Message for purifying the self

Since 2012-11-22

These are few words and little sentences of knowledge. However, they are very important, because they are the guidelines of Ahlul Sunnah Wa Al-Jama'ah concerning behavior and recovering the selves and purifying them to enable them to acquire the essence


 

In the name of Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful
 
All praise is due to Allah, The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance and the Severe in punishment. And prayers and peace of Allah be upon the Prophet, by whom Allah opened the gate of repentance and upon his family and companions and whoever followed him till the Day of Resurrection.
 
These are few words and little sentences of knowledge. However, they are very important, because they are the guidelines of Ahlul Sunnah Wa Al-Jama’ah (i.e. the People who follow the teachings of Sunnah and abide to the consensus of the righteous forefathers) concerning behavior and recovering the selves and purifying them to enable them to acquire the essence of piousness and light of knowledge. They are digested from the sayings of the scholar who knows well the diseases of selves and their cures and the methods of healing them, Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah Almighty have mercy on him). We had classified his sayings into paragraphs and assigned a suitable title for each paragraph to avoid reader’s confusion or boredom.
 
Signs of happiness:
 
Imam Ibn Al-Qayim (may Allah mercy him) mentioned that there are three signs for servant’s happiness; if he is granted, he would thank; and if he is afflicted, he would be patient; and if he committed a sin, he would seek forgiveness.
 
He said: “Therefore, these three issues are the signs of servant’s righteousness and his success in his worldly life and Hereafter too. Furthermore, the servant is all the time in one of these three statuses; he always shifts between these three statuses.
 
Thanking for the grants:
 
First: Grants of Allah come to him one after another; therefore, they are bonded with thanks
 
Pillars of thanking:
Thanking is based upon three pillars; acknowledging it in the heart, telling about it in public and employ it for the sake of its Giver. If he did so, he would have thanked, although he is slack in his thanking.
 
Patience during affliction:
 
Second: Afflictions are from Allah Almighty to test him; therefore, it is obligatory for him to be patient and forbear.
 
Pillars of patience:
 
Patience is preventing the self from dissatisfying what is destined, preventing tongue from complaint and preventing the limbs from sins; such as slapping the face, tearing the clothes, plucking out hair and so on.
 
Patience is based upon these three pillars; therefore, when the servant does them well, his affliction would turn to be a grant, his calamity would turn to be a gift, and the detested would turn to be desirable.
 
Wisdom of affliction:
 
Allah the Exalted and Glorious does not afflict the servant to perish him; rather He afflicts him to test his patience and slavery. Allah Almighty must be worshipped by the servant in cases of adversity as well as worshipping Him in cases of pleasure. Allah must be worshipped by the servant through doing what he does not like (for the sake of Him) as he does what he likes (for the sake of Him). Actually, most people perform worship as long as it is concerned with what they like, although the true worshipper is the one who worships Him by doing what is hard for the self to do, because it is what specifies the ranks of the servants and assigns their statures in the presence of Allah Almighty. For example, performing ablution with cold water in the hot climate is worship, having relation with his beautiful wife is worship and spending over her and his children and himself is worship; also performing ablution with the cold water in the cold climate is worship, neglecting committing the sin that he desires most (without having fear of people) is worship, spending during need is worship. However, there is great difference between the two kinds of worship.
 
The one who is servant to Allah in the two cases, and performs his obligations during pleasure and adversity, is the one whom Allah Almighty says about him: {Is not Allâh Sufficient for His slave?} [Surat Az-Zumar 39:36]
 
{ألَيسَ اللهُ بِكَافٍ عَبدَهُ} الزمر: 36  
 
Transliteration: Alaysa Allahu bikafin AAabdahu 
 
And in another reading {His servants}; actually, the meaning is the same.
 
The perfect sufficiency is accompanied with the perfect slavery while the imperfect sufficiency is accompanied with the imperfect slavery. Hence, whoever finds good should praise Allah, and whoever finds something different should blame none but himself.
 
Satan’s temptation:
 
Those are His servants whom His enemy can do nothing with them; Allah Almighty says: {"Verily, My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islâmic Monotheism) - you have no authority over them} [Surat Al-Isra 17:65].
 
{إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ} الإسراء: 65
 
Transliteration: Inna AAibadee laysa laka AAalayhim sultanun
 
And when Satan (the enemy of Allah) knew that Allah Almighty will never give His servants to him or give him authority over them, he said: {[Iblîs (Satan)] said: "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islâmic Monotheism)."} [Surat Sad 38:82-83],
 
{قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٨٢﴾ إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ} ص: 82- 83
 
Transliteration: Qala fabiAAizzatika laoghwiyannahum ajmaAAeena (82) Illa AAibadaka minhumu almukhlaseena
 
And He Almighty said: {And indeed Iblîs (Satan) did prove true his thought about them: and they followed him, all except a group of true believers (in the Oneness of Allâh). And he (Iblîs - Satan) had no authority over them, - except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt about it} [Surat Saba’: 20-21]
 
{وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلَّا فَرِيقًا مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾ وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالْآخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِي شَكٍّ} سبأ: 20-21
 
Transliteration: Walaqad saddaqa AAalayhim ibleesuthannahu faittabaAAoohu illa fareeqan mina almumineena (20) Wama kana lahu AAalayhim min sultanin illa linaAAlama man yuminu bialakhirati mimman huwa minha fee shakkin
 
Allah did not give His enemy authority over His believing servants; they are in His protection and under His guard. If His enemy assassinated one of them, as the thief assassinates the inattentive man, this is normal; because the servant is afflicted with inattentiveness, desire and anger while Satan penetrates him from these three gates. Regardless of how careful the servant is, he would certainly full in a moment of inattentiveness, desire or anger. Adam, the father of mankind (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), was one of the most patient, most wise and most enduring people; however, the enemy of Allah continued going round him till he made him fall in what he did. Thereupon, what do you think about the person whose mind in comparison with the mind of his father is like a drop of water compared to sea?!
 
Grace of opening the gate of repentance:
 
Third: Repentance and regret;
 
When Allah wants good to His servant, He would open to him gates of repentance, regret, humility, need, seeking refuge with Him, sincere going to Him, continuity of supplication and invocation and seeking nearness with Him by doing as much good deeds as possible to make the evil deed (that he committed) reason for having mercy, till the enemy of Allah says: “I wish I neglected him and did not make him fall.” This is the meaning of the saying of some forefathers: “The servant may do an evil deed that leads him to Paradise, and he may do a good deed that leads him to Hellfire.” People asked: “How?” Thereupon he said: “He may do the evil deed then stays in state of attentiveness, fear, weep, regret, shyness from his Lord Almighty, lowering the head between His Hands and feeling humility for Him. Hence, this evil deed be the reason of his pleasure and success. Furthermore, it may bring to him good greater than the good of doing many acts of obedience, because of the above mentioned consequences that lead to servant’s happiness and success. Then, this evil deed may be the reason of getting him in Paradise.”
 
Pride and arrogance disease:
 
By doing the good deed, the person may continue to remind his Lord with his doing, become conceited because of it, admire it and consider it much and say ‘I did and did’ till it be the reason of his perish. Then, if Allah Almighty wanted good to this poor person, He would afflict him with something that gets him down and makes him humiliate in his own eyes. On the other hand, if He wanted something else for him, He would neglect him with his pride and arrogance, this is the letting down that perishes him.
 
Success sign:
 
All scholars agree that “success” means not to be neglected to yourself by Allah Almighty. On the other hand, forsaking means being neglected to yourself by Allah Almighty.
 
Therefore, whomever Allah wants good for him, He opens for him the gates of humility and submission, continuous return to Allah Almighty and needing Him, seeing the defaults of the self, ignorance, injustice and offense. Observe the grace of his Lord and His beneficence, mercy, generosity, kindness, richness and praise.
 
Thereupon, the person who knows Allah walks towards Him Almighty with these two wings; he cannot go without them. When he misses one of them, he would be like the bird that missed one of his two wings.
 
Sheikh Al-Islam said: “The person who knows Allah walks towards Him between seeing the grace and looking at the default of the self and deed.”
 
This is the meaning of the saying of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) in the authentic Hadeeth: “The most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is to say: “O Allah, You are my Lord, there is no God except you, You created me and I am You servant and I abide to Your covenant and promise as best I can, I take refuge in You from the evil of which I committed. I acknowledge Your favour upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily none can forgive sin except You.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 
«سيد الاستغفار أن تقول: اللهم أنت ربي لا إله إلا أنت، خلقتني وأنا عبدك، وأنا على عهدك ووعدك ما استطعت، أعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت، أبوء لك بنعمتك علي وأبوء لك بذنبي فاغفر لي، فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت» رواه البخاري
 
Transliteration: 'Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana 'ala ahdika wa wa'dika mastata'tu, A'udhu bika min Sharri ma sana'tu, abu'u Laka Ibni'matika 'alaiya, wa Abu Laka bidhanbi faghfirli fainnahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta’
 
In the saying of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him): “I acknowledge Your favour upon me and I acknowledge my sin” he accompanied between seeing the grace and looking at the default of the self and deed.
 
Observing the grace leads the person to loving, praising and thanking the Giver of the grace and beneficence, and looking at the default of the self and deed leads him to submission, humility, need and repentance in all times.
 
Essence of slavery
 
There are two basics that shape the essence of slavery; Perfect love and absolute submission.
 
The origin of these two bases is the previous mentioned bases (i.e. seeing the grace that leads to love and looking at the default of the self and deed that leads to the absolute submission). If the servant built his return to Allah Almighty on these two bases, his enemy would not defeat him unless there is a moment of inattentiveness and inattention. However, Allah the Exalted and Glorious quickly wakes him up, supports him and emends him with His Mercy.
 
Factors of heart’s straightness:
 
The above mentioned is a result to heart’s and limbs’ straightness. As for the factors of heart’s straightness; they are two:
 
The first: Giving loving Allah Almighty priority over all other kinds of love. When there is a contradiction between loving Allah Almighty and loving other than Him, loving Allah Almighty should have the priority over the other loving and the consequences of this would appear. How easy this is as words and how difficult it is as actions!
 
Many times, the servant gives priority to what he (or his master, leader or family) loves over what Allah Almighty loves. Such servant did not give loving Allah Almighty priority over any other loving, nor was it the judge of his actions. The Sunnah of Allah Almighty toward such servant is to make him unhappy with the things that he loves and not to give him any of them without peevishness and moroseness, as punishment for giving priority to his desire (or the desire of whomever he loves or dignifies among creatures) over loving Allah Almighty.
 
The second: Glorifying the orders and prohibitions. This is a result to glorifying the One Who orders and prohibits; Allah Almighty dispraised whoever does not glorify Him or does not glorify His orders and prohibitions. He Almighty said: {What is the matter with you, that [you fear not Allâh (His punishment), and] you hope not for reward (from Allâh or you believe not in His Oneness)} [Surat Nuh 71:13]
 
{مَّا لَكُم لاَتَرجُونَ للهِ وَقَاراً} نوح: 1
 
Transliteration: Ma lakum la tarjoona lillahi waqaran
 
Essence of glorifying the order and prohibition:
 
How good is the saying of Sheikh Al-Islam about glorifying the order and prohibition!
 
He said: “They should not be contradicted with absolute negligence or austere stringency or be construed upon something makes obedience weak.”
 
The meaning of his saying is: The first of the ranks of glorifying the Right (the most Glory and Exaltation to Him) is to glorify His order and prohibition, because the believer knows his Lord (the most Glory and Exaltation to Him) by His message that He sent with the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) to all humankind calling for submission to His orders and prohibitions. This could be done by glorifying the order of Allah (the Exalted and Glorious) and obeying it, and glorifying His prohibition and abstaining from it. Hence, glorifying the order and prohibition of Allah Almighty is a sign for glorifying the One who orders and prohibits, and this glorification makes the person one of the righteous believers whom are known with faith, belief, sound creed and innocence of the greater hypocrisy. A man might do the order for people’s observation and having high rank in their eyes, and he might abstain from doing the evil deeds for fear that he might be degraded in their eyes or get liable to the worldly punishment of doing the prohibitions; such person does not obey and abstain because of glorifying the order and prohibition, nor is it because of glorifying the One Who ordered and prohibited.
 
Signs of orders’ glorification:
 
-      Caring for their times and limits.
-      Caring for their pillars, requirements and perfectness.
-      Caring for doing them better and performing them in their prescribed times.
-      Hurrying for performing them when they are obligatory.
-      Feeling sorrow, sadness and grief when missing one of their rights.
 
Glorifying prayer:
 
Such as the person who feels sorry for missing the congregational prayer and knows that even if his prayer alone had been accepted, he would have missed twenty-seven-fold.
 
And he feels the same if he missed prayer at time’s beginning, which is the time of Allah’s satisfaction; or missed the first line, which Allah and His angels pray upon its right end, and if the servant knew its blessing he would fight for it and having place in it would be a result to many.
 
The same is about missing sincerity in prayer and not having awe of heart between the Hands of Allah Almighty, which is the essence and core of prayer. Actually, prayer without sincerity and awe is like a dead body has no soul. Does not the servant feel shame of dedicating, to a creature like him, dead slave or dead bondmaid?! What does this servant think about the effect of this gift upon whom he gives it to, whether he is king, prince or someone else? The same is applicable to the prayer that is free of submissiveness, attentiveness and awe between the Hands of Allah Almighty; it is like that dead slave or bondmaid, whom he intends to present to some king. And that is why Allah Almighty does not accept it, even if it resembled performance to the obligatory act of prayer in the worldly life. Moreover, he does not gain reward for it, because the servant gains from his prayer only as much as his attentiveness in it; it is narrated in the Sunnan Books and Musnad Ahmad and others that the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A servant finishes his prayer gaining only half of its reward, third of its reward” … till he said: “tenth its reward” [Declared good by Al-Albani]
 
«إن العبد لينصرف من صلاته ولم يكتب له منها إلا نصفها، إلا ثلثها، حتى قال: إلا عشرها» حسنه الألباني
 
Superiority is according to what is in the hearts:
 
The person should know that this is applicable to all other deeds; superiority of deeds in the eyes of Allah Almighty is according to the superiority of the faith that is in the hearts in addition to sincerity, love and their consequences. The perfect deed expiates sins completely while the imperfect deed expiates sins partially. By these two bases, many ambiguities had vanished.
 
The two bases are:
 
-      Superiority of deeds according to what is in the hearts is one of faith’s facts.
-      Deed’s expiation to sins depends upon its perfectness or imperfectness.
 
Nullifications of deeds:
 
Nullifications of deeds are uncountable. We will not deal with the deed itself; rather we will deal with what guards the deed from nullification:
 
-      Hypocrisy nullifies the deed, regardless of how subtle it is, and it has uncountable shapes.
-      Performing the deed in a way contrary to the way that is mentioned in the Sunnah nullifies it too.
-      Reminding Allah Almighty with the good deed by heart nullifies it.
 
Also, reminding giving charity, making favor, performing kindness, doing beneficence or tying kinship renders it fruitless; Allah Almighty says: {O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:264]
 
{يَا أيُها الذِينَ أمَنُوا لاَ تُبطِلُوا صَدَقَاتَكُم بِالمَنِ والأذَى} البقرة: 264
 
Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tubtiloosadaqatikum bialmanni waalatha
 
Actually, many people know nothing about the evil deeds that nullify the good deeds; Allah Almighty says: {O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless while you perceive not} [Surat Al-Hujurat 49:2]
 
{يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَرْفَعُوٓا۟ أَصْوَٰتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ ٱلنَّبِىِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا۟ لَهُۥ بِٱلْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَـٰلُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ} الحجرات: 2
 
Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo latarfaAAoo aswatakum fawqa sawti alnnabiyyi wala tajharoo lahu bialqawli kajahri baAAdikum libaAAdin an tahbata aAAmalukum waantum la tashAAuroona
 
Allah Almighty warned the believers from having their deeds rendered fruitless because of raising their voices above the voice of the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) as they do with one another. Actually, this is not apostasy; rather it is sins that render the deeds fruitless while perceiving nothing. Hence, what about who gives priority over the saying and guidance and path of the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) to the saying and guidance and path of another one? Is not such person had his deeds rendered fruitless while perceiving nothing? Also, the saying of the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him): “Whoever neglects Asr Prayer, his deeds are nullified” [Reported by Al-Bukhari] relates to this.
 
«من ترك صلاة العصر فقد حبط عمله» رواه البخاري
 
Therefore, knowing what nullifies the deeds and renders them to be fruitless, after performing them, is one of the things that the servant should care for most and beware of.
 
And it is reported in a well-known saying: “And the servant may do the deed in secrecy, none knows about it but Allah Almighty; then he talks about it. Therefore, it gets transmitted from the record of secret to the record of publicity and is recorded in it according to the degree of its publicity. If he talked about it for gaining fame, rank and stature in the eyes of other than Allah Almighty, it would be nullified as if he had done it for this purpose.”
 
Good and evil deeds push one another:
 
If it is asked: “If he repented, would the reward of the deed return to him?”
 
I would say: “The outweighing in my opinion (and Allah Almighty knows best) is that good and evil deeds push one another and predominance is given for the victorious who cancels the defeated one and makes it as if it did not exist at all. If the good deeds of the servant overwhelmed his evil deeds, his many rewards would expiate his sins. Moreover, repentance and neglecting doing a sin brings many rewards may be greater than the reward that is nullified by the sin. Thereupon, if repentance became sound and emerged from the bottom of the heart, it would burn the previous sins till it is as if it had never existed; because the repentant is like the one who did not commit a sin.”
 
Sins are hearts’ diseases:
 
This shows that sins and evil deeds are diseases of heart as fever and pains are diseases of body; if the sick person completely recovered from his illness, his strength would return to him well, and he might appear as if he had never become weak.
 
The original strength resembles the original rewards, the disease resembles the sins, and recover and health resembles repentance. Just as there are sick people does not recover at all because of their weakness, and others recover and back to their previous state of healthiness to resist and push away the reasons of diseases, and others return healthier and stronger than before because of the strength of health reasons and their defeat to the reasons of weakness and illness (even it may be the reason of their healthiness); the servant after repentance is at one of these three ranks.
 
Signs of prohibitions’ glorification:
 
1-   Caring for going away their reasons and causes and every mean gets the person close to them; such as the person who gets away the places that contain pictures may cause enticement, lest he is enticed by them.
 
2-   To feel angry for the sake of Allah the Exalted and Glorious if the things that are declared inviolable by Him are violated.
 
Signs of glorifying the orders and prohibitions:
 
1-   Not to be contradicted with absolute negligence or austere stringency; the purpose is to go in the straight path that leads to Allah the Exalted and Glorious.
 
2-   Not to be construed upon something weakens obedience and submission to the order of Allah the Exalted and Glorious; rather he should submit to the order and judgment of Allah Almighty by observing His orders regardless of knowing the wisdom of the order and prohibition or not.
 
Finally, it is Allah (alone) Who grants success; there is no God or Lord but Him.
 
 
The scientific department in Madar Al-Watan
(Quoted from the sayings of Ibn Al-Qayyim)

 

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