Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) first Lecture in Baghdad started as follows;
” The hearts of the Awliya Allah are pure and clean. They are those who have divorced themselves from the creation and are drowned in the love of the Creator. They have divorced the world and are preparing for the Hereafter. You are not able to recognise them because of your being lost in this world. There is a vast distance between them and you. If any Believer (Mumin) gives you advice, then do not act contrary to this after listening to him, for he sees in you those things which you cannot see in yourself. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has stated that, “A Muslim is a mirror unto another Muslim.”
A true believer always advises his fellow Muslim brother from his heart. He openly tells him of his weaknesses and shortages that he possesses. Pure is Allah, Who has placed even my heart the feeling to advise my fellow Muslims. Now it is this, which is my favourite action, that I should advise you and tell you that which is the truth, and explain to you that which I understand to be proper. In return for this, I do not desire any worldly reward or anything in the Hereafter.
All I desire is the pleasure of my Beloved and it is this, which is my sincere prayer. Yes, I am very pleased when my people gain success and prosperity, and the degeneration of my people feels like many arrows struck [up]on my heart. When any of my sincere disciples gains success and prosperity, then my heart becomes so pleased that I bow my heart and my head in the Court of my Creator. O Servants! I think of your rectification as my aim. I do not wish this for my personal gain, for this stage I have conquered.
I want to hold your hands and guide you to the true way, so ask my help and my assistance in this way so that you may gain success and fulfilment. I can adorn you in the Court of Allah and not in the sight of the people, but what I want is to show you what you really are. What is your condition? Is it like one drop of water on one clot that is lifeless, or like a corpse that is left for the vultures and other animals to feed on, full of worms?
You should know that he who teaches you to be obedient and a slave of the Kings of the this world, and gives you the greed of wealth, gold and silver, which you think of to be more valuable than your true wealth (faith), is actually leading you astray. This is none other than Shaytaan.
Remember! The return for this greed is nothing else but disgrace and embarrassment. The Beloved Rasul ﷺ has stated: “That person is more worthy of Allah’s Wrath who wishes for more sustenance than he needs (out of greed).” If you think that the people of the world can give you so much, that it will engulf everything, then you have not understood the reality of the Gardens of Taqeer. This is the whispering of Shaytaan in your heart. You are in reality not the servants of Allah, but you are the servants of your desires and the helpers of Shaytaan.
Divorce the love for money and valuables and try to free yourself from this prison of the world. If you wish to be freed from this, then you shall need the guidance of someone. You must thus seek guidance. Remember that by searching for such guidance with your physical eyes, is like groping for something in the dark. This will only be found by searching with the eyes of the heart and one’s spiritual sight. If you wish to search for this, then the condition is Imaan (faith). If one does not possess Imaan, then one will never gain spiritual sight. Almighty Allah says, “The absence of Imaan does not blind the physical eye, but this blinds the eyes of the heart, which is in the chest.” An example of striving in greed for the world is like a person who gives gold in return for grass. In such an exchange, the grass will soon burn and stop existing, whereas the gold, which you had, has been lost forever.
If your Imaan is weak, then definitely you will strive for the world. Rather, you try to strengthen your faith so that you may reach true elevation and true trust in Allah. When your Imaan will become strong, then you will find that your trust in Allah will be strengthened, and you will find that your requirements will be fulfilled even without your knowing. Once you start distancing yourself from the company of people, you will find that you will reach a level where you are prepared and willing to give your life in the hand of the Angel of Death (not afraid of death). Your mind should now think of this and the fact concerning where these waves of the Sea of True Life would be taking you.
Now the worries and the materialistic pleasures will not affect and interfere with your soul at all. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has stated, “Divorce yourself from the thoughts of this materialistic world to the best of your ability.” O Servants! Try to free yourself from the chains of this world. Tie your heart with the firm rope of the Mercy (of Allah), which will steadily draw the ship of your heart into the true shores of the Sea of Love. Allah has power over everything. He is All-Knowing. Everything is in His Control. When asking from Him, first ask for the purification of your heart. Ask for Imaan and Ma’rifat. Ask for Knowledge. Ask for the heart to be content. Ask for light in your hearts. Ask for His Love and Compassion. Ask all this from Him.
If you attain this, then you have gained everything. Do not stretch out your hands to others. Your true aims are with Him alone. There is no use in begging before the proud and arrogant people of the world. O servants! If you have only recited the Kalimah Shahaadat with your tongue, and your heart has not shown any action of this in your practices, then you have not even taken one step towards your Creator.
The reality of the journey (towards Allah) depends on the (spiritual) speed and power of the heart. Closeness in reality is closeness of the soul. Good deeds in reality are those in which there is the soul. In other words, sincerity. These actions (good deeds) cannot be performed unless one remains within the boundaries of the Shari’ah and within the protection of the Shari’ah. This cannot be attained without the service of the true and pious servants of Allah. This should be your yardstick. If one uses his personality as a yardstick, then he shall never be successful. Any action or deed that is done to show one’s piety, [it] is not truly a good deed. True deeds are done in secrecy. One only performs his Fard (obligatory actions) in the open, as this is the only way for it. One’s actions depend on Tawheed and sincerity. If this is not there, then one’s actions are like a building without a solid foundation. It will soon crumble and fall to the ground. First build and strengthen this foundation, then it will be worth constructing a huge building.
If Allah Wills, then such a building will never crumble or be destroyed, for the strength of this building will be in its foundation. It is through accepting the Oneness of Allah that your deeds will shine in the skies of spiritualism like a full moon and will give off light like that of the Sun. “