Published by Threshold Books

An excerpt from
Inspirations: On the Path of Blame

The Human Being

…From the lips of the Prophet Muhammad {peace be upon him}
came the saying, Mutu qabla an tamutu (Die before you die): leave this world with your own will before you are faced with the necessity of leaving it at the end of your life.

There are three steps to achieving eternal life by dying to the world.

The first step is to protect oneself against the love, the ambition, the lust, the pleasures of this world, whose attractions pull us down to it and whose illusions distract us from Truth.

The second step is to try to live in strict accordance with the divine precepts — not in a forced way but in seeking and assuming the divine attributes, the beautiful names of Allah, and in making them one’s character in sincerity. The most ordinary sort of example of this is when a sincere man is dead and buried, beautiful memories of him live on.

The third and final step is to efface oneself, all that one has done, and all that one was — including the divine attributes with which one has characterized oneself, such ass the Living One, the Hearing One, the Seeing One, the Knowing One, the Speaking One, the One with Power, the One with Will, the One Who Can Create — all and everything, and to realize that there is no existence except allah. There is no you, but He and you are lost in Him, and you exist with Him. This is truly dying before dying.

Such a person is in continuous remembrance and continually conscious; his consciousness extends this world into the other. Therefore, he will be alive eternally.

Continuous remembrance, total consciousness, is the goal and the sign of the perfect man. It is also the beginning, the means, and the key to perfection. Perfection is in Allah and is from Allah, and man attains it in the measure of his closeness to Allah.

To come close to Allah is only possible through loving Him, and to love Him is only possible through remembering Him. The Beloved of Allah, Muhammad {peace be upon him}, said: Man remembers often the one whom he loves.

Frequent remembrance of Allah increases His love in one’s heart. If one’s heart and mind are preoccupied with other things, one will forget the Creator and Sustainer of that heart and will neither remember nor love Him.

It is impossible to realize the Creator only with one’s senses and one’s mind. It is not easy to submit to Him through reason. But if one remembers Him often, that remembrance will penetrate into one’s being — into every part, every cell, deep into one’s essence, making one able to remember Him without effort, like a heartbeat. Then the effort to be conscious will be replaced by the pleasure of consciousness. That pleasure will bring the love of Allah. Allah says: Remember Allah so often so that you will find deliverance from heedlessness, and find happiness. (Juma’, 10). And: Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides… (Al-i’Imran, 191) are the heedful who see the signs of the creation of the heavens and the earth and know that they were not created in vain.

Realization of this is the reward of remembrance. The pleasure of seeing the harmony in the creation, the love felt for the Maker of this creation, are the signs that Allah has opened the eyes of one’s heart and the gates of His Paradise.

There are only two rewards which Allah bestows upon a human being that He never takes back. One is the pleasure given in the remembrance of Him; the other is the lifting of dark veils from the eye of the heart, so that wherever one looks one sees the Truth in the beauty and power of the Creator.