Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Exposition of The Hearts: Part 1

Category: SOUND

These are excerpts from An Exposition of the Hearts, an English translation of Mukashafah al-Qulub al-Muqarrib ila Hadrah 'Allam al-Ghuyub which is an abridged version of Mukashafah al-Qulub al-Akbar by Imam al-Ghazali (ra).

Recorded by az-Zabidi in Ittihaf as-Sadah al-Muttaqin bi Sharh Ihya' 'Ulum ad-Din:
"The reality of remembrance [of Allah] cannot be realized in the heart except after inhabiting it with taqwa and purifying it from reproachable traits. If not, this remembrance will merely be [like a person] speaking to himself. This has no power over the heart nor can it repulse Satan. ... Just as your supplications are not answered because the prerequisites of supplication are not present, in like manner you remember Allah and Satan does not flee from you because the prerequisites of remembrance are not present."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

"If the soul is not stopped from some of the lawful things, it will desire the unlawful things."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

"The ailments of the heart cannot be treated except through knowledge and practicing on that knowledge."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "He who fills his eyes with the unlawful, Allah will fill his eyes on the day of resurrection with the fire."

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "When a morsel of unlawful food goes into the stomach of a person, every angel in the earth and the heaven curses him as long as that morsel remains in his stomach. If he dies in that state, his abode is Hell."

"Do not fear people, but fear Me." (5:44)

"As for he who transgressed and preferred the life of this world, Hell alone is his abode. As for he who feared standing before his Sustainer and stopped his soul from from lower desires [lust, etc], then Paradise alone is his abode." (79:37-41)

It is reported from the Prophet (saw) that Allah says: "When a servant is afflicted by a calamity and he turns to Me, I shall give him before he even asks Me, and I shall accept his supplication even before he supplicates to Me. And when a servant is afflicted by a calamity and he turns to the creation to My exclusion, I shall shut the gates of the heavens upon him."

Ad-Dahhak (ra) said: "A person who is not put through a test either by some affliction, worry or calamity every forty days, then there is no good for him in the sight of Allah."

Wahb ibn Munabbih (ra) narrates that a Prophet worshipped Allah for 50 years. So Allah inspired to him saying: "I have certainly forgiven you." He asked Allah "O my Sustainer! Why are you forgiving me when I have never committed a sin?" So Allah ordered a vein of his to palpitate fiercely. Consequently, he did not sleep that night. When the morning angel came to him, he complained to him about the palpitation of his vein. The angel replied: "Your Sustainer says to you that your worship of 50 years does not equal this complaint about this vein of yours."

"O man! You should know that the soul that has been commanded to evil is a greater enemy to you than Satan and that Satan gets the upper hand over you through the whims and desires of the soul. Your soul should therefore not delude you with false hopes and deception. ... Its invitation is baseless and everything from it is a deception. If you are pleased with it and follow its dictates, you will be destroyed. If you are negligent in taking it to account, you will drown. If you are unable to act against it and follow its desires, it will drive you towards the fire. There is no return for the soul towards good. It is the head of trials and tribulations, the mine of disgrace, the treasure house of Satan, and the source of every evil. None but its Creator truly knows it. Fear Allah for surely Allah knows all that you do, be it good or evil. When a servant ponders over his life that has passed in search of his hereafter, this pondering will be a cleansing of the heart."
-Imam al-Ghazali (ra)

The Messenger of Allah said: "pondering for a little while is better than a year's worship." As stated in the Tafsir of Abu al-Layth. It is therefore the duty of an intelligent person to repent from past sins and to ponder over those things that will take him closer [to Allah] and with which he will gain salvation in the hereafter. He should also curtail all his hopes, hasten in repentance, engage in the remembrance of Allah, abstain from the prohibitions, impose himself to patience, and abstain from following the desires of the soul. This is because the soul is an idol. The one who worships the soul is actually worshipping an idol. And the person who worships Allah with devotion, he is the one who has subjugated his soul.

^ [Note, Imam al-Ghazali is using slightly different terminology here, referring to what we might know as the Nafs or Self as just the soul, not to be confused with the pure Ruh or soul. From our perspective, both are from inside of us and some might not even be able to tell the difference between the two.]

Source: An Exposition of The Hearts by Imam al-Ghazali (ra)