The first thing is to correct the belief in accordance with those which the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah scholars communicate in their books. It is only this madhhab that will be saved from Hell. May Allahu ta’ala give plenty of rewards for the efforts of those great people! Scholars of the four madhhabs, who reached the grade of ijtihad and the great scholars educated by them are called Ahl as-Sunna wa’l Jama’ah scholars. After correcting the belief (iman), it is necessary to do the commands of Islam and to abstain from what it prohibits. One should perform salat five times each day without reluctance or slackness and should be careful about its conditions and ta’dil-i arkan. A person who has as much money or property as nisab (minimum amount at which zakat becomes obligatory) should give zakat. Imam-i A’zam Abu Hanifa says, “Also, it is necessary to give the zakat of gold and silver that women use as jewelry.” We should not waste our precious lives on trivialities even if they are permitted. It is certainly necessary not to waste time on forbidden things. We should not busy ourselves with singing, musical instruments, or songs and should not be deceived by the pleasure they give to our nafses. These are poisons mixed with honey and covered with sugar. Nor should we commit ghaybah (backbiting), which is forbidden.
One should not spread gossip (carry words) among Muslims. It has been declared that various kinds of torments will be inflicted on those who commit these two kinds of sins. Also, it is haram to lie and slander; these must be abstained from. These two evils were forbidden in every religion. Their punishments are very severe. It is very rewarding to conceal Muslims’ defects, not to spread their secret sins, and to forgive them for their faults. One should pity one’s inferiors, those under one’s command [such as wives, children, students, soldiers], and the poor. One should not reproach them for their faults. One should not hurt or beat or swear at those who are weak for trivial reasons and should not attack another’s property, life, honor, or chastity. Debts to anyone or to the government must be paid. Bribery, accepting or giving, is haram. However, it will not be bribery to give it when there is no other way out, e.g., under a tyrant’s oppression, but it is haram to take a bribe even under such conditions. We should see our own defects and should every hour think of the faults that we have committed toward Allahu ta’ala. We should always bear in mind that Allahu ta’ala does not hurry in punishing us, nor does He cut off our sustenance. The orders from one’s parents or from the government compatible with Islam must be obeyed, but those incompatible with Islam should not be resisted in a way that will provoke fitna (sedition, chaos).
After correcting the belief and doing the commands of Islam, one should spend all one’s time remembering (dhikr) Allahu ta’ala and continue remembering and mentioning Allahu ta’ala as the great men of religion have prescribed. One should feel hostility toward all the things that will prevent the heart from remembering Allahu ta’ala. The more one adheres to Islam, the more delicious will it be to remember Him. As indolence and laziness increase in obeying Islam, that flavor will gradually decrease, eventually disappearing. We should not fall into the traps of the enemies of Islam by falling for their lies and slanders.