Seek the Hereafter
O Savages! Be warned! You were not created for this world; you were created for the Hereafter.O those who neglect the inevitable: you have directed all your energy toward attaining desires and seeking pleasures; to pile up wealth and that which is mundane. You are engrossed in games and amusement.
If death, the wise counsel, reminds you of the Hereafter you are annoyed and look hither and thither. The grey strands in your head are warners of death, but you pluck them out or dye them black, [in denial]. What will you do when death descends upon you? When the angel of death and his servants come, how will you repel them? When your sustenance is dried up and your time comes to an end, what excuse will you have then?
[I enjoin you to] Abandon this greed of yours.This world is meant to do good deeds; if you work here, you shall be rewarded [in the Hereafter]. If you do not, then what reward do you deserve? This is a place to do deeds; this is a place to forebear in the face of adversity; a place of hard work. And the Hereafter is a place of rest and comfort.
A believer [mu’min] toils and certainly, he deserves rest. As for you, you have hastened in seeking luxuries first and postponing repentance. Thus you spend day after day, month after month and year after year until… until your time has ended. Very soon shall you rue that you did not benefit from good advice and that you disregarded warnings.
Shame on you! The mainstay of the roof is broken [of the home that is your life]. O deluded one! The walls [of your home] are crumbling and you are engaged in something else?
Seek the Hereafter and hasten your footsteps towards it. And what are these footsteps?
They are good deeds. Send forth your wealth towards the Hereafter [by being generous and charitable] so that you may find it when you reach there. O deceived one! You indulge in that which is worthless – you neglect the princess and love the servant-girl?
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir Jīlānī
Translated by Sidi Abu Hasan