In the previous article, three states of the heart along with its spiritual reform were brought to light. Moreover, the doors of the heart, i.e. the desires of Nafs and cure for them were also discussed.
(3) The third door through which Satan can enter the heart is love for home, clothes and possessions. One who falls in this love indulges in beautification and ornamentation. Sometimes, he gets a new mobile phone or a new car just for a different colour and latest model; and at times he moves to a posher area. He remains engrossed in enhancing his status in the worldly life. Almighty Allah has said:
زُیِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوٰتِ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ وَ الْبَنِیْنَ وَ الْقَنَاطِیْرِ الْمُقَنْطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَ الْفِضَّةِ وَ الْخَیْلِ
الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَ الْاَنْعَامِ وَ الْحَرْثِؕ-ذٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَیٰوةِ الدُّنْیَاۚ-وَ اللّٰهُ عِنْدَهٗ حُسْنُ الْمَاٰبِ(۱۴)
Beautified for people is the love for what they desire; (of) women, and sons, and accumulation of heaps of gold and silver, and branded horses, and cattle and crops; all this is the possession of this worldly life. And it is Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ with Whom is the best abode. [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 3, Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ayah 14)
It is stated in a blessed Hadees, ‘Love for the world is the basis (root) of every evil.’ (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 7, pp. 323, Hadees 10457)
Admittedly, if someone gets a home and other things so as to meet his needs, he will not be taken to task. However, if he indulges in the love for these things, adorning and ornamenting them all the time, this is not something praiseworthy at all. If a person is immensely interested in getting a luxurious home, nice clothes and valuable things, this is certainly a sign of a heedless heart. And, abundance of valuables and wealth poses a high risk of creating arrogance or boastfulness or self-admiration or love for respect in the heart.
A characteristic of worldly pleasures is that the more a person gains them, the more he gets desirous of them. And there is no limit to it. Similarly, the more this heedlessness increases, the more he will become heedless of Divine remembrance.
Here is a cure for it. Instead of thinking about women, hoarding up gold and silver, vehicles and huge wealth in the world; one should relish the thought of having an abundance of these things in Paradise. He should accumulate the wealth of reward by sending worldly wealth to the Hereafter, i.e. by giving it to charity. He should replace love for wealth with love for the Gracious Lord and should enhance it. He should also continue to ponder over the fact that ‘worldly things may take me away from the court of my Beloved Lord. Therefore, I should be careful.’ To stay mentally alert in this way is very beneficial.
(4) The fourth door that Satan can enter the heart through is anger
Anger makes a person unable to use his mind properly and paves the way for Satan to attack. Anger is such a satanic trap that anyone falling into it becomes like a ball that Satan plays with. In anger, a man ends up saying such words that cause loss to him in this world and in the Hereafter and even ruin his faith. Having the power to vent anger gives rise to oppression; otherwise, anger brings about malice, jealousy, enmity and divorce. This also breaks off relations and may even result in bloodshed. All these issues take away comfort and solace from the life of a person and fill it with hatred and enmity. Similarly, anger leads to wrong decisions. On the contrary, ignoring the feeling of anger and forgiving others bring about solace and comfort, removing burden from the heart and the mind. And, such a person is included in the bondsmen liked by Almighty Allah.
Almighty Allah has said:
وَ الْكٰظِمِیْنَ الْغَیْظَ وَ الْعَافِیْنَ عَنِ النَّاسِؕ-وَ اللّٰهُ یُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِیْنَۚ(۱۳۴)
And who restrain anger and forgive people, and the righteous people; are the beloveds of Allah.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 4, Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ayah 134)
Here is a practical cure for anger. One should get rid of those causes which heighten the feeling of anger in the human psyche. By doing so, one will not feel intense anger or will not feel anger at all. Among those causes is the companionship of quarrelsome people who vent their anger even due to minor matters. Therefore, one should part company with such people. Likewise, there are several cures for it. For example, when one feels anger, he should repeatedly recite اعوذ باللّٰە من الشیطن الرجیم or لاحول ولا قوۃ الا باللّٰہ. Second, one should make Wudu with cold water. Third, one should sit down if he is standing. If sitting, one should lie down. Fourth, one should engage oneself in some other activity right away. One way of it is to count down. Fifth, one should say to oneself, ‘Weak is the person who gets dominated by anger and brave is the one who suppresses his anger.’ Sixth method is that one should say to oneself, ‘I am venting anger towards others over such a matter. If Almighty Allah inflicts wrath on me for such a minor matter, what will become of me? Therefore, I should control my anger so that Allah Almighty will also turn His wrath away from me.’
The fifth door that Satan enters the heart through is the impurity of human thoughts. Purity of thoughts is vitally needed. If a person has got a dirty mind, dirty thoughts will get deeply rooted in his heart. Then he starts putting those thoughts into actions. Therefore, a prayer has been narrated in a blessed Hadees for our guidance: اَللّٰھم انی اسالک ان تطھر قلبی ‘O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! I ask you to purify my heart.’ (Mu’jam-e-Awsat, vol. 4, pp. 354, Hadees 6218) Any thought that crosses one’s mind should be scrutinized in the light of Shari’ah. If it is in conformity with Shari’ah, it’s good; otherwise, bad. There are two types of thoughts. One is the type of thoughts that a person intentionally thinks about; such as he thinks of going to Makkah and Madinah or, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ forbid, he thinks about going to a place of sin or committing sin. The other is the sort of thoughts that come into the mind of a person unintentionally. These thoughts might be good or bad. The thoughts of the first type are under one’s control. An easy way of purifying them is to think about only good things. As for coping with the thoughts of the second type which come into one’s mind unintentionally, one should intentionally start thinking about good things or focusing his attention towards the Almighty. This will push bad thoughts out of one’s mind because one can think about only one thing at a time, using his brain. Another way is to engage oneself in Divine remembrance, as is declared by Almighty Allah:
اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ اتَّقَوْا اِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طٰٓىٕفٌ مِّنَ الشَّیْطٰنِ تَذَكَّرُوْا فَاِذَاهُمْ مُّبْصِرُوْنَۚ(۲۰۱)
Indeed those who fear (Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ); whenever a temptation from the devil touches them, they become alert, and at that very moment, their eyes open-up.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 9, Surah Al-A`raaf, Ayah 201)
Moreover, protection of eyes from unlawful gazing plays an important role in the purity of thoughts. One who indulges in unlawful gazing cannot have pure thoughts. Therefore, one should follow the above-mentioned pieces of advice. اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه, he will be blessed with the purity of thoughts along with the wealth of a pure heart and satisfied soul.
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قُلُوبَنَا عَلَى دِينِكَ
Translation: O the One Who turns hearts! Keep our hearts steadfast in Your religion.
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 6, pp. 198, Hadees 17647)
اللَّهُمَّ يَا مُصَرِّفَ الْقُلُوبِ صَرِّفْ قُلُوبَنَا عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ
Translation: O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ who turns over the hearts. Turn over our hearts towards Your obedience.
(Al-Asma-wa-Sifaat Lil-Bayhaqi, vol. 1, pp. 371, Hadees 298)