Sunday, 1 May 2011

Let us scan our heart... May we be blessed!

Assalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah!

I had been introduced to these 10 characteristics summarized by Imam al-Ghazali in Ihyaa 'Ulumuddin or the Revival of Religious Science. Many ulamas have their own commentaries and opinions concerning this kitaab and the author including Ibnu Taimiyah but I have no authority to condemn nor to praise these imams' kitaab or any other ulamas.

May Allah forgives all of these ulamas no matter what their stands are, may be blessed their soul by Allah 'Azza wa Jalla, Lord of the Universe. I respect every one of them without any preference over another and I would try to refrain from condemning any of ulama because slanders are rampant in this dark period.  

In the part about heart, the characteristics of human-being are summarized into two subdivisions. Which are the Mahmudah and Madzmumah characteristics. Mahmudah means the praised or noble characteristics. Madzmumah means the anathematized, despicable or disgusting characteristics. These characteristics are the qualities of a man.

Noble characteristics such as zealously performing worship, hardworking, generosity, loves to help others, humility or others are categorized under the mahmudah characteristics. Hideous characteristics such as laziness, bakhil or stinginess, snobbish, and others are categorized under madzmumah characteristics.

Where do these characteristics located at in our selves? Both of these characteristics are in our heart. As what had been said, "surely there is in the body a small piece of flesh; if it is good, then the whole body is good, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted and that is surely the qalb (heart)." (Imam Bukhari)

This first hadith is from Imam Bukhari but I could not get the number of the Hadith. Also the sanad or the source and the position of this hadith. If anyone come across please help me to provide the reference for this hadith. I would be grateful, may Allah bless those who help.

There are also another two hadiths with the source from Muslim, Imam Ahmad which is the imam of my fiqhi jurisprudence madzhab and ad-Darimi.

The second hadith from Muslim was narrated by an-Nawas b. Sam'an (r.a) where it says that "righteousness is good character, while sin is that which wavers in your heart and which you do not want people to know about." (Muslim)

The third one is from Wabisah b. Ma'abad (r.a) reported: "I came to the messenger of Allah (saw), and he said to me: "You have come to ask about righteousness?" "Yes," I answered. He said: "Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and sin is what creates restlessness in the soul and moves to and fro in the chest, even though people give you their opinion (in your favor) and continue to do so." (Imam Ahmad and ad-Darimi)

The third hadith was actually a weak hadith but it was raised to hassan or authentic due to supporting evidences. The second and third hadiths talk about the righteousness and sinfulness. While the first one talking about the root causes of the righteousness and sinfulness.

The disease in the heart or inner vice are countless. It needs continuous efforts and the way to prevent it is not an easy task. All of the crimes such as rape, massacre, tyranny, cruelty, killing, stealing, corruption, and the rejection of Allah's law that happened in the history and today is due to the contamination of inner side of human or their ruhani or spiritual condition.

The basis of the root causes of these problems are summarized in two subdivision of qualities as what had been stated in the beginning. Altogether are 20 of them. But divided into 10 for each subdivision.

Mahmudah Characteristics

1. Ghadab - Angry and anything related to that such as grudge
2. Hasad and Khiyana - Jealousy
3. Bakhil - Stingy
4. Sharhu Ta'am - Eating without any limitation
5. Sharhu Kalaam - Talking matters which could bring us away from remembering Allah
6. Hubb al-Jah - Craziness toward power and position
7. Hubb ad-Dunya - Love the world
8. 'Ujub - Feeling surprise with our selves
9. Takabbur - Snobbish
10. Riyaa' - Showing off

Mizmumah Characteristics

1. Tawbah - Repentance to Allah 
2. Khauf - Fear to Allah
3. Dzikrul Mawt - Remembering death
4. Mahabbah - Loving Kindness
5. Zuhud - Modesty
6. Tawakkal - Dependence and reliance to Allah after efforts done
7. Ikhlas - Sincere
8. Syukr - Gratitude
9. Ridha - Pleased with what had been decreed
10. Sabr - Patience

We might need to always recount these characteristics over and over so that we may not forget to bring those good characteristics and qualities to life in our everyday akhlaq or morality and refrain from evil characteristics which could only harm us and others. 

Sealed with humble du'a to Allah 'Azza wa Jalla, Allah please bless our prophet (saw) and his family and his companion. Allah bless Your nation, the beloved Muslim nation. Help us to stop lies and vice in our selves and everywhere ya Allah. Bless us with noble akhlaq (morality). Be Merciful to us Your weak slaves as Your Mercy is so wide, ya Allah. Aminnn!!!    

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