REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
CONTENTS OF BOOK III
THE BOOK OF DESTRUCTIVE EVILS
Riazat or efforts for good conduct in the ways of God 47
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Destructive Evils
RIAZAT OR EFFORTS IN THE WAYS OF GOD
Know, 0 dear readers, that the Prophet of God was the possessor of good character and conduct, Good conduct is half of religion, fruit of the efforts of God-fearing men and an important quality of the worshippers of God. Bad conduct is a ruinous poison, a dangerous wound in brain and much condemned evil. There are many doors of bad conduct which remain open to the fire of Hell as the doors of good conduct are open towards the bliss of Paradise. Bad conduct is a disease of soul which ruins the ever-lasting life. If efforts are necessary to save the temporary body from disease, how much efforts are necessary to save the soul from its diseases which will be everlasting? In the following verse, God says of the treatment of soul: He who purifies it is successful and he who ruins it is ruined - 91: 2. We shall describe in this chapter the diseases of soul and its cures.
MERITS OF GOOD CONDUCT. Know, Odear readers, that God praised His Prophet and said: You are upon sublime character. hazrat Ayesha said: The Quran is the conduct of the Messenger of God. When a man asked the Prophet about good conduct, he recited the following verse: Take to pardon, enjoin good and keep away from the illiterate - 7: 199. Then the Prophet explained good conduct and said: Good conduct is this join the tie of relationship with one who cuts it off. Pardon one who oppresses you. The Prophet said: 'I have been sent to complete the best of conducts.' Good conduct will be heaviest of all attributes in the Balance on the resurrection day. Once a man came to the Prophet and said: 0 Messenger of God, what is religion? He replied: God conduct Then he came to his front and asked: 0 Messenger of God, what is religion? He replied: Good conduct. Then he came by his left side and asked: What is religion? He replied: Good conduct. Then he came by his back side and asked the same question and he replied the same. Then he said looking at him: Not to be angry is good conduct. The Prophet was asked: What is misfortune? He said: Bad conduct.
Once a man asked the Prophet: Give me some advice. He said: Fear God wherever you are. He said: Give me more advice.
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The Prophet said: If you commit an evil do a good action soon after it. As a result, the evil will vanish He said: Give me more advice. The Prophet said: Treat well with the people. He was asked: Which action is best? He said: Good conduct. The Prophet said: God will not throw one into Hell whom He gave good temperament and good appearance. The prophet was once asked. A certain woman fasts all days and prays all nights, but she has got a bad temper an gives trouble to her neighbours by harsh words. The Prophet said: There is no good in her and her place is in Hell. Hazrat Abu Darda'a said: I heard the Prophet say: The first of what will be placed in the Balance is good conduct and benevolence.
When God created faith, it said: Give me strength. God gave it strength through good conduct and benevolence. When God created infidelity, it said: 0 Lord, give me strength. He gave it miserliness and bad conduct. The Prophet said: God preferred this religion for Him. There will be no good in your religion except good conduct and benevolence. Beware, adorn your religion with these two virtues. The Prophet said: God created good conduct as the best thing He was asked: 0 Prophet of God, who is best in t th among the believers: He replied: He who is best among them in good conduct. The Prophet said: Don't entertain the people with your wealth, but entertain them with smiling face and goo conduct. The Prophet said: Bad conduct destroys divine service as condiment destroys honey. The Prophet said: So make your conduct good, Hazrat Bara'a-b-Ajeb said: The face of the prophet was most beautiful and his conduct was best. The prophet used to say in invocation: 0 God, you have made my constitution good. So make also my conduct good. He used to pray most; 0 God, I pray to Thee for health, peace of mind and good conduct.
The Prophet said: Honour a believer for his religion. Think him superior for good conduct and wisdom. Some desert Arabs once came to the Prophet and asked him: What best thing has been given to men? He replied: Good conduct. The Prophet said: He who will become dearest and nearest to me on the resurrection day will be a man of good conduct. He also said: Don't believe any action good out of the divine services of one in whom one of these matters is not found - (1) God-fear which restrains him from infidelity of God, (2) patience which restrains a fool, (3) or good conduct with which he lives in society.
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The Prophet used to say at the beginning of his prayer: 0 God, guide me to good conduct. Nobody except Thou can guide me towards it. Hazrat Anas said: We were once with the Prophet who said: Good conduct removes all faults as the rays of the sun melt snow. The Prophet said: Good-conduct appertains to the fortune of a man. The Prophet said to Abu Zarr: 0 Abu Zarr, there is no wisdom like efforts and there is no virtue like good conduct. He said: A true Muslim can get for his good conduct and high rank the rank of Saemur Dahar and Qaemul Lail (one who fasts all days and prays all nights). The Prophet said to his companions: I saw last night a wonderful dream. I saw one of my followers sitting upon his knees and there was between him and God only one screen which was removed by his good conduct and so he became close to God.
The Prophet said: A man will get high rank and an honourable place in the next world by dint of his good conduct even though he had little divine services. The Prophet said once to Hazrat Omar: 0 Omar, by One in whose hand there is my life, the devil does not tread a path which you tread. He said: Bad conduct is such a sin which has got no pardon. Bad idea is such a fault which spreads. The Prophet said: A man reaches the lowest stage of hell for his bad conduct.
Wise Sayings. The son of Loqman asked his father: 0 father, which fine qualities in his conduct are good? Loqman said: Religion, treatment, shame, good conduct and generosity. When these five qualities are united in a person, he becomes pure, God-fearing and friend of God and is freed from the devil. Hazrat Junaid said: Four virtues raise up a man to highest rank though his divine service and learning are little - (1) patience, (2) modesty, (3) generosity and. (4) good conduct. Good conduct completes faith. Hazrat Ihya-b-Ma'az said: Bad conduct is worst evil and if one has got many virtues along with it they do not do him any benefit. Good conduct is a good attribute. If he has got many sins with it, it does not do him harm. Hazrat Ibn Abbas was asked: What4s honour? He said: God explained it in the Quran: The most honourable of you is he who is the most God-fearing among you - 49: 13. He said: He who has got best good conduct among you is the possessor of best quality among you. He said: Every building has got foundation. The foundation of Islam is good conduct.
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WHAT IS GOOD CONDUCT: Know, 0 dear readers, that God said that He created man out of clay and infused His spirit unto him and then the angels made prostration before him. It appears from this that there is connection of body with earth and of soul with the Creator. So human nature is rooted in soul and actions flow out of it. If good actions come out of soul, it assumes good conduct, and if evil actions come out of it, it assumes bad conduct. Hence there are four things - (1) to do good or bad action, (2) to possess power to do there actions, (3) to have knowledge of both, (4) and to become either of the two actions, good and bad, easy. Owing to his attachment to either of them, conduct arises. As a man cannot be called beautiful if he has got only two beautiful eyes but not beautiful face and nose, so he cannot be called to possess good conduct if he has got only one of the above attributes! A beautiful man is he who has got his bodily limbs proportionate and beautiful, so also a man is said to have good conduct if he has got in him all the qualities proportionately.
The nature of soul is divided into four kinds: (1) power of discerning knowledge, (2) power of administration or anger, (3) power of greed and (4) power of adjustment of the above three natures. If knowledge finds full display and becomes mature, truth can be ascertained from falsehood, good from bad. So knowledge is the root of good conduct. God says: Whoever is given wisdom has been given abundant good - 2 : 269. When anger conducts itself under knowledge and Shariat, it can be termed beautiful. When greed becomes subject to wisdom and shame, it can be termed beautiful. Power of adjustment of the natures or judgment is beautiful when anger and greed are guided by wisdom and Shariat. The beauty of anger is called bravery and the beauty of greed is called patience. If anger exceeds the limit of moderation, it is called cowardice. If greed exceeds moderation, it is called hope against hope; and if it goes down, it is, called sluggishness. Moderation of greed is good and the two extremes of greed are bad. If wisdom is used immoderately, it is called deception. If it reaches to the extreme, it is called genius. The middle course is called wisdom.
So there are four basic qualities of good conduct knowledge, bravery, patience and power of adjustment or judgment. Other qualities are their branches. Nobody was blessed with all these
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qualities except the Prophets. There are differences in these qualities in the persons other than the Prophets. he who is devoid of these qualities is near the accursed evil. The Prophet was sent to complete good conduct and good manners. The Quran praised the believers for possessing these qualities: The believers are those who have got faith in God, His Prophet and then do not entertain any doubt and fight with their lives and properties in the way of God. These are they who are truthful. God described the companions of the Prophet in this verse: They are hard upon the unbelievers but sympathetic to one another-48:28.
CHANGE OF NATURE: It has been argued that nature cannot be changed and this mistaken belief arises out of two reasons.
(1) The first reason is that just as figure of a man or his colour can not be changed, or a man can not be made short or long, or a black man cannot be changed to a white man, so also nature cannot be changed. Another reason cited is that inspite of our efforts, sexual passion, anger etc. cannot be uprooted and to make efforts to control them is useless. The answer to these objections is as follows. If nature is unchangeable, then sermons, education and learning would have been useless. The Prophet said: Make your conduct good. This advice would have been meaningless. When the nature of lower animals can be changed by training, human nature can all the more be changed by training, education and habits. All things of the world are made of two elements. Man has got no power over one element, but he has got control over another element. The sun, moon, stars and the external and internal forms of animals cannot be changed. God created another element which may develop into perfection according to certain rules and regulations. For instance a paddy seed, if kept under certain conditions, can develop into paddy plants, but it cannot produce a mango tree or a date tree. Similar is the case with passion, anger, pride etc. If they are kept under rules and regulations and control, they cannot take to the highest degree of progress, but they cannot be uprooted at will. To keep them under control is the cause of salvation.
MEN ARE OF FOUR CLASSES ACCORDING TO NATURE: (1) One class of men are in attentive. They don't distinguish between truth and falsehood and they remain with nature with which they are born. By training, their conduct can be good.
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(2) The second class of men can know the evil actions of others but are not habituated to good actions and are prone to evils. They are to give up the habits of evil actions and seeds of good actions are to be sown in their souls. (3) The third kind of men believe bad conducts to be good. (4) The fourth kind of men are bred upon evils. The first kind of men are illiterate to the extreme, the second kind are illiterate and misguided, the third kind are illiterate, misguided and sinners and the fourth kind are illiterate, misguided, sinners and dishonest.
(2) The second reason of the above argument is that greed, passion, anger, pride etc. can be uprooted. This is a mistaken Belief. The object of these is to bring them under control and not to uproot these natural propensities. These are necessary for a man. Had he not had greed for food, he would have been ruined. The object is to use it with moderation without going to the extremes. The Prophet said: I am only a human being. I get angry as others get angry. When anything was said to him which was doubtful, he used to get angry, even his two cheeks assumed then reddish colour. God says regarding control of anger - Those who control anger and forgive men. He did not say to uproot it. To take middle course in conduct is better and not the two extremes. Benevolence is a good quality and it is the middle course between two extremes - extravagance and miserliness. God praised it in the following verse: When they spend, they do not squander, nor become miser, but the stand between these two conditions. In another verse: Don't make your hand tied up with your necks, nor spread it to utmost spreading -17 : 29. To take middle course in green for food is best. God says : Eat and drink, but do not measure. God does not love those who squanders. The Prophet said : The middle course is the best. Heat is a name between scorching rays and snow, free from two extremes. Benevolence is the middle course between extravagance and miserliness and bravery is an attribute between haughtiness and cowardice.
MEANS OF ACQUIRING GOOD CONDUCT. Know, 0 dear readers, that good conduct is the name of bringing greed and anger under the control of intellect and Shariat. This middle course can be acquired in two ways. The first way to gain this middle course is to make perfect God-given powers and in born qualities. Some men have been created with full intellect and
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good conduct and their greed and anger have been placed under
control of intellect and Shariat. So these people become wise without education and receive good conduct without training. prophet Jesus and Prophet Ihya and other prophets are such type of people. Many boys are born opposite to them. They can acquire these virtues by education and training through spiritual guides. The second means is efforts by which these qualities can be acquired. For instance, if anybody wishes to acquire the virtue of benevolence, he must be habituated to make charity inspite of his unwillingness to spend money. Then it will be easy for him to spend. To acquire the virtue of modesty, one is to follow the actions of the humble for a long time. Then it will become easy after a place of time. He who finds pleasure in charity is called a pilanthorpist. the Prophet said : Prayer has been made a doll to my eyes. God says : It (Prayer) is difficult except to the God fearing. The Prophet sai4 : Do divine service with contentment. if you can not do it, it is better to do it with patience inspite of unwillingness.
Acquisition of fortune by habits. to acquire fortune, it is necessary to stick to a thing always and it is not sufficient to hate sins. He must find pleasure in doing good deeds. The longer the life, the more firm and perfect will be its good. When the Prophet was asked about good fortune, he replied 'To stick to worships throughout life is good fortune.' For this reason, the Prophets and the friends of God disliked death as this world is the seed ground for the hereafter. the longer the life, the more the divine service, and the more the rewards, the more will be the soul pure and the character and conduct will be more strong and firm. The object of divine service is its effect on soul. The object of good character and conduct is to cut off the attachment of the world from soul and to confine them to the love of God. The greatest thing for the soul is its meeting with god. Good habits create light in soul which shows many wonderful things. He who finds pleasure in playing with pigeons stands throughout the day in sun's rays and does not feel tried. He who is accustomed to theft taken pride for acts of theft even though his hands are cut off and he is whipped. Those males who like to be females allow their hairs to grow long, paint the faces and mix with females with female dresses. They taken pride in that. These are acts of habit for which they take pride and find pleasure.
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HABITS OF GOOD DEEDS: Similarly, one should grow habits of doing good deeds. If they are done for long and are not given up, pleasure will come as a matter of course like that of the above persons. If a mar, forms the habit of eating earth, he will find pleasure in eating it. So soul will find pleasure in doing good deeds if one sticks to them for a pretty long time. He who wishes to be a good scribe, he must stick to writing for long. Similarly if one if wishes to acquire the qualities of patience, generosity, modesty etc. he must stick to these habits in actions and behaviours. There is no other means to acquire them except this method. Acquisition of learning is not the result of one day, but of endless days and nights in studies. The natural food of soul is knowledge, divine knowledge and love. Its taste might be changed for some illness of soul, as owing to disease of stomach, there is no taste in food. So diseases of soul must be removed by efforts to acquire divine love and knowledge.
CAUSES OF MISFORTUNE: Only one sin does not bring misfortune. It is the cause of committing sins after 'sins and disobeying the commands and prohibitions of God. This is also the condition of minor sins. Repetition of a minor sin amounts to a great sin. One black spot falls in soul if a sin is committed and repetition of sins causes repetition of spots in soul. Thereafter the soul becomes completely dark and black. When death suddenly comes to such a man, he dies upon that condition. God says: I have placed screen in their front and screen in their back. Hazrat Ali said: Faith puts a white spot in soul. The more faith increases, the more the white spot increases. When the faith of a man become perfect, his soul is filled up with that light. A black spot falls in the soul of a hypocrite. The more hypocrisy increase, the more the black spot increases. When hypocrisy is disclosed in full, his soul becomes completely dark.
Now you have understood that sometimes good conduct comes with birth, sometimes it is acquired by good deeds and sometimes by following the actions of good and religious people... God does not oppress any man but man himself oppresses his soul and becomes unfortunate. God says: He who does an atom of good will see it, and he who does an atom of evil will see it. 99 8. God does not oppress them, but they themselves oppress theit souls.
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METHODS OF EFFORTS TO IMPROVE CONDUCT: You have come to know now that the middle course in the matter of conduct is good and this keeps the soul pure, and if there is any drifting away from this middle course, it causes disease of soul, just as the middle course is best for preservation of health. The treatment for the diseases of soul is to remove from soul the evil natures and habits and to bring in good natures and habits. Every child remains upon nature or natural inborn qualities, but his parents make him a Jew, or a Christian or a Magian. It is the saying of the Prophet. The child acquires bad habit through his surroundings.
If there is change in the temperament of moderation, it must-be understood that the body has got disease. Its medicine is to act to its opposite. For instance, heat can be removed by cold and cold by heat, and fire by water. If one catches cold it can be removed by using hot things. Illiteracy can be removed by learning, miserliness by charity, pride by humility and greed by patience. Similarly the diseases of soul can be removed by the bitter pills of patience and good actions. The diseases of body end with the death of body, but the diseases of soul will last after death as soul is ever-lasting. Appropriate medicine of soul can be prescribed by a spiritual physician or guide. He must first be acquainted with the diseases of his disciple and then cautiously treat them. If he is ignorant of Shariat, he must first teach it to him and the fundamental principles of Islam. If he earns unlawfully, he must be told to give it up. Then when the open sins aie removed, the guide should look to the removal of his inner faults and character and conduct. If he has got wealth beyond the limit of his necessity, he should tell him to spend it in charities. If he has got pride and haughtiness; he must be taught to be humble by frequenting bazars and markets with bags for sale and buy. If he finds him too clean, be should tell him to cleanse his own house and kitchen. To worship body is to worship idols. So the ordinary means to remove the diseases of soul is to act against its low desires. God says: He who fears the places, of his Lord and restrains hims if from evil passion, his place of abode is Paradise -74:41.
SIGNS OF DISEASES OF SOUL: Know, 0 dear readers, that every limb of the body has been created for a particular purpose.
TREATMENT OF DISEASED SOUL: The medicine of the disease of soul is to accustom itself to the opposite attribute. If there is disease of miserliness, the medicine to remove it is to give constant charities and spending money. There is limit to charity and expenditure. He who exceeds the limit falls into another disease the fault of extravagance. He becomes_ then just like the man suffering cold who uses such hot thing which takes him to another. trouble. Our object is to gain the limit of moderation avoiding the two extremes. The middle path is the straight path which is more narrow than a hair and more sharp-edged than a sword. He who can remain in the straight path in the world can cross the bridge easily in the hereafter. Majority of people will be inclined to one side or the other. While crossing it, somebody will fall down suddenly. Some will cross it like lightning, God says: There is nobody among you who will cross it. This is your Lord's decree. I shall save those who are God fearing - 19 : 71. The God-fearing are those who tread the straight path or the path'
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If that limb or organ does not do that particular function, it has got disease. If it does that function easily, it is sound. Eye has been created to see. If it does not see, it has got disease. So also the case with ear and nose. Soul has been created for acquiring divine knowledge, love of God and finding pleasure in divine services. God says: I have created man and jinn that they should worship Me - 51: 56. Man can be distinguished from beast by soul. A man is not free from food, cohabitation, drink and other matters. So is the case with lower animals. The latter has got no soul, but men have got. It has got the quality of recognising the nature of everything. he who knows God loves God. The sign of love of God is that he places love of God above everything in this world. God says in verse - 9 : 24. If your parents, your children etc are dearer to you than God and His Apostle and serving in His way, then wait till God brings about His command.
He who loves anything more than God has got his soul diseased. He is just like a person who loves to eat earth more than bread. This is the sign of the disease of soul. Every soul is diseased except that which loves God. There is hardly any physician of soul at present. The physicians themselves are diseased. A diseased physician can hardly look to his own treatment, not to speak of the treatment of others. The people are now addicted to the love of the world.
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very near it. For this reason, it is our bounden duty to pray to God for seventy times a day for being established in the straight path. God directed us to pray: Show us the straight path.
One day a man dreamt the Prophet and said to him: 0 Messenger of God, you have said that the chapter Hud has made you grey-haired. Why have you said that? The Prophet recited the verse and said: Be firm on what you have been ordered." So to keep firm on the path is very difficult. Still one should try his utmost to remain on it or very near it. There is no salvation except for good deeds which cannot be achieved without good conduct.
WAYS OF LEARNING EVILS: Know, 0 dear readers, that God shows evils to one for whom He wishes good. He has got no fear who has got deep insight. When a man can know his faults, he can try to remove them but majority of men remain ignorant of their faults. The man who wishes to see his faults has got four ways.
(1) The first way is to inform his faults and evils to his spiritual guide who can treat his diseases, but this is very rare nowadays. ,
(2) The second way is to appoint a true and pious friend to detect his faults and defects. A religious man takes to this method of finding out his own defects and shortcomings. Hazrat Omar prayed: May God show mercy on the man who points out my defects to me. He asked Hazrat Salman Farsi about his evils. Hazrat Salman told him: I heard that you enjoy two curries at the time of your meal and that you have got two pieces of cloth to put on - one piece for day time and another piece for night time. Hazrat Omar said: Have you heard other than this? He said: I heard nothing except this? Hazrat Salman once asked Hazrat Huzaifa whether he had got any hypocrisy in him? Thus the companions of the Prophet inquired their own faults? Hazrat Daud Tai remained aloof from society. The people once asked him: Why don't you mix with the people? He replied: What benefit shall I derive from them when they conceal my faults and do not inform me? Now the table has turned. He who informs us our faults is our great enemy.
(3) The third way of knowing faults is to gather them from enemies. The attention of the enemies is upon the faults of their adversaries. So there is some basis of their information about one's faults.
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(4) The fourth way is to mix with the people and know their faults. If you see their faults, you may think that you have those faults in you as a believer is a mirror to another believer. He sees his defects from the defects of others. Once Prophet Jesus was asked: From whom have you learnt good manners? He replied: Nobody has told me, this. When I have seen the faults of the illiterate, I at once gave them up.
PROOF OF SHARIAT ABOUT SOUL AND MEDICINE: If you ponder over what has been described above, your insight will be open and the diseases of soul and their treatments will be disclosed to you in the light of certain faith. If you are unable to achieve it, you should not secede from faith and blind belief. This is the rank of faith as there is a rank of education. Education comes after faith. God says: God raises the rank of those of you who have faith and those having been given learning. To go against passion is the greatest jihad. H who believes that the way to reach God is to act against low desires is included within the group of believers and he who searches the causes of these helps is included within the educated. God says: For one who opposes his low desires, there is the abode of paradise-79 79: 4God says: They are those people whom God tried by God fear. It has been said by way of explanation of this verse that the love of greed in their hearts has been crushed. The Prophet said: A believer lives in five troubles - (1) he is envied by another believer, (2) a hypocrite harbours hatred against him, (3) an unbeliever fights against him, (4)-the devil misguides him, (5) and-'evil desires dispute with him.' When evil desires become enemy, it is compulsory to fight with them.
God once sent revelation to David: Warn your followers from eating the objects of greed, as greed stands as screen to such souls in which there is worldly attachment. Jesus Christ said: Blessed is he who has given up his present greed in hope of getting future promised reward. When some people returned from je' had, our Prophet said: Thanks to you! You have returned from little jehad to a greater jehad. he was asked: 0 Prophet of God, what is greater jehad? He said: Fight with passion is a greater jehad. The Prophet said: He who makes effects in divine service is a Mujahed (fighter). He also asked: Keep your soul away from the harmful things and don't run after your evil desires in violation of God's commands. If you do it, it will dispute with you on the
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resurrection day. Then your one organ will curse upon another organ if God does not forgive and conceal. Sufyan Saori said: I have not treated a more serious disease than the disease of my soul. It is sometimes for me and sometimes against me.
Hazrat Hasan Basari said: As an unruly horse is to be kept by strong rein, the disobedient soul of man should be kept by a more firm rein. Hazrat Ihya-e-b-Ma'az said: Fight against your passion by the weapon of Riazat or effects. It is of four kinds - (1) to eat little, (2) to sleep little, (3) to speak when necessary and (4) to keep patience at the troubles of the people. There is death of passion because of little food. Sincere intention arises out of little sleep. There is safety from dangers and difficulties on account of few talks. If there is patience at the troubles given by others, one can reach his destined goal. There is no greater difficulty than to keep patience at the time of harsh treatment of the people and the troubles given by them. He also said: The enemies of a man are three - world, devil and passion. So save yourself from the world by renouncing it, from the devil by opposite behaviours and from passion by giving up greed. Hazrat Zafar-b-Hamed said: The learned and the wise said unanimously that happiness can not be achieved without giving up happiness.
It has been narrated that when Jospeh was appointed treasures of Egypt, he was one day travelling in the country with 12000 respectable men riding on horses. At that time, Zulaikha wife of the king of Egypt was seated by the side of the pathway of Jospeh. She said on seeing him: Glory to God who made the kings slaves of sins and the slaves of God worst beings. Joseph said what God dictated to him: God does not destroy the rewards of the doers of God, who fear God and remain patient. The sage Yezid Rakkashi said: 0 my friends, don't give me cold drink in the world, as I may be deprived of it in the hereafter.
Once a man asked Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz: When shall I talk? He said: When you wish to remain silent. He asked: When shall I remain silent? He said: When you wish to talk. Hazrat Ali said: He who is eager to go to Paradise should remain free from worldly greed. when there is no other alternative for fortune of the next world but to oppose passion and temptation, we should believe in the words of the learned and sages: Weep your soul and mind engaged in the knowledge of God, love of God and thoughts about God.' Cut of all connections to achieve these
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things. Man has got no power to achieve these things without the company of God.
In the above matters, mankind is of four classes. (1) The minds of one kind of people remain busy with the remembrance of God and do not look to the world except for the bare necessaries of life. They are included within the class of the truthful. This rank cannot be attained without efforts for a long time and without patience for long at worldly pleasures and temptations. (2) The second kind of people remain busy with the worldly affairs and they remember God with tongue and not with heart. They are included within those who are ruined. (3) The third kind of men remain busy with religion and world buy religion remains strong in their minds. They will enter Hell but they will soon be rescued therefrom, because religion was strong in their minds. (4) The fourth kind of people remain busy with religion and world but the world is strong in their minds. They shall have to reside long in Hell, but they will be rescued ultimately therefrom.
LAWFUL THINGS: Some say that to enjoy lawful things is lawful, but why should it be a cause of drifting away from God? The answer is that love of the world is the root of all evils. Those things which are outside necessary things are included in the world and they become causes of being away from God. Hazrat Ibrahim Khawaj said: Once I stayed in the hillock of Lakam. I saw there some pome-granates hanging in a pomegranate tree and was inclined to eat some of them I took some and found them sour on testing. Then I threw them and went away. I found a man lying on the way side and many wasps were biting him. I saluted him but he replied and said: 0 Ibrahim. I wondered how he had come to know of my name and asked him. How do you know me? He said: Nothing is concealed from one who knows God. I said: I understand then that you are a chosen one of God. Why then do you not pray to God to save yourself from the biting of wasps? He said: You are also a chosen one of God. Why they do you not pray to save yourself from the greed of eating pome-granates? The wounds of the sting of wasps will be disclosed in the next world in the form of greed for pomegranates and give you pain, but the sting of wasps will end in this world. Then I went away leaving him. The sage Sarri Sakti said: My mind has been wishing to eat walnut dipped in honey for the last forty years, but I did not eat it upto this date.
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If the mind is not kept under control, it is not possible to tread the path of the next world by correcting and purifying it, because it will then desire unlawful things. He who wishes to control his tongue from backbiting and useless talks, it is his duty to keep silent. He should engage in the remembrance of God and other duties of religion till the greed for holding useless talks goes away from him. He should not utter except truth. This is the condition of every passion or low desire. Nature is the same by which lawful and unlawful things are sought and mind should be restrairied from unlawful things. If it is not kept under control within the limit of necessary things, it becomes strong. This is a danger of lawful things.
God says: They remain satisfied with the life of the world and feel pleasure at it. God says: This world's life as compared with the next world is only short-lived commodity -13 : 26. God says: Know that this world's life is but play and amusement, pomp and natural boasting and multiplying among yourselves in riches and children - 53 : 27. Those Sufis who possessed uncommon fortitude said out of experience that possession of wealth makes the mindibard and heinous and keeps it away from the remembrance of God. They found by experience that at the time of sorrows, mind becomes soft, pure and fit for acceptance of grace owing to the remembrance of God. They came to know that there is salvation in long standing sorrows and ruination in case of long standing enjoyment. they gave up the paths of greed with care and knew that accounts will be taken even of lawful things, punishment for unlawful things and rebuke for doubtful things. he who is to render accounts on the resurrection day shall meet with punishment. So to avoid such things, restrain your eyes from the pleasures of the world, and don't enquire what will occur after death. The Prophet said: Love what you wish to love, but you shall have to leave it.
SIGNS OF GOOD CONDUCT: The followings are the signs of good conduct and they are also the qualities of the believers. God says in verse 23 :1- The believers will get salvation those who are humble in their prayers, who avoid vain talk, who pay the poor-rate, who. guard their private parts except from their wives or whom their rights hand possess those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants, who guard their prayer s- 23: 1-8. God says: They are those who turn to God,
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who serve Him, who praise Him, who fast, who bow, who prostrate, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil and who keep enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil and who keep the limits of God - 9:112. God says: Those only are believers whose hearts become full of ear when God is mentioned and His verses are recited to them, they increase them in faith and on their Lord do they re?y, those who keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them - 8 : 2. Similar conducts have been expressed in 25 : 63. These are the signs of a believer and should be read very carefully in order to implement them in one's life to acquire the virtues of good conduct.
Hadis: The Prophet said: A believer loves for others what he loves for himself. He said: He who loves God and the hereafter, let him honour his guests. He said: He who believes in God and the hereafter shall honour his neighbour. He said: He who believes in God and the hereafter should utter good words or remain silent. He said: He who is a perfect believer is best in conduct. He said: When you see a believer silent and grave, come close to him as he is full of wisdom. He said: He who is pleased with virtues and displeased with sins is a believer. He said: No believer shall look to his brother Muslim in such a way that gives trouble to his mind. He said: It is unlawful for a Muslim to threaten another Muslim with fear. he said: If two companions consult with each other with trust of God, it is not lawful for one of them to disclose the secrets of another.
Good conduct comprises the following qualities - shame, to consider calamity as little, to wish good of all, truthfulness, little talk, much divine service, little shortcomings, gravity, patience, contentment, kindness, abstaining from begging, curse, rebuke, back-biting, hatred, miserliness, haughtiness and pride, to love for God and hate for God.
These qualities are called good conduct. The sage Eusof b-Ashat said: There are ten qualities of good conduct not to break promise, to do justice, not to take revenge, to recognise evil as sin, not to raise excuse, to bear the harms of others, to restrain passion, to know one's own faults from seeing the faults of others, to come to every one with smiling face and to talk with humility with others.
SOME EXAMPLES OF GOOD CONDUCT
(1) The Holy Prophet was once walking with Hazrat Anas and met with a desert Arab with a thick cloth on his body. The desert Arab threw the cloth round the neck of the Prophet and began to drag him with force. Hazrat Anas said: As an effect of this forced dragging, spots of the cloth fell upon his neck. The desert Arab said: 0 Muhammad, give me something of the wealth you have got from God. The Prophet smilingly looked at him and ordered something to be given to him.
(2) At another time when the Quraish was giving the Prophet trouble in the Battle of Uhud and oppressing him, he said: 0 God, forgive my people, because they are ignorant. Then God revealed this verse: You are upon sublime character-68 :4.
(3) Once the sage Ibrahim-b-Adham was travelling through a desert. On the way he met a soldier who asked him: Are you a slave? He said: Yes, I am a slave The soldier said: Can you tell me where is locality here? He pointed out ;o the grave. The soldier said: I am seeking locality. He said: Graveyard is the place of habitation. The soldier was engaged at this, bound him with a chain and whipped him on his back and took him to a town. The disciples of Ibrahim came to him and the soldier told them about him. They said: His name is Ibrahim-b-Adham and he is the friend of God. Then the soldier fell at his feet and begged pardon from him. On being asked by the people, he said: When the soldier was beating him with stick, I prayed for him paradise. They asked: Why did you pray paradise for him though he oppressed you? He said: I know that I will get rewards in lieu of his oppression. I don't like that one should remain a sinner for me for whom I got rewards.
(4) Once a man invited the sage Abu Osman Hariri and his object was to examine him. When the sage went to his door, he said: Now there is nothing for food. On hearing this, Abu Osman went away. When he went to some distance, the host called him again. When he came again, he said: Return. Then he returned. He called Abu Osman for the third time and the latter also came to him. He said: You have not come in time for food. Then he returned. When he called Abu Osman for the fourth time, the sage came to him and this time also he did not give him food. When he was going, the man feel upon his feet and said with folded hands: I have done it only to
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64 Good Conduct Vol-III
examine you. How good is your conduct! The sage said: You have found in me the conduct of a dog. If a dog is called for food, it comes on call and flees away when driven away.
(5) Once the sage was passing by a bylane when somebody threw some refuges on his head. He removed the refuges from his body and prostrated on the ground by way of gratefulness but didnot take retaliation. He said: If one is fit for Hell, will it not be a cause of gratefulness if refuges only are thrown on him?
(6) Once the sage Sahal Tastari was asked about good conduct. he said: The lowest good conduct is to bear with patience the troubles given by others, not to take revenge, to show kindness on the oppressor, to ask forgiveness for him and to be kind to him.
(7) The sage Ahnaf-b-Qais was once asked: From whom have you learnt patience? He said: From Qais-b-Asem. He was again asked: How did he learn patience? He said: He was once seated in his house when a black female slave was coming to him with a cup of hot roasted meat. Suddenly the cup fell from her hand and fell on the head of his child who died as a result. The female slave was greatly fearful of her master who said to her: You have got no fear. Go, you are free for the sake of God. It was narrated that when the little boys saw the saint Wais Qarni, they used to throw pebbles at him as they thought that he was a mad man. He used to say to them: 0 dear children, if you are to throw pebbles at all, throw small pebbles at me, so that no blood can come out. If blood comes out, my ablution may break.
FORMATION OF CHILD CHARACTER: Know, 0 dear readers, that the training of a child's character and conduct is of supreme importance. God entrusted the children in the hands of their parents. The heart of a child is bright like a jewel and soft like a candle and free from all impressions. It is soft like the soft clay in which any seed can grow. If he is given good training of character and conduct, he grows in that condition and acquires fortune both in this world and the next. If he goes to commit sins and lives a life of a beast he is doomed to failure and destruction. God says: '0 those who believe, save yourselves and your family members from Hell fire.' As the parents save their children from the fire of the world, so they should save them also from the fire of Hell of the next world. This means that they should be given training of good conduct and character, save them from bad
VoI-III The Book of Destructive evils.: 65
company and luxurious habits, delicious dishes and beautiful dresses. When a boy reaches the age of discretion, care should.be taken of his character. He gives up then something out of shame and takes up something.
He should be given the training of eating and drinking. The following are some of the rules of ea ;ng and drinking (1) Food is to be eaten with the right hand. (2)`h should be begun with the recitation of God's name. (3) It should be taken from the side of the dish which is nearest. (4) It should not be taken before others begin to eat. (5) None should took to the ea$ng of others. (6) Food is to be chewed well and not hastily. (7) None should wipe his hand with his wearing garment. (8) Rice or bread without curry should sometimes be eaten. (9) The harms of over eating should be known. (10) Rewards of little food should be known. (11) White cloth and not garments of variegated colours should be put on and not silk cloths. 912) A boy should be directed not to join bad company. (13) He should not be allotted to mix with boys who dress luxuriantly, eat delicious foods and are haughty.
EDUCATION OF CHILDREN: The children should be given at the beginning to learn the reading of the Holy Quran and thereafter Hadis or the sayings of the Prophet and the histories and lives of the Prophets, saints and sages. If they don't love them at the beginning of their lives, it would be disastrous for them afterwards, as soft minds get impressions of good or bad in early age. They should not be given literature and poems of love anecdotes. They should not be allowed to sleep at day time as it creates idleness, or to sleep on soft beds till their limbs become strong. They should be given to put on coarse cloth, coarse food and coarse beddings. They should not be allowed to make plays and sports requiring hard labour and should be encouraged to walk on foot. They should be taught in this way: Don't spit before the people, don't cleanse nostrils before them, don't yawn before them, sit with them in a good manner and don't keep them behind, don't sit placing one leg upon another, don't talk too much, don't tell falsehood, show respect to the elders and seniors in age, don't hold indecent talks and don't rebuke and backbite others.
When a boy reaches the age of discretion, he should be told to pray, fast Ramzan and observe the religious duties. When he reaches youth, he should be given education on everything and the reasons for observing religious duties. He should be given
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instruction that this world is short lives and the next world is everlasting, that death is imminents that a wise man takes provisions for the next world from this world and he should be given such other profitable teachings.
The sage Sahal Tastari's training. He said: When I was three years old, I looked at the prayers of my maternal uncle at night. one day he said to me: Why don't you remember God who created you? I said: How can I remember Him? He said: When you go to bed at night, say three times without moving your tongue: God is with me, God is near me, God is looking at me. I learnt them in this way. Then he said: Recite them seven times every night. After seven days, he said: Recite this eleven times every night. After one year, he said to me: Recite this till you go to the grave and this will be your friend in this world and the next. I learnt the Quran by heart at the age of seven years. At twelve, I began to fast all the year round. I began to follow the following ways in my life. I used to purchase wheat with one dirham per day, prepare food with it, fast the day and break it with that without curry or salt. After one year, I began to fast three days at a time with a break of the next day. Then I used to fast three days at a time and then seven days. Thus I increased my fast gradually to 25 days at a time without any break. In this way, I spent twenty
years of my life.
MODES OF RELIGIOUS EXERCISE: He who wishes to acquire the fortune of the next world should observe some rules holding firmly by the Quran. The obstacles in the path of religion should be removed as they may prevent him towards spiritual progress. God says: I have placed a screen in their front and a screen in their back and then I covered them and they don't see -
There are four walls before a religious disciple - (1) wall of wealth, (2) wall of honour, (3) wall of Mazhabs and (4) wall of sins. The wall of wealth can be removed if it goes out of hand except necessary means to meet bare necessaries of life. The second wall of honour and rank can be removed by shifting from the place of honour and name and fame. The third 'wall is the differences of opinion in religious matters. Blind faith in one's sect must be removed from mind and one should firmly believe that there is no deity but God and that Muhammad is 1+s Messenger and best guide. The fourth wall is the obstacle of sins.
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Repentance for past sins, restraint from acts of oppression and compensation to the oppressed parsons should be taken recourse to remove this obstacle of sins.
'When the above four obstacles are removed, he becomes like a person who prepares himself by wash and ablution and becomes fit to observe prayer. Then he requires a spiritual guide to show him the straight path as this path is one only and the paths of the devil are many. Such a man should be kept as it were within the boundaries of a fort, so that the devil may not enter it. This fort of religion has got four walls (1) solitude, (2) silence, (3) hunger and (4) sleeplessness. These four things obstruct the devil to enter the fort.
The object of a disciple is to purify the mind to that he may have glimpse of his Lord therein and attain. His nearness. Hunger reduces the blood of heart and makes it pure and bright. This brightness is the light of mind or soul. Hunger melts the fat of heart and as a result, softness and humility come in. This softness is the key of spiritual insight. Heart becomes hard for obstruction. Whenever the blood of heart is reduced, the circulation path of the devil becomes narrow.
Jesus Christ said: 0 my disciples, keep your belly hungry that you may see your Lord. Sahal Tastari said: Abdals cannot be raised to their rank without four qualities keeping the belly empty, sleeplessness, silence and solitude from the turmoils of society. It is an open truth that heart becomes bright owing to hunger. This is the fruit of experience. Sleeplessness makes the heart bright, pure and radiant. It increases the brightness gained by hunger and makes it bright like a bright star or a clear mirror and then truth sparkles therein. Sleeplessness is the fruit of hunger and it is impossible 19 bxpect sleeplessness with a full belly. Too much sleep makes the heart dead and hard. Sleep to the extent of necessity becomesta means of seeing unseen things. The Abdals eat when pressed by extreme hunger and sleep in case of extreme slumber and talk at the time of extreme necessity. Hazrat Ibrahim Khawas said: It is the unanimous opinion of seventy truthful men that there is too much sleep in case of too
Silence makes lonely habitation easy, but a man of silence is not free from those who are ready to serve him. As a result, he
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;"spels without~tecessity and feels joy in greed. Silence increases *oWer of intellect and encourages God fear. Loneliness saves a '"man from work, brings ear and eye under control and opens the gates of heart. Knowledge gained through the five senses shall have to be closed first and then the knowledge from the bottom of heart will arise. This knowledge is clear and pure as is the was with the water which comes out of the bottom of a well as a result of excavation. It is not necessary to gain knowledge through. the five senses except when required.
CONTROL OF EVIL PROPENSITLES: A sojourner in the path of religion will then advance towards the straight path after the obstructions are removed. propensities of heart are the causes of worldly attachment and obstructions of which one is greater than the other. In other to cut them off, the following rules shall have to be observed. At first, the most easy obstruction shall have to be removed. In other words, love for wealth, name and fame, attachment for the world, inclination towards commission of sins etc. shall have to be given up from the heart which requires sustained, long and continued efforts.
Another way is silent Zikr or remembrance of God. he will prevent his mind to make too much Doa and Darud. His Doa will be one which is the kernel of all Doas - to remember God Mind will not be engaged in remembering God if it is engaged in much Doa and Darud. He will utter 'Allah' Allah' till his utterance by tongue is closed and by heart opened. Mind will then question these things - what is the meaning of Allah? These are the whisperings of the devil. It is of two kinds. One kind is that the devil casts doubt in mind which he shall drive away and remain busy with Zikr of God. God says: When whispering of the devil come to you, seek refuge to God - 7:200. God says: When the party of the devil touch those who fear God, they remember God and they then look on.
****End of Chapter 2 - Volume 3 *****
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