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reward and renounciation

He who is looking 
for a reward 
is smaller than his reward; 

he who has renounced a thing 
has risen above it.

- Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan 

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

When doing a kindness to others the first thing that must be considered is that it should be unselfish, and not for the sake of appreciation or a reward. He who does good and waits for a reward is a laborer of good; but he who does good and disregards it is the master of good.

- from  Character Building and the Art of Personality, The Law of Reciprocity

Life consists of a continual struggle for gain, of whatever kind it may be. Gain seems to be the purpose of life... But by a still deeper insight into the subject one sees that every gain a person has in view limits him to a certain extent to that gain, directs his activities into a certain channel, and forms the line of his fate. At the same time it deprives him of a still greater or a better gain and of the freedom of activity which might perhaps accomplish something still better. It is for this reason that renunciation is practiced by the Sufis; for with every willing renunciation a person proceeds a step towards a higher goal. No renunciation is ever fruitless. The one who is looking for a gain is smaller than his gain; the one who has renounced a thing has risen above it.

- from Character Building and the Art of Personality, The Law of Renunciation

Renunciation is not a thing that can be learned or taught. It comes by itself as the soul develops; when the soul begins to see the true value of things. All that is valuable to others, a seer soul begins to see otherwise. This shows that all things that we see as precious or not precious, their value is according to the way we look at them. For one person, the renunciation of a penny is too much; for another that of all he has is nothing. It depends on how we look at things. All things one renounces in life, one rises above. Man is a slave of the thing which he has not renounced; of things that he has renounced he becomes king. This whole world can become a kingdom in his hand if a person has renounced it. But renunciation depends upon the evolution of the soul. One who has not evolved spiritually cannot well renounce. For the grownup persons, little toys - so valuable to children, are nothing. It is easy for them to renounce this. So it is for those who develop spiritually - all things are easy to renounce.

~ "Sangatheka I, 29 - Renunciation", by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

The Messenger and Sign of God, Jesus Christ, upon him be God's showering of blessings, said: "Do not take this world as a Lord - for it will take you as slaves. Entrust your treasures with One who will never lose them; for the possessor of treasure of this world fears the destruction of his treasure, but the possessor of the treasure of Allah does not fear the destruction of his treasure."

 Pearls of Muhammadan Wisdom
on Renunciation of the Worldly (Tark-e-Dunya)

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "This lower world (i.e. its pleasures and duration) in comparison with the Life in the Hereafter is (similar to the amount of water) one gets when he dips his finger in the Sea. Let him then see what it returns with". - Al-Mustaurad bin Shaddad reported the above Hadith from collection of Imam Muslim

The Prophet said: “Be in this world like a stranger or wayfarer.” - Narratted by Abdullah bin Umar from collection of Imam Bukhari

One day the Messenger of Allah slept on a straw mat. When he stood up (we noticed) the straw mat left marks on the body of the Prophet (due to roughness of the straw mat). Ibn Mas'ood said, 'Oh Messenger of Allah! had you ordered us we should have spread (a comfortable bed) for you. (Upon that) the Beloved one of Allah said, 'I do not have any love for the (comforts of the) world. My relationship with the lower world is nothing but like a traveler who (while traveling) seeks shadow under a tree and rest there and thereafter leaves.' - Mishkaat, narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ood

The Prophet said: “I am not afraid that you will worship others besides One God, but I am afraid that the worldly life will tempt you and cause to compete with each other for it". - Narrated by Hazrat Uqba bin Amir from collection of Imam Bukhari

Allah's Apostle said, "If Adam's son had a valley full of gold, he would like to have two more valleys, for nothing fills his mouth except dust. And Allah forgives him who repents to Him." - Narrated Anas bin Malik

The Messenger of Allah said, 'By Allah, it is not poverty that I fear upon you, but I fear that the world (materialistic things) will be spread before you as it was spread before the nations that preceded you and you will compete with one another (resulting) in the world (materialistic things) destroying you as it destroyed them.' - Mishkaat

The Messenger said, 'Whosoever loves (excessively) his lower world, harms his final abode and whosoever loves (excessively) his final abode, will harm his lower world. So give preference to what is eternal over what will annihilate.' He also said, 'How perplexing! Indeed, it is most perplexing that the believer in the eternal abode pursues the allure of the deceptive, endangering house.'

'Let the slave then invest his soul in himself, invest his lower world in his final abode, invest his youth in his old age, and invest his life in his death; for the lower world was created for you, but you were created for the final abode. By the One Whom my soul is in His hands, there is no one who accepts excuses after death, and there is nothing after the lower world except the Garden or the Fire.'

Know that a man asked the Messenger of Allah, "O Messenger! Guide me to an action that if I do it Allah will love me and people will love me." The Messenger of Allah said, "Renounce the lower world and Allah will love you, and renounce what people possess, and people will love you."

Wings for your Heart 

Loving God is the only pleasure,
other delights turn bitter.
- Rumi, Coleman

First is the renunciation of the world
Second is the renunciation of the world hereafter
Third is the renunciation of the desires of the self
Fourth is the renunciation of everything other than God.

Everything shall pass except the ever abiding Divine Countenance.
- The Quran


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Technology of the Heart: reward and renounciation
reward and renounciation
Technology of the Heart
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