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Chapter 1. Counsel In Twos

[1] It has been narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “There are two traits, nothing is better than them: belief in Allah and bringing benefit to the Muslims. And there are two traits, nothing is worse than them: associating partners with Allah and bring harm to the Muslims.”

[2] The Prophet (saw) said, “Sit with the scholars and listen to the speech of the wise, for verily Allah the Exalted gives life to the dead heart with the light of wisdom as he gives life to the dead soil with rainwater.”

[3] Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra) said, "He who enters the grave without any provisions is as though he wishes to sail the sea without a ship."

[4] Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) said, “Honour in this world is in wealth, and honour in the Hereafter is in righteous actions.”

[5] Uthman ibn Affan (ra) said, “Worrying about the dunya is a darkness in the heart, while worrying about the Hereafter is a light in the heart.”

[6] Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) said, “The one who seeks after knowledge, Paradise will seek after him; and the one who seeks after disobedience, the Hellfire will seek after him.”

[7] Yahya ibn Muadh said, “An honourable person would never be disobedient to Allah, and a wise person would never prefer the dunya over the Hereafter.”

[8] Al-Amash said, “The one whose capital is God-consciousness (taqwa), tongues will be incapable of describing the fortune that is his piety; and the one whose capital is the dunya, tongues will be incapable of describing the magnitude of his loss of piety.”

[9] Sufyan al-Thawri said, “Every act of disobedience committed due to passion, its forgiveness is hoped for. Every act of disobedience committed due to arrogance, its forgiveness is not hoped for because the root of Satan’s disobedience was arrogance, whereas the root of Adam’s lapse was passion.”

[10] An ascetic once said, “The one who sins while laughing, Allah will make him enter the Fire while crying. And the one who obeys while crying (out of fear of Allah) Allah will make him enter Paradise while laughing.”

[11] A wise man said, “Do not belittle minor sins, for verily from them major sins grow.”

[12] The Prophet (saw) said, “No sin remains minor when accompanied by persistence, and no sin remains major when accompanied by the seeking of forgiveness.”

[13] It is said, “The Gnostic (arif) occupies himself with praise [of Allah], while the ascetic (zahid) occupies himself with supplication; because the Gnostic’s concern is his Lord, while the ascetic’s concern is his own nafs.”

[14] An ascetic said, “Whoever is under the delusion that he has a closer friend than Allah, little is his knowledge of Allah; and the one who is under the delusion that he has a greater enemy than his nafs, little is his knowledge of his nafs.”

[15] Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra) said regarding the Quranic verse, ‘Corruption has appeared on land and sea’, “The land refers to the tongue and the sea refers to the heart. If the tongue is corrupted people cry over it, and if the heart is corrupted the angels cry over it.

[16] It is said, “Verily passion turns kings into slaves, and patience turns slaves into kings… Do you not see the story of Yusuf and Zulaykha?”

[17] It is said, “Glad tidings to the one whose intellect is his master and whose desire is his slave. And woe to the one whose desire is his master and whose intellect is his slave.”

[18] It is also said, “The one who leaves sins, his heart will be softened; and the one who leaves the forbidden and eats the lawful, his intellect will be enlightened.”

[19] Allah revealed to one of the Prophets, “Obey me in that which I have commanded you, and do not disobey me in that which I have advised you.”

[20] It is said, “The perfection of the intellect is in following the pleasure of Allah and avoiding His wrath.”

[21] It is said, “There is no exile for the learned, and there is no homeland for the ignorant.”

[22] It is said, “The one who is close to Allah due to his obedience will be a stranger amongst people.”

[23] It is said, “The movement towards obedience is evidence of knowledge just as the movement of the body is evidence of its vitality.”

[24] The Prophet (saw) said, “The root of all sins is love of the dunya and the root of all tribulation sis withholding taxes and zakat.”

[25] It is said, “The one who admits his shortcomings is always praised, and admitting shortcomings is a sign of acceptance [by Allah].”

[26] It is said, “Ingratitude for blessings is baseness and the company of a fool is bad fortune.”

[27] A Poet said: O he who is busy with his dunya! Whom illusions of a long lifetime have deluded Was he not in a state of heedlessness Until his appointed time drew near? Verily death arrives suddenly And the Grave is the collection-box of actions Be patient over the dunya and its hardships No death is there except at one’s appointed time.