Devotion To Allâh

The Gnostics have no business other than their Master, and they have no desire for anything besides Him…

…One of them said: “Whoever tells you that Allâh is his Master, yet he has a desire for other than Him, do not believe him.”

Dâwûd at-Tâ’î used to say during the night: “My desire for You has negated all other desires, and it has come between me and the desire for sleep. My longing for looking on at You has destroyed all worldly delights and has come between me and carnal lusts. I am in Your prison, O Kind One [Al-Karîm]!”

What business have I with other than Him?
What business have I
With a partner who would turn my heart from loving Him?
What would I do if turns He away and all hopes are frustrated?
He can replaced me but I have none to replace Him!

My brothers, when you understand this, you will have understood the meaning of the Prophet [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] when he said: “Whoever says: ‘None has the right to be worshipped save Allâh,’ sincerely from his heart, Allâh will prohibit the Fire from him.”

Whoever articulates the testification yet enters the Fire, the reason is the lack of truthfulness in his articulation. If this testification is said truthfully, it purifies the heart of everything save Allâh, but if anything remains, it is by reason of a deficiency in the truthfulness with which it was stated.

Whoever is truthful in his articulation of this testification will not love any save Him, he will not hope in any save Him, he will not fear any save Him, he will not place his reliance in any save Him, and any trace of his desires and giving preference to his soul will vanish. However, let it not be presumed that the over is required to be error free, rather it is required of him to make amends for his errors.

Zayd bin Aslam said: “Allâh loves a servant until he reaches such a level that He says: ‘Go and do as you will for I have forgiven you’.” [1]

Sha’bî said: “When Allâh loves a servant, sins will not harm him.”

This is because Allâh, Mighty and Magnificent, has a concern for those He loves amongst His servants. Therefore each time His servant slips and relapses into the abyss of desires, He leads him out of it to the summit of success. He makes easy for him the routes to repentance, He alerts him to the vileness of his mistake such that in fear, he rushes to be excused, and He afflicts them with trials and tribulations that would serve to expiate his crime.

A narration to mention that Allâh, Exalted is He, says: “Those who remember Me are those who will sit in My company. Those who obey Me are those who receive My munificence. I will not cause those who disobey Me to fall into despair of My mercy, if they repent, I am their beloved; if they do not repent, I am their doctor: I will afflict them with trials such that I purify them of their faults.”

Muslim records in the authority of Jâbir that the Prophet [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: “Fever removes sins just as bellows remove scum.” [2]

Ahmad and Ibn Hibbân record on the authority of ‘Abdullâh bin al-Mughaffal [radî Allâhu ‘anhu] that a man met a woman who used to be a prostitute in the Days of Ignorance. He started playing around with her until he extended his hand towards her upon which she said: “Stop, Allâh has removed shirk and brought Islâm,” so he removed his hand and left. While he was leaving, he kept looking back at her, and while doing so walked into a wall. With blood pouring down his face, he came to the Prophet [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] and informed him of what had happened. He [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: “You are a servant of Allâh for whom He wishes good.” Then he said: “When Allâh wishes good for His servant, He hastens on his punishment in this world; and when He wishes evil for His servant, He holds back his sin so that it may be recompensed on the Day of Judgement.” [3]

People! Your hearts are essentially pure, but they have been stained with splashes of sins. So splash on them in turn the tears of your eyes and you will find your hearts purified. Have the firm resolve to wean your souls of the suckling of desires: fever is the best of cures. When your souls demand you to fulfil their desires them say to them the words of this woman: “Allâh has removed shirk and brought Islâm.” Islâm necessitates submission and willing obedience.

Remind your soul of:

“The angels descend on those who say: ‘Our Lord is Allâh’ and then go straight.” [Fussilat 41:30]

Perchance it may lean towards uprightness. Teach it that the One who is closer to you than your life vein sees all, perchance it may feel embarrassed:

“Does he not know that Allâh sees?” [Al-‘Alaq 96:14]

“Your Lord is always lying in wait.” [Al-Fajr 89:14]

A man sought to seduce a woman in the open desert by night but she refused. “There are only stars to see us,” he said. “What of the One who put them there?” she replied.

Another man forced a woman to him and ordered her to lock the doors and she did. Then he asked: “Are there any doors left to be locked?” She replied: “Yes, the door between us and Allâh, Exalted is He.” So he never fulfilled his desire with her.

One of the Gnostics saw a man talking to a woman and said: “Allâh sees both of you! May Allâh conceal us and you!”

Junayd was asked: “What would aid us in lowering the gaze?” He replied: “By your knowing that Allâh’s looking at you precedes your looking at what you wish to look at.”

Mushâsibî said: “Self-inspection [murâwabah] is the heart’s cognisance of the closeness of its Lord.”

As one’s knowledge of Allâh increases, so too does ones sense of embarrassment before His closeness and sight. The Prophet [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] advised a man to be ashamed before Allâh as he would be in front of a righteous man of his family who never leaves him. [4]

Some of them said: “Be embarrassed of Allâh according to His closeness to you, and fear Allâh according to His power over you.”

One of them said: For the last forty years I have not moved my foot for other than Allâh and I have not looked at anything that I found pleasing for shyness of Allâh, Mighty and Magnificent.”

It is as if a Your watcher from You is scrutinising inspecting my
innermost thoughts
And another inspecting scrutinising my sight and my tongue.
Hence my eyes have not set on anything, after You,
For other than Your sake except that I thought,
“They have seen me!”
Not a word has escaped my lips, after You,
For other than You, except that I thought,
“They have heard me!”
Not even a thought in mention of other than You
Has crossed my heart except that they stopped it in its tracks.

By Imâm ibn Rajab al-Hanbalî [d.795H]
The Key to Paradise, Pgs. 60-65

Footnotes:

[1] In this respect Bukhârî #7507 records on the authority of Abû Hurayrah that the Prophet [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: “A servant committed a sin and said: ‘My Lord, I have committed a sin so forgive me.’ His Lord says: ‘My servant knows that he has a Lord who forgives sins and takes to account for them. I have forgiven My servant!’ Then he remains for a time, for as long as Allâh wills, and then commits another sin. He says: ‘My Lord, I have committed another sin so forgive me.’ His Lord says: ‘My servant knows that he has a Lord who forgives sins and takes to account for them. I have forgiven My servant!’ Then he remains for a time, for as long as Allâh wills, and then commits another sin. He says: ‘My Lord, I have committed another sin so forgive me.’ His Lord says: ‘My servant knows that he has a Lord who forgives sins and takes to account for them. I have forgiven My servant! Let him do what he wills!’.”
[2] Muslim #2575/6570
[3] Ahmad #16806 and Ibn Hibbân #2911.
It has a witness recorded by Tirmidhî #2396 on the authority of Anas, and he declared it hasan gharîb; and also by Tabarânî on the authority of ‘Ammâr bin Yâsir, Haythamî, Vol. 10, P. 191, said that its isnâd was jayyid.
The hadîth was ruled sahîh by Hakim #8133 with Dhahabî agreeing.
[4] Ibn ‘Adî, Vol. 2, P. 560 and Vol. 4, P. 410, records on the authority of Abû Umâmah that the Prophet [sall-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: “Be ashamed before Allâh as you would be ashamed before two righteous people of your family who never leave you.”
Ibn ‘Adî ruled it as da’îf as did as-Suyûtî, al-Jâmî’ as-Saghir #971 and Munâwî, Vol. 1, P. 622. Albânî, ad-Da’îfah #1500 ruled it da’îf jiddan.
The hadîth is also reported on the authority of Sa’îd bin Yazîd by Ahmad, az-Zuhd, P. 46, mentioning one righteous person instead of two and it is hasan, cf. Albânî, as-Sahîhah #741.

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