IMAM GHAZZALI’S IHYA ULUMIDDIN, VOLUME.IV, CHAPTER V
Question. What is the medicine which will turn the mind from attachment to the outer causes towards good conjecture of God?
Answer. The medicine is to know that bad conjecture is the prompting of the devil and good thought comes from God.
God says : The devil shows you fear of poverty and orders you to do evil acts, but God promises you from Him forgiveness and abundance-2 : 268.
A certain sage said: He who lives with bad conjecture is greedy. When cowardice, weakness of mind and other outward causes unite in him, bad conjecture prevails over him and God-reliance completely takes leave of him. It is reported that a sage used to stay in the mosque and had no means of livelihood. The Imam of the mosque said to him one day : If you earn. It would be good for you. He did not give any reply to him. Thus the Imam told him thrice. At the fourth time, the sage said to him: A Jew living by the side of the mosque promised me two pieces of loaf daily. The Imam said : If his promise is true., your stay in the mosque is good for you. The sage said : brother Imam had you not been Imam and not waited before God and the people with defect in Tauhid, it would have been better for you, as you have put greater preference to the promise of the Jew than the promise of God. The Imam of the mosque once asked a worshiper : Where do you get your food ? He said : Imam, turn a little, Let me revise my prayer which I prayed behind you. God is the trustee of the provision of all.
(2) It is reported that Hazrat Ibrahim Adham had a servant named'Huzaifa Marashi. People asked him : What wonderful act of Ibrahim Adham have you seen? He said: We were in a journey to Mecca for several days during which we could procure no food. We then reached Kufa and took shelter to a big mosque there. Ibrahim looked at me and said : Huzaifa,, you are striken with hunger. I confessed it. He said : Bring me an inkpot and paper. I brought them to him and he wrote. In the name of the Most Beneficent and Most Compassionate God. Thou art our object of love in every circumstance, and the goal of everybody is Thou. Then he wrote these verses : I praise Thee I am grateful to Thee, I remember Thee, I am hungry, I am thirsty, I am without cloth. I am guarantee for theabove three out of six? Lord, Thou art guarantee for the rest three. My praise for Three is like a flame of fire. Protect Thy servant from entry into the Fire.Then he handed over the paper to me and said : Go out with this paper, don't mind anything except God and hand over the paper to one with whom you meet first. Then I went out and handed over the paper to a man riding on an ass. He wept at this and said Where is the writer of the letter ? I said : He is in a certain mosque. He handed over me a purse of 600 dinars. Then I met a man to whom I asked about the rider of the ass. He said that he is a Christian. I came to Ibrahim and told him all the details to which he said : Don't touch it. He will come presently. After a while the Christian came to Ibrahim Kissed his head and embraced Islam.
(3) Abu Eakub Basari said : I was without food at Mecca for ten days. Then I thought to go out and went by a hillock to find something to appease my hunger. I found a turnip thrown on the path way and took it- but a voice came from within myself: You are without food for the last ten days, but at last your fate has supplied you a rotten turnip. I threw it away and returned to the mosque when an unknown person advanced to me and took his seat and handed over to me a box containing biscuits sugar and kernel of almond and said : This is for you. I said : Why have you selected me for this ? He said : Know that I was in sea for ten days in a journey. When my boat was about to sink, I took an oath that I would present this thing to a servant whom I will meet first if God saves me from this trouble. You are the first man who came to my notice. I said : Open it and accept it. Then he opened it and it contained biscuits, kernel, almond and refined sugar. I took one handful from this and a handful from that and said to him : The rest is my present to your companions. I accepted it. Then I said to myself : Provision has come to you easily, but you were searching it for the last ten days near the village.
(4) The saint Momshed Dinawari said: I had debts for which I became troubled in mind. One day I saw in a dream that one man said to me: miser, you have given Me such amount of debt your duty is to accept and My duty is to give. Thereafter I did not take accounts from the seller of vegetables or meat or anybody else.
(5) The sage Bunan Hammad said: I started towards Mecca from Egypt. I had sufficient provisions with me. A woman came to me and said: Bunan, you are a labourer. You bear burdens on your shoulder and think that God will Plot give you provision. He said: Then I threw away my provisions. Three days passed away consequitively over me without any food. Then I found a silver ornament on the way and said to myself: I shall bear it till its owner comes perhaps he may give me something of it after I return it to him. Suddenly the woman came to me and: You are a tradesman, you say that you would take something of it, if its owner comes. Then she gave me some dirhams and said: Spend it. I took them and came to Mecca.
(6) A slave was required for the sage Bunani. He told his brothers clearly about it. They collected the price of the slave. They said: The caravan of slavewomen is coming and you will purchase according to your choice. When the caravan arrived, they all selected a slave woman and said: This slave woman would be better for him. They told her master: What is her price? He said: This slave woman is not for sale. When they pressed him for sale he said: This slave woman is for Bunan Hammad. I took her for him from Samarkand to present her to him. I took her to Bunan and told him all the details.
(7) It has been reported that in ancient times a man was in journey with a loaf. He said: If I eat it, I will die. God entrusted an angel to him and said: If he eats it, give him more provision and don't give him any other thing. He carried the loaf but did not eat it till this death. It lay before him at the time of his death.
(8) Abu Sayeed Kharraj said: I entered a jungle without taking food and became hungry. I saw a village from a distance and started towards it being pleased. Then I thought within myself: Have I relied on others? So I took oath not to enter the village. I will go there if I am taken there by anybody. I dug a heapful of sands and covered my body upto my breast. At mid night I heard a voice saying: inhabitants of the village, go to such a person. Then a group of men came and took me out and carried me to the village.
(9) It has been reported that a man kept himself seated before the door of Omar. An unseen voice said : man, have you taken refuge to Omar and not to God ? Go and turn the Quran, as it will make you free from want from the door of Omar. Then the man disappeared from that place. Hazrat Omar also lost him. He took to silence and engaged himself in divine worship. One day Hazrat Omar came to him and said : I was eager for you. Why did you come from my place ? He said: I recite the Quran and that has made me free from seeking assistance from Omar and his family. Hazrat Omar said : May God shower blessings on you. What have you found in the Quran ? He said : I saw therein : There is in the sky your provision and what has been promised to you. Hazrat Omar said : My provision is in the sky and I am seeking it in the earth. Saying this, he began to weep and said : You have spoken the truth. Afterwards Hazrat Omar used tocome to him and sit with him.Abu Hamzah Khorasani said: I started for pilgrimage in a year. While I was travelling I fell down in a well. My mind sought help of others. I said : By God. I will not do it. When this was crossing m mind, I found two men passing by the well. One man said to another : Come and let us shut up the cover of this well, so that no man may fall into it. So they took bamboos and chatai and closed its mouth. I then wished to raise a cry. Sometimes after, an animal came and removed the cover from the mouth of the well and extended its foot into the well. I caught it and it took me out of the well. I found that it is a ferocious animal. Then it went away. Then there came a voice from heaven : Abu Hamzah, is it not better that I have saved you through a beast of destruction ? I then began to walk singingShame of Thee prevents me from expressing love,What I got from thee satisfied my thirst,"I find Thy kindness expressed in all my actions.Thou hast shown me kindness in matters, open and secret. Thou gave me news of secret thing to get Thy love. Being fearful of Thee and trembling. I took to solitude. That fear brought me near Thee, endeared Me to Thee. Thou hast kept me alive engrossed in Thy love.. These are some few instances of God-reliance.