بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
We spend so much time trying to rectify our limbs but we often forget that we need to rectify something else before that: our hearts.
Why? Well, because of the following hadeeth:
[I’m only putting the last portion.]
ألا وإن في الجسد مضغة : إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كله ، وإذا فسدت فسد الجسد كله ، ألا وهي القلب
The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam said): “Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 50]
[So much for all those people who disobey Allah all the time and then have the nerve to say “But my heart is clean”!]
So, how does one know if one’s heart is sick and needs to be rectified? Here’s an article by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) where he mentions some signs of a diseased heart:
Signs of a Diseased Heart
Ibn ul Qayyim (Rahimahullah) mentions in his monumental book Ighatha tul Lahfan min Masa’id ush Shatan Vol. 1 Pg. 68:
“Every muscle in the body was created to execute a specific function, by which, it can obtain the pinnacle of its performance. And the sickness of that particular body part is its failure to execute the function for which it was created or having some level of deficiency in performing it, if it even functions at all.
The sickness of the hand is its inability to grab or clutch. The sickness of the eye is its inability to see or observe. The sickness of the tongue is its inability to utter. The sickness of the body is its inability to move in the natural order it was created to or its deficiency in doing do. The sickness of the heart is its inability to execute the functions it was created to perform such as; being conscious of Allah, knowing Allah, loving Allah, desiring to meet Allah and turning constantly towards Him, while giving precedence to this over the heart’s every ardent desire.
Consequently, if the slave knows everything else but fails to know Allah, it is as if he knows absolutely nothing. Even if he achieves some share or portion of what this transient life has to offer (from its many pleasures and desires) but fails to develop a solid intimate relationship with Allah which produces an ardent desire to meet Him emerging from a strong love of Him, then he has failed to achieve the bliss this life has to offer as well as forfeited the ultimate pleasure of his eye.
Rather if the heart is completely void of the knowledge of Allah and the desire to meet Him, then all of what he obtained from the pleasures and delights of this life will inevitably become a punishment for him. Thus he becomes a punisher of his own self, with the same exact thing he thought he was granting himself happiness and pleasure with. And this is from two angles:
The First: Because of the sorrow and grief that resulted from his forfeiture and his desire of the transient things of this life, it became a barrier between him and obtaining what his soul was utterly attached to.
The Second: Because he forfeited what was better, more beneficial and longer lasting for him, in that he never achieved it.
Hence, the beloved thing he attained was actually forfeited and the more beloved thing was never even achieved. Everyone who truly knows Allah loves Him and devotes his worship to Him sincerely and completely and does not give precedence to the other things that are beloved to him over Allah. And whoever does so, his heart is truly sick. Similar to the intestines of the human being, if it gives precedence to unhealthy food over food that is healthy, it loses its desire for the food that is actually healthy and accustoms
itself to the unhealthy food.
It is possible for the heart to become sick, and the sickness will continue to increase while the individual does not even realize it, due to his preoccupation and negligence regarding its wellbeing and the means by which this wellbeing is acquired. Rather the heart can die while the individual is not even aware of its demise. The indication that the heart is sick is that it is not affected by the injurious nature of evil, not bothered by the fact that it is ignorant of the haqq (i.e. truth), and its beliefs are flawed.
The heart that is full of life is affected by the injurious nature of evil and harmed by its ignorance of the truth based upon the extent of its life. But it is possible that the individual can recognize the sickness of his heart, however, tolerating the bitterness of the medicine to cure it could be just as painful as the sickness itself.
Thus he gives precedence to the continuity of the sickness over the difficulties found in the remedy because the remedy actually opposes his desires and this is the most difficult thing for the soul but there is nothing more beneficial for it.
At times the individual accustoms himself to patience then it dissolves and his steadfastness weakens and eventually subsides due to his lack of knowledge, foresight and impatience, like a person who traverses upon a frightening path that actually leads to safety and security. And he knows that if he exerts patience the fear will subside and he will attain the safety and security he desires.
Nonetheless, he is in dire need of unyielding perseverance and certainty about the path upon which he is traversing. And whenever his patience and certainty weakens he will turn back from the path and will not be able to endure the difficulties of it, especially if he is alone without a companion to traverse this path with him. He will begin to say: “Where did all the people go? I need someone to emulate!”
This is the state of most people and is also the main component of their destruction. So the one who is truly knowledgeable, never feels alienated because there is a lack of camaraderie upon the path he is traversing or because he was abandoned, especially when his heart recognizes that it has a camaraderie with the foremost generation, those upon whom Allah has bestowed His bounty upon from the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous, and how great is the company of these individuals.
Therefore the ability of the slave to traverse this path alone in search of his success is, in itself, proof of the sincerity in his quest.Ishaaq Ibn Ra’huyah (Rahimahullah), one of the contemporaries of Imam Ahmad, was asked about an issue and when he replied to it, someone said to him: “Your brother Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was asked the same question and responded with the same reply as you did!” So Ishaaq said: “I didn’t think anyone would agree with me in this issue!“
Thus Ishaaq didn’t feel alienated because no one agreed with him about the matter, even before the truth of the matter became apparent to everyone else and this is because, when the truth becomes apparent, it is not in need of anyone to testify on its behalf. For the heart can see the truth just as the eye can see the sun. If the individual sees the sun with his own eyes his knowledge and belief regarding it, is not in need of anyone testifying or agreeing to the confirmation of its rising.
Translated by Abu Azzubayr Shadeed Muhammad 1/26/11 corresponding to the 21st of Safar 1432H. USA.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
When we think of mercy, we generally think of soft-hearted, easygoing people.
Why? Well, I guess it’s because we don’t see how any form of toughness (from our perspective) could be called “mercy”.
Ever heard of “tough love”? It’s when Person A show some toughness towards Person B in order for the latter to improve in the long run. So, Person A is actually showing MERCY to Person B.
Don’t worry. Just read the following brilliant article by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) and then you’ll understand, insha-Allah.
Oh and make sure you read the last sentence. That’s just mind-blowing.
True Rahmah (Mercy) by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah)
Who are the hypocrites exactly?
Well, they are outwardly Muslim but inwardly they are disbelievers. Basically, their life is one big show.
Why do we need to learn about their characteristics? Is it so that we can “spot” them?
Well, at the end of the day, only Allah knows who is a truly a hypocrite as this is a matter of the unseen (as it relates to the condition of a person’s heart).
So, if we can’t really “spot” them, why do we need to know their characteristics?
Well, it’s so that we can see if the person in the mirror has any of these qualities.
You see, many of the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum) were afraid of falling into hypocrisy.
If they felt afraid, then what about us???
There was a nice quote I read from Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri (rahimahullah) where he pointed out that only a believer fears hypocrisy and only a hypocrite feels safe from it!
Here’s a book that details the characteristics of the hypocrites as mentioned in the Quran.
Characteristics of the Hypocrites by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah)
My friend sent me this mind-blowing article via email.
Really thought-provoking stuff….
My friend also pointed out how the world would be a much happier place to live in if we applied these rules. So true…
A Precious Gem: The Complaint of the Ignorant, Ibn Al-Qayyim
Source : Al Fawaid (taken from the English translation of the book) p. 134
The ignorant people complain to people about Allaah, and this is the highest degree of ignorance, for if he had known his Lord, he would not have complained about Him, and if he had known the people he would not have complained to them.
One of the predecessors saw a man complaining to another man about his poverty and dire necessity. He said to him, ‘O you! By Allaah, you have done nothing but complain about He who has mercy for you, to the one who has no mercy for you’.
The following verses have been mentioned about the meaning of the previous statement of the predecessor.
When you complain to a son of Adam
verily you complain about the Most Merciful
to the one who does not pity.
On the contrary, the person who is profoundly knowledgeable about Allaah complains to Allaah alone. And the most knowledgeable person about Allaah is the one who complains about himself to Allaah, and never to people. He complains about the causes that make people do wrong to him, for he knows about the following Qur’anic verses,
‘And whatever of misfortune befalls you it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much’ (Ash-Shura, 42: 30)
‘Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.’ (An-Nisa, 4: 79)
‘(What is the matter with you?). When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: ‘From where does this come to us?’ Say (to them), ‘It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds). ‘And Allaah has power over all things. (Aal-Imran, 3: 165)
Therefore, there are three levels:
the lowest one is to complain about Allaah to his creatures,
the highest one is to complain about yourself to Him
and the middle one is to complain about His creatures to Him.
May Allaah make us from those who complain to Him alone about ourselves, He the Majestic and Most High, Ameen.
Note: Sorry, that “love” post will be delayed for another day due to unavoidable circumstances.
However, I would like to share some words of Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) about the love of Allah, as it is relevant to the article that I’m going to write.
You might be thinking “Huh? Love of Allah has some relevance to Valentine’s Day and celebrating the Prophet’s (salallahu alahi wasallam) birthday??”.
Yes, of course. It has everything to do with the topic. You’ll see, insha-Allah.
Here are the Imam’s words. They’re from a poem of his.
Love of Allah (Poem)
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Excerpted from An-Nooniyyah
The love of the Beloved
must be unconditionally returned.
If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretense.
You love the enemies of your Beloved
and still seek love in return.
You fight the beloved of your Beloved.
Is this Love or the following of shaytaan?
True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.
We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.
They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.
Remember the elephants? We talk about their wonderful memories but we never talk about their trunks.
Why do they have those huge snouts after all? Do we stop to think?
In the Quran, Allah has repeatedly asked us to ponder over His creation but do we?
I just found this intriguing article by Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) on the wisdom behind the elephant having a trunk.
Please read it and ponder over it.
The Elephant’s Trunk
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Reference: Miftaah Daar As sa’aadah: 2/145.
Ponder over the elephant’s trunk and the incredible wisdom behind its creation, for indeed it takes the place of the hand as in regards to the handling of food and water and putting them in its mouth. If it wasn’t for its trunk, the elephant would not be able to handle anything that is on the ground, because it does not have a neck that it can stretch like the rest of the animals. So because of this it was given in its place a long trunk. And it [the elephant] was given the ability to extend, lift, twist and do what it pleases with it. And it was created as a dry container that is soft to the touch. So with it, it handles its needs, carries what it wants into its mouth, stores in it what it wants as well as give and take what it wants.
So ask the Mu’atil : Who is the one that has compensated and replaced for it [the elephant] a limb [trunk] in the place of what He didn’t give it [neck] that which takes its place and accomplishes all the actions of the neck except Al Ra’oof (The Most Kind) Ar Raheem (The Most Merciful) with His creation, Who takes care of their welfare and is Lateef (Most Subtle, Most Courteous) with them? And how could this come about if there was negligence? Or if His custodianship, Baraa’a (Invention) and creation without a prior example were absent from the world, La Ilha Ila Huwa Al ‘Azeez Al Hakeem. (There is no deity worthy of worship except Him the All Mighty, the All Wise).
And if you were to ask:
“Why didn’t He create for it a neck like the rest of the animals and what is the wisdom behind that?”
It has been said, and Allaah knows best of the wisdom behind His creation: That this is because the elephant’s head and ears are enormous as well as heavy. So if it had a neck like the rest of the animals it would collapse because of their weight, or be extremely weakened from carrying them. So He made its head stuck to its body in order that it does not feel fatigue from the weight and effort. And He created for it [elephant] in place of a neck, this long trunk that enables it to feed itself . When an animal has a long neck because of certain wisdom in that, its head is small when compared to the size of its body in order that its neck is not harmed or weakened by its weight.
So Subhaan Allaah (Glorified be Allaah) whose wisdom has far surpassed the accountability of those who try to count and the limit of those who try to limit it.
[Okay, this is really a sneaky attempt to continue Project “Give Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) sadaqah jaariyah”.]
Many of us (or perhaps all of us?) underestimate the bad effects that sins have on our lives. To us, a sin we committed might just be a “little” one but its repercussions might be grave.
Sadly, the one month where many Muslims try to avoid committing sins is Ramadan. Outside that, many people do not seem to care. Yes, a lot of us try to continue doing good deeds after Ramadan, but very few of us try to stop sinning.
One of the main reasons for this is that these sins are not recognised as being such.
For example, you’ll see most Muslim women refuse to touch alcohol. Why? Because it’s a big sin to drink it, they’ll say. Well, many of these same women do not wear hijab. Why? Well, one reason is weakness of iman. Another reason is because they think that not covering one’s body is a “little” thing. They do not realise that not wearing hijab, like drinking alcohol, is a major sin.
[By the by, major sins need to be repented from in order to be forgiven. Doing good deeds won’t erase them. That only works for minor sins.]
Anyway, here’s a lecture on this topic based on writings of Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah). I’ve put the translation of that below the lecture.
The Effects of Sins by Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) (Download)