Rules of Conduct for the Murid

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following are adapted from instructions from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) to his students.  The shaykh gave the following ten rules for his muridun who wanted to mature and control their nafs.

Whether jokingly or seriously, do not lie, because once our tongue avoids lying, Allah (s.w.t.) Enlarges our chest and Purifies our understanding and ‘ilm.  Such a person becomes as if he does not know what a lie is.  Everything becomes truth to him.  Truth begets truth and there is a great barakah in it.

The murid should avoid cursing or harming humans and other created beings, from insects to jinn, because avoiding cursing and harm is the character of the good and loyal friends of Allah (s.w.t.).  If we respect the Creator, then it is important to respect His Creation.  For such a person, Allah (s.w.t.) Protects him and their end will be always be good insha’Allah.  This is a means to reach the Divine Presence.

The murid has to keep his promise at all times unless he has a very good excuse.  He must avoid breaking his promises because not keeping a promise is the same as lying.  As long as the servant of Allah (s.w.t.) tries to keep his promise, the Doors of Generosity and Blessings Open to him. Lovers of Allah (s.w.t.) love these people.  It is better that he avoids the habit of making promise, so that he may not be guilty breaching it.

Even when wronged, the murid should never curse the one who wronged him.  A murid must always recognise the Hand of Allah (s.w.t.) in all things and accept that He is the Planner and the Best to Defend.  The murid should be patient for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.).

The murid should not accuse other believers of shirk, with disbelief or cause trouble between people.  It is a recognition that only Allah (s.w.t.) Judges.

The murid should not sin inwardly or outwardly. He should avoid eating things that are not halal and protect all the organs of his body from sin.  All sources of food must be purified.  This state is the best achievement in this world so that a murid can cultivate for the eternal life.

The murid should earn his own livelihood and not be a burden to people who are independent of him.  He should bear not only his own burden but also that of other people.  By of this virtue, the fear of Allah (s.w.t.) will make their worship complete.

The murid should not expect anything from people or desire what belongs to others.  He should be unmindful of things which he needs, for to have no need is the mark of honour and the distinguishing trait of the pious.  The biggest honour and wealth and the highest level is to put one's whole trust in Allah (s.w.t.) only.  Only with this attitude can the murid be pious.  Worship matures with this attitude.  This is the state and action of one who give himself to Allah (s.w.t.).

A murid should not, either intentionally or unintentionally, take Allah's (s.w.t.) Name in vain or swear by the Name of Allah (s.w.t.).

The murid should take to hospitality and humility.  With humility, the murid reaches high levels of spirituality and stays at this high level.  This is the base of goodness and the highest level of goodness.  Because of this quality, the lovers of Allah (s.w.t.) stay with him in troubled times.  The awliya’ visit him in the unseen and aid him in his difficulty.  Humility is seeing everybody you meet as higher than you and thinking that they might be closer to Allah (s.w.t.) than yourself.

Should the murid meets a person who is younger than himself, he should say to himself. "This person did not rebel against Allah (s.w.t.); I did.  I am sure he is better than I."

Should the murid meet a person who is older than himself; he should say to himself, "This person has worshipped Allah (s.w.t.) longer than I have.  He might have reached levels I have not been able to reach.  Maybe Allah (s.w.t.) has let him know things I have not been allowed to know yet."

Should the murid meet an ignorant person, then he should say, "This person rebelled against Allah (s.w.t.) because he was ignorant; I rebelled against Allah (s.w.t.) knowingly.  I do not know what is going to happen at the end to me or to him."

Should the murid meet a person who is a disbeliever or agnostic, he should say, "Maybe one day this disbeliever or agnostic will become a Muslim and do better deeds than myself and he might end up in a better place than I would and I might be misled and end up in a worse place than he."

If a murid acts with such humility, then Allah (s.w.t.) Saves him from hardships and makes the murid reach to the levels of those who give advice for Allah's (s.w.t.) Sake.  He will be the closest friend of Allah (s.w.t.).


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