Counsels & Wisdom on Uprightness & Spiritual Transformation
by Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id al-Burhani
from: Reliance of the Traveller (of Shaykh Nuh Keller)
t3.1 (Muhammad Sa`id Burhani:) Do not limit yourself to deep words and profound spiritual allusions but make provision for the afterlife before death comes, when fine words will be lost and the rak`as you prayed by night or day will remain..
t3.2 Give voluntary charity as much as possible, for you owe more than merely the zakat obligatory. Make provision for the afterlife by giving while you have health and want to cling to your money out of fear of poverty, seeing life before you. Allah Most High says, “Whoever is watchful against the stinginess of his own soul, those shall be the successful” (Quran 59:9), meaning they shall be saved.
t3.5 Beware of enmity against anyone who has said, “La ilaha ill Allah’ (There is no god but Allah), for Allah has honored them with faith, and particularly the righteous of them, for Allah Most High says in a rigorously authenticated (sahih) hadith, “He who makes an enemy of a friend of Mine, I declare war against,”
t3.8 Recite the Quran and contemplate its meanings. Reflect while reading it on the qualities Allah has praised, with which He describes the people He loves. Acquire these qualities yourself and shun those Allah has condemned. Do your utmost of memorize the Holy Quran by acts as you do by words.
t3.9 Never explain a verse of Holy Quran by your own opinion, but check as to how it has been understood by the scholars of Sacred Law and men of wisdom who came before you. If you comprehend something else by it and what you have understood contradicts the Sacred Law, forsake your wretched opinion and fling it against the wall.
t3.10 Beware lest you ever say anything that does not conform to the Sacred Law. Know that the highest stage of the perfected ones (rijal) is the Sacred Law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). And know that the esoteric that contravenes the exoteric is a fraud.
t3.11 Take care to eat lawful food bought with a lawful income, for the entire body of someone who eats what is lawful, his hearing, eyesight, hands, and feet, are disposed to obey Allah whether he wishes to or not; while the whole body of someone who eats the unlawful is disposed to do wrong whether he wants to or not.
t3.12 Keep the thought of Allah Mighty and Majestic ever before you with respect to what He takes from you and what He gives. He takes away nothing except that you may show patience and win His love, for He loves the patient, and when He loves you, He will treat you as a lover does his beloved. And so too, when He gives to you, He bestows blessings upon you that you may give thanks, for He loves the thankful.
t3.14 Perform the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) silently and aloud, in a group and when alone, for Allah Most High says, “Remember Me: I will remember you” (Quran 2:152).
t3.15 Give frequent utterance to the axiom of Islam “La ilaha ill Allah” (There is no god but Allah), for it is the greatest invocation (dhikr), as is mentioned in the hadith, “The best things I or any of the prophets before me have said is ‘La ilaha ill Allah.”’
t3.17 Do not seek exaltation on earth, but have humility in whatever degree Allah has raised you to. For Allah has brought you forth from the earth, your mother, and it is unseemly to exalt yourself above her. As a hadith says, “Allah has charged Himself to raise nothing in this world, save that He will lower it again.”
t3.18 Always visit those who are ill, as it helps one reflect and take admonition, for someone ill is close to Allah. One has only to consider that the sick person has no one to call upon but Allah, nothing to reflect on but Allah, and his condition reminds one of the blessing of health (al-Hall al-sadid li ma astashkalahu al-murid (y46), 29-32).
Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id Burhani was a major Damascene Hanafi faqih and Sufi.
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