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Chapter 1 from

Of: Imam 'Abdallah Ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad
Rady Allahu 'Anhu

Translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, Madina

Know that the path begins when Allah throws into the heart of the slave a powerful urge which troubles and unnerves him, and drives him towards Allah and the last abode. It turns him away from dunya (this world) and from being, like others, engaged in gathering and building, tasting and enjoying the pleasures of the world, and being deceived by its ornaments. This urge is one of the hidden warriors of Allah, it is a breath of guidance and the sign of a beginning. It can often be bestowed on a slave as he listens to those people who stir in him the fear of Allah and the desire and yearning for Him. It can be given to him when he looks at the people of Allah and through their looking at him. It can be given without means.

One should actively expose oneself to such breaths, for to expect to receive something when not standing at the door and exposing oneself is foolish. The Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be on him, he said: "Your Lord sends down gifts on days of your time, expose yourself to them."

He, upon whom Allah, in His generosity, bestows such a noble urge, must know how precious it is, it is one of the greatest graces that Allah showers on him, such that he will never know its real value, nor will he ever be able to thank Allah enough for it. So let him thank Allah to his utmost for having selected him from amongst his peers to receive it. How many a Muslim reaches the age of eighty years and more and neither finds this yearning nor is found by it.

A mourid (seeker) should strengthen, protect, and respond to this urge. It grows stronger when he remembers and invokes Allah. He protects it by keeping away from the company of those who are veiled, and by ignoring the whisperings of shaytans. He responds to it when he hastens to return to Allah and sincerely seeks His nearness, when he neither waits, postpones, nor delays. This is a chance that he is given and should seize, the door is now open for him and he should enter, he is being called and should hurry. Let him beware of letting one day pass after the other, for this is the work of shaytan. He must approach and not weaken, he must not make excuses such as saying that there is no time, or that he is not good enough for the task. Abu Rabi', Allah have mercy on him, has said, "Go to Allah with your limps and your broken limbs, do not wait for full health for that would only be idleness". Ibn Ata'a has said in his 'Hikam', "To say that the work has to be postponed until the time is found is nothing but the frivolousness of the nafs (self)".

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