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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 December 2008 at 11:38pm
Iniquity
 
The disease of iniquity, according to the book "Opening of the Truth" is defined as harming a fellow creature without right.

Its cause is the powerfully intoxicating wine "love of worldly position." So remember if you wish to turn this intoxicant into useful vinegar, how many a leader achieved his heart's desire of rank and position, yet in the end the devotee and his object of devotion were leveled to equal planes by death.

Keep in mind that this desire is about turning away from your Master towards His impoverished and miserly servants.

Definition and Treatment

Inquity is defined as harming anything in creation without a just cause. The word is a translation of "baghi", which is derived from an Arabic word that denotes desire. In this context, the problem is desiring something to the point of transgressing the rights of others to attain it.

The iniquity and injustice that people aim at others ultimately work against the perpetrators. Allah (SWT) says:

"O you people, surely your iniquity is but against your selves" (The Qur'an, 10:23) ...

Even petty office managers oppress their subordinates for the purpose of marking their territory and securing their positions. Tyrants on corporate boards pull off power plays to acquire more authority or remove those whom they perceive to be potential challenges to their authority or position.

But the world's most powerful leaders, after finally achieving what they so badly coveted, taste death. All their power abruptly vanishes at death's door, the great leveler. ...

Attaining nearness to God does not involve wronging others. On the contrary, access to the source of all power requires a character that is selfless, compassionate, and sensitive to the rights of others.

The desire for temporal power is a move away from God - besides whom there is no power or might - and a move toward His creation, that is people who are by comparison impoverished. Even the illusory possessions and authority they do have, they will protect like misers.

Vain pursuits wear out the soul. A person who endeavors to please people and gain their love, admiration or approval will exhaust himself. ...

The cure for this is having certainity in the ultimate destiny of humanity. Keeping in mind the spectacle of standing in the Hereafter for judgment has the power to expose the utter waste of irrelevant pursuits. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Remember often the destroyer of pleasure" that is death. Remembering death is a spiritual practice that cleanses the heart of frivolousness. ...

It serves the soul to be actively aware that the door to death awaits each human being and that it can open at any time. For this reason, we must keep the spectacle of death before our eyes and realize its proximity.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 19 December 2008 at 12:14am

Love of the World

The blameworthy love of this world is what is solely for the benefit of the self. It does not include desiring it so that others are not burdened by your needs, and so that you are secure for dependence on other people. Nor does it include desiring it as a provision for the next world.. ...

Definition and Treatment

An Islamic tradition attributed to Jesus, peace be upon him, "The world is a bridge; so pass over it to the next world, but do not try to build on it.". ...

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, prohibited vilification of the world. He said, "Do not curse the world, for God created the world, and the world is a means to reaching [knowledge of God]."

The world is the greatest sign of God, as is the cosmos. We do not accept the doctrine of condemning the world, which is found in some religious traditions. We say as God says: He created everything in the world and has subjugated its resources for just and conscientious use. What is censured is loving those things that are sinful or that lead to sinful matters and loving the ephemeral aspects of the world to the point that it suppresses one's spiritual yearning.

Love of the world is praised or blamed based on what good or harm it brings to a person. If it leads to a diseased heart - such as greadiness and arrogance - then it is blameworthy. If it leads to spiritual elevation and healing of the heart, then it is praiseworthy. ...

What scholars have warned against, with regard to attaining wealth, is the danger of transgression. The more wealth one acquires, the higher the probability one will become preoccupied with other than God. Also, vying for wealth can become an addiction and lead to ostentation, which is considered a disease of the heart.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 26 December 2008 at 12:32am

Envy

If you were to describe your desire that someone lose his blessing as "envy", then your description will be accurate

Definition

Envy (hasad) is a severe disease of the heart that some scholars hold to be the root of all diseases, while other opine that the parent disease goes back to covetousness (tama'a).

Whatever rank envy occupies in the hierarchy of diseases, most scholars will agree that it is the first manifestation of wrongdoing and the first cause of disobedience against God, when Satan (Iblis) refused to obey God when commanded to bow down before the new creation, Adam, the first human being. Nothing prevented Iblis from bowing down except his envy of Adam, for God chose Adam to be His vicegerent on earth instead of Iblis. ...

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that envy consumes good deeds the way fire devours dry wood. ...

While it is believed that envy can bring about harm to the one envied, ultimately it is the envier who is harmed the most. ...

An envious poerson can become resentful that a co-worker was promoted, to the point that he wishes that the person lose the position. ...

God is all-wise in what He gives to people. If one questions the blessing a person has received, then he or she is actually questioning the Giver. This makes envy reprehensible and forbidden.

Treatement

As for the cure, it is to act contrary to one's caprice.

For example, being beneficient to a person when it seems appealing to harm him, or praising him when you desire to find fault in him.

Also, the cure is in knowing that envy only harms the envier, it causes him to be grievously preoccupied with his object of envy today, and tomorrow he is thereby punished.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)



Edited by Al-Cordoby - 26 December 2008 at 12:33am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 02 January 2009 at 12:01am

Blameworthy Modesty

Definition

In general, modesty is something praised in Islam and is considered virtuous. What is blameworthy in modesty that prevents one from denouncing what clearly should be denounced, such as tyranny or corruption.

This form of modesty results in meekness at a time when one needs to be forthright and courageous. Something condemnable (munkar) is condemnable regardless of the status of the person who is engaged in it - whether he or she is a close relative or a person of status, wealth or authority.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 09 January 2009 at 12:38am

Fantasizing

The next disease is when one is engaged in matters that are of no concern to him. For example, reflecting on things that are prohibited, such as lustful fantasizing about the beauty of a person one is not married to.

In essence, what is forbidden to do is likewise forbidden as an object of reflection. Included in this is thinking about the weaknesses or faults of others, whether they are present or not. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "There is a tree in Paradise reserved for one whose own faults preoccupied him from considering the faults of others."

Spending time thinking or talking about other people's faults is foolish. Time is short and is better invested in recognizing one's own shortcomings and then working consistently to eradicate them.

It is also prohibited, according to scholars, to reflect on the nature of God's essence. ...

Reflect instead about what God has revealed about Himself and His awesome majesty, knowledge, and power. Let that kind of reflection deepen our love for Him and our desire to follow His commandments, and thus prepare for the Hereafter ...

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2009 at 12:32am

Ostentation

Definition

The next disease is riya' or ostentation, the most nefarious form of which is when a person perform rites of worship merely to obtain a place in the hearts of others.

The prophet referred to this behavior as "the lesser idolatry".

He also said, "I do not fear that you will worship the sun, the stars and the moon, but I fear that you worship other than God through ostentation."

He said, more-over, "What I most fear for my community is doing things for other than the sake of God.

Signs of Ostentation

There are three signs of ostentation:

1-2 Laziness and lack of action for God's sake when one is alone and out of view of others ...

3- Another sign of ostentation is increasing one's actions when praised and decreasing them in the absence of such praise. ...

The root source of ostentation is desire, wanting something from a source other than God. ...

Cure

The cure for ostentation is actively and sincerely seeking out purification of the heart by removing 4 things:

1- Love of praise

2- Fear of blame

3- Desire for worldly benefits from people

4- Fear of harm from people

This is accomplished by nurturing the certainity (yaqin) that only God can benefit or harm one. This is at the essence of the Islamic creed.

Practical Treatment

The practical treatment involves intentionally veiling one's actions from the eyes of people. This way, one's intentions are protected from vanity. This does not mean never to do deeds in front of people, but to do them also when people are not watching. ...

The essential point about worship is that it be done purely for the sake of God. When one cleanses the soul of anything that tarnishes one's intentions, this person's knowledge of God will increase. As a consequence, everything else in the world will grow insignificant.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 23 January 2009 at 12:08am

Relying on Other Than God

Definition and Treatment

Fearing or desiring anything other than God runs contrary to trust and reliance on God (Tawakkul).

If one is obsessed with other mortals, his or her reliance on God is weak. This diminishes one's certainity in God (yaqin) and certainity that everything good - all that is worthy of pursuit and time - comes from none other than God. The cause of many diseases of the heart can be traced back to a lack of certainity and an impaired sense of faith and trust in God.

A person can be in pursuit of attaining benefit from people and fall into the trap of neglecting his obligations, as well as those meritorious acts that invite untold blessings and dimensions of realization to one's life. One needs to seek refuge in God from the kinds of fear and desire that divert one's attention and strivings away from God.

Always keep in mind that God alone holds all benefit, and that only God tests people and provides relief and provision.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 29 January 2009 at 11:33pm

Displeasure with the Divine Decree

We have heard many times a person bemoan, "I do not deserve this!" or "Why me?" or similar declarations.

Many people live with rancor in their hearts because of what they have dealt with in life. This attitude towards trials stems from a denial of God's omnipotence and that God alone decrees all things. We cannot choose what befalls us, but we can choose our responses to the trials of life, which are inevitable. His decree is but a command from Him: "Be and it is" as repeated in the Qur'an.  ...

God-conscious people when asked about what their Lord has given them, say that all of it is good. They say this out of knowledge of the nature of this world, as a temporary crucible or trial and purification. Because of this elavated understanding, they are patient with afflictions and trials. For worldly people, they there is only this world, and this understanding creates a blind spot to the wondrousness of God's creation and the signs strewn throughout

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 05 February 2009 at 11:46pm

Seeking Reputation

Seeking reputation (sum'a) is a disease of the heart closely related to ostentation. It is desiring that people hear of one's goodness, an aural ostentation.

It is seeking out renown: For example, a person wanting others to hear how much money he or she gave in charity.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

"Whoever seeks out reputation, God will expose him on the Day of Judgment." ...

Performing an act for the sake of God is ruined when one goes about informing people of it afterwards. Repentance restores the value of the good deed.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 February 2009 at 11:42pm

False Hopes

A quick-action poison that produces an inordinate attachment to worldly concerns, which is a cause of so many diseases of the heart.

This poison is extended hope (tatwil al-amal), that is assuring oneself that death is a long way off - a mental environment that leads people to live their days as if a long life is guaranteed. The dangers of this delusion are self-evident. ...

When one believes that he or she will live for a long time, what ensues is a diminuation of pondering one's morality and a sense of independence from God. ...

Extended hope can generate hard-heartedness and indolence regarding one's obligations. This indolence or sloth (kasal) shows itself in lassitude concerning matters of the Hereafter, such as fulfilling the obligatory acts of worship and other religious dictates. People find reservoirs of energy when it comes to worldly matters, but are overcome with sloth when it comes to matters of the Hereafter. ...

There is a popular saying (to help keep the balance):

"Act for your world as if you will live forever, and act for your Hereafter as if you are going to die tomorrow".

 (Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 19 February 2009 at 11:44pm

Negative Thoughts

(This) is something that is very easy to have but is harmful to brotherhood and injurious to one's own spiritual growth: having a bad opinion about others, baseless assumptions and suspicions (zann). This is allowing conjecture into one's heart without having facts, which is especially harmful when one harbors a bad opinion about people who are outwardly righteous in appearance, which is something which the early Muslims considered important.

Scholars have advised that one should even beware of forming conclusions based on the bad appearances of people, for it could be that God veils their goodness from others.  

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 26 February 2009 at 11:20pm

Vanity

The next disease of the heart is vanity, known in Arabic as 'ujb which is related to arrogance.

Imam al-Ghazali holds that arrogance requires two people for its outward manifestation: the arrogant one and the one to whom the arrogance is shown. But the possessor of vanity does not need a second person. He is impressed with himself, and so admires his talents, possessions, looks and status, he considers himself better than others. He exults for example when looking at himself  in the mirror or gazing upon his accomplishments or property. ...

The fact that someone has talent and is able to develop it into a higher skill or craft and achieve remarkable things does nothing to dimish the obvious - that it is a gift from God. It is part of the Sunna of God in creation, that divine order woven in the fabric of existence, that one must toil to refine his or her skills or talent. ...   

A person will always find someone with more talent and more knowledge, and ultimately: (Above all those who have knowledge is the All-Knowing) that is God (The Qur'an, 12:76) ...

Vanity comes from the Latin word vanus, which means empty, implying that the source of our vanity is empty and void of substance and will vanish. ...

There is foolishness in being vain about what one has accomplished, given its ephemeral nature. But when one is thankful to God and acknowledges and praises Him as the source of this goodness, then the accomplishment outlasts our earthly lives and the memories of people, for God preserves it.

Vanity originates from one's ignorance of two matters: God alone is the Fashioner and Giver of blessings, and we human beings are incapable of accomplishing anything without God's will and blessings. If one accomplishes something, let him or her remember God and be grateful, and not swaggar with haughtiness. For if we do not humble ourselves, God will humble us. ...   

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 05 March 2009 at 11:00pm

Fraud

The next disease is fraud (ghish). It is concealing from people some fault, blemish, or harm either of a religious or worldly nature.

Others have said that fraud is making something useless or defective seem useful and beneficial, or making something bad appear to be good.

One of the most widely transmitted hadith in the Islamic tradition is the Prophet's saying: "Whoever defrauds us is not one of us".

Sacred Law forbids selling something without pointing out its defects. If the seller conceals defects or fails to disclose them intentionally, this is fraud, whether its victim is a Muslim or not.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 March 2009 at 11:04pm

Anger

Anger is truly an amazing phenomenon if one reflects on its nature and presence in human life and character, its peril and liaility, as well as its utility and necessity.

According to a hadith, a man asked the Prophet, peace be upon him,

"What is the worst thing that one incurs concerning God?"

And the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "His wrath."

The man asked, "How do we avoid it?"

The Prophet said, "Do not become angry." 

This statement reveals a fascinating reality in which we live and informs a good portion of the Muslim religious perspective: there is a correlation between what a person does and what he receives from God in kind - a correspondence that our all-wise Lord has placed in the workings of creation. If one wishes not to incur the wrath of God, then this person should not be wrathful or angry with people unjustly.

Similarly, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said that whoever makes one's path to knowledge easy, God will make his or her path to Paradise easy. And whoever covers the shortcomings of his brother, God will cover his shortcomings in the Hereafter. God the all-wise place this reciprocity in this world. ...

Imam al-Ghazali says that anger is acceptable only at the right time, in the right place, for the right reasons, and with the right intensity. The Messenger of God never allowed his anger to get the best of him. He was in control of himself, secure, and always in the state of spiritual certainity. ...

There are basically four reasons people get angry.

One is related to primal needs, such as food, shelter, and life. When these are threatened, a normal person feels vulnerable and responds with anger. ...

The second reason is related to position, dignity, and protecting one's honor. Human beings are born with sensors that detect when others try to belittle them or when they are an object of contempt and scorn. The other side of this is when people view themselves with hubris ad manufacture delusions of grandeur. They grow angry when they interpret normal and acceptable behavior towards them as beneath their dignity.

The third cause of anger is related to specific people and their particular sense of values. If, for example, a scholar sees that a book is being abused, he will become angry. ....

Finally, the fourth cause is ghira, commonly translated as jealousy. ...

Treatment

... there are two cures (for anger as a disease of the heart):

One of them removes anger when it comes, and the secon supresses or thwarts it.

The first cure is to remember the extensive praise and goodness associated with forbearance and humility.

(the second cure) ... one can control anger by recognizing that nothing takes place without God's leave: there is no power or might except with God. This life is a crucible of trial, and those who are heedless of this react severely when trials come upon them. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that a strong man is not one who can wrestle people, but the man who controls himself when angry.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, also advised that if one becomes angry, he should sit down. And if one is sitting, then he should recline. If neither of these help, then he should perform the ritual ablution, and then pray. The actual act of splashing water on the face can alter a person's mood.

(Source: Book titled "Purification of the Heart", by Hamza Yusuf)

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