Lessons for Living

Hd. Hatemi Asam (ks) is one of the early wali’ullah (saint) from Khorasan who lived in the early part of the third century Hijri. Asam means deaf, although neither the ears of his head nor the ears of his heart were deaf.

            One day, a woman came to him to ask for advice. As she entered, she passed gas and she was very embarrassed and horrified at what had happened. At that the shaykh said to her, “Come close, my lady, and speak loudly as I am hard of hearing,” thus covering the lady’s fault and rendering her happy and thankful.

            He is the one who said, “To be a good servant depends upon three things: love, hope and fear. And the causes for revolt against Allah are three: arrogance, ambition and envy.”

            His teacher was Hd. Shakik al-Belhi (ks) who is the one who said, “Allah renders the ones who love Him alive even after they die, and the ones who do not love Him, dead even if they are living.”

            Hd. Hatemi Asam (ks) spent a lifetime with his teacher. Towards the end, his teacher asked him, “You have been with me all these years, what have you learned from me?”

            He said, “Eight things, my Shaykh.”

            Hd. Shakik (ks) said in amazement, “I have spent my life teaching you and you say you have only learned eight things from me. What are they?”

            Hatem  (ks) said, “The first is that I look at the world and at the people. Each has something or someone that they love. But as soon as they die and enter the tomb, their beloved leaves them and they their beloved. So I took for my beloved the people, the things and the ways Allah loves.

            The second lesson I learned from you came through my hearing Allah’s words  

            “And as for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains himself from low desires, The Garden is surely the abode.” (Sura Nazi’at 79:40-41):

            Then I knew Allah’s words to be true and forced my flesh to leave temporal and pointless pleasures until it learned to abide with what Allah orders.

            The third thing I learned is when I looked at the people, they each believed that something or someone protected them and helped them, and gave them faith in themselves. Then I heard Allah’s words: “What is with you passes away and what is with Allah is enduring...” (Sura Nahl 16:96)