Thirty-Years of Experience — Eight Benefits of Suhbat
(Company With the Pious)
Haatim Asam was a mureed (disciple) of Hadhrat Shaqeeq Balkhi (Rahmatullahi alaihima). Hazrat Shaqeeq asked him one day:
“You have been with me for thirty years. What have you gained over these years?”
Hazrat Haatim (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied:
“I have gained eight benefits of Ilm which are adequate for me; hopefully my redemption and salvation are in these benefits.”
Hazrat Shaqeeq asked:
“And what are they?”
Hazrat Haatim Asam replied:
One: “I looked at creation and saw that everyone showed affection and love to someone dear and beloved. Some loved ones stayed with the lover till his death-bed and some till the pit of the grave. Then the loved one goes away and leaves the lover all alone and lonely. None of them stays with him in the qabr. I reflected and came to the conclusion that the best beloved to a man is one who enters the grave with him and keeps him company there. This I did not find in anything but A’maal-e-Saalihah (virtuous deeds). I thus took that as my beloved to be a lamp for me in my qabr and to keep me company there, for that will not leave me alone.
Two: “I saw creation following its vain desires and hastening to fulfil its ambitions, so I reflected over Allah Ta’ala’s declaration:
‘Whosoever fears the appearance before his Rabb and keeps his nafs’ desires in check then verily Jannat is the Abode (for him/her)’ – An-Naazi’aat, 41/41
I was convinced that the Qur’aan is True and the Truth. I therefore hastened to oppose my nafs and I rolled my sleeves up to wage jihaad against it and stop it from its vain desires until it became trained to worship and be obedient to Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala.
Three: “I saw every person striving to gather the flotsam and jetsam of this world, then grasping firmly onto it with their hands. I thus pondered over Allah Ta’ala’s statement:
‘Whatever you have will perish and whatever Allah has is everlasting.’ – An-Nahl, 96
I thus expended my capital of this world for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala disbursing it to the masaakeen (poor) as my investment by Allah Ta’ala.
Four: “Indeed I have seen some people labouring under the impression that their honour and dignity are with the crowds and a huge family. They are deceived by their numbers. Others again think that their honour and pride are in being very rich and having many offspring. Then there are those who assume their honour and glory to be in robbing people of their wealth, oppressing them and murdering them. Some people again believe that throwing away money, spending freely and wasting bring honour. I reflected over the proclamation of Allah Ta’ala:
‘Verily, your most honourable by Allah is the most Allah-fearing among you.’ – Al-Hujuraat, 13
I, therefore, adopted Taqwa and I resigned myself to the belief that the Qur’aan is True and the Truth whilst their opinion and perception are baatil and zaail (corrupt and fleeting) in entirety.
Five: “I saw people reproaching each other and speaking ill of each other. I found that to be the product of jealousy over others’ wealth, position and knowledge. I then pondered over Allah Ta’ala’s proclamation:
‘We have allotted their (man’s) livelihood to them in this earthly life.’ – Az-Zukhruf, 32
I thus realised that this allocation from Allah Ta’ala is since eternity. I, therefore, do not harbour jealousy towards anyone and I am contented with Allah Ta’ala’s allocation.
Six: “I saw that people are enemies with each other for base motives. I contemplated over Allah Ta’ala’s statement:
Verily, Shaitaan is your enemy and therefore take him to be your enemy.’ – Faatir, 6
I thus came to the conclusion that it is not permissible to be enemies with anyone besides Shaitaan. (In other words inner hatred and enmity are only for Shaitaan. And how does one take Shaitaan to be one’s enemy? Shaitaan’s mission is to deflect, stop and mislead the creation of Allah Ta’ala from Allah Ta’ala’s obedience and Siraatul Mustaqeem. Shaitaan promotes and peddles wrongdoing, evil and haraam. Taking Shaitaan as an enemy means: to regard these actions which are classified as disobedience unto Allah Ta’ala and straying from Siraatul Mustaqeem as acts to incumbently abstain from and stay far away from.)
Seven: “I have seen everyone striving with vigour and labouring arduously in search of food and livelihood with wanton disregard for doubtful (mushtabah) and haraam. In the process they disgrace themselves and spoil their reputation. Then I reflected over Allah Ta’ala’s declaration:
‘There is no creature on earth but it is the prerogative of only Allah to sustain it.’ – Hood, 6
I thus realised that my sustenance is the responsibility of Allah Ta’ala. He has assured it. I, therefore, turned my attention to His Ibaadat and severed my avarice from everything besides Him.
Eight: “I saw everything relying on some created entity or the other; some on money, some on capital and authority, some on their profession and jobs and some on like-creation. I then contemplated the statement of Allah Ta’ala:
‘Whoever reposes his trust in Allah, Allah is sufficient for him. Verily, Allah completes His work. Indeed Allah has determined for everything a quantity.’ – At-Talaaq, 3
I thus reposed my trust in Allah, so He is sufficient for me and He is a wonderful advocate.”
Hazrat Shaqeeq (Rahmatullahi alaih) replied:
“May Allah Ta’ala grant you taufeeq! The Torah, the Injeel, the Zaboor and the Furqaan (the Qur’aan) centre on these Eight Treasures. So, whoever practises on these eight treasures is practising on these Four Scriptures.”
(From Ayyuhal-Walad of Imam Ghazaali Rahmatullahi alaih)