Tag Archives: Heart

Fear Allah’s Punishment but Hope for His Mercy

Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawzi (in Madarij As-Salikeen) said:

The heart in its journey towards Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) is like a bird; its head is love, and its two wings are hope and fear. When the head and the two wings are sound and healthy, then the bird will fly well. If the head of the bird is cut off, it immediately dies, and when either or both wings are deficient, the bird cannot fly properly and it may become the victim of a hunter that passes by.

From this analogy we learn that without love of Allah we cannot successfully “journey towards Him,” and without hope in Allah’s mercy or fear from His punishment, we may be easy victims for Shaytaan (أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم).

So the Muslim, then, with resolute love for Allah [1] (سبحانه وتعالى), lives between hope and fear. He “call[s] upon Allah out of fear and hope,” [2] and he “forsake[s] [his] bed, to invoke [his] Lord in fear and hope, and [he] spend[s] (charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them.” [3]

Fear

Imam Ahmad recorded from ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنها‏): I said: “O Messenger of Allah, ‘And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord,’ [4] are these the ones who steal and commit zina and drink alcohol while fearing Allah?” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity, while fearing that it will not be accepted from them,” (i.e. it is these who hasten in the good deeds.) At-Tirmidhi recorded something similar.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه‏) said: If an angel had come down and announced that everyone would enter paradise except one person, I would fear that I would be that person. This is ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second khalifa, and one of the ten promised paradise! Subhanallah!

And how do we increase our fear of Allah’s punishment?

Ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه‏) said: “If a person has knowledge, he will fear Allah.” So we should increase our knowledge. And The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, as narrated by Anas (رضي الله عنه‏): “I swear by The One in Whose Hand my soul is, if you saw what I saw you would laugh little, and cry excessively.” The people said, “O Prophet of Allah! What did you see?” He (صلي الله عليه وسلم) replied, “I saw Paradise and Hell.” [Saheeh Muslim]. So we should reflect on the punishment of “him who ‘tagha’ (transgressed all bounds, in disbelief, oppression and evil deeds of disobedience to Allah), and preferred the life of this world. Verily, his abode will be Hellfire,” [5], the “Fire whose fuel is men and stones.” [6]

Hope

Anas reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) entered upon a young boy who was dying. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) asked: “How are you?” The boy replied: “O Messenger of Allah, I am in-between hoping in Allah and fearing for my sins.” The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “The like of these two qualities do not unite in the heart of a servant except that Allah gives him what he hopes for and protects him from what he feared.” [a hasan hadith – Collected by at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah, and authenticated by Al-Albaanee in Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz (no. 2).]

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه‏) also said: and if the angel had come down and announced that everyone will enter Hellfire except for one person, I would hope to be that person.

And Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says:

وَلاَ تَيْأَسُواْ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

Translation: and never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. Certainly, no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” [Surah Yusuf, verse 87]

And so “to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations.” [7] And ask yourself:

مَّا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا

Translation: What is the matter with you, [that you don’t fear Allah (His punishment), and] you don’t hope for reward (from Allah, or you believe not in His Oneness)? [8]


[قُل لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُون [1
Translation: Say (O Muhammad): “Not equal are the filthy things with the wholesome, even though the abundance of evil filth may please you.” So fear Allah much [(abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], O men of understanding in order that you may be successful. [Suratul Ma’idah, verse 100]
[2] وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا [Suratul-A’raaf, verse 56]
[3] تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ [Suratus-Sajdah, verse 16]
[4] وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ [Suratul-Mu’minuun, verse 60]
[5] فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَى وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَى [Suratun-Nazi’at, verses 37-39]
[6] فَاتَّقُواْ النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ [Suratul-Baqarah, verse 24]
[7] وَإِلَى رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ [Surat-Ash-Sharh, verse 8]
[8] مَّا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا [Surat-Nuh, verse 13]

References

Abdul-Bary Yahya. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Purification of the Heart: Love, Fear & Tears. Part 2: The Two Wings of the Believer.

Abu Iyaad As-Salafi. Salafipublications.com. On Eeman, Ibaadah and Tawheed: Their Link and Interrelation. Lesson 3: Love, Hope and Fear.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

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You are on camera!

camera
Imagine this. You are speeding on the road. The police officer catches you, pulls you over and gives you a speeding ticket.  What would your reaction be, next time you are driving especially driving through the same road. You would naturally slow down! Or you are stealing from your prayer (i.e. racing through it), you glance over and it seems like your friends might be looking at you. Your reaction…. In these and in countless other situations, we refrain from doing bad because we fear that we might be caught or someone might be looking at us. Most of the times, we are not even full 100% sure and yet we change our behavior.  But how about Allah, the ever watchful, who we know with certainty is always watching us. How much are we aware of Him? Lets look at some examples:

  • While the khaleefah of the Muslims, Umar (RA) passed by a home where a girl and her mother were differing over whether to mix water in with the milk they intended to sell to the Muslims. The mother said to mix water with the milk so that they may sell more and the daughter reminded her that even if the Khaleefah couldn’t see them committing wrong, Allah is Al-Baseer (Always All-Watching). Umar (RA) was soo taken by the vigilance of this girl he married her to his son who later produced righteous offspring.
  • A man who was successful wealthy man Nooh ibn Mariam, had
    a beautiful daughter and had a slave (Mubarak). He called his
    slave and told him to take care of his garden. One day he went
    to visit the garden and ordered Mubarak to get him a cluster of
    grapes. He brought the grapes they turned out to be bitter and
    he did this 3 times and each time they were bitter. Nooh
    became upset and said to Mubarak that don’t you know the
    difference between bitter and sweet grapes. He said By Allah I
    have never tasted a single grape because you ordered me to
    take care of your garden. Nooh was impressed and proposed
    that he marry his daughter. The result of that marriage was
    ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak.
  • Luqman, the wise, when he advised his son, he said: “[And Luqman said], “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted [31:16] This advise came even before he advised his son about salah, enjoining good and forbidding evil. This shows the importance of being vigilant. This is a very good lesson for parents as well. They can’t be with their kids all the time so they need to cultivate this feeling of consciousness into the young minds. This way no matter wherever they are,  they will always remember that Allah is watching over them.

Action Steps:

  1. Check out the verses: 50: 16 – 18 and post the translation in the comments.  Be the first one to post!
  2. Any time you think about committing some sin, remind yourself that Allah, the AlRaqeeb is watching over you.
  3. If you are trying to get rid of some bad habit, copy the verse 96:14 on a piece of paper and stick it in the place of temptation (TV, computer, mp3 player…..)
  4. Watch this video and find out which of the 5 advices relates closely to our topic (post in the comments)
  5. Make dua that Allah makes us among these people who are always aware of His presence.
  6. Pray for me

References:

  • Sheikh Riad. Lecture. AlMaghrib.  A Heart Serene. August 2008
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Find Peace

Bismillah

Sitting in a halaqah–in a khutbah–in an AlMaghrib class, learning about the deen of Allah– the emanrush, your heart just flutters with tranquility. With satisfaction. With humility. With peace.

Why do we only feel this way in these gatherings?

Allah azza wa jal provides the answer:

He says in Surah Ra’d ayah 28:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوب

Those who have believed and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, it is the remembrance of Allah which provides tranquility to hearts.

The true believers are those who find peace in the remembrance of Allah. Their hearts find rest. Their hearts are still. Their hearts find satisfaction. When dhikr (the mention of Allah) is made in their presence, their hearts find assurance and security. Dhikr, in this verse, can be the Qur’an or any deed that includes the remembrance of Allah. The Qur’an is the most effective dhikr because it is a shifaa’, a cure, for any illness in our chests.

The believers in this verse are those who remember Allah, recognize His ayaat, and are conscious of their emaan. Their hearts are the ones that find peace and security in the remembrance of Allah.

Why do their hearts find rest?

Simple: Our purpose in this life is to worship Allah, dhikr is worship, and when we remember Allah, we are fulfilling our purpose. Therefore, our hearts are at peace.

People often seek peace of mind (or heart) in such things as music, alcohol, shopping, or eating. But Allah ta’ala uses “alaa” in this verse. ‘Alaa’ is known in the Arabic language to imply exclusivity, meaning, ONLY with the remembrance of Allah will hearts be at peace–there is no other way!

Allah ta’ala also says

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

The true believers are those whose hearts tremble with fear when Allah is mentioned, and whose faith increases as they listen to His verses and their put their trust in their Rabb. (8:2)

Again, Allah ta’ala uses a phrase in Arabic that shows exclusivity, for “inna-ma” is like saying the reality is nothing but this, meaning the reality is that only the believers have these special qualities.

Ask yourself how your heart feels when the name of Allah is mentioned? Does your emaan increase when the Qur’an is recited? If not, we need to re-evaluate our emaan because this verse shows that only the true believers feel this way.

Notice that Allah ta’ala describes this as a cause and effect relationship. The believers feel their hearts tremble–they are literally awe-struck–and their emaan increases and becomes stronger. Still, they take the means, put their trust in Allah, and enjoining what He has commanded while staying away from His prohibitions. These believers don’t just seek a fuzzy feeling, they follow their fuzzy feelings with actions.

These fuzzy feelings are what is known as an “emanrush.” Many of us may attend gatherings of dhikr just to soften our hearts and bask in the mention and remembrance of The Most High. It is this feeling that draws people again and again to classes at the masajid, lectures by the shuyookh, and almaghrib seminars. Yes, our intention also includes seeking knowledge for the sake of Allah, but nothing can come close to hearing an ayah and whispering to yourself “subhanAllah” while your heart is utterly humbled. This is where the believers find tranquility.

In these two verses we see that Allah ta’ala mentions the effect of dhikr on the hearts of the believers, but does dhikr effect us externally as well?

Allah, azza wa jal, says

اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُّتَشَابِهًا مَّثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاء وَمَن يُضْلِلْ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ

Allah has revealed the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book, consistent with itself, (yet) repeating: the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble thereat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the remembrance of Allah. Such is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He pleases, but such as Allah leaves to stray, can have none to guide. (39:23)

Imam ibn Katheer states beautifully,

“this is the description of the righteous, when they hear the Words of the Compeller, the Protector, the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving, because they understand the promises and warnings contained therein. The frightening words and threats make their skin shiver from fear. ‘Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah’ because of their hope for His mercy and kindness.”

Qatadah said about this verse,

“`This is the characteristic of the friends [auliyaa] of Allah; Allah has described them in this manner, saying that their skin shivers, their eyes weep and their hearts find rest to the remembrance of Allah.”

Then Allah ta’ala says in the end of the verse, “Such is the guidance of Allah,” meaning these feelings are a trait of those who are truly guided, and no one else. This, again, shows exclusivity.

Thus, these verses imply three implications of exclusivity:

ONLY with the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.

ONLY
the believers’ hearts tremble with fear when Allah is mentioned, and their faith increases as they listen to His verses.

ONLY the skins and hearts of the guided will shiver with the remembrance of Allah and then become soft.

Next time you have an emanrush, remember these verses and thank Allah ta’ala. Always seek out the dhikr of Allah to soften your heart, to reach peace of mind, to feel humble in front of The One to Whom prostrates what is in the heavens and earth. Remind yourself that Allah ta’ala is not in need of your worship or remembrance in any way, He is Al-Ghaniyy (The One Free of All Needs), and this good is only for your weak and needy self, so be not among those whom Allah has cursed:

فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! They are in plain error! (39:22)

These are the ones whose hearts do not become soft, who do not take heed when the verses of Allah are recited to them, who do not feel any fear or humility, and they are in plain misguidance. may Allah azza wa jal protect us from being amongst them and may He soften our hearts and skins to His remembrance and make us among those who act upon it, Ameen.

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