Imam al-Haddad’s Advice to the Spiritual Wayfarer – Muwasala
Reposted, with thanks from Muwasala
The Egyptian wayfarer, Sayyid Abu’l-Wafa’ bin Muhammad `Isa al-Wafa’i, requested that Imam al-Haddad make a special pact of brotherhood with him and initiate him on the spiritual path. Imam al-Haddad agreed to this and then gave him a series of counsels. He begins by mentioning taqwa and other obligations and finishes with the counsels mentioned below. He gives the advice to himself first, then to Sayyid Abu’l-Wafa’ and then to any true seeker or spiritual wayfarer.
I counsel myself and him to have sincerity (ikhlas) in all his states, deeds and words; to trust fully in Allah, to surrender his affair to Allah, to rely upon Allah and to (constantly) return to Allah.
I counsel him not to be attached to this worldly life (dunya) and to be content with a small amount of worldly things – food, clothing, accommodation and other things. Let his state be that of a serious traveller on a long journey. Let him only take what provision he needs to reach his destination. Let him not be attached to anything more than that and let him not seek or strive to attain that. His seeking and striving should be for his hereafter for this is the true homeland and place of eternal rest.
I counsel myself and I counsel him to humble himself to Allah and to show humility to Allah’s believing slaves. His heart must be free and pure from envy, rancour or hatred towards any Muslim. He must love for the Muslims what he loves for himself and dislike for them what he dislikes for himself. He must show them good character and patiently bear any harm which comes from them. In fact he must go further and pardon them if they harm or wrong him and pray for them. By doing this great people became great people and reached the stations of perfection.
He must completely avoid anger, for there is no good in it. In fact it is completely evil, unless it is anger for the sake of Allah, such as when things which Allah has made sacrosanct are violated or when Allah’s obligations are ignored. People should become angry in these situations provided the situation demands this.
Imam al-Haddad finished dictating these counsels on 4th Jumada al-Ula, 1107 Hijri.
— Commemorating the life of Imam al-Haddad, 7th Dhu’l-Qa`dah