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Monday, May 24, 2004  

Cleansing the Hearts of Tarnish Abu l-Darda’ said, ‘For all things, there is a polish, and for the hearts it is the remembrance of Almighty God.’ (Shu’ab al-Iman, 523) Bayhaqi cited a hadith on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar, quoted directly from the Prophet [marfu’], where he says, ‘Everything has its polish, and the polish of the hearts is the remembrance of Almighty God. And there is nothing that better delivers from God’s punishment than His remembrance.’ And when they asked, ‘Not even combat [jihad] for His sake?’ he answered, ‘Not even if someone smites with his sword until it breaks in two.’ (Shu’ab al-Iman, 522) Doubtless, a heart grows tarnished like brass or silver, and its polish is by remembrance, which may make it shine like a crystal mirror. So when one neglects the remembrance it tarnishes, and when he returns it shines. Since the heart is tarnished by two things—heedlessness and sin—it is polished by two things: remembrance and asking forgiveness. If heedlessness dominates most of someone’s time, the tarnish on his heart grows in proportion. And if the heart is tarnished, it ceases to reflect things as they are. Therefore, it sees the false as true and the true as false. As the tarnish grows thicker, the heart grows dimmer, until it no longer reflects reality at all. And if this tarnish builds up, blackens and envelops the heart completely, the heart’s reflective quality and perception will be totally lost, so that it will neither accept what is true nor reject what is false. Such a fate is the worst that can befall it. The origin of all this is in heedlessness and the pursuit of one’s passions, both of which dim the light of the heart and blind its vision. Thus, God (Most High) says, ‘And follow not one whose heart We have made forgetful of Our mention, who pursues his passions, and whose situation has exceeded [all bounds].’ (XVIII:28) If the servant wishes to follow a man, let him look to see whether this man is of those who remember God or who are heedless; whether he is ruled by the passions, then ‘his situation has exceeded [all bounds]’, and he should neither be trusted nor followed, for he will lead you to destruction. The verse’s reference to ‘excess’ is said to signify ‘discarding’. That is, the order which should be followed and maintained—and in which lies a person’s guidance and success—has been discarded. It is also explained as being ‘waste’, ‘destruction’ or ‘opposition to the truth’, all of which have similar meanings. But the intention [of the verse] is that God prohibits us from following anyone who has these characteristics. So if a man has taken someone as a shaykh, model or a person to emulate, but finds him to be as [the verse] describes, then he should distance himself from him. But if he finds him to be someone in whom the mention of God and practice of the Sunna predominate, someone who does not trespass God’s commandments but is resolute in keeping them, then he should adhere to him. There is no difference between the living and the dead except remembrance, for ‘the one who remembers his Lord is to the one who does not as the living is to the dead.’ And in Ahmad ibn Hanbal there is a hadith quoted directly from the Prophet: ‘Be so abundant in the remembrance of God [Most High], that it be said [about you], “He is possessed!”’ (Musnad, 27310) - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, The Invocation of God (Al-Wabil al-Sayyib min al-Kalim al-Tayib)



posted by Abubak'r | 5/24/2004 06:58:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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