TweetAl Bayhaqi relates from ibn Umar (radiallahu 'anhu) that Allah's Messenger said: "For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allah than the dhikr of Allah." It was said: Not even Jihad in the path of Allah. So he replied: "Not even if you were to continue striking with your sword until it breaks."
There is no doubt that hearts becomes rusty just as copper and silver coins become rusty. The polish for [this rust] is the dhikr of Allah. This is because [dhikr] is like a polish [which polishes the heart] like a shiny mirror. When dhikr is left, the rust returns. But when dhikr resumes, then the heart is [again] polished. And hearts become rusty due to two things:-
1 neglecting remembering Allah, and 2 committing sins.
The polish for these two things is:-
1 seeking Allah's forgiveness and 2 dhikr.
Confusing Turth with Falsehood
Whoever neglects (remembering Allah) most of the time, then his heart will become rusty in accordance with how neglectful the person is. And when this (filthy) rust accumulates on the heart, then it no longer recognises things as they really are. Thus, it views falsehood as if it is the truth, and truth as if it is falsehood. This is because this rust darkens and confuses the heart's perception, and so it is unable to truly recognise things for what they really are. So as the rust accumulates, the heart gets blackened, and as this happens the heart becomes stained with this filthy rust, and when this occurs it corrupts the heart's perception and recognition of things. The heart (then) does not accept the truth nor does it reject falsehood, and this is the greatest calamity that can strike the heart. Being neglectful [of dhikr] and following of whims and desires is a direct consequence of such a heart, which [further] extinguish the heart's light and blinds its vision. Allah - the Most High - said:
"And do not obey him whose heart We have made to be neglectful of Our remembrance, one who follows his own whims and desires and whose affairs are furat [have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds have been lost]." [Surah al-Kahf; 18:28].
Allah - the Most High - said:
"O you who believe! Remember Allah and remember Him alot." [Surah al-Ahzab; 33:41]
"Those men and women who remember Allah alot." [Surah al-Ahzab; 33:35]
"So when you have finished the rights of your Pilgrimage, then remember Allah as you remember your fore-father, or with more intense remembrance."." [Surah al-Baqarah; 2:200]
These verses contain a command to remember Allah intensely and abundantly, since the worshipper is in dire need of [remembering Allah] and cannot do without it even for a twinkling of an eye. This is because every moment that a person does not spend in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah will not be of any benefit to him. Rather, the harm entailed in being neglectful of the dhikr of Allah is far greater than any benefits that can be gained. One of the 'aarifeen (those who are knowledgeable about Allah) said: "lf a person were to spend such and such number of years engaged [in the dhikr of Allah], then he turns away from it for just a moment, what he will lose is far greater than whatever he has already gained."
Al-Bayhaqi relates from 'Aishah (radiallahu 'anha) that the Prophet said: "There is no time in which the son of Adam does not remember Allah in it, except that it will be a source of regret for him on the Day of Judgement." [related by abu Nu'aym in al-Hiliyatul-Awliyna 5:361-362]
Mu'adh ibn Jabal (radiallahu 'anhu) relates that the Prophet said: "The people of Paradise will not have any regrets except for those moments in which they were not engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah." [related by ibnus-Sunni in 'aml al-Yawma wal-Layna (no.3). refer to Saheehul-Jami' no.5446]
Mu'adh ibn Jabal (radiallahu 'anhu) also relates that Allah's Messenger was asked: What action is the most beloved to Allah? So he replied: "That you continue to keep your tongue moist with the dhikr of Allah, until you die." [related by ibn Hibban no.2318]
Polishing the heart
Abu Darda (radiallahu 'anhu) said: "For everything there is a polish and the polish for the heart is the dhikr of Allah." Indeed, there is no difference between the living and the dead, except with the dhikr of Allah; since [the Prophet ] said: "The example of one who remembers Allah and someone who does not, is like the example between the living and the dead." [Sahih al-Bukhari; 11:208, Muslim; 1:539]
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