Thursday, August 02, 2007

Shaykh Zaid Shakir has been translating portions of a work by the 10th/16th century Muslim religious scholar (`alim), Shaykh Abdul-Wahhab al-Sha`rani, in a series that is published on his website and entitled "Wisdoms." The series focuses on the core principle of religious sincerity (ikhlas) and the dangers of its opposite, ostentation (riya'), translated by Shaykh Zaid as "dissimulation.")

Here is taste of Imam Zaid's wonderful translation:

1. Wahb b. Munabbih would say: “Whoever seeks worldly advancement through his religious acts, God will invert his heart and record him amongst the people destined for Hell.”

2. Al-Hasan al-Basri relates that Jesus, Peace upon Him, said: “Whoever endeavors to implements his religious knowledge is a true friend of God.”

3. Sufyan b. Tahwri used to say: “My mother advised me: ‘My son! Only seek religious knowledge if you intend to implement it. Otherwise, it will be a source of torment for you on the Day of Resurrection.’”

4. Dhun-Nun al-Misri was asked: “When does the servant know that he is sincere in religion?” He replied: “When he asserts himself to the fullest in worship while desiring to gain no esteem with the people because of that.”

5. Muhammad b. al-Munkadir used to say: “I love to see the brothers being at their very best during the night [in humble devotion] for surely that is nobler than being at ones very best during the day. The reason for this is that during the day one is seen by people while during the night one is seen by the Lord of the Worlds."