In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And what are the goods of this world but the goods of deception?1
[A slap for the heedless and a warning lesson]
O my wretched soul sunk in heedlessness, which sees this life as sweet, has forgotten the hereafter, and seeks only this world! Do you know what you resemble? An ostrich! It sees the hunter, but cannot fly, so sticks it head in the sand so the hunter will not see it. Its bulky body remains in the open, and the hunter sees it. Only, its eyes are closed in the sand and it cannot see him. O my soul, consider the following comparison, and see it!
Restricting one’s view to this world transforms a great pleasure into a grievous pain. For example, there are two men in this village, that is, in Barla. Ninety-nine out of a hundred of the friends of one of them have gone to Istanbul, where they are living in fine fashion. Only one has remained here, and he too will go there. For this reason, the man longs for Istanbul and thinks of it; he wants to join his friends. When he is told to go there, he is overjoyed and goes happily. As for the second man, ninety-nine of his friends have departed from here. But some have perished, and some have been put in places where they neither see nor are seen. He imagines that they have departed and disappeared in utter misery. This wretched man becomes friendly with a single guest in place of all of them, and wants to find consolation. Through him he wants to forget his grievous pain of separation.
O my soul! Foremost God’s Beloved, and all your friends, are beyond the grave. The one or two who remain will also depart for there. So do not be frightened of death, anxious at the grave, and avert your head. Look manfully at the grave, and listen to what it seeks. Laugh in death’s face like a man, and see what it wants. Beware, do not be heedless and resemble the second man.
O my soul! Do not say, “The times have changed, this age is different, everyone is plunged into this world and worships this life. Everyone is drunk with the struggle for livelihood.” For death does not change. Separation is not