I Sought Ten Things In Ten Places And Found Them In Ten Others

An ascetic said,
I sought ten things in ten places and found them in ten others – I sought elevation in arrogance but found it in humility; I sought worship in ritual prayer but found it in asceticism; I sought illumination of the heart in the daytime public ritual prayers but found it in the secret late night prayers; I sought the light of the Day of Judgement in giving and generosity but found it in thirst and fasting; I sought permission to pass the sirat in sacrificing animals [to feed the poor] but found it in giving charity (sadaqa); I sought protection from the Hell-fire in permissible actions but found it in leaving desires; I sought the love of Allah the Exalted in the dunya but found it in His remembrance (dhikr); I sought well-­being in gatherings but found it in solitude; and I sought illumination of the heart in lectures and reading the Qur’an but found it in contemplation and crying.
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Strategy Of An Ascetic

Ali (radyAllahu`anhu) said,
The one who longs for Paradise will rush towards good deeds; the one who dreads Hell will put an end to his vices; the one who has a firm conviction in [the imminent arrival of] death will lose all his passions; and the one who really knows the dunya will find disasters easy to bear.

Quote

An ascetic said;
There are five obstacles to attaining God­consciousness (taqwa),
and only the one who overcomes these will attain it – choosing hardship
over ease, exertion over rest, lowliness over pride, silence over idle talk, and
death over life.