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Had it not been for the appointed time that Allah (SWT) has written for them (death), their souls would not remain an extra second in their bodies out of yearning for reward and fear of punishment. The Creator ranks Supreme in their eyes, so everything else becomes immaterial to them. They are with Paradise as if they had already witnessed it and enjoyed its presence. They are with Hell as if they have already seen it and tasted its torment. Their hearts grieve and their evil (if any) is non-contagious. Their bodies are lean, their needs are few and their souls are chaste.
They observe patience for a few days and experience ever-lasting comfort. This is a profitable exchange that their Lord has made pleasant for them. The world tempts them, but they do not succumb. It imprisons them, but they ransomed themselves in exchange.
During the nights they stand in rows and read portions of the Quran. They recite with proper recitation which I grieves their hearts and drink it (the Quran) like medicine. If a verse of yearning comes along, they reach for it and believe it is their destination. If an intimidating verse comes along, they pour their hearts towards it and believe that Hell and its screams are in their ears. They sleep on their foreheads and elbows63 and implore Allah (SWT) to deliver them.
In the day, they are tolerant and learned, kind and God fearing. Fear has chipped away at their bodies as if they were arrows. Anyone looking at them would think that they were sick. But they are not sick. Some will say that they are confused. A great fear has made them look like that. They are never content to do only a few actions (during the day), nor do they ask for a great deal. They condemn themselves and arc apprehensive about their deeds. If one of them is called "pious"' he fears what will be said of him and says: 'I know myself better than you do. My Lord knows me better than I do. O Allah (SWT)! Do not take me to task for what they are saying about me and (O Lord) make me better than they think. Forgive my sins which they do not know about.'
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