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.

Remembrance Of Allah

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“When a person spends his entire day with no other concern but Allaah alone, Allaah, may He be glorified, will take care of all his needs and take care of all that is worrying him; He will empty his heart so that it will be filled only with love for Him, free his tongue so that it will speak only in remembrance of Him (dhikr) and cause all his faculties to work only in obedience to Him. But if a person spends his entire day with no other concern but this world, Allaah will make him bear its distress, anxiety and pain; He will leave him to sort himself out, and cause his heart to be distracted from the love of Allaah towards the love of some created being, cause his tongue to speak only in remembrance of that creation instead of remembering Allaah, and cause his faculties to work in obeying and serving them. So he will strive hard, labouring like some work-animal, to serve something other than Allaah… Everyone who turns away from being a true slave of Allaah and obeying Him and loving Him will be burdened with servitude, love and obedience to some created being. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah), We appoint for him a shaytaan (devil) to be a qareen (intimate companion) to him.[al-Zukhruf 43:36]