Lessons from Imam Jauzi
Saidul Khatir is the famous book of Imam Ibn Jauzi. It is like a bag filled with various resources. This is a great book where he wrote openly about his thoughts, presumptions and shortcomings. His self-analysis, question and answers, learning from life etc are compiled in this book. Imam has mustered his observations from the anecdotes of his life and daily experiences. Some thoughts from this book:
I saw two laborers carrying a heavy load. Both are singing some song. One will sing a part of it and the other will complete it. When I pondered over this, I got the idea behind this act. In one’s thought of singing a portion and other’s thought of completing the rest, their heavy load may feel lighter. Thenceforth my attention turned towards the men who carry a heavy burden of their bodies. Heaviest burden is to turn away from thoughts that will invite Allah’s anger and to be steadfast in the deeds that may not sound pleasurable. This path of endurance can be crossed if we can sing the songs of comfort.
There is a special relation between our body and habits. If the body is tender, our minds also will be tender. One whom Allah has provided Imaan and knowledge will not exhibit hatred to another person whom Allah didn’t provide these. No matter whoever is jealous to them, they will never exhibit it back. Because both of them are at two different places. One is jealous to obtain worldly matters, but the other is striving for a better life in the hereafter.
Once when I had a specific need, I prayed sitting along with a great person. When the fruits of the prayer started revealing, my mind whispered: This is due to the prayer of that great person. I told: I admit my shortcomings, but there is no wonder if my prayer is accepted, because that great person may be devoid of sins, but the regret about sins committed may be more beneficent. This is how I prayed: Ya Allah. I am empty handed. I only have sorrows. Please do not increase my sorrows. I am in great need. Please fulfill my needs. Those who do only good deeds will not pray like this. May Allah increase blessings on his virtues, but should consider my humbleness and adoration as well.
Once a situation compelled me to be associated with a matter that is not Islamic. My mind gave me a lot of excuses and tried to hide the sin in it from me. But, it was indeed not Islamic. I prayed to Allah and sought His help to resolve the issue. I took Qura’n and started reading it as I had to teach Sura Yusuf on that day. When Saleeka invited Yusuf (may peace be upon him) to the ugly act, he told: “I seek the refuge of Allah . Indeed, He is my Master, who has made good my residence”. I was shocked when read this verse. I woke up all of a sudden. The veil was removed from my mind. Yusuf (AS) was a free man, but was brought to slavery forcefully. Still he recognizes the favor and calls the one who favored him as Master. I then told my mind: “Now you think, In reality you are a slave. Your Master have been helping you since your birth. He gave you a healthy body, a protective religion and many capabilities. You can never count His blessings on you. Still, how insulting is it to act against his commands”.
Imam’s life was a conglomeration of many great virtues. He used to read Quran from beginning to end every week. He never ate a food that was doubtful. His son Abu Mussafer narrates that he had seen his father crying in prayer most of the nights. He never wasted his time. Will power was his greatest wealth. He exerted great care in learning and writing hadith. Reading was the way of his life. He wrote that new books are like treasure. It was said that he had read 20,000 books the time he was a student. He told: ” I learned about the virtues of predecessors from their books, at the same time I realized I am nothing in front of them”. Ibn Jauzi who was born in Bagdhad on Hijri 508, died on Hijri 597.
English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud!