O young man! Attend to your own needs, be useful to yourself and then to others. Do not be like the candle that burns itself out while providing light for others. Do not embark on something on account of you, your passions (hawa) and your lower self (nafs). When the Lord of Truth wants you for some purpose, He will equip you for it. If He wishes you to be useful to His creatures, He will send you back to them, and He will give you firmness and courtesy for dealing with them, as well as strength to endure the trouble they cause. He will make room in your heart for creatures. He will open your breast wide and fill it with the elements of wisdom (hikam). He will take care of your inner and gladden your innermost being (sirr). So now it will be He, not you. Surely you have heard His Words. "O David, We have appointed you as viceroy in the earth." (Al-Quran 38:26) He did not say, "you have appointed yourself." Thus the people of the Lord have no will of their own and no personal preference. But are simply at the disposal of the commandment of the Lord of Truth, His action (fi'l), His management and His will. O you who have deviated from the straight path, do not offer any pretext, for you have no evidence to show. The highway is right in front of you. What is lawful (halal) is quite plain and what is unlawful (haram) is quite clear. How impudent you are toward Allah! How little is your fear of Him, and how great your disdain for His sight! The Prophet is reported as having said: "Fear Allah as if you saw Him, for even if you do not see Him, He surely sees you!"
Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.