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
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
Surah Takweer: verse 25
So where are you heading?
The verse in mentioned in context of the disbelievers doubting the Qur’an when it is not the word of any accursed Satan, nor a sooth-sayer, nor a madman, nor a poet, nor a person who has ulterior motives.
As for us who have wandered off the straight path into the wilderness of sin and disobedience,
So where are you heading?
Ustadhah Aisha Choudhry – Zaynab Institute
Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullah) related that once a person sat next to me to fan me (with a hand held fan presumably). With such love he continued his service however I was not happy as the fan kept coming so close to my face that I feared it would hit my face any time. My fear soon became a reality and the fan did indeed hit my face, and irritated, I told him to stop! The poor fellow stopped and sat down.
This incident brought a thought to my mind; I was not pleased with the man’s service to me as he was causing me discomfort. Yet he must have been so happy thinking he was rendering me a service and in so doing was pleasing me whereas in reality he was causing me to become irritable. Similarly we become so pleased when we perform any good deeds. We are so certain that Allah ta’ala must be very pleased with us. On reflection we will find that what is the reality of our worship???
We cannot even perform our Salaat in the correct manner and with presence of heart and mind, yet we are so proud of it believing that we are making Allah ta’ala pleased!
This was the state of our pious predecessors, what about us?
Abu Haazim Makki (Rahimahullah) said,
I have discovered all things in two things;
What has been ordained for me and what has not been ordained for me
(Even if I flee from what has been ordained for me, it will reach me and even if I pursue what has not been ordained for me, it will elude me)
Since Sulaymaan AS had control over all types of creation, and they all formed his army, he used to keep a check on them. On one occasion, when he checked on the birds, he found the Hoopoe (Hudhud) missing. Describing the scene Allah ta’ala says that when Sulaymaan AS inspected the birds he asked why he did not see Hudhud.
And (once) he (Sulaiman) checked the birds and said, “How is it with me that I do not see the hudhud (hoopoe)? Rather he has disappeared. [Surah Naml: 20]
It is worth noting a subtle point here. Instead of asking, “What is wrong with the hoopoe that he is absent?” Sulaymaan AS asked about his own wrong when he said, “How is it with me” (What is wrong with me?)
This is how people of Taqwa react in any distress. They first evaluate themselves in any situation. When any blessing is reduced for them, they take into account of any possible slips on their part in paying gratitude to Allah for His bounties, which might have caused the withdrawal of the blessings from them.
Ibn Arabi (Rahimahullah) said,
When these saints do not succeed in their objectives, they take stock of their deeds to find out where have they committed the mistake
After this initial stock-taking of the self and deliberations Sulaymaan AS said, “Rather he has disappeared”
Surah Yoosuf: Verse 18
“And they came with fake blood on his shirt. He said, ‘Rather, your inner desires have tempted you to do something. So, patience is best. It is Allah whose help is sought against what you describe.'”
To substantiate their claim of their brother Yoosuf AS being devoured by a wolf, his brothers had removed his shirt before throwing him into the well and smeared it with the blood of some animal. However, they had failed to rip up the shirt to indicate that the wolf had devoured Yoosuf AS. Realising that they were lying when their father, Ya’qoob AS, saw the shirt in perfect order, he told them it was their Nafs (base desires) which had led them to this.
Thereafter he said,
فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ ۖ وَاللَّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ
So, patience is best. It is Allah whose help is sought [Surah Yoosuf:18]
He realised that it was from Allah ta’ala and part of a bigger plan
The following verses are addressed to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam as a spiritual defence in the face of hostility
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ
فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُنْ مِنَ السَّاجِدِينَوَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ
We know that your heart feels distressed for what they say. So, proclaim the purity and glory of your Lord, and be among those who prostrate themselves (before Allah)
and worship your Lord until comes to you that which is certain
[Surah Hijr: 97-99]
These verses teaches us that in the face of heart breaking words or actions from others which causes the heart to constrict with grief, then there is a spiritual cure for it.
· Tasbeeh (Glorifying Allah ta’ala)
· Tahmeed (Praising Allah ta’ala)
· Be of the ساجِدِين (those who prostrate)
· ‘Ibaadah which includes many forms, Salaah being the highest form
And Allah ta’ala will Himself will remove this grief.
Dhikr elevates a person to high stages in Jannah and opens up the constricted heart. People who do Dhikr find peace of heart despite others hurting them.
How many of us can say the following words of Prophet Yoosuf AS (to his brothers) to someone who has hurt us?
لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ
No reproach upon you today
This is the noble quality of magnanimous people which we should try to emulate
Never lose your peace)and burn your heart with jealousy and greed over the blessings that Allah ta’ala has bestowed on others as Allah ta’ala has also given them battles you may not know of to fight daily. Your happiness lies in what you have and your reward lies in being grateful for what you have. Remember,
All that glitters is not gold, silver, diamonds or platinum…
All that glitters may just be a shiny tin clip amongst the rubble…
Adapted from article by Jamait.org