Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Some people assume that love of Allah is enough for those who seek to live according to religious morals and earn Allah’s good pleasure. However, Allah informs us that His servants who possess superior morals and love Him also have a genuine fear and respect for Him. Every person who acknowledges Allah with all of His attributes and appreciates His greatness, as well as those who have intelligence and a conscience, will fear and respect Allah to the utmost degree. Allah enables such servants, who also abide by His will, to distinguish good from evil and to observe the limits that He has set for humanity. Allah informs us of the blessings He gives the believers in the following verse:

O you who believe. If you fear [and respect] Allah, He will give you discrimination, erase your bad actions, and forgive you. Allah’s favor is indeed immense. (Surat al-Anfal, 29)

For example, such people do not lie. Even if their self-interests suffer a loss, they will worry about not earning Allah’s good pleasure and thereby earning His retribution. Therefore, they will act in an honest manner. If they indulge in even a moment’s heedlessness and say something that is not right, they will immediately repent and undertake never to repeat that action in the future. Similarly, despite being in great need, they will not try to earn a living through unlawful means because they fear (and respect) Allah.

Every person who does not appropriately fear and respect Allah has his own private boundaries. Even if he is true and honest up to that boundary, he will act according to his own interests beyond it. Those who fear and respect Allah, on the other hand, will never stray from the straight path, regardless of how difficult their situation is. When confronted with any hardship, they immediately turn to Him in complete trust and ask Him to show them a way out.

Allah loves His servants, wills the good for them, is oft-forgiving and merciful, helps them in every instance, and bestows kindness upon His servants without seeking recompense. The idolaters and unbelievers are far away from Allah’s mercy. Our Lord, the possessor of infinite justice, provides for His pious servants who possess a genuine heart and true belief in Allah, and will reward them in this world and the Hereafter. Those who insist on unbelief will suffer the pains of Hell.

So fear [and respect] Allah as much as you are able to, and listen and obey.
(Surat at-Taghabun, 16)

Spend in the way of Allah. Do not cast yourselves into destruction. And do good: Allah loves good-doers. (Surat al-Baqara, 195)

Those who comprehend our Lord’s infinite strength and ability to punish in the Hereafter hold Allah in complete awe and respect. As a result, they are careful not to adopt an attitude that does not earn our Lord’s good pleasure. However, on the other hand, as a result of their genuine and faithful love of Allah, hoping Allah will forgive their sins and accept their repentance, they do their best to earn His good pleasure and be rewarded with Paradise for their striving in His path. The Qur’an mentions the believers’ morals, as follows:

Those who fear [and respect] their Lord in the Unseen will have forgiveness and an immense reward. (Surat al-Mulk, 12)

O you who believe. Fear [and respect] Allah the way He should be feared [and respected], and do not die except as Muslims. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 102)

But those who have fear [and respect] of their Lord will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever: hospitality from Allah. What is with Allah is better for those who are truly good. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 198)

Every believer who genuinely loves Allah will feel a great awe for Allah’s punishment and, by trying not to lose His love and consent, will strive to earn His good pleasure. Allah says of those believers, who have these morals:

But as for anyone who desires the Hereafter and strives for it with the striving it deserves, being a believer, their striving will be gratefully acknowledged. (Surat al-Isra’, 19)
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Symptoms Of the Heart’s Sickness & Signs of Its Health

The Signs of a Sick Heart

A servant’s heart may be ill, and seriously deteriorating, while he remains oblivious of its condition. It may even die without him realising it. The symptoms of its sickness, or the signs of its death, are that its owner is not aware of the harm that results from the damage caused by wrong actions, and is unperturbed by his ignorance of the truth or by his false beliefs.

Since the living heart experiences pain as a result of any ugliness that it encounters and through its recognising its ignorance of the truth (to a degree that corresponds to its level of awareness), it is capable of recognising the onset of decay - and the increase in the severity of the remedy that will be needed to stop it - but then sometimes it prefers to put up with the pain rather than undergo the arduous trial of the cure!

Some of the many signs of the heart’s sickness is its turning away from good foods to harmful ones, from good remedies to shameful sickness. The healthy heart prefers what is beneficial and healing to what is harmful and damaging; the sick heart prefers the opposite. The most beneficial sustenance for the heart is faith and the best medicine is the Qur’ân.

The Signs of a Healthy Heart

For the heart to be healthy it should depart from this life and arrive in the next, and then settle there as if it were one of its people; it only came to this life as a passer-by, taking whatever provisions it needed and then returning home. As the Prophet, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, said to Abdullâh ibn Umar, “Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a passer-by.”[1] The More diseased the heart is, the more it desires this world; it dwells in it until it becomes like one of its own people.

This healthy heart continues to trouble its owner until he returns to Allâh, and is at peace with Him, and joins Him, like a lover driven by compulsion who finally reaches his beloved. Besides his love for Him he needs no other, and after invoking Him no other invocations are needed. Serving Him precludes the need to serve any other.

If this heart misses its share of reciting the Qur’ân and invoking Allâh, or completing one of the prescribed acts of worship, then its owner suffers more distress than a cautious man who suffers because of the loss of money or a missed opportunity to make it. It longs to serve, just as a famished person longs for food and drink.

Yahya ibn Mu‘âdh said: “Whoever is pleased with serving Allâh, everything will be pleased to serve him; and whoever finds pleasure in contemplating Allâh, all the people will find pleasure in contemplating him.”

This heart has only one concern: that all its actions, and its inner thoughts and utterances, are obedient to Allâh. It is more careful with its time than the meanest people are with their money, so that it will not be spent wastefully. When it enters into the prayer, all its worldly worries and anxieties vanish and it finds its comfort and bliss in adoring its Lord. It does not cease to mention Allâh, nor tire of serving Him, and it finds intimate company with no-one save a person who guides it to Allâh and reminds it to Him.

Its attention to the correctness of its action is greater than its attention to the action itself. It is scrupulous in making sure that the intentions behind its actions are sincere and pure and that they result in good deeds.

As well as and in spite of all this, it not only testifies to the generosity of Allâh in giving it the opportunity to carry out such actions, but also testifies to its own imperfection and shortcomings in executing them.

The Causes of Sickness of the Heart

The temptations to which the heart is exposed are what cause its sickness. These are the temptations of desires and fancies. The formers cause intentions and the will to be corrupted, and the latter cause knowledge and belief to falter.

Hudhayfa ibn al-Yamanî, may Allâh be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allâh said, ‘Temptations are presented to the heart, one by one. Any heart that accepts them will be left with a black stain, but any heart that rejects them will be left with a mark of purity, so that hearts are of two types: a dark heart that has turned away and become like an overturned vessel, and a pure heart that will never be harmed by temptation for as long as the earth and the heavens exist. The dark heart only recognises good and denounces evil when this suits its desires and whims.’ ”[2]

He, may Allâh bless him and grant him peace, placed hearts, when exposed to temptation, into two categories:

First, a heart which, when it is exposed to temptation, absorbs it like a sponge that soaks up water, leaving a black stain in it. It continues to absorb each temptation that is offered to it until it is darkened and corrupted, which is what he meant by “like an overturned vessel”. When this happens, two dangerous sicknesses take hold of it and plunge it into ruin:

The first is that of its confusing good with evil, to such an extent that it does not recognise the former and does not denounce the latter. This sickness may even gain hold of it to such an extent that it believes good to be evil and vice-versa, the sunnah to be bid‘a and vice-versa, the truth to be false and falsity to be the truth.

The second is that of its setting up its desires as its judge, over and above what the Prophet taught, so that it is enslaved and led by its whims and fancies.

Second, a pure heart which the light of faith is bright and from which its radiance shines. When temptation is presented to pure hearts such this, they oppose it and reject it, and so their light and illumination only increase.

copied from: http://www.angelfire.com/al/islamicpsychology/tazkiyah.html
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