Purifying the heart: Spiritual prescriptions from Shaykh Hammad Mustafa's webinar on Fiqh al-Qulub
On Sunday, the 30th April, Shaykh Hammad Mustafa al-Madani al-Qadri addressed the second instalment of the series of the jurisprudence of Hearts (fiqh al-qulub).
Shaykh Hammad Mustafa said that the Heart is a vital organ, not just for the physical body but also for the soul. In Islamic teachings, a diseased heart is one that has turned away from Allah the Almighty’s commandments and indulges in forbidden actions, leading to layers rust and eventual spiritual death.
To prevent this, it’s essential to understand the 10 stages that lead to sinning and take measures to avoid them. Spiritual enlightenment, love, and reverence for Allah can help revive a diseased heart. It’s important to recognise the signs of a diseased heart and work towards healing it.
The Shaykh said that a spiritual wayfarer or salik is on the path towards Divine Pleasure, but temptations of this world can derail them. Understanding the 10 stages towards sinning can help them stay focused on their journey towards Allah. By avoiding the temptations of this world, one can prevent themselves from committing a sin and lead a spiritually enlightened life.
He then went onto explain every single stage leading up to the act of sin in detail and how a spiritual wayfarer may attain various spiritual station depending on where they stop the chain of thought. The 10 steps are as follows: (1) occurrence of a thought, (2) inclination towards a sin, (3) the thought of sinning preoccupies one’s mind, (4) the commission of a sin has turned into a desire, (5) then it takes the form of one’s willpower, (6) acceptance and indifference of committing a sin, (7) the preference of acting upon that sin, (8) intention, (9) determination, (10) the final decision to commit a sin and then at last – stage 11 – you perform an act of disobedience.
To summarise, protecting our hearts from falling into sin requires constant vigilance and awareness of our thoughts, actions, and influences. We must be mindful of what we consume, whether it be media, social interactions, or our own thoughts. We should surround ourselves with positive influences and seek knowledge and inspiration that promotes righteousness and piety. By purifying our hearts from illnesses, diseases, and disobedience, we can succeed in preventing ourselves from committing sins and ultimately, achieve spiritual success. The ultimate goal of this process of rejuvenation and elimination of ill traits is to attain the serene and tranquil Heart, also known as ‘qalbun salīm’.
Shaykh Hammad Mustafa gave brilliant examples from the lives of the sages of this Nation, primarily on their mode of achieving this state of serenity. He further stated that achieving a serene and tranquil heart leads to detachment from the worldly pleasures and a deeper connection with Allah. This person is not affected by the ups and downs of life and is content with Allah's blessings and pleasure. The doors of Allah's special blessings open upon this person, and Allah grants them much more than those who spend their time demanding things from Him. This person is favoured in this world and the hereafter, and Allah grants them ‘qalbun salim’, which means a sound and pure heart that is free from sin and disease.
Towards the end of his discourse, the Shaykh accurately pressed his finger on the pulse and crux of this discussion, namely analysing and identifying the signs and symptoms of diseased and sound Hearts, as well as providing spiritual prescription to heal the Hearts. The primary modes of healing include recitation of the Holy Qur’an, remembrance of Allah the Almighty (dhikr), and night vigil (qiyām al-layl). Amongst other approaches to healing is to avoid the company of heedless people, minimise food intake and strive to find pious company. If you don’t cut of negative influences, positivity will have no effect on one. It is if one earns money but place in a bottomless pocket. Whatever one earns is immediately wasted.
At last, Shaykh Hammad Mustafa al-Madani al-Qadri prayed for all the participants of the webinar. Also, that Allah may grant us the ability to cleanse and purify our Hearts of all of its illnesses and diseases, and purify our Hearts and reveal His special bounty, mercy, and knowledge, so that we may achieve this state of serenity and tranquillity in our Hearts.