Allah, the Almighty, said:

{Say: Surely I admonish you with one (thing) only—that you rise up to Allah by twos and singly.} [Saba’ 34:46]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وجَلَّ: "قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى".

Rising to Allah means waking from the slumber of heedlessness and fleeing from the predicament of lassitude. It happens with the revival of the servant’s heart upon its illumination by alerting lights.22
Wakefulness consists of three parts:

  1. The first is the heart’s beholding of the bounties [of Allah] while despairing of ever being able to count them or realize their magnitude, thereafter busying the heart with the realization of His graciousness in bestowing them and coming to full recognition of one’s failure in showing the necessary gratitude.

  2. The second is observing one’s transgression23 and understanding its danger, thereafter rushing to control it, rid oneself of it.24 grasp, and seek salvation by cleansing oneself of it.

  3. The third is paying attention to the passing of the days and the consequent gains and losses25 one accrues through them, therefore abstaining from wasting them and instead being protective of them, so that he/she may make up for what he/she missed of them and make the most of what remains.26

الْقَوْمَةُ لِلَّهِ هِيَ الْيَقَظَةُ مِنْ سِنَةِ الْغَفْلَةِ، وَالنُّهُوضُ عَنْ وَرْطَةِ الْفَتْرَةِ، وَهِيَ أَوَّلُ مَا يَسْتَنِيرُ قَلْبُ الْعَبْدِ بِالْحَيَاةِ لِرُؤْيَةِ نُورِ التَّنْبِيهِ، وَهِيَ عَلَى ثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ:

  1. الأول: لَحْظُ الْقَلْبِ إِلَى النِّعْمَةِ، عَلَى الْيَأْسِ مِنْ عَدِّهَا، وَالْوُقُوفِ عَلَى حَدِّهَا، وَالتَّفَرُّغُ إِلَى مَعْرِفَةِ الْمِنَّةِ بِهَا، وَالْعِلْمُ بِالتَّقْصِيرِ فِي حَقِّهَا.

  2. الثَّانِي: مُطَالَعَةُ الْجِنَايَةِ، وَالْوُقُوفُ عَلَى الْخَطَرِ فِيهَا، وَالتَّشْمِيرُ لَتَدَارُكِهَا، وَالتَّخَلُّصِ مِنْ رِقِّهَا، وَطَلَبُ النَّجَاةِ بِتَمْحِيصِهَا.

  3. والثالث الِانْتِبَاهُ لِمَعْرِفَةِ الزِّيَادَةِ وَالنُّقْصَانِ مِنَ الْأَيَّامِ، وَالتَّنَصُّلُ مِنْ تَضْيِيعِهَا، وَالنَّظَرُ إِلَى الضَّنِّ بِهَا لِيَتَدارَكَ فَائتَها ويَعمُرَ باقِيَهَا.

As for realizing the bounty [of Allah], it is attained through three things:

  1. the light of the intellect27

  2. witnessing the rays of grace (through the clouds of routine/habituation)

  3. taking heed from the condition of those afflicted28

فَأَمَّا مَعْرِفَةُ النِّعْمَةِ فَإِنَّهَا تَصْفُو بِثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ:

  1. بِنُورِ الْعَقْلِ

  2. وَشَيْم بُرُوقِ الْمِنَّةِ

  3. وَالِاعْتِبَارِ بِأَهْلِ الْبَلَاءِ

As for observing transgression, it can be achieved through three things:

  1. glorification of the ḥaqq29

  2. awareness of the nafs30

  3. belief in the warnings 31

وَأَمَّا مُطَالَعَةُ الْجِنَايَةِ فَإِنَّهَا تَصِحُّ بِثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ:

  1. بِتَعْظِيمِ الْحَقِّ

  2. وَمَعْرِفَةِ النَّفْسِ

  3. وَتَصْدِيقِ الْوَعِيدِ

And as for the recognition of the losses and gains in his/her condition, accrued through the passing of the days, it can be attained through three things:

  1. attaining (beneficial) knowledge

  2. responding to the caller who warns against violating the sacred rights of Allah

  3. keeping the company of the righteous

  4. The thread holding all of this together is the purging of bad customs and habits. 32

وَأَمَّا مَعْرِفَةُ الزِّيَادَةِ وَالنُّقْصَانِ مِنَ الْأَيَّامِ فَإِنَّهَا تَسْتَقِيمُ بِثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ:

  1. سَمَاعُ الْعِلْمِ

  2. وَإِجَابَةُ دَاعِي الْحُرْمَةِ

  3. وَصُحْبَةُ الصَّالِحِينَ

وَمِلَاكُ ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ خَلْعُ الْعَادَاتِ.

22 One who awakens rises to start the journey.
23 Being distant from Allah and disobedient towards Him is a person’s greatest transgression.
24 Cleansing it through tawbah (repentance) and istighfâr (seeking forgiveness).
25 The gains are enduring deeds of righteousness, whose reward is guaranteed by Allah. The losses are sins, shortcomings, and lost opportunities to serve Allah with iḥsân (excellence).
26 These three qualities accompany true wakefulness; thus the sheikh uses them to describe the station. One may also look for these qualities in themselves to realize whether or not they have truly awoken from their heedlessness.
27 The light is the innate criterion instilled by Allah in the hearts of His servants that guides them to Him.
28 To better appreciate the bounties your Lord has bestowed on you. After all, guidance and safety from all harms is His favor upon you.
29 The righteous predecessors (as-salaf aṣ-ṣâliḥ) would say, “Do not look at the triviality of the sin, but rather look at the greatness of the One you disobeyed.”
30 And its wickedness and lowliness.
31 Those the Messenger of Allah ﷺ related to us from His Lord.
32 All the bad habits one was accustomed to in the time of heedlessness must be shunned. One’s ability and determination to move away from those habits will determine the degree of success in their rising from the stupor of heedlessness.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


Shaykhul-Islam Abu Isma‘il Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Ansari al-Harawi (396-481H)

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj