Al-Ghazali letter to Muhir-ud-Deen
To His Excellency Muhir-ud-Deen
May Allah preserve you in the high station, protect you against all calamities, enable you to guard yourself against the mischief of the devil and place you above all fear of it, and may your heart be free from trouble.
The Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, said: "The obligatory charity and charity are remedy of all ills." Ordinary, common folk think that physical ailments can be treated successfully with the giving of charity, while the prominent among men believe this refers to spiritual malady.
Allah says: "There is a sickness in their hearts" Koran, Chapter 2 verse 10. The physical diseases and spiritual maladies are as different as earth and heaven. The most common and fatal diseases are those who seize the human heart, for one man out of a thousand suffers from a physical ailment, whilst on the other hand, one heart out of a thousand is really sound. Only those who are blessed with sound hearts can claim freedom from spiritual diseases. When one suffers from a physical malady one has no appetite for such things a food or drink, similarly the health of the heart depends upon ones remembering and worship of Allah.
"Surely, in the remembrance of Allah all hearts are at rest." Koran, Chapter 13 verse 28, because the Almighty Allah gives man what he most desires, a clear spiritual perception of His Mercy and Beauty. It is only by remembering Allah that the human hearts enjoy peace; life of rest and peace in Allah is good; a life of pain in patience is still better, but to have peace in a life of pain is best of all. He whose heart is dead does not develop intimacy with Allah: "Surely, in this there is a Reminder for he who has a heart or listens attentively while witnessing." Koran, Chapter 50 verse 37.
Not everyone knows the mysterious secrets of the human mind, nor can he properly differentiate between food and poison. There is a mystery about spiritual realities which will always remain unexplored.
"Know that Allah is between the person and his heart" Koran, Chapter 8 verse 24. The Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, advised: "Avoid the company of the dead." His companions inquired "Who might they be?" "They are the rich" he answered.
It is not the worldly riches which count but the treasures of heaven and earth which lie stored in the human heart, the possessor of which does not stand in need of a physician to cure him of his diseases, but he undertakes himself to treat his maladies with success. Sometimes he may consult a specialist, who is superior to him in spiritual powers.
Any attempt at serious discussion of Tawhid, or the One Reality as opposed to many, is predisposed to failure; because it involves the impossible task of bringing together two attitudes which are not only diametrically opposed to each other, but have no common basis of discourse, and each of which resolutely closes the door upon anything like genuine inquiry and examination. One cannot achieve Tawhid by simply saying "Allah is One." That such introversion is not any easy thing, that it involves a habit of concentration and attention against which flesh and spirit alike rebel is known to all the mystics who have tried to reach it.
Mystical oneness and the Tariqah or Path consist of acquired virtues and mystical states. You will find in so and so, a person well known to you, as having acquired such mystical virtues. He is a respectable classical scholar and thoroughly conversant with Arabic and Persian, and is an ardent student of mysticism with ideas on the subject that have affected his whole attitude towards life. There are deeper strata of life in him than any logic of this era could fathom or than he himself could explain. Whatever he says is so full of information, and character, and he is so good natured, kind and frank that I have never felt myself more interested in any man's company. He is one of the finest conversationalist of our time and has, without doubt, been visited by almost every celebrated conversationalist in Baghdad. I have the highest respect of this man's moral and intellectual character, and as he is too poor to provide his family with the bare necessities of life, I earnestly wish it were possible to procure a pension for him. I most humbly beseech your Excellency to make your best endeavors in those good offices that may procure relief for the suffering of humanity in order to receive that blessed reward and honor which will transcend beyond all that this world can bestow.
Your Excellency's humble servant,