What is Qalb?

What is Qalb? part-12: Suhbat of Ahlullah

Suhabat (Company) of Ahl-e-Dil as a Cause of Revivification of Qalb
(Whole hearts are the receiving stations of the Divine Light)

Allah Ta’ala says in Qur’ân:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

“O Believers! remain with the truthful”. (9:119)

The Qalb also needs watering as the land needs rain. The water of Qalb are the words of pious people and company of  the Ulema. How is it possible that one’s dead and dry heart will get revived in the company of such people? Remember that the Nafs and the Shaitân are two things which cause opacity of Qalb by way of sins. The Shaitân’s origin is fire. So, a person has two kinds of fires with him, one is the fire of his baser self (Nafs) and other is the fire of Satan (Shaitân), the smoke of these fires is blackening his Qalb all the time. When a person sits in the company of the pious Muttaqi people who have got their hearts purified and enlightened by the Noor of Allah Ta’ala the Tajalliyaat of Allah Ta’ala that are always falling on their hearts change the condition of this person miraculously. When they talk, this divine light i.e., Noor mixes up with their words and when they utter such words from their mouth, they penetrate deep into the sincere listener’s heart and revivify it. The fire of Shaitân and that of his baser self gets extinguished by the Noor of the hearts of these pious people.

One can observe this light (Noor) when he goes to such a pious man who advises him to offer Salâh regularly or to tell the truth. This person after returning from starts offering Salâh regularly. This person was knowing it already that Salâh is compulsory and should be offered, or that one should tell the truth but still he was not doing so. What has happened by a simple sentence of this pious man that now this person has started offering prayers? Again, the same thing, he was very well knowing that Salâh should be offered but his baser self i.e., Nafs and Shaitân were very strong and were not allowing him to do so. When he remained in the company of a pious person for some moments, the Noor emanating from his heart extinguished the fire of Shaitân, so he could easily overpower Shaitân and Nafs and thus started offering Salâh and acquired the habit of telling the truth.

If one wants to do good deeds which he already knows, it is obligatory for him to sit in the company of Sâlihîn (the pious people).

Suhbat-i-Sâlihîn is a very exalted thing in this world. It is said that there are many advantages to remain in solitude, but one of the biggest disadvantage of this is that in it Suhbat-i-Sâlihîn is not available and such people lose the blessings of their pious company. One of the reasons mentioned for the Iblees becoming Mardood (condemned) is that he was avoiding the company of Noori angels when he was living with them and was proud of his worship.

Allah Ta’ala ordered Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam),

وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ

“And keep yourself content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His face”. (18:28)

Though Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was always in the company of Allah Ta’ala but this Aayat was still revealed for the teaching of Ummah.

Effects of good company (Suhabat)

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى التَّمِيمِىُّ وَقَطَنُ بْنُ نُسَيْرٍ – وَاللَّفْظُ لِيَحْيَى – أَخْبَرَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ إِيَاسٍ الْجُرَيْرِىِّ عَنْ أَبِى عُثْمَانَ النَّهْدِىِّ عَنْ حَنْظَلَةَ الأُسَيِّدِىِّ قَالَ – وَكَانَ مِنْ كُتَّابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَالَ – لَقِيَنِى أَبُو بَكْرٍ فَقَالَ كَيْفَ أَنْتَ يَا حَنْظَلَةُ قَالَ قُلْتُ نَافَقَ حَنْظَلَةُ قَالَ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ مَا تَقُولُ قَالَ قُلْتُ نَكُونُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يُذَكِّرُنَا بِالنَّارِ وَالْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى كَأَنَّا رَأْىَ عَيْنٍ فَإِذَا خَرَجْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- عَافَسْنَا الأَزْوَاجَ وَالأَوْلاَدَ وَالضَّيْعَاتِ فَنَسِينَا كَثِيرًا قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّا لَنَلْقَى مِثْلَ هَذَا. فَانْطَلَقْتُ أَنَا وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ حَتَّى دَخَلْنَا عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قُلْتُ نَافَقَ حَنْظَلَةُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « وَمَا ذَاكَ ». قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ نَكُونُ عِنْدَكَ تُذَكِّرُنَا بِالنَّارِ وَالْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى كَأَنَّا رَأْىَ عَيْنٍ فَإِذَا خَرَجْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِكَ عَافَسْنَا الأَزْوَاجَ وَالأَوْلاَدَ وَالضَّيْعَاتِ نَسِينَا كَثِيرًا. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « وَالَّذِى نَفْسِى بِيَدِهِ إِنْ لَوْ تَدُومُونَ عَلَى مَا تَكُونُونَ عِنْدِى وَفِى الذِّكْرِ لَصَافَحَتْكُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عَلَى فُرُشِكُمْ وَفِى طُرُقِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَا حَنْظَلَةُ سَاعَةً وَسَاعَةً ». ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ.

Hanzala Usayyidi, who was amongst the scribes of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). reported: I met Abu Bakr. He said: How are you? He (Hanzala) said: Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. He (Abu Bakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our very eyes and when we are away from Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to After-life) slip out of our minds. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and said to him: Allah’s Messenger, Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah’s Messenger, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths but, Hanzala, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the Holy Prophet) said this thrice.

From this incident many lessons are derived but I will confine myself to my topic only that is in the Suhabat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the Sahâbah were experiencing strange things which they lacked in his absence. Sahâbah Al-Kiram said that they noticed dramatic change in themselves after the departure of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from the world so soon that they had not even finished the burial ceremony of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the clay of the grave was still sticking to their hands.

Effects of bad company (Suhabat)

Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was reciting Qur’ân- i-Sharief in Salâh while he was Imâm of Sahâbahh-Kirâm (RA). During the course of recitation of the Qur’ân, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) experienced some difficulty in reciting. After the completion of Salâh (prayer), Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) turned towards the Sahâbah (RA) and said,

“What has happened to the people that they are joining the Salâh (prayer) without proper Wudhu(ablution).” (Mishkat Sharief)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had come to know {through the intuition) that a person had joined the congregational Salâh without proper Wudhu and the effect of this was experienced by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the form of difficulty in recitation of the Qur’ân. You can imagine that the effect of the company of a person who had not made the Wudhu properly was such that it even effected Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who was the most perfect of the mankind. From this one can easily judge how one’s Qalb must be getting ruined in the company of bad people who are always engaged in the disobedience of Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.

What is Qalb? part-11: following the Sunnah

 Following of Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)

as a cause of revivification of Qalb. -Dr. Rafiq Ahmed

This is one of the most important causes of revivification of Qalb. Blessed are those who understand it and follow it from the core of their hearts. Earlier on it was comprehensively proved that if you want to get rid of the darkness of Qalb and to enlighten it with the Noor of the Qur’ân, you have to connect your Qalb with the power house of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

“Say:(O Muhammad)! “If you do love Allah Ta’ala, follow me: Allah Ta’ala will love you and forgive you your sins, for Allah Ta’ala is oft-forgiving, most merciful.” (3:31)

In this verse Allah Ta’ala declares that if you want My (i.e, Allah Ta’ala’s) love, you have only one way out, that is to follow Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). You know, the Qur’ân is the precious treasure of Allah Ta’ala. He will bestow this treasure only to those whom He loves. In other words, first we have to behave in such a way so that one becomes beloved of Allah Ta’ala, otherwise how can you expect His blessings, particularly a blessing like that of Al-Qur’ân. Allah Ta’ala has not left this for us to think how can we make Him happy. He has been kind enough to tell us well in advance as to what is the thing which He expects from us so that He may love us and subsequently bestow upon us His unlimited blessings, best of which is the Qur’ân. He says that He will love those who follow Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Unfortunately, these days so called modern Muslims, who are highly influenced by the apparently glittering west, think that following Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is unnecssary and orthodox.

Allah Ta’ala says:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِيهِمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

“Indeed, ye have in the Messenger of Allah Ta’ala an excellent exemplar”. (60:6)

Allah Ta’ala says that the best example for you is the life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the so called modern Muslims of today by their deeds if not by their belief, say that the best way is the western way of life. How can these people understand the divine message of the Qur’ân? The Qur’ân is guidance for those who fear Allah Ta’ala and abstain from sins.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

“It is Guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah Ta’ala”. (2:2)

One who fears Allah Ta’ala, will not displease Him. From the above verse (3:31) it is clear that Allah Ta’ala will not be pleased with somebody who does not follow Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

How can following of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) help in understanding the Qur’an

Every aspect of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is full of Noor, whether it be his pious Rooh (spirit) or his life or his words or deeds. He was not a Noor for himself only. Allah Ta’ala says that He has sent him as Noor (to mankind). Unfortunate are those who are devoid of this Noor and blessed are those who are cherishing this wealth.

When a Mu’min (believer) acts according to the Sunnah (tradition) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), each such deed carries a Noor with it which illuminates and enlightens the Qalb of the doer of this deed, which has been done strictly as per Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). These are called Anwaar-i-Sunnan. Say for example, a person has to take his meals, he takes his meals as per Sunnah—washing both of his hands before eating, recites Bismillah, lays the Dastaarkhan (sheet), takes the food from front side of the plate etc. He does this with the Niyyat that these are the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and that Allah Ta’ala likes him to follow Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Now, one person takes his meals but does not do these things and does not make this Niyyat and the other person takes his meals according to the Sunnah. Both take meals, yet there is a great difference between the two. Both get energies for their bodies from the food, but the second person who takes the meals as per Sunnah gets Roohani (spiritual) energy as well. This person with Roohani (spiritual) energy is better placed for understanding the Qur’ân than the first one. From this example one must have understood how following of Sunnah is necessary for Tazkiya and how the deeds not as per Sunnah can deprive a person from Tazkiya. Here it may be understood that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says that the Dua of such a person is not accepted by Allah Ta’ala who takes Haraam food. Here again this Haraam food spoils the Qalb thus depriving the blessings of Dua to shower upon this person.

This thing is so easy to understand as it has very simple reasoning but unfortunately the Qaloob (hearts) of majority of Muslims have got so much darkened and lifeless that they fail to understand this simple fact as to how can following of the Sunnah help in imbibing the Divine guidance. These days there are thousands of libraries, millions of books, hundreds of journals, advanced audio visual methods of propagating Islam and countless conferences and other Islamic congregation held everywhere. Islamic history reveals that in earlier centuries these things were not available in plenty. All the same earlier Muslims were qualitatively far superior to the modern Muslims. If you measure it by using the modern yardstick then the situation should have been reverse i.e., with the modern advances which are providing more and more information easily to a Muslim, should have been qualitatively better but it is not so. It is simply because today’s Muslim, highly overawed and greatly influenced by the western culture, thinks that he can become a good Muslim and can understand the Qur’ân by using the modern audio visual aids of propagation and by reading too many books even if his actions and lifestyle is totally western and against the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Hadhrat Imâm Malik (RA) used to say that this Ummah cannot regain its glory unless it adopts the same means which were adopted by earlier Muslims i.e., Sahâbah al-Kirâm (RA) and Taaba’een. The secret of success and the source of the knowledge was the Sunnah of Rasullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is Qalb? part-10: Remembrance of Death

Remembrance of death and sense of accountability as a cause of revivification of Qalb

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that:

 Qalb gets rusted. He was asked by his companions y as to how can this rust be removed from the Qalb. Rasulullahe replied, the rust of the Qalb can be removed by two things viz; remembrance of death and recitation of the Qur’ân. (Baihaqi)

Remembrance of death plays a very effective role in purifying the heart. Allah Ta’ala has created man as a very wonderful creature. Despite having excellent qualities, man has also some characteristics contrary to excellent and one of them is negligence. It would have been very difficult for man to commit a sin if this negligence would not have existed. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says that a Mumin (true believer) does not remain a Mumin during the time he steals or indulges in adultery .There is a consensus among the scholars (Ulema-e-Haq) that one does not become a Kaafir (disbeliever) by committing a grave sin. But the above mentioned Hadith states that a Mumin does not remain Mumin during the time he steals or commits adultery. Commentators of Hadith have given the explanation that it is impossible to commit disobedience of Allah Ta’ala in the presence of Imaan. In other words we can say that when a Mu’min commits a grave sin, his Imaan is present but he becomes negligent about it. It is during this period of negligence that he dares to commit disobedience of Allah Ta’ala. Prerequisite of Imaan is that one has firm belief that Allah Ta’ala is always watching and is always present wherever one may be. In presence of such a firm belief, how can a Mu’min dare to commit a sin? Obviously it is his negligence which makes him to commit a sin resulting in rusting of his Qalb. Unfortunately most of the Muslims today spend their whole lives under the dark clouds of this negligence (Gaflat). This negligence is the root cause of deteriorating condition of the present day Muslims and their unawareness about the treasures of the glorious Qur’ân. It has been many times stated that the instrument for understanding the Qur’ân is the Qalb and that the sins committed cause rusting of the Qalb and hence depriving it of its ability to understand the Qur’ân. Here we can understand that a Mu’min commits a sin when he is negligent of the basic belief of Imaan that Allah Ta’ala is seeing, is present and that he has to appear before Him for accountability on the Day of Judgment.

Since Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has been the most kind to his Ummah, he (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has very kindly taught the Muslims that if they want to get rid of the rust on their Qaloob in order to get it revived, they should constantly remember death in abundance. Every one of us must have experienced the softening of heart on the death of any of our close relative. One experiences a strange change in his heart. Man is such a negligent creature that he even forgets this absolute reality of death which he witnesses now and then. This negligence is indeed horrible. This negligence hardens his Qalb and he gets busy with mundane affairs to such an extent that his Qalb loses all its excellences. The death of some near and dear one reminds him of the short life span of this world life and the everlasting life in the Hereafter. At the same time death makes him to remind the horrifying incidents which he has to experience after death. It makes him to remind that he has to leave his children, wife, parents and other relations who are most dear to him and for whom he is working day in and day out. It makes him remind the luxurious bungalows and all its luxurious decorative things will remain behind and won’t accompany him in the grave. These painful thoughts definitely soften the hardened hearts.

Distant hopes

One of the important causes as well as the effect of the negligence is development of distant hopes.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says in a Hadith:

“I fear two things that may overcome you, first—obedience of the desires of Nafs (self) and second—the distant hopes (Tooli-Amal)”. (Mishkat Sharief)

Satan (Shaitân) takes full advantage of this quality of negligence of a man and involves him in distant hopes. The distant hopes mean that a person thinks in his inner thoughts of great ambitious plans which he hopes may get fulfilled in the coming decades, but at the same time forgetting that the present day may be his last day. He enjoys the thoughts of these future plans (in air) least realizing that he is wasting his time and that Satan (Shaitân) and his self (Nafs) are keeping him away from the Reality.

When Imâm Ghazzali (RA) wrote the chapter of “Akhlaaqi-Razeelah — ‘Despicable Morals’” in his famous book “Ihya-ul-Uloom”, he kept this bad quality of distant hopes on number one in the list of human despicable morals. When I read this in the early years of my life, I got surprised to see this at the top of the list and other bad qualities like pride, jealousy, greed, back biting etc below it. I could not understand it at that time, but later on as I gained some experience, I had no words to praise the depth of Ilm (know-ledge), this great man of Islam (Imâm Ghazzali R.A) was having as he has rightly placed this on number one. I could also appreciate by the grace of Allah Ta’ala, that this bad disease of distant hopes ruins a Muslim. A person who gets this disease of distant hopes, is always having false hopes about his future, lives in a fool’s paradise. These distant hopes keep him away from Allah Ta’ala, and from the real life—The Hereafter. He remains busy in materialistic things least realizing that they are not going to last. He gets no time to explore the treasures of the Holy Qur’ân. He boasts of his worldly status, worldly knowledge and worldly gains. He is like a person who constructs a huge beautiful building on a bridge, feels proud of it and takes rest in that building very comfortably. He is satisfied and fell secure in this building. Suddenly a strong wave arises from the river, strikes against the bridge and engulfs it and this man’s false paradise. Then this person realizes that every thing in this world was a nightmare. He wakes up to the realities at a time when it is too late and of no use to him.

Most of us know the story of Shaikh Chilly. He becomes a very rich man in a few minutes and marries a very beautiful lady in his thoughts while carrying a tin of oil on his head (as he was a very poor porter). He gets lost in his thoughts feeling so much joy that he shakes his head in happiness and the tin of oil falls down and collapses and all his hopes are dashed to ground. We laugh at him whenever we narrate this incident, but if we go a little deeper in ourselves with sincerity, most of us will definitely find that we are no different than Shaikh Chilly. We will find out that we too also think like Shaikh Chilly. Then what is the difference? There appears to be no difference. May Allah Ta’ala make all of us to understand this point and cure us of this fatal disease of Tooli Amal. The ultimate result of both these despicable morals i.e., distant hopes and negligence is the cause of the rusting of the Qalb. This rusted Qalb remains blind to the realities revealed in the Qur’ân. The remedy lies in the remembrance of death. A person who remember death cannot think of distant hopes and cannot afford to be negligent of his basic duties which include knowing Allah Ta’ala, His Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and understanding of the Qur’ân.

How to remember death

Every night when you go to bed, switch off the lights, close your eyes, when it is absolutely calm in the room, start thinking about death as this — it may be my last night, I may not get up from my bed tomorrow. What will happen then? My children, wife and parents etc will remain behind. All my property will remain behind. My clothes will be taken off. I will be helpless in the hands of few people who will wash my body. I will wrapped up in a simple white cloth (Kafan). I will then be put in a closed box (Taboot) and buried in the darkness of the grave. The grave will be closed and I will be alone there. Nakeer and Munkar—the two angels) will come and will question me. What will be my fate that time? What will be my fate on the Day of Judgment and so on and so forth.

lnsha-Allah Ta’ala after a few days only one will appreciate the softening of his heart which one needs for understanding the Qur’ân.

What is Qalb? part-9: Causes of Ihya of the Qalb

Causes of Revivification (Ihya) and Enlightenment of Qalb- Dr Rafiq Ahmed

  1. Firm faith in Allah Ta’ala.

  2. Avoidance of pollution of Qalb by the filth of sins.

  3. Remembrance of Allah Ta’ala.

  4. Recitation of the Quran with Aadâb (etiquettes and pre-requisites).

  5. Remembrance of Death and sense of accountability on the day of Judgement.

  6. Following of the Sunnah (Tradition) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) strictly.

  7. To have the noble company and the guidance of Ahle-Dil (whose hearts are receiving-stations of the Divine Light).

  1. Firm faith in Allah Ta’ala

This has already been described to some extent. This is the first and the foremost prerequisite for revivification and satisfaction of heart. The darkest and biggest stain which ruins the capability of pure and live heart is Kufr (not believing in Allah Ta’ala and His Messenger).

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) described such a heart as dead. Such a dead heart can neither appreciate nor enjoy the ultimate Reality. It is also unaware of its most pitiable and miserable condition, hence feels false happiness which is illusory with no comparison to the real one.

  1. Avoidance of pollution of Qalb by the filth of sins

If a piece of wood is taken near the fire, it will burn, whether one intends to burn it or not. Similarly, when one commits a sin, it stains the heart and makes it impure whether he wishes it or not. If a person misuses his eyes, i.e., gazes at those ladies whom he is not allowed to look at as per Shariah, even without bad intentions, will cause a stain on his Qalb, thus making it impure. Similarly if a person talks ill about others, this will ruin his heart. These sins are like cyanide, anybody taking it will die, whether he intends to die or not. Those people whose spiritual sense of smell (extra sensory perception of smell) is functioning do feel the awful bad (repugnantly foul) smell of sins. The angels having much finer perception of things feel the foul smell of sins, hence most of the angels of mercy leave the company of such a person and curse him.

A great man in Islamic History Hadhrat Imâm Abu Haniefah (RA) had such an inner vision that he could see the sins of people which were getting washed off from them while performing ablution (Wudhu). He therefore decreed that the water falling down from the parts of body being washed during Wudhu, is not pure. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said in a Hadith that Allah Ta’ala does not see towards the external appearance of people but towards their hearts and their intentions. When hearts are impure and filled with filth, they cannot receive the pure Eternal Light (Nur) necessary for understanding the divine revelation—the Holy Qur’ân and for perceiving the ultimate Reality.

After having firm faith in Allah Ta’ala, it is imperative to avoid all sins, major or minor, in order to protect the capability of Qalb to understand the Qur;an. One may read thousands of books including great commentaries of the Qur’ân, he cannot even smell the fragrance of the purest Divine revelation of al-Qur’ân.

  1. Remembrance of Allah Ta’ala (Zikrullah):

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says in a Hadith that:

 “The Qalb which is in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala is live and the Qalb which is careless of it is as good as dead”. (Bukhâri & Muslim Sharief)

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:

فَوَيْلٌ لِلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مِنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُولَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

“Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala! They are manifestly wandering (in error)!” (39:22)

Hafiz Ibn Taymiya (RA) says that Zikrullah is so much necessary for heart as water is necessary for fish. Imagine the condition of a fish without water. It has already been mentioned that the receptors for appreciating the divine light and the Ultimate Reality are in the Qalb and that they get fogged by the sins, and totally blocked by the dark clouds of Kufr (Atheism). To remove this fog or dark clouds from the receptors of Qalb one needs two things:

1) Irrigation by the water of Zikr.

2) Heat of Muhabbat (Love).

One needs these two things in the same way as one needs them for a tree from which one wants to have fruits. The tree to flourish and to bear fruit, needs enough irrigation and the sunlight.

what is Qalb? part-8 : Locks upon the Qalb

 Locks Upon the Qalb

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

“ Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur’ân, or is that there are locks upon their hearts ?” (47:24)

Allah Ta’ala has sent an immense treasure to man in the form of the Qur’ân. Allah Ta’ala wants man to earnestly seek to understand this Divine revelation and to do justice to his own capabilities which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed upon him. It is in this context that Allah Ta’ala pities those who do not seek to understand the Qur’ân. The failure to understand the Qur’ân has been attributed to the locks upon their hearts in this verse of the Qur’ân.

It is the duty of everybody to know the essence and reality of these locks? And secondly to try his level best to scrutinize the condition of his Qalb and see if it is not locked.

Qalb is capable of seeking the secrets of heavens

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: ” If the Satan would not have been roaming around the hearts of men, they would have been able to see the angels (and the secrets) of heavens.” (Baihaqi Sharief)

It is this haziness caused by the Satan on the plain mirror of the Qalb that obscures it from viewing the Realities. Otherwise this mirror of Qalb, if kept clean or got cleaned, has the capability to view those things which remain hidden. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) further says: “When a person is born, an angel and a Satan are posted on his Qalb, the angel invites him towards righteousness while Satan towards evil deeds.” (Tirmidhi Sharief)

If a person follows the directions of the angel, his Satan becomes weak. On the other hand if a person follows the direction of the Satan, it becomes very strong and causes thick clouds on his Qalb. By following the Satan one commits sins. We have already quoted a hadith in which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says that sins cause dark stains on heart. Correlating the two we can infer that these are the sins which cause darkness or haziness on the Qalb. This darkness blocks the receptors of the Qalb which were to perceive the Reality. When these receptors fail to do so i.e., to perceive the Reality, we can say that these receptors of Qalb have got locked.

After knowing a little bit about these locks, now we can understand the meaning and significance of this DUA (prayer) in which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

اللهم افتح قلوبنا بذكرك

“O Allah Ta’ala! open the locks of our hearts by (the grace of) your remembrance”.

Allah Ta’ala is Nur (Divine Light), His Attributes posses Nur and His name is full of Nur. When a Mumin (True Believer) remembers Him by His name, its Nur enters his Qalb and illuminates and enlightens it. The receptors of Qalb which had been in darkness of sins and in the grip of Satan receive the Divine Light which overcomes this darkness and also forces the Satan to vacate from this enlightened Qalb. The receptors of this Qalb start functioning and thereby it gets revived. Now we can understand this Qur’ânic verse well:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala do the hearts find the satisfaction.” (13:28)

What is Qalb? Part-7: What destroys the Qalb?

What destroys the highest inherent capabilities of Qalb

عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَالَ : إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا أَذْنَبَ كَانَتْ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ فِى قَلْبِهِ فَإِنْ تَابَ وَنَزَعَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ صُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ فَإِنْ زَادَ زَادَتْ فَذَلِكَ الرَّانُ الَّذِى ذَكَرَهُ اللَّهُ فِى كِتَابِهِ ( كَلاَّ بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ)

Abu Huriarah (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said: “Indeed when a man commits sin, there occurs a black stain on his heart. Then if he repents and asks forgiveness (from Allah Ta’ala) his heart gets cleaned and if he commits more sins, that black stain increases in size till it covers the whole heart. It is that cover of impure (sins), which has been called Ra’an (rust), which Allah Ta’ala mentions in the verse No. (83:14)” (Ibn Majah)

كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

“By no means! But on their hearts is the stain of the (ill) which they do”. (83:14)

The heart of man, as created by Allah Ta’ala is pure and unsullied. When a man does an evil deed, it makes a stain on his heart. But on repentance or forgiveness, this stain gets washed off. If such a person doesn’t repent or is not forgiven, this stain deepens as well as spreads more and more, until his heart is sealed and eventually he dies a spiritual death. These are such stains which prevent the heart from perceiving truths which are otherwise obvious to enlightened hearts.

Allah Ta’ala says

خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

“AlIah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil, Great is the chastisement They (incur). (2: 7)

Pure heart is like a mirror. If it is free from these evil stains, it has the ability to receive and reflect the Divine Light which penetrates the veils lying between the Reality and the eyes. But if this mirror of Qalb (Divine) is stained with evil deeds, it gets sullied and hence unable to receive this light. It loses its function and becomes as good as dead. This dead state of Qalb is here referred to in Aayat (2:7) as a seal, as if their hearts have been sealed.

The biggest and the darkest stain on Qalb is caused by Kufr (not believing in Allah Ta’ala and His Messenger—Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) )

This evil almost completely darkens the Qalb and one can say it gets completely sealed or shut off from the Reality.

In case of believers the ratio of the stain on Qalb and the evil deeds is directly proportional. More the evil deeds, more the stains and vice versa. If a believers do not desist from these kind of deeds and remains adamant on the evil deeds of major significance, there is every apprehension that his heart may also get sealed which he may not be even knowing.

May Allah Ta’ala protect our hearts from this disease- Aamin.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:

فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِمْ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَكُفْرِهِمْ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَقَتْلِهِمُ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَقَوْلِهِمْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلْفٌ بَلْ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

“(They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant. That they rejected the signs of Allah Ta’ala; that they slew the Messenger in defiance of right; that they said, “ Our hearts are the wrappings” Nay, Allah Ta’ala hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, And little is it they believe”.(4:155)

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

“Do they not then Earnestly seek to understand The Qur’ân, or is that there are Locks upon their Hearts.” (47:24)

Because of these serious evils, Allah Ta’ala sets the seal on their hearts so that they no more deserve the Divine Light and divine pleasure. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) , says that: “The hardened heart (the heart which is stained and darkened) is disliked by Allah Ta’ala the most.”

What is Qalb? part-6

Qalb—The seat of faculty of understanding and knowledge

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا أُولَئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

“ Many are the jinns and men we have made for Hell. They have hearts where-with they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle -nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning)”. (7:179)

Here Allah Ta’ala once again clearly reveals that the seat of faculty of understanding is Qalb and those who do not make use of this faculty, they are as good as cattle.

Rabeea Al-Jurashi (RA) quotes Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as saying:

 “An angel came to him and said, “Let your eyes sleep, let your ears hear but your Qalb (heart) remain awakned”. (Mishkaat Sharief)

This is a vast subject, I would like to conclude it in the light of the Qur’ânic revelations and Ahâdith which I have quoted, the following conclusions become quite crystal clear to us:

  1. Qalb is the seat of faculty of understanding and divine knowledge.

  2. Qalb is the instrument which has been specially devised for receiving and appreciating the eternal light.

  3. For proper understanding of the Qur’ân, a pure, live and properly functioning Qalb is needed.

  4. The spiritual jewels have been kept hidden in darkness in the Qalb.

  5. Blind Qalb can neither attain any spiritual height nor know the Reality.

  6. To bring Qalb out of darkness so that it can utilise its higher faculties, a light is needed.

  7. The light can be had from one and the only lamp and that is Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) .

  8. In other words we can say understanding of the Qur’ân is the function of Qalb which is illuminated and the enlightened by the light of the lamp of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) , which makes it capable of receiving eternal light necessary for unraveling the spiritual truths.