0. Introduction

٠۔ كتاب المقدمات

All praise is due to Allah; the One and the Almighty, the Powerful and Oft-Forgiving, the Evolver of the day from the night as a reminder to the mindful and intelligent and by way of enlightening the people of understanding and reflection. He it is who awaked those He selected among His creatures, imbued in them self-restraint regarding the matters of this world, and got them busy with regular contemplation and sticking to reminders and admonitions. He also favored them with steadfastness upon obedience to Him, making provisions for the everlasting Home and abstinence from whatever annoys Him and consequents in earning the Home of ruin; they would stick to that regardless of the changes in circumstances and times. I most perfectly praise and thank Him, and I extol and venerate Him.

Likewise, I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the Beneficent and Bountiful, the Compassionate and Merciful. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, His beloved and close friend, the guide to the straight path and caller to the straight religion. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, the others among the prophets and their households and the rest of the righteous.

To proceed: Allah the Exalted had said: "And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me." (Dhāriyāt 56-57). This is an explicit statement showing that they were created for the purpose of worship and so, it is incumbent on them to focus attention on the purpose for which they were created and hold back from the glittering of this world through self-restraint because it is a Home of transition, not eternity; a ride across rather than a place of delight, a temporary path and never a permanent destination. For this reason, the mindful amongst its people are worshipful, and the most sensible of the people in it are self-disciplined. Allah - the Exalted - said: “Verily the likeness of (this) worldly life is as the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat until when the earth is clad with its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, Our Command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! Thus do We explain the Āyat in detail for the people who reflect.” (Yūnus 24) The verses with this meaning are many. He was right ⌜the poet⌝ who said:

Allah certainly has conscious servants ... Who held back from this world, fearing trials.

They contemplated it and when they realized ... that It is not a (permanent) home for the living

They considered it a versed sea and took ... Good deeds in it as its ships.

If its true condition is what I have described, and our circumstance and the purpose of our creation is as I have cited, then it is incumbent conduct upon the select and to take the path of the people of sound intellect and deep contemplation. He should prepare for what I had pointed to and be cautious of what I warned against. The best way for him on that and the most rightly-guided path is: to be respectful of what is authentically reported from our prophet, the leader, and the noblest of the first and the last people - may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and upon the rest of the prophets. Allah the Exalted said: “Help you one another in righteousness and taqwá” (Māʾidah 2). It is also authentically reported from Allah’s Messenger ﷺ that he said: “Allah will come to the aid of the servant as the servant helps his brother.” He also said, “Whoever guides towards any good deed will have the reward of the one who does it.” And he said: “Whoever invites to guidance will have the like of the rewards of those who follow it, and that will not reduce anything from their rewards.” Similarly, he said to ʿAlī - may Allah be pleased with him - “By Allah! That Allah guides a single man through you is better for you than the red camel.”

Hence I have considered it appropriate to compile a summary of authentic narrations which will encompass what makes the path to the Hereafter for whoever follows it. It will also include its inward and outward manners, consisting of narrations of encouragement and warning and other manners of those upon the path of righteousness: narrations regarding Asceticism, heart-related acts of worship, moral rectification, soul purification, protecting the limbs and removing its shortcomings and others among the goals of those who truly know their Lord.

In it, I will stick to mentioning only clear authentic ḥadīths referenced to popular reliable books. I will also precede the (narrations in) the chapters with verses of the Noble Quran and give brief notes about whatever requires outright spelling out of the vowels the alphabets take or an explanation of some meanings with highly beneficial annotations. If I say at the end of a ḥadīth that: "Muttafaqun ʿalayhī (Agreed Upon)", that means: It is reported by Bukhārī and Muslim.

And I aspire - if this book is completed - that it offers guidance to whosoever pays attention to it towards tremendous good and protects him from various forms of shameful and destructive deeds. I implore any brother who finds benefit of any form in it, to supplicate for me, my parents, my teachers, and those who love us and the entire Muslims. In Allah the Bounteous is my reliance, and to Him I entrust my affairs and hope; and Allah is sufficient for me, He is the best of those to trust and hope in. There is no might or power except by Him, the Mighty and Wise.

الحمْدُ للهِ الواحدِ القَهّارِ، العَزيزِ الغَفّارِ، مُكَوِّرِ اللَّيْلِ على النَّهارِ، تَذْكِرَةً لأُولي القُلُوبِ والأبصارِ، وتَبْصرَةً لِذَوي الألبابِ واَلاعتِبارِ، الَّذي أيقَظَ مِن خَلْقهِ مَنِ اصطَفاهُ فَزَهَّدَهُمْ في هذهِ الدّارِ، وشَغَلهُمْ بمُراقبَتِهِ وإدامَةِ الأفكارِ، ومُلازَمَةِ الاتِّعاظِ والادِّكارِ، ووَفَّقَهُمْ للدَّأْبِ في طاعَتِهِ، والتّأهُّبِ لِدارِ القَرارِ، والحَذَرِ مِمّا يُسْخِطُهُ ويُوجِبُ دارَ البَوارِ، والمُحافَظَةِ على ذلِكَ مَعَ تَغايُرِ الأحْوالِ والأطْوارِ. أحْمَدُهُ أبلَغَ حمدٍ وأزكاهُ، وأشمَلَهُ وأنْماهُ.

وأشْهَدُ أنْ لا إلَهَ إلا اللهُ البَرُّ الكَرِيمُ، الرؤُوفُ الرَّحيمُ، وأشهَدُ أنَّ مُحمّدًا عَبدُهُ ورَسُولُهُ، وحبِيبُهُ وخلِيلُهُ، الهادِي إلى صِراطٍ مُسْتَقيمٍ، والدّاعِي إلى دِينٍ قَويمٍ، صَلَواتُ اللهِ وسَلامُهُ عَليهِ، وعَلى سائِرِ النَّبيِّينَ، وآلِ كلٍّ، وسائر الصالحين.

أما بعد: فقد قال اللهُ تعالى: ﴿وما خَلَقْتُ الجِنَّ والأِنْسَ إلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ ما أُرِيدُ مِنهُمْ مِن رِزْقٍ وما أُرِيدُ أنْ يُطْعِمُونِ﴾ [الذريات٥٦، ٥٧] وهَذا تَصْريحٌ بِأنَّهُمْ خُلِقوا لِلعِبادَةِ، فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الاعْتِناءُ بِما خُلِقُوا لَهُ والإعْراضُ عَنْ حُظُوظِ الدُّنْيا بالزَّهادَةِ، فَإنَّها دارُ نَفادٍ لاَ مَحَلُّ إخْلاَدٍ، ومَرْكَبُ عُبُورٍ لاَ مَنزِلُ حُبُورٍ، ومَشْرَعُ انْفصامٍ لاَ مَوْطِنُ دَوامٍ. فلِهذا كانَ الأيْقاظُ مِن أهْلِها هُمُ العبّاد، وأعْقَلُ النّاسِ فيها هُمُ الزُّهّادُ. قالَ اللهُ تعالى: ﴿إنَّما مَثَلُ الحَياةِ الدُّنْيا كَماءٍ أنْزَلْناهُ مِنَ السَّماءِ فاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَباتُ الأرْضِ مِمّا يَأْكُلُ النّاسُ والأنْعامُ حَتّى إذا أخَذَتِ الأرْضُ زُخْرُفَها وازَّيَّنَتْ وظَنَّ أهْلُها أنَّهُمْ قادِرُونَ عَلَيْها أتاها أمْرُنا لَيْلًا أوْ نَهارًا فَجَعَلْناها حَصِيدًا كَأنْ لَمْ تَغْنَ بِالأمْسِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآياتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ﴾ [يونس ٢٤] والآيات في هذا المعنى كثيرةٌ. ولقد أحْسَنَ القائِلُ:

إنَّ للهِ عِبادًا فُطَنا … طَلَّقُوا الدُّنْيا وخافُوا الفِتَنا

نَظَروا فيها فَلَمّا عَلِمُوا … أنَّها لَيْسَتْ لِحَيٍّ وطَنا

جَعَلُوها لُجَّةً واتَّخَذُوا … صالِحَ الأعمال فيها سفنا

فإذا كانَ حالُها ما وصَفْتُهُ، وحالُنا وما خُلِقْنا لَهُ ما قَدَّمْتُهُ، فَحَقٌّ عَلى المُكلَّفِ أنْ يَذْهَبَ بنفسِهِ مَذْهَبَ الأخْيارِ، ويَسلُكَ مَسْلَكَ أُولي النُّهى والأبْصارِ، ويَتَأهَّبَ لِما أشَرْتُ إليهِ، ويهتم بما نَبَّهتُ عليهِ. وأصْوَبُ طريقٍ لهُ في ذَلِكَ، وأرشَدُ ما يَسْلُكُهُ مِنَ المسالِكِ: التَّأدُّبُ بما صَحَّ عَنْ نَبِيِّنا سَيِّدِ الأوَّلينَ والآخرينَ، وأكْرَمِ السّابقينَ والَّلاحِقينَ. صَلَواتُ اللهِ وسَلامُهُ عَلَيهِ وعَلى سائِرِ النَّبيِّينَ. وقدْ قالَ اللهُ تعالى: ﴿وتَعاوَنُوا عَلى البِرِّ والتَّقْوى﴾ [المائدة ٢] وقد صَحَّ عَنْ رسولِ الله ﷺ أنَّهُ قالَ: «واللهُ في عَوْنِ العَبْدِ ما كانَ العَبْدُ في عَوْنِ أخِيهِ» وأنَّهُ قالَ: «مَن دلَّ عَلى خَيْرٍ فَلَهُ مِثْلُ أجْرِ فاعِلِهِ» وأنَّهُ قالَ: «مَن دَعا إلى هُدىً كانَ لَهُ مِنَ الأجرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَن تبعهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ ذلِكَ مِن أُجُورِهِمْ شَيئًا» وأنَّهُ قالَ لِعَليٍّ ؓ: «فَواللهِ لأنْ يَهْدِي اللهُ بِكَ رَجُلًا واحِدًا خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِن حُمْرِ النَّعَمِ».

فَرَأيتُ أنْ أجْمَعَ مُخْتَصَرًا منَ الأحاديثِ الصَّحيحَةِ، مشْتَمِلًا عَلى ما يكُونُ طريقًا لِصاحبهِ إلى الآخِرَةِ، ومُحَصِّلًا لآدابِهِ الباطِنَةِ والظاهِرَةِ، جامِعًا للترغيب والترهيب وسائر أنواع آداب السالكين: من أحاديث الزهد، ورياضات النُّفُوسِ، وتَهْذِيبِ الأخْلاقِ، وطَهاراتِ القُلوبِ وعِلاجِها، وصِيانَةِ الجَوارحِ وإزالَةِ اعْوِجاجِها، وغَيرِ ذلِكَ مِن مَقاصِدِ العارفِينَ.

وألتَزِمُ فيهِ أنْ لا أذْكُرَ إلاّ حَدِيثًا صَحِيحًا مِنَ الواضِحاتِ، مُضافًا إلى الكُتُبِ الصَّحِيحَةِ المَشْهُوراتِ، وأُصَدِّر الأبْوابَ مِنَ القُرْآنِ العَزِيزِ بِآياتٍ كَرِيماتٍ، وأوشِّحَ ما يَحْتاجُ إلى ضَبْطٍ أوْ شَرْحِ مَعْنىً خَفِيٍّ بِنَفائِسَ مِنَ التَّنْبِيهاتِ. وإذا قُلْتُ في آخِرِ حَدِيث: مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيهِ، فمعناه: رواه البخاريُّ ومسلمٌ.

وأرجُو إنْ تَمَّ هذا الكِتابُ أنْ يَكُونَ سائِقًا للمُعْتَنِي بِهِ إلى الخَيْراتِ، حاجزًا لَهُ عَنْ أنْواعِ القَبائِحِ والمُهْلِكاتِ. وأنا سائلٌ أخًا انْتَفعَ بِشيءٍ مِنهُ أنْ يَدْعُوَ لِي، ولِوالِدَيَّ، ومَشايخي، وسائِرِ أحْبابِنا، والمُسْلِمِينَ أجْمَعِينَ، وعَلى اللهِ الكَريمِ اعْتِمادي، وإلَيْهِ تَفْويضي واسْتِنادي، وحَسبِيَ الله ونعم الوكيل، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العزيز الحكيم.