Truth lies only in striving for the hereafter, since every worldly ambition will end in sorrow—either the goal you seek is snatched from you, or you are forced to give up before reaching it. Each of these two endings is inevitable except in our search for God the Almighty and Powerful where the result is always joy, both immediate and eternal. The immediate joy comes from a freedom from matters that usually cause worry and certainly leads to an increase in respect from friends and enemies alike. While the eternal joy is the joy of Paradise.

 

“This book will benefit a person more than financial treasures and possessions of property, if he reflects upon it, and if Allah grants him the ability to make good use of it. As for myself, my hope in this enterprise is to win the greatest reward from Allah, since my intention is to help His servants, to remedy whatever is corrupt in their character, and to heal the sickness of their souls. I beseech the assistance of Allah.

 

—Ibn Hazm al-Andalusī

Developing Morals to Purify the Soul

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