Hadrat Sayyid Ahmad ar- Rifâi used to advise people to guard themselves from overindulging in the things that are neither recommended nor forbidden by religious law, such as overeating and oversleeping. He used to recommend worshipping at night. He also used to recommend keeping away from people who do not know their limits, who behave in excessive manner, who see themselves as superior to others, and who argue with each other.
He used to do his service by himself, repair his own shoes, and carry the firewood which was prepared for him to the houses of people who were sick, orphaned, fallen or without relations or friends.
One Friday, Hz. Rifa’i was sleeping and woke to find that it was time for prayer. However, there was a cat asleep on his robe. He asked his wife for some scissors, cut off the part of his robe where the cat lay, stood up and went to prayers. When he returned, the cat had awakened and left, so he asked his wife for thread to sew the robe back together. When he saw his wife’s displeasure at what he had done to his robe, he said “Do not worry, nothing but goodness happened and I did not suffer because of this; this was a good thing.”
Once, Ahmed Kabir Rifai spent forty days caring for a dog with leprosy in the wilderness. When he returned and was asked why he had spent so much time caring for an unclean beast, he replied, “When I die and meet my Maker, what would I have said if He asked me why I hadn’t helped one of His creatures?”
He helped the blind find their shoes after worship, and also helped guide them to the places that they wanted to go. He respected old people and recommended respecting them. He always used to quote the words of our Prophet Muhammad (saw), “If a person shows respect to old people and those in need, Allah will assign people who will respect them when they are old.”
Hadrat Sayyid Ahmad ar- Rifâi used to go to the houses of the leprous and bedridden, wash their clothes, bring their meals, sit and eat with them, and pray for them. When he heard that the people of his city were sick in a far-off city, he used to visit them. He also cured wounded animals, and said, “Compassion for the creatures of Allah is one of the qualities that bring human beings closer to Allah.”
He was very kind and compassionate to orphans. He would cry for the poor, grow merry with their joy, and behave very modestly towards them. He considered himself as one of them.
Great people in Hadrat Sayyid Ahmad ar- Rifâi ‘s time said, “The most important reason for his reaching his high station was his great kindness to all creatures and his humility.”
He used to show respect to the wise and the experts in the canon law of Islam and wanted everybody else to respect them. He said, “The wise are the leaders and fundamentals of the community.”
Hadrat Sayyid Ahmad ar- Rifâi was not inclined towards worldly things. He did not store any possessions at any time: although he had great wealth, he did not own more than two garments at the same time, either in summer or winter. His wealth was much more than the wealth of governors and famous rich men. He used to distribute his revenue to dervishes and to people who came to the dervish lodge. Upon his passing away, his possessions were given to the people.
He passed to the other side on Thursday, Jamadi al-Awwal 22, 578 A.H. (1183 A.D.), in the town of Wasit, in Basra, Iraq.