If inspite of the istiqaamat (steadfastness in Ibaadat and obedience) which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to you, you desire to renounce the mundane means (Asbaab-e-Zaahiri), then know that your wish is the desire of the nafs. Your attachment (clinging) to the mundane means despite the steadfastness and fortitude which Allah Ta’ala has granted you, is to retrogress from an elevated disposition to a lowly (degenerate) disposition.
O Saalik! If Allah Ta’ala has granted you fortitude in your Deen while keeping you engaged in mundane activities, e.g. farming, trade, employment, etc., and you are blessed with istiqaamat in zaahiri and baatini Ibaadat, then your desire to abandon the worldly means for the sake of gaining freedom from the mundane encumbrances, then such an idea is the deceptive desire of the nafs, which is concealed and suppressed in the innermost recess of the nafs. Although superficially this thought appears good on account of the idea of complete renunciation of worldly attachment, bringing greater Divine Proximity, but in reality, a very sinister plot of the nafs prompts this idea.
Name and fame ensue in the wake of renunciation. The nafs desires to be known as a great saint so that people become followers. If you, O Saalik, act according to this nafsaani prompting you will lose the present state of spiritual fortitude which you have gained because the inclination of people towards a person is a fatal poison for him.
Complete renunciation is not harmful for a kaamil (one who has reached spiritual perfection). O Saalik! It is best for you to remain in whatever condition Allah Ta’ala has chosen for you. Do not choose another condition for yourself.
On the other hand, if Allah Ta’ala has granted istiqaamat in the Deen in your state of renunciation and your rizq reaches you without involvement in mundane activities, then despite this state of peace, if you desire to pursue worldly means of acquisition, then you are falling form a lofty state to a degenerate state. After having established your bond with Allah Ta’ala – such a bond which has set free from people and which has completely eliminated your trust in them and developed in you perfect Tawakkul–your abandonment of that lofty state to cultivate a link with makhlooq (created beings), is to degenerate – to fall from the top to the bottom. Therefore, ignore the prompting of the nafs, and be pleased with the condition in which your Maula is keeping you.
Do not ask Allah Ta’ala to remove you from your present worldly or Deeni state for another state of your desire. If He had desired, He would have applied you to the activity of the other state without even changing your present condition.
It is not proper for a man involved in an activity, e.g. employment, to supplicate to be extricated from his involvement so that he could apply himself fully to the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. If his involvement is not in conflict with the Shariah, there is no valid reason for abandoning it.
Frequently, abandoning the occupation leads to worry and frustration. If Allah Ta’ala wishes, He can grant the other stage which is desired, without the need for renouncing the existing state (in which the Saalik is involved). Since He has not done so despite His Qudrat, it clearly indicates that it is in your best interests to remain in your present state. Thus, do not abandon your existing condition voluntarily. When He wills, He will deliver you to the stage which is your objective. When He wills, He will remove you from your existing state.
Advancing himmats cannot penetrate the walls of Taqdir.
An ability (quwwat) of the nafs which influences the hearts of people and other created beings with the permission of Allah Ta’ala is termed himmat in the language of the Sufiyaa.
Despite the fact of these abilities (himmats) of the people of Mujaahadah stepping ahead of everything and exercising their influence swiftly on anything towards which they direct their attention, these himmats cannot act in conflict with the predestined decrees (Taqdir).
When such an effective ability as himmat is impotent and of no significance in front of the Wall of Taqdeer, the effect of Tadbeer (employment of mundane means) has absolutely no recognition. It is, therefore, incumbent on the Mu’min to refrain from reposing trust on mundane means and agencies. He should not regard them as effective. The gaze should be on the Decree of Allah Ta’ala.
Release your nafs from the strain of Tadbeer because there is no need to assume a responsibility which Allah Ta’ala has assumed for your sake.
For the purpose of earning a livelihood, a little tadbeer (worldly involvement) which does not put pressure and strain on the nafs is sufficient. Only such a degree of tadbeer should be adopted, which does not form an impediment in your obedience to Allah Ta’ala. The reliance of the heart should not be on the tadbeer. Reliance should be only on the Razzaaqiat (Providence) of Allah Ta’ala.
However, a tadbeer which strains the nafs with an abundance of unnecessary encumbrances, overwhelming it with worry and a multitude of wasaawis, should be abandoned. Frequently it happens that despite the strain and pressure, man is not successful in his tadbeer (plan). He thus suffers greater hardship and difficulty. It, therefore, does not behove the Saalik to burden his nafs with unnecessary strain and pressure in the pursuit of a livelihood. He should give his nafs rest by releasing it from unnecessary mundane pressure.
When the responsibility of something is undertaken by a stronger, more experienced and kinder person than oneself, it is logical to feel relieved and to rely on him. The responsibility of rizq which you, O Saalik, have undertaken has already been undertaken by Allah Ta’ala. He has guaranteed your rizq. Now why should you load yourself with a burden? Do not assume the responsibility. Leave it to the plan of your Master and set your mind at rest.
Your toiling in something, the responsibility of which Allah has assumed and your deficiency in something which He demands from you, are evidence for the light of your intelligence being extinguished.
O Saalik! Your Maula has already assumed the responsibility for your sustenance (rizq) and the means of your livelihood. Declaring this responsibility, He says:
“There is not a living creature on earth, but its rizq is the responsibility of Allah.”
Have you then no trust in His Providence? You labour and toil to acquire rizq which is the responsibility of Allah Ta’ala. On the other hand you are lax and deficient in worship and obedience which He demands of you and for which purpose He has created you. This attitude clearly proves that the noor (light) of your intelligence has been extinguished, hence you are devoid of intellect. If your intellect was functioning correctly, you would have been unconcerned regarding the issue of rizq whose responsibility has been assumed by Allah Ta’ala while at the same time you would have applied your full attention and effort towards the fulfilment of Allah’s demand of worship.
The use of the term ‘toiling’ or ‘striving’ by the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) implies that a little effort for the acquisition of rizq will not be misplaced. However, engrossment in the pursuit of rizq is improper.
Whoever desired for a condition other than the condition in which Allah Ta’ala has created him at any given time, has left no stone unturned in the demonstration of his ignorance and imbecility.
It is imperative for the Mu’min to confront every situation which is not in conflict with the Shariah, with radha (pleasure) and tasleem (resignation), whether the situation is a calamity pertaining to life and property or whether it is a state (emotional or spiritual) of the heart. The attitude of radha and tasleem is the demand of Allah’s dignity, knowledge, ma’rifat and ruboobiyat.
If a person wishes that the condition which Allah Ta’ala has imposed on him be substituted with another condition, e.g., adversity with prosperity or despondency with elation, then he displays complete ignorance and imbecility of the mind. The basis of such wishes and regrets is the jahl (ignorance) of his nafs. If he had truly possessed the ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala, he would have understood that these predestined conditions cannever be displaced, hence regret and wish would not have occurred to him. He would have been contented with every circumstance and have observed respect. Now by virtue of his wishes he is clashing with the pre-ordained Divine Decree.
The object which you seek from your Creator is not difficult and the object which you seek to acquire by the ability of your nafs is not easy.
O Saalik! Regardless of how difficult the object of your desire may seem, be it a mundane object or a Deeni matter, as long as your sight is set on your Creator and you repose absolute trust in Him, its acquisition is not difficult. On the other hand, no matter how easy the acquisition of your desired object appears, if your gaze is on the ability of your nafs and on your plans, thus forgetting Allah Ta’ala, then its achievement will become difficult. In fact, failure is almost certain.
It is necessary, therefore, that reliance be placed on Allah Ta’ala and trust be completely shifted from one’s own strength, intelligence and plans.
All things cling for support to the Divine Will, but He does not take the support of anything.
Allah’s Eternal Will has already decided and predestined all occurrences in the universe, be it good or evil, guidance or deviation. The manifestation of these occurrences is because of the Divine Will. There are no other causes and reasons for the materialisation of these events. In fact, the asbaab (causes and reasons) too are related to the Divine Will.
The Divine Will is not the effect of anything existing because Mashiat (Will) is the attribute of Allah Ta’ala. If a Divine Attribute is dependent on something, the logical conclusion will be a defect in the Divine Being (Nauthubillah!). Since Allah Ta’ala is the Perfect Being, His Mashiat is not the effect of a cause.
It is essential for the Mu’min to ensure that this knowledge of the Divine Will becomes his permanent state (Haal). He should abandon ignorance, and never cast his gaze on his means and plans.
When the morning dawns, the ghaafil person wonders what he should do on this day while the wise man wonders what treatment Allah Ta’ala will mete out for him on this day.
Know, that the Faa-il-e-Haqeeqi (the True Actor) in every act is Allah Ta’ala. The true belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah is that the Creator of all actions is Allah Ta’ala. Man is only the substance of manifestation for the Divine Acts of creation.
The person whose Tauhid is imperfect, attributes the actions to himself, hence when the new day dawns his mind dwells on different activities. But, the a rif who possesses correct knowledge, whose Tauhid is perfect and from whose nafs jahl has been eliminated, ponders on the treatment Allah Ta’ala will be meting out to him on this day. He is not concerned with what he should do because he attributes all actions to Allah Ta’ala. This attitude has become his state. His insignificance is clear to him.
Since the ghaafil’s gaze is on his own capability, he attributes all his actions to his ownself. Allah Ta’ala, therefore, assigns him to his nafs. Thus, all his affairs become difficult and he becomes entrapped in numerous problems. But, for the true believer in Tauhid, the most difficult task does not overwhelm him because his gaze is fixed on Allah Ta’ala. He acquires aid openly from Allah Ta’ala.