got, as Hazrat Eusuf said: Appoint me treasurer of this country - 12 : 55Q. He know that he was a trustworthy treasurer and as such he sought this rank. Another lawful object is to try to conceal one's sins and faults that they may not come out. This is lawful as to conceal evil things is allowed and it is unlawful to disclose sinful acts. One of the prohibited things is to pray well before the people with the object of getting their respect and good ideas. This is deception. It is unlawful to seek name and fame in this way. This is just like
earning wealth illegally.
CAUSES OF LOVE OF PRAISE AND HATRED
There are four causes of love of praise.
(1) First cause is appreciation of one's own qualities. This is a strong cause out of all causes. Owing to praises of others, one thinks that he has got all qualities. The praise with which a man is praised is either clear, open or appreciable. If you say to someone - you are pretty, the praised man gets pleasure. If praise is made of doubtful thing, it is more relishable. If a man is praised for his perfect :learning or perfect God fearin%,quality, he getsmore pleasure and taste. It is more relishable when it comes from a learned man or a God fearing man.
(2) Second cause is wide appreciation of one's own influence. It appears from the praise that the mind of the praised man has become under the control of the praiser. To subdue man's mind is a covetable thing and there is a great relish in it. For this reason be finds great taste if the praise comes from powerful men or rulers, kings and great men.
(3) Third cause is the joy of the increase of the number of praises. The hearers of the praise also fall under his snare.
(4) Fourth cause is appreciation of power and influence. Praise shows the power and influence of the praised man. It is understood from the praise of the praiser that he praises a proud
man after being subdued by the latter. He either willingly praises him or is compelled to praise.
MEDICINE FOR LOVE OF PRAISE: There are four medicines for these four causes. (1) The medicine of the first cause which is the appreciation of one's own qualities is to remove the praise by recognizing that the praise is not true. if a man says to you - you are a generous, man, you are a great learned man, you are a great God-fearing man, while you find that you have not got those qualities, the taste of praise goes way as you do not believe in the assertions. The medicine for the second cause which is wide appreciation of one's influence is this. The feeling of power and influence of the praised man over the praiser can be removed if he knows that the praise was heaped upon out of joke, for which the taste of praise goes away. The medicine for the third and fourth causes is the following. The third cause is the joy for the increase of the number of praises and the fourth cause is appreciations of one's influence. The medicine
is to remove the causes.
MEDICINE FOR LOVE OF POWER: The medicine is mixture of knowledge and action. The medicine of knowledge is to know that the end of power is death and that it does not appertain to ever-lasting good works. Those who wielded great power had to fall victims to death or downfall. You will also meet the same fate. He whose goal is next world considers it as valueless, as he sees death imminent and considers earthly things as insignificant. His condition is like the condition of Hazrat Hasan Basari. He wrote to Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz: You are as if the last person who will die. The Caliph also replied to him in the same strain: Think that you are no more in the world and will live for ever in the next world. The objects of these people were the next world. With this belief, they held divine services with the fear of God. So they considered early rule, honour and wealth as insignificant. God says: Rather you prefer this world's life, the next world is better and ever-lasting. God says: 'Never, rather you love the world and give up the next world'. He who has got the disease of greed for power, must remove it from his mind by applying this medicine arising out of this knowledge, as this disease is very dangerous and ruinous. He should think of the condition of those who wielded power and influence, their fall and their being always in fear of losing power and control. He
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who wishes to live in the minds of men is like one who builds a house in the waves of sea. He who is busy in controlling the minds of men to preserve power, to remove the envy of those who envy and to remove enmity, remains in the worldly thoughts and anxietics and immerged in the abyss of taste of power. There is no end of his worldly hopes and aspirations. This is the medicine based on knowledge.
Medicine of'action is to make oneself the object of rebuke. In order to remove the love of praise, you should do such act for which you may be rebuked and that respect for you should go from the minds of the people. Love to remain aloof from the people and not to meet them. In a certain city, there lived a learned and pious man: The ruler of that country being charmed with his praise came to see him. When the hermit saw the ruler, he began to eat food and curry with big morsels. Seeing this manner of taking food, the respect that the ruler had in his mind for the hermit went away and he departed. The pious man said: All praise is due to God who removed you from me. Another pious man used to drink lawful drink in such a cup of which the colour resembled the colour of wine. Seeing this, the people thought that he was drinking wine and so their respect for him decreased. This is allowed according.to Shariat. These pious men take sure medicine for purification of their soul which is not included within the decision of legists. One pious man observed that his name,spread for his renunciation of this world and that the people were coqung to him. Then he entered a bathroom and put on another's.cloth. Then he came out and waited on the road. The people caught him as a thief and beat him. When the people came to know. of it, they stopped coming to him. The best way of preventing fame is to leave one's own place. When his name and fame spread, he should live in distant land where nobody knows him.
CAUSES OF LOVE OF PRAISE AND THEIR MEDICINE: The first cause is appreciation of one's own qualities. Its medicine is this. Ask your, conscience. have you got the quality for which you are praised? If you have got that quality whether you are fit to receive praise-for it or not. The quality for which you are fit to receive praise is that of learning or God-fear. That for which you are not fit to receive praise is your wealth, power and influence. If you are praised for worldly riches, its joy is like that
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of grass. Wind will blow it off. So men should not feel joy for worldly riches. If he feels delighted for his wealth, he should not feel joy for the praise of men. If you are praised for your God fear . or for your learning, still you should not feel happy as you don't know what will be your condition at the time of earth - whether it will be good or bad. The world is. an abode of sorrows and anxieties and not an abode of joy and rejoicings.
(2) The second cause is that the mind of the praiser becomes under the control of the praised man. Its medicine is to search rank from God and not from men. Your knowledge that you search for rank before God is also its medicine. So it cannot be the cause of your joy. .
(3) The third cause is the joy of the echo of the praise of the praiser. Its medicine is this. It,is connected with. your present power which has got no stability. So it can not be an object of joy. You should hate it as it throws you in anxieties and thoughts. A certain sage said: The devil makes his abode in the mind of one who feels joy for praise. Another sage said: When you are said: How good a man you are, you should then say: How bad you are. By God, you are really a bad man. Once a man praised another man. before the Prophet for his good works. The Prophet said: If your,praised man would have been present and he would have remained satisfied with what you uttered or died in that condition, he.would have been a dweller of Hell. Once the Prophet said. to a praiser: We to you! You have broken his back. Had he heard your praise, he would not have got salvation till Resurrection Day. The Prophet said: beware, don't praise one another. When you see th prayers, throw dust on their faces. Once a Caliph (of Khulafae Rashedin) asked something from a man who said to him: You are better and more learned than me. He got enraged at this and said: I have not told you to proclaim my purity. At another time, a man said to a companion: So long as God keeps you alive, the people will remain in good works. He got enraged at this praise and said: I think you are an inhabitant of Iraq. Praise of men were objects of hatred to the companions.
MEDICINE OF BACK-BITING
He who back-bites you falls into three conditions: (1) Whi_ he says might be true and for that he advises you for your good. (2) What he says might be true, but his object is to give you trouble
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by backbiting you, and show your guilt, (3) First condition: With regard to the first condition, if he rebukes you by way of admonition for your good, you should not rebuke him, nor he enraged on him and to show your guilt. (3) What he says might be untrue. First condition. With regard to the first condition, if he rebukes you by way of admonition for your good, you should not rebuke him, nor be enraged on him. Rather you should be delighted to hear it for removing your guilt. Second condition. If his object is to give you trouble by his back-biting, you should consider it as a benefit as he has shown your defect or guilt. This should be considered as a good fortune. This can be clearly explained by an illustration. You wish to go to the Darber of an emperor, but there is impurity and stool and urine in your dress. If one shows you the uncleanliness in. your dress, you should be thankful to him, because you have been prevented from being put to disgrace by the emperor. Similarly the evil conducts are ruinous in the next world. You can know these from your enemies. It is a gift to you though the object of your enemies is to give you trouble.
(3) Third condition. If any guilt is attributed to you from which you are free, you should not hate and rebuke one who back-bited you. Rather you should think of three matters. The first matter is that if you are free from the guilt, there may be another guilt like that in you. What God kept concealed is more. You should rather express gratefulness to God that He did not disclose all your faults. The second matter is that his back- biting will be expiation of your remaining faults and sins. The virtues of one who back-bites you will come to you. He who praises you cuts your back. Why then do you feel joy as the cutting of your back and become sorry for getting virtues which will take you to the nearness of God? The third matter is that the rebuker falls from the eyes of God as he destroys his religion and destroys himself by his false accusation and calls for self destruction. You should rather say: May God correct him, accept his repentance and show mercy on him.
When the teeth of the Prophet were martyred and his face was wounded by the attack of the enemies and when the enemies killed his uncle Hamza, he prayed: 0 God, forgive my people. 0 God, give guidance to my people, as they do not know. Once a man wounded the head of Ibrahim-b-Adham who prayed for forgiveness of his sins. When asked the reason of this prayer, he
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said: I know that I will get merits on account of that and there would remain nothing for me from him but good. So I don't like that he should get punishment for me. In short, if you can give up the trouble of rebuke, it will be easy for you as his accusation will not be able to exercise any influence in your mind. The root of religion in contentment which cuts the greed of wealth and love of power. Love of power and praise will remain in your mind till there remains in your mind greed and passion. .
Classification of men in matters of praise and condemnation. One who praises and one who accuses have got four conditions. The first condition is that the praised man expresses gratefulness to the praiser for his praise and wishes to take revenge on one who accuses him. Thisis the condition of the general people. This class of men is worst. The Second Condition is that the accused man hates the accuser in mind but keeps his tongue and limbs under control from taking revenge. he becomes pleased with the praiser but does not express his satisfaction. There is harm in it but this condition is better than the first one.
The Third Condition is the highest stage. Before this class of God-fearing people, praise and condemnation are equal as condemnation cannot make them sorry and praise cannot give them joy. There are signs of this indifferent attitude of such a man. (1) His mind remains the same if he stays with the accuser and the praiser. (2) The joy that is enjoyed in the removal of wants of the praiser is the same as in the removal the wants of the accuser. (3) The grief which he feels at the death of the praiser is the same as that at the death of the accuser. (4) He feels the same agony if the praiser and accuser fall in a calamity. The divine service of one who does not enquire about the machination of the devil and impulse of passions goes baffled both in this world and the next world. God says: Shall I not inform you of those whose good works will go in vain, whose good works will be roped in this world's life while they will think that they are doing good works?
(4) The fourth condition is the highest stage of the truthful. They do not love praise and the praiser as they know that this praise puts them to trial, breaks their backs and destroys their religion. They love, on the other hand, the accuser as they know that he shows their guilts, shows them the necessary path and presents to them his virtues. The Prophet said: God-fear is the
224 The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
root of humility and expression of hatred for praise of virtuous acts. The Prophet said: Woe to him who fasts all the year round, woe to him who prays the whole night. Woe to, those who are Sufis. Joy only for one party of men. The people asked: Who are they? The Prophet said: Those religious men who keep themselves separate from the world, hate praise and love
CONDEMNATION OF SHOW: God says: Woe to' those praying persons who are unmindful in their prayers, those who pray for show - 107 : 6. God says: For those who hatch up evil plots for doing misdeeds, there is grieverous punishment, and contrivance will go for nothing. In this verse, show has been mentioned. God instructs us to say: We shall feed you to incur pleasure of God. We don't expect from you rewards or gratefulness.' How God praised those who are sincere in their intentions and remove the pleasure of others besides that of God. God. says: Let him who wishes to meet with his Lord do good works and not set up anybody as partner in the divine service of his Lord - 18:110. A man asked the Prophet: 0 Prophet of God, in which action there is salvation? He said: There is salvation in not wishing to incur the pleasure of men in the service of God. God will ask three persons-martyr in the way of God, philanthropist in wealth and learned man in the Quran and they will reply. He will say to the philanthropist: You have spoken falsehood but your intention in charity was that the people should take you as a great philanthropic man. He will say to the martyr: You have spoken falsehood, rather your intention was that the people should call you a great hero. He will say to the learned man: You have spoken falsehood, your intention was that the people should call you a great learned man. The Prophet saidd that they acquired no virtues and that show destroyed their divine
The Prophet said: God will mete out the same treatment to one who makes divine services for show. God will mete out the same treatment to one who seeks fame. In another tradition, God will say to the angels: This man did not make divine service for Me. So take him to Hell. The Prophet said: I don't fear so much for anything except what I fear for your small shirk. The companions
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asked: 0 Prophet of God, what is small shirk? He said: Show. God will say on the Resurrection day: 0 man of show, go to those persons for whom you did divine service and get from them your rewards. The Prophet said: Seek refuge to God from Jubbul Hujn. The companions asked: What is Jubbul Hujn? The Prophet said: It is the name of a well in Hell which has been made for the learned who act for show. The Prophet said: God says: I give up the divine service of one who sets up partner with me in My worship to the partner. I become free from that, more free than an
Jesus Christ said: When the day of fasting comes to one of you, let him rub oil on his head and beard and wipe out his two lips, so that the people may not know that he is fasting. Let his left hand not know when his right hand gives in charity. When he prays, let the screen of his door be hanging up, as God distributes praises as He does in case of provisions. The Prophet said: God does not accept an action in which there is the slightest degree of show. The Prophet said: I don't fear for anything so much as I fear for your show and secret passion. The Prophet said: On the day when there will be no shade except the shade of the Throne, a man will remain under its shade who gives charity by his right hand and keeps it concealed from his left. The Prophet said: The merits of secret divine service is seventy times more than those of open divine service. The Prophet said: The person of Shirk will be addressed on the Resurrection Day thus: 0 treacherous man, 0 man of show, your divine service has been lost, your virtues have been void. Go and get reward from one for whom you
Shaddad-b-Masud reported: I saw the Prophet one day weeping. I asked the Prophet: 0 Prophet of God, why are you weeping? He said: I fear Shrik most for my followers. Beware, they will not worship idols, sun, moon and stones, but they will do divine service for show. The Prophet said: When God created the earth, it was tossing to and fro with its inhabitants. Then he created mountains and placed them on it as nails. The angels said: Our Lord did not create anything harder than mountains. Then He created iron which is so powerful as it can cut mountain into two pieces. Then He created fire which is still more powerful as it can melt iron. Then He created water which can extinguish fire and then He created wind which can remove water. The
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angels asked their Lord: 0 Lwhat God said thing made created strongest
strongest in your creation? among My creations the heart of a man who gives in charity by his right hand keeping it concealed from his left.
Hazrat Mu'az-b-Jala said: I heard the Prophet say: God created seven angels before He created seven heavens and the earth and placed one angel as guard of each heaven. The angel who presents actions raise up men's actions from morning to evening. When he reaches the first heaven with a man's actions, the guard of this heaven says to him: I am examiner of back-biting. My Lord ordered me not to lift the actions of a man who has back-bited. Then the angel leaves behind this bad action and takes the rest of his good actions to the second heaven. The guard of the second heaven says to him: My Lord prohibited me to allow those actions to go upward which have been done for worldly purposes. The angel then leaves those actions and takes the rest upwards. The guard of the third heaven says to the angel: I am angel of pride. My Lord ordered me not helookbuah
actions as were done with pride upwards, because
of some divine services in the assembly of men. Then he leaves
such actions and takes the rest towards the fourth heaven. The
guard of the fourth heavens says to him: My Lord prohibited me
to allow such actions to go upwards as were done with self-praise
as I am angel of self-praise. Then the angel leaves those actions
and takes the rest towards the fifth heaven. The guard of the fifth
heaven says to the angel: I am an angel of hatred. I have been
ordered not to allow those actions of men going upwards as were
done with hatred. Then he leaves those actions and takes the rest
towards the sixth heaven. The guard of this heaven says to him:
My Lord ordered me not to allow such actions of a man going
upwards who did not show kindness to My servants when they
feel in dangers and calamities. I am an angel of kindness. Then
the angel leaves those actions behind and takes the rest towards
the seventh heaven.
The guard of this heaven says to the angel: My Lord ordered
me not to allow going upwards such actions as were not done to
please Him or for His sake, but for, name an fame or for show.
Then this angel leaves those actions behind and takes the rest
towards the seventh heaven and to God who says: You are
presenting the actions of My servants. I am guard of man's heart.
I know that some of these actions were not done to please Me. So My curse is upon him. The angels also curse him and the seven heavens also curse him.
Then the Prophet gave some instructions to Mu'az: Don't allow others to hear your sins. Bear them yourself. Don't think yourself pure by back-biting others. Don't place yourself above them. Don't allow your worldly actions to enter your next worldly actions. Don't boast in any assembly of yours. Don't talk secretly with another with whom there are other men. Don't take pride before the people. Don't boast before the people. Don't cut jokes with the people lest the dwellers of Hell cut jokes with you on the Resurrection Day.
Hazrat Omar saw a man looking downwards to show piety. He said to him: 0 brother, raise up your neck. Humility rests in mind and not on neck. Hazrat Ali said: There are three signs of a man. of show - (1) When he remains alone, he shows idleness in divine service and when he remains in the middle of the people, he prays well. (2) When he is praised, lie makes more divine service. (3) When he is back-bited, he makes less divine service.
What is show? Know, 0 dear readers, that the real meaning of Riya or show is to show good conduct in order to attract' respect from the people. Attraction of people's minds by actions except divine services produces power and honour but Riya or show is. expressed only in divine service according to habits. To wish to show divine services to the people is named Riya or show. So the religious people are the persons who show Riya. there are fives modes of expression of show - (1) by outward bodily limbs, (2) by signs and gestures, (3) by wordsand actions, (4) by following and (5) by outward causes. The worldly men also express show by these five methods.
(1) First mode. Show is expressed in divine service by outward bodily limbs and organs. A pious man shows to the people that he is making efforts in divine services by adopting yellow colour in appearance, or appearing before the people with dishevelled hairs, or with clothes of yellow colour. Jesus Christ said: When anybody amongst you keeps fast, let him rub oil in his head and apply antimony to his eyes. He advised this to get rid of show.
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(2) Second mode. This mode of show is in demeanours and dresses to appear in dishevelled hairs, to clip off moustaches, to lower head at the time of walking, to walk in pensive and thoughtful mood, to. keep signs of prostration on forehead, to put on coarse cloth, to put on sufi dress, to put on torn cloths. By these acts, one shows that he is a pious man.
(3) Third mode is show by words. Such a religious man delivers lectures and gives sermons by the verses of the Quran and Hadis after committing them to memory in order to show that he is a great learned man. He takes troubles in Zikr amongst the people and gives advice to the people, prohibits them from evil deeds with anger, expresses great grief for the sins of the people, recites verses of the Quran with sweet tone and expresses show in thousand other ways.
(4) Fourth mode of show is by actions, such as standing very long in prayer and in bending and prostration.
(5) Fifth mode of show is expressed by the excess number of disciples and visitors. Such a man says: Such a great religious ",man has come to see me, I have got so many disciples, etc.
Is show unlawful? Show is unlawful, condelnnable and lawful according circumstances and conditions. The object of show is to search for name, fame and influence by divine services. If show is shown by actions other than divine service with the object of earning wealth, it is lawful. As earning of wealth in an illegal manner is unlawful, so gaining power in an illegal manner is also unlawful. A :to earn very necessary things is good, so little power to save oneself from dangers and difficulties is good as Joseph said: I am a good treasurer for you As there are harms and also benefits in riches, so there are also .good and bad things in power. As too much riches make a man sinner and keep him away from remembrance of God, so too much power also is ruinous.
A -man may adorn himself when coming out. The proof is the following Hadis. The Prophet once intended to go to his companions and so he put on his turban and dressed his hairs. Hazrat Ayesha said: 0 Prophet of God, are you doing this? He said: Yes, God loves the actions of His servant who refines his body in order to meet his friends and brothers. So it is lawful to have show in an action which is not included within divine
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service. In prayer, fasting, Jihad, etc. the man.of show has got two conditions. One condition is that he does that only for show and not to get any merits or virtues. This spoils divine service as man's action is judged by his intentions. He rather commits sin by this act as he plays deception by his act of show in the minds of the people. Secondly he cuts jokes with God. The sage Qatadah said: When a man makes a show of his divine service, God says to his angels: Look at him. How does he cut jokes with Me? This is a destructive element. No show is free from minor or major sins.
CLASSIFICATION OF SHOW. There are classifications of show and one kind of show is more heinous than another kind. There are three basic elements of show which make this difference - (1) motive of show, (2) subject matter of show and (3) the reason of show.
MOTIVE OF SHOW: There are four stages of show according to the kinds of motives of show. (1) The first stage is worst if the motive is for doing sins and evil works without the motive of getting merits in divine services. For instance, a man prays before the people, but not when he remains alone. He prays often without ablution with the people. His only object is show in divine service. It is hated by God. Similarly a man pays Zakat owing to fear of the condemnation of men but does not hope for reward at the time of payment. When he remains alone, he does not pay. This is the highest stage of show.
(2) Second stage. In this stage of show, a man intends to have merits but it is weak as when he remains alone, he does not do it. It is near the first stage. (3) Third stage. In this stage, the intentions of getting merits and of show are equal as without them, he gets no encouragement for divine service. For this, his divine service is not wholly good. It does not go for him or against him. (4) Fourth stage. In this stage, the intention of merits is strong and that of show is weak. In other words, he gets encouragement in divine service before the people but he does not give it up even when alone. He would not have prayed if his object was solely show. The Prophet said: God says: I am free from Shirk.
(2) The subject matter of show. The second basic matter of show has got three stages in divine service.
The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
(a) First stage is-sliiow in faith which is worst and such a man will live in Hell forever. He utters Kalema Shahadat openly but does not believe it inwardly. He openly says that he is a Muslim but inwardly does not believe in Islam. The Quran mentions of this class of hypocrites in many places. God says: When the hypocrites come to you, they say: We bear witness that you are the Prophet of God. God knows well that you are the apostle of God. God testifies that the hypocrites are telling lies. God says: There are men whose talks will please you in this world's life but God sees what is in their minds. God says: When they meet you, they say: We have believed. When they go away, they grind teeth in rape over you. God says: They act for show of people and they do not'i'emember God except a little. They turn to this side and that side.
(b) Stand stage. In this stage, the basic principles of religion are believed but there is show therein; This is in the lower stage than the first. For Instance, a man prays in congregation but does not pray when alone. He fasts among people but does not keep fast when alone. He does this for fear of men. This is show along
with basic faith. He believes that there is no deity but God. If he is
ordered to worship others, he does not do it.
(c) Third stage. In this stage, there is no show in the compulsory duties, but in additional or optional duties. If optional duties are given up there is no sin, but on account of idleness, that is not done when alone, for 'instance, to pray in congregation, to see a patient, to pray Tahajjad at night, to fast other than Ramazan etc.
(3) The reasons of show. There are three stages so far as the reasons of show are concerned.
(a) First stage. In this stage show is expressed by such action which,'if given up, will cause injury to divine service. For instance, to make bending and prostration not in a good manner when alone but before the people in a good manner. (b) Second stage. In that stage, show, is shown by such an action, which, if given us does not cause any injury to his divine service but if some makes it perfect, as to make bending and prostration long. (3) Third stage. Show is shown in such action which is not included in sunnat duties, as to come before all for Jumma prayer and to join the first row. If he remains alone, he does not do that.
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(3) Third basic subject - Causes for which Riya is shown. Such a man has got some object, to gain wealth or power etc. There are three stages of this subject.
(a) First stage. It is the worst kind of show. The object of such a man is to commit sin by show of divine service. He prays more optional prayers to show his piety in.order that he might get an higher appointment of trust and responsibility in order to misappropriate money.
(b) Second stage. In this stage, a man takes recourse to show to gain lawful earnings, for instance, to gain lawful wealth or to marry a beautiful woman.
(c) Third stage. In this stage, he does not intend by show to marry a beautiful woman etc, but to ward off low estimation of the people about him or to get respect from the people.
Secret Show. Show is of two kinds - open and secret. Open show is expressed in actions. Secret show does not give encouragement to good works but reduces it. For instance, a man has got the habit of praying Tahajjud prayer at night for which he feels difficulty. But to pray it before the people he feels easy. There is a more subtle riya or show than this. It does not affect his good works but it lies concealed like fire in an iron. It is to feel pleasure in doing divine service before the people, although he has intention of sincere divine service. Hazrat Ali said: God will ask the learned men of the Quran: Did not the people sell things to you at a reduced price? Did not they salute you first? Did not they work for you free of wages? Now you have got no reward. You got your reward before.
It is reported that the sage Wahab-b-Monabbah said that a hermit had said to his disciples: We have given up our wealth and children for fear of transgression, but we fear that greater transgression may enter in our divine services than that of the rich people. Some of us may like that people should show respect to them and do their works and that they should sell their goods to them at reduced prices. This news reached the king of that country who came to the hermit with many people. When the hermit knew that the king had come, he said to his servant to bring curry, olive oil and fruits and he began to eat them. When the king saw it, he went away from the hermit. The hermit said: All praise is due to God who removed you from me. Thus a
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sincere religious man used to fear secret show. They tried their best to remain free from show of their religious duties, because they knew that God will not accept but the sincere divine services on the judgment Day. So there are many secret shows which
cannot be enumerated.
SHOW WHICH RUINS GOOD ACTIONS
When a man determines to do a good work with pure intention and then the pleasure of show enters in his mind, he experiences three conditions in three stages, at the beginning of divine service, in the middle and in the end. If pleasure of show comes at the beginning of an action and if it is not disclosed, it does not spoil the divine service as the action began already with pure intention. After the beginning of an action, if show comes, it is expected that it will not affect the good work. There is no harm if God discloses it. His pleasure enters his heart without outward expression. If he discloses it after the end of his divine service and discusses it with others, it is a matter of fear. It appears from Hadis that it will be useless and void. A man said to the Prophet: 0 Prophet of God, I have fasted all along. he said: You have neither fasted, nor broken it. This he said as he disclosed his divine services. The Prophet said: Divine service is like a pot. If its end (bottom) is good, its first portion (top portion) also is
MEDICINE OF SHOW AND MODE OF
TREATMENT OF SOUL
Know, 0 dear readers, that show is a great evil and it is hated by God. One should take utmost care to remove' it. There is no cure of this disease of show without bitter pills. All religious men are compelled to make efforts to remove it. Boys are naturally attracted to this virulent disease as they are prone to imitate persons. When they grow mature, they can understand that this disease is destructive but at that time it finds a firm footing in their hearts. There are two modes of treatment of this disease. One mode is to uproot the root of show and the second mode is to remove from mind what arises therein. The root of show is greed
for rank and power.
There are three causes of this greed for rank and power - (1) love of praise, (2) feeling from the agony of accusation and (3) to wish to have what is in the possession of men. For these reasons,
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show is searched and these give encouragement. Once a desert Arab asked the Prophet: 0 Prophet of God, one man fights to save himself from the trouble of dishonour, another man fights to establish his position (to establish his power and lordship). Another man fights to get praise. What do you say about them? The Prophet said: He who fights to keep the words of God high, is in the way of God. Hazrat Omar said: People say: So and so is a martyr. Perchance he loaded his conveyance with two purses of silver coins. The Prophet said: He who fought for getting the nose-string of the camel got what he wanted.
We shall discuss now about special medicine of show. Medicine of show based on knowledge. A man wishes to get something as he thinks that it is useful for him at present and future. If he can find that it is delicious at present but heinous at the end, his greed can easily be cut off for that thing. He knows that honey is sweet, but when he knows that there is poison in it, he refrains from taking it as it is injurious at the end. This greed for power is to be cut in this way as there is harm therein. On the Resurrection Day, it will be proclaimed before all the people: 0 sinner, 0 treacherous man, 0 man of show, are you not ashamed that you have purchased temporary things of the world in exchange of pure divine services and looked to the minds of men, that you have cut jokes with divine service that you have searched for the pleasure of men by incurring the displeasure of God, that you have sought honour from the people being dishonoured by God, that you have sought nearness of men being distant from God, that you have sought praise of men incurring the displeasure of God? Have they now come to do you benefit?
The remedy is the following in case of greed of wealth. Know it for certain that the earning of wealth is in the hand of God. There is no provision except what is given by God. He who greeds wealth from men is not free from despair and neglect. You will not get beyond what has been decreed for you by God. If you are a dweller of Paradise, people cannot send you to Hell. men are all powerless. They cannot do you benefit. There is no birth, death and resurrection in their hands. If these things are
engraved in your minds, your hopes can be brought under
control. If anybody can know that you have got show in divine
service, he will hate you. You will also be an object of anger of the
people. This is the medicine based on knowledge.
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MEDICINE BASED ON ACTIONS: Do divine service secretly and lose up your doors. Don't be satisfied without divine service. A certain disciple of Abu Hafs spoke ill of the world and its dwellers. Abu Hafs said: You have disclosed what you ought to have concealed: You will not be able to remain with us.' So there is no other alternative for show than to conceal divine service. At first it will seem very difficult but ultimately it will be easy. God does not change the condition of a people unless they change their own condition. The duty of man is to make sincere efforts in divine service and it is the duty of God to give him guidance. People will knock at the door of God and God will open it. God does not spoil the rewards of a pious man. If he does one act of virtues. He increases it manifold and gives him ample
Thoughts that beget show are three and the modes of removing them are as follows. Sometimes the three thoughts occur together in mind and it seems that they are the same current of thought. Sometimes one thought comes after another. (a) The first thought that arises in mind is that the people should know your good works. (b) The second thought is to hope that those who come to know of it should think it good. (c) The third thought is to believe firmly that it is good when the people praise it and think it good. Firstly, when you can know that the people have come to know of your good works, remove your greed that the people should know your good deeds. Tell your mind: What necessity have you got that the people should know it? God knows best your condition. Man has got no hand in your affairs. If the second thought arises in your mind, remove it by thinking that God will hate it on the Resurrection Day you will be deprivded of it when I will require it. When the third current of thought arises on your mind, think in this way. In the next world, the man of show will suffer humiliations. Only sincere efforts in divine service will be taken into account. If for the fault of show, divine services are spoiled, there will be great remorse on the Resurrection Day. This fear will dispel the thought of show of the third kind Hazrat Jaber said: We took oath of allegiance to the Prophet under the tree that we shall not flee from fight but in the battle of Hunain we forgot it. Then the Prophet said: 0 those who promised under the tree. Immediately we returned to the battle field and our minds were filled up with fear. Once some companions of the Prophet complained to him by saying:
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Sometimes such thoughts come to our minds that we feel that we should rather fall to the ground, that wind should lift us up and the wind should blow us off to inaccessible places than to disclose it. The Prophet said: Do you feel it now? They said: Yes. Then he said: This is open faith. They hated it by thinking that it is evil thought. But the Prophet thought it to be open faith as they had hated it. The Prophet said: All praise is due to God who turned the contrivance of the devil to evil designs.
FREEDOM FROM BASELESS THOUGHTS OF SHOW: If baseless thoughts of show arise in mind, man falls into four conditions. (a) First condition. It is that such a man drives away the devil, thinks him as a liar and engages himself in arguments with him. This is not good as instead of engaging himself in the service of Lord, he is busy with thoughts of the devil. This is just like engagement with a robber on the way instead of going towards the destination. (b) Second condition. It is that such a man in such circumstances does not engage in argument with the devil but goes on his way towards his destination. (c) Third condition. It is that a man in such circumstances does not tell the devil a liar but rather hates show and walks on his way. (d) Fourth condition. It is that a man gets enraged at the devil when he finds that the cause of show has arisen inn mind, increases his sincere wish, engages in meditation of God and divine services. The devil leaves him being disappointed and does not come to him again.
Once the sage Fazil was informed that a person back-bited him. He said: By God, I am displeased with one who ordered him to do so. He was questioned: Who ordered him to do so? He said: The devil. Then he said: 0 God, forgive him who back-bited me. I will make the devil disappointed by doing more good works. When the devil knows it, he will keep himself quite aloof from such a man. The sage Ibrahim Taymi said: Don't respond to the devil if he calls you from any door of sin but rather engage in good works. When he finds you in that condition, he will leave you. He also said: When the devil finds you rolling in doubt, he feels tempted towards you. When he finds you doing good works for long, he becomes disappointed and goes away from you.
The sage Hares Mohasabi explained the condition of these four persons by an illustration. He said that the examples of these four persons are like four students. These students intended to go to the
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assembly of the learned in a distant land to acquire knowledge in Hadis and guidance. One dishonest misguided man, being envious, came to a student and prohibited him to go there and ordered him to join the misguided. He refused to join him and engaged with him in arguments. When he called the second student. towards misguidance, he did not engage himself in arguing with him, but rather waded on his way. The misguided man was a little pleased with him as he spent some time in misuse by stopping him. Then he went to the third student who did not at all listen to him and waded on his journey as usual. The misguided man was totally disappointed at this. Then he went to the fourth student who grew in rage at him and waded quickly on his way. The misguided man may return to them on their way
back but he will not come near the fourth student.
God says: 0 children of Adam, let not the devil throw you in a disaster as he ousted your predecessor Adam from Paradise. God says: The devil sees you with his companions from such a place which you do not see.' The Quran warns the people from the devil from the beginning to the end. So how can we be safe from him? It. is only by obeying what God ordered us to do and refraining from what He prohibited us. God says: Let them take care and their weapons. He says: Prepare strength to your utmost against them - 8:60Q. When you should take care of the unbelievers, you should also take care of the devil with greater care. The Prophet said: Surely the devil roams about the four corners of my heart. The Prophet relied firmly on God, yet he took precaution against the unbeliever by taking recourse to arms and ammunition and even dug trenches. This does not injure Tawakkal or God reliance.
The simile of mind is like that of a well. If a well be cleared off the accumulated filth in the bottom, pure water emerges therefrom. Similarly if a mind is cleared of evil thoughts, pure ideas will immerge therefrom. When a man is busy with the devil, he accumulates filth in the bottom of his mind but does not remain busy in clearing it.
WHEN DISCLOSING OF GOOD DEEDS ALLOWED: If divine service is kept secret, benefits of sincere intention and freedom from show can be obtained. But if is done openly, benefits of following can be gained and encouragement for doing good deeds is given to the people. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: The
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Muslims know that secret divine service is safe but there are benefits of open divine services. For this reason, God praised both secret and open divine services. God says: 'If you give charity openly, it is good for you and if you do it secretly and give it to the poor, it is also good for you.' Open divine service is of two kinds - to do divine service openly, as to give charity among the people. It gives encouragement of charity to the people. It was reported that an Ansar gave charity of a purse full of money. Seeing this the people began to give in charity. Then the Prophet said: He who introduces a good custom and acts up to it, gets the virtues of that action and the virtues of those who follow him. This is also true in case of of prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, jehad and other divine services.
(2) If charity is disclosed and if it gives pain to the receiver of charity, it is better to keep it secret as to give pain to one's mind is unlawful. If it does not give pain, there is difference of opinion among the jurists. One party of the learned men say that in this circumstance, secret charity is better then open charity. Another party say that open charity to encourage others is better than secret charity. It appears that God ordered the prophets to do open divine services. God gave them this status for the rank of their Prophethood. The Prophet said: Secret divine services bring rewards seventy times more than those of open divine services. Open divine service which is followed by others is seventy times better than secret service. This is shorn of any show and done with sincere intention. So he who does open divine services should observe two things. One thing is that he should disclose it in such place where he know that others will follow it. There are some persons whom his family members follow but not his neighbours. There are some persons whom his neighbours follow but not the mahalla people. A kind man is he who is followed by all the people. An illiterate man cannot expect to have this benefit and so he should hold secret divine service.
The second matter is' that there should not be any thing of show in divine services. Generally the people say on completion of their work*: I have done such divine services. But the strictly pious men express their actions not with any thing of show but for public benefit. Hazrat Sa'ad-b-Mu'az said: Since I became a Muslim and observed prayers, I did not think without prayer. When I buried a man, I did not think of anything except what will
238 The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
be asked to him. When I heard of a Hadis from the Prophet, I believed it firmly as true. Hazrat Omar said: I don't fear for any work whether it is difficult or easy if I can understand that it is good for me, Hazrat Osman said: Since I took allegiance to the Prophet, I did not sign, tell falsehood and touch. my private parts by the right hand. The sage Saddad-b-Aus said: Since I accepted Islam, I did not utter a word without thinking. Abu Sufiyan said at the time of his death to his family members: Don't weep for me, as I have not committed any sin since I accepted Islam. Caliph On ar-b-Abdul Aziz said: I did not even think for any work God placed upon my shoulder that another work would have been better for me. I feel pleasure that God placed me in a proper place. These words cannot be uttered unless one is in a good condition. These are words of advice giving encouragement to do good works as these words are fit to the followed and came out of pure mouths of the leaders. It is allowed to disclose divine" service on the part of those who are strong in faith, but it is not for those who are weak in faith.
RULES FOR CONCEALING SIN: Know, 0 dear readers, that the open and secret divine services, in order to be equal, must have as their the root pure and sincere intention, as Hazrat Omar said to a certain man: Be careful of open divine service. He then asked: 0 Commander of the faithful, what is open divine service? He said: That action for which you don't feel ashamed if it is disclosed to you. The sage Abu Muslim Khaolani said: I don't do such a work which is considered by the people as bad if it is disclosed to them. This is a high rank and everyone cannot attain it as nobody is safe from the sins of his mind and bodily organs. He commits sin and conceals it and does not like that peoplg should know of it.
SEVEN REASON FOR CONCEALING SINS BY A MAN
OF SINCERE INTENTION WITHOUT SHOW
(1) First reason. If God conceals the sin of a truthful man with pure motive and he does actions without show, he becomes pleased and when He discloses it, he becomes displeased and fears that He will disclose it on the Resurrection Day. The Prophet said: If anybody commits any sin and God conceals it in this world, He will conceal it in the next world. This thought comes from the strength of faith.
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(2) Second reason. He knows that God hates the disclosing of sin and loves concealing it. The Prophet said: If anybody commits any sin out of these sins, let him conceal it as God conceals it. If he disobeys God by committing any sin, let him not keep his mind empty of what God loves.
(3) Third reason. It is to conceal sins in order to save himself from the rebuke of the people. The aboversinner becomes sorry if he hears rebuke and it takes his mind and intellect away from divine service, as nature feels sorrow on account of rebuke as it curbs intellect and prohibits divine service. For this disease, praise also is to be hated, as it diverts the mind from the remembrance of God. This is also a sign of the strength of faith.
(4) Fourth reason. He conceals sin for being saved from the harms of men. Nature feels sorrow for it as rebuke brings trouble in mind as body gets pain if it is beaten. To fear to get pain in? mind owing to rebuke is not unlawful and for that one should not commit sin.
(5) Fifth reason. It is to hate rebuke. The rebuker commits sin by rebuke. To hate it belongs to faith. As you feel pain in your mind if anybody rebukes you, so also you should feel pain if you rebuke another. This is the sign of hate.
(6) Sixth reason. It is to conceal a sin so that it may not be committed again.
(7) Seventh reason. It is to conceal a sin out of shame. To feel shame is also a matter of sorrow and is good. The Prophet said: Shame is a part of faith. He said: Shame does not bring but good. he said: God loves the shameful and patient.' He who commit sin and does not feel shame to disclose it, brings his own ruin. Shame is a conduct which begets good conduct.
(8) Eight reason. It is the fear that if a sin disclosed, others may get encouragement for doing similar sin and may follow him. For this reason, it is good to disclose divine service and to conceal sin. This is the conduct of the leaders whom the people follow.
"ABANDONMENT OF DIVINE SERVICES FOR FEAR OF SHOW: There are many men who abandon divine services for fear of show. This is a mistake and the work of the devil. Good deeds are of two kinds. One kind of good deeds is naturally good
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having no connection with the people, such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and jihad as there are efforts and troubles in these divine services. When the people praise for that, it gives pleasure. Another kind of good deeds are not only connected with the body, but have got also connection with the people, such as administration, judicial works, power, leadership in Zikr and teaching, expense for people and other good deeds.
(1) First kind of good deeds. These are the compulsory duties connected with body and not with the people. These works have got no pleasure of their own, such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage etc. There are three kinds of show in these divine services. (a) Show of the first kind appears before divine service. It appears at the beginning for show of the people without any motive of religion. This kind of good deed shouldbe given up, as it is really a sinful deed, as respect is sought through the medium of the divine service. It is necessary to remove this motive of show from mind. (b) The second kind of show is that it appears in the middle of divine service though it is begun with sincere intention. Such a show should be avoided with efforts. (c) The third kind of show is also to be avoided by turning undivided attention to divine service and not to the people.
(2) Second kind of good deeds is connected with the people and there appear therein many dangers and difficulties. The greatest of them-are the following - (1) administration of the country, (2) administration of justice, (3) the works of admonitions and teaching and (4) expense of riches. (1) With regard to the administration of the country if it is done with pure intention and for administration of justice, it is converted into the greatest divine service. The Prophet said: One day of a just ruler is more than divine services for sixty years. The Prophet said: Three persons will enter first into Paradise. One of them is a just ruler. He said: The invocation of three persons is not rejected, a just ruler is one of them. He said: The man who will be in my companionship most on the Resurrection Day is a just rule. So to rule as the vicegerent of God is the greatest divine service.
In administrative works, passions rise up and taste of exercise of power grows strong. That is the greatest taste in this world. When power becomes dear, the ruler tries to live in comforts and enjoyments and conducts himself according to his
sweet will. At this time, he falls in the mouth of destruction. One day of an oppressive ruler is greater than his sins for sixty years.
Hazrat Omar said: When there are so many dangers in rule who can take the charge of administration? When should it not be when the Prophet said: He who rules over ten persons will come on the Resurrection Day in such a way that his hands will remain tied up with his neck. Only his justice will tie it or his oppression will ruin him. Maqal-b-Yasar said that when Hazrat Omar wanted him to be appointed as governor, he said: 0 Commander of the Faithful, you should consult with me in this affair. Hazrat Omar said: If you entrust me in this affair, sit near me and keep concealed your consultation with me. Hazrat Hasan Basari said that when the Prophet wanted a man for appointment as governor, he said: Is it better for me? He said: Sit down. The Prophet said: to Abdur Rahman-b-Samorah: 0 Abdur Rahman, don't be a candidate for running administration, because if it is given to you without seeking, you are helped therein and if it is given to you after seeking, it is entrusted to you.
Hazrat Abu Bakr said to Rafe-b-Omar. Don't accept a government post even if it is to rule over two persons. After that when Abu Bakr waa invested with rule, Rafe' said to hazrat Abu Bakr: Did you not say to me: Don't accept a government post even if it is to rule over two persons?" But you have become Caliph over the followers of the Prophet of God. Hazrat Abu Bakr said: Yes, I have told you that. I am still now saying it to you: Curse is upon that leader who cannot do justice. Very few persons with deep insight can understand the great good and great harm in administrative matters. Those persons who are firm in religion and strong should respond to take over administrative charges, but those who are weak in faith should not come near it and ruin themselves. The former persons have given up the world and stay behind the eyes of the people and engage themselves in the progress of their soul. They have become victorious over their passions and subdued the devils. They are the fit persons to hold reigns of power. It is unlawful for those who have got no such qualities to take charge of power. In doubtful places, charges of power should not be undertaken as nature is deceptive. It promises for just administration but feels it difficult in the end. Such persons promise to do good works but as soon as they get power, they forget their promises. The
242 The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III Prophet said: We shall not appoint one who wants administrative charges.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE: Although placed below the khilafat and administrative works, it has got no less responsibility. Administration of justice if caned out justly and with fairness, has got unlimited rewards but in case of injustice, there is grievous punishment. The Prophet said: There are three classes of judges-two classes of judges will go to Hell and only one class of judges will go to Paradise: The Prophet said: He who prays for being appointed as a judge is sacrificed even without a knife. Where the administrator or a ruler is an oppressor, a judge under him should not deviate an inch from doing justice. in case of inability, he should resign his post. Strong judges are necessary in oppressive reign. If injustice is done by any judge,
his place is in Hell.
(3) Teachings and sermons. In teaching, giving sermons and admonitions and giving decisions on legal matters and other works in which there is honour, power, name and fame, there are dangers and difficulties like administrative matters. He who delivers lectures and sermons, wishes to hear his praise from the people. He arouses their weepings by his lectures. When this condition becomes strong in his mind, he wants to adorn his speeches with ornamental words and phrases, so that it may become sweet to the audiences although there may not be any truth at all what he says. When he finds these dangers, he should
give up giving lectures.
The Prophet prohibited to search after administrative powers. He said: You will greed for administrative powers which will be the cause of repentance and sorrows onjthe Resurrection Day. Only he who fulfills it with truth will be saved. He said: he who suckles is good and she who refrains from giving suck is bad. From this it is understood that if there be no reign and rule, worldly affects and religion will be in camouflage. The people will be then at loggerheads, peace will be distant, towns and villages will be destroyed and there will be shortage of provisions. So why will be prohibit rule and reign? Hazrat Omar saw once that Obai-b-Ka'ab was followed by a host of men and so he assaulted him though he knew him as one of the leaders of
Muslims. Hazrat Obai used to read out to him the Quran, still he
prohibited the people to walk behind Obai and said: He who is
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followed falls into trial and he who follows falls into disgrace. once a man wanted permission of Hazrat Omar to deliver sermons after Fajr prayer but Hazrat Omar did not give him permission. The man said: Do you prohibited me from delivering sermons? He said: Such an air has entered your brain that I fear it will carry you up in the sky. He saw in him a desire for lectures. Yet there should be some persons who will deliver lectures and will do good works for Islam though they may not follow strictly religious principles. The Prophet said: God will help this religion (Islam) by such men who will have no share of Islam in them' (they will not observe religious doctrines). Yet the people should take care of irreligious learned men.;
Jesus Christ said: 0 dishonest learned men, you advise the people to pray, fast and give charity, but you do not do that. You do not do what you ask the people to do. You advise the people but you do not act up to your advice. This is indeed bad. You utter 'Tauba, Tauba' by mouth, but you act according to your desires. What benefit will you get from it? You keep your body neat and clean, but you keep your mind impure. I tell you with truth: Don't be like a sieve from which fine things come out but only husk remains therein. Similarly orders come out of your mouth, but hatred and jealousy remain in your minds. 0 worshippers of the world, how can you earn the next world when you can not give up eartjily desires and cut Qff your greed?
I tell you with truth that your souls are weeping seeing your actions. You have placed the world under your tongue and your works under your feet. I tell you with truth that you are destroying your next world in going to do benefit to your world and the good of this world is better to you than the good of the next. Where are such heinous persons than you? Had you known your troubles, how good it would have been. How long will you guide those who wander in darkness and stand by those who are misguided. It seems that you are calling the worldly addicted men with such object that they may give up their wealth to you. Don't you think that if a lamp is placed on roof, it will not do any good to a house full of darkness. Similar is the lamp of learning which is burning in your mouth but your mind is full of darkness. So what benefit will you derive from such -an education? 0 people addicted to the world, you are not like religious men, like full independent men. If the world cuts you off from your wealth,
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Love of power and show 245
you will fall in your faces and nostrils. Then your sins will catch you by your fore locks and your learnings will be thrown on your backs and then you will be brought naked before the Almighty. You shall have to wait before Him for your sins and you will be punished for your sins. What wonder is there in it?
Question. If the dangers of bad and irreligious learned men are open, yet great benefit is derived from their sermons. The Prophet said: If God gives guidance to a single man through you, it is better than all the wealth and what is therein of the world. The Prophet said: He who calls towards guidance and it is followed, will get its virtues and the virtues of those people who follow it. What is the reply with regard to the admonitions of the bad learned men?
Answer. There are merits and demerits of education as there are harms and benefits in administration and public affairs. Owing to the harms of education, we shall not say to anybody: Give up education. There is harm only in show of education and
learning without action.
There are certain stages of show. The first stage is show is administrative matters. For this danger, the ancient sages gave up these charges. The second stage is in prayer, fast, pilgrimage and jehad. The ancient sages did not love to give up divine services owing to dangers therein. The third stage is the middle between the above two stages. That is to be candidates for delivering lectures, sermons, giving legal decisions and teaching traditions and other matters. The dangers that are in these affairs are less than those in administrative matters but greater than the internal dangers in prayers. For fears of show, those who are weak in faith should not give up prayer. Rather they should give up the sudden thoughts of show in prayer.
The fourth stage is to earn wealth and distribute it to those who are in want, and there is hidden wish to get praise for charities and expenses. Hazrat Hasan was asked about two persons - one searches for his necessaries and another searches for what is in addition to what is necessary for him and gives in charity the additional income. He said that the first person is better as he knows that there is very little safety in the world and he knows that if the world is given up, nearness of God is attained. The sage Abu Darda said: If I earn daily fifty gold coins
and give them in charity standing in the staircase of the mosque of Damascus, I will not consider it good. I don't make sale and purchase unlawful but I wish to be included within those persons whom merchandise and trade cannot divert from the remembrance of God. Jesus Christ said: 0 worshippers of the world, your renunciation of the world is a more meritorious work in search of virtues. He said: In doing good by wealth, a little drifting from the remembrance of God is bad. The remembrance of God is greatest and best.
There are some signs to show whether a man delivers sermons with divine motive. The first sign is this that he does not hate one who gives better lecture than him and gets praise of men. Sayeed- b-Merwan said: I was once seated near Hazrat Hasan Basari who was then given sermons. Suddenly the tyrant governor Hajjaj came to us through a door of the mosque escorted by his guard and mounted on a horse. He came near the assembly of Hasan Basari and got down from the horse and came to him and sat. Hazrat Hasan continued his sermon as before. When he finished his sermon, Hajjaj placed his hand on the shoulder of Hasan Basari and said: You have spoken well, you will follow those instructions and form your Character and conduct, as I heard from the Prophet that an assembly of Zikr is a garden of Paradise. Had we not been engaged in the affairs of men, you would not have sat in such a place more than myself. Then Hajjaj began to deliver such good lectures which charmed
When he went to Syria, a man came to Hasan and said: 0 Muslims, I am in charge of horses, asses and tents. I have got 300 dirhams which the people gave me. I have got seven daughters. He began to complain about his wants. When he finished, Hazrat Hasan said: What has become of administrators? May God ruin them. They made the servants of God slaves, took up the treasures of God as their own and fight for money. When they go to make jehad against God's enemies, they live in comfortable beds and ride on fast horses. When they send other Muslims to jehad, they keep them hungry and thirsty. A man who heard this went to Hajjaj and informed him of this rebuking of Hasan Basari. After sometime a man came from Hajjaj to Hasan and told him to see Hajjaj. Hasan went accordingly and came back smiling. He said: Nobody say to a flame of fire what has been said
to him on trust. When I went to Hajjaj, he said: Don't tell such things in future. Do you investigate people against me? I don't care for it. I don't care for your sermons. You should control your tongue. Hazrat Hasan said: Thus God removed me from him. Then Hasan started for his house but many people followed him. He said to them: Have you got any necessity with me? If you have
not, please go away from me.
Hazrat Jainal Abedin used to pray: 0 God, I seek refuge to Thee from the fact of my open divine services being good to the people and my secret divine services being bad to Thee when I separate myself from the people. I seek refuge to Thee from the fact that I should express my divine service in a good manner when I am with Thee and I should approach you with sin when I become separate from Thee. So the religious man treading the path of God should always search for the pleasure of God. It cannot be attained if he fears any other thing than God and depends upon him. He who fears another and depends on him hopes that his good works should be known to him. He should then know it to be bad on the strength of his wisdom as God's
wrath may follow him.
The saint Saqiq Balakhi said: Once I presented a cloth to Hazrat Hasan Basari but he returned it to me. I said to him: 0 Abu Abdullah, I did not hear Hadis from you. Why do you return it? He said: I know it, but your brother has heard Hadis from me. I feared lest my mind inclines to him more than to others. Once a man came with two purses to Sufiyan. His father was a friend of sufiyan who used to come to him often. He said to him: 0 Abu Abdullah, this is the money from my father to you. Sufiyan said: May God shower mere on your father. When he went away, he called his son and said to him: Return this money to,him. When he came to him, he said: My desire is that you should take back your money. The reason is that the saint remembered afterwards that the friendship with his father was for the pleasure of God. So he declined to receive the money. Sufiyan's son complained to his father for not accepting the money to which Sufiyan said: You will enjoy this money with pleasure but I will be questioned for that on th Resurrection Day. So everybody should seek the pleasure of God and show the right path to the people.
The saint Ibrahim-b-Adham said: I learnt Ma'arfat from a Christian named Sam'an. I asked him: How long are you in this
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house? He said: For seventy years. I asked him: What is your
food? He said: What is your necessity? I said: I wish to learn. He
said: One Hamsa every night. I asked: Do you think one Hamsa is
sufficient? He said: What is your intention? The people who are
in your presence come to me one day every year. They roam round this prayer place and show respect to me. Whenever I become tired of divine service, I remember their respect at that time. I do divine service for one year for getting respect of one day only. 0 unitarian, what efforts then should I make for getting respect for ever? Then I asked for more advice. He said: Get down from the praying place. When I got down, he handed to me a leather pot with twenty hamsas in it and said to me: Enter the church and show to the people what I have given you. When I entered the church, the Christians assembled near me and said: 0 unitarian, what has been given to you by this hermit? I said: He has given me some portion of his food. They said: What will you do with that? We are entitled to get it. They asked him to accept money in its exchange. They gave me twenty dinars. Then I went to the hermit who enquired about my purse. I said to him that I had sold it for 20 dinars. He said: You have committed a mistake. They would have given you even twenty thousand dinars. This honour is for that man who does not worship this thing. Now look, 0 unitarian, how is the respect of that man who worships God? 0 unitarian, advance to your Lord and give up wondering.
It has been reported that the rich used to feel dishonour in the assembly of Sufiyan Saori. He used to give their seats in the back row and the poor in the front row, even the rich would like to be poor in his assembly. The poor is more respectable to God than the rich. But the case is otherwise with us. We show more respect to the rich and as such there is show in it because of the greed for wealth. Keep your passion within your control. Don't be satisfied with your passion which will lead you to Hell and which will perish with you. Live in th world in such a way in which a king passes the remaining days of his life being attacked with a serious disease. He takes bitter medicine for cure and gives up all delicious foods. This leads him gradually to health. If he does not observe this rule, his disease will increase. Similarly the traveller in the path of religion gives up all the things injurious for the next world in order to get everlasting peace and happiness of the next world. In other words, he gives up worldly enjoyments and remains satisfied with little provision and small means. He
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prepares himself for the happiness of paradise. He knows that God helps one who helps himself with divine services. God makes his actions easy, removes idleness from him, makes patience easy for him and makes divine services dear to him. Taste of Monajat or invocation is his provision. That is more than all tastes and stronger in removing passions. God says: I advance one cubit towards the man who advances half a cubit to Me. God says: The desire of religious men to meet Him is still greater. So everyone should proceed to get His mercy, blessing, and
****End of Chapter 8 - Volume 3 *****
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