Translation of the letter:
Abdullah son of Habib informed us, he said: Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani wrote me a letter in which, after praising God and sending peace to the Prophet and his family, said:
O Abdullah son of Habib! Know that salvation is the end of pious people, and piety is the title for God’s worship, and God’s worship is verily obedience to Him, and obedience to Him is to perform obligations and avoid forbidden matters that He has stated in His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet. So the servants of God are pious people who do righteous deeds, speak the truth, and forbearingly refrain from what is forbidden; those whose hearts tremble with the fear of God and settle down in their places in hope of Him; those whose lips have dried due to mentioning God frequently and whose stomachs have got thin due to successive fasting; those who have freed their souls from the trap of passions, and the dust of humbleness have sat on their faces; those whose hearts have been purified by remembrance of death, and the world has fallen out of their favor by the Hereafter; concern for their duties has robbed them of sleep, and paying heed to the rights has stopped them from eating; they are inclined to what people are averse to, and are averse to what people are inclined to; they know that soon they will depart to another world and must make provision for this journey; they know that they have a long way ahead and must cross steep passes; the way which its travelers never return, and the passes which seem to swallow their passengers. Oh, how close today is to tomorrow! So they weep thinking of this journey and make themselves ready for it; as if they are breathing their last or are already dead before they die!
O Abdullah! They have known the world and appraised its value; so they have found it valueless and turned away from it.
O Abdullah! Know the world as they did; because one who knows the well does not cast himself into it, and one who is aware of poison does not drink it.
O Abdullah! I will introduce the world to you. The world is like a woman whose bride price is death, or a dishonored prostitute whose wage is shame. Beware! Do not take her as a wife and do not sleep with her; because this treacherous one has killed her husbands and despoiled their heritages, sedated her lovers and stolen their belongings. Beware! Do not let her seduce you with her makeup and deceive you with her coquetry.
O Abdullah! I will introduce the world to you. The world is like a well that is dried or polluted with all kinds of impurities; so do not cast your bucket into it and do not use it as your watering place.
O Abdullah! I will introduce the world to you. The world is a worn-out ladder that cannot be leaned on or like a snake hole that whoever has put his hand in it has bitten him; or it is like a carcass that attracts hyenas and gathers flies but drives away lions and disgusts human beings.
O Abdullah! The world is a woman who does not give birth, a tree that does not bear fruit, a cloud that does not rain, and a shadow that does not last. Beware! Do not rely on it; because relying on it is relying on the wind, and making friends with it is making friends with a wolf, and who can be friends with a wolf?!
O Abdullah! Do not love the world; because the world has deserted those who have loved it the most. If you do not believe me, then look at your relatives who passed away; those who were by your side for some time, but there is no trace of them today. So review their stories and learn a lesson from their end; because they were human beings like you that death grabbed onto their throats, graves swallowed their corpses, and time wiped out their traces. Do you think what befell them will not befall you?! How?! While many of them were more powerful than you, and many others were wealthier than you, and yet their power and wealth did not benefit them, and in the end, they fell into the abyss of death. Beware! Do not let association with the living make you neglect the dead so that you will compete with them in earning money, building houses, buying tools, marrying women, and immersing yourself in pleasures; because the living are the dead of future; as the dead are the living of the past.
O Abdullah! So many are those who slept and never woke up, those who traveled and never returned, and those who got sick and never recovered. Indeed, whoever is alive will die, and whoever eats will be eaten by dust.
O Abdullah! Do not neglect death; because death does not neglect you, and prepare yourself for it; because you do not know at what moment it arrives. Abandon long hopes and do not follow your desires. Do not rejoice if fortune smiles on you, nor be sad if misfortune comes to you. Take the reins of yourself from Satan and hand it over to the Caliph of God on the earth; because Satan drives you to Hell, and the Caliph of God on the earth invites you toward Heaven.
O Abdullah! The helpers of the Mahdi are not those who disobey God; his helpers are those who avoid major and minor sins; they get up at night to pray and spend the day gaining knowledge and teaching it to others. They have faith in the promises of God and fear the Day of Judgment; the Day when they will stand before the Lord and find whatever they did present.
The helpers of the Mahdi are imbued with the morals of God’s Prophets and trained with the manners of God’s friends; they submit to the truth once it is revealed to them and abandon falsehood once it is exposed to them; they are neither fanatic and stubborn nor foul-mouthed and garrulous; they do not fabricate lies against God and dissociate themselves from those who fabricate lies against Him; they perform prayer at the beginning of its time and donate their belongings to the needy; they restrain their anger and forgive people’s wrongdoings; they cherish their parents and have patience with their bad tempers; they do not disrespect their friends under the pretext of friendship, nor do they wrong their enemies under the pretext of enmity; they tolerate the ignorant and do not quarrel with fools; they do not talk nor laugh nor sleep nor eat too much; they restrain their lust and do not abandon chastity; they are not oglers or shameless, nor do they show off or talk nonsense; they do not make friends with sinners, nor do they keep company with oppressors; they are occupied with useful works and do not waste their time; they are familiar with the Book of God and know what is permissible and what is forbidden; they do not deny the scholar’s teachings and avoid being hostile to him, but rather they answer his invitation and rush to his help when he invites them toward the Mahdi in order to gather them for his help.
O Abdullah! Do you think that those who answer my invitation and rush to my aid hope for a share in the world?! It is not so! Because they know that I have nothing in the world to give them, and they will have nothing with me except for staying awake at night and striving during the day, but they seek gardens beneath which rivers flow, and flee from a fire whose fuel is people and stones of sulfur; or do you think that those who oppose me and help my enemies hope for a share in the Hereafter?! It is not so! Because they know that they take the side of the lords of the world and serve the powerful and the rich, and there is no share for them in the Hereafter except for fire. So leave people to choose their path; because they have no choice but to choose.
O Abdullah! Today we have started to pay our debts to the family of Muhammad, and we swear to God that we remain steadfast in this way and do not fear the blame of any blamer. Our purpose for this movement is to prepare the ground for the Mahdi’s advent; our purpose is to create the possibility for his sovereignty. So whoever is with us today will be with us tomorrow, and tomorrow we will be with the one toward whom we are moving today. So surpass one another, May God have mercy on you; because you are the righteous servants of God; those who are considered weak on the earth, and God wants nothing for them but to grant them a favor and make them the inheritors of the world. Surpass one another in helping the man who leads you to the best ways and guides you to the best methods and calls you to the best ends, without asking for any wage or making any claims about himself.
I ask God to pardon and forgive me and you, and I ask Him to make me and you of His helpers and the helpers of His Caliph on the earth; because He is the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, and forgives sins and answers prayers.
Peace and blessings of God be upon you.”