He said: Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Khalid al-Maraghi reported to me from al-Husian ibn Muhammad al-Bazzaz, who reported from Abu Abdillah Ja'far ibn Abdillah al-Alawy al-Muhammadi, who reported from Yahya ibn Hashim al-Ghassani, from Abu Asim al-Nabeel, from Sufyan, from Abu Ishaq, from Alaqamah ibn Qais, from Nawf al-Bikali, who said:
I spent one night at the house of Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him, and I saw him coming and going from the house frequently looking at the sky. Then he entered a normal entrance and said (to me): "Are you awake or asleep?"
I said: "I am awake, watching you since nightfall, seeing what you do." He said: "O Nawf, blessed are those who are detached from this world, inclined to the next one. They have adopted the earth of Allah as a carpet, the dust He created as a cushion, His Book as the under cover, and supplications to Him as the outer cover, and His water as the delicate scent. They relinquish and renounce this world, the way Jesus, peace upon him, did.
Surely, Allah revealed to Jesus: 'O, Jesus, it is (obligatory) upon you to follow the path of the predecessors, so that you join the group of the Prophets. O, brothers of the warners, tell your people not to enter any of my houses except with pure hearts, clean hands and humbled eyes. For verily, I do not hear the prayers of a supplicant who has usurped the right of any of my servants, nor do I answer the prayers of the one who owes me an unfulfilled duty.'
O Nawf, if you can avoid to be a monitor of the people, or a poet, or a drummer or a lute player, then do so. For Prophet Dawood, peace be upon him, came out in one of the nights, looked at various parts of the sky and then said: By the Sustainer of Dawood, this is the blessed hour during which if a Muslim servant succeeded to beseech Allah to grant him good, He would definit