be reminded and helped to do this by acts which arc in themselves fatiguing, and outside the usual habit of the reason ; indeed, the reason itself is stimulated by them to undertake these tasks. They fatigue the body and the animal faculties, destroying their inclination to take things easily, to be slothful and unwilling to go to any trouble, to dull the natural zest and avoid all discipline savp for the purpose of getting advantages in the form of bestial pleasures. The soul will be constrained to attempt these motions by the very recollection of God, of the Angels and of the world of perfect happiness, whether it will or no ; consequently it will become firmly disposed to chafe at the influences of the body and will acquire the habit of dominating it and not to be merely passive in its control. Bodily actions as they occur will not then affect the soul so powerfully and habitually as would be the case if the soul were satisfied and content to submit to the body in everything. All this proves the truth of the saying, that good habits drive out evil ones. If a man continues in this course, he will acquire the habit of turning automatically towards the true, and away from the false ; he will become thoroughly prepared and ready to be delivered into celestial happiness when the body is left behind.
If a man performs these acts without believing them to be a duty imposed by God, and in spite of this his each act is accompanied by the remembrance of God, and a turning away from all other things, he will be worthy to acquire some measure of this spiritual fervour: how much die more, then, if he follows this use knowing that the Prophet has come from God and has been sent to men by God, that it was metaphysically necessary that he should be sent, and that all the laws which he established were those which he was obliged by God to prescribe, he acting in afi this as God's agent. For die Prophet was truly charged by God to impose these religious observances upon his followers : observances which are of benefit to men in that they perpetuate among them the Prophet's laws and ordinances, which are the means whereby they live at all, and by stimulating them to spiritual zeal bring them near to the nigh Presence of God in the world to come.
Such a man is richly qualified to dispose the aifairs of his fellows in a manner securing the regular provision of their well-being in this world, and their ultimate salvation in the world to come : he is a man distinguished above all his fellows by his godliness.
(From the Kitab al-Najat.)
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