Invoking God in Word and Deed

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Path to Happiness:

There is neither strength nor power save in God Almighty. It is God we implore – and whose answer we await – to watch over you in this world and the next, to shower you with His graces, outwardly and inwardly, and to make you among those who, when blessed, give thanks; when tried, persevere; and when sinful, seek forgiveness. For these three conditions are tokens of the servant’s happiness [sa'adat al-abd], and the signs of his success in this world and the next. No servant is without them, but is always shifting from one to the other.

The first condition is the blessings which come to the servant from God (Most High), one after another. What secures them is gratitude [shukr], based on three supports: inward recognition of the blessing; outward mention and thanks for it; and its use in a way that pleases the One to whom it truly belongs and who truly bestows it. Acting thus, the servant shows his gratitude for the blessing-however brief.

The second is the trials from God (Most High) which test the Servant, whose duty therein is patience [sabr] and forbearance: to restrain himself from anger with what is decreed; to restrain his tongue from complaint; to restrain his limbs from offenses, such as striking one’s face in grief, rending one’s clothes, tearing one’s hair and like acts. Patience, then, rests on these three supports, and if the servant maintains them as he should, affliction will become benefaction, trial will change to bounty and what he disliked will become what he loves. For God (Exalted and Sublime) does not try the servant in order to destroy him. Rather, He tries him to put his patience and devotion (al-ubudiyay) to the test. For the servant owes devotion to God in affliction as in ease. He must have as much devotion in what he hates as in what he loves. And while most people offer devotion in what they love, it is important to do so in the things they hate. It is by this that servants’ ranks are distinguished and their stations determined.

Ablution with cold water in searing heat is devotion. Sexual relations with one’s beautiful and beloved spouse is devotion. Spending money for her, for one’s children and for oneself is devotion. It is devotion no less than ablution with cold water in the bitter cold; giving up vice to which one’s soul is driven without fear of people; and giving charity in hardship. But there is a great difference between the [two kinds] of devotion.

He who is God’s servant in both states, maintaining his duty in both comfort and adversity, is the one to whom His words refer, ‘Is not God sufficient for His servant?’ With complete devotion comes complete sufficiency, and with less comes what is less. Let him who discerns some good give praise to God, but let whoever finds something other than this blame no one but himself.

- Excerpt from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ‘s The Invocation of God.

- Originally posted in a longer version on (and with thanks to) the Mad Sufi blog.

Ya Haqq!

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12 Responses to Invoking God in Word and Deed

  1. Baraka says:

    Salaam ‘alaykum dear brother Irivng!

    Subhan-Allah.

    I love that I can always come here for healing and perspective.

    Warmly,
    Baraka

  2. Maithri says:

    My brother,

    Each time I come here I find some new pearl of wisdom
    to take on the journey.

    ‘Is not God sufficient for his servant’

    Simply Beautiful,

    Love’s peace, Love’s light to you and yours,

    Maithri

  3. MadSufi says:

    As-salamu’alaykum,

    thanks for linking to me, sidi.

  4. Krishna.N.C says:

    Respected Brother Irving,
    Mashallah! what an enlightening post:-) it reminds me of a lovely piece of writing by Thomas.A.Kempis, ” He that is not prepared to suffer all things and to stand to the will of His beloved, is not worthy to be called a lover of God. A lover ought to embrace willingly all that is hard and distasteful for the sake of his beloved and not to turn away from him for any contrary accidents”
    And also that “Innal Allah ma as Sabreen”( God is always with those who are patient)
    Thank you for this reminder brother, that the path to God leads through the blessed roads of Faith and Patience:)
    Love and hugs from your ardent secret (ooops! not anymore) admirer!!

  5. Achelois says:

    Beautiful! Mashallah.

  6. anniyyah says:

    didn’t have time this a.m. to read it all the way through, but i want to asap. it’s good stuff.

  7. Merryweather says:

    This post appears so timely- Praise be to Allah- just what I needed to hear/know :) Thank you.
    May Allah give us strength to persevere through hardships. Ameen

  8. Shahrzad says:

    It was very beautiful piece. I remembered many beautiful ayat of Quran by reading this.. :)

  9. Gabby says:

    breathing and tapping into the strength of the Almighty. borrowing the strength for life- a moment in this little spacesuit. bowing in recognition.

  10. mshahin says:

    Assalam Alaikum,

    I needed to read this especially these words:

    “It is God we implore – and whose answer we await – to watch over you in this world and the next, to shower you with His graces, outwardly and inwardly, and to make you among those who, when blessed, give thanks; when tried, persevere; and when sinful, seek forgiveness.”

    Wise and beautiful words from Ibn Jawziyya. Thanks for posting it!

    Wa Salaam

  11. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Sisters and Brothers:

    Thank you all for the kind comments :) It is what I need to hear also, and what a darvish strives to inculcate in both heart and mind to be a real servant of God.

  12. Mustahsin says:

    Thanks both to you and MadSufi. :)

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