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However, he still did not know which branch of knowledge from among the branches of knowledge he studied, would be of real help to him, would illumine his grave, would be beneficial to him on the Day of Judgment and which branches of knowledge would not be of benefit to him on the Day of Judgment, so that he could refrain from those branches of knowledge because the Holy Prophet Muhammad May Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon him said: "A'auzu Billahi Min 'Ilm-il La Yanfa'au".
This disciple of Imam Ghazali RA kept thinking along these lines for a few days and then wrote a letter to Imam Ghazali with the view of getting an answer to his dilemma along with some other questions.
In reply to his letter, Imam Ghazali RA sent him the following advices. All praises belong to Allah alone, the Lord of all the universes and blessings and peace of Allah be upon His messenger Muhammad and on all of his descendents and followers. May Allah, the Exalted, grant you a long life for His worship and obedience and may He enable you to walk on the path of His beloveds.
You should know that the fountain of all good counsel is the holy existence of Prophet Muhammad Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him because the constitution of all counsel is based on his Ahadith traditions and Sunnah outward character and conduct as well as internal states. Every counsel advice contrary to his Ahadith traditions and Sunnah outward character and internal states will be of no benefit.
Countless accounts of advices have been written and told in the light of the Ahadith traditions and Sunnah outward character and internal states of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. If you have received any guidance from them then you do not need any advice from me.
However, if you have not received any counsel from the counsels of Prophet Muhammad Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him then tell me, in all these years, what knowledge have you acquired from me? My dear beloved son! It's very easy to give this advice to all the people of the whole world but it's very difficult to act upon it oneself. These people's hearts are trapped in the worldly desires and pleasures.
This belief, which is wrong, is of those who study philosophy. All Glory and Honor to Allah the Great. Inform me about your state after your death! But some Rak'at cycles of prayers I did at the time of Tahajjud third part of the night were of benefit. Do not be deprived of good deeds, do not be without the knowledge of the external matters Shari'ah , and do not be without internal excellences noble inner qualities.
Have firm certitude that only knowledge without good deeds will not benefit you on the Day of Judgment. You can understand this [important] point from the example that if someone is passing through a jungle or desert holding ten sharp swords, good arches along with some other weapons, and knowing the art of war and method of using these weapons and all of a sudden is confronted by a lion. You know very well that this person cannot be saved. A poet has said that even if you take buy two thousand pounds of wine you will not be intoxicated until you drink from it.
Acquiring a lot of knowledge and continually browsing a lot of books but not acting upon that knowledge will not be of any benefit to you unless and until you make yourself deserving of Allah's mercy through deeds of righteousness. Until then, the Grace of Allah will stay away from you. I know that you might have read that this verse of Quran was abrogated.
After the explanation of this truth, if you get the thought in your heart that I am saying that a slave [of God, i. On contrary, what I am saying is that a slave will enter Paradise because of Allah's Favor, Generosity, and Blessings.
I repeat this [important point], how will a slave enter into the Paradise [without Allah's Mercy]? But if someone says that one will enter into the Paradise because of one's faith Iman then there are many difficult valleys obstacles in front. Among them, the first difficult way obstacle is to safely take with oneself one's faith Iman.
Have the conviction that unless and until you work, you will not get the pay or compensation of your work. There was man from among the Children of Israel who used to excessively worship Allah. Allah sent an angel to him to test him who said: "Allah, the Holy, says that you put yourself in trouble for no use since your worship is not accepted by Him and you will go to Hell.
You are the Knower to the secrets of this universe and You also know what Your worshipper slave has replied. All of you be [My] witnesses that I have forgiven him.
What benefit have you obtained other than wasting your life and gaining worldly fame? You decorated beautified yourself [with knowledge of outward matters] for many years to show off to the [mortal] creations [of Mine]. But for My sake only, did you ever purify your heart [from evil and heedlessness] even for a moment?
For this reason, you should worship me [alone] with sincere intention and devotion [and not to impress any of My mortal creations who are not capable of benefiting or harming you even by a little except by My Will].
Knowledge without actions is madness and actions without knowledge are useless. The knowledge that today, does not keep you away from sins and that does not evoke in you the desire to obey Allah, remember, will not save you tomorrow from Hellfire.
If you do not perform righteous deeds today and do not make up for the time you wasted in the past then on the Day of Judgment you will be saying: "Ferje'yna Na'mal Saaliha. That is where you are coming from. Create courage in yourself and create movement in your body for struggle [on the Path of God]. Those, who already are in the grave before you, are waiting for you every moment to see when you come to them.
Without fruits good deeds do not even get close to them. If you are in the cage of birds then when you will listen to "Irji'I ila Rabbika! As soon as he took it in his hand he took a sigh and fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, people asked him what had happened to him. Is there anyone who asks [Me of anything]? Is there anyone who begs [Me] for forgiveness? May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ] And in [the last] part of the night perform the Tahajjud prayers [for the sake of Allah] which will be very beneficial for you.
Our master of both the worlds, the Messenger of Allah May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him says: "Allah, the Exalted, really likes three sounds: of the rooster [that wakes people up for Tahajjud prayers], secondly of the recitation of the Holy Quran, and thirdly of those who in the last part of the night plead to Allah, the Exalted, for His forgiveness and repent [to Him].
At that time, those [slaves of Allah] who engage in Allah's remembrance and ask [Allah for His] forgiveness, their voices are presented [by this wind] to the Court of Allah, the Exalted. In the middle of the night, a second angel makes the proclamation that all obedient and respectful slaves of Allah should get up. Thus they get up and continue to pray until Sehr the last blessed part of the night. When it's time for Sehr then a third angel makes the proclamation that all those who seek Allah's forgiveness should get up.
Thus they get up and seek Allah's forgiveness. When it's time for dawn, then a fourth angel makes the proclamation 'O you the heedless ones! Get up [the day break has come]! Do not let the rooster be more intelligent than you are. It shouldn't happen that he i. I am a liar! If I had been a true lover [of Allah] Then the doves would not have won over me in weeping [in the pain of separation from my Beloved Allah!
I do not even wet my eyes [with tears] while claiming to love [my Beloved Lord! Our purpose is that you should know what obedience and worship are. If you say something then say it according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
If you keep silent then be silent according to the commandments of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. If you do something or do not do something then do it in accordance with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
If you do something and you consider it an act of worship but you do not do it to obey the commandment of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him then this will not be counted as worship but instead will be counted as a sin even though it might be prayer or fasting. Do you not know that if someone fasts on the [first] day of the two Eids i. Even though it is fasting but since it's not done in accordance with the commandment of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him that's why this person is being sinful.
Even though it apparently looks like [a legitimate act of] worship but since it was not done in accordance with the guidance of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him , it is not correct. If a husband has relations with his wife then it is not a sin even though it apparently looks bad. However, since it is done in accordance with the guidance of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him therefore it is Halal permissible or within legal limits.
Therefore, it is known [now] that worship is the second name synonym of obedience i. Similarly, prayers and fasting are counted as worship when they are performed in accordance with the [Divine] guidelines.
Therefore, my dear beloved son! All of your words and deeds should be in accordance with the commandments of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This is the reason why Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him abrogated all [religious] learning from the previous eras.
Therefore, you should not do anything without the guidance of Prophet Muhammad May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and be certain that you cannot walk move forward on the Path of Allah, the Exalted, with [merely] the knowledge that you have acquired.
However, this Path [of God] must be traveled through hard work and Mujahadah intense inner spiritual struggle and exercises and the pleasures of the self and desires [from the lower self] must be cut wiped out with the sword of Mujahadah intense inner spiritual struggle and exercises. These desires of the lower self cannot be eliminated through immoralities and through the deceptions of false Sufis i.
Allah, the Exalted, does not like fine points, i. The tongue speaking the words of deep wisdom and beauty while the heart worshipping heedlessness [from God] and desires of the lower self, this is a sign of mighty misfortune. Unless you cut eradicate the desires inclinations and tendencies of the lower self with the sword of truth and Mujahada intense inner spiritual struggle and exercises , until then the light illumination of Ma'arifah deep intimate knowledge, understanding, consciousness, awareness, relationship with Allah will not be born in your heart.
You have asked [me] about some [spiritual] issues, among which, some cannot be described completely in writing and speech. When you reach that [high spiritual enlightenment] state then you will know them yourself.
The lesson of love is not taught but it's born and learned by itself. If you reach that [high spiritual] state then knowing [these issues] will be equivalent to moving from one [spiritual] state to another Mustahilaat.
Because Ishq intense love is another name for love and intense desire to seek what one loves Zauq. Just like sweetness, sourness, and bitterness cannot be described by anyone who wants to describe them in writing or speech.
Al-Ghazali Letter to a Disciple: Ayyuhal-Walad
Advice to a Son Ayyuhal Walad
Dear Beloved Son / Ayyuhal Walad – Al Ghazali
أيها الولد [Ayyuhal Walad - Dear Son]