Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|purifying the heart|
|09/09/01 at 21:11:28|
Allah also says, "Yawma la yanfa'u malun wa la banuna illa man ata
Allaha bi qalban salim:
on that day, neither wealth nor children will benefit, only the one who
comes to Allah with a pure heart" (26:88-89). The Quran, brings to
light the reality of the day of judgement, saying that it is the class we
belong to or money we have, nor is it nobility, or tribe we belong to
that will matter in the day of judgement. It is having a sound heart that
matters. Now it follows that if some hearts will be sound on that day,
there will be others that will not be sound which means they are
diseased. Every muslim must know of the diseases of the heart, what causes
them, and how to remove them. Al-Ghazzali considers knowledge of the
diseasas of the heart fard 'ayn. Without the knowledge of the diseases and
the medicines of the heart we cannot cure ourselves from them.
Importance of the heart
The prophet saw, said,
indeed there is a lump of flesh in the body, if it is good then the
whole body is good; and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt;
indeed it is the heart. The ulema speak of the qalb as being blind, being
aware, etc. The qalb is called the sovereign of the body, of good and
evil, right and wrong. Ghazali tells us that the qalb is a spiritual
entity but is somehow connected to the physical heart. Even in our own
individual experiences some of us have felt this muscle in our chest tighten
or release based on our spiritual state..
The Quran,mentiones the word "heart" 132 times. Scientists, have spent
money and time to come to the conclusion that the heart is the source
of everything - love, feeling, thinking, and disease. Yet we muslims
have known this for centuries. It was belived that the brain ws the
center of consciousness, yet the Quran clearly states, 7:179
"We have committed to hell multitudes of jinns and humans. They have
hearts with which they do not think or understand, eyes with which they
do not see, and ears with which they do not hear. They are like
animals; no, they are far worse - they are totally unaware."
Types of diseases
The diseases of the heart are classified into two. Shahawaaat and
Shahawa (false desire) and these are things according to ibn qayim
that cause intentions and desires to be corrupted. Among the most obvious
shahawat are food, sleep, sex, and speech
In relation to food, when one looses his freedom to it and becomes a
slave to it, then this corrupts the heart. Onece the son of Umar Ibn
Khattab, Abdullah, asked his father, Dad I desire some meat. And umar asked
are you longing for it? . And he said Yes. Umar said to him then this
is israf. This is waste. And you can see the symptoms of it all around
you. Men with walking around with big stomachs who are not aware of the
fact that the consumption of small amounts of food guarantees
tenderness of the heart.
The other shahwah we have to guard against is that if speech. On the
authority of Anas, the Prophet SAW said: "The faith of a servant is not
put right until his heart is put right, and his heart is not put right
until his tongue is put right."1 This shows that the Prophet *saaws* has
made the purification of faith conditional on the purification of the
heart, and the purification of the heart conditional on the purification
of the tongue.
At-Tirmidhi relates in a hadith on the authority of Ibn Umar: "Do not
talk excessively without remembering Allah, because such excessive talk
without the mention of Allah causes the heart to harden, and the person
furthest from Allah is a person with a hard heart."
In relation to the shahwah of the attraction to the opposite sex,
unrestrained glance results in the one who looks becoming attracted to what
he sees, and in the imprinting of an image of what he sees in his
heart. This can result in several kinds of corruption in the heart of the
The Prophet SAW tells us that, "The glance is a poisoned arrow of
shaytan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a
refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he
Allh said after mentioning the verse concerning lowering the gaze,
"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth." [an-Nur (24): 35]
The reason behind this is that the reward is nothing else but a better
light. So whosoever lowers his gaze from the unlawful for the sake of
Allah, He will replace it with something better than it of the same
type. So just as the servant restrained the light of his eye from falling
upon the unlawful, Allah blesses the light of his sight and heart
thereby making him perceive what he would not have seen and understood had
he not lowered his gaze.
shubahat, and these are diseases that relate to understanding. And
this disease afflicts the muslim ummah all over the world. There are some
that will tell you that the hadeeth contain major errors and they will
dwell upon that. Others will argue about the metaphysical reality of
Allah, and make a big deal out of it, Other will confuse Sunnah with
bid'ah (innovation); and claim innovations to be the Sunnah, and the truth
to be falsehood, and falsehood the truth.And this matter is infact
very serious matter. Many scholars have stated that this diseases of the
heart, or the doubt and suspicions that one allows into one's heart,
are more dangerous for a person' faith than lusts and desires. This is
because desires may be satisfied for some time, even long time yet the
person still knows that he is doing wrong but later repent and give up
that evil deed. On the other hand, the doubts and suspicions may linger
in the heart, with no cure, until the person finally leaves Islam
entirely or continues to practice Islam while, in fact, in his heart he does
not have the true faith. And this is a case of a heart that has
strayed or deviated.
He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or
fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the
Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity
follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and
searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except
Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe
in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the
Message except men of understanding. And so Allah tells us not to seek
fitnah. and not to look for hidden meaning that we cannot in reality
comprehend. And this is the basis of humility in searching for knowledge
of this deen.
"Our Lord!" (they say), "Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast
guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the
Grantor of bounties without measure
Curing and Purifying the Heart
Allah mentions that the Quran has come with healing for the heart.
"O people, enlightenment has come to you herein from your Lord, and
healing for anything that troubles your hearts, and guidance, and mercy
for the believers."(10:57) And so we have to study the quran and
reflect upon what it says and implement what we have learnt into our lives.
And we have to be certain that it is only Allah that can cure and guide
our hearts so we have to be certain and believe in Him, because a sound
heart has complete trust in Allah subhanahu wa t'ala
As he mentioned in verse 64:11 "Nothing happens to you except in
accordance with God's will. Anyone who believes in God he will guide his
heart. God is fully aware of all things."
In trying to cure our heart we have to understand the place and
importance of Dhikr, or the rememberace of Allah. The Quran says,
"Isn't it by the dhikr of Allah that the heart is stilled?" The heart
wants to remember Allah subhanahu wa t'ala. When Allah is not
remembered, the heart goes into a state of agitation.
Ibn al-Qayyim said that "There is no doubt that the heart becomes
covered with rust, just as metal dishes - silver, and their like - become
rusty. So the rust of the heart is polished with dhikr (remembrance of
Allah), for dhikr polishes the heart until it becomes like a shiny
mirror. However, when dhikr is abandoned, the rust returns; and when it
commences then the heart again begins to be cleansed. Thus the heart
becoming rusty is due to two matters: sins and ghaflah ( neglecting
remembrance of Allaah ). Likewise, it is cleansed and polished by two things :
istighfaar (seeking Allaah's forgiveness) and dhikr."
We make salat to remember Allah, And Allah tells us to leave what we
are doing and rush to the rememberance of Allah. And so we are gathered
here to remeber Allah. And we pray 5 times a day on time to remember
Guard strictly your prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand
before Allah in a devout manner.
If ye fear (an enemy), pray on foot, or riding, (as may be most
convenient), but when ye are in security, celebrate Allah's praises in the
manner He has taught you, which ye knew not (before). (2:238)
you will see that the ayah that comes before this ayah deals with
devorce and the ayah that comes after it also deals with devorce. And what
Allah is telling us, the ulama have said, is that even when in times of
difficulty, such as devorce, we have to remember Allah.
And so the rememberace of Allah is the air that keeps the heart alive.
And the prophet SAW said
Do the dhikir of Allah till they say he/she is crazy. Yet the fact is
that we are very busy occupying our minds and heart with music and
television, and we hardly even remeber our salat.
And the one that remembers the Prophet *saaws* said, "The difference
between the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not is like
the difference between the living and the dead."3 Our houses have become
the dewlling of the dead. Because we have taken the dhikir of Allah
Aldous Huxley the man who wrote Brave New World, writes "That most
popular and influential of all recent inventions, the radio is nothing
but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes.
And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums. It
penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions, blasts of
sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no
purification or renewal but usually create a craving for daily or even hourly
emotional enemas. This is a man who saw the effect of the radio in 1946,
Think about what he would write about the television whose effect is a
hundred times more. And this we have traded for the dhikir of Allah.
Ibn al-Qayyim writes commenting on the ayah So remember Me-I will
remember you. (2:152) That Even if this were the only reward for the
remembrance of Allah, it would be mercy and honour enough, for such a
heart is always aware and free from wrong actions.
A man once asked Salman, "Which deeds are the best?" He said, "Haven't
you read in the Qur'an:
And the remembrance of Allah is greatest. (29:45)
Ali, Radiallahu Anhu used to carry water for living in Madinah and his
wife the Fatimah used grind corn for a living. I have ground corn till
my hands are blistered she said to Ali, and he told her I have drawn
water till I feel pain my chest. So he suggested to her to go ask the
Prophet SAW to give them a servant. And she went to her father and he
asked her what has brought you Oh fatimah and she was ashamed and said I am
here to give you salaam. Later on She and Ali got the courage to come
to the prophet and ask him for a servant but he refused, telling them
later, I will teach you what is better, say subhannalah, walhamdulilah,
walailahailalah, 33 times each after each prayer and Ali used to say I
never once failed to say them since the messenger of Allah taught us. So
we see here that the Prophet is teaching us that if our heart is right,
cleased trough dhikir, we will not be depressed about the situation we
are in however hard it might be.
As muslims we have have neglected our hearts. Many of the things we do
are things that harden our hearts. Imam Hujjat al-Islam Abu Hamid
al-Ghazali (RahimAllah), said "arguing over matters of fiqh hardens the
heart". The prophet saw left us on a path which he says, I have left you on
a broad road, its night is like its day, none deviates, except he is
destroyed. The early muslims used to have differences, bit they handled
their differences in a civilised manner and their hearts never
separated. Allah has warned:
"And obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall not into disputes, lest
you lose heart and your power depart.." ( 8:47). The early muslims used
to have Ikhtilaf. What we have is tanazuu, and when you have tanazuu,
hearts are separated. The early Muslims' disagreements, Ikhtilaf were
differences of opinion and not reasons for estrangement. They differed but
they did not separate. This was because the unity of hearts and of
objectives was far more important to them than selfish considerations. They
managed to rid themselves of personal weaknesses and set their hearts
We should not Live with resentment,hate, or bitterness, for when the
love of Allah dwells in a heart, there is no space but for love: a
believing heart is a loving heart.
And a loving heart sees the sick and wicked hearts as its patients to
heal and cure. The sahabah used to love the prophet SAW so much and did
all that he told them out of love and not out of fear or force. Allah
tells the Prophet " Have you been harsh and mean-hearted? They have
abandoned you." (3:159) This is the model that we should follow if we are
to affect people around us. And a man once stood up and shouted to
Hassan Al-Bannah, by Allah I hate you and Hassan Al-Baanah replied, by
Allah I love you and the man repeated By Allah I hate you even more, and
Hassan Al-bannah replied to him By Allah I love you even more. This is
the character of a man that started a the forgotten brotherhood of Islam
the modern muslim world has yet to see: Of unrestrained generosity,
concern and true islamic brotherhood as taught by the Prophet SAW. And so
If we are to revive Islam, it has to be trough this forgotten
revolution and not by force.
And what a loss for us if the following sunnah focuses on how the
Prophet (saw) dressed and what he did instead of his noble motivation and
his loving nature. To his heart he pointed and said: "Taqwa (God
consciousness) is here.
And ’Umar (radiyallaahu ’anhu) looked at a youth who was lowering his
head, so he said to him, “What is this! Raise your head, since the
outward humility does not increase what is in the heart.”
[6:126], wherein it is mentioned that whomsoever God pleases, He
extends or expands the individuals breast or heart, And before Allah gives a
great task to the prophet what he does is he expands their chests.
Alam nashrah laka sadrak, and Musa asks Allah rabi shrahli sadri. 'Sharhe
Sadr' means expansion of the breast for the accomodation of greater or
higher knowledge, higher purpose and takwa and Islam. we ask Allah to
have the gates of remembrance opened to us and expand our sudur and
lighten our burden.
We have to realise the importance of the heart and the need to purify
and elevate our hearts. When we pray we put our hand on the chest and
depending on the madhab that you follow, we actually put our hands
directly onver the heart. And when we make sujud, we lower the intelect by
puting the head on the ground, our eyes the sight and hearing and elevate
If heart is submissive, the eyes, ears, head, face, and the rest of the
limbs are submissive; the same goes for whatever emanates from them, to
the extent that it reaches the speech.and because of this, the Prophet
(sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to say in the rukoo’ of his
Prayer, “My sight, hearing, mind, and bone are subservient to You.” And he
said in another narration, “And whatever is carried upon my feet.”
So the actions of the heart are actually connected to the action of the
limbs ... and actions of the limbs without the action of the heart is
of little benefit if any benefit at all.
And one muslima writer writes, What comes form the lips reaches the
ears and what comes form the heart reaches the heart, It is form heart to
heart that the bridges of the future must be built.
"Yaa muqallib al quloob, thabbit qalbee 3alaa deenik."
O Possessor of the hearts, make my heart firm on your Deen.
"Rabbanaa laa tuzigh quloobanaa ba3da idh hadaytanaa, wa hab lanaa min
ladunka raHmah, innaka anta al-wahhaab."
Rough translation: O Lord don't let our hearts go astray after you have
guided them, and bestow upon us your Mercy. Indeed you are the
bestower of everything.
|Re: purifying the heart|
|09/09/01 at 22:56:50|
Who is the author of this article?
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org