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O SON

HUJJAT-UL-ISLAM Al-IMAM Al-GHAZALI

The first Turkish edition of this celebrated book of 'Ilm-i-hal, which Allahu ta'ala has blessed us with the lot of printing in Latin alphabet, was accomplished in 960 [A.D. 1552] by hadrat Sulaiman bin Jeza. This book, a major part of which has been borrowed from the book Ihya-ul-'Ulum by Hujjat-ul-islam Imam-i-Ghazali and the rest from other authentic religious books, was by mistake entitled Hujjat-ul-islam, which caused it to be confused with Hujjat-ul-islam Imam-i-Ghazali's book Eyyuhelveled (Eyyu-h-al-walad), so that most people think that the version is a Turkish translation of that book.

The book Eyyuhel Veled is in Arabic and copies of it exist in our various libraries, e.g. in Belediye Kutubhanesi at Bayezit, with serial numbers 812 and 941. Its Turkish version as well exists in libraries, for instance in Nuriosmaniyye Kutubhanesi. We have translated into Turkish some parts from a Persian version, which is registered with the serial number 97-1437 in the Eminiyye section of the Umumi Kutubhane in Bursa.

If any person thanks or praises any other person in any way at any place at any time for any reason, this thanksgiving completely belongs to Allahu ta'ala by rights. For He, alone, is the One who creates everything, educates and brings up everything, causes and sends every sort of goodness. He, alone, is the owner of power and might.

May all benedictions and goodness be over Muhammad 'alaihis-salam', His Messenger and beloved darling, and over those who are close and beloved to him and over all his Ashab! Hadrat Muhammad Ghazali, a great Imam, a great leader of Muslims, an authentic document proving that Muslims are right and correct, (may Allahu ta'ala have plenty of mercy on him), was born in the city of Tus in the Hijri year 450, and passed away there in 505 [A.D. 1111]. One day one of his disciples, who had served him for many years and learned all kinds of knowledge from him, thought to himself, "For all these years I have endeavored hard and learned a lot of things. I wonder what part of all this knowledge is the most necessary and the most useful for me? What is the knowledge that will come to my rescue in the Hereafter, which will be my companion in grave when all my friends go away and leave me alone, and will save me on the Rising Day when mothers will forsake their children, brothers will run away from one another, worldly friends will overlook each other and everybody will be in a flurry of saving his head? And what knowledge is unnecessary in the world and in the Hereafter? I wish I knew it and discard it? For our Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' stated, 'May Allahu ta'ala protect us against learning useless knowledge, against a heart who does not fear Allahu ta'ala, against a nafs that will not be satiated with worldlies, against eyes that will not weep for Allah, and against a prayer that will not deserve acceptance' ." After thinking for a long time, he decided to learn the answers to his questions and wrote a letter to his teacher Hujjat-ul-islam Imam-i- Ghazali (may Allahu ta'ala fill his grave with nur). Begging his teacher to pronounce benedictions over him, he added, "The answer to this question of mine is written in your books, i.e. in Ihya-ul-'Ulum, Kimya-yi-saadat, Tafsirs, Hadith-i-Erbain, and Minhaj. However, will you please write me a concise, clear and useful answer so that I shall read it every morning and act accordingly."

Hujjat-ul-islam Imam-i-Ghazali wrote the following answer and sent it:


FASL


1- O my beloved son and faithful friend! May Allahu ta'ala give you a long, long life and bless you with the fortune of spending your lifetime worshipping and following the way He has prescribed! All sorts of teachings have been taken from our Prophet Muhammad 'alaihis-salam'. Any teaching not coming from him will be of no use. If you have not taken any of these pieces of advice that have spread all over the world, why have you stayed with me and studied with me so many years?

2- One of the worldwide teachings of our Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' is this:

"An omen signifying that Allahu ta'ala will not have mercy on a born servant of His and that He will treat him with wrath and torment is his busying himself with things that will not be useful in this world or in the Hereafter and his killing his time in useless occupations. If a person spends one hour of his lifetime doing something disliked by Allahu ta'ala, any degree of grief he would feel over it would not be too much. If a person is over forty years old and his pious deeds, i.e. thawabs are not more than his wrongdoing, i.e. sins, let him prepare himself for Hell."

3- This advice would be enough for those who understand well the meaning of this hadith ash-Sharif.

4- Advice is easy to give and difficult to take. For advice is bitter and harams taste sweet to those who follow their sensuous desires and run after worldly pleasures. As a matter of fact, Allahu ta'ala purports in Qur'an al-karim, "Make war with disbelievers! War will be bitter and troublesome for you. Things that come difficult to you, that is, commandments of Allahu ta'ala, are beneficial, good for you. Things that come easy to you and which you like, i.e. harams, are harmful and bad for you. Allahu ta'ala knows those that are beneficial, and you do not know them." Advice will have no effect on people like you, who learn useless things called knowledge and disguised in knowledge and who do not think of their life in the Hereafter but learn knowledge in order to make a show of superiority to others and only for worldly advantages instead of learning it in order to be useful to yourselves and others in this world and in the Hereafter. You think that knowledge without practice will save you and that having knowledge will exempt you from religious practices. Your case is an appalling paradox. For a learned person ought to know that mere knowledge without any practices will be harmful to him in the Hereafter and he will not be able to put forward the excuse that he did not know. Have you not heard our Prophet's 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' hadith ash-Sharif? He states, "On the Rising Day the most vehement torment shall be inflicted on the scholar who has not benefited from his knowledge." One of our superiors 'rahmatullahi alaih' saw Junaid-i- Baghdadi 'qaddas-Allahu ruhah' in his dream and asked how he was doing (after death). Junaid answered, "All my statements, kashfs, isharats, that is, all my Zahiri and batini knowledge came to naught; they were all gone. I had performed a namaz of two rakats one night. That namaz came to my rescue."

5- Do not be slack in your practices, worships! Do not forget states and knowledge pertaining to heart! Your actions should be agreeable with your knowledge and your spiritual states should be in concordance with Tasawwuf.

Be it known very well that (religious) knowledge will not save a person unless it is put into practice. Let me clarify this point with an example for you: Supposing someone fully armed suddenly met a lion in the mountains. No matter how brave and how good he might be in using a gun and a sword, could he save himself from this lion unless he used his weapons? He could not, as you, too, know very well. By the same token, however deeply learned a person may be, his knowledge will come to naught if he does not act upon his knowledge. Another example is about a doctor who becomes ill himself. Supposing he diagnosed his illness and knew a medicine which really would cure his illness, sheer knowledge would not cure him unless he took the medicine. You know this very well, too. The poet says:


You may have made thousands of physics;
To no avail, unless you use them.


However much a person may have learned and however many books he may have read, all this will be an exercise in futility unless he practices what he knows.

6- Unless you earn mercy of Allahu ta'ala by doing His commandments and acting in the way He likes, you shall not attain His compassion. An ayat al-karima purports, "One will attain happiness only by working and worshipping." If someone should say that this ayat al-karima was changed by another ayat, may the person who makes such an allegation be changed, demolished! If you assert that this ayat was changed, what will you say about the other ayats, then? An ayat al-karima purports, "Let those who wish to attain Allah's compassion do His commandments." Another ayat al-karima purports, "They shall attain the recompense for what they have done in the world." Another ayat al-karima purports, "Those who have iman and do the worships and avoid the harams shall certainly enter Gardens of Paradise and attain blessings." Another ayat al-karima purports, "Paradise is only for those who have iman and do the worships." Another ayat al-karima purports, "Those who obey Allahu ta'ala and His Messengers shall have a share in the blessings that shall be given to Prophets and to Siddiqs and to Martyrs and to Pious Muslims in the Hereafter." Our Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' states in a hadith ash-Sharif, "Islam has been founded on five fundamentals: First, to believe in Allahu ta'ala and that Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' is His Messenger; second, to perform namaz five times daily; third, to give zakat to poor Muslims once yearly, that is, to give one-fortieth of one's property; fourth, to fast every day in the month of Ramadan-i-Sharif; fifth, to go to Mecca al-mukarrama and perform Hajj once in one's lifetime." He states in another hadith ash- Sharif, "Iman means to believe in six facts through heart and to express this belief with tongue and to like the commandments of Allahu ta'ala." Iman comes into being by believing and expressing and it shines into perfection by worshipping. Imam-i-azam Abu Hanifa 'rahmatullahi alaih' [80-150, in Baghdad], leader of the Ahl as-sunnat and the greatest scholar in the Islamic religion, states in his will: "Iman is to express with the tongue and to believe with the heart." The documents showing that Islam's practices are necessary are as numerous as you could tally them. Yet, alas, you are sound asleep! If, from all these statements of mine, you infer that, "Then, men will enter Paradise on account of their own deeds and not as a mercy, as a blessing of Allahu ta'ala," then, you must not have understood my words at all. I mean, men will enter Paradise through Allah's kindness and generosity. However, if a person does not prepare himself for attaining Allah's compassion by obeying and worshipping Him, he will not deserve His compassion and therefore His mercy and kindness will not reach him. As a matter of fact, an ayat al- karima purports, "My Compassion is for muhsins, that is, for those who accept My Commandments and obey them." No one can enter Paradise unless Compassion of Allahu ta'ala reaches him. If it should be said that entering Paradise depends only on (having) iman; yes, it is true. Nevertheless, not before having weathered a considerable number of dangers. A person who does not go to the next world with iman shall not enter Paradise. Entering Paradise requires moving to the Hereafter and surviving the other dangers. And then one will attain only the lowest grades of Paradise.

7- You have to know very well that you shall not obtain any thawab unless you work and follow the way shown by the religion! Once there was an Israelite who had been worshipping for many years. Allahu ta'ala wished to show his worships to angels. He sent him an angel and had the angel ask him: "How long are you going to go on worshipping like this? Haven't you already deserved (entering) Paradise?" The worshipper answered: "My duty is to act like a born servant. He has the Commanding Post." Upon hearing this answer, the angel said: "Ya Rabbi! Thou art the Omniscient. Thou hast heard how Thine born servant hath answered." A hadith-i-qudsi purports, "That born servant of Mine, lowly and humiliated as he is, will not turn away from Us; so We, being Generous and Compassionate, shall certainly not forsake him. O Mine angels! Be witnesses: I have forgiven him!"

8- Behold what our Prophet Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' states: "Before you are called to account in the Hereafter, call yourselves to account in the world; and before you are weighed, weigh yourselves!" Ali Murtada 'radi-allahu anh' states: A person who expects to attain Paradise without endeavoring and taking pains is building castles in the air. And a person who claims to attain by working ought to exert himself and shoulder the burden of worships. Hasan Basri 'rahmatullahi alaih', one of hadrat Ali's 'radi-allahu anh' disciples, states: It is a grave sin to ask for Paradise from Allahu ta'ala without worshipping. One of our superiors states, "A person whose knowledge is useful is a person who ceases not from worshipping but from estimating the thawab he will earn by worshipping." Our master the Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' states, "A wise person will crush his nafs and work for (earning) what he will need in the Hereafter. And an idiot will run after the desires of his nafs and then pray to Allahu ta'ala to take him to Paradise."

9- You have sacrificed many a night and foregone many a luscious sleep for the sake of learning and reading books. I cannot see why you should have ruined yourself so badly? If your learning was intended to hoard worldly advantages, to make a fame, to obtain a position or to make a show of superiority to other Muslims, shame upon you! You have made a big mistake and thrown yourself into torment! However, if your purpose was to help Islam and Muhammad's 'alaihis-salam' religion and to purify your morals and to tame your nafs, how lucky for you! You have prepared a lovely eternal future for yourself. The future to be prepared is to attain eternal felicity. A distich


Sleepless nights not intended for thineself are in vain;
Crying for others' sake is only fruitless pain.


10- Live as you please! Yet this life of yours will not last long; you will certainly die one day. You will certainly part with those flavors which you think of day and night and which you hold so fast to. Whatever you are fond of in the world, you will have to bid farewell to all! Do whatever you can! But do not forget that you will have to account for all your doings!

11- It would mean to waste one's lifetime to try to make the tenets of belief agreeable and sympathetic to mind, to dispute with ignorant and irreligious people and to grapple with their corrupt thoughts, to try to earn money before learning Qur'an al-karim, how to perform namaz and ablution, how to fast, what are fard and what are haram, or to busy oneself with such studies as medicine, engineering, literature and law in order to surpass others financially.

I swear on Allahu ta'ala that I have read in Isa's 'alaihis-salam' Injil (original, pristine copy of the Bible): After a (dead) person is put into his coffin, Allahu ta'ala will ask him forty questions until he is left into his grave. The first question will be, "O My born servant! As long as you lived, you adorned yourself for the world and learned many things so that others should like and respect you. Did you learn My commandments and do what I asked you and avoid what I prohibited?"

12- Allahu ta'ala asks you every day: "Why do you work so hard for others? Do you not see that you are covered from head to foot with My goodness and blessings?" But you do not hear this. Like a child who is too preoccupied in its playing to notice what is going on around it, you have been made deaf and blind by worldly pleasures and sensuous desires!


13- It is insanity to learn knowledge and then not to use it. And it is equally wrong and unacceptable to practice (religious commandments) without knowing (them). A line:


Acquire knowledge, and never be negligent in worships!
These two will save you from burning in fire.


Knowledge that does not protect you from sins and does not encourage you to worship today, will not protect you from Hell fire on the morrow.

If you cannot have your past sins forgiven by worshipping, in the Rising Day, when your hand and tongue become incapable, you will be one of those who will say, "Ya Rabbi! Send us back to the world. We shall spend all our lives worshipping." And you will be answered, "O idiot! You have come from there!"

14- You should work earnestly, put up a vehement opposition against the nafs, which is an enemy of Allahu ta'ala, and subjugate it and prepare yourself in a way as if you were going to be lying in the grave the next moment. Those who have gone to the next world before you are wondering when and in what state you are going to join them. Come to your senses and do not go there without any resources! Abu Bakr as-Siddiq 'radi-allahu anh' stated: The human body is either like a bird's cage: when the cage is opened the bird will fly away; or like a stable: it is opened to put some burden on the animal, which means trouble for the animal. Think! Which one of these are you? If you are a bird's cage, you will fly up as soon as you hear the voice saying, "Attain to thine Rabb!" As a matter of fact, it is stated in a hadith ash-Sharif, "The Arsh shook upon Sad bin Muaz's 'radi-allahu anh' death." If, - may Allahu ta'ala protect from being so -, you are like a stable, that is, if you are one of those people about whom Allahu ta'ala states, "Because they do not consider what they are going to undergo, they are like animals, or rather, lower (than animals)," do not doubt that you will fall from your dwelling place down to the abyss, that is, straight into Hell. One day hadrat Hasan-i-Basri 'rahmatullahi alaih' took a glass of cool sherbet in his hand and was about to drink it, when he suddenly swooned and dropped the glass onto the floor. When he recovered they asked him what had happened. He explained, "When I remembered how those people burning in Hell will call to their friends in Paradise and ask them to 'Give us some from the water you drink,' I was so afraid that I almost lost my mind."

15- If knowledge alone would be sufficient and there were no need for worships, it would not be announced towards morning every night, "Isn't there anyone to ask, so that I shall give? Isn't there anyone to make tawba, so that I shall forgive?" One day Abdullah bin 'Umar was commended in our Prophet's 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' presence. The Prophet stated, "He is a good person. He would be a better one if he performed namaz of tahajjud [namaz at midnight]." At some other time he advised to one of the Ashab: "O...! Do not sleep too long! Sleeping too long will cause deprivation on the Rising Day."

16- The ayat al-karima, "Perform tahajjud at night," is a command. The ayat, "Make istighfar at the time of Seher," is a shukr (thanksgiving). In other words, Allahu ta'ala praises those who make istighfar. Those who make istighfar at the time of Seher will also attain the thawab for dhikr. Our Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' states, "Allahu ta'ala loves three kinds of voices: the voice of those who read (or recite) Qur'an al-karim respectfully and with tajwid, (that is, following the rules of pronunciation); the voice of those who make istighfar at the time of Seher; the voice of those who make dhikr of Allahu ta'ala." Sufyan-i-Sawri 'rahmatullahi alaih' [95-161, in Basra] stated: Allahu ta'ala makes a wind which blows mixing with the voices making istighfar and dhikr at the time of Seher. He stated at another time: Every night a voice saying, "Aren't there people who (would like to) worship Allahu ta'ala? Let them get up," suffuses the whole universe. 'Abids (worshippers) get up and worship until Seher. When the time of Seher comes, a voice says again, "Aren't there people who (would like to) make istighfar?" These people get up and make istighfar. When dawn breaks and it is time for morning prayer, a voice says, "Will none of the unaware get up?" So these people get up like the dead rising from their graves.

17- Loqman Hakim 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaih' gave the following advice to his son: My son, I wonder if the rooster is wiser than you are! He makes dhikr and tasbih every morning, whereas you sleep. The following two couplets would be appropriate at this point:


In the darkness of the night, pigeon in the tree
Cries out dhikr; and, oh, alas, as for me;

I am so fast asleep, shame on me! If I loved Thee,
Before pigeons, the earliest mourner I would be.


18- Essence of advice is to explain what it means to worship and obey Allahu ta'ala. Taat and 'ibadat means to adapt oneself to our Prophet Muhammad 'alaihis-salam'. In other words, it means to modify all one's speech and behavior so as to be in compliance with his commandments and prohibitions. That is, whatever one says or does and whatever one does not do or say should be intended to carry out his commandments. You should know very well that the deeds which you perform in the name of worships are not worships at all, perhaps they are sins, if they are not His commandments. This is the fact, even if those deeds are in the form of namaz or fasting. In fact, as you know, it is sinful and an act of disobedience to fast on the first day of 'Iyd of Ramadan and/or on any or all of the four days of 'Iyd of Qurban. Although fasting is a kind of worship, it is sinful (to fast on those days) because it is not a commandment. Likewise, it is sinful also to perform namaz in clothes or at a place usurped from others. Although namaz is a kind of worship, it becomes an act of disobedience because it is not a commandment (to usurp others' clothes or place in order to perform namaz). Likewise, it is a kind of worship and causes thawab to play and joke and entertain oneself with a girl with whom one is married through nikah (marriage contract prescribed by Islam). It is stated in a hadith ash-Sharif that there are many blessings in this act, although what is done is merely entertainment. Yet it causes much thawab because it is a commandment. As it is seen, to worship does not mean only to perform namaz or to fast. To worship means to obey Islam's commandments. For the same reason, namaz and fasting become worships when they are performed compatibly with Islam's prescription.

19- Then, adapt all your words, all your actions to Islam! For all sorts of learnings and studies, that are disagreeable to Islam, whosoever does them, are deviations from the right way and will incur estrangement from Allahu ta'ala. It is for this reason that our Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' revoked, replaced the teachings and customs that were the continuations of the era previous to him. Then, one should not open one's mouth without Islam's permission, and you must know very well that the way shown by Allah cannot be followed under the guidance of the knowledge you have acquired. You must know also that this way cannot be followed, either, under the guidance of the non-Islamic statements made by those ignorant people who name themselves Sufis and mystics and who claim to be followers of the superior leaders of Tasawwuf and yet who would fail to explain the meanings of their own statements. Only those who carry on a struggle against the nafs can follow this way. The desires and lusts of the nafs should not be allowed to overflow Islam's limits. This way cannot be followed with hollow words. Words and teachings that have no place in Islam and an oblivious heart mixed with lust are symptoms of wickedness and (that one is heading towards) a disaster.

20- You ask questions some of which can be explained neither by talking nor by writing. Their answers are known only by those who reached and obtained those levels. It is impossible for those who have not obtained those levels to know them. For they are blessings which can be known by tasting. Flavors that can be known only by enjoying them cannot be explained or described by telling or writing about them. Sweet, sour, bitter or salty tastes cannot be depicted by writing.

21- Supposing a sexually impotent man asked a married person what kind of a pleasure it was to have sexual intercourse, the answer he would deserve is this: "I knew that you were sexually impotent. Now I know also that you are an idiot. This flavor can be known only after it is tasted. It cannot be described to those who do not know it by telling or writing about it."

22- Some of your questions were of this sort. As for those that can be explained in words and writings; their answers are written in detail in my books Ihya-ul-'ulum, Kimya-yi-saadat, Minhaj, and others. Read these books of mine! However, I shall write shortly for the nonce.

You want to know what a person who wishes to follow the way guiding to Allahu ta'ala ought to do first. First of all, he will have to have a pure credo, an iman agreeable with the teachings of the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat. Next, tawba-i-nasuh, that is, making tawba for your sins and promising not to commit them again, is necessary. Thirdly, you should cleanse yourself from all sorts of debts by paying back all the rights belonging to creatures or at least by pleasing the owners of these rights in such a way that they forgive you. The fourth condition is to learn Islam well enough to carry out the commandments of Allahu ta'ala. It is not wajib for everyone to learn more of Islam than will be necessary for himself. Other branches of knowledge should be learned as much as necessary. Necessity in this respect varies, depending on each person's art, profession and specialization. The following story will help you grasp this better.

Story: Hadrat Shibli 'rahmatullahi alaih' [247-334, in Baghdad] states: I studied with four hundred teachers and learned four thousand hadith ash-Sharifs from them. Of all these hadiths, I chose one and adapted myself to it, leaving the others aside. For I saw that it would suffice for me to attain salvation and eternal happiness and that it embraced all sorts of advice. The hadith ash-Sharif I chose is this: Our Prophet 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' says to a Sahabi: "Work for the world as much as (you will need for) the length of time you will spend here! Work for the Hereafter as much as (it will be necessary for) your endless stay there! Obey Allahu ta'ala as well as you need to! Commit sins as much as you will endure (the punishment you will be given for them in) Hell!"

23- This hadith ash-Sharif shows that you do not need knowledge more than necessary. For it is fard-i-kifaya to learn knowledge. It is not fard-i-ayn. Others have done this job, thus relieving you of your burden. You will understand this better if you read the following story:

Story: Hatim-i-Asam [He was born in Balh and passed away in Tirmuz in 237 (A.D. 852)] was one of the disciples of Shaqiq-i-Balhi [passed away in 174]. One day Shaqiq-i-Balhi asked him, "How long have you been coming here and listening to me?" "Thirty-three years." "What have you learned, benefited from me during this long time?" "I have benefited (learned) eight things." Upon hearing this, Shaqiq was appalled and said, "Shame on you, o Hatim! I have spent all my time for you, and you have not benefited more than eight things from me." Hatim said, "O my teacher! It is the truth, and I do not want more. They will be enough for me. For I know very well that escaping disasters in the world and in the Hereafter and attaining eternal happiness will be possible with these eight pieces of knowledge." His teacher said, "Tell me what they are. I want to know them, too."

Hatim said, "First, I observed other people and saw that everybody has chosen an object to turn his affections towards and that most of these objects, like faithless lovers, abandon their friends to their fate after accompanying them for some time, until they are on their deathbed, dead or buried. No one would accompany a person as far as into his grave or share the troubles he is likely to face in the grave. Upon seeing this fact, I deliberated and said to myself: 'I must choose myself such a friend who will come with me to my grave and accompany me there, too.' After searching for a long time, I saw that no other friend would be as darling and as faithful as the worships performed towards Allahu ta'ala. I chose them as friends and clung fast to them."

Upon hearing this, Shaqiq said, "Very well done, o Hatim! Tell me the second benefit, too. Let me know what it is."

Hatim said: "O my teacher! The second benefit is this: I observed other people and saw that everybody was running after the sensuous desires and pleasures of the nafs. This reminded me of the blessed meaning of an ayat al-karima, which purports, 'Verily, those who fear Allahu ta'ala and desist from (the sensuous desires of) their nafs shall enter Paradise.' I pondered hard. All my learnings, experiences, as well as my mind and conscience, agreed on the fact that Qur'an al-karim is thoroughly correct and came to a full belief in this truth. Knowing my own nafs as a foe, I resolved that I would never believe it and began to pursue a course of rejecting its desires and lusts. Eventually, I saw that the nafs, who had been shunning worships, was now beginning to run towards worshipping Allahu and cease from its passions." When Shaqiq heard these, he said, "May Allah bless you with goodness. You have done very well. Now let me hear the third benefit.

Hatim 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaih' said, "My third benefit is this: I observed other people and saw that everybody in the world has gotten himself into trouble of some sort striving to stash away worldlies. Then I recollected an ayat al-karima, which purports, 'Whatever of worldly property you hold fast to and (try so hard to) retain shall not stay with you, but (all that belongs to this world) shall leave you. Only the goodness and worships you have performed for the sake of Allah shall abide with you.' All the things I had collected for worldly purposes I spent for the sake of Allah; I meted them out to the poor! In other words, I lent them to Allahu ta'ala so that they should remain (in my possession) eternally!" Shaqiq-i-Balhi 'qaddas-Allahu ta'ala sirrah ul 'aziz' said, "You have done so well and how beautiful is the way you put it, o Hatim! Now let me hear the fourth benefit."

Hatim 'radi-allahu ta'ala anh' said, "My fourth benefit is this: I observed other people and saw that they loathed one another. I knew that it was because they envied one another and coveted one another's position, possessions and knowledge, which reminded me of an ayat al-karima, which purports, 'We have divided all their substantial and spiritual sustenance in the world and given them their shares.' So I realized that kinds of sustenance such as knowledge, property, rank position and children which were to be allotted to everybody's share had been preordained in eternity, that no one could do anything about it, that it was necessary to work since He (Allahu ta'ala) had commanded us to work, and that jealousy, alongside its multiple harms, would be quite futile, contented myself with the distribution Allahu ta'ala had foreordained in eternity and with what my Rabb would send me in return for my work, and thus became friendly with all people around me, liked other people and was liked by them." Upon hearing these, Shaqiq said, "So well done and so well said. Now tell me the fifth benefit, o Hatim!"

Hatim said, "My fifth benefit: I observed other people and saw that most people thought that man's honor and value as a human being lay in occupying a commanding post and seeing how other people needed him and humiliated themselves in front of him and that they boasted with such things. Some of them, on the other hand, thought that the human value consisted of abundant property and progeny and boasted about possessing these qualities. And others, thinking that the honor of humanity was in spending one's property and money on things that would please and entertain other people, deprived themselves of utilizing their possessions at places and in manners prescribed by Allahu ta'ala and that in addition they were proud of this folly of theirs. I remembered an ayat al-karima, which purports, 'The most honorable and the most valuable one among you is the one who fears Allahu ta'ala very much' Realizing that people were wrong, I dedicated myself to taqwa. In order to attain the forgiveness and blessings of Allahu ta'ala and fearing Him, I did not go out of Islam and always avoided harams." Shaqiq's response to these words was: "Very well said. Say the sixth benefit."

Hatim said, "My sixth benefit is: I observed other people. I saw that they coveted one another's property, status and knowledge, parted into inimical groups and parties. I thought of an ayat al-karima which purports, 'Your enemy is the devil. That is, the enemy is those who will strive to misguide you out of Islam. Know them as your enemy.' I knew Qur'an al-karim as the true word, and the devil and those who like him tried to mislead Muslims as enemies; I never believed their words or followed them. I did not worship their idols. I obeyed Allahu ta'ala's commandments. I never strayed from the way shown by the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat. I believed that the only way to salvation, the true way is the Sunni way. As a matter of fact, an ayat al-karima purports, 'O you sons of Adam! Did I not say: Do not worship the devil, and (did I not) make you promise! Obey and worship Me! This is the only way to salvation.' So I did not listen to those who would try to deceive Muslims. I did not cease from the books of the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat, who are the guides of the way taught by Muhammad 'alaihis-salam'." Upon these statements, Shaqiq said, "So well done. Now say the seventh benefit."

Hatim said, "My seventh benefit is: People are working in order to eat and drink and earn money. This is blinding them to harams and dubious practices and making them insensitive to humiliations and insults. Observing this made me recollect an ayat al-karima, which purports, 'The earth does not carry a living being whose sustenance is not sent by Allahu ta'ala'. I knew that I was one of those living beings and Qur'an al-karim is absolutely correct. Placing my reliance on His promise to send me my sustenance, which He would definitely send, I worked as He commands." Hearing these, Shaqiq said, "How lovely you have done and how beautiful are the facts you express. Now say the eighth benefit, too."

Hatim 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaih' said, "The eighth benefit I derived is this: I observed other people and saw that everybody had someone or something to put his trust in. Some people relied on their property and possessions, some depended upon their crafts and earnings and some on their ranks and positions, while others pinned their hopes on beings that were mere human beings like themselves. So I recollected an ayat al-karima, which purports, 'Allahu ta'ala shall always come to the rescue of those who rely only on Him.' Then I always and only relied on Allahu ta'ala in whatever I did. I worked and held fast to (His) law of causation because He commanded so. However, I relied only on Him, asked only from Him, and expected only from Him."

Upon hearing these explanations, Shaqiq 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaih' said, "O Hatim! May Allahu ta'ala come to your rescue in whatever you do! I studied hadrat Musa's Taurah (Torah), hadrat Isa's Injil (Bible), hadrat Dawud's Zabur (Psalms) and hadrat Muhammad's 'alaihim-us-salawatu wa-s-salam' Furqan (Qur'an). I saw that these four heavenly books are based on these eight fundamentals. Those who follow these fundamentals and establish a life style based on them will have adapted themselves to these four books and performed their commandments."

Murshid-i-kamil


In appearance, he seems to need being served;
Innerly, though, he pays himmat to those who deserved.

It will sure be misleading to judge by appearance;
Receiving the himmat requires seeing the essence.

Haqq ta'ala has His beloved ones concealed;
Their inner with appearance He covered.

Their appearance is the Shariat's mirror;
Haqq's Attentions will be reflected in their inner.

The lover will get from afflictions such pleasure
As will not be in anything, be itself pleasure.

People unaware will not believe this; yet,
In Qur'an Haqq ta'ala says so by ayat.

If a person attends a Wali's luminous sohbat,
His heart will open, nurs will his inner illuminate.

Desires of the nafs will no more titilate him;
Secrets of this way will at once open before him.

Adhere to the Shariat, then search for a Murshid!
Cannot find one? Then love is enough if you are candid!

Those who have attained these two blessings,
Will receive fayd from the heart of Murshid's.

Haloes gushing out from the Messenger's heart,
Will flow into them due to loving regard.

Abd-ul-hakim Arwasi was a Wali;
His words and manners was its testimony.

From Sayyid Fehim he took over caliphate;
In his every behavior was seen karamat.

Do not think that the Murshid is hard to recognize!
His behavior will always be Shariat-wise!

If a person is without the Shariat in deeds and statements,
Quick, run away from him, whatever stories he invents!

Shariat prescribes how deeds are to be done;
Shariat and Iman make up Islam; the rest, none.

Iman means to believe, Shariat means practices;
Being Muslim requires these two performances.

Believers have parted into groups, seventy-three;
Ahl as-sunnat is the single right group, blame-free! HizmetBooks 1998

Origin of Tasawwuf: Origin of sufism in realtion to islamic sacred law (shariah) and historical background. An excellent overview of the essence of sufism as well.

Qualified man of Tasawwuf: Distinguishes the true men of tasawwuf and their nature from the devils of deception.

Tasawwuf and Shariah: An approach to the ignorants of sufism who snort at it without knowledge from the perspective of scholars of classical islam.

Islamic spirituality: Understanding of the islamic spirituality; a remedy for wounds of contemporary muslim ummah.