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Chapter 5. Counsel In Sixes

[1] The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Six things are strangers in six situations - the mosque is a stranger amongst people who do not pray; the Qur'an is a stranger in a household where it is not read; the memorised Qur'an is a stranger in the heart of an open sinner (fasiq); a righteous Muslim woman is a stranger in the hands of an oppressive husband of bad character; a pious Muslim man is a stranger in the hands of an evil wife of bad character; and a scholar is a stranger amongst a group of people who do not listen to him." Then he said, "Verily Allah the Exalted will not look at them on the Day of Judgement in a merciful manner."

[2] The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "There are six [types of] people whom I have cursed and Allah has cursed, for the supplication of every Prophet is accepted - He who adds anything to the Book of Allah; he who disbelieves in the decree of Allah the Exalted; he who oppressively uses his power to elevate those whom Allah has brought low and to bring low those whom Allah has elevated; he who publicly disobeys Allah's commandments; he who makes lawful that which is unlawful; and he who leaves my Sunnah (Tradition) - Allah the Exalted will not look at them on the Day of Judgement in a merciful manner."

[3] Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra) said, "Iblis is standing in front of you, your nafs is on your right, your desire is on your left, the dunya is behind you, your limbs and senses are around you, and the Omnipotent is above you, Iblis, may Allah curse him, calls you to leave the Religion (din), the nafs calls you to disobedience, desire calls you to [fulfilling your] passions, the dunya calls you to choose it over the Hereafter, your limbs and senses call you towards sins, and the Omnipotent calls you to Paradise and forgiveness. Allah the Exalted says [in the Qur'an]. "And Allah invites you to Paradise and forgiveness." The one who responds to Iblis will lose his Religion, the one responds to the nafs will lose his soul, the one who responds to desire will lose his intellect, the one who responds to his limbs and senses will lose Paradise, and the one who responds to Allah will lose all his sins and acquire all types of goodness."

[4] Umar (ra) said, "Allah has concealed six things in six others - He has concealed pleasure in obedience, anger in disobedience, His Greatest Name in the Qur'an, the Night of Power (laylatul qadr) in Ramadan, the Middle Prayer (al-salatul wusta) amongst the prayers, and the Day of Judgement amongst the days."

[5] Uthman (ra) said, "The believer is in six types of fear - the first is that Allah the Exalted will take away his iman (faith); the second is that the angels will write down things that will expose him on the Day of judgement, the third is that Satan will render his actions void; the fourth is that the Angel of Death will take his soul when he is in a state of heedlessness; the fifth is that the dunya will delude him and make him work for other than the Hereafter and the sixth is that his family and children will preoccupy him such that he neglects the remembrance of Allah the Exalted."

[6] Ali (ra) said, "The one who gathers six traits will not have left anything that brings him closer to Paradise or anything that makes him escape Hell - he came to know Allah the Exalted and thus obeyed him; he came to know Satan and thus disobeyed him; he came to know the Hereafter and thus sought it; he came to know the dunya and thus rejected it; he came to know the Truth and thus followed it; and he came to know falsehood and thus steered clear of it."

[7] Ali (ra) said, "Blessings are six - Islam, the Quran, Muhammad - the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam), well-being, Allah's protection, and non-dependence on people."

[8] Yahya ibn Muadh al-Razi said, "Knowledge is the proof of action, comprehension is the vessel of knowledge, the intellect is the leader to goodness, desire is the mount of sins, wealth is the garment of the arrogant, and this world is the market for the next world."

[9] Abu Dharr Jimhir said, "Six things equal everything in the dunya - satisfying food, a virtuous child, a sensible wife, wise speech, a mature intellect, and a healthy body."

[10] Al-Hasan al-Basri said, "Were it not for righteous people, the earth and everything in it would have been destroyed; were it not for the virtuous, the corrupt would have perished; were it not for the scholars, people would have become like cattle; were it not for rulers, people would have killed one another; were it not for fools, the dunya would have devastated out of neglect, and were it not for the wind, everything would have stagnated."

[11] An ascetic said, "The one who does not fear Allah will be safe from the lapses of the tongue; the heart of one who does not fear meeting Allah will be safe neither from unlawful (haram) things, nor from things over the permissibility of which there is doubt; the one who does not break off dependence on creatures will not be safe from greed; the one who does not safeguard [the sincerity of] his actions will not be safe from showing-off, the one who does not seek the help of Allah in guarding his heart will not be safe from jealousy; and the one who does not look to those who are better than him in knowledge and worship will not be safe from pride."

[12] Al-Hasan al-Basri said, "The corruption of people's heart is in six things - the first is that they sin with the hope of repentance; they seek knowledge but do not act upon it; if they do act upon it they are insincere in doing so; they eat the sustenance of Allah has provided them but do not show gratitude for it; they are not content with the allotment (qisma) of Allah; and they bury their dead but do not take heed."

[13] Al-Hasan al-Basri also said, "Allah will inflict six punishments on the one who loves the dunya and chooses it over Hereafter - three in this world and three in the next. As for the three in this world they are - delusion and hope in having a long lifetime that has no end, overpowering greed that leaves no contentment, and the taking away of the sweetness of worship. As for the three in the Hereafter the are - the harrowing ordeal of the Day of Judgement, a sever bringing to account, and an eternal regret."

[14] Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays said, "There is no rest for the envious; there is no immoral integrity for the liar; there is no well-being for the miser; there is no loyalty for kings; there is no nobility for the ill-mannered; there is no abrogation for Allah's decree."

[15] Some ascetics were asked, "When a servant [of Allah] repents, how does he know whether his repentance has been accepted or rejected?" They said, "We can't pass a judgement in this matter, but there are indications that the repentance has been accepted - that he does not deem himself immune from disobedience; that he sees happiness absent from his heart and sadness everpresent therein; that he draws close to the people of virtue and moves far from the people of disobedience; that he sees little from this dunya as much and the many good deeds he's done for the Hereafter as little; that he sees his heart busy with that which he wishes to secure from Allah the Exalted [i.e. Paradise] and empty of concern for that which Allah the Exalted had already secured for him [i.e. his daily sustenance]; that he safeguards his tongue and is ever contemplative in a state of continuous remorse and regret."

[16] Yahya ibn Muadh said, "From the greatest of all delusions in my sight is - the continuance in acts of disobedience in the hope of forgiveness without any regret; expecting nearness to Allah without performing any acts of obedience; waiting to reap the crop of Paradise having sown the seeds of Hell; seeking to 32 reside in the House of the obedient ones [i.e. Paradise] with acts of disobedience; waiting for reward without meriting it with deeds; and excessive hope in the kindness of Allah the Exalted with heedlessness: They hope for salvation without treading its path Surely a ship does not sail on solid ground."

[17] Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays was asked, "What is the best thing that can be given to a servant [of Allah]?" He replied, "An instinctively upright intellect." It was said, "And if not this?" He said, "Good manners." It was said, "And if not this?" He said, "An agreeable companion." It was said, "And if not this?" He said. "A heart attached [to Allah]." It was said, "And if not this." He said, "Long silence." It was said, "And if not this?" He said, "Immediate death."