It was narrated that Shaqeeq [ibn Ibraheem] al-Balkhee said to Haatim [al-Assam- his student]:
You have accompanied me for a long period of time, so what have you learnt?
The first: I looked at the creation and found that every person has something that is beloved to him, but when that person reaches his grave, he would depart from his beloved. So I made the most beloved thing to me my righteous deeds, so that they may be with me in my grave.
The second: I looked at the saying of Allah the Elevated:
… and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts.
[An Naazi’aat: 40]
So I strove against my self, repelling desires and lusts from it until it settled upon obedience to Allah.
The Third: I saw that whoever possessed something valuable would keep it in a safe and secure place, I then looked at the saying of Allah the Glorified:
Whatever is with you will come to an end, and whatever is with Allah will remain. [An Nahl: 96]
So whenever something of value came into my possession, I gave it in His cause, so that it may remain for me with Him.
The Fourth: I saw that people return to wealth, lineage and nobility, and they are all worthless, so I looked at the saying of Allah the Glorified:
Indeed the most honourable of you with Allah are those who have Taqwaa [Al Hujuraat: 13]
So I worked on attaining Taqwaa so that I may be honorable with Allah.
The Fifth: I saw that people envy each other, so I looked at the saying of the Elevated:
It is We Who portion out their livelihood between them [Az Zukhruf: 32]
So I forsook envy and jealousy.
The Sixth: I saw them taking each other as enemies, so I looked at the saying of the Glorified:
Surely, Shaytaan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy [Faatir: 6]
So I left their enmity and took Shaytaan as my only enemy.
The Seventh: I saw that they humiliate themselves in pursuing provision, so I looked at the saying of Allah the Glorified:
And no moving (living) creature is there on earth except that its provision is due from Allah. [Hood: 6]
So I concentrated on what was due to Him from me, and left what was due to me to Him.
The Eighth: I saw them dependent upon their trades, professions and health, so I depended upon Allah the Glorified.