Tasawwuf Imam Nawawi

they cannot bestow nor can they deprive;

they possess for themselves neither benefit nor harm,

nor death, nor life, nor resurrection.

This, then, characterizes human beings as dead: they are considered dead in all of the above respects, they are neither feared nor entreated, what they have is not coveted, they are not shown off to nor fawned upon, one does not concern oneself with them, they are not envied nor disparaged, their defects are not mentioned nor their faults pursued and exposed, one is not jealous of them nor thinks much of whatever Allah-given favors they have received, and they are forgiven and excused for their shortcomings, although the legal punishments are applied to them according to the Law. But the application of such punishment does not preclude what we have mentioned before, nor does it preclude our endeavoring to cover up their faults without disparaging them in the least.

This is how the dead are viewed. And if someone mentions human beings in a dishonorable manner we forbid him from probing that subject in the same way that we would if he were going to examine a person who died. We do not do anything for their sake nor do we leave Him for them. And we no more stop ourselves from fulfilling an act of obedience to Allah on their account than we do on account of a dead person, and we do not over-praise them. And we neither love their own praise for us nor hate their insults, and we do not reciprocate them.

In sum, they are as it were non-existent in all the respects we have mentioned. They are under Allah’s complete care and jurisdiction. Whoever deals with them in such a way, he has combined the good of the next world with that of the lower world. May Allah the Generous grant us success towards achieving this These few words are enough to touch upon an explanation for Abu Yazid al-Bistami’s saying, may Allah be well pleased with him.2

1 Cf. Nuh Keller, Al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam(Evanston: Sunna Books, 1994) p. 85-86.2 al-Nawawi, Bustan al-`arifin (Beirut: dar al-kitab al-`arabi,1405/1985) p. 53-54.

Reproduced with permission from Shaykh M. Hisham Kabbani’s The Repudiation of “Salafi” Innovations (Kazi, 1996) p. 349-353.

Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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