Thursday, 16 June 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"

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 (pp.78-82).

2. Hasan: Related by Abu Nu'aym in al-Hiliyatul-Awliyaa
(51361-362). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami'

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





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