REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
CONTENTS OF BOOK III
THE BOOK OF DESTRUCTIVE EVILS
Harms of greed and sexual passion 69
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Destructive Evils
GREED FOR FOOD SEXUAL PASSION
Greed for food is a destructive evil. Owing to this greed, Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise. They were prohibited to eat the fruits of a certain tree but they ate them prompted by a strong greed and as such evil deeds were disclosed to the. In fact, belly is the container of greed and the bleeding ground of diseases and disasters. In case of satisfaction of belly, sexual passion rises high, and it encourages companionship with women. Desire for name and fame grows from greed. Then come the evil attributes of hatred, clash of interests, pride, self-conceit etc. These can be removed by hunger.
MERITS OF HUNGER: The Prophet said: Fight your passion with hunger and thirst. Its merits are equal to those gained by Jihad in the way of God. Nothing is dearer to God then hunger and thirst. The Prophet said: No angel from heaven comes to one who eats belly-full. The Prophet was once asked: Who is best? He replied: One who eats little, laughs little and remains satisfied with cloth necessary to cover his private parts. He said: Put on old cloth, fill up half of your belly with food and drink as it is a portion of prophethood. The Prophet said: Fikr (meditation about God's creation) is half of divine service but little food is full divine service. He said: Hunger is chief of all actions and Sufi dress curbs passion. He said: He who among you bears hunger for a long time and ponders about God will be best in rank among you on the resurrection day. He who sleeps long, eats much and drinks much will be the greatest object of the wrath of God.
The Prophet used to remain hungry without want. In other words, be kept himself hungry willingly. The Prophet said: God glorifies before His angels about one who eats little and drinks little in the world and says: 0 angels, look to My servant, I am trying him in the world by food and drink. He gave them up with patience. 0 angels, bear witness, I will raise him up to paradise in proportion to the less number of morsels he eats. The Prophet said: Don't make your heart dead by taking excessive food and drink as the heart is like a field of crops. When there is excessive water in a field, crops are damaged. He said: The son of Adam
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does not fill up anything more obnoxious than excessive food to keep his backbone erect is sufficient for him. If he is not able to do it, then one-third of his belly is for food, one third for drink and one-third for breathing.
SIGNS OF ABDAL: The Prophet said: Those who keep
patience in hunger, thirst and calamities for long will stay on the Resurrection Day near the Almighty God. They are God-fearing hones men without shoes. They car not be recognised on sight. If they remain absent, they, are not searched. The undeveloped paces know them and the angels of heaven keep them encircled. They are the best of the people in the earth and best in divine service. The. people spread out their soft beds, but they use their heads and knees as beds. The people destroy the character and conduct of the Prophet but they preserve them. The world in which they roam weeps for them if they are lost. If none of them lives in a country, God is displeased with it. They are not greedy for the world just as a dog is greedy over corpse. The live by eating leaves and vegetables, put on torn rags and are disheveled in hairs and laden with dust. The people think that they are diseased, but in fact they are not so. Some think that they have lost intellect, but it is not so. Their attention is towards the actions of God who removed the attachment of the world from them. They wander among the worldly men as men without interest, but there is endless honour for them in the next world.
0 Osamah, when you see them anywhere, know that for the inhabitants of the place, they are safeguards and God will not punish the people among whom they live. The world is happy for them and the Almighty is pleased with them. Take them as brethren for yourselves. perchance you may get salvation on that' account. If you can die when your belly remains hungry and your spleen thirsty, it will be better because you will have an honourable place on that account and the angels will be happy at the advent of your soul. God also will shower His blessings on you.
The Prophet said: Put on Sufi dress and fill up half of your belly, you will then enter paradise. Jesus Christ said: 0 my disciples, Keep your belly hungry, keep your body without cloth, God will then appear in your heart. There is written in the Torah: God is displeased with a stout and strong learned man as it is a sign of carelessness and overeating. The Prophet said: The devil
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runs through a man like the circulation of blood. Make it narrow by hunger and thirst. He also said: If anybody eats to his heart's content, he is attacked with leprosy. He also said: A believer eats filling up one gut, but a hypocrite eats filling up seven gut's. In other words, a hypocrite eats seven times more than a believer or the passion and greed of a hypocrite are seven times greater than those of a believer. Here gut means greed. He also said: Knock at the door of paradise, it will be opened for you. When questioned a out knocking, he said: By hunger and thirst.
Once Abu Juhafa was belching in an assembly of the Prophet who said to him: Lessen your belching. He who eats to his heart's content in this world will suffer much owing to hunger on the day of resurrection. Hazrat Ayesh reported: The Prophet never ate to his heart's content. Sometimes I wept seeing the pangs off his hunger. Then I passed my hand over his belly and said: My life be sacrificed to thee. What is the fault in eating so much as can keep your strength 'and appease your hunger? He said: 0 Ayesha, my predecessor Prophets suffered more than this and kept patience. They adopted this condition and went to their Lord. Their honour is unlimited and their rewards are profuse. So I fear if I greed for pleasure of living, my condition may be less than theirs tomorrow. So it is better to me to bear patience to- day in troubles than that my fortune maybe less to-morrow. Nothing is dearer to me than to live together with my brethren and companions with dignity. Hazrat Ayesha said: After this talk, the Prophet did not live longer than seven days.
Hazrat Anas reported: Once Hazrat Fatema came with apiece of bread to the Prophet who said to her: What is of this bread. The Prophet said: To-day this food will enter the belly of your father after three days. Hazrat Anas reported that the family members of the Prophet did not eat the bread of wheat consequitively for three days till the Prophet expired. The Prophet said: Those who remain hungy in this world will eat their h\heart's content in the next world. He who eats to his full belly is an object of greedy for it will have rank in Paradise.
Wise sayings. Hazrat Omar said: Have a sharp look to your belly as it becomes heavy in life and destroyed after death. These age Shaqiq Balakhi said: Divine service is a profession, its shop is solitude and its weapon is hunger. The wise Luqman advised his son: 0 dear son, when you eat your belly full, good then falls
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asleep, wisdom becomes inactive, and the organs take leisure.
Hazrat Fazil-b-Iayaz addressed himself thus: What thing do you
fear? Why do you fear hunger? The Prophet and his companions
used to remain hunger. Why do you neglect it? The sage
Khamash used to say: 0 my Lord, you keep me without food and
cloth and allow me to sit lose to Thee in darkness without light.
Tell, my Lord, on account of which virrue I have achieved this luck. The sage Majak-b-Dinar said: 0 my Lod, I asked Muhammad-b-Waseq: 0 Abu Abdullah, he who has got food proportionate to his wants and does not live depending on others is happy. He said to me: 0 Abu Ihya; he is happy who is pleased with God remaining hungry in the morning and evening. The sage Ihya-b-Ma'az said: Hunger of the hopeful is a cause of wakefulness, hunger of the patient is the control of passion and the hunger of the ascetics is wisdom.
There is in the Torah: Fear God when you eat to your belly full and remember hunger. The sage Abu Solainman Darani said: I like to eat one morsel less than to be attentive in prayer during the whole night up to morning. He also said: Hunger is one of the treasure s of God. He gives it to one whom He loves. The sage Sahal Tastari used not to take meal consequitively for 25 days at a time. One dirham was sufficient for his meal throughout the year. He used to consider the rank of hunger with honour and made exaggeration. Even he said: The reward which is gained by giving up surplus food in following the practice of the Prophet will not be gained by other actins on the resurrection day. He also said: There is nothing more profitable than hunger. He also said: I don't know of a more harmful thing for a man seeking the next world than eating with heart's content. He also said: Knowledge lies in hunger and sin and ignorance lie in over eating. He said: No man does better divine service than to act in opposition to his passion after giving up lawful things.
The Prophet said: One third of the belly is for food. He who eats more than that spools his good deeds. Being asked about additional merits he said: He will not get additional merits till hunger becomes dearer to him than over eating and till he prays at night remaining hungry. When he does this, he will be entitled to get additional rewards. He also said: An Abdal (ascetic) is not included in the class of Abdals till he does not love to remain hungry without sleep and to remain silent. He said: Of all the
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virtuous deeds which descended from heaven to earth, the greatest is hunger. Of all the evils which have descended from heaven to eath, the worst is eating with heart's content. He said: The machinations of the devil go away from one who remains hungry. He said: God advances to a man who is in hunger, diseases, dangers and calamities. God releases some men from these things at His sweet will. He said: Know that a man of the present age will not get salvation till he destroys his passion and sleeps by hunger, and does hard labour. He said: There is no such man in the world who can save himself from sin by drinking to his heart's content even though he expresses grtefulness to God. If it is so in case of water drinking, how will it be in case of eating with full satisfaction?
Some wise man was asked: How can I change my passion? He said: Change your passion with hunger, thirst, taking up humility, by giving up name and fame, making them lower by placing them under the feet off those who seek the next world and opposing constantly your passions. The sage Abdul Wahed said: The merciful loves a hungry man. A man can walk upon water by virtue of hunger and God gives him power for this. The sage Abu Bakr Mujni said: God loves three men-(1) one who sleeps little, (2) one who eats little, and (3) one who takes little rest.
Jesus christ once kept fast consequitively for two months and began to converse secretly with his Lord. When he remembered to take his meal, the secret conversation stopped and he found his meal placed before him. He began to weep when his secret conversation was suddenly closed. It is said that Moses gained the power of secretly talking with God when he was in fast of consequitive forty days.
BENEFITS OF HUNGER AND HARMS
The Holy Prophet said: 'Fight your passion with hunger and thirst.' You may ask wherefrom this good of hunger comes and what is its cause though it gives trouble to belly. This statement is like the word of a man who thinks, after getting the benefit of a bitter and distasteful medicine that a bitter medicine gives benefit. Benefit arises not from bitterness of the medicine. A physician knows the effect of such a medicine. Similarly the
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sages and saints among the learned understand the benefit s of hunger. He who believes the truth of remaining hungry gets the benefit. God says: God will raise those in ranks who believe among you and those who have been given knowledge. The following ten benefits are obtained from hunger.
(1) Hunger makes the heart pure, conduct fresh and sight sharp. On the other hand, over-eating makes one lazy, heart blind and incurs heat in brain like intoxication, even it attacks the men of thoughts. As a result, the power of thoughts goes away. When a boy eats much, his power of memory becomes dull and he becomes a fool. The sage Abu Solaiman Darabi said: Remain hungry as it curtails passion, makes the heart soft and it gives divine knowledge therein. The Prophet said: Make the heart alive by little laugh, little food and make it pure by hunger. It will become then pure and clean. He said: Hunger is like lightning, over-eating is like cloud and wisdom is like the shower of rain. The Prophet said: Whose eats to his heart's content and sleeps much, his heart becomes hard. Then he said:lThere is Zakat of everything and the Zakat of body is hunger. The Prophet said: The thinking power of a man increases who keeps his belly hungry and his heart becomes sharp and strong. The sage Shibli said: I saw on the very day I remained hungry for pleasure of God that the door of my heart has been opened towards wisdom and knowledge in such a way which I did not see before. It is not a secret thing that the ultimate object of divine worship is to acquire such thinking power which takes to divine knowledge and true knowledge of everything. Eating with satisfaction is an obstacle to that object and hunger opens its door.
Divine knowledge is a door to paradise. So it should be unlocked by hunger. For this reason, Luqman advised his son: 0 darling, when you fill up the belly with food, thinking power falls asleep, wisdom becomes idle and the bodily organs abstain from divine service. Hazrat Abu Yezid Bostami said: Hunger is like a cloud. When a men feels hungry, heart then showers rain of wisdom. He said: Hunger is the light of wisdom and eating with satisfaction keeps God at a distance. Love for the poor and nearing them bring God near. Don't eat to your heart's content, it will extinguish the light of wisdom from your heart Hurs wander about a man who passes night with little food up to morning.
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(2) Hunger makes the heart soft and pure and therewith the sweet taste of Zikr and Monazat is felt. How many a men of Zikr makes Zikr by tongue without the attention of mind,-so that the heart does not find taste therein as its effect does not fall in soul. it's taste is found in hunger. The sage Abu Solaiman Darani said: When my back becomes attached to my belly, I get taste in divine service. The saint Junaid said: The hope of one who wants taste in Monazat by placing the dish of food between him and his breast will not meet with success. He also said: When the belly becomes hungry and thirsty, the heart becomes soft and clean. When it becomes satisfied with food, it becomes blind and hard. When the heart finds taste in Monazat or invocation, it becomes easy to think about God and divine knowledge increases.
(3) Another benefit of hunger is the breaking of heart which produces modesty. Pride and enjoyments are removed by hunger. A man does not understand the power and glory of God till he does not feel absolutely helpless and sees darkness all around being unable to gather food and drink and till he realises power and might of God and becomes modest and submissive to Him. When all the treasures of the world were presented to the Prophet, he rejected them all and said: Rather I prefer to remain hungry one day and take food the next day. On the day I remain hungry, I shall be humble with patience and on the day I take food, I shall be grateful. In short, belly and sexual passion are the doors of Hell and their root is eating with satisfaction. Humility and break of heart are the doors of Paradise and their root is hunger. He who closes up the door of Hell opens then the door of Paradise as these doors are facing the east and the west. If one comes near a door, he goes distant from another.
(4) Another benefit of hunger is not to be forgetful of God's punishment. In case of satisfied eating, one forgets the pangs of the hunger. Once Joseph was asked: Why do you suffer from hunger though there are the treasures of the kingdom in your hand? He replied: In case of eating with satisfaction, I fear I may forget the sufferings of the hungry and the poor.
(5). Another benefit of hunger is that the propensity of committing sin is brought under control. Hunger arrests the greed for committing sins and controls the propensities of evils. The root of all sins is greed and physical strength and the root of
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these two is satisfied eating. So little quantity of food weakens these things. To acquire power to control passion is the root of all fortunes and to submit to passion is the root of all misfortunes. The turbulent animals can be brought under control by keeping them hungry. Similarly the unruly passions can be brought under control by hunger. A certain sage was asked: you have grown old. Why don't you take care of your body? Your body is getting black. He said: The body runs for enjoyments and wishes evils. I fear it may throw me in to a deep ditch. I like more to give it trouble than that it should throw me into sins.
The saint Jun Nun Misri said: Whenever I ate to my heart's content, thought of sin arose in my mind. Hazrat Ayesha said: After the demise of the Prophet, the first innovation that has come into being is eating with satisfaction. Hunger is not only useful to suppress passion, but it can be called the touch stone of all useful things. For this reason, a certain great man said: Of all the treasures of God, hunger is a valuable jewel. The lowest danger that can be averted by hunger is sexual passion, evil passion and passion of talk. A hungry man does not wish to talk much, he is rescued from backbiting, indecent talks and falsehoods. In case of satisfied eating, a man cannot control sexual organ. If he can control it for fear of God, he cannot control his eyes and mind and he does not get pleasure in invocation. A certain wise man said: If a sojourner towards the next world keeps patience by observing the rules of religion and eats for one year half belly full with bread only without any curry. God removes from him the evil thoughts of enjoying women.
(6) Another benefit of hunger is sleeplessness. He who eats to his heart's content drinks much, and he who drinks much sleeps much. As many as. seventy truthful and pious men said unanimously: 'Excessive drining creates excessive sleep. Excessive sleep spoils life. Life is the most valuable thing of a man and so it is ruined by excessive sleep.
(7) Another benefit of hugger is that divine worship becomes easy. In case off excessive eating, one becomes lazy and idle and so divine service becomes difficult. The sage Sari Sakti said: I saw the saint Abu Zarzani taking drink of wheat dipped in water and asked him: Why do you take this trouble? I can recite Tasbih seventy times during the time taken by chewing bread of wheat
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and for that I did not take bread for the last forty years. He thought that change of food is loss of time. So every breath of life is a valuable asset which should be utilized by collecting wealth of the next world. It is easy for one who has got the habit of for bearing hunger. The saint Abu Solaiman D ani mentioned six harms of eating with satisfaction. (1) Such a man does not get pleasure in invocation. (2) He can't remember the matters of knowledge and wisdom. (3) He loses the attribute of showing kindness to the people. (4) He feels difficulty in doing divine services. (5) Sexual passion and greed become strong in his mind. (6) When the worshipers are engaged in mosques, he is confined in privies.
(8) Another benefit of hunger is preservation of health and removal of diseases. A little quantity of food improves health and removes diseases. Excessive eating accumulate diseases in stomach and veins. The diseased man cannot do divine services, Zikr and pondering. Hunger removes all these difficulties.
Caliph Harun Rashid is reported to have called eminent physicians of his time of India, Byzantium, Iraq and Abyssinis and said to them: Give me such a medicine as can prevent all diseases. The Indian physician said: If you use black Ahliz, you will not be attacked with any disease. The Iraqi physician said: It is the medicine of white seeds of Helencha. The physician of Byzantium said: It is the medicine of Ahliz makes was most experienced said: The medicine of Ahliz makes the stomach narrow and creates a disease. The seeds of white Hellencha make the stomach soft and create a disease. They asked: What medicine have you got then? He said: What will not create any disease in my sight is this. Don't eat unless you feel hungry and lift up your hand when there remains a little hunger. They all said: You haven prescribed the right medicine.
A philosopher was asked imprisons of some physicians of the People of the Book about the following saying of the Prophet: One third of the belly is for food, one third for drink and one third for taking breath. He wondered at it and said: I have never heard of a more wise saying in the matter of little food than this and this must be the saying of a wise man. The Prophet said: Gluttony is the root of disease and restraint from food and drink is the root of cure. Teach the habit to which each organ is entitled. The physician was astonished to hear this saying of the Prophet. The
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sage Ibn Salim said: No disease can attack a man except death who eats according to rules bread of pure wheat. He was asked: What are its rules? He said: To eat it after being hungry and to rise up before satisfaction. A certain experienced physician said with condemnation of excessive eating: The most beneficial of all foods which are allowed to enter the stomach is pomegranate and the worst is salt, yet salt in small quantity is better than pomegranate and the worst is salt, yet salt in small quantity is better than pomegranate in large quantity. The Prophet said: Fast and you will be healthy and the body will be cured of the diseases on account of sting, hunger and little eating and the heart will be free from the diseases of infidelity, self conceit and other diseases.
(9) Another benefit of hunger is little expense. If you practice little eating, a little expense will be sufficient. The belly of a man becomes heavy who eats to his heart's content. He thinks every day for earning foods and says: Today what shall I eat? He roams throughout the day in earning foods and then falls in to unlawful earnings and commits sins or he earns lawful things but faces dishonor. Little expense comes to my mind. The sage Ibrahim-b-Adham being asked about high prices of food stuffs, said: Give-up these food stuffs and make them cheap. The saint Sahal Tastari said: A glutton is condemned lazy in divine service, (2) if he is a trader, he is not safe from dangers, (3) if anything comes to him he does not do justice to himself. In a word, attachment to the world is a cause of destruction of a man and the cause of this attachment is belly and sexual passion, and the cause of sexual passion is full satisfaction of belly. Little eating removes all these evils. The Prophet said: 'Knock at the door of Paradise by hunger.' He who is satisfied daily with one piece of bread becomes free from want. He does not depend on the people, gets free from sorrows and sufferings and can engage himself fully in divine service and trade of the next world. He then becomes one of those of whom God said: There are men whom business and buy and sale can not divert from the remembrance of God.
(10) Another benefit of hunger is to be ended with the attribute of charity and of giving up self-praise. One who keeps himself hungry and thirsty removes the hunger and thirst of another with his own meal and gives in charity his excess food to the orphans and the poor. On the Resurrection Day, he will take
shelter under the shadow of his charity. What he eats is saved in privy and what he gives in charity is hoarded in his treasury. This is the gift of God. A man has got no wealth except what he stores up in his treasury by charity, what finishes after he eats and what gets old after he puts it on. So eat little. To spend in charity excess food is better than to eat with satisfaction.
Hazrat Hasn Basri recited this verse (33:72)1 offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof but man undertook it. Then he said: God asked the angels to carry this burden. He asked them; Will you bear the responsibility of this trust? God said: If you make it beautiful, you will get rewards. If you make it ugly, you will be punished. They said: We shall not accept it. He then presented it to men who accepted it as they are prone to make oppression on soul and ignorant of Lord's order. By God, they are now selling that trust in exchange of money. Thereafter there are making beautiful houses but make their graves narrow. They
are making their bodies therewith stout and strong but they are
making their religion lean and thin. Once the Prophet saw a man wfth building belly. He hinted at it and said: If you had spent it on other affairs, it would have been better for you.
These are. the ten benefits of hunger. Innumerable benefits come out of each benefit. So there is no end of the benefits of hunger. It is the most valuable asset for the next world. For this reason, a certain sage said: Hunger is a key to the next world and the door to asceticism. eating with satisfaction is the key to this world and the door to greed.
SOJOURNER IN THE PATH OF RELIGION: Those who wish the walk in the path of religion should observe the following rules to control the greed for food and drink. His first duty is that he shall not eat except lawful foods. If a man worships after eating unlawful food lives in a house built in the waves of sea. Besides this, there remain three duties to be observed in connection with food (1) quantity of meal, (2) time of meal, (3) and the kinds of meal.
QUANTITY OF MEAL: Litte food is good. A man should lessen his meal gradually and not at a time. There are four stages of meal according to the degree of piety. The first and the highest is the stage of a Siddiq or truthful man. He eats what is absolutely
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necessary to upkeep his today. The saint Sahal Tastari said: A man can worship by three things life, intellect and strength. When a man fears loss of life and intellect, he should eat and if he then fasts, he should break it. It is the unanimous opinion of the learned men that it is better to pray sitting owing to weakness of hunger than to pray standing after eating with satisfaction. When . he was asked about his quantity of food, he replied: My meal for a whole year cost me nearly three dirhams. One day I purchase wheat with one dirham, fine rice with one dirham and clarified butter with one dirham. After mixing them all, I make 360 small pieces. Every evening, I break fast with one piece only.
The second stage of meal consists of half 'mud' which is the general practice. Half 'mud' is equivalent to 25 tolas of food or ten morsels. This fills up nearly one-third of belly. The Prophet said: A few morsels are sufficient for a man. He recommended this quantity of food to be eaten. Hazrat Omar used to eat not more then seven to nine morsels. The third stage of meal consists of one 'Mud' or fifty tolas a day. It may fill up two thirds of belly. The fourth stage consists of meal of a little more than one 'Mud' per day. If a man eats in excess of this quantity, he commits the sin of extravagance of which God says: Eat and drink but do not squander 7:31. The fifth stage of meal is the general rule and majority partake of this quantity of food. They take much more than half a seer. They are often cheated by false hunger.
SIGNS OF TRUE HUNGER
(1) The first sign of hunger is the will to eat only rice or bread even though there is no curry. If there is no will to take rice or bread without curry, there is no real hunger. (2) The second sign of real hunger is that such a man licks the plate or dish of meal. It means that he does not allow any greasy or oily things in the dish to remain.
QUANTITY OF FOOD COMPANIONS AND SAINTS: It is true that the meal of a companion out of a party per week did not exceed one sa'a equivalent to 2 1/2 seers. When he ate dates or grapes, it rose up to one sa'a. According to this calculation, the quantity of their daily meal was half a mud or five sixteenth seers which filled up one third of the belly of each one.of them. The companion Abu Zarr said: During the time of the Prophet, my food every weak was barley of one sa'a. Now you are eating fine
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bread. You are now enjoying two curries in place of one at the time of the prophet. You have now got one at the time of the prophet. You have now gotten dress for the day time and another dress for the night time. The daily meal of the inhabitants of Suffa was one Mud or five eighth seers for two.
TIME OF MEAL: There are four stages regarding the time of meal. The people of the highest stage take meal once in every three days or more. Some of them took no food even for forty days at a stretch. A party of saints reached that limit and they are
the following: Muhammad-b-Omar, Abdur Rahmman-b
Ibrahim, ibrahim Taisi, Hajaz-b-Faresah. Hafsal Aref, Mushab-b-Sayeed, Solaiman Khawas, Sohal-b-Abdullah Tastrari, Ibrahim-b-Ahmed khawas. Hazrat Abu Bakr used to take meal once is six days, Abdullah-b-Jaber once in seven days and Abdul Zaoja once in seven days, Sufyan-b- Saori and Ibrahim-b-Adham once in three days.
Some learned men said: Some secrets of the unseen world are disclosed to a man who can remain without food for consequitive forty days. One of these sages, while passing by a Christian monk, invited him to accept Islam and to give up self conceit. There were much arguments between them over this matter. The monk said to him at last: Jesus Christ fasted forty consequitive days. This is a m trade indeed. Had he not been a Prophet, he could not have done so. The sage said to him: If I can fast for consequitive fifty days, will you accept Islam? The monk said: I shall accept Islam in that case. Thereafter the sage fasted for consequitive fifty days at a stretch. The sage said: I can fast ten days more. He then continued his fast for ten days more. The Christian monk was astonished at this and said: I did not think that any man can surpass Jesus Christ in this matter. Then he
(2) Second Stage. In this stage, some pious men fast from two to three days consequitively. This can be done by habit. (3) Third Stage. The people of this stage take meal once a day. This is the lowest stage for a sojourner in the path of the next world. If anybody takes meal more than once in a day of 24 hours, it will be considered extravagance and eating with satisfaction. Such a person has got no hunger. It is far from following the ways of the Prophet. The companion Abu Sayeed said: If the Prophet took meal in the morning, he did not take it at night. If he took meal at
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night, he did not take it in the morning. The Prophet once said to
Hazrat Ayesha: 0 Ayesha, beware, don't squander. In case of two meals a day, there is squander. One meal in every two days is the lowest rank of the Sufis and one meal per day is the middle of the two stages. If anybody wishes to take one meal a day, he should take it after Tahajjud prayer and before morning prayer. In that case, the rewards of fasting by day and hunger by night are obtained.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah said: The Prophet never prayed Tahajjud like you. He stood so long in Tahajjud that his feet got swollen. He used not to take meal after If tar as you do. He used to take meal of fasting at the time of Sehri only. Hazrat Ayesha said that the Prophet used to remain hungry up to the time of Sehri. Meal should be divided in to two. If it is said that two pieces of bread are sufficient, then one bread at the time of Iftar and another at the time of Sehri, should be taken. If meal is taken at the time of Sehri, hunger during the day does not become acute and Tahajjud prayed with peaceful mind.
(3) Kind of food: The seeds of wheat are the best of foods. Meat and sweet things are best and salt and condiment are worst. The middle kind of food is curries cooked with oil. The sage Ihya-b- Maaz said: 0 religious men appertaining to the class of the truthful, keep your passion now hungry for feast of the Paradise of Ferdous. For this reason, there are abundant rewards in giving up greed for even lawful things and the possibility of harms if they are enjoyed in full. The Prophet said: Those who eat fine flour are worst. It is not unlawful but the meaning of this Hadis is that if one is habituated to eating fine flour, he may fall to the attachment of the world which leads to sin. The Prophet said: Among my followers, those are worst whose goal is food of various kinds and fine dresses and who spend most of their times in useless talks. God revealed to Moses: 0 Moses, consider
yourself as an inmate of grave. My remembrance will restrain you from greed and evil desires. The earlier sages feared for those
who enjoyed delicious food and remained busy in satisfaction of
their natural propensities.
Hazrat Omar restrained himself from drinking cold water mixed with honey. He said: Save me from the responsibility of its account. It has been narrated that once Ibn Omar fell ill and he wanted to enjoy fresh fish. After search, a fish worth one and a half
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sham was brought to him. The fish was fried and was presented to him with bread. At that time a beggar came there. He ordered his servant to give him the fish with the bread. The servant gave him one
and half dirham and did not give him the fish and bread. He
ordered his servant to give the beggar the fish and the bread in addition to the dirhams and said: I heard the Prophet say: God forgives the sins of one who denies himself a thing for which he has got greed to enjoy. The Prophet said: If you donot appease the hunger for a dog by giving it a piece of bread and a pot of pure water, calamity will come to the world and its inmates.
Once news reached Hazrat Omar that Yezid, son of, Abu Sufiyan, remained busy in enjoyment of various delicious food. He said to his servant: When the meal of night is served before Yezid, inform me at once. The servant informed him accordingly and Hazrat Omar went to him and sat by his side. Hazrat Omar began to eat with him. At first soup of meat was presented and then came baked meat. When Yezid was going to take it, Omar said to him: 0 Yezid, one food after another? By One in whose and there is my life, if you give up the practices of the sages of the previous refugees, you will drift away from their path.
Yasar-Ibn Omar said: I never prepared for Hazrat Omar thin bread made of fine flour. It has been said that the saint Otbatui Golam used to eat flour pasted with water after it is baked in the sun and say: One piece of bread and salt are sufficient and in that case, fried meat and delicious food can be eaten in the next world. His maid servant once said to him: If you give me flour, I can prepare for you bread after it is baked in fire and I can give you cold water to drink. He said to her: 0 mother of so and so, I have driven out from me the dog of hunger.
Shaqiq-b-Ibrahim said: I met a Mecca Ibrahim-b-Adham who was then weeping. On being asked the reason, he said: For the last 30 years, I have been desirous of eating Harirah (sweet thing) but I have restrained myself with great difficulty. Last night when I was in sleep, I found a young man with a green pot in which there was Harirah. He said to me: 0 Ibrahim, eat it. I said: I shall noteat it. I havegiven it up forGod. He said: God has given you to eat it. Then I began to weep and eat it.
The'sage Malek-b-Dinar lived at Basra for 50 years. He did not enjoy during this long period fresh and dried grapes. Hazrat
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Musa Ashjeyi said: I had a desire for the last 20 years to eat bread of fine wheat but I did not enjoy it. The saint Abu Solaiman said: Salt is a thing of luxury. Hazrat Ali said If a man eats meat continuously for 40 days, his temper becomes harsh. A wise man said: Eating of meat continuously become like drinking of wine.
DUTIES AFTER MEAL: (1) When a man wishes to cohabit with his wife he should do it before he takes his meal. (2) It is better not to sleep after eating and drinking with satisfaction. Two harms arise in case of sleep after meal the habit of idleness and the heart becoming hard. (3) It is better after meal to hold conversation, to pray, to make Zikr as these are near expressing gratefulness. The Prophet said: Digest your food by prayer and Zikr and don't sleep soon after meal. If you do it, your heart will become hard. (4) The lowest duty after meal is to pray four rak'ats or to recite one hundred Tasbih or a portion of the Quran. When Sufiyan Saori ate with satisfaction at night, he used to pray throughout the night. When he ate with satisfaction at day time he used to pray and make Zikr. He said: Give full food to the belly of a Negro slave and exact from him hard work. He used often to say: Exact from him hard work after giving full food. Whenever you desire to eat some food or good fruits, you should take it in lieu of meal, so that you may gain strength. A wise man said: Don't eat being greedy for it. If you eat it, don't search for it. If you search for it, don't love it. To search for various kinds of food is greed. Don't allow your greed to follow all lawful things. Whatever food a man takes out of greed, he will be said therefor: You have enjoyed your good things in this word's life. You can fulfill your desire in the next world in proportion to your gibing up of greed and desire in this world. A wise man of Basra said: My desire disputed with me about eating bread and fish but I restrained myself from eating them. This continued for the last 20 years. When he died, man of Basra said: I saw him in dream and asked: What rewards has God given you? He said: I can't describe fully what rewards my God has given me. He entertained me first with bread and fish and I have been allowed to enjoy it every day without account. God said: Eat and drink in exchange of what you have lost in bygone days. The sage Abu Solaiman said: To give up a desire is more benefiting than fasting and praying for one year.
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MEANS OF GAINING MODERATION IN EATING: Know, p dear readers, that the object of good conduct is to gain the middle path which is good in all actions and both the extremes are bad. What has been described above about the merits of hunger shows that no extreme is good. The secret of Shariat is that whatever is taken as a result of greed and low desire is the extreme in which there is harm. Shariat prohibited it firmly. Nature encourages eating with heart's content and Shariat prohibits it. When these two things stand face to face, the middle course should be adopted. When the Prophet came to learn that some of the companions prayed throughout the night and fasted throughout the day, he prohibited it. So it is good to eat with moderation as it does not cause heaviness of belly and prevents hunger. The object of food is to save life and to gain strength for divine services. A heavy belly obstructs divine services and acute hunger also prevents it. So it is better to eat food in such proportion as prevents hunger and also heaviness of belly.
Man should acquire the qualities of an angle and when these are a quarried he becomes like an angle. An angel is free from heaviness of belly and pangs of hunger. The object of man should be to acquire that position. The middle path is the best between hunger and over-eating. The Prophet said: The middle path of every action is best. God also says: Eat and drink and donot squander. When nature runs towards greed and low desires, it should be punished by hunger till it gives up passion and greed. The object of hunger is to curb all passions till they come to moderation and under control. A sojourner of the next world should therefore have no necessity of remaining hungry all along as the lash of hunger is not necessary for a siddiq or greatly truthful man.
PROPHET'S WAYS OF EATING: The Prophet had no fixed measure of food and fixed time. Hazrat Ayesha said: The Prophet used to fast in such a way that the people thought that he won't eat and drink and he used to fast in such a way that the people thought that he won't break it. He often used to go to his wives and say: Have you got any food? If they said 'yes' he took meal. Whenever any food was served before him he used to say: ' 'I have fasted' and then he broke his fast and ate it. One day the Prophet came out and said: I have kept fast. Hazrat Ayesha said
to him once: Hais has been presented to us. The Prophet said: I wished to fast, but now take it to me.
Sahal Tastari was once asked: What have done in the beginning of your religious life? He informed him about his divine services. He used to take little food. Sometimes he used to take olive fruits. He ate food for three years worth three dirhams. Being asked about the time of meal, he said: I eat without fixing any time or quantity of food. The sage Ma'ruf Karkhi used to eat whatever food, ordinary or delicious, was presented to him. He was asked: Your brother Bashar Hafi does not eat such delicious food. He replied: My brother is in chain of Govt fear and I opened the door of Ma'arfat. I am a guests of my Lord. I eat whatever He gives me. I have got no power to take or to reject. Hazrat Omar saw his son Abdullah enjoying clarified butter, meat and bread together. He whipped him and said; Eat meat and bread one day and clarified butter another day, and bread and curry another day, and salt another day and bare bread another day. This is the middle path for you. Constant use of meal and greasy things cause extravagance. To give up meat for all times grows the evil of miserliness. The middle course lies between the two extremes.
SEXUAL PASSION: There are two benefits of sexual passion. (i) satisfaction of intercourse and (2) preservation of mankind. The pleasure that is felt in sexual intercourse between a man and his wife is a little sign of his next worldly pleasure. If it were lasting, pleasure would have been strong as physical pain inflicted by force is great. The fear of Hell fire and the greed for pleasure and happens of paradise lead a man towards guidance. If a man would not have the taste of pleasure or pain, it would not have been possible. (2) The second benefit is preservation of mankind. But there is this danger in it that if it is not kept under control and exceeds limit his next world and this world are both destroyed. God taught us to say in this verse: 0 our Lord, don't inflict on us such duty as is outside our power. This power has been said to be sexual desire. God taught us to invoke: I seek refuge from the evils of night when it spreads darkness. This evil is explained by Ibn Abbas as the erection of male organ. The wise said: When the sexual organ of any man stands erect, two-third of his intellect goes away. This Prophet used to pray: I seek refute to Thee from the evils of my ears, eyes, heart, enjoyment and semen.
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The Prophet said: A woman is the string of the devil. Once the devil appeared before Moses and warned him of three things-(1) Don't remain along with a woman in any place because I become the companion of a man and a woman who remain in a lonely place till I throw into the male the snate of the female and the female into the share of the male. (2) Fulfil your promise with God. (3) Spend the wealth you bring out for Zakat and other charities, as I become owner of that wealth which a man keeps separate for charities to the people but does notspend.
There are three stages of sexual passion-excessive, little and middle. In case of excessive sexual passion, a man loses his sense of right and wrong and enjoys any woman and thus destroys his religion and world. Such a man often takes recourse to medicine to increase his sexual passing. The is all the more dangerous. Such a man takes recourse to love-making of which the object is the satisfaction of sexual passion. The medicine for this is to control eyes and thoughts. The Prophet prescribed marriage for them and said: 0 young men, take recourse to marriage. He who is unable to do it, let him fast, as fast for him is castration.
FORNICATION OF EYE: The sin of the fornication of eye is greatest among the minor sins. He who cannot control his eyes cannot save his organ Jesus Christ said: Take care of your eye as it sows she seed of sexual passion in heat and that is sufficient for creation of danger. Prophet Ihya was asked: What is the source of fornication? He said: Eye sight and greed. The Prophet said: Eye sight is a poisonous arrow out of the arrows of the devil. God gives to a man who gives it up for fear of God such faith which gives satisfaction to his heart. He also said: There will remain no greater danger for the people after my death than women. He also said: Fear the world and women. The cause of first danger which came upon the children off Israil was women. God says: Tell the believers to control their eye sight. The Prophet said: Everyone has got a share in fornication. His two eyes commit fornication by sight. His two hands commit fornication by touch. His two feet commit fornication by walk. His mouth commits fornication by Kiss. His heart commits fornication by thought. His sexual organ commits fornication by translating it into action. Hazrat Omme Salemah said: When Ibn Makhtum, a blind man, sought
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permission of the Prophet to see him, I and Maimunah were present there. The Prophet said: Screen yourselves. We said He is blind. He will not see us. He said: I f he does not see you, you will see him Some love the hurdles boys out of sexual passion which is more dangerous. A pious man said: There are three kinds of people-(1) one kind of people cohabit with boys, (2) one kind cast look out of passion, (3) and one kind do indecent deeds. So these are the dangers of eye sight.
DANGERS OF RICH WIFE: There are five dangers of a rich wife-(1) her dower is increased, (2) she makes delay in mixing with her husband, (3) her service is rarely found, (4) her expanse becomes more, (5) she cannot be devout for fear of losing her property. This is not the case in case a poor lady is married. A wise man said: A husband should have four things more than those of his wife, in default, his wife will look down upon him-age, stature being long, riches and pedigree. A female should have four things more than those of her husband-beauty character and conduct, piety and behaviour. Anything which creates forgetfulness of God is harmful. If a man can remember God more in an unmarried state, it is good for him. Once very rich man wanted to marry the saint Rabia Basri. She declined his offer saying: 'If God gives me wealth like yours or more than that, it is not better for me to be forgetful of God even for a moment.' There are medicines for controlling sexual passion. These are hunger, restraint of sight and engagement in some work or other. If no benefit accrues from these three methods, it is better to marry. For this reason, the earlier sages hastened to marry and got their daughters married without delay.
Rewards of opposing passions. Know, 0 dear readers, that sexual passion is stronger in human mind than other passions and curbs intellect at the time of excitement. At that time, one runs after some affairs which are shameful. Few people can control it. Most people refrain from it owing to inability, fear shame and illness. There is no merit in it. If one has got ability to commit fornication an if there is no obstruction, he will acquire merit provided he commits no sin. This is the rank of the truthful. The Prophet said: He who refrains from committing sin even though he is enamored of love of anybody and dies in that condition keeping it secret, is a martyr. He also said: God will
Vol-III Greed and suxual passion 89
give shade to seven persons under His Throne on, the Judgment pay on which there will be no shade except the shade of His Throne. One of them is he who refrains from satisfying the sexual desire of a beautiful woman coming from a respectable family when she calls him and says: I fear the Lord of the universe. In this connection, the story of Josep and Julaikha is a brilliant example. He refrained from satisfying the carnal desire of Julaikha, the wife of the king of Egypt.
Solaiman-b-Yasar was a beautiful man. Once a beautiful woman proposed to him to have sexual connection but he refrained and fled from his house leaving her therein. Solaiman said: in that night, I saw Joseph in dream and asked him: Are you Joseph? He said: Yet, I am Joseph who had sexual desire but you had no such desire. There is a more wonderful story. Once Solaiman started on pilgrimage from Medina with a companion. He alighted at a place called Abwa. His companion went to a market for purchasing food leaving Solaiman in the tent. One Arab woman came then to the tent and she was exquisitely beautiful and young: The woman said to him: I have not come to beg, I want only sexual enjoyment with a male. He said: The devil has brought you to me. Then he placed his head between his knees and began to weep bitterly. Seeing this pitiable condition, she put on her burqa and left the place. He then went to Mecca and made pilgrimage. One night he saw in dream Joseph and said: Your glory regarding the wife of the king of Egypt is wonderful. Joseph said: Your glory regarding the young woman of Abwa is more wonderful.
The Prophet said that three persons went on a journey. Taey took shelter at night to a cave of a hillock. Suddenly a huge stone fell over the youth of the cave and shut it up completely. They found darkness all around and there was no hope of getting out of it. So they recalled their good deeds to seek mercy of God. One of them said: 0 Merciful God, you know that I had a cousin sister who loved me dearly and I also loved her dearly. During the time of famine, I gave her 120 dinars on condition that she would agree to what I say. One day I found her alone and sought to enjoy her but she refused saying: Fear God, don't break my seal without God's order. Then I refrained from it. 0 God, if Thou knowest best that I refrained for Thy fear, shift the stone a little. The stone shifted a little.
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So eye sight is the precursor of fornication. The control it is absolutely necessary. The root of all dangers is sight. The Prophet said: Thee first sight is for you but the second sight is against you. Alla-b-Jiyad said: Don't turn your look repeatedly over the sheet of a female as sight sows seed of sexual passion in mind.
Once a meat seller fell in love with a female slave of his neighbor. Her master one day sent her to another village for some work. Getting this information, the meat seller followed her and caught her on the way. She said to him: Don't do this. I love you more than you love me. Fear God. Then he became repentant and went on his way. When he was thirsty he found no water. Finding a man, he said: Let us both pray to God for rain. The m,eat seller said: I will pray and you will call Ameen (be it so). So they began to pray to God for water and soon a cloud appeared over their heads. When they became separate, the cloud followed the meat seller. On seeing this favour of God on him, his companion came there and asked him the reason. The meat seller narrated to him the story of his love for the female slave and how he controlled his passion.
****End of Chapter 3 - Volume 3 *****
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