Category Archives: Heart Softeners
Ibn al Qayyim said in al Fawā’id:
There are ten matters that are not benefitted from:
- Knowledge that is not acted upon.
- Actions that lack sincerity and any guidance from the Prophet (saw).
- Wealth that has no charity given from it, so as a result, its owner does not benefit from it in the dunyā or the hereafter.
- An empty heart that is devoid of the love of Allāh (swt), as well as a desire to meet Him and finding intimacy with Him.
- A body that is inactive in worshipping and serving Him.
- Love (of Allāh) that is not governed by the pleasure of the Beloved and the fulfillment of His commandments.
- Moments of inactivity that are not used to make up for deficiencies or seizing the opportunity to do righteous deeds.
- Thinking of non-beneficial matters.
- Serving those that do not bring you closer to Allāh or benefit you in your dunyā.
- Fearing and having hope in those whose forelocks are in the hands of Allāh (swt), thus being a captive in His grasp not being able to possess any (control of) benefit, evil, death, life or resurrection.
The greatest of these losses are two, and they are considered to be the source of all losses:
- The loss of the heart.
- The loss of time.
The loss of the heart occurs when one gives preference to the dunyā over the afterlife and the loss of time occurs as a result of having false aspirations for living a long life. Therefore, all forms of evil result from following one’s desires and false aspirations whereas true success lies in following guidance and preparing to meet Allāh (swt).
How strange it is though, that when a person is faced with a (worldly) need, he exerts all of his efforts petitioning to Allāh (swt) to see to his need. However, he does not implore his Lord to ask Him to give life to his heart from the death of ignorance, shunning as well as from the despair of desires and doubts.
When the heart dies though, it will not recognise when it sins.
Bismillāh ar-Raḥmān ar-Rahīm.
Ibn al Jawzi wrote in Ṣayd al Khāṭir:
Chapter: Desiring that which Allāh (swt) prohibited.
I reflected over the eagerness of man for that which was prohibited and I found that one’s eagerness increases in accordance to the strength of the prohibition. I then found that when Ādam (as) was prohibited from eating from the tree, he only desired it more despite that fact that there were many other trees that he could have eaten from.
There is a well known proverb: “Man is eager for what it was prohibited from and craves for what he has not attained.” (al Marʾ ḥarīṣun ʿalā mā muniʿa wa tawwāqun ʾilā mā lam yanal).
It has also been said: “If man was commanded to be hungry, he would remain patient. However, if he was prohibited from picking at dung he would desire to do it.”
It was also said: “We were not prohibited from something except for a reason and as it is said:
“The most beloved thing to man is that which it was prohibited from doing.”
When I searched for the cause of this I found two causes:
- A person cannot be patient when commanded to be confined to something…Therefore, if a person sat in his home for a month (without be told to do so) it would not be difficult for him. However, if it was said to him not to leave his house for a day, it would be extremely difficult for him.
- A person finds it difficult to be under the rule of someone/something and this is why it finds enjoyment in ḥarām…” (end of quote with some editing).
These reflections of Ibn al Jawzi remind me of the difficulties in upbringing children and how they seem to have a strong sense of curiosity for what they are told not to do. In many cases, if you keep bombarding them with do’s and dont’s they become more frustrated and this is why it is wise to be cautious of over emphasising prohibited matters to the young until they understand the nature and concept of ḥarām matters.
The Prophet (saw) said that: “Hell is surrounded by desires and Paradise by difficult matters that are hated.”
It is interesting to note that the nature of taklīf (legal responsibility) is built upon doing matters which the soul naturally finds distasteful and difficult, such as waking up early in the morning to pray, giving away one’s wealth in charity, abstaining away from food and drink during Ramaḍān etc. However, over time, when one becomes more aware of the inner dimensions of these acts of worship and the benefits behind them, they become dear to him. The Prophet (saw) described the prayer as the “coolness of his eyes” and he would find peace and serenity in his prayers that could not be found elsewhere.
One can only attain high ranks in both the dunyā and dīn when they learn how to resist their carnal desires and temptations as this is the essence of Jihād. The Prophet (saw) said: “The best Jihād is when a man strives against his-self and his desires.” (aṣ-ṣaḥīḥah: 1496).
This is a brief reminder about how to deal with sadness and depression from an Islamic perspective.
Being content with the decree of Allah (swt) that pertains to Allah’s attributes and His actions is compulsory in absolute terms since it is a means to manifest complete contentment with Allah (swt) being one’s Lord.
As for matters which have been decreed (al Maqdiyy); then the ruling of being content with them differs depending on the circumstance.
If the decreed matter pertains to the religion it is compulsory to be content with it in all circumstances.
However, if the decreed matter pertains to a universal matter (i.e. an occurrence, event or action) which will either be: a blessing or affliction or an act of obedience or sin, then the following applies:
- Blessings: It is compulsory to be content with them since that is means to show gratitude for them, which is also compulsory.
- Afflictions: It is recommended to be content with them such as poverty and illnesses. This is according to the majority of scholars although there were some that considered it to be an obligation.
- Acts of obedience: It is compulsory to be content with the act if the act was obligatory and recommended if the act was recommended.
- Sins: Being content with them is prohibited, and likewise it is disliked to be content with disliked acts and permissible to be content with permissible acts.
And Allah knows best.
Taken from: al Muntaqa min Faraa’id al Fawaa’id of Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (rh) p.110
When one recites the Qur’an the heart needs to be fully attentive to what one is reciting. Ibn al Qayyim briefly mentions an important aspect of reading/listening to the Qur’an in his beneficial work: al Fawaa’id p.198 (ibn al Jawzi):
Shahqah which occurs when listening to the Qur’an or other than it has many causes:
- One could come across a verse that mentions a level that he has not attained and so as a result he finds peace and rest when reflecting over it, which then leads to shahqah. This is the shahqah of shawq (yearning).
- One could come across a sin that he committed which results in shahqah out of fear and grief over one’s state. This is the shahqah of khasyah (fear).
- One could come across a deficiency that one is not able to repel which results in a shahqah of huzn (grief.)
- One could come across a description of the perfection of his beloved (Allah [swt]) and then sees the path to him blocked. This leads to the shahqah of asaf (sorrow) and grief.
- It could be that his beloved has disappeared from his sight and he had busied himself with other than his beloved. Listening (to the Qur’an) then reminds him of his beloved and His beauty then becomes apparent to him. He then sees the doors opened for him and the path to him clear. This leads to the shahqah of farah (joy) and suroor (delight).
 A soft cry, a gasping inhaling, sighing.