Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hadith of Isa Masih on Zuhd | Ascetic Sayings of Jesus Christ

For the family of God, Az-Zuhd means to leave this world for the world-to-come, the final world (al-akhira). Zuhd is also translated as Doing-Without. Zuhd is turning away from the present world while fulfilling one's obligations towards its creatures and leaving its passing enjoyment for the sake of the Creator King of the World and His Final World (the Kingdom). It is said that love of this present world and the right on the final world are opposed to each other, the more one more towards one, the more he move away from the other. The Sufi Masters teach that "Zuhd is giving-up only when you have recognized that your need in truth was a fantasy need", thus only those who possess real intelligence will practice Zuhd without any delay.

Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah  said, "He that is purified by love; and he that is absorbed in the beloved and hath abandoned all else is a Sufi," - it is that abandoning all else, everything other than Allah (ghayrullah) is Zuhd. Zuhd is a stepping stone to those stations of Love and abandoning all else for the sake of absorption in Beloved. Desire of the present world, its riches and vain hopes in its - makes one terribly negligent of the Kingdom, the Final World, which is everlasting. And he who desire the Kingdom become unaffected and oblivious to the present world and its vanities. His being oblivious to the present world is like someone who has fallen in love and become absent minded from everything other than the lover.

Zuhd can also be defined as opposing "all vanities of the heart" and the greatest of these vanities is desire of the this dunya (fleeting world) which in truth lasts less than the time span we can feel between raising a glass of water to drink and to finish it. Ask any person who are of the mature age of say 80, 90 and they will tell it feels like just yesterday when I was a young girl or a boy in my youth. When death comes and after the life of the intermediary world (barzakh) when people will rise again on the Day of Resurrection, the time of the world will feel like less than an day or an hour in its lasting and people will argue that they lived only for a day in the world. Zuhd is realizing that truth here and now and not be caught by the world's temptations and delusions of its length. Zuhd is the acid test for true seekers to realize whether a spirituality is genuine or false. A true Master can be recognized if the station of sincere Zuhd is present in him profoundly. Sitting with a genuine Spiritual Teacher, being in his presence, generally speaking, will always grow in the heart more longing for God, His Countenance and His Kingdom (akhira) and the heart will have less pre-occuption with the present world - that is a reliable sign when it produce such Zuhd in the heart to recognize someone of higher spiritual station. Without any doubt, one of the greatest practitioner of Zuhd was no other than the blessed Master Jesus Christ, son of Mother Mary, peace and blessings be upon him and her mother. May our love be perfected for him.

Following are blessings sayings of Jesus Christ on Zuhd. May they kindle the light of iman - ikhlas (true and sincere faith) in our heart so that we may long for the Countenance of God in the Final World and may we be spared from the delusions of this present world. Jesus Christ himself was one of the greatest Zahid (one who practices Zuhd) and taught his disciples extensively to receive and embody it from him.



1.
And Jesus said (The richest blessing and peace be upon him!), "O company of the disciples, I have overturned the world for you on its face, so do not raise it up after me. For part of the wickedness of the world is that disobedience to God is in it; and part of the wickedness of the world is that the next world is attained only by abandoning it. Is it not so? Therefore pass through the world, but do not stay in it; and know that the root of all sin is the love of the world. And the desire of an hour often leaves those who indulge in it an inheritance of grief which lasts for long."

And he said also, "The world is both seeking and sought. He who seeks the next world, this world seeks him until his provision in it is complete; and he who seeks the present world, the next world seeks him until death comes and seizes him by the neck."

"Blessed is he who abandons a present desire for a distant promise which he has not seen."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "How can he be one of the learned whose journey is towards the next world and who is turning towards the way of the present world? And how can he be one of the learned who seeks words to report them, and not to act according to them?"

Jesus said, "Devotion has ten parts, nine of which are found in silence and one in flight from people (solitude)."

Jesus said, "Do not take the world as a master, for it will take you as slaves. Lay up your treasure with Him who will not lose it, for he who possesses treasure in this world fears lest some calamity may come upon it, but he who possesses God's treasure has no fear of calamity coming upon it."\

"The love of this world and of the next cannot stay in the heart of a believer, just as water and fire cannot stay in one vessel."

Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) said, "Woe to him who loves the world! How can he die and leave it and what is in it! It deceives him, yet he trusts in it and puts his confidence in it and he is taken away. And woe to those who are deceived! How what they abhor has caused dissension among them, and what they like has left them, and what they were threatened with has come to them! And woe to him whose care is the world, and whose work is sins! How he shall be covered with shame to-morrow for his offence!"

"Who is he who builds a house on the wave of the sea? The world is [like] that, so do not take it as an abiding place."

The Messiah (Peace be upon him!) said, "O you who seek the world to be charitable with it, your leaving of it alone is more charitable." And he said, "The least thing is such that looking after the worldliness occupies one to the exclusion of glorifying God, and glorifying God is greater and more important."

If you wish you may follow him who was the Spirit and the Word, Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!), for he used to say, "My seasoning is hunger, my inner-garment is fear [of God], my outer-garment is wool, my fire in winter is the rays of the sun, my lamp is the moon, my riding-beast is my feet, and my food and fruit are what the earth brings forth [i.e. without cultivation]. At night I have nothing and in the morning I have nothing, yet there is no one on earth richer than I."

"The world is a bridge, so pass over it and do not inhabit it."

"He who seeks after the world is like one who drinks sea-water; the more he drinks the more his thirst increases, until it kills him."

"Fine clothing is vanity of heart."

Jesus (Blessing and peace be upon him!) said, "In wealth there are calamities: that one may get it unlawfully." Someone interrupted, "Suppose one gets it lawfully?" Then he said, "He may apply it unlawfully." The other said, "But suppose he applies it lawfully?" Then he said, "Its management occupies him to the neglect of God (Exalted is He!)."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) attained to the use of a stone for his pillow while sleeping; but the devil came to him and said, "Have you not renounced this world for the next?" He said, "Yes, but what has happened?" Then he said, "Your use of this stone as a pillow means that you are being comfortable in the world; so why do you not put your head on the ground?" Then Jesus (Peace be upon him!) threw away the stone and put his head on the ground.

The Messiah (God's blessings and peace be upon him!) said, "Verily I love poverty and hate comfort." And the dearest of names to him (God's blessings be upon him!) was that he should be called, "O poor one (faqir)."

"Do not look at the wealth of the people of this world, for the splendour of their wealth takes away the light of your faith."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "O company of the disciples, be pleased with what is worthless in the world along with welfare in religion (ad-Deen), just as the people of the world are pleased with what is worthless in religion along with welfare in the world."

"Look at the birds; they do not sow, or harvest, or store up, yet God (Exalted is He!) feeds them day by day. But if you say, We have larger bellies, look at the cattle, how God (Exalted is He!) has appointed for them this creation as provision."

Someone said to Jesus (Peace be upon him!), "Why do you not buy an ass to ride?" Then he replied, "I am too dear to God (Exalted is He!) for Him to allow me to be occupied with an ass to the neglect of Himself."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said to the disciples, "It is astonishing how you work for this world, yet you receive provision in it without work; and how you do not work for the next world, yet you receive provision in it only with (wholesome) work (amal)."

The disciples said, "O Spirit of God, we pray as you pray, and we fast as you fast, and we glorify God (Exalted is He!) as you have ordered us, yet we are unable to walk on the water as you do." Then he said, "Tell me how your love of the world is." They replied, "Verily we love it." So he said, "Verily the love of it spoils religion, but in my opinion it is merely like stone and mud." And in another story [it is said] that he lifted up a stone and asked, "Which of the two is dearer to you, this or a dînâr and a dirhem?" They replied, "A dînâr." He said, "They are both alike to me."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "This world in relation to the next is like a man who has two wives; if he is pleased with one of them, he is displeased with the other."

Jesus (Blessing and peace be upon him!) said, "O Children of Israel, know that the relation of your present life to your future life is like the relation of the east to the west. The more you approach the east, the farther you are from the west; and the more you approach the west, the farther do you increase in distance from the east."

[+] You may read more of the Ascetic Sayings and Sayings of God to Jesus. Click here.


2.
The zuhd of the sufis is that their doing-without should be an emptying of their hearts from desires of the world. Its aid is the emptying of their hands in sadaqa and generous gifts.

The word 'ascetic' is a poor translation for zuhd. In the book The Hundred Steps by Shaykh Abdal Qadir as-Sufi al-Murabit it is written, according to Sufis: Zuhd is giving-up only when you have recognized that your need was a fantasy need. It is not zuhd to go in rags and to fast too much. Rather it would be zuhd to take control of clothes and patch them, or to eat less and not to eat one's fill. Zuhd is not, therefore, in any way a repression of appetites. It is an abandoning of excess appetite when the self has developed to the point of no long needing that thing.

To be zahid of objects is easy. To be zahid of words is more difficult, or the attention of others, or reputation. Do-without praise. Do-without reputation. Do-without being in the right. Do-without being seen. It is often easier for a king to be zahid than a poor man - beware!

The true zahid does-without a glance which sees creation and not the Lord.

Zuhd is easy. Its opposite is difficult. Remember the journey is to the place where the opposites have become the same for one. Do not dwell in the means - traveler - would you live in the stables?

It was said to Ibrahim ibn al-Adham, “How did you attain zuhd?”
“With three things,” He said, “I saw that the grave is lonesome and that I would have no companion therein; I saw that the path is long while I had no provisions; and I saw that the Omnipotent would be the Judge while I had no valid argument (in my defence).”

'Do-without the world (practice Zuhd)
- Allah will love you.

Do-without what you find
in the hands of
people of the world (be a Zahid)
- people will love you.'

- Saying of the Final Prophet, peace be upon him



# Further:
* Teachings of Zuhd by Sidi Muhammad
* Zuhd | Sufi Teaching of Doing-Without
* Az-Zuhd: Islamic approach of abandoning the World 
* Zuhd and Purification of the Soul
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