Do not be like him who hopes for (bliss in) the next life without action, and delays repentance by lengthening desires, who utters words like ascetics in this world but acts like those who are eager for it; if he is allowed something from it he does not feel satisfied; if he is denied he is not content; he is not grateful for what he gets and covets for increase in whatever remains with him; he refrains others but not himself; he commands others for what he himself does not do; he loves the virtuous but does not behave like them; he hates the vicious but himself is one of them; he dislikes death because of the excess of his sins but adheres to that for which he is afraid of death.
If he falls ill he is remorseful; if he is healthy he feels secure and indulges in amusements; when he recovers from illness he feels vain about himself; when he is afflicted he loses hope; if distress befalls him he prays like a bewildered man; when he finds ease of life he falls into deceit and turns his face away; his heart overpowers him by means of imaginary things while he cannot control his heart by his conviction; for others he is afraid of small sins, but for himself he expects more reward than his performance; if he becomes wealthy he becomes self-conceited and falls into vice; if he becomes poor he despairs and becomes weak; he falls short when doing a good thing but goes too far when he is begging; when passion overtakes him he is quick in committing sin but delays repentance; if hardship befalls him he goes beyond the cannons of the (Islamic) community; he describes instructive events but does not take instruction himself; he preaches at length but does not accept any preaching for himself; he is tall in speaking but short in action; he aspires for things that will perish and ignores things that will last for good; he regards profit as loss and loss as profit; he fears death but does nothing in its anticipation.
He regards the sins of others as big but considers the same things for himself as small; if he does something in obedience to Allāh he considers it much but if others do the same he considers it small; he therefore rebukes others but flatters himself; entertainment in the company of the wealthy is dearer to him than remembrance (of Allāh) with the poor; he passes verdicts against others for his own interests and does not do so against himself for others’ interests; he guides others but misguides himself; he is obeyed by others but he himself disobeys (Allāh); he seeks fulfilment (of obligations towards himself) but does not fulfil his obligations (towards others); he fears the people (and acts) for other than his Lord (Allāh) and does not fear his Lord in his dealings with the people.
قال السيد الرضى: و لو لم يكن فى هذا الكتاب إلا هذا الكلام لكفى به موعظة ناجعة و حكمة بالغة و بصيرة لمبصر و عبرة لناظر مفكر.
As-Sayyid ar-Raḍī says: If this book had contained nothing save this short utterance it would have sufficed as a successful piece of preaching, a specimen of high philosophy, an object of wisdom for the onlooker and a source of instruction for the meditative watcher.