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Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

Plugging the Drain

March 13, 2012 2 comments

Listen Here: “Plugging the Drain” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

Shaykh Husain makes an extremely applicable metaphor in this lecture that I’m sure I’ll always remember.

He starts by discussing the importance of avoiding sin, because the deen can be simplified into two categories: “the doing of good and the avoiding of bad.” He explained that most Islamic talks are concerned with the avoidance of sin more than earning good deeds because sin is what holds people back.

The metaphor in this lecture is of the heart to a tub or bucket. The heart is a bucket that needs to be filled with good deeds. This is easier to do than avoiding sin because there are many “multipliers” in the deen. For example:

  • 1 prayer in the masjid= 27 times the reward
  • Waiting until sunrise to pray 2 rakat after Fajr= 1 Hajj+Umrah
  • Finding Laylatul-Qadr in Ramadan= reward of 1000 months
  • Running late to class + missing homework, praying that it’s cancelled and it is=Priceless
  • Finding out forgetful eating doesn’t break a fast= Priceless
  • Calculating how much sawaab 10 days in Mecca gets you= Priceless [Sorry, couldn’t help myself, this is NOT part of the lecture]

You cannot find these multipliers in this world. They are a mercy of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ that greatly aid our scale of good deeds, and you don’t want to lose them. The metaphor is:

“If you have a bathtub and its empty and I tell you need to fill the bathtub you have to first turn on the faucet. If you turn the faucet on and let the water run, but you don’t close the drain, the water can run and run, but it will not accumulate because the drain is not closed. The drain has to be closed at the same time the water is running. So in the same way, we have all these faucets running, we have salah filling our hearts, zakah filling our hearts, sawm filling our hearts, and hajj and umrah filling our hearts, and yet we don’t close the drain. And what’s the drain? Sin.”

We don’t let our good deeds “build their effect” because we haven’t closed the drain of sin. If you don’t feel like you’re progressing in the deen, the problem is that your heart is leaky and needs to be sealed. Look through your day with a “fine tooth comb” and add to the good deeds and leave the sin. People have massive holes in their hearts because of their sins. Look at every single sin, the ones you commit in public and in private.

You don’t get to put Tahajjud on a to do list and it gets done unless you’re very pious. Praying Tahajjud is the result of avoiding sin and doing good works, after which Allah bestows the gift of Tahajjud upon you.

Good deeds are essentially the foundation, but if we constantly rattle that foundation with backbiting, interest, greed envy, and misuse of the tongue etc., we’re creating cracks in the foundation. With all these cracks you cannot expect to build anything there, this is why we read Tahajjud for a couple of days and fall asleep on the floor the third day. You can’t make something from nothing.

My Thoughts: This was masha’Allah an amazing lecture as usual, I didn’t get to take notes on all of it because literally every single thing was worth writing down. If you actually picture all of your hard-earned good deeds just leaking through the drain, it might be a useful technique that makes you stop and think before committing a sin. Also try to assess how big the drain is in your heart, mine’s looking pretty colossal.

On a side note, in case Shaykh Husain ever reads this by accident and notices how my notes are lacking, I feel I should meagerly justify that I have listened to every one of his lectures (they have shaped my personality in more ways than I know), and the lack of thorough notes can only be attributed to my personal deficiencies and not the passion with which I write them, nor the attention that they quite clearly deserve.

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Signs and Effects of Our Sins

December 18, 2011 1 comment

Listen Here: “Signs and Effects of Our Sins” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

This was truly a great lecture that benefited me the way most talks on sins do: It scared me, made me analyze myself, and motivated me to be better.

Shaykh Zulfiqar started the talk by discussing the first sin ever committed by the infamous Iblees, or Satan. He refused to prostrate to Adamعليه السلام  justifying it by claiming his own superiority. In doing so he committed the following sins:

  • Went against the direct command of Allah
  • He tried to present justifications for his sin
  • He did not seek forgiveness from Allah and shut himself completely from His mercy
The person who commits a sin and seeks forgiveness is forgiven by the All Merciful. The worst thing Iblees did was to make justifications and not seek forgiveness. The person with true ilm (knowledge) is he who can refrain himself from sin. There are no small or big sins, “Don’t look at the sin but look at who you are disobeying.”

3 Effects of Sins:

  1. If a person doesn’t seek forgiveness right away, he will experience immediate retribution for his sin in this life. The punishment will be enough so the person comes back to Allah.
  2. The effect of the sin will not be apparent. Allah will let the person keep committing sins and opens the door to every blessing. The person starts believing he is right and then there will be sudden and swift recompense, in this life or the next.
  3. The punishment is delivered but the person does not realize there is any punishment. For example, a person did a sin and Allah keeps him from praying tahajjud prayer. The person will think it’s his own fault that he is not praying, but it’s really because Allah does not want to see his face. Only those closest to Allah get to reap the blessings of tahajjud and Allah prevents that person from being close to Him.
3 Signs of Sinful Heart: 
  1. The person no longer hesitates before committing the sin. He has no worries, no modesty, no qualms. There is nothing in his heart that tries to stop him
  2. He doesn’t have the desire to do good. Allah takes away his love and desire to perform good deeds (like the times when you have high energy and read every prayer in the mosque and recite Quran throughout the day)
  3. He hates getting advice. If a father tells his son he shouldn’t be doing something, the son doesn’t even consider the advice at all but rather worries about who told the father. He is more concerned with how the news was spread or why it was discussed.

If you cannot stop yourself from committing a sin, then beg Allah to stop you. Turn yourself over to Him and constantly seek forgiveness. NEVER make justifications for your sins! It’s common for us to reason our way out of a sin (“I don’t really need that much, but I have have a wife and kids to feed so I had no choice but to do it).

My thoughts: Effect #3 is scary, if Allah punishes you by preventing you from being close to Him, then I cannot fathom a worse consequence. In this scenario, you don’t even realize what’s going on and you’ve lost the greatest pleasure of this world while thinking you still have it. I was listening to this lecture on my way home and I thought to myself that if Allah ever had to punish me in some way, let it happen immediately in this life so I can go back to being close to Allah. And readers, I kid you not, my CAR BROKE DOWN. If I had a bed at that point, I would hide under it. [Update: I was told not to think this way, and I never do, it was just an odd passing thought. But we should always pray for forgiveness and pardon rather than retribution from the All-Merciful and Ever-Forgiving]

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Enemies of the Heart

October 3, 2011 4 comments

First of all, I’m sorry for the complete abandonment of my blog, especially to the 2-3 people who read it. Never again. I’ll try not to do it again.

On to the next lecture…

Listen Here: “Enemies of the Heart” by Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar

In this lecture Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar details the two enemies of the heart: the inner enemy (the nafs) and the outer enemy (the shaytaan). When a person commits a sin, a black dot appears on his heart and this darkness keeps growing as the person keeps sinning. However if he repents, it is cleared like it never existed.

  • The Shaytaan (devil): A tricky manipulator who makes the sins we commit lesser and lesser in our eyes. He makes us lose our understanding of the gravity of the sin. He makes us think our sins are “not that bad,” and even makes us blame others for our actions (My parents keep annoying me, I had to speak disrespectfully to them). He also puts doubt in our minds (Did I do wudhoo?) When he whispers the idea of a sin and the person does not do it, the shaytaan will keep coming at the person with different variations and temptations.
  • The Nafs: The nafs is the seat of our inner desires. It is not an inherently evil thing, it’s simply our most human desires. The nafs needs to be controlled and our desires need to be fulfilled in halal ways. When the nafs desires a sin, it will hold on to it firmly and no distraction will calm it.

Purity of heart will be the only thing that combats these enemies:

  • Our silence should be for Allah, our speaking should be for Allah. We usually don’t know much about anything but we will be the first to speak about it. The constant use of “I think this…”
  • “Speaking much without the mention of Allah is a sign of a hard heart and the one furthest from Allah is the one with the hard heart” – Ibn Umar
  • Umar al Khattab (ra) said ” The one who speaks the most will have the most sins.
  • The  Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said “The one who guarantees me [the purity] of his mouth and private parts, I guarantee him paradise”
  • There is great power in words, our outer and inner language should revolve around the remembrance of Allah Most High.

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