I first learned about Ibn Ata’illah when I attended Purification of the Soul with Shaykh Mokhtar Maghrouri and Imam Mohamed Magid, sponsored by Al-Madina Institute. Sitting in this class was like medicine for the soul. :)
So long as you are in this world,
be not surprised at the existence of sorrows.
For truly it manifests nothing but what is in keeping
with its character or inevitable nature.
Hikma # 24
Sometimes He gives while depriving you,
and sometimes He deprives you in giving.
Hikma # 83
When He gives, He shows you His Kindness;
when He deprives, He shows you His power;
and in all that, He is making Himself known to you
and coming to you with His gentleness.
Hikma # 93
Whoever does not draw near to God
as a result of the caresses of love
is shackled to Him with the chains of misfortune.
Hikma # 63
He only made afflictions come at the hands of people
so that you not respond to them.
He wants to drive you out from everything
so that nothing would divert you from Him.
Hikma # 235
Appeal to no one but Him to relieve you of a pressing need
that He himself has brought upon you.
For how can someone else remove what He has imposed?
And how can he who is unable to free himself of a pressing need
free someone else of one?
Hikma # 39
Let the pain of tribulation be lightened for you by knowing
that it is He Most Glorious who is making trial of you;
For Him from whom you are faced with the blows of fate
is He who has accustomed you to His choosing well.
Hikma # 105
When you are pained by people turning away from you
or directing blame towards you, suffice yourself
with God’s knowledge of you. If you are not satisfied with
His knowing of you, then your not being satisfied with His
knowing is a greater misfortune than people hurting you.
Hikma # 234
He has only made the world a place of others and a mine
for troubles so that you would not love it.
Hikma # 229
Pleasure even if manifest in many forms is only through
viewing His closeness. Pain even if manifest in many forms
is only through being veiled from Him. The cause for
pain is the presence of the veil. The perfecting of pleasure is
by viewing His noble Countenance.
Hikma # 223
Seeking the Divine:
The only thing that veils Him from you, is His very closeness to you.
The total and lasting mistake is to have free time and not betake yourself to Him.
Or for the obstacles to be few and not journey to Him.
Hikma # 261
If you want immortal glory, do not seek glory in that which is mortal.
Hikma # 86
Wisdom behind Obedience & Sin:
Sometimes He opens a door of obedience for you,
but not the door of acceptance;
or sometimes He condemns you to sin,
and it turns out to be a cause for union with God.
Hikma # 95
A disobedience that bequeaths humiliation and extreme need
is better than an obedience that bequeaths self-infatuation and pride.
Hikma # 96
When you commit a sin,
let that not be a reason for despairing
of attaining to righteousness before your Lord,
for that might be the last one decreed for you.
Hikma # 148
There is no minor sin when His justice confronts you;
There is no major sin when His grace confronts you.
Hikma # 50
Let no sins reach such proposition in your eyes
that it cuts you off from having a good opinion of God,
for, indeed, whoever knows his Lord
considers his sins as paltry next to His generosity.
Hikma # 49
Friendship and Alienation:
When He alienates you from His creatures,
then know that He wants
to open for you the door of intimacy with Himself.
Hikma # 101
No one is a friend of yours
except the one who, while knowing your defects, is your companion,
and that is only your generous Master.
The best one to have as a friend
is He who does not seek you out
for the sake of something coming from you to Him.
Hikma # 135
Do not keep company
with anyone whose state does not inspire you
and whose speech does not lead you
Hikma # 43
Do not press claims against your Lord
because your request has been delayed;
instead, press claims against yourself
for slackening in your behavior.
Hikma # 109
In spite of intense supplication,
there is delay in the timing of the gift, let that not be the cause for your despairing.
For He has guaranteed you a response
in what He chooses for you,
not in what you choose for yourself,
and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.
Hikma # 6
He made an inspiration come upon you
so as to take you out of the prison of your existence
into the unlimited space of your contemplation.
Hikma # 54
Contemplation is the journey of the heart through other than God.
Hikma # 262
Contemplation is the lamp of the heart.
When it goes away, there is no light for it.
Hikma # 263
The Cosmos is all darkness.
It is illumined only by the manifestation of God in it.
Whoever sees the Cosmos and does not contemplate Him
in it or by it or before it or after it is in need of light
and is veiled from the sun of gnosis
by the clouds of created things.
Hikma # 14
Contemplation is of two types:
(1) contemplation of belief and faith and
(2) contemplation of witnessing and seeing.
The first is for those who are apt to learn lessons
[from what they see] and the second is for those
that experience the vision [of God]
and have insight.
Hikma # 264