O young man! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) because of any sin you have committed, but wash away the dirt from the garment of your religion [din] with the water of repentance [tawba], of sustained and sincere repentance. Then perfume and disinfect that garment with the fragrance of direct experience [marifa]. Beware of this situation you are in at present, because whichever way you turn there are beasts of prey all around you, and harmful influences are at work upon you. Extricate yourself from it, and restore your heart to the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). Do not live to suit your natural impulses [tab'], your lust [shahwa] and your passion [hawa], but to meet the standards of two impartial witnesses [shahidan adlan], namely the Book [of Allah] and the Sunna [of the Prophet]. Then look for two other witnesses, namely your heart and the working [fi'l] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He).
O ignorant one, where do you stand in all this? You are the slave of your own self [nafs], your worldly interests [dunya] and your passions [hawa]. You are the slave of creatures, idolizing them [mushrik bihim] because you regard them as the source of harm and benefit.
Each stage in a man's spiritual evolution is obtained primarily through repentance. The way to repent can only be learned from someone who knows how to repent and who himself has repented. True and total repentance is the first step. [Secret of Secrets - The Great Hadrat Abd al-qadir al-Jilani]
When those who disbelieved harbored disdain in their hearts, the disdain of ignorance, Allah sent down His tranquility on His Messenger and on the believers and made them keep the word of fear of Allah (repentance). And when they were entitled to and worthy of it, and Allah is full knower of all things. (Sura Fath, 26)
The state of fear of Allah has the same meaning as La ilaha illa Llah: there is no god, there is nothing - but Allah. For the one who knows this has the fear of loosing Him, loosing His beneficence, His Love, His mercy; he fears and is ashamed to do wrong under His very eye and fears His punishment. If one is not oneself such a person, one must find someone who is and receive this fear of Allah from him.
Our method is love, not labor, and annihilation, not perpetuity. When you enter into work, you belong to you, and when you enter into Love, you belong to Him. The worshipper looks to his worship, while the lover looks to his love. When you come to acknowledge Him, your breathing will be through Him, and your movements will belong to Him, but if you are ignorant of Him, your movements will be your own. [Shaikh Wali Raslan ad-Dimishqi]
Divine love will not come alive and
blossom in your hearts until the great enemy, the desires of the flesh, dies and
leaves you. First, you must be cleansed of your ego. Then you will have a
partial conscience, although continuing to sin. You will have a feeling of
remorse but this is not enough. The seeker must pass beyond this stage to the
where the Truth will be revealed to you, the Truth of right and wrong. Then you
will stop doing wrong and do that which is right, thus your entire being been
cleansed. Opposing the flesh, you must also fight against the animal desires
against its animalistic desires such as gluttony, excessive sleep, idle
occupations and against the characteristics of the wild beasts: negativity,
anger, war and aggressiveness. Then you must work hard against to discharge
yourself of the evil habits of the ego: arrogance, pride, envy, vengeance, greed
and all other sicknesses of the heart.
Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir (may Allah be pleased with him) further advises that the disciple’s heart must become like a polished mirror. The disciple must wipe the heart clean of the veil of dust and dirt, which has gathered upon it, because the heart is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets. When the light from Almighty Allah, who is the light of the heavens and earth begin to shine upon the sections of the heart, the lamp of the heart will be lit. Once the lamp is ignited in the disciple’s inner self, the rest will come, either all at once or little by little. He urged his disciples to really listen and understand his words carefully.
The dark cloudy skies of the unconsciousness will be lit by divine presence and the peace and beauty of the full moon which will rise from the horizon, shedding light upon light, ever rising in the sky, passing through its appointed stages as Almighty Allah has ordained. By the glorious morning light, your night of unconsciousness will see the brightness of the sky. Then you will inhale the perfume of remembrance and repent in the early hours of the morning of unconsciousness and regret your life spent in sleep.