In the name of Allah 1 the Compassionate 2 the Merciful ;. Praise unto Allah the. Lord of the worlds 3 and the good issue to the pious, 4 and blessings upon his prophet Mohammed and his family all of them. Know, 0 Youth, 1 beloved and precious; Allah prolong thy days in his obedience, and lead thee in the path of his loved ones-that the open letter 2 of advice is written from the mine of the Message of the apostle , Allah bless him and give him peace; if there has reached you advice from it, what need have you of my advice? Praise the Great God!

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In the name of Allah 1 the Compassionate 2 the Merciful ;. Praise unto Allah the. Lord of the worlds 3 and the good issue to the pious, 4 and blessings upon his prophet Mohammed and his family all of them. Know, 0 Youth, 1 beloved and precious; Allah prolong thy days in his obedience, and lead thee in the path of his loved ones-that the open letter 2 of advice is written from the mine of the Message of the apostle , Allah bless him and give him peace; if there has reached you advice from it, what need have you of my advice?

Praise the Great God! As the Apostle of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said 2 "The person most severely punished in the day of resurrection is the learned one whom Allah the Exalted does not benefit 3 by reason of his knowledge. Just so, though a man read a hundred thousand scientific questions and understood them or learned them, 2 they do not benefit him except by working. And similarly, if a man had fever and jaundice, his cure is in oxymel and barley broth, and he will not regain his health except in their use.

Though thou measure two thousand bottles of wine, Unless thou drink, no thrill is thin? Knowledge is the tree, and working is its fruit; 4 and though you studied a hundred years and collected a thousand books, you would not be prepared for the mercy of Allah the Exalted, except by working, as Allah the Exalted said,.

And "whoever hopes to meet his Lord let him work a righteous work," 6 "a recompense according to what they have done" 7 "a recompense according to what they have earned. And what do you say as to this tradition: Islam is built upon five pillars : the witness that there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed Is the Apostle of Allah; and the instituting of prayers; and the giving of alms; and the fast of Ramadan; and the pilgrimage to Mecca for everyone who is able 11 to make the journey.

And faith is confession with the tongue and belief with the heart and working with the members of the body; and the value 12 of works is greater than can be reckoned; and if the worshipper attains the Garden by the favor of Allah the Exalted and his grace, yet that is after he prepares by his obedience and his worship;.

And if it should be said also he attains it by faith alone, 14 we reply, Yes, but when does he attain? It is told that a man of the children of Israel worshipped Allah the Exalted seventy years; and Allah the Exalted desired to display him to the angels, so Allah sent an angel to him to inform him that with that worship, he was not worthy through it of the Garden; and when he informed him, the worshipper replied, "We are created for worship, and we can but worship him.

Bear witness, oh my angels, That I have. Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Reckon before you are reckoned with, and weigh before you are weighed. I do not know what the purpose of it was. Wakefulness of eyes for other than thine own face is no gain. And weeping of eyes for other than thine own loss is all vain. I and love what you will, you will leave it! By the splendor of the Possessor of splendor, I assuredly I saw in the gospel of 'Isa, 2 upon our prophet and upon him be peace, that he said: "From the moment in which the dead is placed on the bier until he is placed on the edge of the tomb Allah the Exalted in His majesty 3 will ask him forty questions; the first is, he will say: '0 my servant, you have purified yourself in the sight of mankind for years and not for one hour have you purified yourself in my sight, while every day I look in your heart; so I say, as for what you do for another, while you are encompassed by my good gifts, are you not deaf, unheeding?

Know that any science which does not remove you today far from apostasy, and does not carry you to obedience, will not remove you tomorrow from the fire of Hell, and if you do not work today and do not amend the past days, you will say tomorrow in the day of resurrection, "Send us back, we will do good work other than what we were accustomed to do"; and it will be said to you, 0 thou stupid one, thence thou comest!

As said the Apostle of Allah, upon him blessing and peace, "the throne of the Compassionate shook at the death of Sa'id bin Mu'adh, the pleasure of Allah upon him.

He said, "An excellent man he, if only he would pray at night. The pigeon cooed in the darkness of night. On a branch, in weakness, while I was asleep. I lied; for I swear that were I His loved. Not the pigeons alone, but I too would weep; I think I am lovesick, excessively lovelorn. For my Lord-but I weep not, though animals weep I.

Thus, if you fast on the feast day and the days of " tashriq " 1 you are rebellious; or if you pray in a garment taken by violence, though it has the form of worship, yet you sin.

And know that the loosened tongue 4 and the veiled heart filled with negligence and lust, is the sign of misery, so that if you do not kill the fleshly soul with sincere struggle, you will not quicken your heart by the lights of knowledge.

And know that certain of your questions which you asked me cannot be answered in writing and in speech; if you attain that state you will know what they are; and if not, knowing them is impossible; for they are known by experience, 6 and whatever is known by experience cannot he described in words, as the sweetness of the sweet or the bitterness of the bitter cannot be known except by experience.

As it is said that an impotent man wrote to a friend. So I reflected upon the saying of the Exalted, "What is with you vanishes, but what is with Allah abides.

And I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted, "The most worthy of you in the sight of Allah is he who fears him most. And I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted: "There is no moving thing on earth whose nourishment dependeth not upon Allah. And I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted: "Truly whosoever putteth his trust in Allah, He will be suffcient.

Truly Allah will attain his purpose. He has made for everything a fixed period. And the sign of the shaykh who is fitted to be the substitute for the Prophet, upon him be blessing and peace, is that be be learned-not that every learned one is fitted for it; and I will show you certain indications in a general way so that not every one shall pretend he is.

Now outward honor is that he should not dispute with him and not labor in argumentation with him [in every question even if he knows his the shaykh's mistake, and should not put down his prayer carpet before him except at the time of the instituting of prayer, and when, he finishes should lift it up] [, and should not multiply the supererogatory 6 prayers in his presence, and should do what the shaykh commands him according to his capacity and his ability.

But inner honor is that all he hears and accepts from him outwardly he should not deny inwardly, neither in deed nor in word, lest he be branded 7 with hypocrisy;, and if this be not possible, that he should desert his companionship until his inner life agrees with his outer; and he should guard against association with the evil man so that he may curtail the province of the Satans of the "jinn" and mankind from the court of his heart, and may be purified from the stain.

Then know that becoming a Sufi has two characteristics: uprightness with Allah the Exalted, and quietness with mankind; and whoever is upright, and improves his character among the people, and treats them with forbearance, he is a Sufi. And uprightness is that he offer the pleasures of his soul as a ransom for the sake of his soul; 8 and goodness of conduct among men is that you do not burden people according to your own desire, but burden yourself according to their desire so long as they do not violate the sacred law.

Then you asked me about devotion; it comprises three things; first, the careful observance of the command of the sacred law; second, satisfaction with decree and fate and the lot of Allah the Exalted; 9 and third, forsaking pleasing yourself in order to seek the pleasure of Allah the Exalted.

And you asked me about trust it is that you seek to fortify your belief in Allah the Exalted as to what he has promised; that is, that you believe that what he has fated for you will come to you without fail, although anyone in the world endeavors to prevent it; and what is not written for you, you shall not attain, though all the world help you. And you asked me about sincerity it is that all your works be done for Allah the Exalted, your heart not resting content with the praise of people nor despairing with their censure.

Know that hypocrisy is born from exalting mankind and the cure is that you see them forced to labor 12 under the decree of Allah and reckon them like inanimate objects in their inability to attain contentment and misery, in order to escape from hypocrisy in their sight; and as long as you reckon them as possessing power and free will, hypocrisy will not be far from you.

And have you seen, "I will show you my signs so do not be in a hurry. And be certain that you will not reach that time except by traveling. Give your spirit unsparingly, for the core of this matter is in applying your spirit abundantly; as said Dhu'l-Nun al Masri, 1 the mercy of Allah, to one of the students, "If you are able to give your spirit without reserve, come; and if not, then do not busy yourself with the idle practices of Mysticism.

These you are to avoid are, first, do not argue with any one in any matter, as far as you are able, for in this is great mischief, and its evil is greater than its benefit, since it is the source of every blameworthy quality: such as hypocrisy and envy and pride and malice and enmity and boasting and other such. Of course, if there arises a question between you and an individual or group and it is your purpose in it that the truth should appear and not be lost, discussion is permissible.

And listen, for here I call your attention to a helpful point: know that the question about obscure points is the presenting of the disease of the heart 3 to a physician, and its answer is the attempt to cure 4 his disease.

And know that the ignorant are diseased in their hearts and the learned 5 are the doctors, and the partially learned cannot perfect the treatment; and the perfectly learned does not treat every sick person, but every one who will, he hopes, accept the treatment and the cure. And if the weakness is chronic or fatal, and incurable, then he will not labor to give medicine, for this is a waste of time. Then know that the sickness of ignorance is of four sorts, one curable and the others incurable.

And the way is not to attempt an answer. One hopes for the removal of every enmity Except enmity arising from envy. So you must depart from him and leave him with his disease. The second, whose weakness arises from stupidity, and he also is incurable. As 'Isa said, upon him be peace, "Indeed I did not fail in bringing the dead to life, but I failed in curing the stupid. And the third is one who is seeking guidance and whatever he does not understand of the speech of the great ones, he lays to the defects of his own understanding and his question is in order to seek benefit; but he is dull and cannot arrive at the truth of things.

You must not attempt to answer him also, as the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, "We, the company of the prophets have been commanded that we speak to the people according to their understanding. And he is curable, and it is permitted to attempt to answer him-nay, it is necessary. And the second thing to avoid is to guard against and shun becoming a preacher 11 and warner, since its mischief is much unless you practice what you preach first and then preach it to the people; and consider what was said to 'Isa, upon him be peace, "0 Son of Miriam, preach to yourself, and when you have preached to yourself, then preach to others; and otherwise, be ashamed before your Lord.

It is as though you saw that a torrent was rushing suddenly upon the house of someone and he and his family were in it and you cried, "Danger, danger, flee from the flood"-And would your heart in such circumstances crave to give your message to the master of the house with pretentious explanations and witticisms and allusions?

Certainly not at all. And so is the condition of the preacher and he must avoid such things. Cast fear into their hearts and frighten them and warn them about what they will meet of terrifying things; if perchance the qualities of their inner lives shall be changed and the deeds of their outer lives shall be transformed and there appear a craving and desire for obedience and a return from apostasy.

And this is the method of preaching and of admonition, and all preaching which is not of this sort is a pest for both him who speaks and him who hears; nay, it is even said to be a ghul 17 and a satan, which carries off mankind on the road, and destroys them; and they must flee from it, because what this speaker corrupts of their religion, Satan himself is not able to do; and whoever has power and authority must bring him down from the pulpits of the Muslims and forbid him from what he has proclaimed,-on account of the word "enjoining fairness and forbidding evil.

And the third thing to avoid is not to mix with the princes and Sultans 19 and not to see them; for seeing them and sitting with them and mixing with them is great mischief; and if you are impelled to do this, avoid praising them and commending them, for Allah the Exalted is angered when an oppressor and an impious man is praised and whoever has called for the lengthening of their lives has delighted that Allah be disobeyed in his land.

And the fourth thing to avoid is not to accept anything of the gifts and presents of princes, 20 though you know it is permissible, because Coveting things from them corrupts religion, since there is born from it flattery and "kotowing" to them and approving of their oppression, and all this is corruption of religion; and the least of its evils is that if you accept their gifts and benefit from their world, you become fond of them; and whoever loves one necessarily loves the prolonging of his life and presence, and in loving the continuance of the life of the oppressor there is a willingness for the oppression of the worshippers of Allah the Exalted and a willingness for the ruination of the learned man.

And what is more injurious than this to religion, and the future life? Or some one will say to you that it is better and preferable to take the gold and silver from them and distribute it among the poor and needy; for they are disbursing it in profligacy and apostasy, and your spending it upon the weak among the people is better than their spending it; and verily the Cursed One has cut off the necks of many people by this evil whispering; 21 and its mischief is excessive.

We have mentioned this in the Vitalizing of the Sciences of Religion, so seek it there. If you were informed that within a week the Sultan would come to visit you, I know that in that time you would busy yourself only in the rectification of what you knew the sight of the Sultan would fall upon, in the matter of the clothing and the body and the house and the furnishings and other things.

And now consider to what I refer, for you have understanding and a single word suffices the clever. The Apostle of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: "Verily Allah the Exalted does not look upon your form nor upon your deeds, but he looks upon your hearts and your intentions.

This knowledge is required of all, and other knowledge is required of some, 3 except what fulfills the ordinances of Allah the Exalted; Allah grant you success that you attain it.

And the fourth thing to do is that you do not gather from the world more than the sufficiency of a year, as the Apostle of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, prepared for certain of his rooms, 4 and he said: "0 Allah, make the provision of the family of Mohammed sufficient. And recite this supplication in its times, especially at the conclusion of your prayers:.

The 'Ulama' say that the first means 'Merciful in great things', and the second 'Merciful in small things'. Another explanation is that the first term-denotes that active quality from.. The tradition quoted in section III below seems to imply that he was at least 40 years of age.

Mishcat in this same place quotes the traditional saying of Mohammed that there have been 24, prophets, and Hughes D I, article Prophet, says apostles. Another tradition Majalis al-Abrar p. Those who utter them are like a man who should meet a lion in a desert, while there is a fort at no great distance, and, when he sees the evil beast, should stand exclaiming, 'I take refuge in God,' without moving a step towards it. What will such an ejaculation profit him?

In the same way the mere exclamation, 'I take refuge in God,' will not protect thee from the terrors of His judgment unless thou really take refuge in Him. Sayyid Murtada says the best supplication is:.

I seek refuge in Thee from the punishment of the grave I. I seek refuge in Thee from the testing of the Anti-Christ. I seek refuge in Thee from the testing of the time of life and death 1. I seek refuge in Thee from sin and obligation I'.

The student desired a special supplication for private use. A tradition related by Abu-Malic al-Asja'i Mishcat v. The idea is that advice, proclaimed publicly, must be derived from the Qur'an which is the source of all advice.


Dear Beloved Son

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Dear Beloved Son - Ayyuhal Walad

July 20, 0 likes 0 comments views. Dear Beloved Son is an excellent compilation of extremely valuable pieces of advice based not only on theory but on the practical experience and insight of Imam al-Ghazali. Since he presented his disciple with these pieces of advice at a stage in life where he had studied and excelled in all major sciences of Islam, it holds extra significance. Containing twenty-four counsels from a father to his son, Dear Beloved Son tackles topics such as knowledge, hypocrisy and companionship.


Dear Beloved Son / Ayyuhal Walad – Al Ghazali



II. In the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful


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