Spiritual Pleasures are many times tastier

Though, to get the pleasure of Allah’s recognition, Godliness, piety and worship you have to do away with physical and animal pleasures or comforts of life to a certain extent and with some restrictions, even then spiritual pleasures are many times tastier than worldly pleasures. If someone is fortunate to really have spiritual pleasure he will forgo the greatest of worldly pleasure but not leave spiritual pleasure. If you were aware of the pleasure of leaving the pleasure, you would not have called your carnal desires as pleasures.[219]

[Continued praying though hit with arrows]

In an expedition the Prophet accompanied the Muslim army. One night he gave the responsibility of guarding and protecting the army to Ammar Ibne Yasir and Ibad Ibne Bashir. They decided between themselves that, for half the night Ibad will remain awake and keep a watch and from that time to the morning Ammar will be woken up to keep watch. Ibad Ibne Bashir was praying during his watch, while a Jew sneaked into the camp with the intention of taking advantage of the darkness to kill the Prophet. From a distance he saw among all Muslims only one person standing while the rest slept. He shot an arrow towards Ibad and it pierced his body, but he continued to pray. The Jew shot a second arrow, which also pierced Ibad but he still did not stop praying. In the same way a third arrow also hit its target. Now Ibad shortened his prayer and awoke Ammar. On seeing his condition Ammar asked, “Why did you not wake me up on being hit with the first arrow?”

Ibad Ibne Bashir said, “O Ammar! I was reciting Surah Kahf in my prayer and I did not wish to discontinue. Were I not afraid that the enemy would kill me and reach to the Prophet, I would not have shortened the prayer, but completed Surah Kahf, though my life would have gone.” After that, both Ibad and Ammar together chased away the intruder from the Muslim camp.[220]

[The brave ones of Kerbala]

Now imagine the pleasure of worship that overcomes arrow injuries; rather the pain of death. If you want to know more about the greatness of the pleasure of worship just look at the condition of the companions of Imam Husain (a.s.). It is really astonishing how they left everything i.e. wealth, position, family and children in the way of Allah. Doing away with physical pleasures, they embraced all kinds of troubles and hardships and sacrificed their likes with great love and devotion. On the night of Ashura (10th of Mohurrum) Burair was saying, “Tonight I am happier than I ever was in my whole life, because I know that tomorrow my place would be in Paradise.”

On the day of Ashura the condition of Aabis was such, that he removed his coat of mail and helmet and in that same condition, jumped into the sea of soldiers and confronted the waves of the enemies. Imam Husain (a.s.) had announced several times loudly and given permission that anyone of them could go away if they so wished but none took benefit of this permission. The black slave, Jaun was begging Imam Husain (a.s.) to permit him getting killed in the battlefield. Companions of Imam Husain (a.s.) were saying to the effect: O master of religion! Even if I carry my throne of excellence upto the empyrean (high seat), then too, I remain a slave of yours, O honorable gentleman I remain needy of this house of yours. If I draw away my heart from you and give up your love, then where would I throw such love and where would I carry such a heart?[221]

[Science supports belief of Monotheism]

Man should not fall short in gaining the recognition of God and His worship. We must definitely acquire the knowledge of modern sciences, but should also try to have the knowledge of God. There is no contradiction or inconsistency between the two. The two do not negate each other; rather scientific knowledge supports belief in Oneness of God. In fact it increases knowledge and belief in God, helps in recognizing One God and cures doubt. The purpose for the creation of heavens and earth is that man may acquire the knowledge of God. The Holy Quran points to this:

[The purpose of all creation is recognition of God]

The Holy Quran points to this: Allah is He who creates seven heavens and of the earth the like of them; the decree continues to descend among them, that you may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah indeed encompasses all things in (His) knowledge.[222] Everything takes place as destined by Allah and according to His arrangement. It may be life or death, riches or poverty, hardship or comfort, sickness or health. In short, everything takes place according to command from Allah.

As there are seven heavens, in the same way there are seven earths too. In the book Al Haiato Wal-Islam, Shahristani says:

“Seven earths denote the seven planets of the solar system, Earth, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; and seven heavens denote the skies enclosing these seven planets. This verse is talking about our solar system. Now, since the interpretation of number cannot become the proof even if there are millions of earths and heavens and there are thousands of other systems like our solar system, then too this verse cannot be refuted. This can be further explained by the example of a person who says, “I have two horses.” Now it could also be that he is having more than two horses. Even if he has a hundred horses his statement cannot be proved false because he did not say, “I do not have more than two horses.” For more information refer to the above-mentioned book.

[Worship and Knowledge of Allah]

And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve me.[223] It means that they reach up to the level of servitude and recognize the Kingdom of Allah to its appropriate worth. They gain access to the great stage of Allah’s nearness. But this requires knowledge and action. These two are just like two wings to fly upto the heights of spiritual status. Those great positions are such that no physical eye has seen them, neither any ear has heard about them. Rather it has not even occurred to a materialistic man.

Therefore it is necessary that man should know and understand the diseases of doubt and ignorance, and he should go in quest of knowledge and certainty; that is recognition of God to cure them.

[The remedy of doubt and the position of certainty]

Belief in Allah, that is to recognize the truth, and to create belief on that is not a thing in which there is absolutely no need of the means of, say for example, eyes and ears from the five senses. Rather belief gets into the heart through these means only. With the help of these apparent means it enters into the heart and mind. At the time of creation only its command was connected to his nature. By nature man, is created in such a way that he has the capacity to get belief into his self. Now it is upto man to utilize this capability and bring it into the forefront. He gains belief, obeys Islamic laws and respects and follows the commands of Allah. In this manner he may reach to the great position of faith and belief. Rather he is very much anxious to reach those elevated positions.

The natural capability of attaining the recognition of Allah is hidden in man like electricity. It is exactly like electricity remains hidden in metals but scientific instruments are required to use it. Without that electricity cannot be utilized. In the same way the light of knowledge and belief is hidden in the nature and temperament of man but he has to make efforts to benefit from it. The light can increase, and can become evident also. If man makes an effort he can get to the extreme position of the splendor of truth, but if he becomes careless, the inherent light becomes faint to the extent that it is ultimately extinguished.

[Purification of filth] 

To enhance natural effulgence and to make it evident, two basic things are required, vacating and purification. Vacating means to clear the heart from all kinds of pollutions like greed, lust and animal desires or devilish actions. Such evils conceal the natural light further. Dust gathers on the mirror of mind and man becomes oblivious of the truth.

[Belief is a natural thing]

God says in Quran: Then set your face upright for religion in the right state-the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know.[224] Here religion only means the religion of Oneness of Allah, and that is Islam. Keep your face towards religion.

It means that you must continuously attend to the true religion, be steadfast on it and obey its commands. The meaning of “nature made by Allah” is to recognize Allah, accept His Oneness and to follow His commands with devotion. This in itself is the power, which Allah has reposed in the nature of man. Devotion to God and following His commands are from the necessities of faith and the way to this is the religion of Islam. There can be no change in this nature. The meaning of this can also be that man should not let this natural effulgence dim and he should protect it from destruction. He should remain firm on the way of One God (i.e. monotheism) and on the religion of Islam.

[One kind of Creation cannot be changed into another kind]

Inorganic matters, (minerals), vegetables, animals (living beings) etc; from all these, every creation reaches up to its peak of development (final stages of its existence with excellence). They attain development but they cannot leave their own species and get themselves changed into some other form of creation. Almighty Allah has given this capability to the grain of wheat that when it is sown in proper soil and in proper conditions i.e. when it is given water in proper proportions the grain can split the ground and come up in the form of a sapling. In that case half remains in the ground as roots and half comes up in form of branches. Grains of wheat multiply greatly but it is not possible for wheat plant to produce barley or lentils. All this is manifested clearly by Allah and it cannot be changed. In the same way a monkey cannot change into a man. An offspring of a human being cannot be a monkey, neither can a monkey produce human offspring. (As Darwin’s theory states).

[Firmness on Monotheism is an excellence]

Progress of man and his excellence lies in that there should be physical and worldly life also along with the provision of everlasting life of the next world. He should strive to get access to these spiritual positions, but one cannot gain this excellence till one is not firm in belief, which is the right path of monotheism and till the time one is not prepared to follow the commands of the religion of God. A person can attain that excellence only when, he with a firm intention and inclination moves towards this path. He should cultivate the capabilities given to him by God and that which is hidden in his self. He should move towards excellence, so that, he becomes one having true belief and real recognition of God. So that he may become one upholding the attribute of man. It is evident that, the way of monotheism and servitude to God is opposite to the way of beastly acts and carnal desires. To proceed on this way some force has to be applied and great courage is required for this.

It is obvious that something can be done only when means are provided. A person can reach his destination of excellence only when he arranges the means for it; and the most important mean is man’s intention itself. Till the time he does not keep his intentions in his control, he will remain like an animal. He will remain in the lowest levels of beasts. He cannot think of the destination of humans. Man’s intentions are tested in the world. If they are correct it will cause him to be taken to the position of excellence. It is in the nature of man that he believes in Allah. But he purposely does not improve his intentions, because of his going against his natural instincts. He allows his carnal desires to exceed the bounds. In the same way he himself becomes an obstruction in the way of development of his nature. Thus he fails the test of his intentions.

[If man seriously tries he can definitely gain Allah’s recognition]

If a person seriously wants to become God-knowing (Pious) and he remains firm on his intentions keeping all sorts of obstructions away by pressurizing his self then definitely he reaches upto the destination of Allah’s recognition. Many people remain prey to self-praise and ego. They come under the deceit of Satan and wrong notions. They make baseless arguments and just deny the existence of God. They remain pleased with their wrong notions and think that without any Creator, such a big universe has come into existence on its own. They think that it is without any patron. They spurn the high position of humanism, by saying that man was also an animal with dense hair, four legs and a tail, which became a human through evolution and now he is walking on two legs. They say monkeys evolved into humans. What an ignorant concept! As if the foundation of humanism is based on beastliness, waywardness, rapacity, lust and obscenity. Today also, majority of people consider their origin to be materialism and beastliness.

[Awakening of conscience]

However those who had initially laid the foundation of such wrong notions, themselves left this frenzy of thoughtlessness and came to their senses. Their conscience woke up and professed the truth. They themselves started negating their own wrong notions. By way of examples we present here some of their utterances.

1. Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin is famous for his evolution theory. It was he who said that one creation gets transformed into another. This theory was named Darwinism. He became the cause of those who were materialistic in the last few centuries to become atheist and secular. Famous American author, John Clower writes, “At last his conscience roused him. The hidden natural instinct (intellect) made him oppose his own theory and he became the confessor of an Eternal Power.” German intellectual Benhaz has confessed in his book Aslul Anwaa that, “It is impossible for a matured intellectual, after seeing the astonishing arrangement of the Universe and its harmony, to deny that there is a creator of such a wonderful world, who is Powerful and a fountainhead of wisdom.”

2. Raeng 

Famous German philosopher Raeng was a great follower of Darwin. He was very much against those who believed in God, but under the hallowed pressure of conscience, that is under the hidden natural instincts, he rectified his perception and wrote a book, World is a creation. He confessed with total confidence that there is a creator of the universe and He is One God.

3. Rumien

Rumien was a British philosopher and a strict materialist, but his conscience ultimately forced him to say, “All those scientific and philosophical concepts according to which the creator of the world is supposed to be matter are incorrect. The existence of this world is just impossible without a Super Power, full of Wisdom; an Omnipotent God, the Creator. My inner feelings witness this fact and confirm the wisdom of the Creator; and such a creator of the world is inevitable.

4. Faraday

Michael Faraday was a scientist, and a philosopher. He was a research scholar of Physics and Chemistry in Britain. His theory was that the world has come into existence by chance, all of a sudden due to some chemical reactions. Different chemicals came together and took the shape of the world. He was not the follower of a Wise and Omnipotent God. He devoted his whole life to the study of Physics and Chemistry. One day in the year 1867 he was sick, lying on the bed in deep thought. A friend asked him, “Faraday, now what topic of research are you thinking?” He replied, “I thank God, that I am not thinking on a wrong theory. I am bowing down my head in the court of God with utmost humility. I kneel down in confession. I am thinking just about Him. My natural instincts, feelings, consciousness, my inner-self and everything of science bear testimony to His existence. I have recognized my God. Now I am confident that He will disregard my faults and my absurd theories and forgive me due to my humility in asking for His forgiveness.” This is quoted on page 306 of Jaheliyat wa Islam compiled by Mr. Yahya Noon.

[Islam is a natural religion]

In Usul al-Kafi, in the chapter of ‘Faith and Disbelief’ five traditions are narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.). These traditions commenting on the verse of “nature made by Allah” have explained that it denotes monotheism and Islam. In Tawheed of Shaykh Saduq Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “Every child is born on the nature, which is the nature of Allah’s recognition.”

[When there is none to hear the plea] 

In the commentary of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) it is stated that a person asked Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) about the way to recognize God. Imam said, “O slave of Allah! Have you ever traveled in the sea?” “Yes, he replied. Then Imam asked, “Has it ever occurred that your ship was wrecked during the voyage and there was no other boat in the vicinity? And it was no use swimming also?”

“Yes sir,” he replied, “It has happened.” Imam said, “In such situation, was your heart urging that there is someone who can save you from this?” “Yes,” he confessed. Imam said, “The Entity to which your heart was attentive to, that only he can save you from this holocaust, is Allah. When there is no one to save you, and when no one is there to listen to your plea for help, in such circumstances only Allah is there to save you and only He is there to listen to your plea.”

[Divine help to seek knowledge] 

Ibne Abi Jamhure Ehsai has related in Al Mujalle that Prophet Isa (a.s.) said, “O Children of Israel! Do not say that knowledge is in the heavens and one who goes up will get it. In fact knowledge is put into your heart by way of nature. Imbibe good manners of the learned and adopt virtues of the truthful; knowledge itself will be disclosed to your hearts.” In the 17th volume of Biharul Anwar, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said, “The knowledge of recognition of Allah and belief in His attributes is not acquired, rather it is a light reflected in the heart of such a person, whom Allah wants to guide.”

[Do not deliberate on Allah’s Being]

It is evident from the discussion so far that belief in Allah and His recognition is a natural affair. Recognition of Allah means that He Alone is the Creator. He is Unique, Omnipotent and Omniscient. We see that Islam stresses on the knowledge of the attributes of Allah. It is so because understanding the being of Allah is impossible. It is beyond the capacity of man or any other creation. Acquaintance of the being of Allah implies that the mind has confined His Entity. However it is not possible for creation to confine the Entity of the Creator. It is only the Entity of Allah-the Creator, which is surrounding the whole creation. You all know that, surely He encompasses all things.[225]

That is why the holy Shariah has prohibited deliberating and thinking upon the being of God Almighty and it is made obligatory that man should deliberate on the attributes of Allah, His acts and His graces, so that he may get divine knowledge. In Usul al-Kafi Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “Talk about the creation of Allah. Do not talk about the Entity of Allah. By talking about the Entity of Allah the curiosity will go on increasing.” Also in the same book Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) states, “Whoever starts thinking this about Allah, that how and what kind He is, will be destroyed.”

Such a person will fall into destruction and would be misled. To recognize the Entity of Allah is just impossible. We can only limit ourselves to His actions and His Attributes. Nothing except bewilderment can be gained by deliberating on the Entity of Allah. And as a result of the bewilderment man starts having doubts, and then he refuses to accept the existence of Allah itself.

[The flight of thought is limited]

One who cannot recognize the being of Allah; it does not mean that, he should outright deny His existence. Lack of recognition is not proof that the thing does not exist. Till today man could not know about many creations of the world but he never disproved their existence. Till now man could not know about the reality of light. What is the reality of the waves of light? Still he does not know, how man is capable of seeing but he does not deny that there are waves of light either. In the same way man confesses to the power of thinking and intelligence though he is unaware of scientific facts, but he does not say that since I have not recognized the power of reason I do not believe in its existence.

[How we believe in the unseen God?]

The essence is that, man is unaware of many existing things, but when he sees the signs, marks or symbols he accepts their existence. Now, how it is possible that though he sees the things present in the world he denies the existence of their creator? How it is possible for him to say that, since he does not know the reality of the Creator he denies His existence?

None is more lacking in intelligence than those who say, “How it is possible to believe in an unseen God?” Such people should be asked, “Have you seen your intelligence or memory, or other capacities present in your self?” Other than these, there are many things in the world, which are not seen by naked eyes. For example air. Can you deny the existence of all such things? Don’t you see the signs and marks?

[Eyes only see material things] 

They should be made to understand that the vision of human eyes is limited to the things that have forms. That also with the condition that it should not be colorless or thin like air. Otherwise eyes cannot perceive such material things also. Now how such eyes can see the Lord, when He is absolutely Unique? He does not consist of matter. He is the Creator of both the dense and the rare matter. Rather He is the Creator of such things, which do not even have form and matter, like intelligence and thoughts. That Lord is present everywhere (He is Omnipresent) and He encompasses everything. The whole universe exists because of His existence. It is necessary for man that first he should take stock of the orbit of operation of his eyes. So that he may not refuse to believe or accept the dignities and things that are out of their orbit of operation. Rather he should recognize them by their signs.

[Three questions-a single reply]

It is said that one day Abu Hanifah told his companions, “Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq has stated things that really surprise me. He says that Allah will not be seen in this world as well as the next. How is it possible that a thing exists but cannot be seen? He also says that Satan will be burnt in the fire of Hell. Now since Satan is made of fire himself how can fire burn fire? And he also says that people are free in their actions. Though Quran says that all actions take place according to the will of Allah.” This narration shows that Abu Hanifah was convinced that Allah would be seen in the Hereafter, the fire of Hell will not burn Satan and whatever man does, he is helpless in it and Allah is compelling him to perform all actions. Bohlool was present in the gathering. After listening to all this he picked up a lump of mud and hit Abu Hanifah on the head with it. Abu Hanifah started bleeding from his head and Bohlool ran away from the scene.

Abu Hanifah filed a complaint in the court of law and Bohlool was produced. The judge asked him the reason of such behavior. Bohlool said, “Abu Hanifah has objected to three things, which Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) had said. By hitting him on his head I have replied to all the three objections. One is that, he says that it is not possible for something to exist and not be seen. Now since he claims that I caused the pain in his head, let him show us that pain. However since the pain cannot be seen, it seems that he is lying, as pain does not exist. Another thing is that he says since Satan is made of fire, the fire of Hell will not affect him. The lump was of clay and Abu Hanifah is also made of clay, hence how clay has affected clay?

And this gentleman says that man is not having free will and Allah compels him in all actions. Hence hitting him in this manner, according to him is not my own action. Rather it is an act of Allah. Then why is he complaining about me? In the end Bohlool was released.

[Some scientists]

Hence it shows that if a thing is not seen it is not the proof that it does not exist. In Arabic it is said that: It is absolutely self-evident and reasonable to the extent of manifestation. Even then some scientists have been deceived by their wrong notions. In the past centuries they had by analysis and scientific experiments performed amazing and exciting feats. They discovered amazingly exciting things, invented and manufactured scores of gadgets, really worthy of honor. But they gave such a verdict against wisdom and said that, “The universe comprises of only material things and this is what we have understood.” They denied all things other than material things. They did not give credence to the existence of soul, angels, and Jinns etc. They thought that the world is not consistent with an Omnipotent and Omniscient God and they refused to believe in such a God Who is Alone and pure, and free from matter. Because of their claim, they disgraced themselves among the wise people of the world.

[A drop of sea] 

Thank God that majority of today’s (twentieth century) scientists are not engaged in such wrong notions. The verdict of their nature and their perception is that such a view is wrong. They bow down their head with respect in the face of Allah Almighty’s endless Greatness, Power and Wisdom. They also confess that the soul remains after death. They also confess and admit that there is a world of reward and punishment. They say that our knowledge is just like a drop, whereas what we don’t know is like a vast shoreless ocean.”

[The Ant and the telephone pole] 

In Tafsir of Tantavi, vol. 2 on page no. 48, the names of twenty great scientists are given who have accepted the existence of God, soul, and the Hereafter. Some of these scientists, for example, the greatest philosopher of this century and the teacher of Aureili Doshan, “Spencer” has written books on this subject and also written a thesis on this. However relating all those quotations here will cause unnecessary lengthening of our discussion. In this commentary on page 161 a British scientist, Lord Olivier Large is quoted that:

“Man’s knowledge about non-material things (for example, soul) is only as much as an ant might be having knowledge about the life of man.” For example when an ant crawls on the telephone pole. It looks at the pole within the circle of its vision but it does not know that this pole carries a telephone network and that it is the medium of communication between people of different cities. Similarly we do not have information about the unseen worlds.

Vol. I of Dairatul Marif, the Encyclopedia compiled by Wajidi and other books mention about many scientists who accept the existence of God.

[Recognition of God and Science are related to each other]

Hershel says that as science progresses there is increase in the proof of the existence of an Eternal and Omnipotent Creator, which is God. Geographers, Mathematicians, psychologists and scientists have cooperated with each other to strengthen the throne of knowledge; and this throne is the throne of the greatness of One God.

[An Eternal and Everlasting power]

The famous thinker Herbert Spencer says, “The more we investigate these mysteries, the more they deepen. Though we have indeed realized the fact that there is someone more powerful and higher than man, and everything has come into existence due to him.” 

[The Universe and its Creator]

The French physiologist and natural scientist, Lena says, “The great Eternal God is aware of everything and He can do anything. He has instilled such awareness in myself through His creatures that I have become enchanted and perplexed. Because from the most minor creature to His greatest phenomenon there is same kind of novelty, wisdom and power that one is compelled to feel bewildered.” After this the same great thinker says, “Whatever benefits we receive through the universe are the best proofs for the greatness of that God, Who has bestowed us all these things. Everything in the universe is so beautiful and balanced that it shows the great wisdom of the Almighty. God protects everything from destruction and misbalance. Constant change and transformation in the Universe also proves the Almighty’s greatness.”

[Brief statements of other thinkers]

The accomplished intellectual Fomtetel writes in his encyclopedia that the importance of science is not because it reduces the fervor of intellects. Rather the greatest advantage of these sciences is that they invite our attention to the Creator of the Universe and they instill in us an awe of the Creator. The well-known philosopher Pascal says, “The Creator is an unlimited sphere whose pivot is everywhere and whose dominions are without limits of space.” The same philosopher also says, “Except for faith in God nothing gives us internal peace and quenches the thirst of the soul.” La Mena says, “The word in the denial of the Creator burns the lips of the one who utters it.”

He also says that search for something other than God and absolutely unconnected with His Being is nothing but an effort towards annihilation. Lo Cordon says, “God is that Unique Sun whose living and everlasting rays impart help and life to the existing things.” Feu says, “God is aware of everything. He has control over everything and He is controlling all the systems of the universe.” Gordon says, “God is that eternal and everlasting power by Whose favor the whole Universe has come into existence and continues to develop.” In the 19th century Encyclopedia there is a statement of Prodon that, “God is a reality beyond our understanding and describing Whose qualities is beyond our capacity. But despite this His existence is certain and undeniable. Before our intellects could investigate the existence of God our conscience had already witnessed it.”

On page 354 of Dictionary of Stories of Quran, La Martin, a great French poet and litterateur says, “A heart devoid of God is a court of law without a Judge.”

These were some few examples of the statements of western thinkers. May our young people pay attention to this and derive benefits from those great thinkers and confess to the greatness of those thinkers who believe in and have faith in Allah.

[Removal of Dirt]

“Aloofness” (Takhliya) is to keep oneself away from things that are obstacles in recognizing Allah. In other words it means that we must purify our heart of all pollutions of the heart. The greatest pollutant of the soul is selfishness. That is to consider oneself most important and not in need of Allah and this mistaken notion is the result of blind faith. Some people feel happy at this mistaken notion. They acquire a little bit of knowledge and consider themselves intellectuals although this knowledge is limited while their ignorance is unlimited.

How can a person consider himself an intellectual though he is unaware of the most obvious truth and the recognition of God? This is nothing but pride and a compounded ignorance. Compounded ignorance is that a person is unaware of his ignorance. He also does not know what he is unaware of. He shall remain in the compounded ignorance forever. Some details regarding compounded ignorance are mentioned in the beginning of this book in the chapter of “The Cure of Disbelief.” Let us revise these points again.

[Cure of Self-worship ]

One must think upon his helplessness time and again and must ponder on his temporal nature from the aspect of his self, qualities and actions. He must understand that whatever there is, it is by the favor and mercy of Allah. He is in need of Allah every moment of his life. Another beneficial thing for the cure of egotism is that one must contemplate upon ones creation and composition. That initially he was dispersed in form of particles of elements, then he came into the loins of his father, then in the womb of the mother and finally he arrived into the external world. Thus from the cradle to his present condition, each stage is worth contemplation. One should imagine his future conditions and even his death. Then he must think what his condition would be in the frame where his body will once again disperse into particles and he would again return to the previous condition. 

From it We created you and into it We shall send you back and from it will We raise you a second time.[226] Then one should consider in detail ones present condition and think upon ones life and death. He must take note of his health and sickness, strength and weakness, old age or youth, honor or dishonor; thus he must study all his conditions over whom he has no control and whom he cannot mould according to his wish and will. So much so that he does not even exercise control over his thoughts and memory. He desires to understand and memorize many things but he cannot do so always. His desire just remains a desire.

In brief we can say that one should consider ones helplessness and lack of control, weakness and lowliness from every angle. The more he is aware of this the more he will be able to achieve the recognition of himself and his creator and the creator of others. He would be able to understand the limitless wisdom and power of Allah and he would similarly be able to confess his ignorance and weakness.

[Self Recognition]

A famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says, “One who recognized his self, recognized his Lord.” Some scholar has explained this tradition as follows: One who understands his phenomena - That he was nothing and then he came into existence. He understands his annihilation and decaying, indeed understands that his Lord is eternal and everlasting. He is from eternity and would remain forever. Anyone who realizes his helplessness, infirmity and ignorance, would certainly realize Allah’s unlimited power, wisdom and control. Anyone who realizes that he is a creature, getting sustenance from the Sustainer God, would certainly achieve the recognition of his Creator and Sustainer. In the same way as many qualities of himself a man realizes as much recognition of God he achieves.

By contemplation any sane person can know that the creation of the soul in his body, his physical make-up and everything in every sphere of his life is not by itself. Certainly, somebody has created all this; someone sustains and manages it all. He is also the creator and the originator of all the parts of the existing world. 

One who wants to deepen his recognition of God should pay more attention to this. He should read the versified supplication (Munajat) of Imam Ali (a.s.) quoted in the rituals of Kufa Mosque in Mafatihul Jinan. Also for this purpose it is essential to ponder upon its meanings. Some lines of this supplication are as follows:

O my Master, O my Master! You are the Living and I am a dead and who will show mercy on a dead except the Living?

O my Master, O my Master! You are Eternal and I am perishable, who can be merciful on the perishable except the Eternal?

O my Master, O my Master! You are Everlasting and I am declining. Who can be merciful on the declining except the Everlasting?

O my Master, O my Master! You are the Sustainer and I am a sustained one. And who can be merciful on a sustained one except the Sustainer?

[Don’t consider yourself free]

If God wills, more details about egotism and self-worship will be discussed in the second part of this book. Here we have to know in brief that as long as a man considers himself needless and without a guardian, he continues to consider himself as the greatest. Such a person cannot gain any divine recognition. But if he realizes with his sense and intellect that he is not firm and independent, a great veil is removed from the effulgence of his nature. He begins to recognize his Lord in the brightness of this recognition and becomes His ardent devotee. O Hafiz! You yourself have become your veil. Move out from between yourself and the Lord. Till the time you remain in pride of your knowledge and superiority you will remain without divine recognition. Let me point out a fact. Do not look at yourself because you are dust.[227]

[Beastly pleasures and desires]

All greedy and sensual behavior, following devilish desires, excess in animal pleasures like overeating, sleeping more than necessary, are those veils that conceal the effulgence of humanity or make one neglectful of the remembrance of Allah and cause spiritual illness. In such things, if excess is harmful to the body and this loss is considerable then it is unlawful. And if it is not considerable then also it is detestable. Now that excess may be in anything. For instance an excess that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has pointed out, “Lustful glance is a poisonous arrow from the arrows of Satan. Lustful glance is a poisonous arrow that strikes the heart and soul of the one who glances in this manner. How sick would be the heart of the person who commits sins, day in and day out? How would the effulgence of nature glow after such destruction and filth so that he can remember God? How can he see truth and reality and recognize Allah?

Sinful glance is far from the beloved’s face. Now glance at this pure face through a clean mirror.[228] Yes, if divine grace is in ones favor the sinner would regret his actions and the fire of regret would burn the filth of his heart and then the water of repentance would wash the heart.

I have plunged into tears and performed the ritual bath. Like the mystics you also say so. Because the mystics say that first purify yourself only, then cast a glance at that pure entity.[229] Every sin, however minor, covers the effulgence of man’s nature and makes the heart rusty, creating proportionate distance and a veil between Allah and him.

This is proved by many verses and traditions. For instance:

Nay! Rather, what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts.

Nay! Most surely they shall on that day be debarred from their Lord.[230]

In the same way Allah says in Surah Rum: 

Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the communications of Allah and used to mock them.[231] Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) is quoted in Usul al-Kafi that he said, “Every believer has a white spot in his heart. When he sins, a blackness to that extent appears on it. If he repents, the blackness goes away. But if he remains in the impurity of sins for a long time the blackness goes on increasing. So much so that it completely covers the white spot. When the blackness hides the whiteness, a person with such a heart can never return to good. This is the meaning of Allah’s words:

Nay! Rather, what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts.[232]

Also, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “My father (Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.)) used to say that the most harmful thing for the heart is sin. Indeed the heart involved in sins is continuously inclined to sins till they gain control over the heart; then the heart is turned upside down. Truth does not remain in it and neither can it return to it and stay put there. Such a person does not accept any advice and does not obey any true guidance.

[The most dangerous pain of the heart] 

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “No pain is more dangerous to the hearts than sins. No fear is as intense as that of death. Past sins are enough to cause worry and death is enough a lesson.[233]

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) also said, “I am only worried about two things regarding you. One is following the desires and the other, lengthening of hopes. Following the desires takes one away from truth, while lengthening of hopes makes one forget the Hereafter. (Yes! Long hopes and desires make one forget death. And if man does not remembers death, he also forgets the Hereafter. A true believer is not commanded to fear death but he is to remember death. As mentioned in the first tradition, “No fear is as intense as that of death,” Now this fear is perceived when one commits a sin and does not repent for it. To save oneself from the fear of death he should not sin again and repenting for the past sins he should repose hope in Allah’s mercy.

[Allah is Manifest, but veils of desires intervene]

In the supplication of Abu Hamzah Thumali, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) prays to Allah, “And truly traveling to You is short in duration, and You do not veil Yourself from Your creatures unless their own misdeeds would block them from You.” In one version instead of A’maal (misdeeds) there is Amaal (hopes). Meaning thereby that hopes and desires become a veil and cause hindrance.

However close I may be to myself, the beloved is nearer. And more strange is that I am far from the beloved.[234]

[Preoccupation makes one forget Allah]

A man becomes so busy in the remembrance of himself, in fulfilling his desires and lustfulness and having long hopes that he begins to commit one sin after another even by his body and becomes sinful even by the heart. He draws the veils of these things between Allah and himself and this preoccupation of his makes him forget Allah.