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Taqwa – Recipe for a sound heart

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Salam Alikum WRBT … For the past few months, I’ve been living in my home town – Madurai, India… Quite a stark difference from the life in Saudi and the US, SubhanAllah. Other than the outer differences – like lack of infrastructure, pollution etc., the biggest ‘fitna’ has been the distance from the message of Allah sbwt. There is wide spread shirk that makes me squeal inside …even among the Muslims.  A lot of people have abandoned salah (the minimum requirement to be considered muslim, according to hadith). There is sooo much bribery, corruption, that it has become the norm. I remember reading about this somewhere that a society in which evil is the norm and people don’t forbid or condemn you when you do wrong is the most dangerous place to leave in, in terms of safeguarding one’s iman and akhira.

As I was contemplating on the effect on the envoronment on me,  I so happened to stumble across a lecture on “taqwa”, the key ingredient for success in this world and the next. It helped me realize that our environments do have an impact on our hearts and we need to turn to Allah, by his remembrance (dikr), reading Quran, doing what is right and soften our hearts by crying in God’s remembrance. .. For Allah states that the only person that will be successful on judgment day is one that shows up with a “Sound Heart” or kalbun saleem … (Apologize for lack of Quran and Hadith citations, InshaAllah, I’ll update once I find them ..)

Another point made by the shaik is that remembrance of death helps up balance the duniya and akhira. It prevents us from becoming arrogant. For instance, a person may have the best of cars, fancy house, gorgeous wife, fame etc. .. Do we think he has got it all? He’s is living in heaven?? Well, more than likely he may become arrogant and think he is self sufficient and forget thanking his Lord who gave all those neama .. On the other hand, a person who is faced with a lot of hardships might infact turn to Allah and continuously ask for forgiveness and keep his heart pure and soft. So, Allah is actually blessing that person with hardships.

Similary, based on a hadith in tirmidhi, a person may have all the good in this life and he is involved in a lot of wrong. When he is resurrected in front of Allah, Allah will dip him for a few seconds in Hell fire. Allah will ask him, did you have any good in the world and he will reply NO!! Another person will be afflicted with lots of hardships in this world, and will be brought in front of his Lord. Allah will dip him for a few seconds in Jannah and ask him if he faced any hardships in his life? His response will be NO! SubhanAllah. That is the everlasting magnificence of the life of the next world compared to this insignificant one.

 Some good pointers to work on for softening our hearts, provided by the imam are to work on our doubts and our desires. The obvious desires of the nafs (self) are sexual and overeating. Disciplining these to be within the boundaries allowed to us by Allah is a key. The other aspect is stuff known only to us and Allah subhanwatala. The doubts in yakeen or certainty that we may entertain in our hearts. We need to develop relationship with Allah, His book etc, and work on our ibadah to protect our hearts from these doubts and experience the gifts of iman – tranquility in the heart.

 We can start by talking to our self / our heart and assessing “Do I love Allah as I’m supposed to..” ? Oh Allah, Am I worshipping You the way I am supposed to be, with complete concentration and following Your commandments in everything I do? Oh Allah, I want to meet You. Constantly asking dua to make us among the righteous and InshaAllah, this will lead to developing “taqwa” or fear of Allah .. And until we reach a state where we feel like “Allah is accompanying me and I am accompanying Allah”. SubhanAllah, what a great feeling that would be! Shaik quoted a verse commenting on that those who abandon dhikr will never be happy. The fact that those who have abundance of wealth but no tranquility even resort to suicide is a testimony to this.

 InshaAllah, I hope this article is helpful and I pray that we all strive and become successful in developing our taqwa and face Allah Subhanawatala with a sound heart. Ameen. Here is the link to the lecture:

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