When people become satisfied with the world, you [should] become content with Allāh ﷻ. When they become cheerful with the world, become delighted with Allāh ﷻ. When people associate with their loved ones, associate yourself with Allāh ﷻ. When they acquaint themselves with their kings and elders and try to establish relations with them in order to acquire honour and a high rank from them, seek the love and affection of Allāh ﷻ and endear yourself to him. In doing so, you will achieve honour and a lofty status.
A zāhid (one who abstains from the superficial glamour of the world) once mentioned:
“Anyone who hears about the everlasting pleasures of Janna and the painful punishments of Jahannam will never waste a single moment in disobeying Allāh ﷻ. He will always obey Allāh ﷻ – either through dhikr (remembrance of Allāh ﷻ), ṣalā (prayer), recitation [of the Qurʾān] or through the performance of good deeds.”
A person said to him, ‘I cry a lot.’ So, he (the zāhid) replied:
“It is better that you laugh and admit to your mistakes than to cry and become conceited with yourself with regard to your actions. The actions of a big-headed person do not rise any higher than his head.”
The man then asked for advice, so the zāhid responded:
“Leave this world for those who seek it, just as they have left the Hereafter for those who seek it. And live in the world like a bee: when it eats, it eats well; when it feeds, it feeds well; and if it falls on something, it neither breaks it nor scratches it.”
Types of Zuhd (Abstinence)
Zuhd is of a few types:
- Abstinence from ḥarām: This is farḍ ʿayn (obligatory for everyone).
- Abstinence from the doubtful: This is according to the various levels of ambiguity and uncertainty. If the doubt is strong, it will fall under wājib (compulsory); and if the doubt is weak, it will be mustaḥabb (desireable).
- Abstinence from extra and unnecessary things.
- Abstinence from conversing with, looking at, asking questions regarding, and meeting those from whom no benefit can be gained.
- Abstinence from people in general.
- Abstinence from the nafs (one’s base desires) in such a manner that the nafs makes it easy for him to obey Allāh ﷻ.
- Abstinence from that which is inclusive of all of these; that is, to abstain from everything other than Allāh ﷻ, and from everything that diverts your mind and attention from Him.
The best abstinence is hidden abstinence, and the most difficult abstinence is abstinence from wealth and luxury.
 Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Fawāʾid, Dār Ibn al-Jawzī (1427/2006), Cairo, pp. 124-125.