Invoking your Lord is the foundation stone and the aid in traversing the path toward God. Therefore, hold firm to it as you have been ordered, and God will make you strong. We would like you to constantly remind God’s servants of God Himself, and the Sunnah of His Messenger (may God bless him and grant him peace), and warn them of ever falling into disbelief. Teach them humility at all times, and inspire them towards abstinence in this world, so that they suffice themselves with the bare minimum of it, as God has commanded.
One of the first lessons I learnt from my teacher was when he placed two baskets full of berries in my hands. He did not place them on my shoulders like my peers. Even so, it bore down so heavy on my ego that I felt intensely constricted deep inside. I was so disturbed, shaken and felt so indecent that I began to weep. I swear to God, I wept out of the humiliation, abasement and utter wretchedness of the situation, as my ego could not bear to take such a lesson; it would not bow down to the test ever in a thousand years. I was so oblivious of my own arrogance, haughtiness, malignancy and stubbornness. I had previously had no idea whether I was arrogant or not. I had never learnt this lesson from any teacher of jurisprudence throughout all my previous studies; and I had studied with many a teacher.
Whilst in this state, my teacher saw what had come over me because of his deep insight into the hidden secrets, for which he was well-known to all. He came over, took the baskets and placed them right on top of my shoulders just like my peers, who were so much more righteous, and further advanced on the path than me. Then he said, “This is for your own good, in order to chase away some of that arrogance of yours.” Instantly, a door of understanding opened for me, and things became clear. I was now able to distinguish the truth in everything. I could discern the arrogant from the humble, the serious from the lax, those of knowledge from those of ignorance, and those who follow the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) from those of innovation, and those who practice what they preach from those who do not. No one was able to get the better over me after this event, because my teacher had taught me how to distinguish truth from falsehood, may God reward him and protect him, Amen!
I would like Sidi Ahmed ibn ‘Ajiba to encourage the servants of God to practice truth in their speech and actions, and to show caution in all matters. Through this, the fruits of the path are reaped, and ultimate realisation is gained, and God is a witness to what I say. Peace.