Published by Threshold Books
Excerpts from What the Seeker Needs
From What the Seeker Needs:
On Divine Benevolence
Open your heart in order to receive divine benevolence. A benevolent heart becomes the mirror in which Allah’s favors are manifest. when the divine favors manifest and come through you, when you feel His presence, you will feel shame at your improper actions. This will cause both you and others to have conscience. Thus your benevolence will protect you and others from sin.
When the archangel Gabriel asked our master the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “What is divine benevolence?” the Last of the Prophets answered, “To pray and glorify Allah as if you are in His presence, as if you see Him.” Reverence reflects in the heart of a believer who has reached the level of praying as if he sees Allah.
Then our master the Prophet continued, “For if you are unable to see Him, He certainly sees you.” The one who has reached that level of realization of divine benevolence will have conscience. He will feel that gaze of Allah upon him and will be ashamed to sin. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Conscience is total good.” If a believer has conscience, he is aware of what he is doing and he cannot do wrong; when a heart is filled with conscience, the possessor of that heart encounters no harm either in this world or in the hereafter.
The sign of a man with conscience is his lack of arrogance and self-importance. He never oppresses or tries to dominate others. May you also reach the level of benevolence and have conscience, and may you have the strength and foresight to try to attain it.
From The One Alone:
On Dying Before Dying
He who thinks of himself as other than Allah is certainly not other than He, because Allah Most High is free of all existence except His Divine Essence. All, visible and invisible, that exists in Him, with Him, apart from Him, is not other than He, for the other itself is He. Whoever sees himself thus and is endowed with these qualities, has neither bounds nor end.
One dies when, by Allah’s will, one’s borrowed time ends. One’s material being — which is called life — ending at an appointed hour, loses all its character and qualities both good and bad. One who dies a spiritual death while his material life continues also loses his characteristics whether good or bad, and nothing of him remains. In their place Allah comes to be. His self becomes Allah’s self; his attributes become Allah’s attributes.
This is what our Master, the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) meant when he said:
Die before dying.
meaning, “Know yourself before you die.” Allah, speaking through His Prophet, said:
My servant comes close to me with the worship of good works until I love him; and when I love him, I become the hearing in his ears; I become the sight in his eyes; I become the words on his tongue; I become the hands with which he holds; I become the strength of every part of his being.
With these divine words the Messenger of Allah indicates that the one who dies before dying realizes his whole being as Allah’s being and sees no difference between himself and Allah, between his attributes and Allah’s nor does he see any necessity for nor possibility of any change in his state. For if his being were not already Allah, he could not even know himself.
Thus when you know yourself, your self and selfishness will leave you, and you will know that there is nothing in existence but Allah.
The condition for self-knowledge is to know that if you had a being of your own, independent of other being, then you would neither have needed to annihilate yourself in Allah nor to know yourself. You would have been, yourself, a god — self-existent and without any other existence but you — while it is Allah Most High who is free from the existence of any other god but Himself.
And when you come to know yourself, you will be sure that you neither exist nor do not exist, whether now, or before, or in the future. Then the meaning of la illaha illa Llah — There is no god but Allah — there is no being but His, nor any other except Him, and He is the Only One — will become clear to you.