January 13, 2008
Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq, a great scholar from Morocco who died in 1492, once said that the fragrance of his teaching would disseminate in the world long after his bones were laid to rest. It is one of his karamat, or saintly miracles, that his teachings are still alive and still enlighten many people around the word. May God be pleased with him.
Please take what he has to offer;
a cultivated, erudite history put into sophisticated words of exquisite advice,
bismillah w’alla barkatu’Allaah…
May God give you and us success and rectify our worldly and other wordly lives and grant us adherence to the way of the truth in our journeys and in our sojourns. Know that repentence is a key, taqwa (God-consciousness) is vast, and uprightness is the source of rectification. A servant is never free of either blunders or shortcomings or lassitude. Therefore, never be neglectful of repentance, and never turn away from the act of returning to God the Exalted, and never neglect acts that bring you closer to God the Exalted. Indeed, whenever one of these three occurs, then repent and return to God in penitence.
Everytime that you make a mistake, listen and obey. Anytime you display shortcomings or show lack of enthusiasm, do not desist in your efforts.Let your main concern be to remove from your outer state anything that is displeasing, then maintain this state through continual counsel. Persist in doing this until you find that you are fleeing from anything outwardly displeasing is second nature and that your avoidance of boundaries of prohibited things becomes a protective mesh that is placed before you. At this point, it is time to turn inward to your hearts presence and its’ reality, by way of reflection and rememberance. Do not hasten the end result before you have completed the begininning. But likewise, do not begin without looking at the end result.
Act in accordance with principles and the appropriate legal rulings, and not in accordance with stories and fantasies. Do not even consider stories of how things went with others except as a tonic to strengthen your resolve.
In all of this, depend upon a clear path you can refer to and a foundation that you can rely on in all of your states.
Do not take from the words of others unless it is in accordance with your own path, but submit to their implications if you desire realization. Avoid all forms of vain and foul speech to your absolute utmost. Put aside anything that you cannot discern its benefit immediately. Beware of being extremely hard on your soul before you have obtained mastery over it. But also beware of being too lax with it in anything that concerns sacred rulings. This is because the soul constantly flees from moderation in everything, and it inclines towards extremism in matters of both deviance and guidance.
Seek out a companion to help you in your affairs, and take his counsel concerning matters that occur from both your inward states and outward affairs. & beware of the majority of people in matters that concern your religious and wordly states unless you have ascertained a person has some sound relationship with his Lord based upon a knowledge free of his caprice or love of leadership and based upon a sound intellect free of the pitfalls of others or their hidden states.
Organize your time in a matter appropriate to the times specific needs using gentleness and toleration and be very weary of either harshness or laxity. Work for this world as if you will live forever and work for the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow. Thus do not neglect the external of your worldly needs. In the meantime, do not be heedless of your destiny and final resting place.
Surrender completely to His decree with the submission of one who knows he can never overcome Him. Have a firm foundation for all of your affairs, and you will be safe from their pitfalls. Organize your devotional practices and you will find your time is extended due to the barakah in it. Never be fanatical about anything, whether it regards truth or falsehood; this way your heart will remain in a state of soundness towards others. Never claim anything you are entitled to, let along what you are not entitled to. This way you will be safe from tricks and treachery. This is because anyone who claims some rank above his own will fall in humiliation. Whereas those who claim a rank they warrant will have it striped from them. While those who claim a station less than their true rank will be eleveated to higher levels than they actually deserve. Never demand a right from anyone, whether the person is an intimate or a stranger.
The reason for this is a stranger in reality owes you nothing, and someone close to you is too precious for you to censure. Never assume that anyone in this world can really understand your circumstances other than from the perspective of his own circumstances. Never belittle any talk that involves absent people even if there is no harm in it due to the possibility of harm entering into it.
Never leave an atoms weight of your regular devotional practice. Never be lenient with yourself in lax times or times of high resolve. Indeed, should you miss some practice at a given time, redress it in another time. If you are not able to do your usual practice at least occupy yourself with something else similar. Never obey your ego even for a moment. Never believe its claims no matter what it tells you. Be vigilant about your resolve in all of your affairs to your utmost. In fact, should you resolve to do something then do it immediately before the resolve wanes. Examine your soul constantly in matters that you are obliged to do or are in need to be done. Antyhing that you are in no need of doing leave it, even if it is something that is recommended. That means not involving yourself in anything other than absolutely necessary things and real discernible needs. Treat others just as you would want to be treated and fulfill that which is due to them.
“If you desire to live such that your religion is safe and your portion is full and your honour is sound, guard your tongue and never mention anothers faults remembering that you yourself have faults and others have tongues.”
Watch your eye.
Live treating others well and avoid aggression, and should others aggress against you leave them but in the best, (most graceful) manner, as the Prophet asaalatu wasalaam did. For the Prophet asaalatu wasalaam said, “Be vigilant of God wherever you are, and follow a misdeed with a good deed and it will remove it ; and treat others with the most excellent character.
No soul will die until it fulfills its decreed portion of this world and its appointed time here. So be conscious of God and make your request with dignity. In summation, repentance, awareness of God, and uprightness are the foundations of all that is beneficial. The truth is clear and its details are weighty and significant. The affair belongs only to God. Success is in His hands.
May God be pleased with Sidi Ahmad and my thanks is due to Shaykh Hamza for the fruits of his gem, Purification of the Heart.