يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك
Ya Muqallib al-Quluub, thabbit qalbi `ala Deenik.
‘O Turner of the Hearts – keep my heart firm on Your way.’[Sahih Muslim]
It is essential for us, to know and understand the workings and composition of our hearts. In that, if our hearts are corrupt; if our intentions are corrupt, such deceit will follow in our actions. Similarly, if our hearts and intentions are pure, our actions are sure to be of purity. For how will a fruit tree bare fragrant and delicious fruit if it’s roots, underground, have decayed?
Taking a break from our egotism and focusing only on purifying and elucidating our intentions regarding every single act we are going to carry out, striving to ensure that every one of our intentions are not shadowed by a worldly desire or gain, these will lead to seeing everything in the light of unmitigated submission. We should make sure that all we do is for our Creator, irrevocably, for He controls our hearts and our hearts belong only to Him.
“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.” (Qur’an, 8:24)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:“When a person spends his entire day with no other concern but Allah alone, Allah, may He be glorified, will take care of all his needs and take care of all that is worrying him; He will empty his heart so that it will be filled only with love for Him, free his tongue so that it will speak only in remembrance of Him (dhikr) and cause all his faculties to work only in obedience to Him. But if a person spends his entire day with no other concern but this world, Allah will make him bear its distress, anxiety and pain; He will leave him to sort himself out, and cause his heart to be distracted from the love of Allah towards the love of some created being, cause his tongue to speak only in remembering people instead of remembering Allah, and cause him to use his talents and energy in obeying and serving them. So he will strive hard, laboring like some work animal, to serve something other than Allah…Everyone who turns away from being a true slave of Allah and obeying Him and loving Him will be burdened with servitude, love and obedience to some created being. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent, We appoint for him a shaytan (devil) to be a qareen (intimate companion) to him.’ [Qur’an, 43:36].”
Allah’s subhana Wa ta’ala Will for us is to feel emotions, He has created us in such a way. The feeling of grief, of frustration, of anxiousness, of pain are not unbearable burdens if we do not forget our significance in this world. The removal of a burden lays in the realization and appreciation of the concept of “Tawakkul” (reliance and trust in Allah subhana Wa ta’ala) which goes hand in hand with the concept of sabr and shukr, patience and thankfulness; these lead to the soul contentment. What worry is there to further consume oneself with, if the comprehension of reliance upon Allah subhana Wa ta’ala is constantly invigorated in one’s mind?
The Messenger of Allah, (upon him be blessings and peace) said,”How wonderful it is for a believer that he always ends up with goodness: If he suffers and remains steadfast, it is rewarding; if good things happen and he thanks Allah, that is also rewarding.” (Muslim)
Al-Mustaurad bin Shaddad (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that I heard the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) saying,’By Allah, (the luxuries of) this world in comparison to the hereafter is nothing but as though one of you dipped his finger in the sea. So ponder how much (of sea water), the finger returns with’. (Muslim)
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus said:“The Prophet saws said, ‘The people who have the most tribulation are the prophets, then those who are nearest to them, and then those who are nearest to them.’ A man will see tribulation to the extent that his iman and his yaqeen and deen are strong. The stronger someone’s religion is, the more tribulation that God will send to that individual. Behind that tribulation Allah swt is wanting him not to rely upon anything worldly so that he has increased reward in the next world. And this is why you’ll find if Allah swt loves someone, if they rely any time on anyone other than God, other than Allah, He’ll break that for them. And you’ll find that…you’ll rely upon your wealth, and Allah will take take that from you; that you’ll rely upon people and Allah swt will make them let you down; you’ll rely upon things other than Allah swt and Allah wants you in that, to only rely upon Him. He only wants your heart for Him swt. And when someone puts his heart in that state, where Allah swt is taking control over his affairs, that’s the essence of walayah… a wali, to have God be your protector. What is a wali? He’s one who Allah swt has taken over all of his affairs.”
We all should remember that life is a test and tests are directed to the heart – one of their purposes is to bring out what is in the heart, and show you what needs to be worked on. Also this life is transient as everything other than God changes; if you attach yourself to something that is fleeting (material possessions, people) you are bound to get hurt. Ultimately, life is a trust, its not yours. You are staying here, but its not yours. You own nothing – it’s all God’s. So we should remind ourselves of our purpose and our duty of reliance and thankfulness to Allah subhana Wa ta’ala, so that in doing so, our intentions are authentic. Let the hearts be pure.
“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.” – Rumi