O soul! Do not look at the worldly, and especially the dissipated and the unbelievers, and be deceived by their superficial glitter and illicit pleasures; do not imitate them. For even if you do imitate them, you will not be like them; you will decline immeasurably. You cannot be an animal even. For the intellect in your head becomes an inauspicious tool which constantly beats you over the head. For example, there is a palace and in one of its large apartments is a powerful electric lamp. Small electric lights which branch out from it and are attached to it have been divided among its small apartments. Now, someone touches the switch of the big light and turns it off; all the apartments are plunged into deep darkness and desolation. Another palace has small electric lights in all its apartments which are not connected to the large light. If the owner of the latter palace presses the switch of the large electric light and turns it off, there may still be lights on in the other apartments by which he can carry out his work, and which will not allow thieves to profit from the darkness.

O soul! The first palace is a Muslim and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) is the large electric light in his heart. If he forgets him, or (I seek refuge with God from Satan the Accursed) he expels him from his heart, he will accept none of the other prophets, indeed, no place will remain in his spirit for any perfection. He will not even recognize His Sustainer. All the apartments and subtle faculties in his nature will be plunged into darkness, and there will be a terrible destruction and desolation in his heart. How will he profit in the face of this destruction and desolation, where will he find familiarity? What benefit will he secure which will repair the damage? However, Europeans resemble the second palace; even if they cast out from their hearts the light of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him), lights of a sort may remain, or they suppose they remain. They may continue to have a sort of belief in their Creator and in Moses and Jesus (Peace be upon them), which will allow them to attain good morals and character.

O my evil-commanding soul! If you say: “I am not a European and I want to be an animal,” how many times have I told you: “You cannot be an animal. For there is intelligence in your head, and it strikes your face, eyes, and head with the pains of the past and fears of the future, and beats you. It adds a thousand pains to one pleasure. Whereas animals receive pleasure without pain. So first pluck out your intelligence and throw it away, then be an animal! You will also receive the chastening slap of ‘Like cattle, nay, they are further astray.’”1