Yesterday, while I was rummaging through my library and old files, I came across an e-mail which I had taken the trouble to print out in July, 2004, and filed away to this day. This same e-mail came from him. Only God knows why I have kept it until today but now I want to share the contents of the e-mail. I will paraphrase with little modification to the contents which have given me comfort all these years.
Anas Ibn Malik once mentioned that a Bedouin came to the Prophet and greeted him in the mosque. The Messenger of God asked the Bedouin where he was from and the Bedouin answered to the Messenger of God that he came from far away to ask questions on behalf of the Bedouin’s master. The following transpired as reported by Anas Ibn Malik:
I wish to be an intelligent man, what should I do?
The Prophet replied: FEAR ALLAH.
I wish to be a loyal servant to Allah and do what He wants me to do.
The Prophet replied: READ THE QURAN.
I wish to be enlightened and have peace of heart.
The Prophet replied: REMEMBER DEATH.
I wish to be protected against my enemies.
The Prophet replied: TRUST IN ALLAH.
I wish to follow the straight path.
The Prophet replied: DO GOOD TO OTHERS FOR ALLAH’S SAKE.
What should I do so that Allah will not abandon me.
The Prophet replied: DO NOT RESPOND TO THE DESIRES OF YOUR FLESH.
I wish to have a long life.
The Prophet replied: PRAISE AND THANK ALLAH ALWAYS.
I wish for prosperity.
The Prophet replied: BE IN A STATE OF ABLUTION AT ALL TIMES.
How can I save myself from hell fire?
The Prophet replied: PROTECT YOUR EYES AND YOUR TONGUE AND YOUR HANDS AND WHAT IS BELOW YOUR WAISTLINE AGAINST EVIL.
How can I cleanse myself from my sins?
The Prophet replied: SHED TEARS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND REPENT BY UNDOING WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WRONG.
I wish to be a respectable person.
The Prophet replied: THEN DON’T ASK FOR ANYTHING FROM ANYBODY.
I wish to be honorable.
The Prophet replied: THEN DON’T DIVULGE THE WRONG DOINGS OF ANYONE.
What should I do to protect myself from the tortures of the grave?
The Prophet replied: RECITE THE SURAH MULK.
How should I calm my fear of the day of judgment?
The Prophet replied: REMEMBER ALLAH BEFORE YOU EAT ANYTHING AND BEFORE YOU SLEEP.
What should I do to feel the presence of Allah when I make my prayers?
The Prophet replied: GIVE THE UTMOST CARE IN TAKING YOUR ABLUTIONS AND IN BEING CLEAN AND PURE.
Looking back, it is a wonder why I have kept this message all these years. Today it is apparent that this message was to be shared as a reminder to us all as Muslims. Only God can repay the kindness of my friend mentioned here, God Willing.