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Eight Lessons Learnt in 33 Years

 

 
Hatem Asem(Rahmatullah Alayh) was the student of Shaqiq Balakhi(Rahmatullah Alayh) for a considerable period of time.
Shaqiq Balakhi(Rahmatullah Alayh) once asked Hatem: "How long are you in my company?"
Hatem said: "For the last 33 years."
Shaqiq enquired: "What have you learnt from me during this period?"
Hatem said: "I have learnt only eight things."
Shaqiq said: "You have not learnt anything except eight things!"
Hatem replied: "Yes, O dear teacher, I have learnt nothing except eight things. I don't wish to speak falsehood."
Shaqiq said: "Describe those eight things to me. Let me hear them."
Hatem began to describe them.

First, I looked around and beheld that every man has got an object of love and he lives with that thing, until his death. When he goes to the grave, it becomes separate from him. I pondered over the following words of God: "We are from God and to Him we shall return." So I have made good deeds as my object of love. When I will go to the grave, my good deeds will accompany me to the grave. The sage Shaqiq said: O Hatem, you have done well.

Secondly, I have pondered over the following words of God "As for one who fears the majesty of his Lord and refrains his soul from lust, Paradise is his resting place" - {79: 40 Qur'an}. I have come to know that the words of God are true. I have tried my utmost to suppress my lust and remained satisfied with obeying the injunctions of God.

Third, I looked around the people and found that everyone values what he possesses. Then I turned to the following words of God: "What is with you will end and what is with God will last" - {16:98 Qur'an} Then I began to give unto God whatever valuable things fell into my hands.

Fourth, I looked around and saw that everyone puts his trust in his wealth and properties, his name and fame and his honour and glory and found that there is nothing in them. Then I looked towards the following words of God: "The most honourable of you to God is one who is the most God-fearing among you" - {49: 13 Qur'an}. Then I intended to accept God-fear in my life till I am honoured by God.

Fifth, I looked around the people and found them slandering and cursing one another because of envy and hatred and then I looked towards the words of God: "It is I who distributed their subsistence among them in this world's life" - {43: 31 Qur'an}. So I gave up envy and hatred and I realised that subsistence comes from God and then I disliked the people no more.

Sixth, I looked to the people and found them ungrateful to one another and even some of them kill others and then I looked towards the following word of God: "The devil(shaytaan) is your foe and so take him as foe" - {35. 6 Qur'an}. So I took the devil(shaytaan) as a foe and ceased to have enmity with the people.

Seventh, I turned to the people and found everyone seeking his livelihood and for that debasing himself and committing unlawful things and then I looked towards the following words of God- "There is no living Creation on earth of which the provision is not upon God" - {11 : 6 Qur'an}. Finding that I am one of the Creation whose provision is upon God, I turned towards the duties prescribed by God and entrusted my fate unto Him.

Eighth, I turned to the people and found that everyone placed his trust in something created, some in his wealth, some in his profession, some in his industry and some in the health of his body and then looked towards the following words of God: "If a man relies on God, He is sufficient for him" - {65: 3 Qur'an}. Then I relied on God and He is sufficient for me.

On hearing Hatem's replies, Shadiq(Rahmatullah Alayh) exclaimed; Hatem, may Allah, Our Creator prosper you. I examined the Torah, the Injeel(orignal Bible), the Zabur (Psalms) and the Glorious Qur'an and found that all these centre around these eight things and he who puts them into practice follows these four books(in their ORIGNAL form).

SUMMARY OF THE LESSONS:
"We are from Allah and to Him we shall return." {2:56 Qur'an}.
"As for one who fears the majesty of his Lord and refrains his soul from lust, Paradise is his resting place" - {79: 40 Qur'an}
"What is with you will end and what is with Allah will last" - {16:98 Qur'an}
"The most honourable of you to Allah is one who is the most God-fearing among you" - {49: 13 Qur'an}.
"It is I who distributed their subsistence among them in this world's life" - {43: 31 Qur'an}.
"The devil(shaytaan) is your foe and so take him as foe" - {35: 6 Qur'an}.
"There is no living Creation on earth of which the provision is not upon Allah" - {11 : 6 Qur'an}
"If a man relies on Allah, He is sufficient for him" - {65: 3 Qur'an}.

Source: Ihyaa-ul-Uloom: Imaam Ghazzali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Islamic Society of Greater Richmond (ISGR)