From the Aphorisms (al-Hikam)
Abu al-Fadl Ibn `Ata Allah al-Iskandari (d. 709)
- Do not look forward to being free of alterities (al-aghyaar), for that is indeed what cuts you off from vigilant attention (al-muraaqabah) to Him in that very state He has assigned to you.
- So, long as you are in this world, be not surprised at the existence of sorrows. For, truly, it manifests nothing but what is in keeping with its character or its inevitable nature.
- No search pursued with the help of your Lord remains at a standstill, but any search pursued by yourself will not be fruitful.
- Amongst the signs of success at the end is the turning to God at the beginning.
- Whatever is deposited in the invisible world of innermost hearts (ghayb as-saraa'ir) is manifested in the visible world of phenomena (shahaadaat az-zawaahir).
- What a difference between one who proceeds from God in his argumentation and one who proceeds inferentially to Him! He who has Him as his starting-point knows the Real (al-Haqq) as it is, and proves any matter by reference to the being of its Origin. But inferential argumentation comes from the absence of reaching Him. Otherwise, when was it that He became absent that one has to proceed inferentially to Him? Or when was it that He became distant that created things (al-athaar) themselves will take you to Him ?
- Those who reach Him: "Let him who has abundance spend out of his abundance." Those who are voyaging towards Him: "And has his means of subsistence to him ..."
- Those who are voyaging to Him are guided by the lights of their orientation (tawajjuh), whereas those who reach Him have the lights of face-to-face confrontation (muwaajaha). The former belong to their lights, whereas the lights belong to the latter, for they belong to God and to nothing apart from Him. "Say: Allah! then leave them prattling in their vain talk."
A man once said, I love Islam and being a Muslim, but I can't resist committing forbidden actions and sins. He was answered "before you think of doing a sin, try to do the following four things"
- If you want to do a sin, try to do it outside the kingdom of Allah.
The man answered "how I can do it out side the kingdom of Allah and he owns everything and no escape from his kingdom?!?". He was answered "don't you then feel shy from Allah to disobey him inside His own Kingdom?!?"
- If you want to do a sin, then it is not fair to eat from Allah's bounty
and do the sin, try to eat from things that does not belong to him. The man answered "how I can do this and Allah owns everything and I can't survive without his bounty". He was answered, "Do you not then feel shy to eat from Allah's blessing and yet still disobey him??"
- If you want to do a sin, try to hide so Allah can't see you. The man
answered "how I can do this and Allah sees every thing?" He then was answered "Do you not feel shy to commit a sin knowing that Allah is looking at you while you are doing it?".
- If you want to do a sin, try to keep it secret so Allah won't know it.
The man answered, "How that is possible and Allah knows what is inside my chest and my heart". He was answered, "Do you not feel shy to disobey Allah knowing that Allah knows what you are doing?"". The man at that moment said, "I swear by Allah, I will never disobey Allah after this day"!!