Final Word – Advice by ibn Juzayy al-Kalbī (may Allah have mercy on him)

by | 25 Apr 2021 | Miscellaneous, Research & Articles, Tazkiyah

The following has been adapted from the English translation of al-Nūr al-Mubīn of Imām ibn Juzayy al-Kalbī. The text was translated from the original Arabic by Mawlānā Fahim Hoosen of South Africa and published under the title “The Clear Light”. We found the Khātimat al-Kitāb (Final Word) to contain profound advice which is extremely beneficial – especially for the students of sacred knowledge.

Know that faith is the basis of all good acts and it is a prerequisite for the acceptance of all righteous deeds. The rectification of belief is the most stressed of all obligations that God has imposed on His servants. Hence, you must be serious and work hard in this regard.

Here, I offer some advice to you to strengthen your conviction and – God willing – make your religion firm, and I caution you against that which will make your heart waver and corrupt your thinking and intellect.


I advise you to do four things:

The First is to recite the Grand Qur͗ān, ponder deeply over its verses and comprehend its meanings, for this is what will illuminate hearts and broaden chests. God Almighty said, “This Quran does indeed show the straightest way.” [Al-Isrā͗ 9][1] God Almighty called it guidance, mercy, a light, a cure, an exposition, glad-tidings and means of insight.

The Messenger of God (may God bless him and give him peace) said that it is, “the Book of God, in which there is news of those who came before you, information about what will happen after you have gone, rulings concerning matters between you. It is the decisive word and is not something to be taken lightly. If any overweening person abandons it, God will crush him, and if anyone seeks guidance elsewhere, God will lead him astray. It is the strong rope of God, it is the wise reminder, it is the straight path, it is that by which desires do not swerve nor do tongues become confused, and the scholars are satiated from it. It does not become worn out by abundant repetition and its wonders do not come to an end. It is that which prompted the Jinn, when they heard it, to say, ‘Indeed, we have heard a wondrous Qur͗ān that gives guidance to the right path, and we have come to believe it.’ [Al-Jinn 1-2][2] Whoever speaks in accordance with it proves truthful, whoever acts in accordance with it will be rewarded, whoever judges according to it will be just, and whoever calls towards it will be guided to the straight path.”[3]


The Second is to read the traditions of the Messenger of God (may God bless him and give him peace), study his biography, comprehend his speech, and follow his way, for you will come across amazing and wonderful things in his beautiful actions and wise statements that will guide you those who possess intelligence.

God Almighty said:

– “By the star when it sets! Your companion has not strayed; he is not deluded; he does not speak from his own desire.” [Al-Najm 1-3][4]

– “Say, ‘If you love God, follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins.’” [Āl-͑Imrān 31][5]

The Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) said, “I have left you with two things that as long as you hold firm to, you will not go astray: The Book of God and my way.”[6]


The Third is to become acquainted with the reports of the predecessors from amongst the companions and those who came after them, to emulate them and to abandon innovated matters. The Messenger of God (may God bless him and give him peace) said, “My companions are like the stars. Whichever one of them you emulate you will be guided.”[7] The Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace), when asked about the saved sect, said, “Those that follow what I and my companions adopt.”[8] The Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) also said, “Beware of innovated things, for they are misguidance. Any of you who comes across that must stick to my way and the way of the rightly guided successors after me. Bite onto it with your back teeth!”[9]


The Fourth is mindfulness of God Almighty, perseverance in acts of obedience, avoidance of sins and bad deeds, because this will increase the light of insight, just as the opposite will put a cover over the heart. God Almighty said:

– “But God gives more guidance to those who are guided.”
[Maryam 76][10]

– “If you remain mindful of God, He will give you a criterion [to tell right from wrong] and wipe out your bad deeds.” [Al-Anfāl 29][11]

He said regarding the converse:

– “No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done.” [Al-Muṭaffifīn 14][12]

– “Do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance.” [Al-Kahf 28][13]


I caution you against two things:

The First is to become involved in ancient un-Islamic sciences such as philosophy and astronomy, because these generally weaken one’s faith, cause the heart to become dark and creates a dislike in the hearts of the believers towards the person who becomes involved in them. This is coupled with the fact that they are sciences that have no benefit and that were not taught by the prophets and messengers. If God knew that there was benefit in these, He would have sent the messengers with them. ͑Umar had instructed that their books be thrown into the sea and he said, “If there is any good in them, then that which He guided us to is better than them.”

The Second is to look into obscure matters, to become involved in suspicion and scepticism and to recount the opposing views of the disbelievers and innovators, for this will cause doubt to enter the heart and will shake the pillars of one’s conviction. It is for this reason that the lawgiver instructed us to refrain from certain matters and prohibited us from excessive questioning and prying. The Messenger of God (may God bless him and give him peace) said, “Those before you were ruined because of their excessive questions and disagreement with their prophets.”[14]

͑Umar had disciplined a person who asked such questions. The pious predecessors and the Imams always frowned upon such talk. Imam Mālik removed the person who had asked him about istiwā͗ saying, “Asking about this is an innovation, and it seems that you are an evil man.” Much has been reported from Imam Al-Shāfi͑ī and Imam Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal with regard to their being strict about this.

If it is argued that this is needed in order to respond to those who are in opposition and to refute their statements.

The response to this is that those who oppose us are of two types: disbelievers and innovators.

– As for the disbelievers, the Qur͗ān has already refuted their statements and it has showed their deviation and misguidance. It is God’s argument against His creation and therefore there is no need for anything else to go with it.

– As for the innovators, their statements should not be related and nor should their arguments be mentioned unless there is a need to do so, in which case a person may become involved in responding to them, just as ͑Alī and Ibn ͑Abbās (may God be pleased with them) responded to the Kharijites when their matter became widespread.

This is what prompted the leading theologians like Abū l-Ḥasan Al-Ash͑arī and Abū Bakr ibn Al-Ṭayyib (may God have mercy on them) to speak on this, due to the advent of the various sects of innovators in their era.

In our time, God has relieved us of their burden because they do not exist, especially in our lands in the Maghreb and the Andalus. Hence, their views should not be given any attention and should not cross the heart or ears of anyone because it is harmful without any benefit. This is because the benefit that it had of deterring them is of no use in their absence, and the harm that it contains such as commission of the prohibition, opposition of the predecessors and the darkening of the heart is present and will affect the person who becomes involved in it.

If it is said that sometimes thoughts may cross one’s heart and Satan may insinuate and cast reservations into a person’s chest, then what should such a person do?


The answer is that this is a disease, whose cure is clearly found in the Qur͗ān and Sunna, in four things:

The First is to seek God’s protection from Satan and ignore such thoughts. God Almighty said, “If Satan should prompt you to do something, seek refuge with God- He is all hearing, all knowing.” [Al-A͑rāf 200][15]

The Messenger of God (may God bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever experiences any such thing should say, ‘I believe in God,’” and in one narration he said, “He should seek God’s protection and refrain.”

The Second is the remembrance of God. God, may He be glorified said, “those who have faith and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of God- truly it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find peace.” [Al-Ra͑d 28][16]

The Third is to reflect over the evidences and recount the proofs. God Almighty said, “those who are aware of God think of Him when Satan prompts them to do something and immediately they can see [straight];” [Al-A͑rāf 201][17]

The Fourth is to enquire from an orthodox scholar. God Almighty said, “Ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.” [Al-Naḥl 43][18]

We have reached the end of what we set out to do by God’s grace. Praise be to God, who guided us to this: had God not guided us, we would never have found the way. We ask God, the Supreme Lord of the grand throne to record for us, in lieu of this book, the reward of those who call towards the right and pronounce the truth, to increase our faith and certainty, and to place together with His recognition a clear light in our hearts.

We conclude with salutations to the one who directed us to God and guided us to the worship of God, who is our master and leader, Muḥammad, may God give him on our behalf the best reward that any prophet is given from his community, and may He let us die on his creed, holding firm to his tradition, by His grace and mercy.

[1] Qur͗ān 17:9

[2] Qur͗ān 72:1-2

[3] Recorded by Al-Tirmidhī in his Sunan, Book on the Virtues of the Qur͗ān, Chapter on what has been mentioned about the virtue of the Qur͗ān.

[4] Qur͗ān 53:1-3

[5] Qur͗ān 3:31

[6] Recorded by Imām Mālik in the Muwaṭṭa͗, Book of Predestination, Chapter on the Prohibition of the Denial of Fate.

[7] This is narrated by Ibn Abd Al-Barr in his book, the Compendium of the Exposition and Virtue of Knowledge, although the expert scholars of ḥadīth have not authenticated it.

[8] Recorded by Al-Tirmidhī in the Book of Faith, Chapter on what has been mentioned regarding the split of this community.

[9] Recorded by Al-Tirmidhī in his Sunan. Book of Knowledge, Chapter on what has been mentioned about Sunna and the Avoidance of Innovations.

[10] Qur͗ān 19:76

[11] Qur͗ān 8:29

[12] Qur͗ān 83:14

[13] Qur͗ān 18:28

[14] Agreed upon

[15] Qur͗ān 7:200

[16] Qur͗ān 13:28

[17] Qur͗ān 7:201

[18] Qur͗ān 16:43


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