The states of hearts (Part 2)

Almighty Allah has said:

وَ لَا تُخْزِنِیْ یَوْمَ یُبْعَثُوْنَۙ(۸۷) یَوْمَ لَا یَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَّ لَا بَنُوْنَۙ(۸۸) اِلَّا مَنْ اَتَى اللّٰهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِیْمٍؕ(۸۹)

‘And do not make me face disrespect on the Day when everyone will be raised.’ ‘The Day when neither wealth will benefit nor sons.’ ‘Except he, who presented himself in the Majestic Court of Allah, with a pure heart.’

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 19, Surah Ash-Shu’ara, Ayah 87 - 89)

In the previous part of the article, a ‘pure heart’ and its other kinds were brought to light. Summarized here are the main points: The apparent reform of the physical body depends upon the spiritual reform of the heart. You have also known about the three states of the heart. The greatest state is the one in which the heart is pure, spiritually clean, free from the desires of Nafs, engrossed in Divine love and is a seeker of Divine will. On the contrary, there is also the worst state in which the heart is heedless of Divine remembrance, captured by the desires of Nafs, careless about Halal and Haraam and heavily polluted with sins. Besides, there is also the third state in which the heart is like a battleground of good and bad thoughts.

Now a question arises as to how the heart can be reformed. Presented here is its method with the help of an example. The heart is like a castle where the enemy wants to break in and to rule. There are many doors leading to this castle. One of the doors is greed. Greed is deep-rooted in the human temperament. It is stated in the Holy Quran: And the heart is trapped in greed [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran] (Part. 04, Surah An-Nisa, Ayah 128) At another place, this behaviour and mentality have been described like this: Say you (O Beloved), ‘If you possessed the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, you would have held it back as well out of fear that it may get spent; and man is a great miser.’ [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 15, Surah Bani Israel, Ayah 100) Since greed is a bad trait and it is hard to root it out, the Holy Quran has declared that getting rid of greed is an enormous success. Almighty Allah has said: And whoever is saved from the greed of his own-self, so it is only they who are successful. [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 28, Surah Al-Hashr, Ayah 09)

It’s a fact that greed blinds man [to the truth]. The fire of getting more and more wealth does not get extinguished even after gaining a lot of wealth. Instead, this fire blazes up even more strongly. It is stated in a Hadees, ‘If the son of Adam possesses two valleys of wealth or gold, he will certainly look for the third valley. It is only the soil (of the grave) that can fill the stomach of the son of Adam.’ (Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 228, Hadees 6436)

Cure for greed by knowledge

Greed for the world should be replaced with greed for the hereafter. But, this will not be achieved just by saying a few sentences. Instead, repeated contemplation and meditation are required. This cure has been derived from another verse of the Holy Quran. Gracious Allah has said: Indeed the righteous ones are definitely in serenity. (Reclining) on thrones, looking (at the bounties of Paradise) You will recognise the freshness of serenity on their faces. They will be given pure wine to drink, which is kept, sealed. Its seal is of musk; and for this, let those aspire, who are aspirers. [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 30, Surah Al-Mutaffifeen, Ayah 22 - 26) Here is the method of pondering over these verses: Compare the favours of Paradise with the pleasures of the world. For instance, compare [temporary] rest in the world with [never-ending] solace in the hereafter; on the one hand, there are small wooden thrones here in the world but, on the other, there are splendid gold and silver thrones studded with diamonds and gems in the hereafter; there are scenes of worldly gardens here but there are the beautiful and wonderful scenes of heavenly gardens in the hereafter; in the world, there is the pleasure of eating food, drinking water, etc. and then showing happiness through facial expressions but, in the hereafter, there is the enjoyment of everlasting and never-ending pleasant favours of Paradise that brings a glow and radiance on faces; here in the world, there is intoxicating, impure, smelly and adulterated wine but, in Paradise, there is neat, clean, attractive, refined, unadulterated and pure wine full of flavour and pleasure; in the world, women are beautiful but they are mortal, disloyal and selfish but, maidens in Paradise are loyal, immortal and amazingly beautiful. Above all, Heaven-dwellers will be blessed with beholding the Gracious Lord. سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه! Make comparison in this way again and again and recite what Almighty Allah has said ‘and for this, let those aspire, who are aspirers. [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 30, Surah Al-Mutaffifeen, Ayah 26) Doing this practice a few times will gradually take away greed for the world from the heart, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.

There is also a practical cure for greed. If one feels being driven by greed on an inappropriate occasion and without any purpose, one should not fulfil the desire that is based on this greed. For example,

1        If a person already possesses enough wealth that can fulfil his needs and he is already enjoying proper living standards but still his heart is greedy for more wealth; he should not fulfil this desire.

2        Similarly, if someone has already eaten food in a sufficient quantity but his Nafs longs for eating more good just for pleasure; he should keep from fulfilling this desire.

3        If someone is always dreaming of luxury vehicles, pleasures, outings and excursions; he should turn his thoughts towards good things.

4        On a daily basis, he should give up at least one such thing that is related to greed so that his Nafs gets used to getting rid of greed.

Another door through which the enemy, i.e. Satan, can enter the heart is love for wealth. This love plays an active part in making a bondman heedless of the Divine remembrance. This is the reason why it has been stated in the Holy Quran: ‘The desire to seek more wealth has kept you neglectful (from the remembrance of Allah). Until you (died and) confronted the graves. [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 30, Surah At-Takasur, Ayah 01- 02) Moreover, Almighty Allah has already warned: ‘And know that your wealth and your children all are a test [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 09, Surah Anfaal, Ayah 28) Likewise, Allah particularly commanded Muslims to refrain from getting heedless of Divine remembrance as a result of being infatuated with wealth and offspring: ‘O believers! Let not your wealth or your children (or) anything cause you to neglect the remembrance of Allah.[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 09, Surah Anfaal, Ayah 28) The Holy Quran has also declared that Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ very much likes those bondmen who do not get heedless of Divine remembrance despite being busy with wealth and trade. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has said: ‘Those men, whom neither any trade nor any sale distract from the remembrance of Allah.[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part. 18, Surah Noor, Ayah 37)

A knowledge-based method of closing the door which Satan can enter the heart through is that one should ponder over Ahadees about ‘Condemnation of wealth’ and ‘Virtues of pious deeds and generosity.’ This will provide motivation for spending wealth, reducing love for it. Another method is that one should ponder over his death in this way, ‘So many children, young people, friends and relatives died quite suddenly with wistful hearts, leaving their wealth in the world. What I will leave will be used by others but it is me who will be held accountable for earning wealth.’ 

A practical method of closing this door is that one should get into the habit of spending wealth on good deeds. For example,

1        One should spend wealth on the acts of worship such as Hajj and Umrah.

2        He ought to spend wealth on the construction and renovation of mosques and Madrasahs, earning continuous reward.

3        He should give Sadaqah to the destitute, the poor and other deserving people.

4        From time to time, he should give some gifts to his relatives and Islamic brothers.

5        He should spend wealth on his employees and servants.

Without specifying any purpose, he should do some act of charity for general public; for example, he should have a dispensary opened from where people can get medicines for free or he should make water available at a place where water will be served to people for free, etc. He should do all of these works by forcing himself so that he gets into the habit of doing them. If he feels fear of destitution in his heart while spending wealth on these pious actions, he should keep it in mind the Lord Who has created him will also provide him with sustenance. If he adopts these methods constantly, the spiritual state of his heart will continue to improve, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.  (The remainder of the article will be published in the next part.)

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