REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
CONTENTS OF BOOK III
THE BOOK OF DESTRUCTIVE EVILS
Evils of erroneous belief 280
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Destructive Evils
Those whose hearts lie in error lie in darkness in the bottom of fathomless ocean. They have got no light as God has not given them light. He opened the breast of those men for Islam whom He guided to the straight path and straightened the hearts of those who are in error. These errors are many. There are errors of four classes of men- (1) error of. the learned, (2) error of the religious men, (3) error of the Sofas. (4) and error of the rich. God says : let not the world's life deceive you and let not error lead you to misguidance. The Prophet said : How good is the restraint of the wise from sleep and food. Hov~11o they baffle the sleep and labour of the fools. Godfear and I'man to the weight of a mustard seed are better than earth full of divine services of those who are in error. The Prophet said : Wise is he who humbles himself and does good deeds for what will occur after death and fool is he who follows his low desires and entertains hope against God. Error is a kind of ignorance. So the traditions regarding ignorance is applicable to error. To believe a thing and to see it contrary to it is ignorance. Error is a kind of ignorance but all kinds of ignorance are not errors. The thing which brings peace of mind consistent with low desire is error. Nature is inclined to it entertaining doubt and falling in devil's snares. He who believes out of vain doubt that he is in the good path of worldly and next worldly matters is full of errors. Many men think that they are on the right path, but they are in error and live in fool's paradise. Their errors are of different kinds' classes and degrees.
ERRORS OF THE UNBELIEVERS: This world's life keeps the unbelievers in error as they think that cash is better than credit. They say : Take in hand what you get in cash and leave the credit empty. What is the use of hearing the distant bugle? There is wide distance between cash and credit. The meaning of cash is this world and of credit the next world. They say : This world which is certain is better than the next world which is uncertain and doubtful. This world's joys and enjoyments and wealth and riches are subjects of certain faith and the next worldly gifts are objects of doubt. So we shall not give up what is certain for what is doubtful and uncertain. This is the idea of the devil as he said I am better than Adam as I have been created of fire and Adam of
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dust. God says of this error in the following verse : They are those who purchased this world's life in exchange of the next world. So punishment will not be made light from them and they will not be helped-2:286Q.
The medicine of this erroneous opinion is faith and proof Regarding the medicine of faith, it is to believe in these words of God : What is near you will come to an end and what is near God will last. God says : What is this world is better and ever- lasting. God says : The next world is better and ever-lasting. God says What is this world except means of deception ? God says : Let not this world's life deceive you. The Prophet gave this news to the unbelievers and as a result some of them took faith in these principles They did not want proof from him. They only believed that he is the messenger of God and His apostle and Prophet. This is just like the belief of a son to the words of his father without proof. The father says to his son : To go to the school is better than sports and plays. The boy who does not believe his father is ruined.
MEDICINE OF PROOF: Proof is another medicine of this erroneous idea. A thing is known by proof. Every proof is a kind of idea in mind and this idea generates peace in mind though he does not know it. There are two basic matters of the idea raised by the devil. One of the basic matters is that this world is cash and the next world is credit and this is correct. Another basic matter is that cash is better than credit. This idea is to be enquired into. If cash is equal to credit, then credit is better. The misguided unbeliever spends one coin for getting credit of ten coins. He does not say that cash is better than credit and why he should spoil one coin for ten coins. Similarly if a physician prohibits a patient to eat good delicious food and fruits, the patient for fear of future trouble refrains from enjoying them. It appears from this that he remains satisfied with future affairs giving up the present or with credit after giving up cash. The merchants get on board the sea and travel many countries, so that they may gain profit in future in their business. To them the future ten rupees are better than the present one rupees. Similarly the treasures and enjoyments of the present world are less and short lived than those of the next world. Man can expect to live at most for one hundred years. But that is not even one portion out one crore portions. It appears from this that we should taken one crore portions after giving up one portion.
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Now if you look to the enjoyments of this world, you will find them mixed with troubles and calamities but the enjoyments , of the next world is without any trouble and calamity. So this word of the unbeliever that cash is better than credit or the present is better than future is erroneous, incorrect and deceptive. The cause of this error is that he believed it on hearing from the people. Besides he thinks that certainty is better than doubt and that this world is certain and the next world is doubtful. This idea creates greater confusion of or the two basic matters mentioned above are rendered void, as certain matter is better than uncertain matter if they are equal. If it is contrary, the matter stands otherwise. The merchants undertake labour on certain faith, but they are not sure about profit. Similarly a learned man undertakes efforts on sure faith but he is uncertain in gaining rank of learning. A hunter is certain about' hunting, but uncertain about getting game. So to give up sure matters for petting uncertain matters becomes necessary. But a treadesman says : If 1 do not carry on trade, I shall remain hungry and my loss would be great. If I carry on'trade, I may suffer loss but I gain much. Similarly a patient swallows bitter pills and he is not certain about his recovery from illness but he is certain about the bitterness of the medicine. He says : The bitterness of the medicine is less than the fear of death owing to illness.
This rule is applicable to the uncertainty of the next world. The days of patience in the world are less in comparison with those of the next world and these will last till the end of life. One should say : If the talk of the people becomes false regarding the next world, I will suffer no loss, but my comforts in the words will be lost. If what they say comes true, I will remain in Hell for ever without end. For this reason, Hazrat Ali said : If what they say comes true, you and I shall suffer no loss. If my word comes true, I will get salvation and you will be destroyed.
SECOND BASIC MATTER: The second basic argument of the unbelievers is that the next world is doubtful. This argument is also erroneous. The next world is certain and sure to the believers for two reasons. One of the reasons is that the believes the sayings of the Prophets and the learned. This is the belief of people in general. He is like a patient who does not know the medicine of his disease, while the physicians and experts prescribe unanimously a medicine for him which he takes and is
cured. He does not roam to enquire whether the medicine is correct and whether there is any proof of its correctness. Rather he believes their words and acts accordingly. A mad and misguided man takes their words as erroneous. He proves by his words that he is false. If a man follows the mad man and gives up the prescribed medicine of the experts he falls in error and ruins himself.
The second reason is to know the next world in the revelation of the prophets and inspiration in the minds of the friends of God. Don't think that in matters of the next world and religion, the Prophet accepted all he heard from Gebriel as you accept what you hear from the Prophet. His knowledge of things and your knowledge are not the same. Your blind faith is not equal to his knowledge of things. The Prophets saw by their inner eyes the true nature of everything as you see with your external eye the material world. The cause is that the real nature of soul comes vivid and clear to them. Soul is a spiritual thing coming from the command of God. It does not mean that it is opposed to prohibition of God, as it is not he command of words, and soul is not world.
The world is of two kinds, material world and immaterial or spiritual world or world of commands. Both the woiVs belong to God. The material world has got length, breadth, circle and space. That which is free from length and breadth belongs to the spiritual world. Its details are the secret matters of soul. There is no permission to describe it as it will be harmful to the majority of the people as the affairs of Thaqdir or premeasurement have been prohibited. He who has come to know the secrets of soul has known himself. When he knows himself, he knows God. When he does not know himself by knowing the secrets of soul, he does not know God. Soul is a stranger to this material world. It descent into this world is for an affair opposed to its nature. When Adam disobeyed God, he forgot himself and God. so his soul was sent to a world opposed to its nature. When he disobeyed he opposed his soul. When the kernel comes out of its cover, it is said that the kernel came out of its cover. It appears from this that those who know God take out the original smell or odour of soul and remain satisfied but, those who have got little intellect remain satisfied only with hearing words and not with odour as it does them harm just as smell of roses does harm to worms of dung. The
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weak eyes of bats become puzzled at the sight of the sun. Subtle things are opened from the secrets of soul and go towards the spiritual world. That is the name of Ma'arfat and belayet (spiritual power). He who acquires it is called Wali or Aref. This is the first step of the rank of the Prophets. The last step of Allays is the first step of the Prophets.
Machinations of the devil are that the next world is doubtful. This machination can be removed by sure faith. When the believers disobey the injunctions of God and engage themselves in sins, they become partners with the unbelievers in this erroneous belief as they prefer this world's life in exchange of the next world. They know that the hereafter is better than the present world but they prefer the comforts of this life. So only faith is not sufficient for them for their satisfaction. God says : I forgive one who has faith, does good works and remains in the straight path. God says : God's mercy is near the doers of good as if you are seeing Him. He says : By oath of time, man is surely in loss except those who have faith, do good deeds and enjoin one another with truth and patience - 1031Q So Iman or faith is not sufficient. Good works also are necessary.
The following are the instances about the erroneous beliefs of the unbelievers and the great transgressors.
Erroneous belief about God. Some of the unbelievers thought that there were better men than the Prophet to receive revelation. God said this as a result of altercation between two persons. One man said : I do not think that the Hour shall occur. If I am to return to my God, I will get surely a better place than it in exchange 18: 36Q, This verse was explained thus : One unbeliever created a place at the expense of one thousand dinars and prepared a garden therein at the expense of another one thousand dinars. He purchased servants and slaves with another one thousand dinars and married a beautiful woman with another one thousand dinnars. A believer gave him advice for every item mentioned above : You have built such purchase such a building in paradise of which there is no destruction. You have purchased such a garden which will be destroyed. Why did you not purchase a garden is paradise of which there is no destruction ? Why did you not purchase such servants who have got no destruction and who will not die? Why did you not marry such a Hur with black eyes who will not die? The unbeliever said
in reply : Where is Paradise which the people discuss ? They speak falsehood. If it becomes true, I will get in paradise which is better than this.
Similarly God says of A's-b-Wall who says : I will come with my wealth and children. God said : Return them to him. Has he enquired into the unseen or taken promise from the Merciful ? It can never be, These utterancess are the promptings of the devil.
The worldly wealth and comforts are harmful and keep one away from God. God saves Has religious servant from the world as He loves him, as a man saves his patient from undesirable food and drink. God says : Do they think that we bring for them immediate good for what We give them of wealth and children, but they don't understand. God says : They do not know from where We shall provide them God says : We spread up for them the doors of everything till when they were overjoyed for what they were given, We caught them suddenly and they became despaired. God says : I give them leisure, so that their sins may increase. God says : Don't think that God is heedless of what the sinners do, but He defers them to a time when eye-sight will not be turned towards anything. So whose believes in the above verses and the verses of the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet has been saved from the erroneous belief. He turns his attention to Pharaoh, Quran, Human, Naamrud and others to take lessons from the punishment meted out to them by the Almighty. God says: Don't you take lessons from them ? God says : Nobody should feel secure from the contrivance of God except the losers. God says : They contrived and God also contrived. god is the greatest contriver -8 :30 Q.
(2) The erroneous belief of the transgressing believers. They say: We expect mercy of the Merciful God. They rely on this and neglect their divine services. They think that this expectation is a good stage in religion and that God's mercy is all comprehensive. This is their erroneous belief about God. The fact is that God loves the religious men and hates the sinners. The Prophet said : A wise man is he who humbles himself and does for what will occur after death and a fool is he who follows his passions and hopes against God. God explains this hope by saying : Those who have faith, made emigration and make jihad in the way of God, can expect god's mercy. The cause is that the meaning of virtues in the next world is reward for actions as God
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says : This is the reward for what they did. God says : You will be given full rewards on the Resurrection Day.
So it appears that the condition of reward is good works. God promised this and He will not break His promise. Hazrat Hasan Basari was once asked : People say "We cherish hope" but they are ruining their divine services. He said : That is not so. It is their vain desire. He who fears a thing flees away from that thing. The sage Muslim-b-Yasar said : Last night I made prostration in such a way that two of my front teeth have broken. A man said to him. I cherish hope from God. Moslem said : It is impossible. He who desires a thing searches for it. He who fears a thing flees away from it. A man desires a child but does not marry. Even if he marries, he does not cohabit with his wife. Even if he cohabits, he does not eject semen into her uternus. Such a man is called mad. Similarly he who hopes for mercy of God does not have faith; even if he has faith, does not do good deeds; even he does good deeds, does not give up, sins is a fool.
He who marries, cohabits with his wife and ejects semen into her uterns, cannot stillbe certain of child but he should depend on the favour of God. Such a man is an intelligent man. Similarly the man is wise who has faith, does good works, gives up evil deeds, keeps within fear and hope, fears whether his divine services are accepted or not, fears that his ultimate end may not be good and hopes that God will show mercy on him. All other people remain in error except the above person. When they will see the punishment of the erroneous people, they will say: 0 our Lord, we have heard and seen, Send us back that we may do good deeds. Now we are firm believers.' In other words, we have known really that God is perfect, that God does not give child without marriage and without cohabitation. He does not give crops without cultivation and sowing of seeds. Similarly He does not give rewards in the next world without good deeds. Send us back to the world and we shall do good deeds there. Now we have come to know that your words are true and that there is nothering for men but he strive for and that soon our efforts will
HOPE FOR GOOD IN TWO PLACES: When the necessity of a great transgressor arises, there is good place of hope. The devil then says : Will your repentance be accepted ? At this time, he should root out despair by hope and remember that God forgives
all sins. God says : 0 those who oppressed much on their souls, don't be despaired of God's'mercy. God forgives all, sins. He is forgiving, merciful-39:35Q. God says : Whose repents, brings faith, does good deeds and then finds guidance, I will forgive him. Such a man who hopes for forgiveners with repentance is called a man of hope, but he who hopes for forgivessness without turning back from' sins lives in error. The Prophet said Erroneous belief will prevail over the minds of my people in latter days. The Prophet said : People of the first century would be busy with divine services and they would give in charity from what they would be given and they all would have fear on thinking that they would return to God and engage day and night in worship. The Prophet said : A time will come over the people when they will think in their minds that the Quran is an old book as a cloth gets old if used on body. They will have greed in all their affairs with no fear of God. If anybody does any good works. He will say : It will be accepted from me. If be does any evil deed, he will say : It will be forgiven God says : For one who fears his Lord, there will be for him two gardens-35:45Q. This will be for that person who fears God, the warnings of God and the Quran from the beginning to the end.
Classifications of those who believe in errors. There are four classes of such person.
(1) The errors of the learned men. The is a party of the
learned men who become expert in learning of Shariat or other kinds. They take pride for their education and expert knowledge and hope that God will not punish them. Had they looked with internal eye, they would have seen that learning is of two kinds-secular education and spiritual education. Spiritual education is knowledge about God and His attributes and actions. Secular education is knowledge of lawful and unlawful things, good and bad conducts etc. These leanings are not acquired except through works. Without works, these leanings have got no value. It can be illustrated by the case of a patient whose disease is of different kinds and those cannot be treated without mixtured medicine only known to an expert physician. He goes to hip learns prescription and returns home. He constantly reads it without taking the medicines. To get cure in these circumstances is impossible. If he takes the medicine, he has got hope of cure. Similar is the condition of a learned man. He
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gives decisions of legal matters but he does not use them.. He gives instructions to give up sins, but he himself does not' give up sins. He learns how to acquire good conduct but does not himself do them. He therefore lives in gross error.
God says that he who makes his soul pure shall get salvation. He does not say that he who knows how to make his soul pure and teaches it to others will get salvation. God says that a learned man without action is like a dog or like an ass which bears loads. The Prophet said : He who gains much knowledge without much guidance increases his distance from God. He also said : Such a learned man will be' thrown into Hell and his intestines will come out. He will roam like the roaming of an ass round the crushing mill. The Prophet said : The worst man is a dishonest learned man. Hazrat Abu Darda said : There is only one woe for an illiterate man. God can make him learned if He wills, but a hundred woes are for that learned man who does not get benefit by his learning will be given the greatest punishment. He who has got spiritual knowledge but does not act up to it is roaming in error which is worse. He is like a person who wishes. to serve a king and who for that learns his character and conduct and all of his matters, but gives up what the king likes and does what he dislikes. He can't go near the king.
If one knows God with true knowledge, he will fear Him. It is impossible that a wise man does not fear a tiger. God revealed to David : Fear Me as you fear a tiger. He who knows God knows His attributes and knows also that all the people are under His control. God says : The learned fear God most out of His servants. There is in the beginning of the Jabur : Fear of God is the root of knowledge. Hazrat Ibn Masud said : God-fear is sufficient for education and lack of God-fear is sufficient for ignorance. Hazrat Hasan basari said : A learned man is he who prays all night, fasts all day long and renunciates the world. He said at another time A learned man is he who enquires, does not dispute with others and broadcasts the skill of God. If one obeys him, he praises God. If one disobeys him, he also praises Him. He knows God, knows His commands and prohibitions and knows His chosen and
(2) Second Class learned man. The second kind of the learned men is he who has learning and acts accordingly. He is engaged in open divine service and gives up sins, but does not
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take care of his mind. He does not remove from his mind evils
like pride, hatred, show, bad treatment and desire of name and
fame. He does not care of this saying of the Prophet. A little show
is shirk. The Prophet said : He who has got pride to the weight of
a mustard seed will not enter Paradise. He also said : Hatred
destroys all virtues as fire burns fuets. He said : Greed for honour
and wealth generate hypocrisy as water grows crops. Such a
learned men forgets the following Hadis : God does not look to
your figures, but to your hearts and actions. They know outward divine services but not inward qualities. Mind is the root as nobody will get salvation except one having sound soul. Such a man is like a well of stool of which the outer cover is good but its interior is full of obnoxious smell, or he is like a house on the roof of which lamp is lighted but its interior is full of darkness or he is like a man who adorns the door of his house to receive the king but spreads out stool in its interior. This is his erroneous belief. His near illustration is this A man sows seeds of corn of which corn grows along with weeds. He orders to take out the weeds and keep the corn plants. But his men cut only the top portion of the weeds. As a result they grow stronger with many branches. The evils on mind are the root of sins. Who so does not purify his soul from these evils, his divine service does not become perfect.
(3) Third class learned man. The learned men of this class know that these internal evils are bad but owing to their self-praise they think that they are free from these evils and that God will not try them for this. When their pride is expressed, they say that it is not pride but it is disclosing the honour of learning. They say that their dishonor is the dishonor of Islam. They should remember the case of Hazrat Omar. When he went to visit Syria, he had then a coarse cloth on him which the people disliked. Then he said We are such a people who have been honored by the religion of Islam. We are not seekers of honour from other peoples.
(4) Fourth class of learned men. They learn education, purify their bodily limbs and adorn them with divine services. They give up open sins and purify their minds from show, hatred, pride and other evils, yet they entertain and erroneous belief and keep away from Morakaba or meditation and they seek name and fame. They write books also to get priase and accuse others
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of bad writing. They also copy the writings of other with amendments.
THE LEARNED MEN OF UNNECESSARY LEARNING: We have mentioned above the conditions of the learned men who acquire necessary learning. Now we shall describe about those who remain satisfied with unnecessary branches of learning after giving up necessary learning. Some of them acquire education of administration and worldly laws and regulations which are termed Fight. They are misguided in actions and knowledge. Regarding their erroneous actions, they are like the patients who learn and teach the prescirptions of medicines. Rather they are like the patient who remains in the mouth of destruction owing to insanity but he learns the medicine of the disease arising out of menstruation and reads it day and night. Similarly the love of the world is strong in the mind of the Faqihs or theologians who are always engaged in the laws of divorce and other laws. Then the devil leads them to erroneous paths. From the point of view of erroneous belief regarding knowledge, he learns only to give Fatwas or legal decisions and things that he has learnt the learning of religion. He does not learn the Quran and Hadis of the Prophet and does not even want to learn them. He gives up the learning of Ma'arfat with which God and His attributes are recognised and which lead to God fear and piety. True Fiqh increases the fear of God, as God says: Why does not a party from every tribe come out to learn the learning of religion and warn their people when they return to them-9:112Q.
Another group of learned men learn Ilmul Kalam or learning of arguments. One group are guided and another misguided. Those who do not guide towards the ways of the Prophet are the misguided ones and those who guide towards the ways of the Prophet have found guidance. But both of them are in some error. The latter thinks that arguments are necessary things and the best to acquire nearness of God. They also think that religion does not become perfect until arguments are learnt and that those who have faith without proof are not perfect men. Their whole life is spent in argument. The Prophet said : The nation which is firm on true path are never misguided except for mutual quarrels. One day the Prophet went to his companions and saw that they were quarreling with one another. He was angry at them and said Have you got order to set one verse of the Quran against another
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? Look what you have been commanded and act accordingly and refrain from what you have been prohibited.
(3) Another group of learned men remain busy in sermons and Zikr. Those among them who deliver sermons to the people regarding character and conduct, God-fear, patience, gratefulness, God- reliance, sure faith and other attributes are placed high in rank, but still they are in some erroneons belief as they do not act according to all of their instructions. They love self-priase thinking that they are embodiment of all virtues and that they are sincere workers for religions. There is secret show in
(4) Another group of learned men drift away from sermon when delivering it and discuss wonderful stories which are outside Shariat and knowledge. Some of them deliver sermons in ornamental language, poetries and love episodes. They deal with separation and unity of the lovers and beloveds. They mix
falsehood with truth.
(5) Another group of learned men condemn the world and recite the verses and traditions relating to the condonation of the world but they do not follow those teachings.
(6) Another group spend their time in the learning of Hadis. They collect Isnad and roam in the countries to collect them.
(7) Another group of learned men remain busy with grammars, poetries, many languages and many foreign tongues. They erroneously believe that God will forgive them as they are maintainers of the Quran and Hadis as guides to the Muslim. They ought to know that the best kernel is actions and that the knowledge of actions is like the cover of a kernel.
(8) Another group believe erroneously that God will judge among men as the judges in the world take and give decisions. Take for instance, a learned man gives Fatwa that if a wife pardons her husband for payment of dower, he will not get any punishment. This is an erroneous belief as the woke often gives remission f dower owing to his cruel treatment to her. God say. If they out of satisfaction gives you remission of something there from, enjoy it with joy. The above remission was made by compulsion and not voluntarily.
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ERRONEOUS BELIEFS OF RELIGIOUS MEN
There are erroneous beliefs regarding prayer, rencitation of the Quran, pilgrimage etc. A class of religious men give up compulsory duties and remain busy with additional duties.
Sorne of them r Omar made ablution prayer water cloth etc Hazrat
Christian woman. To make such exaggeration is the whispering of the devil, Another group of religious men make exaggeration in Niyyat of prayer, another in the pronunciation of words
another in the Quran re another within donot distinguish between all the year round, group
Halal and Haram, another group do not go to pilgrimage after
payment of the dues of others and do not take permission of parents. Another group want name and fame in their minds in their course of their renunciation.
The errors of the Sufis are strong. There are many classes of Sufis. One kind of Sufis adopt the habits of -real Sufis in dress, in character and conduct and in outward they* fall into such erroneous
sigh and sit like thoughtful m Y
beliefs that they think that they became real Sufis, while the
cannot purify their minds n illustration open s given below to show the doubtful properties. propert:e
conduct of this sort of Sufis. A certain weak old man put on the to be dress of a soldier, ho however, hbmrand benwraso and soldier. The king,
weak and unfit for acting as a soldier. So he removed his name and ordered him to be killed for see their ress but the conditions of the above Sufis. God
Another kind of Sufis fall into more error. They want to be Sufis and put on f en leo mentsaand accept the delicious food,
remain busy with Y Y
oppressive rulers. knohwledg kind and Magmas, seen truth with crossed all spar
open eyes and got oclose thers. Another kind of Sufis something free from and teach them t
the rules of Shariat. things are the same. Some of them believe lawful and unlawful does o look oforms of religion but do n obey the outward
God-reliance and other attributes. Another class of Sufis walk in the ways of Ma'arfat and when they see any light in their minds they stop then and do not proceed further thinking that they have attained perfection. This is an erroneous belief. They are just like a man who goes to serve the king but halts at seeing ship beautiful garden and spends all the times without going to the place of the king. There are seventy screens of God. If he reaches only one screen, he thinks he has attained his object. The Quran says of Abraham. When the night cume over him, he saw a star and said. This is my Lord-6:76Q. By the star,. the star of the sky has not been meant as Abraham was seeing it from his earliest years but he came to know that it is not a deity to be worshipped. This means the screen of light. A sojourner in the paths of religion sees so many screens of light to cross them to see the Divine light as God says : In this way, I showed Abraham to secrets of the kingdom of heaven and earth-6:75Q.-The first screen which falls between a servant and God is the screen of soul which is a light out of the lights of God. It is called essence of heart or subtle thing of heart (Latifa) and in it are reflected the full particulars of soul. It can entertain-the whole world as it reflects thetrue nature of each thing. , '
THE ERRONEOUS BELIEFS OF THE RICH
One class of the rich have got greed to construct mosques, madrashas, bridges and other works of public utility so that they may fall to the eyes of men and their names are remembered even after their death. This belief is pardonable. Another class of rich men spend their lawful earnings in the construction of a mosque but fall into error for two reasons. The first reason is that they do it for show and getting praise from the people. The second reason is that they embellish the mosque with paintings and pictures which' are prohibited as the attention of those who pray may be diverted from their prayer and deviation to God to the colours and paintings. The punishment for this reverts to the ..uilder, although he lives in such an error that he is doing pious duties. The sages of your hesitated to enter such a mosque.
Once the disciples of Jesus Christ said: Look, how is this Church ? He said : I tell you with truth that my followers will construct lofty buildings and churches, God will destroy all for the sins of the builders. There is no value to God of gold and silver and of bricks of the mosque which you consider good.
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Rather the dearest thing to Him is the mind of the pious men which remains immerged in the love of God. The Prophet said When you will embellish you mosques with variegated workmanship and the Quran with gold and silver, your condition then will be ceplorable. Hazrat Hasan basri said that when the Prophet wished to construct the Mosque of Meidna. Gebriel came to him and said: Make its roof one cubit higher than the head and don't embellish it with different kinds of
Another class of rich men give charity to the porr and and baggars but in such a place where people gather. They choose such poor men who express gratitude for charity and broadcast their charities. They make one pilgrimage after another but do not give in charity to the hungry neighbors. Hazrat Ibn Msud said : There will be such people in latter times who will make pilgrimage without cause. Once a rich man sought the advice of the sage Bashar Hafi for going to pilgrimage. He asked : Why do you wish to make additional pilgrimage ? He said. To seek the pleasure of God. The sage said : you can get His greater pleasure by paying the debts of ten debtors, removing the wants of those who are in want, giving, charity to the poor Muslims having large families or distributing the sum to ten orphan boys.
Another class of rich men board money and worship in such a way in which no expenditure is necessary, such as fasting and keeping awake at night. They live in error as they earn miserliness which is harmful. They are like the person who is net destruction as a serpent entered his cloth but instead of removing the serpent, he keeps himself busy in cleansing his cloth Miserliness is so strong on others that they don't spend in good works except in payment of Zakat. They pay Zakat also to such poor persons who serve them and help them in their works.
THREE MEANS OF GAINING FORTUNE
THE NEXT WORLD
In order to save from the above erroneous beliefs and ideas, three means should be adopted intellect learning and knowledge df a thing. Intellect means the inborn light with which a man knows the true nature of everything. If it does not arise in early years, it does not become possible to earn it in future. It can be increased by experience and other methods if there is existence of
Vol-III Condemnation of Error 295
sharp intellect. The Prophet said : Blessed is He who distributed intellect among His aervants in different measures. Once a man asked the Prophet : What is the rank of the man near God on the Resurrection Day who fasts the day, prays Tahajjud, performs Haj and Umrah, gives charity in the way of God, makes jihad, serves the diseased, remains present in funeral prayers andhelps . the weak? The Prophet said : He will get rewards according to is intellect. Once a man was prasiing another man before the Prophet who asked : How is his intellect, as a fool commits sins more than the sinners owing to his foolishness. Once the people mentioned before the Prophet about a man's great devotions. He asked. How is his intellect ? The people said : He has got no intellect. He said: He has not reached the rank which you wish to give him. It appears that sharp intellect is a special gift of God.
The second means of removing erroneous beliefs is knowledge. This includes knowledge of four things-(1) knowledge of oneself, (2) knowledge of God, (3) knowledge of the next world and (4) knowledge of this world. Man is a sojouner in the world. He has been given beastly nature and also spiritual nature to know God. When one will know these four matters, love for God will arise in his mind. When he will act everything to please god and for the next world, he will find guidance. When he will like the present world in preference to the next world, and his passions and low desires in preference to the pleasure of God, it will become impossible to save himself
from erroneous beliefs.
The third means of removing erroneous beliefs is learning. The merits of learning have already been described in the first book of worship and as such they need not be repeated here.
The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
****End of Chapter 10 - Volume 3 *****
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