REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
VOL. IV - PART II
Chapter 8. Meditation and Introspection 334
Stages of meditation 338
Self inflictment of punishment, 344
Self Rebuke 360
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Constructive Virtues
MEDITATION AND INTROSPECTION
God says in verse 21: 47 - I will set up a just balance for the day of Resurrection and nobody will get injustice even a bit. I shall produce a thing even to the weight of a musrtard seed. I am sufficient as a Reckoner. God says in verse 18: 49 : The Book of Deeds will be placed. You will then see the sinners afraid of what will be therein and they will say: 0 woe to us! What is this record which does not leave anything small and great unrecorded? They will find present what they did and your Lord oppresses nobody. God says: On the day when God will raise them up all, He will inform them what they did. God says: On that day, the people will come up separate in order that they may be shown their deeds. Whoso does a good deed to the weight of an.atom shall see it. God says: Then everybody will be given fully what he earned and he will not be oppressed. God says: On the day when every man will see before him what he did of good and bad deeds, he will wish if a long time had elapsed between him and his deeds. God warns you of this. God says: Know that God knows what is in your mind. So fear Him.
Know for certain that He will not give you salvation without introspection of your passions, correct movements good thoughts, examination of breaths and time. Who takes account of himself before his accounts are taken, his accounts easy on the resurrection day as his reply will be ready will be at the time of question and his resting place wfll be good. He who does not take account of himself and his activities will be driven to.a place of dishonour and chastisement. So God advices the believers by saying: 0 those who believe take to patience, compete in religion and be ready always -13 : 200.
SIX STAGE OF SPIRITUAL EFFORTS: There are six stages of efforts. - (1) The first stage is Mosharata that is to bind oneself in a firm tie by setting up condition with passion. (2) The second stage is Morakaba i.e. to guard oneself and examine passion by good thoughts. (3) The third stage is Mohasaba i.e. to take account of passions. (4) The fourth stage is Moakaba i.e. to punish passions. (5) The fifth stage is Mojahada i.e. to disobey the dictates of passions by constant efforts. (6) The sixth stage is
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Moataba i.e. to rebuke passions. The basis of these stages is Mohasabah or to take account of oneself.
(1) First stage-Mosharata. The first stage of taking accounts of passion is to enter into an agreement with it before any action. The object of business of two partners is to get profit at the time of accounts of business. As a tradesman gets help from his partner and hands over to him capital for business and then takes account from his partner, so wisdom is the capital in the way of Allah for making profit in the world next. Its soul intention and profit is Tazkiatun Nafs or purification of one's soul from passion as there is success and salvation in it. God says: He who makes it pure gets salvation and he who corrupts it is destroyed - 91: 9. His salvation depends on good works, and wisdom helps him in this business as it keeps it under control by keeping it engaged in works of correction. If the partner destroys the capital, he is considered as an enemy. For this reason terms and conditions are settled first with a partner. Secondly care is taken with regard to the principal money invested. Thirdly, the accounts are taken very strictly off and on. Fourthly if any defect is found, the partner is to be rebuked and if necessary punished. Same is the case with the business of the affairs of the next world. Firstly conditions are to be settled with passion, duties are to be . fixed on it, the path of its salvation is to be shown, order is to be issued to it, so that it may tread the path and does not become careless for any moment. If it neglects it, it will be a loss to the principal. It then becomes like that treacherous servant who appropriates a property when he sees it left alone. Then at leisure time, it will take accounts of itself. This is a business of which the profit is eternal paradise and to live with the prophets and martyrs.
If strict accounts are taken in worldly affairs, how much is it necessary to take more strict accounts of one's actions for the attainments of happiness in the next world, as the latter is everlasting?
PRINCIPAL OF NEXT WORLD BUSINESS IS LIFE: Life is nothing but an accumulation of many breaths. So every breath is just a precious diamond which cannot be purchased with anything in the world. It is a priceless jewel which has got no substitute in value. So in movements, talks and in sorrows and happiness, such a priceless breath should not be spent in vain. To destroy it is to court destruction. An intelligent man cannot lose
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it. When a man gets up at dawn, he should enter in to agreement with himself just as a tradesman contracts with his partner. At that time, he should address his mind thus: 0 mind, you have been given no other property precious as life. When it will end, the principal will end and despondency will come in seeking profit in business. Today is a new day. Allah has given you time that is he has delayed your death. He has bestowed upon you innumerable gifts. Think that you are already dead. So don't waste time. Every breath is a precious jewel. Man has got for each day and night 24 treasure houses in 24 hours. Fill up these treasure houses by your good actions in this world. You will then find them filled up with divine sight in the world next. If they are not filled up with good works, they will be filled up with intense darkness wherefrom bad stenching smell will come out and envelop them all around. Another treasure house will neither give him happiness or sorrow. That is an hour in which he slept, or was careless, or was engaged in any lawful work of this world. He will feel grieved for its remaining vacant.
Another principal thing of the next world is organs of actions. Thereafter you will think of instructions to the organs of your body eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, sexual organ, hands and feet. Use all these organs by placing them under the control of your soul, as these are servants of the king soul. The Hell has got seven doors which are your seven organs of action. Every door has got its own separate function. Those doors are against him who do sins with the help of these seven organs. So instruct them to save the soul from these sins.
MERITS OF DEEP MEDITATION: The Holy Prophet asked Gabriel about Ihsan (doing good). He said: The meaning of Ihsan is to worship God in such a way as if you are seeing Him. The Prophet said: Worship Allah in such a way that you actually see Him. If you think that you are not seeing Him, then think that He is seeing you, Allah says: Allah watches you - 4 : 1. God seys: Don't you see what every man earns? He says: Does he not know that God sees - 16:14? The meaning of "Allah watches over you" according to Ibnul Mobarak is - keep the thought in mind as if you are seeing God. The great sage Abu Osman Magrebi said: The best way on which man can lead himself is taking account of himself keeping watch over himself and doing all deeds with
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Ibnul Ata said: Constant meditation over truth is good divine service. The people are seeing your outward activities but God sees your inner mind how it works. It is reported that a certain Pir or spiritual guide had a disciple whom he loved dearer than his other disciples. One day some of his disciples said to their Pir: You love this disciple of yours more than us although we are your elderly disciples. The Pir then advised them to bring some fowls and knives. When this was done, he gave each disciple one fowl and one knife and told them to bring them after being slaughtered in such a way that nobody saw them. Everybody brought his fowl slaughtered, but the disciple whom he loved very. dearly took back the fowl alive. The Pir asked him: Why have you not slaughtered the fowl like my other disciples? He said: I found no such place which is not within the sight of anybody, as Allah exists everywhere. Then they thought that really the Pir had the best reason to love him more.
It is reported that when, Zulaikha closed the door of a lonely house to satisfy her lust with Eusuf, she covered the eyes of the idols within the house. At this, Hazrat Eusuf said: It is a wonder to see that you cover the eyes of the dead idols out of shame. Why should you not be ashamed of the best powerful God?
It is reported that one young man intended to have sexual intercourse with a grown up girl, but the girl said: Don't you feel shame? He said: Whom shall I be ashamed of? Nobody will see me except stars. The girl said: Where is the Creator of the stars?
Muhammad b-Tirmizi said: Think of Him from whose sight you cannot hide yourself. Be grateful to Him whose gifts are not cut off from you, Submit to Him to whom you are in want. Be modest to Him from whose kingdom you cannot go out. God says: 'God is pleased with them and they are also pleased with Him. This
is for one who fears his Lord.
Some sage was asked about its meaning and he replied that this verse refers to such a person who keeps his mind turned towards his Lord, who takes accounts of himself and earns food for his destination. The great saint Jun-Nun was asked: For what thing will the people get paradise? He said: For five things - (1) steadfastness wherein there is no laxity, (2) Ijtihad wherein there is no mistake. (3) deep meditation of Allah open and secret, (4) waiting for death after being prepared for it and (5) taking account of oneself before Allah takes account of him.
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The great saint Sulaiman was asked by a man: Give me instruction. He said: When you commit sin in a lonely place, think then that Allah sees you. If you think in a great sinful act that Allah does not see you, you will become an infidel. The great saint Sufiyan said: Think of One from whom you cannot hide anything. Hope for One who can fulfil His promise. Be careful of One who is the Lord of punishment. The saint Abdullah-b-Dinar said: One day I accompanied Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz to Mecca. On the way, he asked a shepherd to sell a goat to him and he said: I am merely a servant. Hazrat Omar said to him: Tell your master that a tiger has eaten your goat. The servant said: Where is God? At this Omar began to weep. The next morning Omar went to his master, purchased him and set him free and said: This word of yours has set you free and I hope this will give you salvation in the next world.
STAGES AND KNOWLEDGE OF MEDITATION
What is meditation? It is to keep the mind towards Him who keeps watch and to keep all thoughts engaged to Him. Meditation is a state of mind which gives fruit named Marfat and that state of mind raises an action on bodily limbs and heart.i Meditation therefore means a state of mind and Marfat. The state of mind means turning of heart towards the great Watcher and to keep it engaged in His thoughts and attributes. Marfat is the fruit of this state of mind. The meaning of Marfat is the knowledge that God watches the state of mind, knows its secrets, sees the actions of man and well know what each man does. People see outward actions but God sees inward thoughts and outward actions. This becomes powerful in mind which it turns into a sure faith.* There are many knowledges free from doubt which do not become powerful in mind, just as the knowledge of death. Those who have firm belief in this knowledge are the near ones of God.
They are of two classes - Siddiqs, who are owners of good fortune. The meditation of a Siddiq or a great truthful man is about His honour and glory. He is immersed in these thoughts of Allah. When mind is engaged in divine thoughts, the bodily limbs also follow it and do divine service and take trouble for divine pleasure. He who reaches such a stage, keeps himself aloof from society, does not even see those who are present before him and does not even hear them. Take for instance the servants of a
king. They are immerged in his service in such a way that they don't see what happens in his Darbar.
Once Abdul Waheed was asked: Are you aware of such a person in this age who is engaged in His thoughts living in society? He said: I know of one man only who is of such a description. He will soon come to you. Soon after, Otbatul Golam came there. He asked him: Wherefrom have you come? He said: From a certain place. He again asked him: Have you met any person on the way? He replied: With nobody. He passed then by the market and hundreds of people passed by him. It is reported that the Prophet Ihya while passing by the way fell upon a woman whereupon she fell down on the ground. The people asked: Why have you done this? He said: I considered the woman
as a wall.
It is reported of a certain saint that he said: While passing by some people, I found them playing with bows and arrows. I found a man among them with whom I wished to talk. At this he said: Remembrance of Allah is better than conversation with the people. I asked him: Why are you sitting alone, here? He said: Why alone; My Lord and two angels are with me. I asked'him: Who is the best of the people? He said: He is the best whom Allah has pardoned. I asked him: Towards which direction i$ the path? He hinted at the sky. Thereafter he went away from that place and said: 0 God, most of the people have turned away from Thee. This is the message -of one who immerged himself in God. He does not speak but through Him and does not remember but through Him. Once the saint Shibli went to see the great saint Abul Hussain Nuri and saw him in such a deep meditation as if he was dead. The saint Shibli asked Nuri: Wherefrom have you, got this meditation and silent posture? He said: From my cat.
The sage Abu Abdullah Khalif said: I started from Egypt towards the desert in order to meet Abu Ali Rozbari. The great saint Isa- b-Unus the Egyptian said to me that one old man and a young man are engaged in meditation at a place called Sur. If you see them once, you may get benefit from them.' Thereafter I started for Sur and on the way I got fatigued owing to hunger and thirst. Round my waist there was a piece of cloth with nothing on the body. As soon as I entered the mosque, I found two men seated towards the Ka'ha and saluted them but they did not reply. I repeated it twice or thrice with no reply. Then I said: I ask
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you swearing by God as to why you did not reply to my salutation. The young man raised his head looked towards me and said: 0 Ibn Khalif, life is very short and most of it passed away. You have taken a portion of the rest of life. 0 Ibn Khalif, your divine service is very little. Have you found time to meet us?" He said: I will adopt fully your way of life. Thereafter he lowered his head and sat silent.
I prayed Zohar and Asar prayer after staying with them and in the meantime I felt no hunger and thirst. When the prayer for Asr came, I said to him: Give me more admonition. He raised his head towards me and said: 0 son of Khalif, we are in danger and have got no language for admonition, I stayed with them for thee days wherein I took no food and drink and I did not also find them taking food and drink. On the third day, I thought, I will make them to promise to advise me so that I may get benefit. Then the young man raised his head and said to me: 0 son of Khalif, keep company with the man who can remind you of the remembrance of Allah, who can enkindle in you fear of God, who can give you admonition by his actions and who will not give you admonition by his tongue. Salam to you. Now leave us. This is the rank of those who meditate.
(2) The second stage is the meditation of the fortunate. There are two methods of meditation at this stage, first before action and second during action. With regard to the method of meditation before action, examine whether you intend to do the work sincerely for Allah or you will do it owing to the dictates of yourself or the devil's machination. If it is solely for Allah, do it, and if it is other than for Allah, be ashamed of it and be off from it and rebuke yourself for intending to do it. There is a saying of the Prophet: A man will be questioned three things if he moves his body to do an action. First question: How have you done it? Second question: Why have you done it? Third question: For whom have you done it? The meaning of the first question is that you should have done every act for the sake of Allah. Why did you do it owing to the dictates of your baser self? The meaning of the second question is that of every action there are ways and meags fixed by Allah and whether you have done it after applying those ways and means. The meaning of the third question is whether you did it out of sincere desire to please Him or for any other body or for show. If it was done for show of the
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people, God will say: Take rewards from the people. Have you not read My verse? - Those whom you' invoke besides God are themselves servants like you - 7 : 194. Allah says: Those who worship other than Allah, are not masters of your provision. So invoke provision from Allah and worship Him only. Have you not heard My Word - Religion is only for Allah?
The Holy Prophet said to Mu'az: A man will be asked even about his application of antimony to his eyes, of his raising earth by his fingers or of his touching the cloth of his brother Hazrat Hasan Basri said that if among them, some one wished to make a gift he pondered over the fact whether it was intended for the pleasure of Allah. If it was for Allah, he would have gifted it. So every one should fix his Niyyat or intention for doing an act. If it is for Allah, it is good. If it is for any other thing, he should avoid it. The Prophet said: He who commits sin loses his wisdom which never comes to him.
Jesus Christ said: Actions are of three kinds - (1) such an action which is expressly good, follow it. (2) such an action which is expressly bad, avoid it, (3) such an action which one cannot ascertain whether it is good or bad. Entrust it to one who knows it.
Hazrat Ali said: Passion is partner of darkness. Introspection at the time of admonition is included within Taufiq or grace, sure faith removes stray thoughts. The fruit. of falsehood is repentance. There is security in truthfulness. There are many persons unrelated who are nearer than relatives. He who has got no friend is not known. The great truthful man is he who shows the secret matters as truth. Don't turn your face from your friend owing to bad conjecture. Generosity is a good conduct. Shame is the root of all beauty. Hold fast by God. The maintainer of firm tie between you and Allah is steadfastness. What is good for your permanent abode is sufficient for you in this world. Provision is of two kinds, the provision which you seek and the provision which seeks you. If you do not get it, it must come to you. If any disaster comes to what is in your hand and you become sorry for that, dcn't be sorry for that which has not come to you. Don't stretch your hand what has not come to you in. lieu of what is in your hand, because the affair is the same. Man becomes happy in getting a thing which never perishes. Mind becomes disquiet for losing a thing which is never available. So don't be happy for what you gain in this world and don't be grieved for what you
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lose in this world. Be happy for what you send for yourself in advance and don't be sorry for what you leave behind. Be busy for your next world.
The Holy Prophet said: The faith of one who has got these three qualities is perfect - (1) He who does not fear the slander of a slanderer in the cause of Allah, (2) he who does not do divine service for show of people, (3) and when who affairs come before him - one worldly and the other next worldly, he selects more the one next worldly in preference to the worldly one. If anything is disclosed as lawful in his movements even he gives it up as unnecessary, as the Prophet said: It belongs to good Islam that a man gives up what is of no use to him.
(2) Second matter - Morakaba or deep meditation. The second method of self-introspection is meditation before an action, in other words to examine whether the action is done regularly, lawfully and in right manner. When he keeps watch over the divine laws in every action, he is able to make his intention good in divine service. When he sits, he sits facing the Qibla. He does not sit cross- legged as to sit in such a way before the Highest Power is not at all proper. Hazrat Ibrahim Adham said: Once ).§at cross-legged when I heard a voice from heaven: Kings sit'in such a fashion. Thereafter I gave up sitting cross-legged.
THREE KINDS OF ACTION: All actions can be divided into three classes - virteous acts, sinful acts and lawful acts. Every man is confined within one of these three kinds of actions. Meditation in various actions means to do it with Ikhlas or pure intention and to guard it from faults. Meditation in actions of vices means repentance and examination of engagement in meditation. Meditation in lawful action means observance of rules and laws and to express gratefulness for getting them from the Merciful. So examine yourself in these three kinds of actions.
The Holy Prophet said: A wise man has got four divisions of his time - (1) In one division, he will whisper with his Lord. (2) In another division of time, he will ponder over the wonderful creations of God. (3) In another division of time, he will take account of himself. (4) And in another division of time, he will take food and drink and sleep.
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Four kinds of men in respect of meditation: (1) One class meditate deeply and with minute details over food and drink, over the well-arranged plan of God to save animal life and His wonderful gifts in a measured way, and over creation of organs to take food and drink. These are food for reflection of the wise. (2) Another class regard food and drink as troublesome. Greed cannot guide them towards food and drink, rather they are compelled to go to them. This is the stage of those persons who renounce the world. (3) Another class examine and ponder over the skill of creation and realise His attributes. That opens the door of thought. (4) Another class look towards food and drink with greed. They are worried if they are deprived of these things and become happy when they get them.
(3) Third matter-Mohasabah or taking accounts: There are great merits in taking accounts of oneself. God says in a verse - "0 those who believe, fear God and let a man look to what he sent in advance for tomorrow." There is a hint herein of taking accounts of past actions. For this reason, Hazrat Omar said: Take accounts of your action before accounts are taken from you and weigh your actions before they are weighed upon. There is in Hadis that a wise man should have four divisions of time. In one division he shall take accounts of himself. God says - 0 believers, return you all to God that you may be successful. The Prophet said: I seek forgiveness to God one hundred times daily.
Some examples are given below how the saints and sages took strict account of themselves and put rigours upon themselves to gain pleasure of God. (1) Hazrat Omar used to beat his two feet with sticks and say: What actions have you done to day? (2) Maimun-b-Mihran said: No man can become God-fearing till he takes strict account of himself more than what he takes from his partner in business, (3) Hazrat Abu Bakr said at the time of his death: There is no friend dearer to me than Omar. Then he corrected himself and said: There is no friend more honourable to me than Omar. This correction was necessary as the Prophet was dearest to him. (4) It is reported of Hazrat Abu Talha that when he was praying, the thought of a wonderful bird of his garden fell in his mind. He became repentant and gifted away the entire garden. (5) It is reported of the saint Ibn Salam that once he was carrying a load of fire-wood. Some one said to him, 0 Abu Eusuf are not your sons and servants sufficient for
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this? He said: I wish to put myself to trial. (6) Hasan Basari said: A believer is a guard over himself. He takes account of himself for Allah. The account of those who take account of themselves in the world will be easy on Resurrection Day and the account of those who do not take account of themselves will be difficult. (7) Anas b Malek said: I came out with Hazrat Omar. He entered a garden and there was a wall only intervewing between him and me. I heard him say: Well, Omar, you are pleased with the word. Ameerul Momeenin (Leader of the faithful). Beware! Fear God and be prepared to accept the punishment of God. (8) Maimun-b-Mehran said: A pious man takes account of himself more strictly than what his king or greedy partner takes, from him.
What is taking account? The obligatory duties are the principals of religion and the additional or optional duties are the profits and the sins are the losses of actions. The season of this business is the full day and night. At first, accounts shall have to be taken for the obligatory duties. If these are performed daily, he shall express gratefulness to Allah. If he destroys the principal, he must sit in judgement over himself. In that case, he must compel himself to do optional duties. If he does sinful acts, he must give punishment to himself.
It is reported of Taubah-b-Samah that he used to take account of himself. When he was 60 years old, he counted twenty one thousand and nine hundred days during these sixty years. Then he raised a shriek and said: Alas! if I committed one sin everyday, I met with angels with 21,900 sins. If I committed ten thousand sins, what will be my condition? At this thought, he at once fell down senseless and breathed his last. An unseen voice was heard by the people: He went to the highest Ferdous. If a man fills up his courtyard with a stone for each sin, it will soon be filled up. Sins are preserved more easily than virtues by the two angels, but the people forget it.
(4) Fourth Matter-Muaqabah. In this stage, punishment is given to self. If the self commits sin, it is improper to give him time as it will be easier for him to commit sin again if it is given time and ultimately passion will go beyond control. That will be the cause of destruction. When he eats with satisfaction any doubtful food, he must given punishment to stomach by keeping it hungry. When he looks with passion at any strange woman, he
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must give punishment to eyes by withholding the eyes from sight. In'this way all the limbs of the body should be given punishment if they are involved in sin. This was the habit of those who were treading the path of the next world.
Below are some instances of self-inflictment of punishment for sins committed. (1) Mansur-b-Ibrahim stated that a man, while talking with a woman, placed his hand suddenly upon her thigh. Thereafter he became repentant and burnt his hand by placing it on fire. (2) It is said of a saint of Banu Israil that he used to make divine service at his sanctuary. One day a woman came to him and the saint expressed his desire to have sexual intercourse with her and advanced one step towards her. At once he remembered God and said: Alas! what action I am going to do with this woman! When this leg took a step to commit a sin, I won't take it back to my sanctuary. He hung it up with the door of his sanctuary till it was completely destroyed owing to sun and cold.
(3) The great saint Junaid said: I heard Ibn Qaribi to say: I had a sexual polition in an intensely cold night. When I intended to have wash, my inner self told me to make delay and to take wash in the morning with hot water of the bath-room. I made divine service throughout my life. I should have washed myself without loss of time. I promised owing to the above dictation of self that I should have immediate wash with my cloth on and I would be wearing that wet cloth in cold season till it dried up on the body. In that way, he punished himself. (4) It was reported of Gazwan that when a certain woman joined a Jihad, he looked towards her and raised her hand towards her. At this, he slapped his eyes with such force that they became swollen and he said to his eyes: You are looking at such a thing which will do you immense harm.
(5) A certain man among them looked towards a woman with lust and he gave such a punishment to himself that he did not drink cold water during his life time. He used to drink warm water so that his thirst remained. (6) It is reported of Hassan b-Abi-Senan that he once passed by a fine building and said: When such a fine building was built? Thereafter he reproached his self and said: Why have you uttered such a word which will be no use to you? I will punish you by fasting for a year. He observed the fast and did not drink cold water during his whole
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life. (7) The great saint Tamim Dan was so overtaken with sleep at a certain night that he could not pray his Tahajjud or night prayer. He therefore inflicted punishment on his self to the effect that he performed prayer throughout the night for one year without having any sleep at night.
(8) Hazrat Talha said: Once a man took off his cloth and laid himself on an intensely hot sand in summer and said: Take taste of the fire of hell which is hotter than this. 0 dear one of night and idle one of day. When he was in such a condition, the Holy Prophet came to him from the shade of a tree and he told him: My baser self has become powerful over me. Then the Prophet said to him: There is no other medicine fbr this except the one which you have adopted. Look, the door of Paradise has been opened for you and the angels take pride for this act of yours. Then he told his companions: Take lesson from your brother.
(9) The great sage Ibn Samah went to see the saint Daud Tai when he died and lay in his room. He said: 0 Daud you have .imprisoned your lower self before you have been imprisoned. You have given punishment to your self before you have been punished. You will soon see the rewards of that for which you have done this. (8) It is reported of Hazrat Omar that he used to whip his feet every night and say: What action have you done today? (10) It is reported of saint Mojma that while he was looking 'at a roof, his sight fell on a woman. Then he promised that he would not look at the sky during his life-time. He fulfilled his promise. (11) The great sage Wahab once had a greed for something but he did not satisfy his greed. As a result, he uprooted some of hairs of his chest by way of punishment and said: Woe to you! I want your good but you want my evil. (12) Once Ibn Bashr saw the saint Daud Tai breaking his fast with bread without salt and said: It would have been better if you had taken bread with salt. He said: My self is telling me to take bread with salt for one year. Daud did not take salt till his life.
The above few examples will show how the pious and saintly persons used to give punishment to themselves. It is matter of wonder that while you give punishment to your servants and slaves and your sons and daughters for some bad conduct of theirs fearing that unless you give them punishment they would go out of your control, you overlook your worst enemies and rebels against you. The harm that is caused to you by your
rebellious self is more than the harm caused to you by the members of your family, because their object is to gather provision for you in this world, but the object of soul is to gather next worldly provision. Had you had intelligence you must have known that the life in the next world is the real life and there is eternal bliss of God. So to give punishment to it is more necessary than to give punishment to them.
(5) Fifth Stage-Mojahadah (efforts). Mojahada is to conduct oneself against the dictates of the lover self, in other words, it is to fight against it. When you take account of yourself, you will find that you have gone far from sins. So punish yourself for past sins, bind yourself with more duties when you are bound to do your duties. The great sages of past ages used to do this. Below are some examples of this self inflictment of punishment.
(1) Once Hazrat Omar was late in performing Asr prayer in congregation. For that he inflicted punishment on himself by a gift of his property worth two lac dirhams. (2) Hazrat Jbn Omar used to pass sleepless night if he could not join in any congregational prayer. Once he was so late in praying Magrib prayer that there appeared two stars in the horizon. For that, he gave manumission of two of his salves. (3) Once Ibn Obai could not join Fajr prayer in congregation. For that, he set free a slave. (4) A certain pious man fasted for a year for some minor defect, made pilgrimage on foot and made a gift of1his entire property.
(5) A group of people went to see Caliph Omar b Abdul Aziz in his illness. There was a young man among them who was very lean and thin. Caliph Omar asked him: What has happened to you? He said: 0 Commander of the Faithful, I have got.a disease. The caliph asked him: I ask you in the name of Allah: Speak the truth. He said: 0 Commander of the faithful, after enjoying the world, it has become distasteful to me. I am as if seeing the Throne of God and see the people being led either to Paradise or to Hell. For that I am passing nights without sleep and my taste of life has gone.
(6) The sage Abu Nayeem said: The great saint Daud Tai used to take wheat dissolving it in water and not used to take prepared bread. When asked about it, he said: In the time taken for eating bread fifty Quranic verses can be read. Once a man came to him and said: The beams of your roof have broken. He
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said: 0 cousin! for the last 30 years I did not look towards my roof. They used to consider even look without purpose as vain talk.
(7) Muhammad-b-Abdul Aziz said: We were seated before the saint Ibn Razin. He used not to turn his look towards right or left from morning to afternoon. When asked about it he said: God Almighty created these two eyes to see his glory and gifts. Whoso turns his look without the purpose of getting lesson, one sin is written for him.
(8) The wife of the saint Masruq stated that Masruq used to stand so long in prayer that his two thighs got swollen. She said: By God, my eyes shed tears owing to compassion on him.
(9) The great saint Abu Daud said: I could not have lived even for one day without these three things:- (1) to pass a long time without food and drink for the sake of Allah, (2) to lie down in prostration for Allah at mid-night and (3) to keep company with those who are pure in all ways and whose whole body is filled up with wisdom.
(10) It is reported of the great saint Aswad that he took excessive trouble in his divine service. He used to keep fast in summer so much so that as a-result his body assumed a yellowcolour. Algamah-b-Qais used to tell him: Why do you inflict so strict punishment on yourself? He used to say: I seek His honour. He used to pray so much that he sometimes fell down. Once Hazrat Anas-b-Malek and Hasan Basari came to him and asked him: The Almighty Allah has not enjoined you to do these actions. He replied: I am a mere slave. I can't leave anything of humility.
A certain Mujtahed used to pray standing thousand rakats daily. As a result, his feet were attacked with rheumatism. Then he used to read one thousand rakats of prayer sitting. Thereafter he used to say: It is a wonder to me how a man can hope for other things with your help. It is a wonder to me how the people can love others leaving you? It is a wonder to me how their hearts can be lighted without your rememberance?
(11) The saint Junaid said: I did not see anybody more devoted to divine service than Sarri Sakti. He lived for 98 years.
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During this long period, nobody saw him taking recourse to bed except in death illness.
(12) Once some people passed by a saint and found him taking great pains in divine service. On being asked about its reason, he said: Can this pain be compared to the dangers and difficulties that may confront a man? People are indifferent. They are immerged in their thoughts of happiness and forget the great happiness from the Lord. At this everybody began to shed tears.
(13) Hazrat Abu Mohammad Magazali said: The great saint Abu Muhammad Jariri lived for full one year at Mecca. During this time, he did not sleep, nor did he talk with anybody, nor did he lean against anything, nor did he stretch out his legs. Abu Kattani Bakr asked him: 0 Abu Mohammad, how have you been able to do this wonderful thing? He said: Inner sincerity helps my outer works to a great extent. Qattani pondered over the matter and went away.
(14) Some sage said: I went once to the great saint Fateh Mosalli and saw him shedding tears stretching out his hands. I saw even that tears oozed out even from his fingers. On coming near him, I found that tears mixed with blood were comming out of his eyes. I asked high: 0 Fateh, tell me by God why are you shedding tears mixed With blood? He said: Had you not asked me about it in the namh'of God, I would not have told it to you. It is a fact that tears mixed with blood are coming out of my eyes. It is on account of my shortcomings in divine services that I am shedding tears mixed with blood. Only tears are no expliation for this. When the great saint died, I saw him in dream one night and asked him: How have God treated with you? He said: He has forgiven me. I asked him: What has He done for your tears? He said: My Lord has given me the status of nearness and said to me: 0 Fateh, the reward of your tears is near Me. I said: I shed tears for my shortcomings in duties towards you. He asked me: What is the cause of shedding blood? I said: My Ikhlas has not come only by shedding tears. He said to me: 0 Fateh, what necessity have you got in this for all actions? By My glory, no defect was written in your book of deeds for the last 40 years.
(15) There is a story that a group of people went astray during a journey and passed by a saint who was doing divine
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service in a lonely place apart from the society of men. They called him and when he was about to come out of his sanctuary, they told him: 0 pious man, we have come here being astray. Show us the right path. He hinted at the sky with his head. They understood what he hinted at and asked him: We are asking you some questions. He said: Ask but don't ask many questions, as this time will never return and life will never comeback, and the Great searcher (death) is coming soon. At this, the people were astonished and asked him: 0 pious man, on what condition will the people come on the Day of Resurrection? He said: On their Niyyat. They asked: Give us more admonition. He said: Take provision in preparation to your journey as the thing which takes you to your God is good provision. Thereafter he showed them the correct path and entered his sanctuary.
(16) The great saint Abdul Wahed said: Once I passed by the sanctuary of a saint of China and asked the saint: 0 pious man. He did not reply. I asked him the second time but still he did not reply. At the third time, I called him and he approached me and said: 0 brother. I am not a recluse. A recluse is he who fears Allah in heaven, honours Him for his glory, forbears in dangers and difficulties, remains satisfied with Taqdir or predecree, expresses gratitude for his gifts, praises Him for His gifts, expresses humility before His glory, surrenders before His power, thinks over His taking to our accounts and punishments, fasts during His day and prays during His night, keeps awake in fear of His questions. He who has got these virtues may be called a recluse or one who renunciates the world. I am a biting dog. I have become isolated from the people, so that I am unable to attack them. I asked him: 0 one who has renunciated the world, what thing makes a man isolated after he knows of God? He said: 0 my brother, mere love of the world and its fineries cut off a man from God, because the world is a place of sins and faults. He is wise who removes these things from his mind, repents to Allah for his sins and does what takes him near God.
(17) The great saint Daud Tai was asked: Why do you keep your beard without care? He said: Where is my time for that?
(18) The great saint Wais Qarni used to say: This is a night of Ruku. In that night he kept awake in Ruku. The next night he spent in prostration.
(19) The great saint Otbatul Golam always acted in opposition to his lower self. He never tasted delicious food and drink. Once his mother said to him, 0 my dear son, have pity on your body, He said: I seek Allah's mercy. I seek eternal happiness of the next world by suffering a little in this world.
(20) The saint Qahmas used to pray daily one thousand Rakats of prayer and say afterwards: 0 the root of all evils, rise up. When he became weak, he lessened his prayer to 500 Rakats and said on weeping: Half of my service has gone away.
(21) The daughter of the saint Rabi-b-Khasim said: 0 father, I see the people enjoying sleep but I don't see you enjoying it. He said: 0 my darling, your father fears the fire of Hell. When the mother of Rabi saw that his son was weeping excessively and passing sleepless nights, she said to her son: 0 my darling, you have perhaps killed somebody. He said, 0 my mother, yes, I have killed. His mother said to him: Whom have you killed? I will take pardon of the family members of the murdered person. By God, if they see your condition, they will certainly show kindness to you and pardon you. He said: 0 mother, I have killed my baser self.
(22) The great saint Omar said: My maternal uncle Basr-b-Hares said to my mother, 0 my sister, I have been suffering very badly owing to pain in my stomach. My mother said to him: .0 brother, if you say, I shall prepare for you Harisa with some wheat. If you take it, your stomach may be healed. My maternal uncle told her: Woe to you. God will question me: Wherefrom have you got this wheat? I fear it. I do not know wherefrom you have got it. My mother began to weep along with my maternal uncle. Even I also began to weep. Omar said: My mother saw him extremely hungry, even he felt weakness in taking breath. My mother said to him: 0 my brother, had your mother not given birth to me, it would have been good. By God, my spleen is being cut seeing your condition. I heard that he was saying to my mother: 0 my sister, I am saying it also. Had not my mother given birth to me, it would have been better. Even after birth, had she not suckled me, it would have beers better. My mother wept day and night for me.
(23) The sage Rabi said: Once I came to the great saint Wais Qarni and saw him seated after morning prayer. I also took my seat and thought that I won't disturb him in his Tasbeeh. In that
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condition, he prayed Asr prayer. After Asr, he remained in that posture upto Magrib. Thereafter he began to read Tasbih upto night prayer. After night prayer, he remained in his posture till the next morning prayer. Thereafter when the slumber overtook him, he said: I seek refuge to you from the oppression of the sleeping eyes and the greedy stomatch. Seeing this condition of his, I though that it is a sufficient lesson to me. Then I came back.
(24) One pious Christian said: I came to Ibrahim-b-Adham and remained seated behind him after he finished the night prayer. At first he covered his' body with a long gown and afterwards he put it off. He did not move from one side to another upto the morning prayer. Thereafter when the Muazzen raised the cry for prayer, he went to pray without any new ablution. At this, doubt was raised in my mind. I asked him: May God show mercy on you. You have passed sleepless night but you have not renewed your ablution. He said: I was travelling last night sometimes in the gardens of Paradise and some times in the caves of Hell: Can I sleep in the midst of these things?
(25) The sage Saleh Bonani said: I saw many people who became so exhausted owing to constant prayer that they found it very difficult to walk upto their beds.
(26) It is reported that the great saint Abu Bakr Ibn lyash did not lay his side on bed for 40 years, although his family members did not know it for 20 years.
(27) It has been reported that the great saint Samnun used to pray 500 rakats of prayer daily.
(28) The saint Abu Bakr Matui said: In my young days, I used to pray daily Chapter 'QuI Huallah' 30 to 40 thousand times. Whenever I saw the saint Mansur-b-Motamar, I saw, that some danger has befallen on him, his side has broken, his voice has become low, and his two eyes have been shedding tears. His r ,) ther used to say to him: What are you doing with your baser self? You are weeping the whole night and not taking recourse to silence. He used to say: 0 my mother, I well know what I am doing with my lower self.
(29) People asked Amer-b-Abdullah: How can you keep patience in passing nights without sleep and keeping thirsty in mid-day? He said: It is not a great thing to take day-time food at
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night and to take sleep of night at day time, but I have found nobody to sleep who searches for Paradise and who flees away from Hell. When the night came, he used to say: The heat of the fire of Hell has removed away my sleep. He did not sleep upto morning. When the day dawned, he used to say: The heat of Hell has removed my sleep. He used not to sleep in day time till the night came. At the coming of night, he used to say: He who fears God takes rest at dawn.
(30) A certain great man said: I passed four months in the company of Amer-b-Abdul Qais. During this time I did not find him to sleep either at day time or at night.
(31) A certain companion of Hazrat Ali said: I prayed a morning prayer behind Hazrat Ali. When he finished his prayer, he sat upon his right side and there was sign of sorrow upon his face. He remained in that position till the rising of the sun. Then he lifted his hand up and said: By God, I saw the companions of the Holy Prophet. I find none today who can be compared to anyone of them. They appeared at dawn with their hairs dishevelled, laden with dust and the hairs of their head not arranged. They used to pass the whole night in prostration and reading the Holy Quran. Pressure was put repeatedly on their feet and forehead. When they used to make Zikr, they become as the trees fall down in a day of storm, their eyes flowed so much of tears that wetted their cloths. At that time the people around them passed their nights heedlessly in sleep.
(32) It has been reported of Abu Moslem Khaolani that he used to keep a stick hanging in his prayer room and threaten his baser self therewith. He used to say to his self: By God, rise up, I will fight with you such a fight that will exhaust me. When he was idle, he used to take down the stick and beat his buttock and said: You are entitled to receive beating more than my conveyance. He used to say: Did the companions of the Prophet think that they alone adopted the religious affairs while we have got no share in it? By God, I will be a good partner in their affairs, till they knew that after them there was a man who was not in any way inferior to them in status.
(33) The great saint Safwan-b-Solaiman used to pray so much that his waist was attacked with rheumatism. He used to take so much pains in divine service that if he were told that
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Resurrection would come tomorrow, he would not have been seen to do more divine service. During winter season, he used to sleep on the roof in order to feel the intensity of cold and during summer, he used to sleep within a room in order to feel the intensity of heat. He used to pass sleepless nights and he died in prostration. He used to say: 0 God, I love to meet You. So love to meet me.
(34) Qasem b-Mohammad said: On rising at dawn, I used go to my niece Ayesha and salute her. One day I went to her in the morning and heard her reading the verse in the forenoon prayer: God has bestowed favour on us and saved us from the punishment of the enemies. She repeated the verse and made invocations. I became tired at this, but she was deeply engaged in her prayer. I went to the market and thought that I would come back if I got leisure. I returned and saw her in that condition reciting the verse again and again and weeping.
(35) Muhammad-b-Ishaq said: The saint Abdur Rahman-b-Aswad came to us in order to bid us farewell for going on pilgrimage. I saw a disease in his leg and he prayed standing on one leg and even prayed the morning prayer with ablution which he made at the time of Isha or night prayer.
(36) Hazrat Ali said: The signs of religious men are the following - Their colour turn yellow as an effect of passing sleepless nights, their eyes turn yellow as an effect of shedding tears, their lips become dry as an effect of fasting and the signs of God-fearing people appear on them.
(37) Hazrat Hasan Basari said: What is the condition of those who make efforts in religion? Their face is the most beautiful, as they remain isolated with their Lord and get light from His light.
(38) The saint Amer-b-Abdul Qais used to say in his invocation: 0 Lord, you have not asked me anything when You created me. So you will not ask me anything when you will take away my life. You have created such an enemy for me who runs in me as the running of blood, who sees me but whom I don't see. You have told me: Hold fast to Me. 0 God, if you do not hold me fast, how can I hold fast to you? 0 God, there are innumerable troubles and anxieties in this world and there is account in the next world. So where is peace and happiness?
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(39) Hazrat Jafar-b-Mohammad said: The great saint Otbatul Golam used to raise three cries, with songs at each cry. After night prayer, he used to meditate placing his head between his two knees and when one third of the night passed away he used to raise a cry. Then again he placed his forehead between his knees and meditate. When two third of the night passed, he used to raise another cry. Thereafter he took his former position and meditate. At Sehri time, he used to raise another cry. I asked some learned man of Basra about this and he said: Don't look to his cries, but look to his condition between his two cries.
(40) Qasam Rashed Shriani said: The saint Jam'a came to us with Mashab. He had his wife and daughter with him. He prayed long at night, and when the Sehri time came, he said very loudly: 0 people engrossed in happiness, are you overtaken by sleep during the whole night? Will you not rise up and start? At this, they woke up. Some wept, some sought invocation, some recited the Quran and some made prostration.
(41) A certain sage said: There are servants of Allah upon whom He showered His blessings and He expanded their breasts. They obeyed Him and believed in Him. They surrendered to Him their affairs of the world and the next world. Their hearts were mines of transparent sure faith, fountains of wisdom, reservoirs of glory and treasure houses of power. They were advanced among the people. Their hearts used to roam in heaven and_ take refuge in the screen of the unseen. When they returned from that place, they had with them immediate benefit and grace which none could describe. They lived in internal grandeur like gold and lived outwardly life like used handkerchief. They used to talk with modesty with everyone.
(42) A certain sage said: I was roaming in a certain place of Jerusalem. When I was never a valley. I suddenly heard a sound. The valley responded to that sound which was high. I ran up following the sound and came to a garden where there were many trees. Suddenly I came to a man who was reciting the Quranic verse repeatedly:
The day when
everybody will see his good deeds presented. He said: I sat behind him hearing his recitation. Then he suddenly raised a shriek and fell senseless. I said: Alas! it has occurred owing to my misfortune. I then waited for his recovery. After sometime he
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regained consciousness and I heard him say: I seek refuge to You from the stage of the liars. I seek refuge to You from the complaint of the heedless. Then he said: The hearts of Godfearing men are afraid of you, the sinners then become afraid of you, the hearts of the Arefeen become modest to Your glory.
Thereafter he put down his hands and said: What connection have I got with the world and that of the world next? 0 world, as you are, so you go to those people. Give all sorts of happiness to those who love you. Then he said: Where are the persons of bygone ages? They have now become rotten underneath the ground. They are now drowned in the ocean of forgetfulness? I said to him: 0 servant of God, I am staying with you from today. I am awaiting your leisure. He said: How can he get leisure who runs fast in search of Him? How can the person get leisure whose days have come to an end and whose sins remained behind? Then he said: You are for every difficulty whose advent I wait for. Then he recited this verse: 'What they did not think of appeared to them from Allah.' Then he raised a louder cry and fell senseless. I thought that his life has gone. I came to him and saw him fluttering. When he recovered, he said: Who am I? What is my thought? Forgive my faults by Thy mercy, cover me with the screen of Thy mercy and wipe out my sins by the splendeur of Thy face, When I sand before Thee, I tell that benevolent man whose help I expected: Talk with me. He said: Talk with One whose talk will do you benefit and don't talk with one who will be destroyed by his sins. .l am fighting with the devil here in accordance with the wishes of God and the devil is fighting with me but you want me to take me out of my condition. 0 disgraceful devil, be aloof from me, as you have baffled our language. I seek refuge to Allah from setting up partner with God. I hope He will give me refuge from His displeasure and shower blessings on me by virtue of His mercy, I thought in my mind that the man is the friend of God. Then I left him.
(43) A pious man said: While I was travelling, I took refuge under the shade of a tree. An old man came to me and said: 0 gentle man, rise up. Their is no death of death. Then he was departing. I followed him and heard him say: Every soul shall taste of death. 0 God, give me good after death. I said: What will happen after death? He said: He who firmly believes what will come after death takes a great care and finds no place in the
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world to take refuge. Then he said: 0 God! I look at One who makes a man's face luminous, my mind has become filled up with your love. Give me refuge from being dishonoured by you on the Resurrection Day. My time for return has come. Then he said: Had you had no patience even my death would not helped me. Had you had no pardon, there is no hope of nearness to You. Then he left me.
(44) The saint Qaraz-b-Obarah used to read the whole Quran daily for three times. He was asked: You have fought with ,,yourself many battles. He asked me: What is the age of the earth? He said: It's age is 7000 years. He asked: What is the duration of the Resurrection? He replied that it is 50,000 years. He said: Is there any man who does not take trouble for seven days only to live in happiness on the Resurrection Day?
The following are few instances of the saintly women who undertook great hardship in the path of religion.
(45) It is reported of the saint Habibah that when she performed night prayer, she stood upon her roof. She used to make her coat and Dopatta short and say: 0 God, all the stars have appeared, all men have fallen asleep, all the kings and emperors have closed their doors, every lover is engrossed in his love with his beloved. My condition before you is similar. Then she engaged herself in prayer. At dawn, she used to say: 0 God, this night has passed away and this day has come. I don't know whether you have accepted this night from me, so that I may be grateful to you, or you have rejected this night, so that I may be sorry for it. By Thy glory, I shall be steadfast to this path so long as you keep me alive. If you drive me away from your door, I can't go from you for what little grace and goodness I received from you.
(46) The saint Ozrah. It is reported of her that she used to keep awake the whole night with her eyes closed. At dawn, she used to say loudly: The worshippers passed the night in divine service, they have advanced in their way towards Thy pardon and mercy. 0 God, I invoke Thee without forsaking Thee. Include me as one of those who surpassed and give me the status of those who will live in Ilyyin paradise", and who have been brought near Thee and give me Taufiq or grace of the company of your pious souls. Thou art merciful, glorious and honourable.
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Then she fell down in prostration and remained in that condition up to morning.
(47) The saint Shaoanah.Ihya-b-Bostami said: I was present one day in the assembly of the saint Shaoanah. When I heard her cries and bewailings, I said to one of my friends: When she remains alone, I wish to tell her : Take an easy path on yourself. He said : Tell her if you like. I came to Shaoanah and said : It would have been better if you would have taken a less strict path upon yourself and wept less. She was weeping and said: By God, I love to weep, so that my tears come to an end and then I shed blood till not a drop of blood remains within my body. Wherefrom comes my weeping ? She repeated it many times and then fell senseless.
(48) A saintly woman said: I saw a dream that I had entered into paradise and seen its inmates standing at its door. When asked the reason of their standing, someone of them said : They are standing to receive a woman in paradise for whom it has been decorated. He asked : Who is that lady ? They said : She is a black slave woman named Shaoanah. Then I saw her climbing on a camel and hovering over the horizon, I cried aloud and said to her : 0 my sister. She smiled and said : The time has not yet ripe for you to come here, but observe two things. Keep sorrow attached to your heart and place your love for God above your temptations. If you can do these two things, nothing will harm you at the time of your death.
(49) The great saint Jun-nun Misri said: One night I came out to the valley of Kanan and ascended its top and saw that a black shadow in the form of a human being was following me and was reading the verse of the Quran : "What they could not think of was disclosed to them from Allah". It was crying. When the shadow drew near, I saw that it was that of a woman wearing the dress of Sufism. There was a pot in her hand. She asked me : Who are you ? I said without fear : I am a stranger. The woman said: 0 gentle man, is there a stranger near Allah ? I began to weep at her words. She asked me: Why do you weep ? I said : I received the right medicine for my disease.
(50) Al:med Ibn Ali reported: When we asked permission for an interview with the saint Afia, she did not give us permission. We still kept to her door. When she came,to know of it, she said
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0 God, I seek refuge from those who want to keep me away from your remembrance. There after she opened the door and we entered. We said : 0 man of God, pray to God for us. She said God has received your seeking pardon well at my house. She then said : The great saint Ata Salam did not look towards the sky for 40 years. Thereafter a sudden look towards the sky unawares made him senseless and as a result one screen of his stomach was severed. Alas to Afia. If she turns her look once, will that not be sin?
(51) It is reported of the saint Moaza Adbiyah that when the day dawned, she used to say : Death may come to us today. So she used not to take meal upto evening. When the night came, she said : Death may come to us this night. So she used to pray the whole night.
(52) Abu Sulaiman Darani said: I spent one night near the great saint Rabia, She prayed in her praying room and I prayed in a corner of the room. When it was dawn, I said : Shall I not be grateful this night ? She said : you shall have to fast tomorrow. This is the expression of gratefulness to Him.
(53) The great saint Shaoanah used to pray thus: 0 God, if my death is near and my virtues are not sufficient to stay near you, inform me of my faults and short comings. If you pardon me. who is more responsive in pardon than you ? If you give me punishment, who is there more just than Thyself ? 0 God, your look of mercy remains for me still. Alas for me if fortune does not touch me still. 0 God, keep me in the path of religion during my life time, cut not off Thy look of mercy from me even after my death. 0 God, how can I be despaired of Thy mercy after my death ? Who will look over me during my life time except the everloving beautiful. 0 God, if my sins make me anxious, my love for you has given me shelter. Shower blessings on him who has been deceived by her ignorance. 0 God, if you have wished to dishonour me, you should not have given me guidance, If you have wished to dishonour me you should not have covered my. sins. Give me that guidance for all the time to come which you have given to your dear ones. I don't think that you would reject the purpose for which I spent my whole life. 0 God had I not committed sins, I would not have feared your punishment. Had I not disobeyed you, I would not have hoped for your reward.
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(54) The saint Khaoas said: Once I entered the prayer room of a woman. She became black as a result of constant fast owing to constant weeping. She was attacked with rheumatism and became blind for constant prayer. Thereafter she used to pray siting. When I saluted her, she cried : I know best of myself. How good it would have been if Allah had not created me, if I would not become a thing to be even mentioned. Then she began to pray.
Don't obey the majority of the people of the world, but follow the teachings and ways of life of saintly persons who dedicated themselves to the cause of God. The stories of the pious and the saints are numerous, but what has been described above is sufficient for the wise. If you want to know more of them read the lives of the friends of God who were mostly the companions of the Prophet and their immediate successors. If you follow your contemporaries, you will be good in their eyes but loser in the hereafter. If you do not follow them, they will call you mad, while it will be good for you in the everlasting abode and you will enjoy its peace and happiness. So don't engage yourself in the net of their fraud.
SIXTH STAGE-MUATABA (SELF REBUKE)
0 Readers, know it for certains that the worst enemy which confronts you is.your baser self. It has been created in such a way that it enjoins evil deeds, runs after evils and flees away from what is good. You have been therefore ordered to lead it aright in the straight and correct path. Engage it by force and lead it.tq the divine service of the Lord, prevent it from greed and passions and deprive it of its joys and happiness. If you neglect your baser self, it will be disobedient to you. You will not then be able to overcome it. If you rebuke it always and treat harshly with it, you will be victorious. This is called self accusing spirit. God has taken oath of it. Hope that it is converted to self-satisfied spirit and becomes one of those friends of God who are self-satisfied and satisfy their Creator. So don't forget to chide your base self, first give instruction to yourself and then to others. The Almighty revealed to Jesus : 0 son of Mary, give instruction first to yourself and when you carry it into action, then give lessons to the people or else you will be put to shame before Me. God says Remind one another as reminder benefits the believers. The baser self should constantly be rebuked and scolded, specially
when it is linked with ignorance. In the following ways. The baser self and passions should be rebuked and then brought under control.
1. 0 baser-self, how great is your foolishness ? How do you think yourself as intelligent, while you are greatest in ignorance ? Don't you find Hell and Heaven before you? You are going near to either of the two. Why do you then enjoy and are in laughs and jokes though you may face with death either to day or tomorrow? Allah sees your death near while your think it too far. Don't you know that what is coming in near and what is not coming is too far ? Don't you know that death will attack you all of a sudden ? Before its coming, it will not inform you beforehand or its agent will not be sent to you before. It will come suddenly and alone. When it will come, it will not tarry a moment. It will not inform you when it will come, whether soon or late in summer or in winter, at day time or at night, in youth or in old age, Rather it may come at the time of every breath, every breath may be your last breath, and death-illness may suddenly overtake you. So what is the matter with you that you are not preparing yourself for death although it is very near you? Don't you ponder over the following verse of God : Accounts of men are near, while they out of heedlessness are turning back.
2. O .baser-self, woe to you ! If you believe that God does not see you and for that you dare to disobey Him, how daring you are ! If you know that God knows of you, how great is your ignorance and how little is your shame. Alas for you. If your brother or your servant tells you what is disliking to you, how great is your wrath upon him. How then can you be safe from the wrath and severe punishment of Allah? Do you think that you can bear His punishment? Never, you cannot. Drive the thought out of your mind. If haughtiness keeps you unmindful of His severe punishment, stand in the scorching sun for an hour or stay in the warmth of the bath-room and place the front of your fingers in fire and see what power your possess If you think that your are unmindful of His service out of sheer hope of His ,mercy and forgiveness, then why do you not rely on the mercy of God in the affairs of the world? If an enemy attacks you why do you take recourse to counter attack to drive him away and do not sit idle relying on God? Why don't you say- Allah will drive him away ? When any earthly desire bites you and you cannot drive it away
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without money, why then do you strive hard to earn it and adopt various methods to acquire it ? Why don't you rely on God for that ? God will never tell you about His hidden treasures. He will not make the people subservient to you, so that they may take to you your worldly needs. Do you think at that time that God will not show mercy in this world? Your have known that there is no change in God's Laws and that the Lord of this world and the next is one, and that there is nothing for man but what he strives for.
3.. 0 baser-self ! Woe to you, how wonderful is your hyporisy and false claim. You claim faith by your oral utterance of Kalema, but the sign of hypocrisy is upon you. Have not your Lord said to you-There is no animal in the earth whose sustenance is not upon God-11 : 6 (Quran)? Has He not said with regard to the affairs of the next world : There is nothing for man but what he strives for", your have taken it true regarding your worldly affairs but you have given it up regarding your affairs of the hereafter. You have proved it false by your actions. You are heedless in searching Him. while He place the affairs of the next world upon your efforts. You have turned your face from that like a proud and self conceited man. It this the sign of your faith ? If the meaning of Iman would have ended only by oral recital of the Kalema, then why will the hypocrites dwell in the lowest depth of Hell?
4. 0 baser-self ! Alas for you, why do you not believe in the Day of accounts ? Do you think that when you die, you will be finished? That is not a fact. Do you think that you will be let off without any accounts ? Were you not a mere semen ? Were you not thereafter ,a clot of blood ? Has he not thereafter given you shape and life ? Will not He be able thereafter to resurrect you ? If you think that you will be risen up what thing made you ungrateful and ignorant ? Don't you think that He made you from a drop of sperm? Then He gave you shape proportionately. Then He made your path easy. then you will die, and He will put you in grave. Do'you make the verse false ?-He will resurrect you when He wills. If you believe this verse, why don't you take precaution ? If any Jew gives you information of a taseful dish and says- This is injurious to you in illness, you will surely refrain from it relying on his words. Are the sayings of the Prophets, their miracles and the revealed verses of God more
untrustworthy than the word of a Jew ? If a boy tells you that there is a serpent underneath your cloth you at once believe it and take off your cloth without any proof or question. Are the words of the Prophets, saints and friends of Allah more untrustworthy than the word of the boy?
5. 0 baser self ! if you can understand these affairs and believe them, then why do you want proof of the affairs of the next world? Death awaits you. Perhaps it will attack you soon and will not give your respite. On what reliance do you live that it will not come to you soon? When a man goes to a foreign land to get education and sits there idle and just before return learns something you will laugh at him and take him to be a fool. Likewise. You sit idle now hoping that at your old age and last stage. You will do divine service. Is it not a matter of joke ? Look, you think that you will do a thing tomorrow but tomorrow comes and goes., still you have not done that thing. If you do not do divine service today, you may meet with death tomorrow. It will be more difficult for you to do it tomorrow as passion is like a tree with firm root. If you do not uproot it to day, the root will be more firm tomorrow. Thus it will grow stronger and stronger as days go by and it will be impossible to uproot it then. Now you are a young man, you have got strength. Yet inspite of this if you do not root out your evil passions, it will grow firmer and firmer and in old age you will not be able to root them out. Riazat or religious practice is difficult to be performed in old age, A soft stick can be moulded to any shape you like but when it is dried up, it admits of no blending except to break. If the self does not understand this clear matter and keeps attached to procrastination, then why do you call yourself intelligent ? What foolishness is greater than this foolishness?
It may be that eating of a morsel of food prevents eating many morsels of food. If any physician tells you : Don't drink cold drink for three days, you will then get cured and shall be able to have cold drink for the rest of your life. If you use cold drink during these three days, you will fall in a great disease and shall not be able to have cold drink for the rest of your life". Then what will you do? Will you not then have patience for three days in order to enjoy cold drink for the rest of your life? This worldly life of yours is like these three days in comparison to the everlasting punishment of Hell and the happiness of Paradise. Is
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the difficulty of abstinence from evil desires more than the punishment of Hell and more lasting ? He who cannot have patience at dangers and difficulties, how can be forbear the punishment of the hereafter ? The man who is negligent in the application of hardship to himself is not free from two conditions-either hidden infidelity lies in him or open foolishness. The cause of hidden infidelity is his weak belief in the judgment Day, little knowledge in the magnitude of virtues and vices. The cause of open foolishness is your reliance on God's mercy and forgiveness, but you don't rely on Him for a piece of bread or the acquisition of wealth and adopt various means to gain wealth. For this ignorance, the Holy Prophet gave you the epithet of foolishness as he said : Intelligent is he who humbles himself and works for what will come after death and foolish is he who relies on Allah following his own whims and caprices.
6. 0 baser self! Woe to you I Let not this world deceive you. Think for yourself and it is not so necessary to think of others. Don't lose your most valuable time, all the number of your breaths is fixed. When a breath passes away from you, your life time is made short. Think as most valuable your health before your illness, your leisure before your engagement, your solvency before your poverty, your youth before your old age, your life before your death. Be prepared for the next world as far as you can.
7. 0 baser self, don't you prepare yourself for the whole winter season? Don't you gather warm cloth and other things necessary ? In that case, you don't sit idle relying on God but in matters of the next world, you keep idle relying on the forgiveness of God. Allah does not require your divine service for Himself. It is the only way of your salvation and it is necessary for yourself. Go says : He who does good, gets reward and he who does evil gets punishment. God is above the needs of the world.
8. 0 baser self, Alas, for you ! Shake off your ignorance. Be prepared for your next world with the help of this world, as your creation and your resurrection are like one single soul-31:28 (Q). God says : I can reproduce creation as I created it first. You will come to life as He created you first. You will find no change in the eternal laws of God.
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9. 0 baser self ! Alas for you! You have fallen in attachment towards the world. So it is difficult for you to separate yourself from it, although you are advancing gradually and slowly to get away from it. Still you are growing your love for the world. Now think, how you are unmindful of God's punishment and reward and how you are heedless of the dreadful events of the Resurrection Day. You don't believe in death which will separate your from your beloved and dear things. Don't your consider him foolish who intends to get out of the royal palace by one door but keeps his eyes fixed for a long time on a beautiful damsel and does not move ? Don't you know that this world is the dominion of kings in which you have got but a little share ? For this the Holy Prophet said : The Holy Spirit infused into my soul and said: Love what you like but you shall have to leave it. Do what you wish, but you must get its consequence. Live as you like, but you must face death.
10.0 baser self, Alas for you! Don't you know that behind the man who is addicted to the comforts of this life, there is death ? At the time of 'separating from them, the fire of repentance will be enkindled in his breast. He will be given a provision from the destroying poison but he will not know it. Don't you think over the persons who have passed away ? They built lofty buildings and lived in them for sometime and then passed away. Don't you see how God handed over his properties to his heirs and his enemies ? Don't you ponder how they saved money and amassed wealth, but they could not enjoy it ; and how they build lofty buildings but they could not live in them ? Rather they are now living in the bottom of earth. What foolishness is greater than this ? People are making them strong and firm but they must be separated from them. They are destroying their next world towards which they are advancing.
11.0 baser self, are you not ashamed that you are helping the foolishness of these fools and think that they are far-sighted people who will lead you towards these works ? Rather you are prone to follow them. You rather compare the prophets, the learned men and the wise men to these worldly people and think that they are more intelligent and wise.
12. 0 baser self, if you believe your wisdom and intelligence, what a wonderful thing is your affair? How great is your ignorance and how open is your ungratefulness. It is surprising
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how blind you are to these open matters. Perhaps you have been charmed by a desire of name and fame. Don't you think that these names and fames and wealth will come of no use to you? Do you think that whatever things are in this world are all obedient to you? Don't you think that after 50 years, you will not be in this world and those who obeyed you will not then live ? Soon there will come a time when your name even will not exist, you will not be remembered and those who remembered you will not remember you. The kings and emperors before you suffered the same fate. Do you now remember any one of them or hear the hidden treasures of any of them ? How can you purchase what will not last for more than 50 years in exchange of what will last for ever ? If the whole world comes to you, if the entire treasures of the world are given to you, can they save you from the jaws of death?
13.0 baser self, Alas for you if you do not renounce the world though attracted towards the next world. Why don't you forsake the worldly-drunk men though you know them bad ? There are sufferings for you if you keep company with them. Why don't you give up what will soon come to an end ? What is the matter with you that you cannot give up the little of this world, although most thing of the world left you ? You are going away from the company of the Prophets and the truthful though you know that they are the constant companions of the Almighty.
14. 0 baser self, Alas for you, you are facing destruction, you are facing death, and signs of warning have come to you. Who will pray for you after your death ? Who will fast for you after your death ? Who will incur pleasure of the Lord after your death ? Alas for you, Only some few days remain now of you life. This is your only means. During these days, you will acquire what will be useful for the next world. You have spent uselessly the greater portion of your life. You will have to repent for the rest of your life for what you have lost.
15. 0 baser self, don't you know that your end is promised, that grave is your house, that earth is your bed, that worms and insects are your companions and that grave dangers lie ahead of you ? 0 baser self, don't you know that the soldiers of death are waiting for you at the gate of your city. They have taken solemn vow that they will not move and inch without taking you ? Don't
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you know that a dead man expects to return to this world for a single day, so that he may do what he could not do before.
16.0 baser self, Alas for you ! Are you not ashamed that you adorn your outer figure for the people and are preparing yourself to fight against God by incurring great sins in private ? You are ashamed of the people, but not of your Creator. Does He look to you with an eye of hatred? You advise the people and call them towards God, while you are yourself fleeing away from God, You remind the people of God while you are forgetful of Him. 0 baser self, don't you know that you are a great sinner, or more despised than stool and urine of men? Stool and urine cannot purify another object. When your mind is not pure, how can you expect to purify others? Alas for you! Had you known your own nature, you would have surely known that for your sins, calamities befall on the people.
17.0 baser self, Alas for you! You have made yourself a beast of burden of the devil. He conducts you wherever he wishes and makes you a laughing stock of all. Inspite of this, you feel satisfied for your works, while there are so many calamities in them that if you get yourself released completely from him, still you will have got no profit in your hands. How can you remain satisfied with your works when your sins are great and numerous? Allah showered His curse on the devil only for one sin inspite of his divine service for 20 million years. He ejected him from paradise on account of one sin only though he was His chosen servant.
18. 0 baser self Alas for you! How great is your treachery, how great is your ignorance, how great is your courage for sins. How long you will break your promise. What, will you keep yourself engaged in worldly purists inspite of your many sins and faults? Will you not leave the world? Don't you look at the inhabitants of the graves, how they amassed property and wealth, what fine and lofty buildings they built, how high hopes they entertained? But all these have gone in vain. Their wealth have vanished like heaps of sands, their buildings have turned into cremation grounds. Don't you take lessons from these things? Do you think that they are called to the next world, while you will live forever in the world? Far from it, you are wasting your life since the day you were born. You are building lofty mansions in the world, while your grave will soon be prepared in
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this earth. Don't you fear that your life will be confined to your throat while the ambassadors of your Lord with their huge and ugly figures will appear before you and will give you good news of punishment? Your repentance at that time will be of no use.
19.0 baser self, it is a wonder that inspite of this you claim to have clear insight and knowledge. You take pleasure in your wealth and property, but you do not feel sorry in the reduction of the period of your life. If your wealth increases, but your life is shortened, what purpose will your wealth serve? You are drifting away from the next world, while the next world is advancing towards you. You are advancing towards the world, while the world is receding from you. How many of your relatives and friends you have seen who put off their duties expecting them to be done tomorrow, but they could not fulfil those duties. How many a hopeful one you have seen who thought that his hopes would be fulfilled tomorrow but he could not reach that time. You have seen many of your relatives and friends repenting at the time of their death. Will you not then turn although you have seen this? Fear the day on which God will take strict account of yourself and will examine your open and secret action.
20.0 baser self, now look with what body and mind you will face God and with what tongue you will reply to God's queries. Be prepared for the questions and also for just answers. Engage yourself in duties although the rest of this life of yours is short for everlasting life in the hereafter leaving this short span of life here. Go on working before strength for works comes to an end. o out of the world willingly and voluntarily as a free man before you are forcibly evicted from this world. Don't be overjoyed to think that your worldly fortunes will help you. How many a satisfied man is deceived and how many a deceived man is foolish. Alas for the man who cannot understand his good and bad.
21. 0 baler self, know that there is no exchange of religious acts, no exchange of Iman, no successor to body. He who climbs upon ignorance day and night, travels it along with it. Take lessons from him, because he who is blind to taking lessons, remains satisfied with Hell. If you are unwilling to take lessons owing to your hard mind, pray to God for help after praying regularly, fasting and praying Tahajjud. If you cannot do it, fast consequitively. If you cannot do it, curtail your company with
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the people and talk less with them. If you cannot even do it, accord good treatment to your relatives and show kindness to the orphans. If you cannot do it, know that God put a Seal to your heart and put it under lock and key. He covered its inside and outside with sins.
The great saint Wahab-bin-Monabbah said: When Allah
drove out Adam from Paradise to earth, he remained in such a
state that there were no tears in his eyes. On the seventh day, the
Almighty Allah enquired of him when he was extremely grieved,
disappointed, broken-hearted and downcast. Allah sent
revelation to him: 0 Adam, why do I see you in such mood? He
said: 0 my Lord, my danger is severe, my sin has disgraced me and driven me out of the presence of my Lord. I have come from an abode of honour to an abode of misfortune, from an abode of fortune to an abode of sorrow, from an abode of peace to one of turmoil, from an everlasting abode to a temporary abode, from a permanent abode to one of death and destruction. Why shall I not weep over my sins? Then Allah sent revelation to him: 0 Adam, have I not selected you for Myself? Have I not allowed you to live in My abode? Have I not honoured you with My honour? Have I not created you with My own hand? Have I not infused into you from My spirit? Have I not compelled My angels to make obeisance to you? You have disobeyed My orders, you have forgotten your promise with Me, you have incurred My displeasure. By oath of My Honour and Majesty, if I fill up the world with those who worship Me and obey Me like you, and then they disobey Me, I will surely include them among the transgressors. At that time Adam wept for three hundred years.
These are the ways to pray to the Lord and to rebuke one's baser self. The object of invocation of the saints is to seek pleasure of the Lord. The object of rebuking baser self is to be careful of it. He who neglects to pray to God and to rebuke his baser self does not look after his baser self with the result that Allah will not be pleased with him.
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