One time a scholar asked one of his students, “You have spent a long time with me, what have you learned?
He said I learned eight things:
• First, I looked to the creation. Everyone has a loved one. When he goes to the grave, he leaves his loved one. Therefore, I made my loved one my good deeds; that way, they will be with me in the grave.
• Second, I looked to the verse, ‘But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust,’ and, therefore, I struggled against my desires so I could stay obeying Allah.
• Third, I saw that if anyone has something with him that is worth something, he will protect it. Then I thought about the verse, ‘That which you have is wasted away; and that which is with Allah remains,’ therefore, everything worth something with me I devoted to Him so it would be with Him for me.
• Fourth, I saw the people seeking wealth, honor and positions and it was not worth anything to me. Then I thought about Allah’s words, ‘Lo, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most aware of Allah,’ so I did my best to become aware of Allah in order to nobility in his sight.
• Fifth, I saw the people being jealous towards each other and I looked at the verse, ‘We have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of the world,’ so I left jealousy.
• Sixth, I saw the people having enmity and I thought about the verse, ‘Lo, the devil is an enemy for you, so take him as an enemy,’ so I left enmity and I took the Satan as my only enemy.
• Seventh, I saw them debasing themselves in search of sustenance and I thought about the verse, ‘And there is not a beast in the earth but the sustenance thereof depends on Allah,’ so I kept myself busy with my responsibilities toward Him and I left my property with Him.
• Eighth, I found them relying on their business, buildings and health and I thought about the verse, ‘And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him,’ therefore, I put my trust only on Allah.