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Striving for a Sound Heart ... How?

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Topic: Striving for a Sound Heart ... How?
Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Subject: Striving for a Sound Heart ... How?
Date Posted: 05 April 2008 at 1:44am
In The Qur'an, Allah (SWT) reminds us in many ayahs of the importance of fearing Allah, having taqwa and purifying one's soul
 
In 2 clear ayahs, Allah (SWT) says:
 
88- The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children
 
89- But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart
 
(26:88-89)
 
May Allah increase us in knowledge and give us a sound heart - Ameen
 
This thread is a group learning discussion on this topic:
 
How does a believer purify his/her heart?
 
Personal experiences, advice of scholars and questions are welcomed
 
How do you make your heart sound and your soul healthy?
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Replies:
Posted By: Emad
Date Posted: 05 April 2008 at 3:27pm
By constantly repenting.

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Verily, either we or you are rightly guided or in plain error. (Quran Saba:24)

Emad@whyislam.org


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 05 April 2008 at 4:17pm
Yes, repentence and going back to Allah is very important, I agree
 
Which comes first: getting rid of bad habits or acquiring good ones?
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Posted By: Emad
Date Posted: 05 April 2008 at 4:26pm
In my opinion, there is no coming first, you do both at the same time.  As humans we will always have bad habits.

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Verily, either we or you are rightly guided or in plain error. (Quran Saba:24)

Emad@whyislam.org


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 05 April 2008 at 4:34pm
To reach the state of a sound heart, we do need to make an effort to get rid of bad habit first
 
If one has a glass which is half full with tea or coffee, and you want to pour into it some milk, to drink only milk, the glass needs to be washed first
 
Same here
 
One needs to focus on getting rid of bad habits first then it will be easier and more sustainable to acquire new ones, and repentence, as you suggested, is the best way of getting rid of sins
 
However, one needs to address the root cause which leads to these sins in order to minimize them as much as possible ...
 
Another example to illustrate the order of priority, before applying perfume one must have a good wash in order that the nice smell of perfume lasts ...
 
 
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 05 April 2008 at 4:45pm
As an illustration from the Sunnah, consider the following 2 hadith of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him:
 
"None of you will have faith untill he loves for his brother what he loves for himself"
 
"He who has an atom's weight (i.e. a very small amount) of (false) pride in his heart will not enter Paradise"
 
The first hadith encourages Muslims to have "eethar", i.e. altruism, in order for their faith to be complete, whereas the second hadith prohibits having "kibr", or false pride in the heart, as this would prevent them from entering Paradise
 
Which of the two should a Muslim address first?
 
Getting rid of false pride or acquiring the virtue of altruism?
 
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Posted By: Lilac
Date Posted: 06 April 2008 at 1:27am

Assalamu aleykum

I agree with Br Emad. The two work together. Sometimes we are able to rid ourselves of bad habits first, but not always. Sometimes by acquiring good habits we are strengthened and it may become easier to get rid of the bad ones. Perhaps by acquiring a good habit, it replaces the bad.

When we are sick, we go to the doctor to get and antibiotic to help us get rid of the illness. Acquiring good habits is medicine for the soul.

May Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, guide us on the right path. Ameen.



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Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 06 April 2008 at 2:03am

There is a difference between following a bad deed with a good deeds, which is highly recommended in Islam, and between finding a cure to the diseases of the heart

Seeking Allah's forgiveness and doing good to compensate for sins is very important, but the disease in the heart itself, which is the cause root of sins, must be cured in order to minimize these sins and reaching the state of having a sound heart
 
Nobody is perfect, and we all have our positive and negative sides, and it's good to increase positive aspects but it's more important to minimize the negative aspects
 
There are three main types of hearts:
 
1- A dead heart, which is the heart of a person who does not know his creator, and who is only concerned in this life with his own desires
 
2- A sick heart, which is the heart of a believer who knows Allah and worships Him, but at the same time loves this worldly life and often gives it preference over Allah's guidance. This heart may be affected by a number of diseases such as false pride, envy, show-off (riya'), arrogance, ... etc
 
3- A sound heart, which is the heart of a believer described by Allah (SWT) in verses (26:88-89), a heart without diseases
 
http://islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=437 - Types of Diseases That Attack the Heart and Their Cure
 
Going back to the order of priorities, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that he forbade us from a number of things and he commanded us to do other things (extra Sunnah in addition to the pillars of Islam). He said what is forbidden we should avoid, but that the extra Sunnah we should perform of them as much as we can
 
Envy for example is forbidden in Islam and is a serious disease which affects the hearts of many and should be given priority to cure if found in the heart. The same applies to riya', which Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, warned Muslims of
 
And in relation to the two hadith:
 
"None of you will have faith untill he loves for his brother what he loves for himself"
 
"He who has an atom's weight (i.e. a very small amount) of (false) pride in his heart will not enter Paradise"
 
If we are to give a priority between between getting rid of false pride and between working hard to make altruism part of our character, getting rid of false pride is a more important first step, as if there is false pride in the heart a Muslim will not enter Jannah, whereas if the same Muslim does not have altrisum, his faith would not be complete, but he would still be a believer whom Allah will admit to Paradise by His Mercy In-Shaa-Allah
 
May we all be admitted to Paradise by Allah's Mercy - Ameen
 
Question:
 
Q: What are the signs of a sick heart?
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
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Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 07 April 2008 at 1:00am
A: The Signs of a Sick Heart

A servant's heart may be ill, and seriously deteriorating, while he remains oblivious of its condition. It may even die without him realising it.

 
The symptoms of its sickness, or the signs of its death, are that its owner is not aware of the harm that results from the damage caused by wrong actions, and is unperturbed by his ignorance of the truth or by his false beliefs.

Since the living heart experiences pain as a result of any ugliness that it encounters and through its recognising its ignorance of the truth (to a degree that corresponds to its level of awareness), it is capable of recognising the onset of decay-and the increase in the severity of the remedy that will be needed to stop it-but then sometimes it prefers to put up with the pain rather than undergo the arduous trial of the cure!

Some of the many signs of the heart's sickness if its turning away from good foods to harmful ones, from good remedies to shameful sickness.

The healthy heart prefers what is beneficial and healing to what is harmful and damaging; the sick heart prefers the opposite. The most beneficial sustenance for the heart is faith and the best medicine is the Qur'an
 
(Source: Book titled The Purification of the Soul, from the works of Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbabli, Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyaa, and Abu Hamid al-Ghazali)
 
This reference gives more details on the Causes of the Sickness of the Heart & the Signs of a Healthy Heart
 
http://islamworld.net/docs/pos4.html - http://islamworld.net/docs/pos4.html
 
What in your personal experience have you found helps remedy some of the diseases of the heart?
 
For example, if you see your neighbour has bought a new car and you sense a mild feeling of jealousy in your heart, what should you do?
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Emad
Date Posted: 07 April 2008 at 3:30pm
Br Cordoby,Jazak Allah khair for this, however I still disagree with you about the good/bad issue.  The cure for the sickness of the heart is this: do good deeds and avoid bad deeds.  The Quran does never emphasizes repentance by itself, instead its always followed by doing good deeds.  Ila man taba wa amana, wa amala salihan. 

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Verily, either we or you are rightly guided or in plain error. (Quran Saba:24)

Emad@whyislam.org


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 07 April 2008 at 3:52pm
Assalamo Alaikom brother
 
As mentioned above, repentence and doing good deeds is very important, but is it enough?
 
Yes, Allah loves those who repent, but there is a difference between a corrective action (to repent and do good deeds) and a preventive action, which is to search for the root cause which leads to these sins and try to cure that disease in order to minimize these types of sins in the future
 
That's what striving for a sound heart is about
 
Example: Assume that a Muslim brother loves to be wealthy and to have a lot of money, and this love in his heart for wealth leads him to be dishonest in his trade for example in order to earn more profits.
 
If he hears the Imam on Friday talk about honesty and the punishment of those who cheat people in business, he may be touched for a day or two, and this may lead him to repent for a week or two, but after a month he forgets and returns to the same sin once again
 
How does he get rid of this sin if he does not cure the root cause in his heart?
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Emad
Date Posted: 07 April 2008 at 5:37pm
That is because it was a lack of tawbah, or tawbah was not strong enough.  Allah tells us to make a tawbah nasuha, not just tawbah for a day or two days. 

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Verily, either we or you are rightly guided or in plain error. (Quran Saba:24)

Emad@whyislam.org


Posted By: hamayoun
Date Posted: 07 April 2008 at 6:39pm
Salam

True Emad, but it's the disease of the heart which causes his tawbah to be insincere.  Now if the same brother, say, started approaching his salat with more khushu at the same time, then maybe that would allow his tawbah to be more sincere.


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May Allah give me patience, Ameen.

My blog: http://regularbaba.blogspot.com/


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 08 April 2008 at 12:28am
Not only that, but also he would need to get out of his heart the disease many people have of loving wealth and this worldly life too much, more than the love of Allah and the Hereafter
 
That is the root cause of his problem which he needs to address as a preventive action needed for tazkiyah and for reaching a sound heart ...
 
Allah (SWT) shows us the importance of the purification of the soul (Tazkiyah) in chapter 91 in The Qur'an (Al-Shams):
 
7- And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it
 
8- And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righeousnes
 
9- He has succeeded who purifies it
 
10- And he has failed who instills it [with corruption]
 
The corruption of the soul comes as a consequence of the corruption of the heart
 
Question:
 
What are the four main poisons which corrupt the heart?
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Emad
Date Posted: 08 April 2008 at 7:24am

One cannot get rid of any bad habit without tawbah, tawbah is generated by knowledge of Allah and by knowing oneself.  What makes the heart sick is sins, thus to heal it is one needs to stop sinning and start doing good deeds.  Ibn al Qayyim has an entire book on the effect of sins and their relationship to the heart, al Jawab al Kafi liman sa'la an aldawa' ashafi



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Verily, either we or you are rightly guided or in plain error. (Quran Saba:24)

Emad@whyislam.org


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 08 April 2008 at 5:57pm
Originally posted by Emad

One cannot get rid of any bad habit without tawbah, tawbah is generated by knowledge of Allah and by knowing oneself.  What makes the heart sick is sins, thus to heal it is one needs to stop sinning and start doing good deeds. 

 
Yes, repentence from sins is a must
 
All sins are poisons for the heart, as each sin committed leaves a dark spot on the heart
 
According to Muslim scholars, there are 4 main poisons which affect the heart of a believer:
 
1- Unnecessary Talking
 
2- Unrestrained Glances
 
3- Too Much Food
 
4- Keeping Bad Company
 
These are the 4 most dangerous ways which turn a sound heart into a sick heart
 
Detailed explanation of these 4 poisons:
 
QUOTE

Whoever is concerned with the health and life of his heart, must rid it of the effects of such poisons, and then protect it by avoiding new ones. If he takes any by mistake, then he should hasten to wipe out their effect by turning in repentance and seeking forgiveness from All‚h, as well as by doing good deeds that will wipe out his wrong actions.

By the four poisons we mean unnecessary talking, unrestrained glances, too much food and keeping bad company. Of all the poisons, these are the most widespread and have the greatest effect on a heartís well-being

http://www.crescentlife.com/articles/islamic%20psych/poisons_of_the_heart.htm - http://www.crescentlife.com/articles/islamic%20psych/poisons_of_the_heart.htm  
 
- In Ramadan, we eat less and our faith is stronger
 
- We all feel the difference on faith in the heart when we are in good company of brothers or sisters who remind us of Allah
 
These are the main things to avoid
 
What next are the positive things a believer should do in order for the heart to be sound and alive?
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 10 April 2008 at 12:53am

To continue with the answer to the above question from the book titled "The Purification of the Soul According to the scholars of the Salaf" -

Summary translation of main points from page 44:
 
- In the same way that water and food are necessary for the life of the body, doing good deeds are a must for the life of the heart ...
 
- Sins are poisons which corrupt the heart, and in the same way that a person gets rid of any type of food which may harm his body, a believer safeguards his heart from sins ...
 
- All good deeds are therefore important for the life of the heart, and the most important for a sound heart are:
 
1- The remembrance of Allah and Reading The Qur'an
 
2- Asking Allah's Forgiveness
 
3- Making du'aa (supplications to Allah)
 
4- Sending peace and blessings to the Prophet
 
5- Praying at night (Qiyyam Al-Layl)
 
These five important cures for the heart to be detailed In-Shaa-Allah ...
 
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 13 April 2008 at 1:05am
1- The Remembrance of Allah and Reading The Qur'an
 
The remembrance of Allah for the heart is like water for fish
 
As the body needs food for life, the heart needs to remember Allah for inner peace and tranquility
 
Allah (SWT) says in Chapter 2, Verse 152:
 
"And remember me, I will remember you"
 
Each time a believer remembers Allah, Allah remembers him
 
The Qur'an is also a cure for the heart.
 
Allah (SWT) says:
 
"O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers" (11:57)
 
why is The Qur'an a healing for the heart?
 
The diseases of the heart are divided in 2 main groups: doubts (shubuhat) and desires (shahawat)
 
The Qur'an cures both types of diseases, with clear verses and guidance which shows the path of Truth, and wisdom and guidance that reminds the reader of the Hereafter
 
Ibn Mas'oud said: He who loves the Qur'an loves Allah and His messenger
 
And 'Uthman ibn 'Affan said: "If your hearts are purified, you would never have enough from (listening and reading) the words of your Lord"
 
(Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured) (13:28)
 
Remembering Allah and reading The Qur'an cure the heart, make it more sound and give it inner peace
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 16 April 2008 at 1:58am

2- Repenting and Asking Allah's Forgiveness

Asking Allah to forgive (istighfar) is often associated with repentence (tawbah), as the first is done by words, and the second is done by deeds by the act of giving up the sin
 
Each sin a believer does leaves a black trace or spot on the heart, and istighfar wipes out these spots and cleans the heart
 
The prophet, peace be upon him, used to seek forgiveness more than 70 times each day, and he set for us this example to follow in order to help keep our hearts clean and sound
 
The cure for sins is to seek Allah's forgiveness and the best time is at the end of each of the five daily prayers, and in the last third part of the night
 
Allah is The Most Merciful, The forgiver of sins, and He forgives all sins when a believer repents
 
The following extract is from an article by Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah titled http://islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=266 - The State of Repentance

Seeking Refuge from Sin

The first aspect of tawbah, then, is to see how one was taken away from seeking the pleasure of Allah, by committing sins. Next, one has to recognize that Allah didn't safeguard him from sin. One should also ponder how happy one was while sinning and being persistent on the sin, while knowing with surety that Allah ever watches over whatever is done in the heavens or on the earth.

http://islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=266 - http://islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=266
 
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 27 April 2008 at 4:53pm

3- Supplications: Making Du'aa

Du'aa is a very important cure for reaching a sound heart when done on a regular basis, as it keeps the heart of a believer attached to Allah (SWT) and makes him aware that Allah is the real source of all what we need in this life and in the Hereafter
 
Different types of supplications as detailed in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, are a cure for the heart, and at the same time are the core of worship.
 
The following du'aa example cures the heart when:
 
- Feeling down and sad

- Feeling stressed out

- Feeling lazy

- Feeling worried about your debts

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow,
 
From weakness and laziness,
 
From miserliness and cowardice,
 
From the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.Ē [Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari]
 
The following is a brief extract from an article on supplications and its impact on the heart of a believer:
 
Nothing softens the heart more than asking Allah to soften it and make it merciful. This is the promise of the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he said, "Call on Allah being certain that your prayer will be answered, but know at the same time that Allah will not answer the prayer of a heart which is negligent."

Dua will soften the heart and Allah is the One who will soften the heart. Our dua to Him will be answered, but we have to believe it

http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=445 - http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=445
 
May Allah soften our hearts and make them sound
 
Ameen
 


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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage




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