My brothers and friends in the service of the Qur’an! Say the following to the secret agents of the cunning ‘worldly,’ or the propagandists of the people of misguidance, or the students of Satan, for they all try to deceive you by exciting the desire for rank: “Firstly, divine pleasure, the favours of the Merciful One, and dominical acceptance are a position so high that beside them the attention and admiration of men are worth virtually nothing. To receive divine mercy is sufficient. The regard of men is acceptable in that it is the reflection and shadow of the regard of divine mercy; otherwise it is not desirable. For it is extinguished at the door of the grave, so is worth nothing!”
If the desire for rank and position cannot be silenced and eliminated, it should be directed towards something else: as in the following comparison, the emotion may have a licit side; if it is for reward in the hereafter, or with the intention of being prayed for, or for making one’s work effective.
For example, at a time Aya Sophia Mosque is filled with eminent and blessed people, virtuous and excellent, one or two idle youths and immoral loafers are hanging around the entrance, while next to the windows a few Europeans are watching for amusement. A man enters the mosque and joins the congregation, then recites a passage from the Qur’an beautifully in a fine voice; the gazes of thousands of the people of truth are turned on him and they gain reward for him through their regard and prayers. This does not please the idle youths and heretic loafers and the one or two Europeans. If when the man had entered the blessed mosque and joined the huge congregation, he had shouted out lewd songs, and danced and jumped around, it would have made the idle youths laugh, have pleased the dissolute loafers since it encouraged immorality, and made the Europeans smile mockingly, since they are gratified at seeing any faults in Islam. But it would have attracted looks of disgust and contempt from the vast and blessed congregation; in its view, the man would have fallen to the very lowest of the low.
Exactly like this example, the World of Islam and Asia is a huge mosque, and the people of belief and truth within it are the respected congregation in the mosque. The idle youths are the childish sycophants. The dissolute loafers are those villains who follow Europe and have no nation or religion. While the European spectators are the journalists who spread