Extraction from "What the Seeker Needs"of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi

Extraction from "What the Seeker Needs"of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi:

by Silvia Chowdhury

  1. Believe in the oneness and uniqueness of Allah. . "Nothing is like Him" - Write in your heart and mind this principle, this foundation of faith, and believe in Allah's prophet and the message that he brought from the Devine Truth, and in Allah's orders and justice.
  2. Do not debate with people who attribute partners to Allah. If the mind has reached a state in which it is free from doubt and the heart is safe and secure, it makes no sense to disturb this peace with superfluous proofs.
  3. You must accept and believe, even if you don't understand, the allegorical verses of the Holly Qur'an and the ambiguous statements of the messenger concerning the unity and the ultimate cause, as well as the declaration of the prophets, which have come to us unaltered. Love their companions; accept the truth of their mission. Think of them with terms of praise, as they are described in the Holy Qur'an. Show respect, as did the prophets, for the character that distinguishes the perfect man.
  4. Look upon the whole creation, and above all, mankind, with good will accepting, approving, forgiving, serving, and loving. Make that your nature in your dealings with the world. 
  5. Listen to your conscience. 
  6. Cleanse your heart. In that heart keep up prayers for your faithful brothers. Help and serve, as much as you can. Do not attribute to yourself virtue, goodness, and graciousness because of your service to the creation. It is your duty to lighten the load of those who are burdened. If they cause you pain in return if their response, their ways, their habits are dark and cast shadows upon you show patience and forbearance. Do not forget that Allah says: ". surely Allah is with the patient."
  7. Don't spend your life in empty endeavors and your time in idle talk. Instead, reflect and remember Allah, read the Qur'an, guide the misguided to the enlightened path. Help others leave evil and turn to doing good. Mend broken friendship. Help others to help others. Work to serve the ones who are in need. 
  8. Find the right friend, who will be a support for you, a good traveling companion on the path of truth. Beware of being close to those who do not discriminate between the faithful and the unfaithful not knowing either faith or the faithful; they do not care about them. They are either strangers to or enemies of the truth in which you believe.
  9. Look for the perfect teacher who will lead you on the straight path. In your search for a guide, be sincere, because sincerity distinguishes the true seeker. It is certain that if you cling to sincerity and truthfulness, the Lord will manifest His attribute of the Ultimate Guide upon you and will guide you to a perfect teacher. Sincerity is such a catalyst that it turns lead into gold and purifies everything it touches.
  10. Lawful sustenance, the lawfulness of all that you enjoy in this world, is the foundation of your faith. So make sure that the morsel of bread you put in your mouth is lawful. 
  11. To advance in this path you have to be light light in worldly goods, light in your concerns about this world. An unmistakable sign of the heaviness that will prevent you from advancing is to be a burden on people.
  12. When the love of the world fills your heart totally, it leaves no space for the remembrance of Allah. The one who lives for this world alone is bound to bear its pains and difficulties - trying to resolve its problems by himself. His ego whose appetite never knows satiation, whose ambitions are endless, is always wanting, always hungry, always dissatisfied. These are the rewards of the world to those who make the world their lord, forgetting the Lord of all the Universes. 
  13. This does not mean that you should abandon the world, not do your duties in it or participate in its affairs - retiring to a corner, making no effort, doing no work. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) says, "The one who earns his sustenance lawfully through his efforts is beloved of Allah." 
  14. This means that man will attain peace of heart and the level of Allah's praise and grace if he accepts and is content with his lot in accordance with Allah's divine apportionment. On the other hand, if you do not accept the lot that is your fate, Allah will render the world, which you so desire, your enemy
  15. Do not exchange your spiritual peace and the possibility of eternal bliss for the temporal, decaying goods of this world. No matter how grand and secure they look, they will die when you die. 
  16. Most people complain that this world, their work to secure their sustenance, and their work as householders for their families, take time away from their worship. Know that work done heedfully, with consideration for others, in accordance with proper behavior, for the pleasure of Allah, is also worship.
  17. Use your with intellect, knowledge, profession, strength, and health to gather as much of your sustenance as possible in the minimum of time. 
  18. Cleanse and beautify your days and nights with worship and at each prayer make an accounting of your actions since the last prayer. It is to be hoped that only good deeds and actions befitting a Muslim are done between the times of prayer. 
  19. After you perform your morning prayer, stay with your Lord until sunrise, and after your afternoon prayer stay in His presence until sunset. These are two periods of time when spiritual powers and enlightenment flow in abundance. Keep your heart tied to Allah in humility and in peace. 
  20. Do not sleep until you are unable to stay awake. Do not eat until you are hungry. Eat less. That will leave more space in your heart and will increase your desire to pray and be obedient It will make you more active and less lazy. 
  21. Cleanliness is an order of Allah. Keep your body and your inner self clean at all times. 
  22. Make it a habit to read from the Holy Qur'an every day. When you read, hold the holy book with respect. Read aloud, but just loud enough that you can hear your own voice. Read without haste, slowly thinking of the meaning of each word. There are infinite meanings within the verses of the Holy Qur'an, within every word - changing with your states and levels, knowledge and understanding. Therefore you cannot possibly be tired, weary, or bored in reading them.
  23. What is essential for you is to be heedful at all times, to be attentive to what comes into your mind and your heart. Analyze these thoughts and feelings. Try to control them. Beware of the wishes of your ego. 
  24. Think that each deed may be your last act, each prayer your last prostration, that you may not have another chance. Have conscience, shame, in front of Allah. It will be a motivation for becoming heedful and also for becoming sincere and truthful.
  25. Give value to your time. Live in the present moment. Do not live in imagination and throw your time away. Spend your time in remembering, glorifying, and worshipping Allah.
  26. First perform the actions He has given to you as obligations. Then do what He has given to you to do through the example of His Prophet. Then take on what He has left you as voluntary, acceptable good deeds. 
  27. What you need is high morals, good character, proper behavior; you must identify your bad features and rid yourself of them. Your relationship to whomever you come into contact with must be based on the best of conduct. If something is done to bring salvation, truth, comfort, and peace to others, to oneself, and to as many people as possible, protecting them, eliminating pain and hardship, it is good behavior on condition that it is not done for personal benefit, but for Allah's sake. Proper behavior is the means by which an intention becomes a good deed.
  28. Choose to forgive, instead of punishing, so that you will be counted among the compassionate, the peaceful, and the righteous, whose rewards are promised by Allah.
  29. Anger and its manifestation are one of the great sins if aroused by wrongs done to you personally. But it is permissible and right and a part of correct behavior and good character to become angry because of something done against Allah and His divine precepts, to manifest it, and to fight for Allah's sake.
  30. It is best to separate yourself from people who do not believe in what you believe, who do not do what you do, and who are against your faith. Yet at the same time you should not think badly of them or condemn them for what they are. Your intention in ignoring them should be that you prefer the company of believers. 
  31. Do not seek to be close to the heedless, to the ones who are slaves to the desires of their flesh. If you are placed with them in the same time and space, then face them and advise them. If they turn their backs on you. Do not stab them in the back.
  32. Treat well those who are dependent upon you: the people who work for you, your children, your wives and husbands, your mothers, sisters, and friends, the animals in your care, the plants in your garden. Show love, compassion, delicacy, generosity, and protection towards those who depend on you - and in fact, to everyone. If you wish His compassion and protection, remember that you yourself depend on the One, the lord and owner of all and everything. Allah will treat you the way He has ordered you to treat others. So try to develop the good qualities of being just, peaceful, helpful, gentle, and loving. You will see that this character will spread from you to others around you, creating harmony, mutual love, and respect. 
  33. Teach Allah's words in His divine book and the good behavior of Islam to your children. Secure for them conditions in which they can exercise what you have taught them. Do this without expecting any return from them. From the very beginning, teach them to bear difficulty, to have patience, to think. Do not place in their hearts the love of the world. Teach them to dislike the things of this world that will render them proud - luxuries, beautiful clothes, delicacies, excess of ambition - because all these, if obtained, will be subtracted from the good due them in the hereafter. Let them not get accustomed to good things; break their habits. Beware that this, which may seem austere, should not bring forth in you the ugly character of miserliness towards your children. Do it in respect and attachment to your religion. 
  34. Do not be satisfied with your spiritual state; advance. Advance ceaselessly, without interruption. With firm intention pray to Allah to bring you from the state in which you are to a state beyond it. In every state, in every move, while doing something or while being inactive, be sincere and truthful. Do not ever forget Him. Feel His presence always. 
  35. Learn to give, whether you have plenty or little, whether you are happy or in pain. Try to satisfy the needs of the needy. This is a proof of your trusting in Allah. Spend from what Allah has given you. Do not fear poverty. 
  36. Avoid being negative and control your temper and anger. If you cannot stop anger, at least do not show it. As you hold your temper you begin to tame it, teach it how to behave, to obey, so that it cannot hurt others or itself. For if you hold your temper, the All Just Allah will also hold back His punishment for your sins.
  37. Wake before sunrise, remember Allah, and repent. When repentance follows sin, the sin disappears as if it never happened. When repentance follows a benevolent action or prayer, it is like light upon light, grace upon grace. 
  38. Fear Allah both in your actions and deep in - your heart and thoughts. The fear of Allah is a protection, the thing that guards you from harm. Allah's protection is the strongest of all armor, of all fortifications; no harm can penetrate it
  39. Seek, learn about, and imitate the beneficent acts of your Creator that manifest all around you. 
  40. Be chaste. Chastity is to be cautious, to try to abstain from all that is unclean and sinful. It is protecting yourself from all that is doubtful and suspicious in and around you. If you are chaste, all your deeds will be pure and sincere
  41. Follow the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): Even if you feel in need of that which is doubtful, even if you are unable to get anything else, do not take it; leave it for the sake of Allah. This is chastity. 
  42. Choose less over more in it. Be satisfied with what you have, even if it is less than what others have.
  43. Death may come in your next step upon this earth, and all your dreams of this world will evaporate. So do not leave your accounting to the Day of Reckoning. There is no place to go except Allah's door of mercy. Therefore, go and kneel at its sill. Shed tears of repentance and beg for entrance.
  44. There are three dangers, which may keep you from examining yourself making the accounting of your acts, and being thankful to your generous Lord. The first of these dangers is unconsciousness, heedlessness. The second is the flood of tastes and desires that gush from your ego, your lower self. The third is bad habits, in fact all habits, which make one like a machine. The one who can protect himself against these three dangers, with Allah's help, will find salvation in both worlds.
  45. Spend all your effort to stay on the path of piety, and may Allah help you.
  46. May the Eternal Truth wake you from the slumber of heedlessness. May He make you aware of the origin, to which we will all return and in which we will all remain for the rest of eternity. 
  47. May the Divine Seer of all and everything open your inner eye, so that you can see and remember what you have done and said all through your life in this temporal realm of experiments. Then you will know and always remember that you must account for it all and that you will be judged on the day of final judgment.

source: What the Seeker Needs