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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Polishing the Hearts


Polishing the Hearts

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.751
H), rahimahullaah 1


Allaah - the Most High - said:



"O you who believe! Remember Allaah and
remember Him a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:4I].

"Those men and women who remember Allaah
a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:35].

"So when you have finished the rights of
your Pilgrimage, then remember Allaah as you remember your fore-father,
or with more intense remembrance." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:200].

These verses contain a command to remember
Allaah intensely and abundantly, since the worshipper is in dire need of
[remembering Allaah] and cannot do without it even for a twinkling of an
eye. This is because every moment that a person does not spend in the dhikr
(remembrance) of Allaah will not be of any benefit to him. Rather, the
harm entailed in being neglectful of the dhikr of Allaah is far greater
than any benefits that can be gained. One of the 'aarifeen (those who are
knowledgeable about Allaah) said:"If a person were to spend such and such
number of years engaged [in the dhikr of Allaah], then he turns away from
it for just a moment, what he will lose is far greater than whatever he
has already gained."

Al-Bayhaqee relates from 'Aaishah radiallaahu
'anhaa that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "There is no
time in which the son of Aadam does not remember AIIaah in it, except that
it will be a source of regret for him on the Day of Judgement"2

Mu'aadh ibn jabal radiallaahu 'anhu relates
that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The people of Paradise
will not have any regrets except for those moments in which they were not
engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah."3

Mu'aadh ibn Jabal also relates that Allaah's
Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was asked: What action is the most
beloved to Allaah? So he replied: "That you continue to keep your tongue
moist with the dhikr of Allaah, until you die."4


Abu Dardaa radiallaahu 'anhu said:"For
everything there is a polish and the polish for the heart is the dhikr
of Allaah".

Al-Bayhaqee relates from Ibn 'Umar radiallaahu
'anhu that AlIaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "For
everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr
(remembrance) of Allaah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person
from the punishment of Allaah than the dhikr of Allaah." It was said: Not
even Jihaad in the path of Allaah. So he replied: "Not even if you were
to continue striking with your sword until it breaks."5

There is no doubt that hearts becomes rusty
just as copper and silver coins become rusty. The polish for [this rust]
is the dhikr of AIlaah. This is because [dhikr] is like a polish [which
polishes the heart] like a shiny mirror. When dhikr is left, the rust returns.
But when dhikr resumes, then the heart is [again] polished. And hearts
become rusty due to two things:-

(i) neglecting remembering Allaah, and

(ii) committing sins.

The polish for these two things is:-

(i) seeking Allaah's forgiveness and

(ii) dhikr.


Whoever neglects [remembering Allaah] most
of the time, then his heart will become rusty in accordance with how neglectful
the person is. And when this [filthy] rust accumulates on the heart, then
it no longer recognises things as they really are. Thus, it views falsehood
as if it is the truth, and truth as if it is falsehood. This is because
this rust darkens and confuses the heart's perception, and so it is unable
to truly recognise things for what they really are. So as the rust accumulates,
the heart gets blackened, and as this happens the heart becomes stained
with this filthy rust, and when this occurs it corrupts the heart's perception
and recognition of things. The heart [then] does not accept the truth nor
does it reject falsehood, and this is the greatest calamity that can strike
the heart. Being neglectful [of dhikr] and following of whims and desires
is a direct consequence of such a heart, which [further] extinguish the
heart's light and blinds its vision. Allaah - the Most High - said:

"And do not obey him whose heart We have
made to be neglectful of Our remembrance, one who follows his own whims
and desires and whose affairs are furat [have gone beyond bounds and whose
deeds have been lost]." [Soorah al-Kahf 18:28].


So when a worshipper desires to follow
another person, then let him see: Is this person from the people of dhikr,
or from the people who are negligent [about remembering Allaah]? Does this
person judge in accordance with his whims and desires, or by the Revelation?
So, if he judges by whims and desires then he is actually from those people
who are negligent; those whose affairs have gone beyond bounds and whose
deeds are lost.

The term furat [which occurs in the above
verse] has been explained in many ways. It has been explained to mean:-
(i) losing the rewards of that type of action which is essential to do,
and in which lies success and happiness; (ii) exceeding the limits of something;
(iii) being destroyed; and (iv) opposing the truth. Each of these sayings
are very close in meaning to each other.

The point is that Allaah - the One free
from all imperfections, the Most High - has prohibited following all those
who possess such attributes. So it is absolutely essential that a person
considers whether such attributes are found in his shaykh, or the person
who's example he follows, or the person that he obeys. If they are, then
he should distance himself from such a person. However, if it is found
that the person is, in most cases, pre-occupied with the dhikr of Allaah
and with following the Sunnah, and his affairs do not exceed the limits,
but rather he is judicious and resolute in his affairs, then he should
cling to him very firmly.

Indeed, there is no difference between
the living and the dead, except with the dhikr of Allaah; since [the Prophet
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: "The example of one who remembers
Allaah and someone who does not, is like the example between the living
and the dead."6




1. AI-Waabilus-Sayyib min Kalimit-Tayyib

2. Hasan: Related by Abu Nu'aym in al-Hiliyatul-Awliyaa
(51361-362). It

was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee
in Saheehul-Jaami' (no.5720).

3. Saheeh: Related by lbnus-Sunnee in 'Aml
al-Yawma wal-Laylah (no.3).

Refer to Saheehul-Jaami' (no.5446).

4. Hasan: Related by lbn Hibbaan (no.2318).
It was authenticated by

Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee in Saheeh al-Waabilus-Sayyib

5. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/352), from
Mu'aadh ibn Jabal radiallaahu

'anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee
in Saheehul-Jaami' (no.5644).

6. Related by al-Bukhaaree (11/208) and
Muslim (1/539).


From al-Istiqaamah magazine Shawwal 1418H/
February 1998







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