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Acts of Heart Part 2

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 13th March 2019 02:46
Part 2

The Condition of the Heart goes through Stages before the Limbs Perform an Action
By understanding these stages and their implications, one can cultivate a pure heart.

Stage 1. When a thought first comes upon the heart. This stage is called al-Hâjis.

Stage 2. When the thought remains in it. This stage is called al-Khâtirah.

Stage 3. When one is undecided as to doing or leaving aside an action. This is called Hadîth al-Nafs.

Stage 4. When one seriously considers carrying out an action. This is called al-Hamm.

Stage 5. When one has a settled will to carry out the already-considered act and has determined to do so. This is called al-Azm .

There is no reward —nor is there a sin— for engaging in the first three stages.

As for the fourth, al-Hamm, any good deeds seriously considered are 'written down,' that is credited to one's 'Account,' but the bad deeds are not written down at this stage.

Then, once a person decides to act upon his thought (al-Azm), his act enters the fifth category. That is when his intended deed becomes accountable: If the act which one has determined to carry out is good, it is 'written down' as a good deed; and, if it is bad, it is written down as a bad deed, even if one does not actually carry it out. The reason for this is that having the will to do something is accounted as doing it.

Let us see how the acts of the heart work in Stage 5.

Narrated Al-Ahnaf bin Qais:
While I was going to help this man ('Ali Ibn Abi Talib), Abu Bakra met me and asked, "Where are you going?" I replied, "I am going to help that person." He said, "Go back for I have heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "When two Muslims fight each other with their swords, then both the killer and the one who is killed are in the Fire." I said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! I can understand this with regard to the killer, but what about the one murdered?" He replied, "He surely had the intention to kill his companion." (Sahih al-Bukhari, 31)

Stage 5 Options - Avoiding Punishable Choices and Cultivating a Healthy Spiritual Heart
Hopefully, the sincere Muslim gives primary attention to doing good deeds. As we know, even the best of us may sometimes fail to reject a tempting poor choice. Instead, a blameworthy deed is about to be committed. If a person ends up NOT committing the intended sin after having determined to do so (al-Azm), he or she falls into one of the following categories regarding that intended action:

1) A person who leaves the intended bad deed [undone] out of fear of Allah —that is, for the sake of pleasing Allah and intending to conform to what Allah requires. In such a case, this person is rewarded for changing his mind and, in the end, determining NOT to do that bad deed.

2) A person who leaves the intended bad deed [undone] out of fear of people. In such a case, this person has, even so, still committed a sin, a blameworthy act of the heart. While leaving off the action of the intended sin is a rewardable act of worship, still it is rewardable only when done for the sake of pleasing Allah, not for the sake of looking good in the eyes of the people around him—whether they be fellow Muslims or others.

3) A person who has determined to commit the bad deed, but fails because he is not actually capable of carrying it out. He may be prevented by circumstances beyond his control. In this category he doesn't seek the means to overcome those circumstances. Perhaps he simply loses interest for the time being. In such a case, this person is accounted as having committed a bad deed due to his having determined to follow through on something he had weighed in his heart (at Stage 4) and decided to go ahead.

4) A person who fails to commit the bad deed because he is incapable of doing so. In this category [unlike in category 3) he seeks —but unsuccessfully— the means of committing it. In such a case, a full bad deed is written to the account of this person, because having the will to commit a sin is like committing it. In this case, he did not change his mind about trying to follow through (category 1), nor did he stop seeking the means to fulfill his intention (category 3).

5) A person has a continuing intention (al-Azm) to perform a blameworthy deed. That person is punishable for it, whether his continuing intention came before his first success at the bad deed or, again, after a further successful repetition of this bad deed. So if a person commits a sin, and then he intends to do it again when he again has the opportunity, this is a person who insists on committing sins. In that case, he is punishable for this intention, even if he never actually succeeds again in committing the sin.
Notice that having once "gotten away with" soiling his heart with this blameworthy deed, he continues to be open to the opportunity of doing the same thing again.

The seriousness of the punishment deserved —and decided— for wrongdoing is left to Allah's merciful judgment. He has given to mankind guidelines which can —at one and the same time— encourage us to do good and forbid us from doing evil.

Further details follow in Parts 2 and 3.

The above categories of calculating the increasing seriousness of bad deeds to the detriment of the health of our hearts can be thought of as a system of "Cost-Benefit Analysis."

This ascending scale of seriousness (in Stage 5 Options above) increases from category (1) —in which the effect of the bad deed is wiped out— to category 5 —which incurs the most deterioration and destructive effects on the spiritual heart.

Being aware of this sliding scale of consequences can help us monitor the acts of our spiritual hearts and assist us to make our decisions regarding which promptings of our hearts to follow in consideration of their various degrees of greater reward, and which to reject at all costs because of their profound blackening of our hearts.

Our goal, of course, is to learn to maximize good deeds and to carry them out with exclusively pure intention. It is well known, however, that we constantly live with the possibility either of pleasing Allah or of displeasing Him. The above Stage 5 Options can spur us deliberately to CHOOSE to reject what will displease our Creator and Lord, and deliberately to allow ourselves to be doing only what will please Him.

Not only are their various degrees of intention which govern the purity of our hearts further addressed in Part 2, but we also look at degrees of wrongdoing impinging upon the soundness of our hearts, as well as the design of repentance.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 13th March 2019 12:48
What a wonderful post. If only the formatting and effort in posting it did justice to what is posted. It's almost unreadable.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 13th March 2019 13:34
super-glue wrote:
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Post edited for clarity inshaAllah.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 14th March 2019 12:50
abo salem wrote:
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(salam)

Beautifully written Mash Allah.. may i know the source plz..

wa Assalam..
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 14th March 2019 14:35
dr76 wrote:
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Ihya Ulum id Din
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 15th March 2019 11:26
afzalyunus wrote:
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(salam)

Such gems could only come from a deep ocean.. Mufakkir e Islam Hazrat Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali sahab Nadwi (rah) would say that when he referred to the books of Hazrat Imam Ghazzali (rah) he felt as if even the wind of Ilm hasn't crossed him ..(let alone gaining it) ..

duas..

wa Assalam..
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 16th March 2019 05:33
dr76 wrote:
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Read in the books ( cant remember the name ) that a conversation will take place where Hazrat Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wa salam will bring Imam Gazzali rah with him and ask Hazrat Isa alayhi salam to bring from the Bani Israel anyone of the calibre of Imam Gazzali and Hazrat Isa alayhi salam will reply in the negative.
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