(Riyada). Throughout the initial stages of the Journey of Return to Allah, when the traveller is in a condition of disequilibrium, he is required to exert himself in spiritual struggle and ascetic discipline (riyada). By applying himself to the discipline of his ego and opposing its desires, he may come to a greater understanding of his purpose in life. With Allah's Grace this will bring him to a state of greater harmony and balance. As with all of the methods of the higher teaching, ascetic discipline is a 'means' and not an 'end in itself'. When perfect balance is attained the knower of Allah replaces his asceticism with moderation. The greatest riyada of the knowledgeable slave is to refrain from denying Allah in any form and from delimiting Allah by Incomparability. Allah is absolutely incomparable with any declaration of His Incomparability, because such a declaration delimits Allah!