So the purpose of our gathering is to obtain knowledge, the knowledge that is rooted within us. But because we have allowed ourselves to become overgrown with the concerns of this life, this knowledge has had no chance to grow. So we have to pluck out the weeds of concern. As the people of gnosis say, “First we must empty ourselves.” And how do we do this except by recognizing that cheating one another is of no use and that hoarding is of no use. By experience we learn that these things are not going to make us happier. The reason why we want money is to have the potential of freeing ourselves from future desires. So then why have future desires? It is so simple. Once we learn this then emptying out becomes sweet. Once our fear of death and concerns for provision in this life are weeded out, the process of displacing our old values by higher timeless values becomes a joy.
By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Living Islam – East & West”