The 3 Advices To Accomplish Heart`s Growth & Purification.
“Be conscious of Allah wherever you are. Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it, and engage others with beautiful character.”
— PROPHET MUHAMMET PBUH
(Related by Tirmidhi)
This is one of my favourite hadiths ever, it holistically gathers the three main purposes of Islam according to their importance and effect on the person`s success.
- The heart worships (or your connection to Allah);
- The physical worships with which you please Allah`s will;
- Treating people kindly and righteously which Islam is known to advocate and generously reward ;
I told you here that I`m reading اغاثة اللهفان من مصايد الشيطان (Relief from the fisheries of the devil) and in one chapter he talks about the Zakat of the heart, which means doing a detox and purification of the heart in order to heal it and allow it to grow and flourish -with Zakat meaning growth in its broader meaning.
And I think that this hadith is the best guide to accomplish that purification and growth of the heart, as Ibn Al Quayyim puts it: that return of the heart to its original pure and healthy state it was born with.
With that said, let`s dive deeper in this wise and holistic guide of our prophet PBUH
1. BE CONSCIOUS OF ALLAH WHEREVER YOU ARE.
How seldom do we hear parents telling their kids: `I`m not going to be with you, but don`t forget, God is watching you`?
We assume that this is an obvious and common knowledge that we need not to be reminded of, while if you think about how we live moment to moment, we notice that we are not fully aware and conscious of this truth; that God is watching your every move، word and thought.
If we were implementing this truth we would do thing way more differently, we will be more conscious of God`s magnificence and of His goods upon us.
Briefly, we will be more aware that He above all else, is worthy of worship and therefore we`ll be ashamed of committing what he dislikes including doing our jobs incompletely and not treating people well.
2. FOLLOW THE BAD DEED WITH A GOOD ONE TO ERASE IT.
The more conscious we are of Allah, His power, His worthiness of worship and His wide and open forgiveness, the less we are to sin and the faster we are to seek forgiveness after a bad deed which would be nothing but a brief moment of unconsciousness and weakness.
So make it a practice to watch your tank of deeds, never let it stink of bad deeds, no matter small or big, build a habit of cleansing, detoxifying that tank with good deeds whom size depend on the size of the bad deed it is to erase.
Not only should you seek forgiveness so that you won`t get punished for that particular bad deed, but the dirtier and neglected the tank will be, the easier and acceptable it will become for your heart to commit sin and behave unrighteously.
So keep your conscious clean and your heart ashamed of doing badly.
You weakly let your anger explode in an evil manner? Follow it up with some charity work or sadaqua for the poor.
Cheated in your work today and didn`t complete your task righteously? Go spend some time with your parents and do good to them.
There`s a little issue we may encounter here: is that most of the time we could be doing a bad deed without knowing that it is one and therefore not even bothering to worry about it or repent from it.
The solution to this would be two things:
1. study your religion and be more aware of what is good and what is bad according to Islam`s most important purposes. Read books, listen to lectures, there`s an endless number of resources, just pick wisely. My blog is a good place to start haha ;)
2. Always be in a repent mode, whatever you do, do it with good intention, even smiling at your neighbor or feeding your cat. Do it with the intention that you are seeking God`s pleasance and forgiveness.
“The Five Obligatory Daily Prayers, Jumu`ah Prayer to Jumu`ah Prayer, and Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the sins committed in between as long as the person avoids major sins.” ~ Prophet Muhammet PBUH
3. ENGAGE OTHERS WITH BEAUTIFUL CHARACTER.
A conscious heart and a swift repent from sins will mean so little if you treat others badly. And others include not only Muslims but non-Muslims as well and all other creatures of God.
A good character is a sign that you understand this religion`s message well and practice it well.
The Prophet PBUH was asked, “What will enter the greatest amount of people into Paradise?” His response was, “Taqwa of Allah and dealing with people in a nice and beautiful way.”
Consciousness and Taqwa of Allah are how you interact with God directly, your tank of deeds is how you interact with yourself and struggle with it to do good, a good character is what allows you to complete the broader interaction because you have to deal with others despite all the differences.
I talked about kindness in depth here.
This wise, holistic hadith is a reminder and also a great guide that will allow us to serve the main purposes of Islam and also help our hearts reach their full potential of health, balance and purification from life`s impurities.