“The nature of the Ahlullaah (friends of Allah) is like that of fragrance which floats in the atmosphere due to which all those around cannot help but be perfumed.”
Come, let us be seekers on the path of Tazkiyah (Purification of the heart) in the company of those with purified hearts, illuminated with the love of Allah ta’ala and His beloved Rasool sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
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The secret of the Ṣalāh, its soul and core is the slave’s turning to Allāh in totality whilst in the prayer. Therefore, just as it is not befitting that he turns his face away from the Qiblah to other than it during the Ṣalāh, it is likewise not befitting to turn his heart away from his Lord to other than Him during the Ṣalāh.
Rather he (the slave) makes the Ka’bah, which is the house of Allāh, the Qiblah of his face and body. (Likewise) he makes the Lord of the House the Qiblah of his heart and soul
Ibn al-Qayyīm رحمه الله
Allah has sworn an oath by the pen in the Qur’an (Surah Qalam, verse1) and all great tasks are accomplished by pen.
Abu Hatim Al-Busti has encapsulated the idea that,
The pen is mightier than the sword
When the brave people swear by their sword someday, And count it among things that give honour and veneration to men,
The writers’ pen is sufficient for their honour and superiority, For all times to come, because Allah has sworn oath by the pen
Do our hearts tremble with fear after doing good deeds?
وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَآ ءَاتَوا۟ وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَٰجِعُونَ
Those who give to charity whatever they can give, while their hearts are full of fear by the very idea that they shall have to return to their Rabb [Qur’an 23:60]
There are different words for “fear” in the Arabic language. وَجِلَ is fear where the heart is restless due to shortcomings.
The Sahabah gave what they gave in the path of Allah but even after this clearly virtuous act, their hearts trembled with fear. What was their fear?
They were worried about the acceptance of their sadaqah by Allah
Each time we utter this phrase let us remind ourselves of the greatness of Allah and say: Allah is Greater than us, greater than our desires, greater than our loved ones, greater than our hobbies, greater than the most powerful armies and empires, greater than everything.
As our knowledge of الله أكبر deepens, our awe and fear of Allah should increase. A firm belief in the greatness of Allah should lead us to constantly remember, thank and praise Him with our tongues.
It should shake the body into humbling itself, feeling its own insignificance
Adapted from lifewithallah.com
Riya’ (hypocrisy) is one of the secret sins of the heart, and often the perpetrator of riya’ is self-deluded and hardly realizes his hypocrisy. Hypocrisy means that the state of the heart, in its intention and desires, does not correspond to the virtue of the outward act; it is the desire for something beside Allah ta’ala, in serving Him, and the desire to gain something from men by that service to Allah; it is to do an action, outwardly for the glory of Allah, but with the intention of having glory of men. The Noble Prophet, Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam, said, “The thing most to be feared for my community is hypocrisy and secret desire.” If man is not heedful of the direction of his secret desires, they will corrupt his service of Allah.
In its most open form, hypocrisy is falsehood and in its most hidden form, it is guile
It is hidden from him who is neglectful and is manifest to him who searches for it with understanding knowledge; and he who knows the gravity of his need of it cleaves to sincerity, out of fear of hypocrisy.
Sheikh Mawlāna Rashīd Ahmed Gangohi (رحمة الله عليه ) was once asked by someone,
“Should Istighfaar or Durood Shareef be recited first?”
He replied ,
Do you first wash your dirty clothes or first apply ‘Itr (perfume)?
Thus first one should purify the heart/ soul from the dirt of sins through seeking forgiveness and then the perfume of Durood Shareef should be applied.
The secret of dhikr is to glorify Allah by reflecting on His Perfect Names, Attributes and Actions and pondering over His blessings and His creation.
Ibn al-Jawzī (raḥimahullāh) explains,
The heedless one says سُبْحَانَ الله out of habit. As for the conscious one, he is constantly thinking about the wonders of creation, or the awesome nature of the Creator, and this thinking drives him to say سُبْحَانَ الله. Thus, this tasbīḥ is the fruit of these thoughts, and this is the tasbīḥ of the conscious…
Should we stop making dhikr if our heart is not truly focused on Allah; because there isn’t any hudur al-qalb or “presence of heart”?
Ibn Ata’illah, in his celebrated “Hikam” states,
Do not abandon dhikr because you do not feel Allah’s presence in it. For your heedlessness of His dhikr is worse than your heedlessness in His dhikr. For perhaps He will lift you from dhikr with heedlessness (ghaflah) to dhikr with vigilance (yaqza); and from dhikr with vigilance to dhikr with presence (hudur); and from dhikr with presence to dhikr wherein everything but the One being remembered becomes absent
“And that, for Him, is not difficult.” [Qur’an:14:20]
In his commentary to the Hikam, al-Shurnubi teases out some of the subtleties in the above aphorism. He writes:
“Do not, O aspirant, forsake dhikr – which is an invitation to sanctity (wilayah) because your heart is not present with Allah in it, due to it being preoccupied with worldly distractions. Instead, remember Him in every state and conditions. For your forgetfulness of His dhikr, in that you abandon it entirely, is far worse than your forgetfulness while making dhikr of Him. For at least in this state, your tongue is moving in His remembrance, even if your heart is heedless of the One remembered. Perhaps you will be taken, by His grace, from dhikr with heedlessness to dhikr with vigilance; in other words, with an attentive, awakened heart; for this is the adab that befits His Presence; and from dhikr with vigilance to dhikr with presence, presence of His closeness; and from dhikr with presence to dhikr where all becomes absent except the One being remembered. So the person is lost even to his own dhikr … When dhikr flows from the tongue in this condition, it does so spontaneously, without intent. Rather, his tongue only utters what the Manifest Truth [Allah] wants it to, for such a person is at the Station of Divine Love”
Taken from here
Allah ta’ala says in Surah Baqarah, verse 153, إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ – He is with those who are patient
This is a very heart-warming verse as مَعَ means “With” so Allah ta’ala is not just helping people who do Sabr but,
He is with them
Knowing Allah ta’ala is with us and knowing He knows of what we’re going through is in itself heart-warming, comforting and empowering.
Surah Shuraa verse 43
وَلَمَنْ صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
And if one observes patience and forgives, it is, of course, one of the courageous conducts.
Allah says that if one exercises patience and forgives, this is among the most courageous conducts. A person who always forgives is regarded as weak however, Allah ta’ala says different. It takes courage to remain patient and to forgive.
غَفَرَ is to cover the consequences so a person forgives the aggressor so as not see them punished in this world or in the Aakhirah.
By forgiving one actually liberates one’s self from the hurt, anger, and all negative feelings which weighs a person down.
It is reported from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam that Musa AS once asked Allah who is most honourable in His sight. Allah replied, “The person who pardons despite possessing the ability to retaliate.” [Mishkat]