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Wednesday, June 23, 2004  

An Exposition of Satan's Mastery of the Heart through Insinuations (waswasa); the Meaning of Insinuation, and the Cause of its Subdual It has been seen that the heart is affected by information brought by the five senses, and by internal faculties such as imagination, appetite, anger, and character traits. The most important influence, however, comes from those random thoughts, promptings and ideas which are projected by the devil into the mind, and distract or confuse it: these are termed khawatir. To ward these off, man should engage in remembrance (dhikr) of God, and continue with the process of self-discipline and inner purification. _____________________________________________________________________________________ An Exposition detailing Satan's Entrances into the Heart The heart is like a castle, and man must guard its entrances against the enemy, who is the devil. The main entrances are: (1) irascibility and desire; (2) envy and greed; (3) Eating one's fill, for this increases the other desires, causes illness, and reduces one's receptivity to wisdom and desire for worship; (4) Love of self-adornment, whether on clothes, furnishings or residence; (5) Coveting what others own and control, and hence flattering and deceived them; (6) Haste, which, according to the Prophet, 'comes from Satan'; (7) Money, property, and all other kinds of wealth in excess of one's needs, for wealth creates its own concerns which will distract the heart; (8) Avarice and fear of poverty, which will destroy the heart's serene conviction that God will provide; (9) Fanatical attachment to schools of thoughts and sects (ahwa'), hatred of rival doctrines, and delight in criticising them; (10) studying advanced theological doctrines for which one is not prepared, and hece falling into false beliefs about God; (11) Harbouring a low opinion of other Muslims, which leads to self-satisfaction and backbiting. The heart must be purified of all these evil traits before dhikr can be effective; otherwise the dhikr will itself be a form of khawatir with no real influence. Even when these traits are removed, it is necessary to cure oneself of ghafla (heedlessness and distraction). If one does not, one will be like patient who derives little benefit from a medicine because he takes it when his stomach is full of food. There are many devils, each with his own name, who cast khawatir into the heart on specific occasions: ritual ablution, the canonical Prayer, visiting the marketplace, dealing with one's family, and so on. When they appear, they take the form of base animals such as dogs, frogs and pigs. _____________________________________________________________________________________ An Exposition of the Heart's Insinuations, Concerns, Whisperings and Intentions for which Man is taken to Task, and those in which Man is Forgiven The Prophet said: 'The people of my community are forgiven the discourse of their souls, insofar as they do not mention it or act upon it.' There are four stages between thought and act: (1) an involuntary suggestion; (2) the inclination of the nature; (3) reasoned judgement; (4) determination. The first two involve no moral responsibility, while the second two are to be judged according to the underlying intention. _____________________________________________________________________________________ An Exposition of Whether it is Conceivable that Insinuations should Cease Entirely during the Remembrance of God, or not The Sufis have given five possible answers to this. (1) Insinuation does cease entirely; (2) It still exists, but has no effect on the heart, since the heart is distracted from it by the dhikr; (3) Its whisperings are heard, but weakly and from afar; (4) dhikr and waswasa follow each other in quick succession, so that the distinction between them is blurred; (5) The two exist simultaneously in the heart, which has an ability to focus on two activities at once; this is the view of al-Muhasibi. The correct view, however, is that all of these can occure, depending on circumstance. There are three types of insinuation. (1) The devil may use an argument which seems to contain some truth, for instance: 'Enjoy yourself now; there is surely time for righteousness in future years'; or 'You pray so much; you must surely be beloved of God'; (2) He may incite a passion in the soul, which one may or may not know to be sinful; (3) He may make suggestions which are not sinful, but merely distract the heart, such as reminding him of worldly affairs during canonical prayer. This is the hardest type to remove; and it was thus that the Prophet said, 'Whoever prays two rak'as without his nafs speaking to him of any worldly affair, shall have all his former sins forgiven.' _____________________________________________________________________________________ An Exposition of the Speed with which the Heart Changes, and a Categorisation of Hearts on the basis of Change and Stability The heart, being the battleground of angelic and satanic impulses, is like a target struck from all directions, and hence moves and changes rapidly. God has said: And We change (nuqallib) their hearts and perceptions. (VI:110) There are three kinds of hearts in this respect. (1) The pious heart which self-discipline has purified of evil character traits, and which thus receives good suggestions from the higher world. Safe from insinuations of Satan, it is the heart referred to in God's word, Truly, in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest. (XIII:28) (2) The sinful heart filled with passion and evil character traits. Here the devil's suggestions are actually supported by the intellect, which has been habituated to following its whims. This may extend to all aspects of the soul, or only express itself in specific weaknesses, such as anger or greed. (3) Most men, however, have the third kind, where the devil's whisperings, supported by the nafs, are countered by the voice of faith and the intellect. Victory will be decided by the relative predominance of character traits in the heart. -Hujjatul Islam, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Breaking The Two Desires (Kitab Kasr al-Shahwatayn); Book XXIII of The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din)

posted by Abubak'r | 6/23/2004 07:25:00 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."
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
Md Mubaraq
Md Firdaus

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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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