As-Saqati reports: I was travelling as a tourist, when I once stumbled upon a cave. Issuing forth from inside of it was the sound of weeping. When I looked inside the cave, I saw a young man, who had the look of a man whose sorrows have reduced his body to a weak, wan, and emaciated figure. From the looks of him, he seemed to be a pious worshipper, and so I asked him, “O young man, how can I achieve safety?”
“By performing obligatory acts of worship, by returning things to their rightful owners and by repenting to Allah az wa jal.”
‘Will you preach to me?” I asked.
“If you want to learn an important lesson”, he began, “Or to be on the receiving end of a profound admonition, then look within yourself (at your deeds and your level of faith). Act with the knowledge that Allah sees you when you are alone, for doing so atones for your sins and results in Allah displaying you to the dwellers of the heavens.”
“Give me more,” I said.
“Indeed, Allah has slaves whom He created to worship Him and whom He has chosen for His love. He has bestowed upon their hearts an eagerness to seek closeness to Him. Their minds are constantly engaged in reflection, and the colour of their skin has turned pale because they forsake their beds and stay up late at night to worship Allah.”
(Al-Mawa’iz Wal-Majalis, page 101)
Included in the book ‘Glimpses of the lives of Righteous People’.