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A Heart Linked to Almighty Allah
The heart is the spot where emotions and feelings combine together like happiness and sorrow, love and hatred, fear and hope, serenity and tranquility.
These feelings are subjected to either faith or desire; whichever of the two controls the heart will subjugate the organs and the whole body to its influence. The heart is the inventory of motives and the place where decisions are made. If the heart is sound, the person will prevail and succeed and if it is corrupt, the person will perish. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) said: “Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.”()
In these days of widespread corruptions and temptations, the high tide of desires and seductions, the predominance of materialism over spiritualism, and the flood of the worldly attractions and ornaments like money, offspring, women, houses and cars, what we need the most is the heart that strives to be linked to Almighty Allah. The devoted heart is the one that stripped of all worldly seductions and occupations to seek Almighty Allah solely; it finds happiness and serenity in Allah’s mercy, care and patronage.
That kind of heart is solid as it does not shake with temptations or seductions. It is a heart that faces tyranny with faith and hardship with steadiness. This devoted heart is peaceful and reassured with his Lord, content with his destiny and will and confident of Allah’s aid and help. This is why he does not taste despair or frustration no matter how bad it gets or how many tribulations or misfortunes he encounters.
A heart whose slogan is:“Say, ‘Surely my prayer, and my rites, and my living, and my dying are for Allah, The Lord of the worlds.’”(Al-Anaam: 162)
The following article is about the traits of that heart and how to reach such rank:
The Traits of the Heart Linked to Allah:
A Heart always Fearing Allah:
Fearing Almighty Allah is the barrier that bans the heart from immersing into desires and amusements. It is the bridle that stops the spirit from following inclinations and falling into the intoxication of carelessness and sins. Even if the spirit commits them due to fragility, the attentiveness of fearing Allah is enough to return, repent and seek forgiveness from Allah.
This fear leads to constant attentiveness and heedfulness of the heart. So it adheres to performing acts of obedience and avoiding prohibitions. It is not passive fear which shakes the feelings, pours the tears and then it continues to do whatever it does without true guidance.
The heart that is linked to Allah alwaysthinks of the fear due to the glory and mighty of Allah, fear of slackness and remissness of worshipping, fear of the consequences of committing sins, fear of death and its struggles, fear of the loneliness and the grave and finally fear of terrors on the Day of Resurrection.Almighty Allah says: “Surely the ones who are apprehensive of their Lord in the Unseen will have forgiveness and a great reward.”(Al-Mulk: 12)
A Heart always Humble to Allah:
The heart that is linked to Allah is always humble to his Creator. This heart is submissive to Almighty Allah in devoutness; it admits his weaknesses, fragility and sorrows to his Lord. It is a heart that is sincerely affected and moved by moral advices and genuine preaching. It is a heart that longs for prostration because it implies surrendering to his Lord. A heart that always remembers Allah, supplicates to Him in neediness, humility, richness and prosperity. It is a heart that invokes saying:“O Ever Living, O self-Subsisting and Supporter of all, by Your Mercy I seekhelp, rectify for me all of my affairs and do not leave me depend on myself, even for the blink of an eye.”
The mouthpiece of this heart says:“O Allah, do to me whatever you want, however you want and whenever you want.”
A Heart always Seeking Allah:
The heart that is linked to Allah always seeks Him whenever it is plagued by sorrow, grief, difficulty or failure to do the right thing. It is a heart in constant return to Allah, seeking his mercy, asking for help and complaining of Satan’s insinuations. It is heart that expresses to his Creator the challenges he faces like tyranny, sins and oppressions. He contemplates his Lord and calls on Him every and each moment following the supplication of the Prophet Moses in the Quran:“I have hastened on to You, Lord, that You may be satisfied (with me).”(Ta-Ha: 84)
A Heart always Repenting to Allah:
This heart might commit sins but it hastens to repent and seeks forgiveness by expressing remorse and sorrow to Almighty Allah for wrongdoings and sins. It is a heart that hurries to gain forgiveness and mercy from his Lord. Almighty Allah says about repentants in the Quran: “And who, when they (perform) an obscenity or do an injustice to themselves, remember Allah, and so they ask forgiveness for their guilty deeds - and who forgives guilty deeds except Allah (only)? - and who do not persist in the actions they performed, and they know (that).”(Al-'Imran: 135)
A Heart whose Enemy is Heedlessness:
Heedlessness is the worst enemy of the heart because it stops him from doing his job, which is listening and responding positively to moral advice and teachings of Islam. The indifferent heart is preoccupied with pleasures and desires of life, by devoting his attention to the wife, children, money and profession. So, there won’t be any room left in his heart to worshipping Almighty Allah.
The heart linked to Allah hates heedlessness and does not even know it because he remembers Allah constantly and mentions Him all the time. It is a heart that abandons all the seductions of life to be devoted to His Creator. There is no room in that heart for entertainment and deflections or distractions.
AHeart void of Quarrels and Aversions:
It is a sound heart that is void of any hostilities or animosities. It is not stained with jealousy, hatred or envy. It rather wishes goodness for all the people; it even favors others and gives them the priority over its interests because it is a heart filled with amiability, friendliness, compassion and mercy. It seeks to help others and accomplish their needs. It is in a heart that tolerates, forbears and forgives people. It pardons oppressors, gives deniers and connects to abandoners.
A Heart does not Know Despair:
The heart linked to Allah does not despair of receiving relief from Allah. Surely none despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.
It is a heart that does not know failure or defeatbecause he is sure that Allah’s predestination will be fulfilled, it is not changed or altered. It is a heart that believes there is relief after hardship and leniency after difficulty. It is a pursuant heart that goes its way feeling the will and guidance of Almighty Allah that leads its path through life.
A Heart Attached to the Hereafter:
It is a heart that knows so well that the present life on earth is transitory and temporary. He knows that the true everlasting life is in the Hereafter. The life that Allah prepares for humans whom He honors as Allah says in the Quran: “Thereafter He molded him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and He made for you hearing, and beholding (s) (i.e., eyesight) and heart-sights; (i.e., perception) little do you thank (Him).”
This believing heart will look at this life as temporary and short; it is only a test for the final permanent life.So,it does not become the priority for this heart; he would not feel sorry if he does not get any of its transient pleasures knowing that it is only temporal and the final and ultimate pleasures are in the Hereafter.
This believing heart will dismiss quarreling and racing for this life, except for good deeds. It will not consume his time and energy because this believing heart linked to Allah has made the reward of the Hereafter as his biggest target and ambition. Almighty Allah says: “And in no way is this present life (Literally: this lowly life, i.e., the life of this world) anything except a diversion and a plaything; and surely the Last Home is indeed the (Eternal) Life, (Literally: the all-blessed life) if they know (the Truth) .”(Al-Ankabut: 64)
A Heart that does not Know Rest:
The believing heart that is linked to Allah has beaten all his desires and lusts. It succeeded in liberating the spirit from inclinations, fantasies, love of leisure and dislike of religious obligations and commandments. This is why these believing hearts hasten to do good deeds and acts of obedience towards their Creator.
The heart linked to Allah heads for any door leading to goodness whenever it glances any. It always strives and exerts efforts to meet his Lord after gaining qualifications of faith through hard work and good deeds so now it can finally have the ultimate rest in Jannah (Paradise) that Allah prepares for his worshippers. Allah calls his servants to Jannah in the Quran:“And vie swiftly with one another for forgiveness from your Lord and for a Garden whose breadth is the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious.” (Al-'Imran: 133)
How to Link your Heart to Allah?
Through Knowing Almighty Allah (AWJ) ():
The more you know Allah – Glorified and Sublime be He – the more your heart gains solemnity, awe and love towards Him. This is how the heart achieves devotion and glorification of Almighty Allah, by entrusting and submitting one’s soul to Him (AWJ).
This is the beginning of the path towards Allah (AWJ). This is how your heart should hasten to Him.
Knowing Allah (AWJ) can be achieved through learning and contemplating His divine names and exalted attributes, through reading and meditating the verses of the Holy Qur’an, and through looking into the Kingdom of Heavens and the Earth. Knowing Allah, the possessor of the Sovereignty and the Kingdom, comes through watching the wonders of His creation and the majesty of His powers. It comes through seeing His creatures, remembering His blessings, observing His mercy and signs of His strengths and recognizing His force in destructing and whipping out oppressors of previous nations in the course of history.
Contemplating the Qur’an:
The Qur’an is the perfect remedy to liberate the heart from chains, lusts and entertainments of the present life. The Qur’an is the perfect mean to awake the person from the state of carelessness and to make him alert. The Qur’an is the best generator of the inner faithful power within hearts.
The Qur’an is the spirit that accompanies the believer during his hard journey on earth. Almighty Allah says:“And thus We have revealed to you a Spirit of Our Command. In no way did you realize what the Book was, nor the belief; but We have made it a Light, whereby We guide whomever We decide of Our bondmen. And surely you indeed guide to a straight Path”.(Ash-Shura: 52)
The Qur’an is the light that shows you the way and illuminates the darkness of ignorance and disobedience. Almighty Allah says:“A light has already come up to you from Allah, and an evident Book. Whereby Allah guides whomever closely follows His all-blessed Satisfaction in the ways of peace; and He brings them out of the darkness (es) into the light by His permission, and He guides them to a straight Path.”(Al-Maidah: 15-16)
A life with Qur’an is like a life with Allah, as the Qur’an is the word of Allah revealed and addressed to man to know his Creator the best way. The Qur’an helps the person to know Allah’s names, attributes and actions. It helps him know His amazing powers, His vastbounty and mercy and His eternal knowledge. When the person lives with Qur’an, it means he lives with Allah.
Thus, we should deal with Qur’an as it truly is. The Quran is a comprehensive methodology of life. It is the guide for the human to go through his journey through this transitory life, as through Qur’an the human can know where to start and where to end. What are the obstacles and challenges that he would face on his way,and most importantly how would he overcome such difficulties?
Thus, we should listen, read and contemplate the verses of Qur’an to be like the believers whom Allah describes as:“Surely the believers are only the ones who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts tremble and when His ayat (Signs or verses) are recited to them, they increase them in belief, and in their Lord they put their trust.”(Al-Anfal: 2)
We should respond with the verses of Qur’an and taste their sweetness. Reciting and listening to the Qur’an should be translated into a committed behavior that applies the commands and prohibitions that Allah has revealed and addressed to humanity in the final Book.
That is why the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) advised Muslims when he said: “Read the Quran, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Judgment” (Sahih Muslim, Narrated by Abu Umamah). The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warned us against abandoning the Qur’an, the Muslim should not put a distance between him and the Book of Allah. So that his heart is always linked to his Creator, and filled with faith not empty or ruined as the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) said: “A person who has nothing of the Qur'an inside him is like a ruined house”(Narrated by at-Tirmidhi).
Muraqabah from Allah and from Oneself:
It means that the believer keeps in mind that Allah (AWJ) is watching over us in all our worldly matters, he would feel shy if he commits sins or displeases Allah. The believer will not behave except in a proper faithful manner that Allah accepts. Whoever knows that Allah is watching him will be careful to have a pure consciousness and truthful intention. Knowing and putting in mind that Allah is watching over us is a practical training on Ihsan (), sincerity and devotion.
Ihsan is acting in the best way that would please Allah (SWT). The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) defined this word by saying: “that you worship Allah as if you see Him, for even if you do not see Him He sees you.”
So, with the constant self monitoring and watching oneself each minute, remembering that everything you do, you do in front of your Creator, your heart will be revived and tamed to worshipping and obedience. It will be keen on good deeds, disinterested in sins and avoiding guilt.
Constant Examination of Conscience [Muhaasabat An-nafs()]:-
The believer has to have recurrent sessions of evaluating oneself, to count his sins, look into them and sense how far he has driven from Allah or how much he has been insufficient in fulfilling his duties towards Allah (AWJ). He knows so well that who evaluates his deeds in the present life, will have a lighter reckoning on the Day of Judgment. That is why the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised us of the constant examination of conscience or to do an act of Murapabaht An-nafs (). The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The clever is the one who evaluates himself and work for the afterlife, and the fool is who follows his inclinations wishing for Allah’s reward without working for it”.
Al Hassan Al Basri said a wonderful saying in that regard:“The believer, by Allah, is not seen except correcting himself likewhat did I want with my meal? What did I want with my word?What did I want with talking to myself?On the other hand, the corrupt moves forward in life without a self examination of conscience.”
Lowering the Gaze:
The (evil) gaze is a poisonous arrow from the arrows of Iblis (Satan) that hits the heart and corrupts it. The gaze here is the gaze to what is not permissible or lawful to you. It spoils the heart, makes it weak with the fire of lust. The heart follows lusts and pleasures blindly, so the person becomes a captive to his desires and obsessive with satisfying them. There is a link between the eye and the heart.
If the eye is spoilt, the heart will be ruined and become like a dumpster for dirtiness and impurities (sins). It will not be suitable as a place to know, love and repent to Allah (SWT) (). That is why Almighty Allah commands us to lower our gazes:“Say to the (male) believers, that they cast down their beholdings, (i.e., “modestly” cast down their eyes) and preserve their private parts; that is more cleansing for them. Surely Allah is Ever-Cognizant of whatever they work out.”(An-Nur: 30)
My dear brother,remember that Allah’s gaze to you is nearer than your gaze to the sin. Almighty Allah says:“He knows the treacherous (look) of the eyes and whatever the breasts conceal.”(Ghafir: 19)Keep in mind thatyou will be asked about your sight on the Day of Resurrection as Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:“surely hearing and beholding and heart-sight, (Or: perception) all of those will be questioned of.” (Al-Israa: 36)Are you ready for such question?
Meditation on the Creation of Allah is a Provision to Hearts:
Meditating on the creation of Allah, contemplating his works and reflecting on the book of the universe keep a constant link between the heart and Almighty Allah. Following and looking into the creative power of the Creator while moving this universe from one state to another fill the heart with fear, hope, love and devotion to Him. It leads to glorification of Allah (AWJ), entrusting one’s soul to Him and submitting to His will.
Almighty Allah praised His worshippers who contemplate and meditate on his creations because their reasoning and reflection is the mean that led them to Shahadah () and their testimony that Allah (AWJ) did not create them in vain so He puts more faith and devoutness in their hearts. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.”(Al-'Imran: 191)
Contemplating the names and attributes of Almighty Allah is the subject that is most worthy to ponder on. If you reflect on Allah’s names: “The All-Hearing,” “The All-Seeing” and “The All-Knowing,” you will feel shy if Allah hears from you what He hates, sees you doing what He hates or if you hide in your bosom what He hates. If you reflect on Allah’s names: “The Superb Upright Sustainer” and “The Supreme Nourisher” and “The Ultimate Trustee,” the will of entrusting Allah will revive inside you.
Al Hassan Al Basri said:“Contemplating for an hour is better than praying a whole night”.
Entrusting one’s Soul to Allah:
Entrusting Allah is the fruit of inner faith. Almighty Allah says:“and put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.”(Al-Ma'idah: 23). Tawakul (Entrusting Allah) is the reliance of the faithful heart on Almighty Allah alone and no one else, it is to put two and two together which means to use the available means and leave the rest to Allah (AWJ). In an easy language it is to do our best, and then we wait for the results while believing that Allah is the All-Sustainer and the disposer of all affairs.
Entrusting Allah resurrects faith, trust, peacefulness and serenity in the heart. Haven’t you heard of what happened to the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu-Bakr (RA) () when they were in cave of mount Thawr. When Abu-Bakr (RA) saw polytheists surrounding the cave of mount Thawr, he said to the Prophet (PBUH): “O Apostle of Allah, if one of them looked down his feet he would have seen us,” the Prophet (PBUH) said to him: “Abu-Bakr, what do you think that would happen to two individuals whom Allah is their third.” Indeed, Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:“And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”(At-Talaq: 3)
Supplication is the spirit admitting its weakness, limitation and need. The spirit confesses the glorification, power and sustenance of the Almighty Creator. Invocation, supplication or praying is the voice of the believer when he complains of injustice, cries of his great number of sins or calls on his Lord when he is surrounded with difficulties and problems. The faithful heart seeks to Allah through supplication when he is in need by raising his hands to Allah in humbleness. He lowers his head in devoutness to his Creator and calls from the bottom of his heart: “My Lord”so Allah (AWJ) answers:“Ask me and I will give you and seek me and you will find me, this is evident in what Allah says in the Qur’an: “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.”(Al-Baqarah: 186)
Doing Many Good Deeds:
The heart has to have a provision and fuel and the spirit has to be busy. If we don’t keep ourselves busy with righteousness, it will keep us busy with falsehood. To have a heart that is linked to Allah (AWJ), we should hasten to good deeds and race to gaining hasanat (). For example, maintaining the five daily prayers on time and performing them in groups in the mosque (Congregational Prayer), performing optional fasting whenever possible, reciting the morning and evening Zikr (Remembering Allah by reciting daily invocations), promoting of virtue and preventing of vice, almsgiving, attending knowledge-based lessons, reading education books, taking care of the elders and visiting them, kindness to parents and keeping ties of family relationships and the list of good deeds goes on and on. But it is worth it, Almighty Allah says:“and for this let (all) those strive who want to strive (i.e. hasten earnestly to the obedience of Allah).” (Al-Mutaffifin: 26)
Beware of Heart Spoilers:
Sins and wrongdoings are the worst heart spoilers. The effect of sins on the heart is like the effect of poisons on the body. The heart that gets used to doing sins decays and darkens with the cover of sins and evil deeds that obstructs the light from it, making it insensitive until it weathers and eventually dies.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “If a Muslim commits a sin Allah marks a black spot in his heart; if he repents Allah polishes the heart; if he keeps repeating sins then his heart is fully smeared with black spots like rust” (Sunaan Tirmidhi: No. 740). Almighty Allah says: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.”(Al-Mutaffifin: 14)
So committing sins is the reason for lowness, shame and insignificance of the human to His Lord. Sins distance between the worshipper and his Lord.
There are two types of sins:Sins of the human organs(Eye, ear, tongue, feet, and hand) and sins of the hearts which are more dangerous than sins committed by organs.Sins of the hearts are(envy and malice, miserliness and stinginess, conceit and arrogance, self admiration, self centeredness and love of fame, love of the present life).
Don’t ever see your sin small or light because Allah (AWJ) says in the Qur’an:“And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.”(Az-Zalzalah: 8)
Don’t look at the smallness of the sin, rather look at the greatness of the Creator you disobeyed. Remember the Prophet’s advice (PBUH) when he said: “Beware of viewing the sins as little, for they gather upon a person until he is devastated.”
Sins weaken the glorification of the Lord in the heart. If the heart is earnest and sincere in worshipping Allah (AWJ), it would not have dared to commit any sins. Sins kill the heart or weaken it. Beware that the darkness of sins becomes bigger and stronger till the heart is like a very dark gloomy night. Almighty Allah says:“Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.”(Al-Hajj: 46)
Wehave tostop and look into our hearts. Wehave topurify the heart from all diseases and adjust our lusts, inclinations and desires to be satisfied only in a permissible lawful wayaccording to the teachings of Islam. Wehave tofree the heart from the worldly desires and mortal needs to be devoted totally to Allah (AWJ). We should protect and strengthen the heart to avoid Satan’s control over it. We should refine the heart by getting rid of sins and guilt through seeking the forgiveness of the Lord.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Remember that if the heart is pure and sound your body will be pure and sound, and if it is corrupt, your body will be corrupt.In this regard, let’s remember what our beloved Prophet Muhammad said:“Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.”()
Allah looks into the heart to assess deeds whether good or bad; Does not He accepts the deeds or refuses them depending on sincerity and devotion, or insincerity and hypocrisy of hearts? Yes, Indeed!The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah does not look at your bodies nor your faces but he scans your heart and actions.” ()
Oh Allah, establish our hearts on loving, obeying and following your religion that you set for us.
I ask Allah (AWJ) to accept this work (article) and make it pure totally to please Him and benefit the readers.
We thank Allah for guiding us to this, as we would have never been guided except by the will of Allah.
All praise be to Allah alone, and peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
() Sahih al-Bukhary, the Book of Faith, hadith No: 52, Narrated by: An-No'man Ibn-Bashir
() AWJ = Aza-Wa-Jal[Glorified and Sublime be He]
() Ihsan = Highest level of obedience in worship, i.e. to be aware of and sincere to Allah (SWT) and to be eager to do all good deeds. It is to worship Allah as if you see Him, knowing that, although you do not see Him, Allah sees you.
() Muhaasabat An-nafs = examination of conscience, evaluating ones actions and deeds to himself, in the light of the teachings of the religion.
() Murapabaht An-nafs = self monitoring, watching oneself in order to prevent it from doing wrong things.
() SWT = Suhanahu wa Ta'ala [Glorified and Exalted Be He].
() Shahadah = the Muslim declaration of faith, that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
() RA = Radya Allah anhu/anha[May Allah be pleased with him/her].
() Hasanat = Rewards, from Allah, recorded for performing a good deed, and accounted for on the Day of Judgment
() Sahih al-Bukhary, the Book of Faith, hadith No: 52, Narrated by: An-No'man Ibn-Bashir
() Sahih Al-Muslim [4/ Hadith No. 6221]