Thursday, June 9, 2011

Effects of the 5 Heart Corrupters

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.

"I Myself, am Entirely made of Flaws, Stitched Together with Good Intentions" Umm Kadar
Effects of the Five Heart Corrupters
Written by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah,
Madaarij as-Saalikeen, vol. 1, pp. 443-9

The Five Heart Corrupters are : Excessive socializing, wishful thinking,
attachment to others besides Allaah, eating to one's fill, and sleep.
These five factors are the greatest corrupters of the heart. In this
article I will mention the effects that are common to all of them as
well as those effects that are unique to each of them.
Know that the heart is on a journey to Allaah, Most Great and Glorious,
and to the world of the Hereafter, and [that it is able to] discover the
path of truth as well as the faults of the soul and of deeds. Its path
is traversed with its light, life, strength, health, determination,
the soundness of its hearingand sight, as well as the absence of
distractions and impediments from it. These five (corrupters)
extinguish its light, distort its vision, muffle its hearing, if they do
not deafen it, dumfound it, and weaken its powers/strengths altogether.
They weaken its health, slacken its drive, halt its decisions, and
reverse it (sending it backwards). And if one does not sense it, his
heart is dead – as wounding a corpse does not inflict pain. They are
impediments that prevent it from achieving its perfection, and prevent
it from arriving to what it was created for, and making its pleasure and
happiness ibtihaah and its enjoyment in arriving to it.
For there is no pleasure, sweetness, ibtihaaj, or perfection except by
knowing Allaah and loving Him, peace in remembrance of Him, happiness
and ibtihaaj in being close to Him and desiring to meet Him.[1] This is
(the heart’s) early paradise. As there will be no pleasure or success
for it in the Hereafter, except by being its neighbour in the abode of
pleasure in the early paradise. It has two paradises. It will not enter
the second of the two if it did not enter the first.
I heard Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allaah have mercy on him –
say: “Indeed there is a paradise in this world, whoever doesn’t enter it
will not enter the paradise of the Hereafter.�
… Some of those known for their love of Allaah (al-muhibboon) [were
reported to have] said: “The truly unfortunate people of this world are
those who leave the world without tasting the sweetest thing it
contains.� When they were asked what it was, they replied: “The love of
Allaah, to feel comfortable in His company, to desire to meet Him,
turning towards Him and turning away from everything besides Him.� Or
some words similar to that.[2] Everyone who has a heart bears witness to
this and knows it as a result of having tasted it. And these five
matters cut [the person] off from this, block the heart from it, impede
its journey, cause sicknesses and defects for which, if the sick person
does not realize it, [destruction] is feared.

The First Corrupter: Frequent Socializing
The effect of frequent socializing is that it fills the heart with the
smoke of anfaas of humans until it becomes black, [3] causing it to be
scattered, torn apart, worried, upset, and weak. It causes it to carry
what it is unable to from mu’nat evil companions and waste what is
beneficial for it, by becoming too preoccupied with evil companions and
their matters to attend to what is beneficial. (The heart instead is
busy with) scattered thoughts in the valleys of their requests and
wishes. So what remains of it for Allaah and the life to come?
How many adversities has mixing with people brought and how many
blessings has it repelled? [How many] trials has it caused and
opportunities disabled, raziyyah caused to fall in baliyyah. Is aafah
the downfall of people caused by other than people? Did Aboo Taalib at
the time of his death have anything more harmful to himself than evil
companions? They remained with him until they blocked him from the one
statement that would have guaranteed him eternal pleasure.
This socializing based on love in this world, the fulfillment of desires
from others, will change into enmity when the realities become
manifest, and some of those who socialized will bite their hands in
regret as the Almighty said:
“On the Day when the sinner will bite his hands saying: If only I had
taken a way to the Messenger. Woe to me, if only I hadn’t taken
so-and-so as a close friend. He misguided me from the Remembrance after
it came to me.’ And Satan is forever a deserter of humans in their time
of need.� (Soorah al-Furqaan, 25: 27-9)
He also said:
“Close friends on that Day will be foes of each other except the God-fearing.� (Soorah az-Zukhruf, 43: 67)
And He said:
“Indeed what you have taken besides Allaah is only idols. Love between
you is only in this world, but on the Day of Resurrection you will
disown each other and curse each other and your abode will be the fire
and you will have no helpers.� (Soorah al-‘Ankaboot, 29: 25)
That is the state of those who share goals, they love each other as long
they help each other to achieve it. But if the goal is cut off, it is
followed by regret, sadness and pain, and that love will change into
hatred, cursing, blame of one another, and the goals change into
unhappiness and punishment, as is witnessed in this life in the states
of those who share in khizyah failure, if they are caught and punished.
Each supporter of falsehood, friendly regarding it, their mutual love
must eventually change into hatred and enmity.
The useful defining principle in the matter of socializing is that one
should mix with people in [acts of] goodness like Jumu‘ah, the ‘Eeds,
Hajj, learning knowledge, Jihaad, giving advice; and avoid them in [acts
of] evil, as well as unnecessary permissible things. If necessity
requires mixing with them in evil and avoiding them is not possible,
then beware, beware of agreeing with them. And be patient with their
harm, for they must harm him if he does not have power or a helper.
However, it is harm followed by honor and love for him, respect and
praise for him from them, the believers, and from the Lord of the
Thus, patience with their harm is a better ending and a more
praiseworthy conclusion. If necessity requires mixing with them in
unnecessary permissible things, he should strive to transform the
gathering into one of obedience to Allaah if it is possible, he should
encourage himself and strengthen his heart, and not pay attention to the
satanic whisper of discouragement which will prevent him from that,
that this is riyaa showing off, a love of displaying one’s knowledge and
state, etc., he should fight it and seek help from Almighty Allaah and
try to affect them as positively as he can. If destiny prevents him from
that, he should remove his heart from among them the way a hair is
removed from dough. Among them he should be present yet absent, close
yet far and asleep yet awake. He should look at them and not see them,
hear their words but not be conscious of them, because he has removed
his heart from among them and ascended with it to the uppermost hosts
(al-mala’il-a‘laa) glorifying [Allaah] around the throne along with the
pure celestial spirits. How difficult this is and trying for the souls,
[yet] it is easy for whoever Allaah makes it easy. Between a slave and
[that state] is that he be truthful to Allaah – Blessed and High –
continually seeking refuge in Him, and that he throw his soul on
[Allaah’s] doorstep in humility and tareeh. Nothing will help him to do
that besides sincere love, continual remembrance of Allaah with the
heart and tongue, and avoidance of the remaining four corrupters to be
mentioned. He will achieve this except with righteous preparation and
strong material from Allaah – Most Great and Glorious – and a truthful
conviction, and freedom from attachment to other than Allaah, Most High.
And Allaah Almighty knows best.

The Second Corrupter: Riding the Sea of Wishes
It is a sea without shores. It is the sea ridden by the bankrupt of the
world. It is said: Wishes are the capital of the bankrupt, and its
travel provisions are the promises of Satan, and impossible imaginations
and falsehood. The wealth of false wishes and false imaginations
continue to play with one who rides them the way that dogs play with a
jeefah corpse. They are the supplies of every maheenah disgraced,
khaseesah humiliated, low soul, having no conviction to achieve external
realities. So it i‘taadat turned away from them with mental wishes. And
everyone has it according to his state: From a wisher for power and
authority, or travel and international travel, or wealth and valuables,
or women and mardaan, The wisher imagines an image of what he desires in
his mind, and he succeeds in creating it and takes pleasure in
capturing it. While he is in this state he suddenly awakes to find his
hand and al-haseer. (p. 446)
The one who has lofty/high conviction himmah his hopes pivot around
knowledge and faith and deeds which will bring him closer to his Lord,
and yudeenuhu min jiwaarih. These wishes are faith, light and wisdom,
while the wishes of those are deception and delusion.
The Prophet (r) praised the one who wishes for good, and made his reward
in some things similar to that of the one who actually does it, like
the one who says: If I had money I would do as so-and-so does who fears
his Lord regarding his wealth, strengthening family ties with it, and
extracts from it what is required. He said: “Regarding reward, they are
equal.� [4] The Prophet (r) wished in the Farewell Pilgrimage that he
was doing Hajj Tamattu‘ and khalla and that he did not take a
sacrificial animal with him, [5] as he was doing Hajj Qiraan. So Allaah
gave him the reward of Qiraan which he did and the reward of Tamattu‘
which he wished for and combined for him both rewards.

The Third Corrupter: Attachment to Other Than Allaah
This is the absolute worst of the corrupters. There is none more harmful
than attachment to other than Allaah, nor more able to cut the heart off from Allaah, and block it from what is beneficial to it and what will
bring it true happiness. If a heart becomes attached to other than
Allaah, Allaah makes him dependent on what he is attached to and he will be betrayed by it and he will not achieve what he was seeking from
Allaah as long as he is attached to other than Allaah and turning to
others besides Him. Thus, he will not obtain what he sought from Allaah
nor will what he was attached to besides Allaah bring it for him
And they have taken gods besides Allaah that they might give them
honor, power and glory. No. But they will deny their worship of them and
become opponents to them. (Soorah Maryam, 19: 81-2)
And they have taken besides Allaah gods hoping that they might be
helped. They cannot help them but they will be brought forward as a
troop against them.  (Soorah Yaaseen, 36: 74-5)
The person most betrayed is the one who is attached to other than
Allaah. For what he missed of benefits, happiness and success is far
greater that what he obtained from those to whom he was attached, and it
is exposed to disappearance and loss. The example of one attached to
other than Allaah is like one seeking shade from the heat and cold in a
spider's web (home), the weakest wahn of homes.
In general, the basis of idolatry and the foundation on which it is
built is: Attachment to other than Allaah, and for the one who does so
there is condemnation and betrayal, as stated by the Almighty:
Do not set up with Allaah any other god or you will sit down reproved and forsaken. (Soorah al-Israa, 17: 22)
Reproved without anyone to praise you, forsaken without anyone to
help you. As some people may be forced while being praised, like one is
forced by falsehood, and he could be forsaken while being helped [by
Allaah], like one forced and falsehood has gained the upper hand over
him, and he could be praised and supported like one becomes established
and gains dominion by way of the truth. The idolater attached to other
than Allaah, his is the vilest category, neither praised nor supported.

The Fourth Corrupter: Food
The corrupter of the heart is of two types:
One of them is that which corrupts it by itself like the forbidden which are two types:
Forbidden relative to Allaah like carcasses, blood, pork, wild animals
that kill with the canine tooth [6]and birds that kill with claws.
Forbidden relative to Allaah's slaves, like stolen, maghsoob,
kidnapped, and what is taken without the permission of the owner either
by force or by shame and blame.
The second is what corrupts as a result of its quantity and its
exceeding limits, like wasting permissible things, excessive filling of
the stomach, for it makes acts of obedience burdensome and it
preoccupies the heart with muzaawalat munat al-batnah chasing after
belly desires and trying for it until it captures it. If it captures
zafara it he becomes preoccupied with muzaawalat following its tasarruf
activities and protecting the self from its harm, and being hurt by its
weight, and it strengthens the elements of desire. It paves paths for
Satan and expands them, for he moves among humans in the veins. Fasting
narrows its passages and closes his paths and filling the stomach paves
paths and widens them. Whoever eats a lot, drinks a lot, sleeps a lot
and loses a lot. In the famous hadeeth:
No human fills a container worse than his stomach. Two small portions
of food to straighten his backbone are sufficient. If he must [eat
more], then let it be a third for food, a third for drink and a third
for breathing. [7]
It is said that [on one occasion] Iblees “ may Allaah curse him“ met
Yahyaa, son of Zakariyyaa “ peace be upon them“ and Yahyaa asked him:
Did you take anything from me. He replied: No, except one night when
food was presented to you, I made it so desirable to you that you ate
your fill and you went to sleep without making your regular supplications.
Yahyaa said: I swear by Allaah that I will never eat my fill again.
Iblees then said: As for me, I swear by Allaah that I will never advise
another human again.

The Fifth Corrupter: Excessive Sleep
It deadens the heart, makes the body heavy, wastes time, and gives birth
to a lot of negligence and laziness. Some [types] of sleep are
extremely disliked, and some are harmful to the body. The best form of
sleep is what takes place when there exists a strong need for it. Sleep
at the beginning of the night is more praiseworthy and beneficial than
at the end of the night, and sleep in the middle of the day is better
than at its beginning and end tarafayhi. The closer sleep is to the
beginning and ending of the day the less the benefit and the more the
harm. [This is] especially the case for sleeping in the after noon
(asr) and sleeping at the beginning of the day, except for one who
stayed awake all night.
And among the disliked aspects, according to the scholars, is sleep
between Salaatul-Fajr and sunrise, for it is a time of special
reward.[8] For that time escape, among the saalikeen (travellers) , is a
great loss maziyyah. Even if they traveled all night they would not
allow sitting down from the journey sayr at that time until sunrise,
because it is the beginning of the day and its key. [It is] the time for
provisions to be sent down [and distributed] , the time for obtaining
portions and the descent of blessings, and from it the day is
established. The ruling regarding the whole day is [based on] the ruling
regarding that portion. One should only sleep at that time if one is
In general, the most balanced/moderate (adal) and beneficial form of
sleep, is sleep during the first portion of the night and the last sixth
of the night. According to medical practitioners, the length of the
most balanced form of sleep should be eight hours. In their view, more
[sleep] than that or less than that will cause deviation in one's
natural disposition according to it bihasabihi.
Among the forms of sleep that are not beneficial also, is sleep in the
first part of the night shortly after sunset until fahmatul-Ishaa the
darkness of Ishaa goes. The Messenger of Allaah (r) used to dislike
it.[9] So it is disliked according to the Shareeah and naturally.
As excessive sleep causes these defects aafaat, putting aside sleep and
abandoning it causes other major defects like bad temperament, yabsihi
dry personality and a warped disposition, as well as drying up of the
humors [10] which aid in understanding and work, and it leads to
illnesses mutlifah which will prevent one afflicted from benefiting
either with his heart or body.
Existence [of the world] was established on the basis of justice (adl),
so whoever adheres to moderation has grabbed his portion of the
confluence of good.

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