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A summary of the Faithful’s Attributes (of Salih’s Advice)



In conclusion, in order that the attention of the reader may be increased, I shall write, as a summary of what has been written so far, the attributes and morals of a true believer – who is more rare than the “red sulphur” (Kibrit –i ahmar) – all of which are taken from the words of God, the Prophet, His Eminence Master of Masters (peace be upon them). In this case repetition is desirable both for emphasizing and for reminding.

A believer wishes for God and seeks God. He has pure intention, a humble heart, and a submissive body. He does not stretch his foot away from the Path, nor does he slip from it. His friendship is immaculate and his deeds are free from deceit. He attends to himself, not to others. He fears only his own self, and others are safe from him. His observance is out of knowledge, his only benefit is to receive a lesson; his silence is that of wisdom; and his words are those of truth. He has knowledge coupled with patience, wisdom with steadfastness, forgiveness with power, and bravery with kindness and mildness. He feels happy when he does well to others, feels remorse for his wrongdoing, and fears his own self. He weighs up the consequences of an action, withstands hardships, and seeks assistance, in any state and act, in patience and prayer.

He is ready for death and prepares himself and makes provision for it. He does not waste his precious life but spends it in doing good, and advises others to do well. His modesty overcomes lust; his forgiveness overcomes anger; his friendliness overcomes enmity; and his contentment overcomes greed.
He dresses as people do, and lives among them but does not attach his heart to them. He hastens to render servitude to God and does not put off until tomorrow what he can do today. He is moderate in worldly affairs, and keeps himself away from sin. He does not harm anybody, does well to anyone who has done him wrong, re-embraces anyone who has broken off relations with him, and forgives anyone who has deprived him [of his rights].
He does not beg for anything from others and does not reject their requests. He does not supplicate anyone for anything except He who is free from want, and fulfils the need of the needy. He does not ask for justice but he himself exercises it. He keeps himself from making errors, always admits himself guilty, and forgives other’s errors. He is an enemy of oppression and a friend to the oppressed. He is not offended by the coldness of others.
He does not find fault with others, accepts people’s excuses, and conceals their faults. He does not rejoice at other people’s flattering him and does not grieve over their slandering him. He sympathizes with the Faithful, that is to say, he feels glad about their happiness and sad about their troubles, and tries to find, if he can, a way to help them and to make their hearts happy; otherwise, he asks God for help. He wishes for others whatever he wishes for himself and considers good for them whatever he considers good for himself. He does not get impatient with a believer but gives advice to him in private, and wishes him well both secretly and openly.
He does not become happy when the world favors him, nor does he become sad when the favor is withdrawn. He strengthens his resolution, does not adopt bad habits, does not repeat his mistakes, does not answer unless he is asked; and, when speaking, he speaks briefly and weighs up his words, and his deeds bear witness to his words.
He does not fail in the management of his life. He refrains from deceit, hypocrisy, and telling lies. He does not think highly of himself and does not look down on others. He does not upbraid others, nor does he dispute with them. He does not spend too much of his time with women, but is kind to them and pleases them. He tries to give satisfaction to his neighbors, and does not raise his voice. He does not gossip with other people, and tries to bring about reconciliation among them. He is fair in judgement and does not treat with anyone unjustly. He does not laugh shamelessly. He does not make [undue] haste in achieving his affairs. He does not speak ill of people, honors the memory of the absent, and does not swear at anybody.
He chooses wise friends and keeps away from bad companions. He is a friend to the oppressed, vagrants, and the weak. He keeps company with the dervishes and does not prefer people’s satisfaction to God’s. He does not fail to aid others with his possessions, life, and body.
He accepts when invited and greets his friends when meeting them. He consults others about his affairs and is not disloyal to people in consultation. He does not take bribes, although it is not inadmissible to receive remuneration and get reward for his work.
Although paying attention to the contents of this summary and contrasting them with ourselves and our deeds makes us disappointed, God’s generosity is infinite and His Grace is boundless; so we should not cease from searching for these attributes, and that which cannot be totally gained, should not be totally discarded.
Although you cannot attain His union through your efforts,
Yet, strive as much as you can to search for Him.
We should endeavor to use these attributes as criteria, and judge our deeds by them. And we should consider ourselves sinful and our lives spoilt and beg most humbly for forgiveness from the One Who is free from want.
It is best that a servant for his transgressions,
Offers apologies before the Throne of God,
Although what is worthy of His dignity,
No one is able to accomplish.
I hope He may bestow upon all Friends the state of servitude and supplication, and make them successful in accomplishing that which pleases Mawla.

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