him. I feel pain and sympathy towards thousands of Muslim sons and their sorrows, and even innocent animals, due to the excessive pity and compassion in my nature. I do not have a house of my own that I should think only of it; I am bound through Islamic zeal to this country and even the Islamic world, as though they were my house. I am saddened at the pains of my fellow Muslims in those two great houses, and am sorrowful at being parted from them!
Thus, the light of belief was sufficient for me and all my sorrows arising from old age and the pains of separation; it gave me an inextinguishable hope, an unassailable faith, an unquenchable light, unending solace. Belief then is certainly more than enough for you in the face of the darkness, heedlessness, sorrows, and griefs of old age. In fact, the old age that is utterly black and lacking in light and solace, and is the most grievous and terrible separation, is the old age and separation suffered by the people of misguidance and the dissipated. It is possible to experience the belief that affords hope, light, and solace, and its effects by adopting a consciously worshipful attitude, worthy of old age and appropriate to Islam. It is not possible by trying to imitate the young, and plunging one’s head into heedlessness and forgetting old age.
Dwell on the Hadith, the meaning of which is: “The best of the youths among you are those who imitate those of mature years, while the worst of your elderly are those who imitate the young.”1 That is to say, “The best youths are those who resemble the elderly in self-restraint and abstaining from vice, while the worst elderly people are those who resemble the young in plunging themselves into dissipation and heedlessness.
My elderly brothers and sisters! There is a Hadith which says: “Divine mercy is ashamed to leave unanswered the prayers offered to the divine court by elderly believers of sixty or seventy years.”2 Seeing that divine mercy holds you in such respect, be respectful towards this respect by performing your worship!
The summary at the start of the Fourth Ray, on the luminous verse “For us God suffices,”(3:173) describes how having been isolated from everything by ‘the worldly’, I was afflicted with five sorts of exile. The heedlessness arising from distress led me to look not to the consoling lights of the
‘Ali Mawardi, Adab al-Dunya wa’l-Din, 27; al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, i, 142; al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, iii, 487; al-Haythami, Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, x, 270.
al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, i, 244; al-Haythami, Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, x, 149.