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Chapter 9. Counsel In Tens

[1] The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Use the siwak, for there are ten benefits in it - it purifies the mouth, pleases the Lord, angers Satan, is loved by the Merciful and by the guardian angels, strengthens the gums, eliminates phlegm, gets rid of the bad taste from the mouth, brightens the eyes, eliminates bad breath, and is from my Sunnah." He then added. "One prayer after [using] the siwak is better than seventy prayers without [using] it."

[2] Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra) said, "There is not a servant whom Allah has given the following ten traits except that he will be saved from all pitfalls and afflictions, reach the rank of those who are close to Allah, and attain the position of the pious ones - the first is perpetual truthfulness together with a content heart; the second, complete patience together with permanent gratitude; the third, perpetual poverty together with ever-present asceticism (zuhd); the fourth, uninterrupted contemplation together with an empty stomach; the fifth, lasting sadness together with continuous fear; the sixth, perpetual struggle together with a humble body; the seventh, perpetual gentleness together with ever-present mercy; the eighth, perpetual love [of Allah] together with shame; the ninth, beneficial knowledge together with perpetual patience; and the tenth, perpetual faith (iman) with an unflappable intellect."

[3] Umar (ra) said, "Ten things are not right without ten others - intelligence without God-consciousness, superiority without knowledge success without fear, power without justice, noble lineage without manners, happiness without security, wealth without generosity, poverty without contentment, [having] a high and exalted position without humility, and jihad without the guidance and support of Allah."

[4] Uthman (ra) said, "The most futile of all things are ten - a scholar who is not asked, knowledge which is not acted upon, a correct opinion which is not accepted, a weapon which is not used, a mosque wherein none pray, a copy of the Qur'an which is not read, wealth which is not spent, a horse which is not mounted, knowledge of asceticism by one who pursues the dunya, and a long life in which no provisions have been prepared for the departure,"

[5] Ali (ra) said, "Knowledge is the best inheritance, good manners are the best craft, piety is the best provision, worship is the best baggage, righteous action is the best guide, good character is the best companion, gentleness is the best advisor, contentment is the best wealth, [divine] assistance is the best ally, and death is the best teacher."

[6] The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Ten [types of people] from this ummah are disbelievers (kuffar) in Allah the Great and who think they are believers - the killer without a right, the one who practices magic, the withholder of zakat, the drinker of alcohol, the one upon whom hajj became obligatory but did not perform it, the spreader of sedition and trouble (fitna), the seller of weapons to the enemy, the one who has anal intercourse with a woman, the one who commits adultery with a close female relative (mahram) whom he is legally forbidden to marry - if they deem what they have done permissible (halal) then they have apostatised."

[7] The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "No servant [of Allah] in the heavens and the earth can be a believer unless he has arrived [at the true belief in God], and he cannot arrive [at true belief in God] unless he is a Muslim, and he cannot be a Muslim unless he is knowledgeable, and he cannot be knowledgeable unless he acts upon what he knows, and he cannot act upon what he knows unless he is an ascetic, and he cannot be an ascetic unless he is God-conscious, and he cannot be God-conscious unless he is humble, and he cannot be humble unless he knows himself, and he cannot know himself unless he is intelligent and cautious in speech,"

[8] Yahya ibn Muadh al-Razi said: O you who entreats his Lord with all types of speech! And who asks of Him residence in the Land of Speech Who ceaselessly delays repentance year after year I do not see you being just to your soul amongst all people Had you filled your day with fasting, O heedless one! And stayed awake all night in prayer And diminished your water and food You would have been fit to attain the honour of elevated rank And given the ability to perform great feats by the Lord of creation And secured the greatest pleasure of the Possessor of Majesty and Generosity

[9] An ascetic said, "Ten characteristics are hated by Allah from ten [types of] people - miserliness from the rich, arrogance from the poor, greed from scholars, lack of shame from women, love of the dunya from the elderly, laziness from the youth, oppression from the rulers, cowardice from warriors, self-infatuation from ascetics, and ostentation from worshippers."

[10] The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Well-being is in ten forms, five in this world and five in the next. As for those in this world, they are - knowledge, worship, halal income, patience in difficult times, and gratitude for blessings; as for the ones in the next world they are - the coming of the Angel of Death to the believer with mercy and gentleness; Munkar and Nakir not frightening him in the grave; being safe on the day of the greatest terror (the Day of Judgement); the wiping away of his sins and the acceptance of his good actions; and he will pass by the sirat [bridge over the Hellfire not to be crossed by everyone on the Day of Judgement] like a flash of lightening, and will enter Paradise in peace."

[11] Abul Fadl said, "Allah the Exalted has named the Qur'an with ten names - al-Qur'an, al-Furqan [the Criterion], al-Kitab [the Book], al Tanzil [Sent Down], al- Huda [the Guidance], al-Nur [the Light], al-Rahma [the Mercy], al-Shifa [the Cure], al-Ruh [the Spirit], and al-Dhikr [the Remembrance]. As for its naming al-Qur'an, al-Furqan, al-Kitab, al-Tanzil it is known, as for [its naming] al-Huda, al-Nur, al- Rahmah and al-Shifaa'. Allah the Exalted says, 'O people! A reminder has come from your Lord and a Cure for that which is in the hearts, and Guidance and Mercy for the believers.' 'And from Allah has come to you Light and a manifest Boo.' As for al-Ruh, He says, 'And thus We revealed to you a Spirit from Our command.' And as for al-Dhikr, He says, 'And we have revealed to you the Remembrance to make clear to people."

[12] Luqman said to his son, "Wisdom is in doing ten things - enlivening the dead heart, sitting with the needy, staying away from the gathering of kings, honouring the humble, freeing the slave, being hospitable to the stranger, enriching the poor, and venerating the people of honour. These things are better than wealth, are a protection from fear, a weapon in war, a merchandise at the time of commerce, an intercessor when afflicted with terror, an indication that conviction has entered the heart, and a covering when no clothes can cover one [on the Day of Judgement]."

[13] An Ascetic said, "It is incumbent upon the intelligent person when he repents to do ten things - seek forgiveness with the tongue; regret with the heart; abandon the sin with the body; resolve never to return to it (the act of disobedience); love of the Hereafter; hate the dunya; reduce speech; reduce food and drink so that he can devote himself to knowledge and worship; and reduce his sleep. Allah the Exalted says, 'Little did they sleep at night, and in the early hours of dawn they did seek forgivness.'"

[14] Anas Ibn Malik (ra) said, "Every day the earth calls out with ten things, saying, 'O son of Adam! You strive on my surface and your destination is my stomach; you disobey [Allah] on my surface and you will be punished for it in my stomach; you laugh on my surface and you will cry in my stomach; you are happy on my surface and you will be sad in my stomach; you gather wealth on my surface and you will regret gathering it in my stomach; you are arrogant on my surface and you will be humiliated in my stomach; you walk insolently on my surface and you will fall miserably into my stomach; you walk in the light on my surface and you will be in the darkness in my stomach; and you walk with crowds and large gatherings on my surface and you will be lonely in my stomach."

[15] The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "The one who laughs a lot will be afflicted with ten things - his heart will die, he will lack shame and honour, Satan will laugh at him, [Allah] the Merciful will be angry with him, he will be held to account on the Day of Judgement, the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) will turn away from him on the Day of Judgement, the angels will curse him, the people fo the heavens and earth will detest him, he will forget everything, and he will be exposed on the Day of Judgement."

[16] Al-Hasan al-Basri said, "One day I was walking with a young pious man in the narrow streets of Basra and its markets until we reached a physician sitting on a chair and around him were many men, women, and children who had bottles of water in their hands. Each one of them was seeking a cure for his illness. The young man moved closer to the physician and asked him, 'O physician! Do you have a medicine that cleans away sins and cures the [spiritual] diseases of the heart? He replied 'Yes!' The young man said, 'Give it to me!" The physician said, "Take ten things from me - take the roots of the tree of poverty with the roots of the tree of humility, and pour in it the milk of repentance, then place it in the mortar of acceptance [of whatever is predestined for one], crush it with the pestle of contentment, then place it in the pot of piety, pour over it the water of shame, then boil it with the fire of love, then place it in the cup of gratitude and cool it down with the fan of hope, then drink it with the spoon of praise. If you do all of this then it will cure you of every illness and trial in this world and in the Hereafter.'"

[17] It is said that a king gathered five scholars and ascetics and ordered each one to give a word of wisdom. Each one spoke and gave two pieces of wisdom and thus they became ten. The first one said, "Fearing the Creator is security and feeling safe [from His wrath] is disbelief; and feeling safe from another creature is freedom and fearing him is slavery." The second said, "Hoping from Allah is richness that no poverty can harm, and losing hope in Him is poverty that no wealth can alleviate." The third said, "Poverty in worldly possessions does not harm the one rich at heart (i.e. contented), and richness in worldly possessions does not benefit the one poor at heart (i.e. greedy)." The fourth said, "Generosity does not increase the richness of the heart except in richness, and poverty at heart (greed) does not increase with richness in material possessions except in poverty." The fifth said, "Taking a little from goodness is better than leaving a lot from evil, and leaving all acts of evil is better than committing a few acts of goodness."

[18] The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Ten things are incumbent upon the one who enters the mosque - removing one's shoes; entering with the right foot; saying when entering, 'In the name of Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah and the angels of Allah. O Allah upon for us the doors of Your mercy, verily You are the Grantor'; greeting with salam the people of the mosque, or saying if nobody is in the mosque 'Peace be upon us and the righteous servants of Allah'; saying 'I testify that there is no Lord but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; not passing in front of those who are praying; not engaging in worldly actions or worldly talk; not leaving without praying two rak'ahs, not entering [the mosque] without ablution; and saying when standing up [to leave] 'Glory and praise be to You O Allah! I testify that there is no Lord except You, I see your forgiveness sand repent to You.'"

[20] Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Prayer is a pillar of the Religion and in it are ten benefits - beauty for the face, light for the heart, rest for the body, and escaping the loneliness of the grave. It makes mercy descend, is the key to Paradise, is heavy on the Scales [of good deeds], [gains] the pleasure of the Lord, is the price of Paradise, and the barrier against the Fire. The one who establishes it has established the Religion, and the one who leaves it has destroyed the Religion."

[21] 'Aisha (radyAllahuanha) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "When Allah wants to allow the people of Paradise to enter Paradise, He sends them an angel with a gift of clothes from Paradise. When they're about to enter Paradise, the angel says to them, 'Wait, I have a gift with me from the Lord of the Worlds.' They will say, 'What is the gift?' The angel will say, 'It is ten seals - on the first one is written 'Peace be upon you! You were good, so enter [the Garden of delight], to dwell therein'; on the second [seal] it is written, 'Your sadness and anxieties have been removed;' written on the third is, 'And this is the garden which you are given as an inheritance on account of what you did'; written on the fourth is, 'We have given you ornaments and beautiful clothes to wear'; written on the fifth is, 'We shall wed them with Houris with wide, lovely eyes,' and 'I have rewarded them this day because they were patient, that they are the triumphant'; written on the sixth is, 'This is your reward today for the acts of obedience you were engaged in'; on the seventh is, 'You have been returned to your youth and you will never become aged'; on the eighth is, 'You are in perpetual security and need never be frightened;' on the ninth is, 'You will be in the company of the prophets, truthful ones, martyrs, and righteous ones'; written on the tenth is, 'You will reside beside the All-Merciful who Possesses the Great Throne.' The angels will then say 'Enter it in peace and security.' They will thus enter paradise and say, 'Praise is due to Allah the One who removed our anxieties, surely our Lord is Most Forgiving and Grateful.' 'Praise is due to Allah the One who was true to His Promise and gave us the inheritance of this earth… thus is the reward of those who work.' And when Allah wishes to throw the People of hell into the Fire, he sends them an angel who has ten seals. On the first one is written, 'Enter it, never will you die, be brought to life, or ever brought out of it'; on the second is written, 'Linger in punishment, never will there be any repose for you'; on the third is written, 'They have despaired of My mercy'; on the fourth is written, 'Enter it, into perpetual distress, anxiety, and sorrow'; on the fifth is written, 'Your clothes will be fire, your food will be from an extremely bitter and thorny tree that grows at the bottom of the Hellfire (zaqqum), your drink will be boiling fluids, and your bed and covering will be the Fire'; on the sixth is written, 'This is your recompense today for disobeying me;' on the seventh is written, 'My anger will be with you in the Fire forever;' on the eight is written, 'You are cursed for the major sins you intentionally committed, for which you never repented nor had any regret'; on the ninth is written, 'Your eternal friends in the Fire will be the devils'; and on the tenth is written, 'You followed [the path of] Satan, desired the dunya and neglected the Hereafter, thus this is your recompense.'"

[22] An ascetic said, "I sought ten things in ten places and found them in ten others - I sought elevation in arrogance but found it in humility; I sought worship in ritual prayer but found it in asceticism; I sought illumination of the heart in the daytime public ritual prayers but found it in the secret late night prayers; I sought the light of the Day of Judgement in giving and generosity but found it in thirst and fasting; I sought permission to pass the sirat in sacrificing animals [to feed the poor] but found it in giving charity (sadaqa); I sought protection from the Hellfire in permissible actions but found it in leaving desires; I sought the love of Allah the Exalted in the dunya but found it in His remembrance (dhikr); I sought well-being in gatherings but found it in solitude; and I sought illumination of the heart in lectures and reading the Qur'an but found it in contemplation and crying."

[23] Ibn Abbas (ra) said, "Ten things are from the sunna, five related to the head and five to the body - as for the head they are; using siwak, rinsing the mouth, rinsing the nose, shortening the moustache, and shaving the head. As for the body they are: removing armpit hair, clipping the nails, shaving pubic hair, circumcision, and cleansing [after reliving oneself]."

[24] Ibn Abbas (ra) said, "The one who sends one salutation unto the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) Allah will send ten salutations unto him, and the one who insults the Prophet once Allah will insult him ten times; do you not see the saying of Allah the Exalted regarding al-Walid ibn al-Mughira may the curse of Allah be upon him, when he insulted the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) once and Allah insulted him ten times and said, 'Heed not the type of despicable men - ready with oaths, a slanderer, going about with calumnies, hinderer of the good, transgressor, malefactor, ignoble, besides all that, base-born; because he posses wealth and (numerous) sons. That, when our revelations are recited unto him, he says: Mere fables of the men of old.' [The last part] means that he rejected the Qur'an.

[25] Ibrahim ibn Adham was asked about the saying of Allah the Exalted, 'And Your Lord said, Supplicate to me and I will answer your supplication.' "We supplicate but our prayers are not answered!" He said, "Your hearts have become dead due to ten things - you have known Allah but have not fulfilled His right; you have read the Book of Allah but did not abide by it; you proclaimed enmity of Satan but made him your guardian and protector; you claimed love of the Messenger but you left his path and his Tradition (sunnah); you claimed love of Paradise but you did not work for it; you claimed fear of the Hellfire but did not renounce committing sins; you claimed that you believed that death was a reality but you did not ready yourselves for it; you busied yourselves with the faults of others and neglected your own faults; you eat from the sustenance that Allah provides for you but do not show gratitude; and you bury your dead ones but do not take heed from it."

[26] The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Any servant [of Allah], whether male or female, who supplicates with this dua - which is composed of ten phrases on the night of Arafah one thousand times - will not ask a thing from Allah except that He will give it to him providing he does not supplicate for the severance of ties of kinship or for an act of disobedience. The first is - glory be to the One whose Throne is in heaven; glory be to the One whose dominion and power is on earth; glory be to the One whose knowledge is in the wombs; glory be to the One whose decree is in the graves; glory be to the One who raised the skies without any pillars; glory be to the One who extended the earth; glory be to the One in Whom there is no refuge or salvation except in Him."

[27] Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that one day the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to Satan, may the curse of Allah be upon him, "How many [types of] people are beloved to you from my ummah?" He said, "Ten - the oppressive ruler; the arrogant; the rich who neither care how they obtain their wealth nor how they spend it; the scholars who find excuses for the oppression of a ruler; the fraudulent trader; the one who monopolises [a product]; the fornicator; the one who deals in interest; the miser who does not care how he accumulates his wealth; and the alcoholic." The Prophet then asked, "How many [types of] people are your enemies from my ummah?" He said, "Twenty types [of people] - the first one is you O Muhammad, I truly hate you! [Then] the scholar who acts upon his knowledge; the one who memorises the Qur'an and fulfills its commandments; the muadhdhin for the five daily prayers who calls the adhan only for the sake of Allah; the one who loves the poor, needy, and orphans; the one who has a merciful heart; the one who humbles himself in front of the truth; the young man who grows up in the obedience of Allah the Exalted; the one who eats only halal; the two young men who love each other for the sake of Allah; the one who is always zealous in performing his prayers in congregation; the one who offers prayers at night while people are asleep; the one who holds his nafs back from committing the haram; the one who advises [in another narration, supplicates for] his brothers without having any ulterior motive in his heart; the one who is always in a state of ablution; the one who is generous; the one with good manners and character; the one who believes in what His Lord has guaranteed for him; the one who does good to widows; and the one who readies himself for death."

[28] Wahb ibn Munabbih said, "It is written in the Torah, 'He who prepares provisions [for the Hereafter] in this world will be safe from Allah's punishment on the Day of Judgement; he who leaves hatred will be praised on the Day of Judgement in front of the whole creation; he who abandons love of leadership will be honoured on the Day of Judgement in front of the Omnipotent King; he who abandons the excesses of the dunya will be blissful amongst the righteous ones [on the Day of Judgement]; he who abandons quarrelling in this world will be amongst the winners on the Day of Judgement; he who abandons miserliness in this world will be mentioned in front of the whole of creation on the Day of Judgement; he who abandons repose in this world will be happy on the Day of Judgement; he who abandons the prohibited in this world will be in the company of the Prophets on the Day of Judgement; he who abandons looking at that which has been prohibited in this world, Allah will delight his eyes on the Day of Judgement in Paradise; he who abandons wealth and chooses poverty in this world, Allah will raise him on the Day of Judgement amongst the beloved and the Prophets of Allah; he who assists others in fulfilling their needs, Allah will make him free from all needs in this world and in the next. He who wishes to have good company instead of solitude in his grave should wake up in the darkness of the night and pray; he who wishes to be in the shade of the Throne of the Merciful should become an ascetic; he who wishes his bring to account to be easy should advise himself and his brothers; he who wishes the angels to be his visitors should become God-conscious; he who wishes to live in the delight of Paradise should remember Allah during the night and day; he who wishes to enter Paradise without any bringing to account should repent to Allah with a sincere repentance; he who wishes to be rich should become contented with what Allah the Exalted his allotted for him; he who wishes to be a man of understanding in the sight of Allah should have fear of Allah; he who wishes to be wise should seek knowledge; he who wishes to be safe from people should not mention anyone except with good and take a lesson from his own self and ponder over why and from what he was created; he who wants dignity and honour in both the dunya and in the Hereafter should give preference to the Hereafter over the dunya; he who wishes for al-Firdaws (the highest rank in Paradise) and infinite happiness should not waste his life in the vices of the dunya; he who wishes for Paradise in this world and the next should adopt the path of generosity, because the one who is generous is close to Paradise and far from Hell; he who wishes his heart to be enlightened with the complete light should adopt the path of contemplation and of taking lessons [from life and creation]; he who wishes to have a body that patiently endures [hardships], a tongue that is in constant remembrance [of Allah], and a heart which is fearful [of Him] should adopt the path the path of seeking forgiveness for the believers - male and female, and for the Muslims - male and female."