Monday, April 09, 2012

Shariah Rules Regarding Actions of the Heart

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Some mistakenly think that an Islamic disposition (nafsiyah) and piety (taqwa) can be achieved by only following the commands and prohibitions of Allah regarding the actions of the limbs such as salah, enjoining good, forbidding evil abstaining from all intoxicants and haram relations with the opposite sex. This may lead them to not pay attention or ignore the shariah rules related to the actions of the heart including the muharramat (prohibited matters) and fara’id (obligations) thus leading them to sin and negligence.

There is a difference between the topic of intending to do a bad deed and the ahkam relating to the actions of the heart, it is incorrect to assume from the hadith regarding the one who intends to undertake a bad deed but does not carry it out that we are free to lose hope in Allah (swt), have discontentment in the Qada (divine decree), have hatred towards to Muslims, be envious, think badly of upright Muslims, have vanity and the like.

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw):
}يقول الله إذا أراد عبدي أن يعمل سيئة فلا تكتبوها عليه حتى يعملها، فإن عملها فاكتبوها بمثلها، وإن تركها من أجلي فاكتبوها له حسنة، وإذا أراد أن يعمل حسنة فلم يفعلها فاكتبوها له حسنة، فإن عملها فاكتبوها له بعشر أمثالها إلى سبع مائه ضعف. {
Allah says (addressing the angels), “If My slave intends to do a bad deed, do not write it down unless he does it. If he does it, then write it down as it is. But if he refrains from doing it for My sake, then write it as a good deed. If he intends to do a good deed but does not do it, write it as a good deed (in his account), and if he does it, then write it for him as ten good deeds up to seven hundred times.” (Agreed upon)

This hadith is related to the subject of intending to carry out actions, it does not relate to other elements of one’s conscious thinking process and inclinations otherwise known as the actions of the heart.

The following are some examples of the shariah rules and select evidences regarding the actions of the heart, these have been extracted from ‘The Essential Elements of the Islamic Disposition (Nafsiyah)' by Hizb ut Tahrir:

1)       Love of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw)

However what concerns us here is the servant’s love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw). This love in the above meaning is obligatory. Since love is an inclination (mayl) which shapes the behavioural disposition (nafsiyyah) of man. These inclinations can either be instinctive (ghareezi) having no relationship to a concept, such as man’s inclination towards ownership, love for survival, justice, family and children etc. They might also be motives linked to concepts, which then define the type of inclination. The American Indians did not like the immigrants who came from Europe whilst the Ansar loved those who migrated to them. The love of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) is the type Allah (swt) has linked to a Sharī’ah concept thereby making it obligatory. The evidence for this is the Book of Allah (swt):

He (swt) said:
]وَمِنْ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ[
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 165]

It means the believers’ love of Allah (swt) is more than
Mushriks’ love to the rivals of Allah (swt).

He (swt) said:
]قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ[
“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you have delight in are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [TMQ At-Tawbah: 24]
As for the evidences from the Sunnah they are the following:
Anas (ra) narrated:
}أن رجلاً سأل النبي (saw) عن الساعة، فقال: متى الساعة؟ قال: وماذا أعددت لها؟ قال: لا شيء، إلا أني أحب الله ورسوله، فقال أنت مع من أحببت. قال أنس فما فرحنا بشيء فرحنا بقول النبي (saw) أنت مع من أحببت. قال أنس فأنا أحب النبي (saw) وأبا بكر وعمر وأرجو أن أكون معهم بحبي إياهم، وإن لم أعمل بمثل أعمالهم. {
“That a man asked the Prophet (saw) about the final Hour. He asked: when is the final hour? He said: What have you prepared for it? He said: nothing, but I love Allah and His Messenger. He said: you will be with the one you love. Anas said: nothing made us so overjoyed more than when we heard the Prophet saying you will be with the one you love. Anas said: I love the Prophet, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and I wish to join them because of my love for them even though I have not done as many good deeds as them.” (Agreed upon)
Anas (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:
}ثلاث من كن فيه، وجد حلاوة الإيمان: من كان الله ورسوله أحب إليه مما سواهما، وأن يحب المرء لا يحبه إلا لله، وأن يكره أن يعود في الكفر كما يكره أن يقذف في النار. {
“There are three things whoever obtains them he will experience the sweetness of belief — that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else; that he loves a man only for the sake of Allah; and that he dislikes the thought of reverting to disbelief as much as he would dislike being cast into the Fire.” (Agreed upon)
Anas (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}لا يؤمن عبد حتى أكون أحب إليه من أهله وماله والناس أجمعين. {
“None of you would be considered a believer until I become more beloved to him than his family, wealth and all the people.” (Agreed upon)
The companions of the Messenger of Allah (saw) were very much concerned about the application of this duty. They used to compete in attaining this honour hoping that they would be the ones that Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) love.

2) Hope in Allah (swt) and not giving up on His (swt) Mercy

The meaning of hope is to think well of Allah (swt). Part of this is to hope for Allah’s mercy, help, forgiveness and victory. Allah (saw) has praised the one who has hope in Him just as He praised those who fear him and He (swt) obliged us to have hope in Him (swt) and think well of Him (swt) just as He (swt) obliged us to fear Him (swt). So the servant should fear and have hope in Allah (swt). We have already mentioned the evidences regarding fearing Allah (swt), the following are evidences from the Kitaab and Sunnah for having hope in Allah (swt):
He (swt) said:
]إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَةَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.[
“Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s Religion) and have striven hard in the Way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s Mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”
                                                                                               [TMQ Al-Baqarah:218]
]وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنْ الْمُحْسِنِينَ. [
“And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope; Surely, Allah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto those who do good.”                                  [TMQ Al-’Araaf:56]

Evidences from the Sunnah:
It has been narrated that Wathilah b. al-Asqa’ (ra) said: ‘Give good news for I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say that Allah ‘azza wa jall said:
}قال الله جل وعلا: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي، إن ظن خيراً فله، وإن ظن شراً فله. {
“I am just as My slave believes me to be. If he thought well, of me, it will be his, and he thought bad, of me, it would be his.
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:
}يقول الله عز وجل: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي، وأنا معه حين يذكرني ...{
“I am just as My slave thinks of me, and I am with him when He remembers Me.”(Agreed upon)
Jabir (ra) narrated that he heard the Prophet (saw) say three days before his death:
}لا يموتن أحدكم إلا وهو يحسن الظن بالله عز وجل. {
“None of you should die except in a state of thinking good of Allah ‘azza wa jalla”.Reported by Muslim

As for hopelessness and despair they are synonymous. They are opposite of hope in Allah (swt). Despairing of Allah’s (swt) mercy is Harām. The evidence for this is the Kitāb and Sunnah:

The Kitāb
Allah (swt) says:
]يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِنْ يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلاَ تَيْئَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْئَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الكَافِرُونَ. [
“O my sons! Go you and enquire about Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy (rawh). Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” [TMQ Yusuf:87]
Rawh of Allah means his deliverance and mercy.
]قَالُوا بَشَّرْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَلاَ تَكُنْ مِنَ الْقَانِطِينَ. قَالَ وَمَنْ يَقْنَطُ مِنْ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلاَّ الضَّالُّونَ. [
[Ibrahim (Abraham)] said:”And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?”    [TMQ Al-Hjir:55-56]
]وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَلِقَائِهِ أُوْلَئِكَ يَئِسُوا مِنْ رَحْمَتِي وَأُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ. [
“And those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and the Meeting with Him, it is they who have no hope of My Mercy, and it is they who will (have) a painful torment.” [TMQ Al-‘Ankabūt:23]

3) Being content with the Divine Decree

Discontent with the divine decree is harām. Al-Qarafi mentioned in az-Zakhīrah that an Ijma’(consensus) exists on the issue. The consensus he is referring to here is the Ijma of the Mujtahideen. He said: discontent with the divine decree is harām by consensus.’ He distinguished between the divine decree (qadaa) and the decreed matter. He said: If someone falls ill he will feel pain due to his human nature. This is not rejection of the divine decree but rejection of the decreed matter. If he says what ‘have I done to be afflicted in this way’, ‘what was my sin’ or ‘I do not deserve this’; this is rejection of the divine decree and not of the decreed matter.’ What indicated the prohibition of being discontent with the divine decree is thehadīth of Mahmud b. Labeed mentioned above that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}«إن الله إذا أحب قوماً ابتلاهم، فمن رضي فله الرضى، ومن سخط فله السخط. {
“When Allah ‘azza wajalla loves a people he tests them. The one who is patient will be granted the patience. The one who shows anguish will be given anguish.” Reported by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi. Ibn Muflih said: The isnad is jayyid
Acceptance and discontent are from the actions of man and therefore he will be rewarded for the acceptance and punished for the discontent. But the divine decree itself is not from the actions of man. Hence man will not be asked about it because it is not from his actions. He will be asked about the acceptance and discontent regarding the divine decree since they are from his actions.
]وَأَنْ لَيْسَ لِلإِنسَانِ إِلاَّ مَا سَعَى. [
“And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad).” [TMQ an-Najm:39] 
4) Hating a Muslim or the Muslims:

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}... بحسب امرئ من الشر أن يحقر أخاه المسلم. {
“… It is enough of a sin for a Muslim to hate his fellow Muslim brother.”      Reported by Muslim.

5) Envy: which means to hope that another person loses the blessing he has been granted. As for hope that one has the like of something this is ghibtah (to desire or wish for something) and it this is allowed.
He (swt) said:
]أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَاهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ. [
“Or do they envy men (Muhammad and his followers) for what Allah has given them of His Bounty?”   [TMQ an-Nisā:54]
He (swt) said:
]وَمِنْ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ. [
“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [TMQ Al-Falaq:5]
Anas (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}... ولا تحاسدوا ... {
‘…do not envy each other…’                                 (Agreed upon)
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}لا يجتمع في جوف عبد مؤمن غبار في سبيل الله وفيح جهنم، ولا يجتمع في جوف عبد الإيمان والحسد. {
“The dust raised on account of fighting in the path of Allah and the smoke of
 Hell will never exist together within the heart of a believer, and nor shall Imān and envy reside within the heart of the believer”.
           Reported by Ahmad, al-Bayhaqi, an-Nasaa’i and Ibn Hibbaan in his Sahīh

6) To think badly of Muslims:

He (swt) said:
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنْ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ. [
“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins.” [TMQ Al-Hujurāt:12]
Ibn ‘Abbas said in the Tafseer (exegeses) of this ayah: Allah (swt) forbade the believer from thinking badly of another believer.
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}إياكم والظن، فإن الظن أكذب الحديث. {
“Beware of suspicion for suspicion is the most mendacious of talk.”
To think badly of a believer who is apparently good and upright is not allowed. Rather it is recommended that one thinks well of him. As for the Muslim who on the surface looks dubious then it is allowed to think badly of him due to the hadīth of ‘Ayisha reported by al-Bukharī where she said: The Messenger of Allah said:
}ما أظن فلاناً وفلاناً يعرفان من ديننا شيئاً. {
“I don’t believe so and so people know anything about our Dīn,” and in another version:
}من ديننا الذي نحن عليه{
“I don’t believe so and so people know anything about the Dīn we follow.” Al-Bukharī said: al-Layth b. Sa’d said the two men were from the hypocrites. 

7) Vanity

As for vanity (‘ujb), it is when a person looks at himself in self-glorification such that he thinks that he is at a level, but he is actually not befitting for it. The difference between pride and vanity is that vanity does not extend to others. So, with vanity he feels proud amongst the people and when alone. However, in the case of pride (kibr), he shows pride and arrogance over the people, and rejects the truth as boasting over them…. Pride and arrogance are both harām. The evidences for this are the following:
Al-Bukharī, chapter on pride, Mujahid said:
He (swt) said:
]ثَانِيَ عِطْفِهِ. [
“Bending his neck in pride.”  [TMQ Hajj:9]
Al-Bukharī and Muslim reported on the authority of al-Haritha b, Wahb al-Khuzaa’I that the Prophet (saw) said:
}ألا أخبركم بأهل الجنة، كل ضعيف متضاعف لو أقسم على الله لأبره. ألا أخبركم بأهل النار، كل عتل جواظ مستكبر. {
“Shall I not inform you about the inmates of Paradise. It is every weak person that shows his weakness, but if he gave an oath/promise in the name of Allah, He would fulfil it to him. Shall I not inform you about the inmates of Hell? It is every violent, impertinent and proud person.”
Muslim reported in the sahīh and al-Bukahir in al-Adāb al-Mufrad on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (ra) and Abu Sa’eed (ra) that they said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
}العز إزاره والكبرياء رداؤه فمن ينازعني عذبته. {
“Might is My cloak and pride is My garment. Whoever vies with Me for either of them, I will punish him.”
Al-Bukharī reported a hadīth in al-Adāb al-Mufrad, al-Hākim in al-Mustadarak which he graded assahīh and Ahmad in his Musnad about which al-Haythami said the transmitters are of the sahīh on the authority of Ibn Umar (ra) who narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:
}من تعظم في نفسه، أو اختال في مشيته، لقي الله عز وجل وهو عليه غضبان.{
“Any person who felt presumptuous in himself, and walked haughtily will meet Allah while He is angry with him.”
Al-Bazzaar narrated with a jayyid isnad on the authority of Anas (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw)said:
}لو لم تذنبوا لخشيت عليكم ما هو أكبر منه: العجب. {
“Had you not committed sins then I would have feared something much greater than it: arrogance.”

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