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FADIA BINT ISMAIL

Purification Of The Soul- Types Of Heart

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Just as the heart may be described in terms of being

alive or dead, it may also be regarded as belonging to

one of three types; these are the healthy heart, the dead heart,

and the sick heart.

 

The Healthy Heart

 

On the Day of Resurrection, only those who come to Allah

with a healthy heart will be saved. Allah says:

 

"The day on which neither wealth nor sons will

be of any use,

except for whoever brings to Allah a sound

heart. (26:88-89)"

 

In defining the healthy heart, the following has been

said: "It is a heart cleansed from any passion that

challenges what Allah commands, or disputes what He forbids. It

is free from any impulses which contradict His good. As a

result, it is safeguarded against the worship of anything other

than Him, and seeks the judgement of no other except that of His

Messenger (saw). Its services are exclusively reserved for

Allah, willingly and lovingly, with total reliance, relating all

matters to Him, in fear, hope and sincere dedication. When it

loves, its love is in the way of Allah. If it detests, it

detests in the lght of what He detests. When it gives, it gives

for Allah. If it witoholds, it withholds for Allah.

Nevertheless, all this will not suffice for its salvation until

it is free from following, or taking as its guide, anyone other

than His Messenger (saw)."

 

A servant with a healthy heart must dedicate it to its

journey's end and not base his actions and speech on

those of any other person except Allah's Messenger (saw). He

must not give precedence to any other faith or words or deeds

over those of Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and

grant him peace. Allah says:

 

"Oh you who believe, do not put yourselves above

Allah and His Messenger, but fear Allah, for

Allah is Hearing, Knowing. (49:1)"

 

The Dead Heart

 

This is the opposite of the healthy heart. It does not

know its Lord and does not worship Him as He commands,

in the way which He likes, and with which He is pleased. It

clings instead to its lusts and desires, even if these are

likely to incur Allah's displeasure and wrath. It worships

things other than Allah, and its loves and its hatreds, and its

giving and its withholding, arise from its whims, which are of

paramount importance to it and preferred above the pleasure of

Allah. Its whims are its imam. Its lust is its guide. Its

ignorance is its leader. Its crude impulses are its impetus. It

is immersed in its concern with worldly objectives. It is drunk

with its own fancies and its love for hasty, fleeting pleasures.

It is called to Allah and the akhira from a distance but it does

not respond to advice, and instead it follows any scheming,

cunning shayton. Life angers and pleases it, and passion makes

it deaf and blind (1) to anything except what is evil.

 

To associate and keep company with the owner of such a

heart is to tempt illness: living with him is like

taking poison, and befriending him means utter destruction.

 

The Sick Heart

 

Thisi s a heart with life in it, as well as illness. The

former sustains it at one moment, the latter at another,

and it follows whichever one of the two manages to dominate it.

It has love for Allah, faith in Him, sincerity towards Him, and

reliance upon Him, and these are what give it life. It also has

a craving for lust and pleasure, and prefers them and strives to

experience them. It is full of self-admiration, which can lead

to its own destruction. It listens to two callers: one calling

it to Allah and His Prophet (saw) and the akhira; and the other

calling it to the fleeting pleasures of this world. It responds

to whichever one of the two happens to have most influence over

it at the time.

 

The first heart is alive, submitted to Allah, humble,

sensitive and aware; the second is brittle and dead; the

third wavers between either its safety or its ruin.

 

Notes:

 

1. It has been related on the authority of Abu'd-Darda' that the

Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,

said, "Your love for something that makes you blind and deaf."

Abu Daw'ud, al-Adab, 14/38; Ahmad, al-Musnad, 5/194. The hadith

is classified as hasan.

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