If he sincerely obeys and worships Allaah, every matter that he hates will be good for him; but if he abandons obedience and worship, every matter that he loves will be evil and bad for him. Whoever truly knows Allaah, His Names and His Attributes, will surely know that any distress or harm that has happened to him bears interest and benefits that his mind cannot comprehend. . .

Loving parents do the same to their children because they understand the benefits. Sometimes the cure for the child is painful, but the parent will still do it and all this will be done the sake of mercy and pity. Perhaps the parent will perceive some benefit for the child by not financing him, so he will not give to him, because he knows that these are the important causes of decay. He also prevents him from many pleasures in order to protect him. The Most Just among judges, the Most Merciful among those who are merciful, and the Most Knowledgeable among those who have knowledge, who is more merciful to His servants than themselves, their fathers, and their mothers, if He allows them to be inflicted with evil, that will be better for them than not inflicting them. If they had the chance to choose for themselves, they would never be able to benefit by it. However, Allaah, the Exalted, manages their lives according to His knowledge, wisdom, and mercy. . .

Only those who knows and believe in His Names and Attributes do not accuse Him or doubt one of His judgments but only those who do not know His Names and Attributes argue with Him about His judgments and doubt His Wisdom and fail to submit to His judgment. They even oppose it with their spoiled minds, false opinions and unjust policies. They neither knew their Lord, or obtain any benefit. Whenever a servant has this knowledge, he will live in a Paradise on earth before he enters the Paradise of the Hereafter. he will be satisfied and pleased with his Lord and will be satisfied with the paradise in this worldly life. The servant will be pleased with whatever happens to him because he knows that it has been chosen by Allaah and this is acceptance of Allaah as his Lord, Islaam as his religion, and Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as his Messenger. The one who is not able to do this will never taste the sweetness of faith. This pleasure depends upon how much he comprehends the justice of Allaah, His Wisdom, Mercy and Good Choice. The more he knows, the more pleasure and satisfaction he will have. Allaah judges his servants according to justice, benefit, wisdom and mercy.
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Ibn ul-Qayyim ~ Al-Fawaa’id
Ibn Qayyim said: 

 

The whole world from its beginning until its end is not worth an hour of sadness, so what about the sadness of whole life. 

al-fawaaid

Imaam Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah said:

The earth trembles, the heavens have darkened, evil has appeared on land and sea because of the injustice of the wicked, evil doers. Blessings have disappeared, good deeds are less, and the beasts have become powerless, life has become corrupted because of the wickedness of the wrong-doers. The morning light and the night’s darkness shed tears, because of the awful deeds that are committed. Honourable writers among the Angels and others from among them have complained to their Lord because of the prevalence of misdeeds and the supremacy of atrocities. By Allaah! This is a warning of approaching torment, and forthcoming afflictions, so you have no resort except sincere repentance as long as repentance is still available. Do not wait until there is no escape in which Allaah says:

وَسَيَعۡلَمُ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَىَّ مُنقَلَبٍ۬ يَنقَلِبُونَ

And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned” [Ash-Shu’ara: 227]

al Fawaaid (p75)

If you want to benefit from the Qur’aan, you must concentrate and devote your heart solely when reciting and listening to it. You must pay attention, and try to comprehend the fact that what you are reading is the word of Allaah. As you read, you must know that Allaah is addressing you in and through this Qur’aan. Indeed, it is the words of Allaah to you through the tongue of His Messenger. Allaah says:

إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ ﴿٣٧﴾

which means, “Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.” [Qaf (50):37]

Obtaining the perfect effect depends upon the stimulus, the place of the receiver, the condition for the effect to occur, and the absence of any obstacle that may obstruct the effect. The above verse explains all that in the most precise, and clear words. When Allaah says which means, “Verily, therein is indeed a reminder” it is a sign for what had passed from the beginning of the chapter until this verse. His saying, “for him who has a heart” refers to the place of the receiver and it means the living heart which comprehends what Allaah says. For example when Allaah says,

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ وَقُرْآنٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٦٩﴾ لِّيُنذِرَ مَن كَانَ حَيًّا

which means, “This is only a reminder and a plain Qur’aan. That he or it (Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) or the Qur’aan) may give warning to him who is living (a healthy minded believer).” [Yasin (36):69-70]

“Who is living” means the one who has a living heart. And when Allaah says which means, “Or gives ear” means the person listens to what is being said to him. And this is the condition in order to be truly affected by the words.

And His saying, “While he is heedful…” means to be aware; that his heart is conscious and not distracted by any worldly matter.

Ibn Qutaibah[1] said, “He is listening to the Book of Allaah while his heart is present and understands; not being inattentive or unaware. If the heart is inattentive; lacking understanding concerning what is being said, as well as failing to see or meditate on it, then there is an obstruction. If however, the Qur’aan produced an effect on the receiver, which is the living heart, and the condition of listening was fulfilled, and the heart is not engaged with something other than the meaning of the speech, the desired effect will occur, which is obtaining benefit from the Qur’aan and remembrance.

The Living Heart

Some people may say, “If the effect will take place by the combination of these matters, what is the purpose of the article ‘or’ in ‘Or gives ear’ while it is the article ‘and,’ which joins two matters and not ‘or,’ which indicates only one. To this, it can be said, “This is a good question and the answers is as follows:

“The speech includes the article ‘or’ because it considers the case of the one being addressed and called. Many people have a naturally living heart and so whenever he thinks and meditates, his heart and mind will lead him to the truth of the Qur’aan, and his heart will believe in what the Qur’aan has said. And here is the passing of the Qur’aan over his heart will only increase his natural light. This is the description of those, about whom Allaah says,

وَيَرَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ هُوَ الْحَقَّ

which means, “And those who have been given knowledge see that what is revealed to you (O Muhammad) from your Lord is the truth.” [Saba', (34):6]

And He, the Almighty says about them,

اللَّـهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚ نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ ۗ يَهْدِي اللَّـهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّـهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٣٥﴾

which means, “Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allaah guides to His Light whom He wills.” [An-Nur (24):35]

This is the natural light of the pious heart that recognizes the light and beauty of the Divine light contained in the truth of the Qur’aan, and this is the state of the owner of a living heart that is aware.

Ibn Qayyim said, “We have mentioned some of the lessons contained in this verse in the Book Ijtima’ Al-Juyush Al-Islamiyah ‘ala Ghazw Al-Mu’atilah wal Jahmiyah. The owner of the heart combines his own heart and the meanings of the Qur’aan. He finds that it is as if it was written in his heart and he reads and comprehends it with his heart. Many people do not possess a perfectly prepared and aware heart, namely a completely living heart. Such a heart needs a witness to distinguish between right and wrong. The life of his heart; his light, and his natural brightness do not reach the level of the owner of a living and aware heart. The way to lead him to this guidance is to dedicate his hearing to the words of the Qur’aan and his heart to think, meditate, and comprehend its meaning. He will then know that it is the truth.

One: The state of he who sees his own eyes what he is being called to and told about.

Two: The state of he who knows the truthfulness and piety of he who is informing him and says, “His truthfulness is enough for me.” Such is the level of faith while the first is the level of Ihsan. The first reaches ‘Assured knowledge’ and his heart is promoted to the rank of the ‘Assured eye’ while the other has definite belief, which rescued him from disbelief and enabled him to enter into Islaam.

The Assured Eye is of two kinds: one in this worldly life and the other in the hereafter. The one, which is found in this life is attributed to the heart, like an eye witness. Whatever the Messenger told us about unseen matters, will be seen in the hereafter with our own eyes and in this life such things will be ‘seen’ by insight.

Footnotes:

[1] Ibn Qutaibah is ‘Abdullah bin Muslim bin Qutaibah Ad-Dainury. He is one of the chiefs of literature and has produced many works. He was born in Baghdad in 213 A.H. He settled down in Kutah, and was appointed as the judge of Ad-Dainur and attributed to it. He (rahimahullaah) passed away in Baghdad 276 A.H. From among his works are Al-Ma’arif, Adab Al-Katib, Al-Ma’aly, and Ta’wil Mukhtalif Al-Qur’aan. See Al-Bidayah wa An-Nihayah, vol.11, p.61.

  • Abridged from: Al-Fawaai’d || Ibn Qayyim, rahimahullaah [p17-20]

Imaam Ibn ul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said, “There is nothing that drives away the afflictions of this world except Tawheed. That is why the supplication of the distressed person is with Tawheed. Such as, the supplication of Yunus (alaihis salaatu was salaam). The distressed person does not supplicate with what Yunus supplicated with except that Allaah releases him from his hardship because of Tawheed. There is nothing more gruesome for the distressed person than shirk, and there is nothing that can rescue you from it except Tawheed, it is the refuge for the creation, its shelter, its fortress and its aid.”

al-Fawaaid, p96

Oh you of little resolve, where do you stand upon this path? Aadam found it difficult and Nuh lamented because of it, while Allaah’s Khaleel Ibraaheem was thrown into a pit of fire due to it. Isma’eel was laid upon his side ready to be sacrificed for its sake, and while upon it Yusuf was sold for a cheap price and then falsely cast into prison for many years. Zakariyah was sawed in half, and Yahya was slaughtered due to it. Ayyub suffered great distress, while Daawood cried copiously, and ‘Isaa cured the wretched poor of their diseases and walked with wild beasts due to it. And how many, how many forms of difficulty and hardship did the Messenger Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) face while proceeding upon it – yet you live through amusements and distractions!

~ al-Fawaaid, page 41 ~

Ibn ul-Qayyim || Al Fawaa’id [pg. 111-112]

Whosoever desires to purify his heart, then let him prefer Allaah to his desires.

The heart which is clinging to its desires is veiled from Allaah, commensurate to the degree that it is attached to them, the hearts are the vessels of Allah upon his earth, hence the most beloved of them to him, are the ones most compassionate, pure and resistant to deviation. They (the transgressors) preoccupied their hearts [in the pursuance] of the Dunya, would that they preoccupied them with Allah and the hereafter, then surely they would have reflected upon the intended meaning of his poignant words and verses. Their hearts would have returned to their masters with wisdom, marvelously curious and [in possession] of the rarest of precious gems.If the heart is nourished with remembrance, its thirst quenched with contemplation and cleansed from corruption, it shall witness remarkable and wondrous matters, inspiring wisdom.Not every individual who is endowed with knowledge and wisdom, and assumes its character is from amongst its people. Rather the people of knowledge and wisdom are those who infused life into their hearts by slaying their desires. As for the one who slays his heart and vitalized his desires, then knowledge and wisdom is naked upon his tongue.

The destruction of the heart occurs by security [in this Dunya] and negligence, its fortification occurs by fear and remembrance. If the heart renounces the pleasures of the Dunya, it settles upon the [pursuance of] pleasures of the Hereafter, and amongst those who call towards it. Should the heart become content with the pleasures of the Dunya, those pleasures [of the hereafter] cease [to continue].

Yearning for Allaah and his meeting is like the gentle breeze blowing upon the heart, extinguishing the blaze of the Dunya. Whosoever caused his heart to settle with his Lord shall be in a state, calm and tranquil, and whosoever sent it amongst the people shall be disturbed and excessively perturbed.For the love of Allah shall not enter a heart, which contains the love of this world, except as a camel, which passes through the eye of a needle.Hence, the most beloved servant before Allah is the one whom He places in His servitude, whom He selects for His love, whom He causes to purify his worship for Him, dedicates his objectives for Him, his tongue for His remembrance, and his limbs for His service.

The heart becomes sick, as the body becomes sick, and its remedy is al-Tawbah and protection [from transgression]. It becomes rusty as a mirror becomes rusty, and its clarity is obtained by remembrance. It becomes naked as the body becomes naked, and its beautification is at-Taqwa. It becomes hungry and thirsty as the body becomes hungry and thirst, and its food and drink are knowledge, love, dependence, repentance and servitude.

Ibn Qayyim said: Your life in the present moment is in between the past and the future. So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance), nadam (regret) and istighfar (seeking Allaah’s forgiveness). And this is something that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous labour. Rather it is an action of the heart.

Then as regards the future (then it can be corrected) by withholding yourself from sins. And this abandonment is merely the leaving of something and to be at ease from it. This also is not action of the limbs, which requires you to strive and toil. Rather this is a firm resolve and intention of the heart – which will give rest to your body, heart and thoughts.

So as for what has preceded, then you rectify it with repentance. And as for the future – then you rectify it with firm resolve and intention. Neither of these involves any hardship or exertion of the limbs. But then your attention must be directed to your life in the present – the time between two times. If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be of the fortunate and saved ones. If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before and after it, as we have said – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight and ever-lasting bliss.

However, looking after it is harder than that which comes before and after it, since guarding it involves keeping to that which is most befitting and beneficial for your soul, and that which will bring it success and well-being.

  • Transcribed from: Al-Fawaaid || Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah – al-Fawaa’id, p151-152
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