I remember once receiving a message on my mobile phone which read: “Dear Shaykh, what is the ruling on suicide?” I called the sender to find a very young man on the other end of the line. I said, “I am sorry, I didn’t understand your question. Can you please repeat your question?” He said with a grieving voice, “The question is clear. What is the ruling on suicide?” I decided to surprise him by saying in response something unexpected, so I said, “It is recommended!” He screamed, “What?!” I said, “How about if we discuss the best way for you to do it?” The young man fell silent. I said to him, “OK. Why do you want to commit suicide?” He said, “Because, I can’t find work. People do not love me. In fact, I am an utter failure...”, and thus he began to relate to me his long story in order to prove that he had failed to develop his interpersonal skills and was unsuccessful in utilising his talents. This is a problem with many people. Why do some of us feel inferior? Why do we look at those at the peak of the mountain while thinking of ourselves as unworthy of reaching that peak as they have, or even climbing it as they did? The one frightened of climbing mountains forever lives in the ditches Do you wish to know who will not benefit from this book, or any other similar book, for that matter? It is the unfortunate one who surrenders to his own errors and becomes satisfied with his limited skills, and says, “This is my nature. I have become too used to it now; I cannot change my ways. Everyone knows this is how I am. I can never speak like Khalid does, or have a cheerful countenance like Ahmad has, or be universally loved the way Ziyad is. That would be impossible.” I once sat with a very old man in a public gathering. Most of those present were people with the usual skills and abilities. The old man was busy speaking to whoever was sitting next to him. He did not stand out in the crowd for any reason, except by virtue of his old age. I delivered a lecture and during it mentioned a verdict given by the eminent Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Baz. When I finished, the old man said to me with pride, “Shaykh Ibn Baz and I were colleagues. We used to study together in a mosque under Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim, about forty years ago.” I turned around to look at him and noticed that he seemed very happy to share this information with me. He was delighted to have accompanied a successful man once in his life. I said to myself, “Poor man! Why did you not become as successful as Ibn Baz? If you knew the way to success, why did you not pursue it?
Why is it that when Ibn Baz passes away, people cry for him from the pulpits, mihrabs, and institutes, and various nations grieve over the loss; yet, when your death comes, perhaps, nobody would shed a single tear, except out of kindness or custom!” We all may say at some time or another, “We knew so-andso and we sat with so-and-so.” But this is nothing to be proud of. What one can be proud of is to scale the peak as they did. Be brave and from now on be determined to utilise all the abilities you possess. Be successful. Replace the frown on your face with a smile, depression with cheerfulness, miserliness with generosity, and anger with perseverance. Turn your calamities into occasions of joy and your faith into a weapon! Enjoy your life, for it is brief and there is no time in it for anguish. As for how to do this, then this is the reason for my writing this book. So bear with me until the end, with Allah’s permission.