Abu-l-Faraj Ibnu-l-Jawziyy’s advice to his son

08. March 2014 Advice 0

Abu-l-Faraj Ibnu-l-Jawziyy, the great Hanbaliyy scholar, interpreter of the Qur’aan, HaafiDH in Hadeeth, and famous preacher, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said in advising his son:

<<Know my son, may Allâh guide you to the correct way, that the human being was only endowed with reason (intellect; the mind) to act in accordance with its judgments, so use your mind, put your effort into thinking, and take time to meditate while you are alone. If you do that, then through the proofs you will reach the conclusion that you are created and accountable, and that Allâh imposed obligations upon you about which you will be asked, and that the two angels are writing down all that you say and even look at, and that the breaths of a living person are his steps towards his death and that the time one spends in this life is short while the time spent in the graves is long. And [know that] if one goes according to his bad inclinations, he may get a very severe torment. So ask yourself, where is yesterday’s (bad) enjoyment? It went away and all it left behind is regret. And where is the lust of the ego [nafs]? How many people got shamed and slipped because of it? Those who rose to a high level only did so by going against their bad inclinations and those who were damned were only damned by giving priority to this life over the Hereafter. So look at the state of past kings and ascetic [zuhhâd] people; what has become of the pleasures of the former and the tiring efforts of the latter? What remains for the pious is great reward and they are remembered with respect by people (they leave behind a good reputation), whereas a bad reputation on top of the afterlife torment is left for those who disobeyed Allâh. It is as if those who were hungry in the past never felt hunger and those who ate their fill never got full.

Laziness which prevents you from developing a good character is such a bad companion, and loving to rest leaves a regret which is much harder than any pleasure you get from that, so be aware of this and exert yourself. Know that you must meet your obligations and stay away from what is prohibited. And whenever a person trespasses, then (it might be said) he can expect to end in Hellfire.

Moreover, know that seeking moral excellence is the ultimate goal of diligent people. Then there are different types of good traits. Among the people are those who concentrate on detaching themselves from worldly matters, while others concentrate on doing many acts of obedience, but in reality, perfect moral excellence is to join knowledge to practice. If these two occur in an individual, they push the one that acquires them to have a deep knowledge of Allâh subhânahû wa ta^âlâ, and they move him to have a great love for and fear of Allâh and a great longing to see Him, and this is the goal one ought to aim at.And people’s goals differ one from another, depending on the determination each one has. And not everyone who wants to achieve something is willed by Allâh to achieve it and not everyone who searches for something finds it, however, upon the slave is putting forth the effort. And everyone will find the way open to what was created for him. And Allâh is the One from Whom help is sought.>>