In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
NB: Regardless what a person holds regarding the validity or invalidity of the science behind social distances, this article in no way is a suggestion that one violates the specific government directives regarding social distancing, rather we obey the laws of the land.
Diseases of The Heart
Abdullaah Bin Mas’ood [radiyallaahu-anhu] said:
“Indeed, you see a disbeliever in Allaah and His Messenger with the healthiest body amongst the people and with the sickest heart; and you will come across a believer with the most upright of hearts and the unhealthiest body. I swear by Allaah, if your hearts were sick and your bodies healthy, you will be more insignificant to Allaah than dung beetles”. [Ref 1]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said:
The disease of the heart are two types:
The disease of Shubhah [i.e. an affair of falsehood that is made to resemble truth] and Shak [i.e. doubt]; and the disease of Shahwah [i.e. evil or vain desires or indecency] and Ghay [i.e. deviation from the right path]. Both of them have been mentioned in the Qur’aan. Allaah [The Most High] stated regarding the disease of Shubhah:
[ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا -In their hearts is a disease [of doubt and hypocrisy] and Allah has increased their disease. [2:10]
Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَلِيَقُولَ الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْكَافِرُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۚ – And that those in whose hearts is a disease [of hypocrisy] and the disbelievers may say: “What Allah intends by this (curious) example?] [74:31]
And Allaah [The Most High] stated about the one who is called to judge by the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, but he refuses and turns away:
وَإِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ
وَإِن يَكُن لَّهُمُ الْحَقُّ يَأْتُوا إِلَيْهِ مُذْعِنِينَ
أَفِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ أَمِ ارْتَابُوا أَمْ يَخَافُونَ أَن يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ بَلْ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
And when they are called to Allah (i.e. His Words, the Qur’an) and His Messenger to judge between them, lo! a party of them refuse (to come) and turn away. But if the right is with them, they come to him willingly with submission. Is there a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt or fear lest Allah and His Messenger should wrong them in judgement. Nay, it is they themselves who are the Zalimun (polytheists, hypocrites and wrong-doers, etc.).[24:48-50] This is the disease of Shubhah [i.e. an affair of falsehood that is made to resemble truth] and Shak [i.e. doubt].
As for the disease of Shahwa [evil desires], Allaah [The Most High] said: [يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ ۚ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ – O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease [i.e. evil desire for adultery, etc.] should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.” [Ahzaab: Ayah:32] This is the disease of the evil desire for adultery, and Allaah knows best. [Ref 2[
The Nafs And Shaytaan
Allaah [The Most High] said:
[وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ هُوَ مَوۡلَٮٰكُمۡۖ فَنِعۡمَ ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ وَنِعۡمَ ٱلنَّصِيرُ -“And hold fast to Allah; He is your Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.), what an Excellent Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.) and what an Excellent Helper!’’ [Surah Al-Hajj. Aayah 78]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said: “When you hold fast to Allaah, He will protect you. Allaah will help you against [the evil urges] of your souls and shaytaan – the two enemies that never isolate themselves from a person. Their enmity is more harmful than an apparent enemy. Therefore, being given help against them is the most important thing and a person’s need of it is more than [his need for other things]. And the completeness of this help is [given] based on the level of one’s attachment to Allaah.’’ [Jalaa Al-Af’haam. Page 154]
Imaam Al-Aajurree [rahimahullaah] said: It is obligated on the one who hears this from Allaah [i.e. the affairs stated about the nafs in the Qur’an and Sunnah] that he is more careful or cautious about his nafs than an enemy that wants to kill him, or take his wealth, or violate his honour. If someone says: “Why do you obligate – on me – this precaution about the Nafs until you place it in a situation that is more severe than an enemy whose enmity is certainly very manifest? It should then be said to him, “The enemy of yours who wants to kill you, or wants to take your wealth or violate your honour, if he overcomes you with what he does to you, then indeed Allaah will expiate some of your sins and raise your status, but this will not be the case with the nafs because if the nafs overcomes you by way of that which you desire – that which you have been forbidden, then this contains destruction for you in this Dunya and the Aakhirah- disgrace and severe punishment in the Dunyah, an evil state in the sight of Allaah and destination in the Aakhirah.
Therefore the Aaqil- may Allaah have mercy upon him – compels or obligates caution on his Nafs and strives against it in a manner more severe than striving against an enemy who wants to take his wealth and his life. So, he strives against his nafs in times of anger and in times of happiness. This is how our prophet disciplined us in various hadeeth, saying: The Mujaahid is the one who strives against his Nafs in obedience to Allaah – The Mighty and Majestic.
Shaikh Abdur Razaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said: When a person hears the statement, “Be more careful [or cautious] about your Nafs than an enemy who wants to kill you”, he might be amazed as to how can be the case?! Say to him, “If someone kill you or took your wealth, Allah will expiate your sins, because have you not heard about the hadeeth about the Muflis?!
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ أَتَدْرُونَ مَا الْمُفْلِسُ قَالُوا الْمُفْلِسُ فِينَا مَنْ لَا دِرْهَمَ لَهُ وَلَا مَتَاعَ فَقَالَ إِنَّ الْمُفْلِسَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَأْتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِصَلَاةٍ وَصِيَامٍ وَزَكَاةٍ وَيَأْتِي قَدْ شَتَمَ هَذَا وَقَذَفَ هَذَا وَأَكَلَ مَالَ هَذَا وَسَفَكَ دَمَ هَذَا وَضَرَبَ هَذَا فَيُعْطَى هَذَا مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِ وَهَذَا مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِ فَإِنْ فَنِيَتْ حَسَنَاتُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُقْضَى مَا عَلَيْهِ أُخِذَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُمْ فَطُرِحَتْ عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ طُرِحَ فِي النَّارِ
Abu Huraira [radiyallaahu-anhu] reported that the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu-alayhi- wasallam] said, “Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.” The Prophet said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my Ummah are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also insulted this one, slandered that one, ate the wealth of this one, shed the blood of that one, and hit this one. So, this one will be given from his good deeds and hat one is given from his deeds. And if his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.”
[Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2581]
So, you will take his deeds and if he has no more deeds to give away, your sins will be given you him and he’ll be in the fire; but as for when our own nafs overcome us by way of that which is haraam, then we gain nothing. [Ref 3]
So, Imaam Al-Aajurree [rahimahullaah] said: One should strive against his Nafs in times of happiness as well as when he is happy. In supplication: [وأسألُك كلمةَ الحقِّ في الرِّضَا والغضب – I ask You (O Allaah) to make me true in speech in times of pleasure and anger]. [Ref 4]
The one who does not utter except the truth during anger and pleasure, then this is a proof of his strong Eemaan and that indeed he is in control of his Nafs. [Ref 5]
Allaah [The Exalted] informed us in Soorah An-Nisaa Ayah 119 that shaytaan said: [وَلَأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ -Verily, I will mislead them]- Meaning, from the truth. [وَلَأُمَنِّيَنَّهُم – And surely, I will arouse in them false desires]; Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu-anhumaa) said: He (shaytaan) desires to hinder (them) from repentance and to delay it.
[وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ آذَانَ الْأَنْعَامِ – I will order them to slit the ears of cattle], Meaning, cut off the ears of the cattle]; [وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ – And indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah]; Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu-anhumaa) said: He (ibleees) intends by this the religion of Allaah. And the meaning of this is that Allaah created his slaves upon an upright fitrah [i.e. an upright natural disposition that will enable them to recognize Allaah, accept the call of the messengers when it reaches them and worship Allaah alone], as He (the most high) said:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
مُنِيبِينَ إِلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُوهُ
So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of true Monotheism- Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq–illah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not. (Always) Turning in repentance to Him (only), and be afraid and dutiful to Him….[Soorah Ar-Rum Aayaat 30-31]
And Allaah [The Exalted] stated that shaytaan said:
قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ
ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَنْ شَمَائِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ
(Iblis) said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” [7:16-17]
[ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ – Then I will come to them from before them and behind them]; Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said this means, ‘’I [Iblees] will bring doubts to them about the Hereafter”. [وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ – and behind them]; Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said that this means, ‘’I [Iblees] will make them covetous for the worldly things.’’ [وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ – and from their right]; Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said this means, ‘’I [Iblees] will make their religion obscure [i.e. by making them hold onto doubtful matters which they would consider to be the truth]. [وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ – and from their left]; Al-Hasan [rahimahullaah] said this means, ‘’I [Iblees] will command them to commit evil deeds, urge them toward it and beautify it in their eyes [i.e. make it fair seeming to them]’’.
It has also been reported from Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] who said that Iblees did not say ‘’And from above them’’ because he knows that Allaah is above them. Qataadah [rahimahullaah] said, ‘’O son of Adam! Shaytaan comes to you from every direction but not from above because he is not able to come between you and the Mercy of Allaah. [Ref 5.1]
A Beneficial Contemplation Regarding How to Keep Away From Sin
Imaam Abdul Ghaniy Al-Maqdisi stated in his book At-tawwaabeen that a man once came to Ibraaheem Bin Adham and said, “O Abu Ishaaq! Indeed I have transgressed against my Nafs [through evil deeds], so present to me that which will be a deterrent for my nafs and will save [or rescue] my heart”. So, Ibraaheem said to him: “If you accept five affairs and fulfil them, neither will you be harmed due to sinning nor will the enjoyment [or delight from it] bring you destruction. The man said, “Mention them to me O Abu Ishaaq”.
Ibraaheem said: “The first affair is that when you want to disobey Allaah – The Mighty and Majestic- do not eat His provision”. The man said, “Where would I eat from when it is case that all that is in the earth is from His provision?” He said, “O you! Is it right that you eat His provision and disobey him?” The man said, “No; mention the second affair to me”.
Ibraaheem said, “If you want to disobey Allaah, do not live anywhere in Allaah’s earth”. The man said, “This is greater than the first affair! When it is the case that the east, the west and whatever is between them belongs to Him, then where would I live?” Ibraaheem said to him, “O you! Is it right that you eat His provision and live on his earth, yet you disobey him?” The man said, “No; mention the third affair”.
Ibraaheem said, “If you want to disobey Him whilst you are being provided from His provision and living on his earth, then do so in a place where He cannot see you”. The man said, “How can that be when it is the case that He knows everything that is hidden”. Ibraaheem said, “O you! Is it right that you eat his provision, live on his earth and you disobey him whilst he sees you and what you do?” The man said, “No; mention the fourth affair”.
Ibraaheem said, “When the angel of death comes to take your soul, tell him, ‘Delay its departure until I perform sincere repentance and perform righteous deeds for the sake of Allaah’”. The man said, “He (the angel) will not accept that from me”. Ibraaheem said, “O you! When it is the case that you cannot repel death until you repent and you know that there is no delay when it comes to you, then how do you hope to escape?” The man said, “Mention the fifth affair”.
Ibraaheem said to him, “When the Zabaaniyah [i.e. guardians of hell] come to you on yawmul qiyaamah to take you to the fire, do not go with them”. The man said, “Neither will they leave me nor accept that from me”. Ibraaheem said to him, “So, how do you hope for safety then?” The man said, “O Ibraaheem! This is enough! This is enough! I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him.” [Ref 6]
Finally, we say once again:
Regardless what a person holds regarding the validity or invalidity of the science behind social distances, this article in no way is a suggestion that one violates the specific government directives regarding social distancing, rather we obey the laws of the land.
Also Islaam gives great importance to physical health.
Employing The Means to Good Health – By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [hafidhahullaah]
[Ref 1: Al-Fawaa’id of Imaam Ibnul Qayyim: page: 213]
[Ref 2: At-Tib An-Nabawiy of Imaam Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) with comments by Al-Allaamah Muhammad Haamid Al-Faqee (rahimahullaah): page: 3. slightly paraphrased].
[Ref 3: Sharh Adabun Nufoos. Lesson 1. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah) https://al-badr.net/sub/358]
[Ref 4: Part of a supplication narrated by Ammaar Bin Yaasir (radiyallaahu-anhu) from the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam). Reported by An-Nasaa’ee Number 1305 & found in Saheeh Al-Jaami Number 1301]
[Ref 5: Fiqhul Ad’iyah Wal-Adkaar’ parts 3 & 4’ page 167]
[Ref 5.1: Ighaathatul Luhfaan 1/105-107]
[Ref 6: At-taleeq Alaa Bawaa’thil Khilaas Min Adh-Dhunoob. Lesson 1. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah)].