“Achieving high aims depends upon having a firm intention and a strong will. Whoever looses them will never attain his goals, because when one’s intention is firm, it adheres to plan and if one’s will is strong, the servant will walk along the right way that leads to that aim. Having strong will opens the way and a resolute intention focuses one on the aim. If his aim coincides with the way that reaches to it, he will be successful. If his intention is weak he will not have a high aim. If his will is not strong, it will not lead him to his aim. The whole matter depends upon the will and intention of the servant and they will never be achieved without neglecting three matters:
1. Innovations, which people make (in the religion).
2. Abandoning worldly benefits and vain pleasures, which hinder him from his way and aim.
3. Purify one’s heart from any vain desires that will distract his intention.
The Origin of Praised and Dispraised Morals
The origin of all dispraised morals is pride, disgrace and lowness, and the origin of all praised morals is piety and having high and lofty intentions. Arrogance, ingratitude, slander, vanity, envy, injustices, cruelty, tyranny, disobedience, refusing advice, obsession, seeking and loving authority and power, and to be praised for what he did not do are all caused by pride.
Lying, meanness, treason, hypocrisy, cunning, deception, greediness, fright, cowardice, miserliness, weakness, laziness, humility to other than Allah and replacing what is better with what is worse, are qualities from disgrace and lowness.
While virtues morals like patience, courage, justice, chivalry, abstinence, generosity, tolerance, forgiveness, bearing, unselfishness, raising oneself above lowness, humility, satisfaction, truth, sincerity, rewarding others for their good deeds with the same or better and neglecting their slips, abandoning what is useless, and purifying the heart from all dispraised morals are things that arise from piety and having high and lofty intentions. Allah, the Exalted informed us about the barren earth, when He sends down water(rain) to it, it is stirred to life and growth of vegetation. The same occurs with creatures, which are created from the earth, when they get their share of Allah’s blessings. Dispraised morals are like the fire that is high when it is well but when it goes out, it is low and mean. Good morals are like the earth and its creatures. Whoever has a high intention and is pious, will have every good morals and whoever is low and mean, will acquire every bad vice.”
Taken From alfawaid A Collection of Wise sayings (p 242-244)