The one who remedies himself until he removes all these causes (ignorance, weak faith, long hopes and eating syubhah food) by doing their opposites in the manner that we have mentioned, will become…never tire of his acts of obedience nor ever get bored from any good thing. He would neither be attracted to nor find comfort in passionate desires and ephemereal pleasures . However, one should not expect this in his initial stages for it is only achieved after much struggle; such is the pattern that Allah has created “And you will find no changing in Allah’s wont” (wa lan tajida lisunnatillahi tabdiila) [33:62].
A man should first of all avoid all transgressions, wean himself from passionate desires and strive against the heaviness and the difficulties of presevering in obedience ta’at, until he proves the sincerity of his approach to Allah ta’ala, Transcendent and Exalted is He and his desire to reform his heart and improve his condition. Allah will then look upon him and cover him with His invisible solicitude/care. He will then find such delight and pleasure as cannot be exceeded in acts of obedience and goodness and such extreme bitterness and aversion for passionate desires that for these to simply cross his mind would become unimaginable.
That is Allah favor which He bestows upon whom He will. He has said, Blessed and Exalted is He : “Those who strive in Us, We shall guide them on Our paths” [39:69]
-Excerpt from “The Sublime Treasures, Answers to Sufi Questions” by Imam Al-Haddad translated by Mostafa al-Badawi.
Imam al-Haddad was asked about the cure for those who feel lazy to perform their religious duties (i.e. divine worship etc.) and are easily swayed by their lusts. He replied: —
Know that laziness and giving in to one’s lusts are caused by 4 things. (1) ignorance, this can be overcome by seeking beneficial knowledge; (2) weak faith, this can be overcome by reflecting about the Allah’s Power and Signs manifested in the heavens and the earth and diligently performing good acts (optional prayers, fasts, charity etc.); (3)long hopes, overcome it by reflecting upon death and realize that death can come at any time, and (4)consumption of syubhah food (i.e. food which is not clearly halal or haram/forbidden), this can be overcome by being cautious and taking less food.
1. The Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) cousin, Ibnu Abbas said : “There are five acts which I love more than horses which tamed and ready to be ridden, they are, 1-to avoid talking about things that are of no benefit to myself,2-to avoid arguing with the ignorant and the soft-spoken ones. The soft-spoken person will then harbor anger against you within him/herself while the ignorant will hurt you with his/her words. 3-to describe about a friend who is absent, with words that you like him/her to describe yourself in your abscence. 4- interact with your companions the way you want them to interact with you. 5- do anything while keeping in mind that acts of good done will be recompensed while evil acts demand punishments.
2. The Ihya’ Ulumiddin was written by the Proof of Islam Hujjatul Islam, Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali a Scholar of Islam and a Sufi. The book is his magnum opus and one of the most important and comprehensive books ever written by an Islamic scholar. The Great Saint and Gnostic Imam ‘Abdullah Al-Haddad was instructed by people in the Barzakh (i.e. the Intermediate world after death, between this world and the Resurrection) to read books by Imam Al-Ghazali such as the Ihya’ Ulumiddin. Many Habaibs (descendants of the Prophet sallaAllahualaihiwasalam) who are scholars, saints and men of piety recommended reading the Ihya’ due to its comprehensiveness and effect on the soul. Habib Abu Bakar As-Seqqaf of Gresik was said to have completed the study of the book with his students 40 times.
Here is a poem written by the Imam may Allah bless his soul, written just before his death, the time of which was revealed to him by Allah as a gift for the elect of His servants…
May Allah raise Imam Al-Ghazali’s rank in paradise further and grant us benefits from his knowledge.