بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Nafsiya Reflections: A Heart of a True Believer
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh,
Welcome to another episode of Nafsiyah Reflections – A Heart of a True Believer
As Muslims we strive to gain Allah’s pleasure, His (swt) pleasure (Ridaa). We strive to become the best possible versions of ourselves. Doing the obligations (Fard), following the Sunnah and reaching for the Nawafil. Sometimes our hearts may not feel so… white, so pure. We may not feel like we are even close to being like the Sahabah RA, let alone trying to be like our beloved role-model Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. And that could tear us down, creating feelings of hopelessness in becoming anything more than what we currently are. That it’s just not in the cards for us, especially in this day and age. We may even feel like hypocrites at times. We may feel like we aren’t doing enough no matter how hard we try.
We live in a Dunya that will surely provoke anyone of us at times. It will push us to the brink. Making us feel incompetent, unworthy, or as if we are reaching for the stars. Something we will surely never actually hold in our hands. And let’s not forget Shaytan’s role in all this. Waiting for the opportunity, to pounce, to take advantage of our anger, of our frustrations, of our sadness, of our happiness. To fall into sin. We can even feel judged by others, which makes it even worse.
See, the question is…
Does that mean we don’t have pure hearts? Does it mean… that we will ever have pure hearts? I mean it was easier to preserve one’s heart in the presence of our great leader Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him… right?
Well yes, and no.
It is easier to preserve your heart in the presence of the greatest man who walked this earth. Yes, definitely. But the Sahabah RA did feel these feelings of guilt.
Abu Huraira reported: Some of the companions came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and they asked him, “إِنَّا نَجِدُ فِي أَنْفُسِنَا مَا يَتَعَاظَمُ أَحَدُنَا أَنْ يَتَكَلَّمَ بِهِ” “We find within ourselves that which is to grievous to speak of.” The Prophet said,
«وَقَدْ وَجَدْتُمُوهُ » “You have indeed found it so?” They said “نَعَمْ ” yes. The Prophet said, “ذَاكَ صَرِيحُ الْإِيمَانِ“ “That is sincere faith.”
In another narration, the Prophet said, «تِلْكَ مَحْضُ الإِيمَانِ »“That is pure faith.” Sahih Muslim
As humans we were all created like such. We all have whispers of Shaytan. We all have a devil companion from the jinn over us.
The Prophet, saw said,
« مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا وَقَدْ وُكِّلَ بِهِ قَرِينُهُ مِنْ الْجِنِّ » “Each one of you has a devil-companion from the jinn over him.” They said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said, ” وَإِيَّايَ إِلَّا أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَانَنِي عَلَيْهِ فَأَسْلَمَ فَلَا يَأْمُرُنِي إِلَّا بِخَيْرٍ” “Even me, yet Allah helped me against him until he embraced Islam. He does not order me to do anything but good.”
This is how Allah subhanhu wa Taala created us. We were not created angels. In a hadith, the Prophet (saw) mentioned the meaning of, if we were to always be in a state of remembrance, we would be shaking hands with the angels. Subhan Allah. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said in Kitab al-Eeman:
“The believer may suffer from the whispers of the Shaytan insinuating thoughts of kufr (disbelief), which may make him feel distressed. The Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, some of us think thoughts which we would rather fall from heaven to earth than speak of them.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of faith.’ According to one report, ‘… thoughts which are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has reduced all his [the Shaytan’s] plots to mere whispers,’ meaning that the fact that these whispers come, but they are so greatly disliked, and they are pushed away from the heart, is a clear sign of faith. This is like the mujahid (warrior) to whom the enemy comes, but he resists him until he overwhelms him, and this is a mighty jihad (battle)… Hence the seekers of knowledge and devoted worshippers experience whispers (waswas) and doubts which others do not face, because they (the others) are not following the way prescribed by Allah, rather they are following their own whims and desires and neglecting to remember their Lord. This is what the Shaytan wants, in contrast to those who are striving to draw closer to their Lord by seeking knowledge and worshiping Him. He is their enemy and seeks to prevent them from drawing closer to Allah.”
One big part of all of this is that we don’t see our deeds. We don’t know what is in store for us. We don’t see where we are in the eyes of Allah, our status in Jannah. We don’t see the mountain of deeds accumulating, from deeds we have done for Allah SWT. Or God forbid, La samahAllah, accumulate bad deeds. Subhan Allah, for reasons only He, The Merciful, Jala Jalaluh knows. But what we do know is that Allah Subhanu wa Taa’ala created us and allowed everything else to be this way.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
” وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُذْنِبُوا لَذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ وَلَجَاءَ بِقَوْمٍ يُذْنِبُونَ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ ”
By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.
Allahu Akbar! The Mercy of Allah! Alhamdulilah for the blessing of Islam! See only Allah knows what is in our hearts. He knows everything we go through. How hard we fight to gain his pleasure, in this dunya of temptation, and how sometimes we may slip.
(وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ)
And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart. [Al-Anfal: 24]
No matter how many whispers we may hear, we must not give into them, push them aside. Recite the Muawwizat, recite the Quran daily, fill your home with the remembrance of Allah, do nawafil, make duaa constantly asking Allah to purify our hearts and intentions. Do good deeds, for surely good deeds erase the bad ones. If we do fall into the whispers of Shaytan, and we surely might, we must seek forgiveness, tawbah, from Allah SWT, knowing He, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will forgive us. Believing that Allah is the Ghafoor, the Raheem. trust that He WILL forgive us after true repentance. After all, that is one of the conditions of tawbah, repentance, to know that we have a forgiving Lord Who will forgive our sins. We must continue to fight to seek His pleasure till our last breath, and not give into, or believe we are those whispers. We are not those whispers. We are the believers of Allah, we are His loved Ibaad, servants, the predecessors of the Sahabah RA, and the followers of Muhammad saw. Have faith, have eman in knowing we have a Merciful, All-Seeing Lord who created us, our nafs al amarrah (our evil self), and shaytan, and Knows exactly who we are, who we are fighting to be and what we are fighting to have…
A heart of a true believer.
Jazakum Allahu Khairun for joining us,
May Allah purify our hearts and give us the confidence we need to become and have the traits He wants to see in us.
And may He forgive all our sins. Inahu Attawab Ar-Raheem.