بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
[In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate]
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ
[Surely God is with those who are mindful of Him and who do good.]
If you would like to see to what degree it is a true human duty and how a natural suitable result of human creation it is to perform the prayers and refrain from the great sins, look [and] listen to the following short allegory:
At a time of mobilization two soldiers were present together in a battalion, one of them trained and dutiful, the other inexperienced and self-centered. The dutiful man paid attention to training and jihad; (he) never thought of his sustenance and assignments. Because he understood that to feed him and to provide his supplies, to treat him if he gets ill, even to the point of putting the morsel in his mouth in case of need is the government’s duty. And his main duty is training and jihad. However he works in some sustenance and equipment tasks. He boils up the cauldron; he washes the mess tin [and] brings it. If he is asked: What are you doing? He says “I am performing complimentary tasks for the government”. He does not say “I am working for my livelihood.”
As for the other gourmand and inexperienced man, he did not pay attention to training and war. “That is the government’s job. What is it to me?” he would say. Continuously thinking of his livelihood, he would go after it; he would leave the battalion, go to the market, and shop. One day, his trained friend said to him: Brother, your main duty is training and warfare. That is why you were brought here. Trust the Sultan; he will not leave you hungry. That is HIS duty-free . Also, you are impotent and poor; you cannot let yourself be fed everywhere. Also, is it a time of fighting and mobilization. Also, they will say you are disobedient and punish you. Yes, two duties appear behind us. One is the sultan’s duty which is to feed us; at times we perform complementary work for Him. The other is our duty which is training and war; the sultan helps us with facilities. You would understand how that purposeless man would be left in danger if he does not listen to that striving well-trained one.
Thus, o my lazy soul! That restless field of war is this disorderly earthly life. As for that army partitioned into battalions, it is the human community. And as for that battalion, it is the Islamic community of this age. As for those two men: one is a God-fearing Muslim [who] knows his religious obligations and performs [them] and fights with his self (nafs) and Satan to abandon the major sins and refrain from lighter sins. The other is a sinful loser immersing [himself] in the worries of earning a living to the point of insulting The True Sustainer (al-Razzaq), abandoning religious obligations, and committing random sins in the path for a livelihood. And as for that training and education; it is worship, foremostly the prayers. And as for that war, it is to fight against the self and desires [and] jinn and human satans to save the heart and soul from eternal destruction from sins and low morals. And as for those two duties, one is to give life and sustain it; the other is to worship and beseech the One who gives and sustains life; it is to rely upon Him and feel secured.
Yes, Whoever bestowed and made life which is a most luminous miracle of the art of (Divine) Self Sufficiency and a brilliance of wisdom of (Divine) Lordship, it is Him Who sustains and maintains that life with subsistence. It cannot be anybody besides Him. Do you want proof? The most weak, the most brainless animal is fed the best (like fruit worms and fish). Also, the most impotent, the most delicate creature; they eat the best food (like children and babies).
Indeed, it suffices to compare fish with foxes, babies with wild predators, [and] plants with animals to understand that the way to halal subsistence is not through power and choice but is through impotence and weakness. Thus, one who abandons prayer for the struggle of livelihood resembles that man who leaves the training and the trench, begging at a marketplace. However, to look for one’s rations from the kitchen of mercy of The Generous Provider after performing one’s prayer, to go [there] oneself so as not to become a burden on others is admirable [and] brave; that too is worship. Also, one’s nature and spiritual equipment show that the human being was created for worship. Since, from the aspect of the labor and power necessary for one’s worldly life, one cannot reach a most inferior sparrow. Yet with knowledge and reflection, one is in the form of a sultan and commander of the animals from the aspect of supplication and worship necessary for one’s spiritual life and the hereafter.
Thus, o my soul, if you make worldly life the true purpose and continuously work for it, you will be in the form of a member of the most inferior of sparrows. If you make hereafter the true purpose and make this life a means and a plantation for it and work accordingly, then you will be in the form of a great commander of the animals and in this world a coddled and pleading slave of the Almighty Truth (Janab Al-Haq), [and] an honored and respected guest.
Thus are two paths for you, you can choose whichever you like. For guidance and success ask the Most Merciful of the merciful ones…