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The obligations of the heart. PDF Print Email
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 12 July 2013 03:02

The obligations of the heart.

As I said we are going to start by discussing the obligations of the heart. The author, May Allah have mercy upon him and give him strength, started this part of the book with the obligations of the heart and then the sins of the heart because the heart is the organ that controls other organs of the body.

As it is mentioned in the hadith of the Prophet: narrated by both Bukhariyy and Muslim:

إن في الجسد مضغة إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كله ، و إذا فسدت فسد الجسد كله ألا و هي القلب "

“ ‘ala inna fil jasadi mudgha ‘idha sala7at, sala7al jasadu kulluh, wa’idha fasadat, fasadal jasadu kulluh, ‘ala wahiyal qalb” which means: “In the human body, there is a small organ. If this organ is healthy, i.e. if this organ is in a good condition, then the whole body would be in a good condition. If not, then the whole body would be in a bad condition; which is the heart.”

This hadith means that the heart controls the other parts. So if ones heart is good, if one is really directing his heart toward doing the good things, then this will affect the other parts of the body. And if the heart is not like that, then this also will affect the other parts of the body.

This is why the author chose to start this part of his book with the obligations of the heart and after that the sins of the heart.

To believe in Allah and what Allah revealed; to have the belief in the Messenger of Allah and what he conveyed;

As you all know, every accountable person has to believe properly in Allah. An accountable person is the pubescent, sane person who received the call of Islam.

If someone is pubescent, sane and has received the call of Islam, there is no difference in opinions among the Muslim scholars that one has to believe properly about Allah. This means for one to believe firmly, to be firm in ones heart, that Allah is one without any partner. And that nothing resembles Allah. And that Allah is the One who controls the whole universe. So nothing occurs without the Will of Allah and without the creating of Allah. And this is the best and the most important obligation; to believe properly in Allah.

And as it is an obligation to believe in Allah, one has to believe in what Allah revealed. Which means: one has to believe in what Allah revealed in the rules that Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad.

Believing in what Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad is for one to be firm in ones heart that all what Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad is truthful, not to object to that, and to have in his heart the total submission to the truthfulness of this religion.

Likewise, every accountable person has to believe in Prophet Muhammad. One has to believe properly in Prophet Muhammad. That is, for one to revere Prophet Muhammad in the proper way, without attributing to him things that do not befit him, and without giving him a status which is higher than his status.

Also one has to believe in what the Prophet conveyed from Allah. So if someone says: “I believe in Allah, I believe in Prophet Muhammad, but I don’t believe about the truthfulness of this rule with which the Prophet conveyed, or that rule which the Prophet conveyed, then that person is not a true believer. He claims to be a believer, but he is not a true believer. Because if one claims that the Prophet came with one thing that the Prophet conveyed even one thing that was not truthful then he is belying the Prophet, and the one who belies him is not a real believer in the Prophet.

To have the sincerity (‘ikhlas), this is to do the good deeds for the sake of Allah only;

It is incumbent upon every accountable person, when making the intention with every good deed, with the beginning of every good deed, with every deed of obedience, to clear that intention from seeking the praise of the people. That is, to have in his heart the intention of doing the deed only for the sake of Allah, and not to have with that the intention of getting the praise of the people.

You know, that for any good deed to be accepted (I’ll try to say it in another way). You know that if one doesn’t make the proper intention at the beginning of the deed, I mean the deed of obedience, and then such a deed religiously would be as if it doesn’t exist, as if it wasn’t done. Now, for one to get reward for the deed, he needs to have the intention that he is doing that deed for the sake of Allah only.

For ex: if you want to pray, your prayer is not valid if you don’t make the intention of praying. If you give someone money, then this wouldn’t be considered a good deed, a charity, zakat, gift or the like, it would not be (considered religiously???) if you don’t make the proper intention while doing that. Now to get reward for praying, you need to add to that the intention of praying for the sake of Allah only. If someone doesn’t clear that intention from seeking the praise of the people, then in this case he would be committing an enormous sin and he would not be fulfilling the obligation of the heart which is the sincerity.

So the sincerity means to make the good deed without seeking the praise of the people or the acceptance of the people or the like; but rather to make the good deed only for the sake of Allah.

Some people do the good deed seeking that people would look at them highly. Such people don’t get any reward for those deeds and they are sinful for that; they are committing an enormous sin.

In Surat al-Kahf Allah said:

)فمن كان يرجو لقاء ربه فليعمل عملا صلحا ولايشرك بعباده ربه احدا(

“faman kana yarju liqa’a rabbihi falya^mal ^amalan salihan wala yushrik bi^ibadati rabbihi ‘ahada”

Which means: “the one who wants to be safe in the hereafter, the one who believes in the hereafter and wants to be safe in the hereafter, let him do the good deeds with sincerity, without seeking with the good deeds other then the sake of Allah.”

In this verse the word “shirk” is used which usually means “to take partners with Allah”. Here it is used to warn against seeking other then the sake of Allah; warning against seeking the praise of the people while doing the good deed (ar-riyya’). And as it is narrated by Al-Hakim and others from the Prophet, that ar-Riyya’, is called “ash-shirkul ‘asghar” “the small shirk”; which means that this is an enormous sin. By drawing this similarity between it and by taking partners with Allah, the Prophet was telling us that this is an enormous sin. And this is a sin that many people fall into it all the time. Because this is a sin that is related to the heart. And as you know, the heart changes quickly. Sometimes the person would be doing the good deed for the sake of Allah, and just in one moment his intention changes. Usually this sin is among the last sins that the good person, the pious person, leaves out before becoming a pious person. (May Allah protect us from it.) This is why one needs to always watch his heart, because whatever he does without the proper intention is like nothing. Whatever good deed he does without the proper intention is like nothing.

To regret sinning;

Among the obligations is for one to repent from the sins that one did. Repenting has integrals. The most important integral among the integrals of repentance is to regret doing the sin. This takes place in the heart. This is why it is an obligation for one to repent from sinning whether this sin is an enormous sin or a small sin.

For this repentance to be valid as an integral among the integrals of the prayer, for this integral to be valid it should be done out of the fear of Allah and not out of the fear of the scandal among the people. So if someone regrets because he was embarrassed among the people and not out of the fear of Allah, then this regret is not something, religiously, by doing it he is not fulfilling the obligation of regretting. For this regret to be valid, it has to be done out of the fear of Allah and not out of the fear of the people.

To rely on Allah;

Allah ordered us to rely on Him.

In Surat al-Mujadalah Allah said:

قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلاَّ مَا كَتَبَ اللّهُ لَنَا هُوَ موْلاَنَا وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“Wa^alallahi falyatawakkalil mu’minuun” Allah ordered the believers to rely on Him.

So one has to rely on Allah. Because nothing occurs in this universe except by the Will of Allah. And nothing exists except by the creating of Allah. Any benefit would not be acquired except by the creating of Allah. And any harm wouldn’t be avoided except by the creating of Allah. So one has to rely on Allah.

One has to believe firmly in the heart that no benefit or harm occurs except by the Will and creating of Allah. If one believes firmly in that, and always remembers that in his heart, then one relies on Allah in all his things. This makes him more capable and more inclined toward doing the good things and avoiding the bad things.

Story:

One among the companions was taken as a prisoner by the Romans. So they took him to their king and said: “this is one among the companions of Muhammad.” He asked him to leave out the Religion of Islam. This companion, of course, did not do that. This king ordered for a big container to be brought in which olive oil was put, and they put the fire under it until it started boiling. Then he ordered to throw in that boiling oil one of the Muslim prisoners. Of course that prisoner died immediately. He did that in front of that companion. This means he was threatening him that if he doesn’t leave Islam then that will happen to you. After seeing that the companion did not change his position, he remained in the same position. The king killed another person in the same way. And that companion did not change his position. After that the king threatened him and he reduced his demands. He said to that companion: You kiss my hand. The companion refused. Then the king told you: you kiss my head. That companion said: IF you set the Muslim prisoners free, then I will do it with that condition. So the king agreed to set them free, and then the companion kissed the king’s head.

What made that companion so steadfast in that situation except relying totally on Allah. Because he knew in his heart that nothing will occur to him except what Allah willed to occur to him. Nothing will occur to him except what Allah creates, except by the creating of Allah. This is why he didn’t change his position.

Relying on Allah does not contradict seeking the means. Relying on Allah doesn’t mean to be lazy. Rather to rely on Allah means to be sure in your heart that nothing is going to occur to you except what Allah willed for you.

To fear Allah so as to perform one’s obligations and refrain from the sins;

This is among the obligations of the heart. This means for one to always be in his heart fearful from Allah. How is that?  By refraining from sinning and fulfilling the obligations. Every time he gets in contact with something, then he weighs this issue according to the rules of the religion. If the religion orders, if it’s an obligation in the religion to do that matter then he does it fast. If the religion prevents the person from doing it, then he doesn’t do it. This is what is meant by having the fear in ones heart from Allah.

Story:

One of the very famous pious Muslim scholars, his name was Sahel at Tusturi, he was raised by one of his relatives. His father died while he was a little boy. This relative was a very pious person. So while Sahel was still very young, this relative told him: “every day, repeat in your heart: Allah sees me, Allah knows about me.” Sahel said: for a whole year I did that every day repeatedly in my heart. After a year lapsed, this relative told Sahel: “O Sahel, the one who knows that Allah sees him and that Allah knows about him, would he disobey Allah? Do not disobey Allah for one moment.”

This is what is meant to have this fear in ones heart.

Story:

Like Shaykh ^Abdullah, may Allah protect him. If one stays close to him for a long time, certain period of time, he would notice that as if, we don’t know what is in the heart, but you could notice, as if Shaykh doesn’t do anything except with an intention. I might say to you “how are you doing today” with a good intention, and I might say it as a habit. I might walk in the musalla a little bit to stretch my legs without a good intention, and I might do it for a good intention. I might lie down without any intention except getting some rest, and I might lay down with a good intention. I might give you a gift just because I like you and I might give you a gift with a good intention. I might get hungry and I might eat because that would help me do certain good deeds. If you look how Shaykh acts, then you could tell that this person acts, in every act, with a specific intention. Many times I saw him holding a cup after drinking part of it, just holding it in his hand, then he would put it down, and then hold it, then he would give it to someone. Sometimes he would give the rest to someone, for many years. And anyone who would take it from his hand, he would be very happy. All we felt and thought about it was getting the blessings. Maybe a year ago or so, his wife asked him “why do you give the cup to someone, if there is a little bit, if there is a little amount that remains in the cup, why give it to someone else? Why not just leave it?” He told her because of the hadith of the Prophet:

اتقوا الله ولوبشق تمرو “’ittaqunnara walaw bi shiqqi tamrah” which means: “protect yourselves from Hellfire, by even half of a date.” This means if you give someone half of a date with the good intention you will get reward for that and maybe you will be saved from Hellfire by that. He told her that is why I don’t leave it and I give it to someone with that intention. So someone like me, if he didn’t see that and hear that, maybe I would never think about it.

This is what it means, for some people this always exists in their hearts as long as they are aware. And even when they sleep they have an intention by doing that.

Now this goes beyond the obligatory limit.

To subjugate oneself to Allah and refrain from objecting to Him;

Everyone has to subjugate to Allah which means not to object to Allah neither in ones heart, nor with ones tongue or organs. One has to subjugate to Allah while believing that Allah is the One who willed for good and for evil things to happen. While knowing in that and believing in that he needs not to object to Allah. Objecting to Allah is blasphemy, even in one matter. The first act of blasphemy that was done by Iblis, by the devil, was to object to Allah.

Of course we differentiate between good and bad. We know that there are certain things that are good things, certain acts that are good acts. And other acts that are bad acts. We love the good things and we hate the bad things and we know that all of this is decreed by Allah. And with that we don’t object to Allah; whether in decreeing good things or bad things.

So we object to the bad act but we don’t object to Allah for willing this bad act. We hate the bad act but we don’t hate the Will of Allah. You don’t subjugate yourself to the bad things, but you subjugate yourself to Allah while knowing and believing firmly that both good things and bad things are created by Allah.

To exalt the rites of Allah;

There are things that are well-known to be among the matters that have a high status to Allah. It is known for everyone that they are like that. We as Muslims are obligated to exalt those things called the rites of Allah. For example: Hajj, calling the ‘adhan, those things are among the rites of Allah and we need to exalt them.

To be thankful to Allah for His endowments by not using them in disobedience;

There are two types of thanking Allah.

1. An obligation

2. sunnah

The obligatory thanking of Allah is not to use the endowments that Allah endowed upon you to disobey Allah; in disobedience. Allah endowed upon you with the tongue. Among the obligatory thanking is not to use your tongue in disobeying Allah. Allah endowed upon us many things; the obligatory type of thanking is not to use them in disobeying Allah.

If one adds to that, to say “I thank Allah for the endowments that He endowed upon me,” or the like, saying those statements is good, it is rewardable, but it’s not the obligatory thanking that is among the obligations of the heart. What is the obligatory thanking is to not use the endowments Allah endowed upon you in disobedience. The one who doesn’t use the endowments of Allah in disobeying Him is called in Arabic “Shakir.” If he gets stronger in that he will be called in Arabic: “Shakur.” Among the people, the one who really thanks Allah for the endowments by not using them in disobeying Him are a small number, they are a minority. The ones who are stronger in that are even less then others.

Shakir: the one who does not use the endowments that Allah endowed upon him in disobeying Allah.

Shakur is the one who gets stronger in that. When one gets stronger in that, he is called Shakur.

**Questions:

1. Objecting to Allah means to refuse, not to submit to Allah; to reject what Allah ordered. To believe that this is not correct or to say that it is not correct, or to believe that this is not wise or to say that it is not wise, or to believe that this is not fair or to say that. This is what it means to object to Allah.

2. Allah sent Prophets. Why? To teach the people and to convey to them what is good and what is bad. So for people to do what is good and to refrain from what is bad. If someone falls short by not learning what the Prophet came with, and because of that this person commits a sin, then this is not an excuse for that person. Regardless of his intention.

3. If someone hits you or harms you and then says well I didn’t do it out of a bad intention, this wouldn’t be a valid statement.

One time, the Prophet saw a man who prayed and he didn’t pray properly. The Prophet told him to repeat his prayer. He didn’t tell him for this time it was okay because you didn’t know and you had a good intention so it’s okay. No. The Prophet told him:

ارجع فصل فإنك لم تصلي“ ‘irji^ fasalli fi’innaka lam tussali “go back and repeat your prayer because as if you didn’t pray.” This man repeated the prayer and again did something wrong. Again the Prophet told him to repeat it again. And again he repeated it and did something wrong. So after a few times, the Prophet knew this person didn’t know how to pray. Still the Prophet didn’t tell him because you didn’t know then its okay. Rather the Prophet taught him how to make the prayers. So it’s not enough for one to say I have a good intention and then do whatever he wants to do. Doesn’t he know that Allah ordered us to follow the Prophet? He knows that. And he knows that he is doing this act without knowing what the Prophet said about it. So he knows he is not following the Prophet while doing it. So he is not excused.

4. If someone, at the beginning of the day, if he wakes up and says in his heart for example “every good deed that I do today I will do it for the sake of Allah,” this is good, he gets reward for that, but then for every good deed, to get the reward for that good deed, he needs to have the intention that he is doing it for the sake of Allah. So this intention at the beginning of the day is not enough in the meaning that when he prays he doesn’t think at all that he is praying for the sake of Allah, and then because he had this intention in the morning he would get reward for that prayer, no. For each deed, he needs to have the proper intention. But this intention at the beginning of the day is good, he gets reward for it. This helps to remind him for the rest of the day.