Advice to the Friend
This book is concerned with earning a living, business and, to some extent, the purpose of economics. It uncovers the hypocrisy of those Muslims who sit at home and do nothing to provide for themselves and family, who use the excuse of sufi ‘asceticism’ to justify divorcing themselves from being in the middle of active change and development of themselves, their families and society. Fortunately, the author of this book was a staunch Sufi and member of the famous Qaadiriyya, Khalwatiyya and Shadhiliyya brotherhoods, but unlike the corrupt ‘mystics’ of these times, he was thoroughly aware of the responsibility to family and society.
The asceticism of Sultan Muhammad Bello included not taking funds from the public treasury, even though he was the ruler of an empire, which included the wealth of more than fifty city-states. He only consumed what he earned from the labor of his hands. It is reported that he made grass mats and went and sold them in the markets alongside his subjects. This was a time when the so-called founding fathers of America had African slaves laboring without pay to enrich them and make that nation one of the richest nations of the world.