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Purification of the Heart.

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Where does purification of the heart begin?

How can i give dawah to my non muslim family?

Some of them ask a lot of theological questions that i’m not sure how to answer.

How can you forgive someone who has done something really heinous to you?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Repentance

Purification of the heart begins with repentance, when a person admits his wrongdoings and turns to Allah. Please refer to this reader for more information.

An excellent place to start at is this free On-Demand course on the First Principles of Islamic Spirituality.

Da’wa

Before trying to invite others to Islam you should try to strengthen your own faith and practice with knowledge, practice, and the company of the righteous. When your own transformation occurs it will be much easier to get them to see the beauty of Islam.

Forgivness

Please refer to this article to understand how you yourself can benefit from forgiving others.

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

How to Protect My Heart While Having a Job and so On?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Almost a year ago I had severe doubts that led me to learn more about Allah. While searching I came across Sufism and this led me to practice seclusion. And alhamdulillah I got rewarded by Allah with the sweetness of faith and being present with him. Bbut as the time went by the pressure from my family grew that I needed to get a job and so on. I did go out and 2 months later I noticed that i was getting away from Allah little by little until I forgot how it felt back then.

What can I do to protect my heart while working and so on?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Your experience is classic of anyone journeying to Allah. The goal is that all our moments, be they in solitude or with others, in war or peace, weal or woe, it is the same. As some have put it, ‘To be with Allah without any relation.’

To become like this, we need to change inside. This process of change is called the spiritual path.

Normally the spiritual path happens at the hands of a guide (murshid/pir). This is someone who has gone through the same problems and navigated the same issues at the hands of guide himself, and so on up to the Messenger of Allah. Such traditions of guidance are called paths (tariqas).

Each path varies, but generally speaking they work by focussing on dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in various formulae, mudhakara (lessons with one’s guide) and jihad al-nafs (working against one’s bad tendencies to perfect one good ones). Through this process, if faithfully observed, a change happens over the years and one appreciation and awareness of Allah deepens such that one no longer becomes headless of him anymore.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

Acquisition of the Clear Light: Part 5

This is the fifth part of a series of translations of Habib Umar’s work, Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin, an abridgement of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din.

 

Obligatory precaution against the devil’s overpowering of the heart and the prevention of his entrances therein.

Know that the heart is like a pitched dome with doors through which concerns enter, and similarly like a target of which arrows from various directions are aimed towards, so the point of entry for these renewed influences are either external, through the five senses or internal, through imagination, desire, anger and natural traits within man’s composition.

The most notable of acquired influences within the heart are spiritual promptings, through the medium of thoughts and reflections which are its acquirement’s of knowledge by means of renewal or recall, which is called spiritual promptings, as a prompting takes place preceded by the hearts ignorance of it. So the base of actions are spiritual promptings, these spiritual promptings then awaken the desire, the desire awakens the resolve, the resolve awakens the intention and the intention awakens the limbs.

These are divided between that which calls to evil, of which is what is ultimately harmful and that which calls to goodness, of which is what is of benefit in the Final Abode. So these are 2 varying spiritual promptings, the good of which is called an inspiration and the bad of which is called a whisper. As long as the end result varies, it’s is an indication of the varying of its respective cause.

The agent of a good spiritual prompting is angelic and the agent of an evil spiritual prompting is demonic. The subtlety which equips the heart to accept a good inspiration is called harmonization and that which equips it to accept a demonic whisper is called deception and failure. An angel is an epitome of a creation which Allah Most High brought into existence, its role is the outpouring of goodness, benefiting by knowledge, revealing truth, counseling towards good, enjoining the good and this was the purpose for it being created and facilitated. A devil is an epitome of a creation which has an opposing role to that which is that of counseling towards evil, commanding immorality, to cause despair by means of distress, when considering to embark upon goodness.

A demonic whisper is opposite to inspiration, a devil is opposite to an angel, harmonization is opposite to failure, Allah Most high says: And of everything we have created pairs.” (Sura ad-Dhariyat 51:49). All matters have pairs except Allah Most High, as He is unique without a pair, in fact, He is the one, the Real who created all the pairs.

The heart is attracted towards the devil or the angel. He (SAW) said, : “In the heart there are 2 callings. A call from the angel promising goodness and belief of the Truth, so whoever amongst you finds this then know that it is from Allah Most High, so show gratitude to Him and a call from the devil promising evil, disbelief of the Truth and forbidding goodness, so whoever amongst you finds this should seek refuge in Allah Most High from the Devil.” Thereafter he recited His words: “Satan promises you with poverty and orders you to commit what is indecent, but Allah promises you His Forgiveness and bounty from Him. Allah is the Embracer, the Knower.” (Sura al-Baqarah 2:268)

Regarding the attraction towards these 2 dominating factors, He (SAW) said: “The heart of a believer is between the two fingers of Allah the Most Exalted.” Mujaahid mentioned regarding His statement: “From the mischief of the Whisperer who withdraws. It is spread out within the heart, upon him remembering Allah, it withdraws and shrinks and if he is unmindful, it spreads out within the heart.” Regarding their difference, Allah Most High says: “The Evil One has got the better of them: so he has made them lose the remembrance of Allah.” (Sura 58:19) Ibn Wadhaah said regarding the narration he mentioned: If a man reaches the age of 40 without repenting, the devil wipes his face with his hand and says: By my father, a face which will not succeed. By this, the meaning of a whispering, a spiritual prompting, an angel, a devil, harmonization and failure all become clear.

So it’s upon the servant to acquaint himself with every affair that comes to mind to know whether it’s an angelic calling or a satanic calling and to eagerly examine it with an insightful eye, without any caprice from the natural disposition, which is only perceived through the light of God-consciousness, insight and abundance of knowledge as He Most High says: “Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, make remembrance.” (Sura 7:201) Which means that they return to the light of knowledge. “At once, they have insight.” (Sura 7:201) Which means that the problem becomes manifest to them. As for the person who has not accustomed his self towards God-Consciousness, his nature is inclined towards the obedience of what has deceived him through the following of his caprice, and as a result, his mistakes are many and his destruction is brought near without him noticing.


Translator: Abdullah Salih, converted to Islam in 2003 and thereafter, embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge in the Valleys of Hadramouth in the beautiful city of Tarim. He was fortunate enough to sit in the company of Habib Umar, where he studied under him various sciences such as, but not limited to, some of the original works of Ihya as well that of the abridgment. He now resides in Namibia with his family and is engaged in Dawah activities locally as well as internationally.


Do Emotions and Hormonal Fluctuations Affect the Soul?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Could you explain how the soul(nafs) is related to emotions /feelings. Do hormonal fluctuations play about in the nafs and negative emotions?

Many women experience emotional ups and downs / or emotional numbness as side affects from hormonal/contraceptive pill use.

I have not been able to find anything from the Ulimah advising on contraceptive pill use from a purely spiritual perspective. Do you have any recommendations?

Would it be wise for a woman to take long term prescribed hormonal therapy or contraceptive pills if hormones negatively affect the nafs and make it harder for her in purifying her soul?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

Emotions are directly connected to the nafs (ego, self, or psyche), which according to many scholars, is itself one facet of the ruh (the spirit or soul), or we may say it is one term used for the ruh depending on its context. Scholars have stated that the ruh is the governing principle (mudabbir) of the human, which overlooks and controls his body and being.

Emotions and the Nafs

The nafs, which can translate as the self or ego, generally refers to the tendencies of man which are controlled by emotions and desires, such as passion, anger, despair, selfishness etc. Though not always, in the Quran, the word ‘nafs’ is commonly used to describe the soul when it inclines towards or succumbs to various emotional states and lower desires, such as,

إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ

‘Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil’ [12:53]

However, while the nafs / ego may cause one to fall into sin by arousing powerful emotions which sway one towards fulfilling desires, whether sins of the limb or sins of the heart, it also has the potential to rise above the base emotions and inclinations through a series of stages, first by incriminating itself after having done wrong, then becoming inspired to do good, until it reaches a goodly state, referred to by God, when He says,

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً

O reassured soul, return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [89:27-28]

[Ihya Ulum al Din, Hashiyat al Sawi, Adab al Nufus, Tafsir al Razi, Al-Jami’ li Ahkam al Quran, al Risalah al Qushayriyyah]

Chemical medicine

While you may not have come across anything specifically mentioning the affect the contraceptive pills may have on the nafs or soul, it is well established that what we physically ingest into our bodies can have deep ramifications upon the soul and spiritual works.

Food, which can be both a medicine or a poison, is a simple example of how the physical intake into the body can affect the higher levels of man’s constitution. ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) is reported to have said, ‘Verily, the first trial to occur in this nation after the passing of its Prophet ﷺ, was people eating to their fill. For when people fill their stomachs, their bodies are fattened, their hearts are hardened, and their desires are uncontrollable.’ (al Ju’ – ibn Abi Dunya). Notice how the process described starts with physical matter (food) entering into our physical body, which leads to physical health issues, which in turn is followed by a spiritual hardening of the heart, which results in the increase of passions for base desires.

Conversely, good, wholesome, and lawful food can have a beneficial effect on one’s actions and spiritual works, if eaten in moderation.

As such, there is no reason to not assume that intake of medicinal matters, whether chemical or natural, can have a beneficial or negative impact on the soul, and consequently emotions.

Unfortunately, many medicinal drugs prescribed today have the ability to do more harm than good, and often cause much turmoil in the physical, psychological and spiritual levels of a person. This is partly because of the chemical interaction of the drug with the chemistry of the body, as well as the fact that most drugs treat disease against the natural flow of the body, which itself has a defense and healing mechanism, and these drugs are often so powerful and contra-acting, they deeply suppress this innate mechanism.

In summary then, anything we ingest, whether food or medicine, can have a direct effect on our spiritual plane. In the same way that over eating or bad eating habits, or over sleeping and bad sleeping habits, can affect our mental and emotional states, they can also affect our spiritual states. The human being is one being composed of interconnected parts. It is not possible for one thing to be affected without affecting the other. This is why spiritual masters have always tended on the side of scrupulousness when it comes to ingesting anything into the physical body, because of the potential effects it may have on the spiritual level.

The Contraceptive Pill and Hormone Therapy

The ancient Greek word for the womb or uterus is ‘hysteria’, and this suggests emotional and nervous vulnerability, particularly anxiety, nervousness and irritability. The womb is a vital aspect of a woman’s being, and the ovary and uterus are part of the female endocrine system (the system that produces and secretes hormones), and the menstrual cycle is a regulatory function which provides important hormones to the body to keep it in health.

Therefore, it goes without saying that any treatments involving this area must work with the body and seek to preserve the natural order and maintenance of the female body. Removal of the uterus or introducing chemical suppressants is hazardous.

The short time side effects of such products and therapies alone, including mood changes and emotional fluctuation, reduced chance of future pregnancy, and abnormal menstrual cycles are enough to suggest woman should not turn to them as a first choice.

Given the above, it would not be recommended for women to stay on the contraceptive pills or undergo hormone related therapies for long periods of time. This applies to women on a spiritual path or those who are not. While of course every case is different and one must refer to a qualified physician in each individual scenario, generally, women should avoid these options even in the short term unless necessary or for very brief use.

Alternatives

There are numerous natural alternatives one may make use of, if not better, as many natural therapies work with the body, not against it. Depending on the reason for taking the contraceptive pill or hormone therapy, one could explore various natural options such as the billings method for contraception, and seed cycling for hormonal, menstrual balance and fertility. Also, one could explore therapies such as homeopathy, herbal, or Chinese medicine as all round balancing therapies.

In regards contraception, it would also be a good idea to explore male contraception rather than female contraception.

Summary

In summary then, emotional and hormonal imbalance is connected to the nafs, in the sense that what affects one physically or emotionally has the potential to affect spiritual works. Subsequently, foods and therapies that negatively interfere with the natural order of hormonal balance should be avoided.

I pray this helps,

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Nasheed Hub: Talama Ashku Gharami

The Nasheed Hub, an initiative of SeekersHub Global, aims to showcase the traditional Islamic art of nasheed, or Islamic devotional songs.

Talama Ashku Gharami

Talama Ashku Gharami, or “How Long Will My Heart Ache,” is a heartfelt Nasheed that may can relate to. One of the less-appreciated poems, it speaks directly to the soul.

The author is experiencing heartache. However, it is not a wordly or romantic pain. Rather than wishing for a loved one, he is longing for the ultimate goal; to attain unto Allah, and see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

He asks when his pain will stop, saying, “How long will my heart ache for my Beloved?” He addresses the Prophet as the one from Tiham (an area that includes the cities of Mecca and Medina). He goes on, speaking about his utmost desire to attain the vision, and see the door of Paradise. He concludes by asking Allah, to grant goodness with goodness.
[pdf-embedder url=”http://seekershub.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/talama.pdf”]

About Nasheed Hub

Throughout the decades and civilizations of Islam, the vocal tradition, sometimes known as nasheed or devotional songs, were penned as a way of celebrating and giving thanks to Allah for the message of Islam, as well as for the Messenger himself.
These nasheeds were a way for people to turn towards their Lord in joyful celebration, rather than stringent routine. They were also tools to spread the message of Islam in a non-confrontational way. These nasheeds were able to reach out to those who were alienated or indifferent to the religion and the Muslim community, as well as to teach children who were too young for academic study.
These nasheeds originating from all corners of the Muslim world – from West Africa to Malaysia, from Turkey to Great Britian – mirror their own culture but all carry a common thread: love of Allah and His Messenger.
This series will explore the different nasheeds, penned by some of the great historical Muslim figures, poets, and scholars.


Resources for Seekers

 

Why Can’t I Find Peace and Contentness in My Heart?

Answered by Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am struggling to find peace in my heart now. I have been divorced 5 years ago on no fault of my own.

Since then I have struggled to find that peace in my heart. 5 years on and I am in search of a decent spouse. I sometimes feel that I am being constantly judged on the fact that I have been divorced when it wasn’t even my fault. This is breaking me completely and now I am so lost that all I see is darkness.

Why can’t I find peace and contentness in my heart now?

Answer:Wa’alaykumsalam wa rahmatullah wa barakaatu,

I pray you are well, by Allah’s grace. What follows is a general answer, without regard to specific details that I do not have.

It appears your lack of peace of mind and heart is connected to your difficulty in finding a compatible spouse.

I would remind myself and my sister to always keep in mind that Allah created every aspect of life to test us, purify our hearts, reveal us to ourselves and draw us nearer to Him.

It is important to keep your difficult situation within this Islamic spiritual understanding. It is Allah’s decree that your finding of a spouse has been delayed. Through that, you are tested, purified, will be led to a deeper understanding of yourself and, Allah willing, draw closer to Him.

As you continue, know that your patience and surrender to Allah is a tremendous act of worship. Allah teaches: “Surely, those who practice patience will be rewarded without measure” [Qur’an: 39:10].

Your future spouse is a rizq, or provision, not unlike material provision. While you seek a spouse, know that your actions will not produce the result or guarantee it. It will come when and how Allah decrees.

If we do not surrender in patience to Allah’s decree, the inner difficulty that we experience can be far more bitter than the difficulty of patience. Allah knows your limits. With hardship, there will be ease.

I would advise my sister to seek nearness and strength from Allah with much supplication (du’a).

Your brother,
[Shaykh] Riad Saloojee

Shaykh Riad Saloojee graduated and taught in an Islamic seminary in Cape Town, South Africa.  He is a lawyer by training and worked in the field of civil rights advocacy. Currently, he teaches and translates.

Do I Have to Take a Shaykh to Cure My Heart?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I recently realized that my nafs is enticing me mostly with evil thoughts (arrogance, pride, competing with Allah, I can do what Allah can do). It started with whisper 5 months ago. How to train my nafs in this condition? Is this necessary to work under a sheikh or a sufi?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question. Firstly, this realisation that you have had is a huge blessing from Allah Himself. One of the righteous one remarked that ‘When Allah wants good for a servant He makes him aware of his faults so the servant can repent from them.’ You should thank Allah for this and turn to Him seeking His help in getting over this hurdle.

It is superior to resort to a master of Islamic Spirituality in matters of purification of the heart, as he is usually someone who has experienced and overcome the challenges people face on the path to drawing closer to Allah, and an external observer usually sees things which you may not. The first step, however, is to ground yourself in the knowledge you need to practice your religion, and you may find that many of your issues fall away due to the blessings of Sacred Knowledge. Thereafter, if you feel inclined to finding a teacher of Tasawwuf you should ask Allah by means of the Prayer of Need (Salah al-Haja) and the Prayer of Choosing and Facilitation (Salah al-Istikhara). Allah, out of His tremendous generosity, will show you someone who is right for you.

The first thing to do with an unwanted, intrusive thought is to not identify with it and to hate the feeling of arrogance, competing with Allah etc, in your heart. You should sincere repent from the thought and dismiss it if it returns. The best solution is ignore them after that and should go away. Focusing on them and worrying about them is a means of empowering them.

If they persist regardless, you may have a mild form of OCD which can be remedied through basic therapy. An effective, and easy therapy is E.F.T. (Emotional Freedom Technique); it can be learned by anyone in a few minutes and many a time the issues will disappear fairly quickly. If the issue is deeper then you should consider finding a practitioner and wprking through the issue with.

May Allah facilitate for you all the means to attaining His pleasure.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Is Making Dua in My Heart Enough?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I understand that beseeching help from Allah and His Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) is the best thing I can do, but every time I try to put what I want into words, I can’t articulate it. Is keeping duas in our hearts enough?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Dua

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” [Qur’an, 2:256]

Allah knows the deepest contents of your heart. You do not need to find the right words to express yourself to Him. In short, yes, keeping duas in your heart is enough. What matters most is the manner in which you bring yourself to your Lord.

Come to Him in wudu, with a heart that is humbled, and with awareness of how much you are in need of Him. There are many resources on SeekersHub about the etiquette of dua, and I invite you to explore and put these gems into practice.

Reality

No matter how much we ask Allah, and no matter how well, know that we may not always get what we want, in the matter and timing that we long for. Allah is All-Seeing and All-Knowing, and we are but finite beings. I pray that Allah grants you acceptance, contentment and gratitude for His Decree.

Please see:

The Reality and Etiquettes of Supplication: A Reader
Why Does It Seem That Allah Never Answers My Prayers?
Why Doesn’t Allah Answer My Supplications?
Four Reasons Your Dua Isn’t Answered Yet – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Adab Of Du’a 26

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

What Happens to the Heart After Death?

Answered by Shaykh Salim Ahmad Mauladdawila

Question: Assalamu alaykum

What happens to the heart after death?

Answer: Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim.

Imam al-Ghazali in book 21 of his encyclopaedic ‘Revival of the Religious Sciences’ talks about the heart and some of its realities. To quote (from the Walter James Skelli translation):

[‘Heart’ (qalb)] is used with two meanings. One of them is the cone-shaped organ of flesh that is located at the left side of the chest. It is flesh of a particular sort within which there is a cavity, and in this cavity there is black blood that is the source (manba’) and seat (ma’dan) of the spirit (ruh). We do not now propose to explain its shape nor its mode of operation since religious ends have no connection therewith, but only the aim of physicians. Animals and even the dead have this heart of flesh. Whenever we use the term ‘heart’ in this book, we do not mean this sort of heart, for it is but an impotent bit of flesh, belonging to the visible material world (‘alam al-mulk wa-l-shahdda), and is perceived by the sense of sight, by animals as well as by mankind.

The second meaning of the ‘heart’ is a subtle tenuous substance of an ethereal spiritual sort (latifa rabbaniyya ruhiniyya), which is connected with the physical heart. This subtle tenuous substance is the real essence of man. The heart is the part of man that perceives and knows and experiences; it is addressed, punished, rebuked, and held responsible, and it has some connection with the physical heart. The majority of men have been become perplexed when they tried to perceive the nature of this connection. Its connection therewith resembles the connection of accidents with substances, of qualities with the things they qualify, of the user of a tool with the tool, or of that which occupies a place with the place. We will guard against trying to explain this for two reasons: first, because it deals with mystical sciences (‘ulum al-mukashafa), and our aim in this book includes only the knowledge of proper conduct (‘ilm al muamala); and second, because to ascertain it calls for a disclosing of the secret of the spirit (ruh), concerning which the Messenger of God did not speak, and therefore no one else should speak. Our aim then is this: whenever we use the term ‘heart’ (qalb) in this book we mean by it this subtle tenuous substance. And what we propose is to mention its characteristics (awsaf) and states (ahwal), not its real nature (haqiqa) in itself, for the science of practical religion does not require the mention of its real nature.

So regarding the heart, we can say that as a physical entity it dies with the body, as a “subtle tenuous substance” it is the reality of man and thus has a reality in the next life, and as a whole it “perceives and knows and experiences; it is addressed, punished, rebuked, and held responsible”.

Regards,
Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Salim Ahmad Mauladdawila

Any Advice for Detaching My Heart From Someone?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Almost 8 years ago, I was talking to a brother for the purpose of marriage. We both loved each other, but the relationship didn’t work out because he felt there was a gap in our spiritual practice. I have tried to detach my heart over the years, but I can’t seem to move on. It’s horrible. What can I do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in to us. May Allah ease your difficulties. May Allah also reward you for trying to do all the right things and remaining patient.

Prolonged heartache has many roots, and though the main cause may be obvious, the deeper underlying roots are not so easily detected. The ultimate answer lies in realising and working towards our relationship with Allah. It can also be beneficial to approach these situations with both spiritual and therapeutic methods.

Islamic approach

The key to healing yourself from an Islamic perspective is to realign your relationship and attachment to God. When our hearts become too attached to created beings, we lose sight that it is Allah who makes all things happen, and it is to Him we must return. In turning to God we must consider the following:

1. Ensure that your heart is attached to Allah and the Prophet ﷺ more than anyone else. We can only do this by knowing Allah. Knowing Allah and the Prophet ﷺ is achieved through a) learning and b) reading and understanding the Words of Allah. Take time each day to learn basic aqidah and seerah, as well reading a portion of the Quran daily, using an English translation if possible. For courses, please see our course page.

2. Realise that all events happen according to God’s Decree. Take heart in the words of Allah, ‘No affliction befalls, except it be by the leave of God. Whosoever believes in God, He will guide his heart. And God has knowledge of everything.’ [64:11]. Allah is reassuring us that our hearts will be guided through and out of the sorrows of this world, and that He is aware of the anguish of our hearts. Knowing this, and that He alone is the Controller of all affairs, lets us know that He alone can change our affairs.

One does not know what wisdom Allah has placed in the misfortunes that befall us, and what greater misfortune he has averted from us or what greater reward He has stored for us instead. If we knew the reality of each situation, we would not want it to be any different then what Allah has Decreed, for His Decree is perfect.

3. Do your best to increase in faith (Iman), as faith is the fortress of the heart from the upheavals of worldly tides. This can be achieved by what we mentioned above (learning and building a relationship with the Quran), as well as waking up for Tahajjud (night prayers), even 5-10 minutes before Fajr and praying to Allah. Wake up in these quiet hours in the still of the night, and tell Allah that you have woken up to seek his help and to change your condition, to tell him that it is Him whom you love and seek happiness in, and to make you amongst those who have patience, gratitude and certainty. With sincerity, insha’Allah your prayer will be answers, for the Prophetﷺ informed us that,

‘Our Lord descends to the heaven on the last third of every night, and he says: Who is calling upon me that I may answer him? Who is asking from me that I may give him? Who is seeking my forgiveness that I may forgive him?’ [al Bukhari, Muslim].

4. Keep the company of good people, and do not spend a lot of time alone.

5. Keep busy through work, socialising (in moderation), pursuing hobbies and interests (particularly creative ones) and community work, especially for people who are in need and suffering. Seeing others in a worse state than our own is a wake-up call to count the blessings we have and not remain stuck on our own particular sorrows.

6. If you desire to marry, then move on by meeting prospective spouses. Allah will place you with the person that you were going to be with, so continue the search, and with the right intention. It ca be surprising how heartache can be forgotten when something new enters into one’s life.

7. Recite the following supplications much:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men. [al Bukhari]

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا
O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy
[Ibn Hibban]

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ
O Allah, I hope for Your mercy, do not leave me for even the duration of an eye blink (duration) and correct my total condition. Besides You there is none worthy of worship
[Hisnul Hasin]

8. Please also read the following answers which you may find useful:

How to get over unrequited love?

My heart has been broken by a man but I can’t move on

Therapy

Turning to Allah through the above means is no doubt the first and main path to healing. However, it sometimes occurs that no matter what one does they can’t lift themselves out of the hole they find themselves in. This is where alternative therapies can help.

If the above does not help alone, then I suggest seeking out a qualified and reputable homeopath. Homeopathy is very effective in helping people overcome prolonged grief, broken hearts and unrequited love. The remedies can help balance the person’s judgement, and realign the will and determination to see beyond the point they are stuck in and move on. Alternatively, a traditional herbalist may also be of use. And Allah alone is the healer of all maladies.

I wish you all the best and pray that Allah turns your heart towards Him and grants you peace and happiness.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.