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The means to a righteous heart – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan


What is the way to the righteousness of the heart and to purify it from hatred and envy? And what are the most helpful means to make the heart righteous in this life?


Righteousness of the heart is achieved by a few things.

The first: having a sincere intention for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in the righteous deeds. And remembering the Greatness of Allaah, the Majestic and Exalted, remembering that you stand in need of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and increasing in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah. Allaah, the Most High, has said:

{Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allaah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.}

[Soorah ar-Ra’d (13): 28]

So from that which brings the heart to life, is increasing in the remembrance of Allaah. And verily, he (the Prophet) – sallal-Laahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – has said:

“The example of the one who remembers Allaah and the one who doesn’t remember Allaah, is like the example of the living and the dead.”

Also from the means of bringing the heart to life, is eating from halaal (legal, permissible food) and staying away from eating haraam (forbidden food). For verily, eating from haraam hardens the heart, corrupts the heart or makes the heart sick. Because bad food influences the heart and the body.

Also from the means of bringing the heart to life… Allaah, the Most High, has said:

{O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibaat (all kinds of Halaal foods which Allaah has made legal), and do righteous deeds.}

[Soorah al-Mu’minoon (23):51]

And Allaah has ordered the believers with that which He ordered the Messengers with. He said:

{O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah – Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the Tayyibaat that We have provided you with.}

[Soorah al-Baqarah (2):172]

He should eat from the Tayyibaat, meaning: the permissible things. Because Allaah makes the Tayyibaat permissible for us and makes the Khabaa’ith (all evil and bad things) forbidden for us. So eating from the Tayyibaat, which are the permissible things, feeds the hearts a good meal. And eating from the Khabaa’ith feeds the hearts a bad meal.

That which makes the hearts sick as well, is listening to songs and musical instruments, which has increased alot in this time! And that which makes the hearts sick as well or makes it die, is being devoted to satellite TV, the internet and what is broadcasted in these media from wickedness, evil thoughts, forbidden desires and disgusting scenes. This is from that which makes the hearts sick.

Also, accompanying bad people and sitting with them corrupts the hearts. Similarly, accompanying the best people, the scholars and the people of khayr (good), is from that which brings the hearts to life.

Translated by: Yâsîn Abu Ibrâhîm


Hope is the Guide & Fear is the Driver – The Journey to Allaah


[The Journey to Allaah : -Ibn Rajab al Hanbali ; pg 62 ]

And worship your Lord till the certainty comes to you . [al Hijr :99]

al Hasan said,

“Persistence, persistence! Surely Allaah has appointed the time of cessation of deeds to be just before death,”

and the he recited the above verse. He also said,

“Your souls are your mounts ,so tend to your mounts, in this way they will convey you to your Lord, Mighty & Magnificent.”

The meaning of tending to one’s mounts is to be easy on them, to keep them fit & healthy, & not to overburden them.

Therefore if one feels his soul is coming to a halt in its travel, he tends to it by inculcating in its the desire to finish the journey,as the situation may demand .

One of the salaf said,

” Hope is the guide & fear is the driver & the soul will stop & it will then need gentle treatment & song to provoke it to into recommencing its journey”.

In this respect the camel leader, who drives on his herd by singing,said,
“its guide gave it glad tidings saying: Tomorrow shall you see bananas & mountains.”

Fear is like a whip & when a person is excessively whips the animal, it could die.As such one must also strike it with “songs” of hope that would encourage it to eagerly revitalize its efforts until it arrives at the destination .

Abu Yazeed said,

” I have persistently guided my soul to Allaah without letting up, it weeping all the way, then i urged it to on until it laughed”

it is said,

“When it complained of the burdens of the journey,
he promised it Of the relief of arrival so it revitalized of its efforts.”

If there is a masjid that has a grave in it, is it permissible to pray in this masjid? Beneficial Answer by Shaykh Ubayd al Jabiree

The original question was if the masjid has a qabr or a grave is it permissible to pray in it. So Shaykh Ubayd (hafidhahullah) he went on after praising Allaah and saying peace and blessings on the Messenger and his family and companions, he went on to say in regards to this question that there are basically two situations.

The first of them is that, if the grave came before the masjid, and the masjid was built because of the grave being there and was built so that the people would worship the person who was in that grave, worshipping besides Allaah. And the Shaykh goes on to mention that there is a severe threat in regards to this affair. And he went on to mention some of the nusoos, some of the texts in regards to that, like the saying of the Messenger (sallalhualahi wa sallam) that the anger of Allaah is upon the people who take the graves of the Prophets as masaajids.

And in another narration, that the Prophet (sallalhualahi wa sallam) asked for curse of Allaah to be upon the Jews and Christians, because they took the graves of their Prophets as Masaajids.

So the Shaykh went on to say that there are many hadith on this issue. So he said in regards to this, that it is not allowed to pray in it, because this masjid was built, because of the grave, because it was built, to worship other than Allaah. So the Shaykh said in this situation, then it is not allowed to pray in the masjid.

Then the Shaykh mentioned a second situation and that is, if the masjid is built and the grave is built inside the masjid intentionally.

So the Shaykh went on to mention that there are two things that can be done in this case.

Then one of them, that a wall or separation is built to separate the grave from the masjid; or the second situation that the grave is taken out of the masjid and the person who was in the grave and buried along with the other Muslims.

So then the Shaykh was asked, what is the case if the grave remains inside and not separate from the masjid, then the Shaykh said then it is not allowed to pray in it. It is not allowed to pray in this masjid.

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To attain TRUE thankfulness TO Allah, there are 5 affairs that a person must have

Bismillaahir Rahmanir Raheem Wal Hamdulillaahi was Salaatu was Salaam ala nabiyinna Muhammad [sallAllahu alaihi was Sallam] wa la aalihi was sahbihi wa man wala

amma ba’d

AsSalaamu alaikam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

The Majority of the following advice was given by the brother Hasan Somali on the cd ‘Which of the Favors of Your Lord will you deny?’
which I believe to be a very beneficial reminder that all of us should have in our homes, that is why I have made brief notes and posted them here. The cd is available at CD@SalafiPublications.Com ,bi’ithnillah the cd nos is C9.019CD .

How many of us are truly grateful to the one who created us, sustains us and provided innumerable blessings upon us?

Do we truly Thank HIM as we should?

Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullah] comments on showing thanks by mentioning that to attain TRUE thankfulness TO Allah, there are 5 affairs that a person must have:

1.That a person surrenders and submits to ALLAH

2.That the person loves the one who has blessed him. i.e ALLAH

3.That a person recognises the blessings of ALLAH upon him

4.That a person praises ALLAH for blessing him with this bounty

5.That a person does NOT use that blessing to do anything that displeases ALLAH

So as our Great Scholar Ibnul Qayyim Al Jawziyyah [rahimahullah] mentioned these are the conditions for true thankfulness towards Al-Maalik, other Great Scholars of the Past have mentioned that

Thankfulness has to be attested to by the Tongue, by the Heart and by the Limbs, and the manner in which we show Thanks to Allah upon the limbs is to stay away from sin.

To sum up we should be grateful, Praise Allah and show Thanks to Allah for the Blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us and to receive more of Allah’s Blessings HE has told us what we should do when ALLAH says:

And [remember] when your LORD proclaimed “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Ibrahim 14:7)

and as ALLAH say HE rewards those who give thanks and are grateful

‘As a Favour from Us, thus do We reward him who gives thanks (by obeying Us).’ (Al-Qamar 54:35)

and HE says

“Verily, your Lord is full of Grace for mankind, yet most of them do not give thanks.” (An-Naml 27:73)

So lets strive to be amongst the few, [who are truly grateful to ALLAH]

So after this reminder to myself and then to you the next question applies:

‘Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?’ (Ar-Rahman 55:13)

And lets not forget being guided to Islaam is the Greatest Blessing.

‘All the praises and thanks be to Allah, to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. His is all the praises and thanks in the Hereafter, and He is the All-Wise All-Aware.’ (Saba’ 34:1)

You Alone We Worship… اِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين

Our Essence – Worshiping Allah

Ibn Taymiyyah stated that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (Glorified and Exalted is He) revealed 104 heavenly books. All of these books’ meanings are found in the Qur’an and all of the meanings of the Qur’an can be found in Surat al-Fatiha. Eminently, all of Surat al-Fatiha can be found in the following verses:

اِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين
“It is You we worship and You we ask for help” (Qur’an 1:5).

After recounting Allah’s majesty and mercy, and after realizing that we will indeed return to Him, in this ayah our attention is brought to the essence of what it is we are supposed to do here on earth – worship Allah and seek His help in doing so.

It is You We Worship – Sincerity

One of the acts of worship of the heart is doing things purely for the sake of Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said,
قال الله تبارك وتعالى أنا أغنى الشركاء عن الشرك من عمل عملا أشرك فيه معي غيري تركته وشركه

“God Almighty has said ‘If anyone does anything in which he associates anyone else with Me, I shall abandon him with one whom he associates with Allah.’” (Muslim)

When we say “You alone do we worship,” we essentially declare our ikhlas (sincerity) and remind ourselves of it. So we must ask ourselves – when we do something good, do we expect some kind of praise from others? Do we become bothered if we do not receive it? This means our act was not purely for the sake of God, rather for someone else too. Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned that the cure for this is to realize and internalize the fact that no one’s praise can benefit us, nor can their blame harm us. For example, if people think we are truthful, but to Allah we are in contrast of that, can the people benefit us? Or if a wealthy person is mentioned and people say “he is in debt and is not that rich,” does that make us lose any of our wealth?

Moreover, we should know that if people knew that we were doing an outwardly good act to get praise, they would hold a bad opinion of us. So how can we hide our intentions from people because we fear what they think, yet we ignore the One who knows what is in our hearts? This is called riyaa (ostentation).

The worst kind of riyaa is one that is coupled with lies, like a person who wants to be praised for something he did not even do. Allah says,

لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْرَحُونَ بِمَا أَتَوْا وَيُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يُحْمَدُوا بِمَا لَمْ يَفْعَلُوا فَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّهُمْ بِمَفَازَةٍ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
“And never think that those who rejoice in what they have perpetrated and like to be praised for what they did not do – never think them [to be] in safety from the punishment, and for them is a painful punishment.” (Qur’an, 3:188)

The cure? To always revise our intentions and aim to rectify them; if we do many things in public, we should do as much -or more things – in private without telling anyone. This is the essence of this verse, and this is why we recite it everyday,

اِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين
“It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” (Qur’an, 1:5)

Hidden Riyaa

Unfortunately, in many societies, we are brought up on riyaa. How so? We are told, “Don’t do this – what would people say?” Or we are told, “Don’t do that – do you want people to think you have no manners?” instead of being told that we should not do this or that because Allah is watching. So our biggest problem is that we have grown up on this. If people are not watching, we are fine with doing things while they cannot see us. Thus we have more shame in front of people than in front of Allah.

This hidden riyaa becomes so deeply entrenched within us that some of us have it even when we are worshiping and shedding tears (of devotion) in seclusion. How so? By becoming proud of ourselves later and wishing that people had seen us. Or we imagine dying a noble death, such as in sajda (prostration), but then we further imagine the good things people will say about us, rather than the joy of meeting Allah in that state.

As such, we should try to wash our hearts with this verse and become aware of our intentions and of the importance of sincerity.

Those with Soft Hearts

This surah (chapter) and this verse had a profound effect on the people who truly understood the meanings. Muzahim bin Zafar related that Sufyan Ath-Thawri, the great tabi’i (person from the generation after the Prophet ﷺ) was leading the Maghrib prayer and when he was reached this verse from Surat al-Fatiha he started weeping so much that he could not continue to the following verse. He then repeated the surah again from the beginning.

Muhammad Al-Himsy once saw Ibn Abi Al-Hawari, one of the righteous salaf (early Muslims), praying the Isha prayer by the Ka’ba. When he reached the verse “iyyaka na`budu wa iyyaka nasta`een” he could not get past it and wept profusely. So Al-Himsy continued his circling of the Ka’ba, and when he got to Al-Hawari again, he was still reciting that verse.

Do we think that those people who felt that way are just the people of the past? Then see this:

That year was the first year that Shaykh Sa`ud Al-Shuraim recited for taraweeh prayer during the whole of Ramadan. Usually, the most crowded days are the 27th night (because many people believe it to be Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power)) and the 29th night because that is when they complete the Qur’an. However, that year in particular they completed the Qur’an on the 27th night – so the view of the masses of people was so great that it reminds us of the Day of Judgment. Perhaps this is why the shaykh was so moved as he recited “Maliki yawmi addeen” (Sovereign of the Day of Recompense).

It is You We Ask for Help – Humility

The key to letting our prayers touch us deeply is sincerity; and we will not be able to be truly sincere unless we ask Allah for help. For this reason Allah has followed the verse, “it is You we worship” with “and You we seek for help.” Allah has said in a hadith qudsi (sacred tradition):
كلكم ضال الا من هديته فاستهدوني اهدكم

“All of you are astray except those whom I have guided, so ask me for guidance and I will guide you.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

And this is why Allah follows this verse with,

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
“Guide us to the straight path.” (Qur’an, 1:6)

Subhan’Allah (Glorified is He) how Allah creates a perfect order for His words!

Ibn Al-Qayyim said that he heard Ibn Taymiyya say that iyyaka na’budu wards of ostentation, and iyyaka nasta’een wards off arrogance. When we say, “You we ask for help” we acknowledge that we do not have the power to do it ourselves and that we need to ask Allah’s help for all acts. We often hear of one who is “too proud to ask”; he feels that he is better or that he can do it on his own. Conversely we admit our inability and thus we ask Allah – the Self-Sufficient.

May Allah (swt) guide us to worshiping Him with true sincerity and humility.

Al-Mahabbah (Love of Allaah)

People have discussed about mahabbah (love of Allaah); its causes and what brings it about, its signs, its fruits, and its rulings. The most comprehensive saying about this is what Abu Bakr al-Kattaanee (d.322H) relates about al-Junayd (d.297H).

Abu Bakr al-Kattaanee (d.322H) said: “A discussion about mahabbah took place in Makkah during the Pilgrimage month. The Shaykh’s who were present spoke about this matter, and al-Junayd was the youngest of them. They said to him: ‘O ‘Iraqi, what do you have to say?’ So he bowed his head and tears were flowing from his eyes, then he said:

‘A servant should overcome his soul;
And be continuous in the remembrance of his Lord;
Establishing the rights of his Lord;
Focusing upon Him with his heart;
The light of fear letting ablaze his heart;
Whilst drinking from the vessel of true love;
And certain realities become unveiled for him.
So when he talks, it is due to Allaah.
When he speaks, it is from Allaah.
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allaah.
And when he is serene, then it is from Allaah.
He belongs to Allaah, is for Allaah, and is with Allaah.’

So the Shaykh’s started to weep and said: ‘How can that be increased upon. May Allaah reward you with good, O crown of the knowledgeable ones!’.”

Taken from: Madaarij-us-Saalikeen, 3/9 (of Imaam ibn Qayyim)

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