All praise and thanks are due to Allaah. We praise and give thanks to Him. We seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness, and we seek Allaah's refuge from the evil of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides then none can misguide him, and whomsoever He misguides then none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, having no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger - to proceed:
This is a concise book which contains forty authentic ahadeeth from the fine sayings of the Chosen Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wa'sallam) which I gathered as a reminder for myself and my brothers. They contain guidance for cultivation of souls, purification of the hearts and refinement of character. I myself have added nothing except a few words to explain and clarify anything unclear, to provide chapter headings showing the connection between the ahadeeth, and further brief notes.
It will not be unknown to any of the people that the noble Religion of Islaam has given great importance, and directed full attention in many of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah, to building the personality of the Muslim and directing it in accordance with the essential teachings of Islaam and its fundamentals and requirements.
The major incentive which led me to compile and compose this work was that I saw that many of those who attach themselves to Islaam, and call to Allaah, are actually far removed from the Islamic personality in both essence and outward manner and appearance. We ask Allaah to protect and grant us safety. This being the case I thought it was essential to compile this treatise so that it could be a firm and strong nucleus for the Muslim to initiate his Islamic life, to know the true way, follow it and call to it. Particularly since the Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wa'sallam) has indicated this reality with his saying: For every action there is a period of enthusiasm / activity, and for every period of enthusiasm / activity there is a period of rest / inactivity. So he whose period of rest / inactivity is in accordance with my Sunnah then he is rightly guided, but he whose period of rest / inactivity accords with other than this, then he is destroyed.
So I write this book for the enthusiastic Muslim youth who does not find, whilst swimming in the ocean of enthusiasm and excitement, the helping hand of one who knows the poison and is aware of the cure, one who can guide him to the correct way and correct thinking so that these youths can be with their minds and thoughts like the Companions of the Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wa'sallam) since they were also youths, but: They were youths, yet mature youths, their eyes fresh and free of evil, their feet refrained from approaching falsehood and futility. They sacrificed and expended themselves in worship and in withholding themselves from sleep. They sold their souls which were to pass away for souls which would never die. Allaah saw them in the latter part of the night, bending their backs, reciting the Qur'aan. Whenever one of them came to an Ayah mentioning Paradise, he would weep, longing for it. Whenever he came upon an Ayah mentioning the fire he would groan out of fear, as if the Hell-fire were directly in front of him. The earth devoured their knees their hands and their foreheads. They joined exhaustion in the night with exhaustion in the day. Their colour becoming yellowed and their bodies emaciated through standing long in prayer and frequent fasting - whilst they regarded their own actions to be negligible before Allaah. They fulfilled their covenant with Allaah and attained Allaah's promise.  So let us all hasten to be like them, and to resemble them since the affair is as it was said: We are not in comparison to those who came before except like small herbs growing beside the trunks of tall palm trees.  And as Ibn ul Mubarak said: Do not mention us whilst mentioning them, the fit and healthy when he walks is not like the crippled. 
I have sought in choosing these ahadeeth to gather those which are the most comprehensive, but the Islamic Personality will not be completed until the person follows and implements the Religion (Deen) of Allaah the One free of all imperfections, and the Most High says:
|"O you who believe! Enter into Islaam perfectly (completely)."|
I have strived to mention the source references for each hadeeth along with a statement about its authenticity, as demanded by the science of hadeeth whilst avoiding unnecessarily going into great length or falling short of what is necessary. So I tried to be as brief as is fitting for a book of this size, and only rarely speaking at more length when it was essential.
So if Allaah guides me to and grants me that which is correct in what I intended then that is from the completeness of His blessings, but if the result is otherwise and I hope it is not the case, then I ask Allaah for His forgiveness and His Mercy. Indeed He is the One who hears and responds, and our final call is that all praise and thanks are for Allaah, Lord of all the worlds.
'Alee Hasan 'Alee-Hameed al-Halabee al-Atharee
11th Rajab 1408H, az-Zarqa (Jordan)
28 February 1988