When we are striving for Ihsan by taking the steps of Tazkiyah Al Nafs, the Heart is our focus.
What is the Heart. Is it the physical muscle in our chest.
No. (but not totally No, I will explain at the end)
The Heart in regards to Tazkiyah, is the spiritual Heart. I refer to it as `The Center` Your spiritual Center is your CORE.
It is where your choice to good or bad comes from. If it is bad then it will produce bad actions and deeds. If it is good it will produce good actions and good deeds. The harder the heart the fewer good actions. The softer the heart the more good actions.
This is why We all need to strive for Tazkiyyah al nafs. It is the path to Ihsan. We all have Hearts (Center or core) that needs to be purer so our output in this life, which is short, can be purer. It not only needs this pureness, it also wants it. It craves it. This desire of the Heart to be pure is a strong desire. One very much underestimated. If you take some time to put your Heart to the Mirror (H2M is an upcoming lesson) and inspect it with all honesty I believe you will find what I just said to be true. It doesn’t matter if you are old, young, think yourself righteous, or think yourself debased.
Even the hardened criminal sitting in prison for horrible crimes would realize this and deep down does. Does anyone as a young child desire to be a hardened criminal. Is that something they one day said. Yes, that is for Me. I want to rob, injure and cause mayhem so my life is centered on evil then probably punished for it. Come on, absolutely not. They had visions of helping the world and being, a fireman, policeman and the like.
Their hearts were hardened by “PROCESS” gradually over time. Some hardened much faster than others by trauma in their lives but usually it is a more drawn out process. One that takes time. Gradually their heart solidifies.
This hardening is not NORMAL or just part of life or one of those things. It is the worst travesty that happens to peoples lives. A hardened Heart lacks compassion. If you want to see what happens when a lack of compassion takes over then just look at our world today where less than 100 people own more than 50% of the world wealth while people starve. A world where the strong say they want peace ” and we will go to war to achieve it”.
The most devastating aspect and the aspect that should be considered first and foremost is that a hardened Heart separates us from Allah Subhana Wa Ta Ala. our creator, our Lord, our reward-er, our helper, our guide and to whom we will return to answer for all what we have done in this life. whether you like it or not. It is THE fact that we all live with. The only thing that we are all sure of without doubt.That one day we will take our last breath and breath no more.
With that in mind and also knowing for sure that a heard heart affects the good we do in this life; then working on your heart should be the most important part of your life. Am I wrong?
Purifying your Heart will bring you closer to Allah. Closer to Allah is not a physical closer, not at all. It is a spiritually closer. Which is totally and absolutely just as real as the table in front of Me in this physical world. It is a real closeness a real space. So the desire to be closer by the heart that desires to be pure is 100% natural and hardwired into every one of us in our core. It is living in this world that takes us away from this natural state. Our born state. I believe fighting this natural born desire has led us into all kinds of evilness and caused countless mental illnesses.
Fighting this natural born desire is done for many different reasons. As many different as their are people to have circumstances. Some may follow whims and desires of this world to fit in and be accepted, some to achieve power, some as a defense mechanism against a world they do not understand. Little knowing they are fighting the natural desire that is the cure for all of it, InshAllah. This world can be tough on soft people. My best Friend and Brother died last month and I can attest to you that this world can be brutal with soft people, people of compassion. Does that make it wrong. Does that make it, not the natural born desire of the heart. Not at all. It makes it something even more desirable and worth reclaiming. I say reclaiming because as a child it was there in all of us. If it didn’t have strong opposition from this world, this dunya, wouldn’t it be universal allowing us all to realize our full potential as Humans. A world full of soft pure heart-ed compassionate people sounds like a beautiful place. A Utopia, I know. However, it is worthy.
Following the desire to have a pure heart bringing you closer to God is the “PATH” I have been talking about.
It is the way to attaining Ihsan.
It is the reason for this website. It is the reason I am writing this now. IT is the path.
So let’s go!, “you say”. Give Me this knowledge.
Let me tell you right off. It is not just about knowledge.
Why? Because getting closer to Allah does not come from Knowledge alone. Period.
I have had Neo Salafis Brothers explain to me that it surely mostly comes from, correct knowledge of practicing the physical rituals perfectly.
(They said they could bring Me to the “RIGHT” Masjid)
I have also had Sufi Brothers explain to me that it surely mostly comes from, correct knowledge of practicing Spiritual rituals perfectly.
(They said they could introduce Me to the “SPECIAL” Shaykh with all the hidden secrets.)
The neo Salafi approach of JUST “law” doesn’t work. It didn’t work for the Israelites and it doesn’t work for them.
The Sufi approach of JUST “spiritual” doesn’t work. No prescription given by an over adored Shaykh will help
You will notice I said JUST, that is because BOTH are good and both are absolutely NECESSARY.
Without the law of Allah you have no guide and your spirituality can become so far off it is not recognizable as Islam. Without the spiritual your law can become so hard you end up heartless and not recognizable as a Muslim.(like ISIS)
Summary: Law with no heart is not just. Heart with no law is not just. If it is not just. It is not Islam.
Islam is a perfect divine blend of both. One leaning on the other. You will need both for this path.
As promised earlier, I will explain why I said the physical heart is not the spiritual heart but alluded to “not totally”. It is because this spiritual heart and your physical heart are surely connected. Do we know how. NO. However if you have ever seen an old couple that were separated in the hospital for health reasons after living close for 50+ years you will realize this connection, as they pass away with a “broken heart” and no other explainable illness that would cause sudden death. It is the spirit that has been affected like they share the same space somehow if you will. I do not know how. Some things in this Akhira are unexplained and probably will be until the end of time .
May Allah cleanse our Heart and bring us closer to Him. May He grant us a pure heart to be doers of good on this Earth, compassionately showing love and helping all.In the end May He grant us Jennah. Ameen.