In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Allaamah Rabee bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali [may Allaah protect him] stated:
Let us increase in obedience to [Allaah]. Let us be mindful of Shubuhaat [i.e. affairs that are made to resemble the truth but are falsehood in reality] and Shahawaat [i.e. vain desires or impermissible desires], for indeed the Fitan [trials and tribulations] will be exposed to the hearts. Hudhaifah [radiyallaahu-anhu] reported from Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] who said: The Fitan will be presented to the hearts of the people like a reed mat woven stick by stick, and any heart afflicted by them will have a black mark put into it, but any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put into it. Thus there will be two kinds of hearts: one is pure like a white gemstone and it will not be harmed by any tribulation as long as the heavens and earth endure, and the other is black and dusty like a worn-out vessel, neither recognizing good nor rejecting evil, but rather immersed in its desires.” [Saheeh Muslim’ Number 144]
The first type of heart: Pure like a white gemstone and it will not be harmed by any tribulation as long as the heavens and earth endure.’’ That is because Allaah grants them [i.e. the people with this type of heart] firmness and not due to their own power or strength; rather Allaah grants them firmness, just as [Allaah has stated in the Aayah we quoted]: Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. [Surah Ibraaheem’ Aayah 27]
Allaah bestows His favour upon them by granting them firmness, so they are not harmed regardless the greatness of the Fitan. Let me strike a similitude: I say, indeed amongst the people within the midst of these Fitan – just as Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] described the situation- are those who are firm like mountains; the winds, floods, hurricanes and storms come along, but they do not shake, because the Eemaan in the hearts [of these people] is like the firm mountains. Allaah keeps them away from the Fitan and makes them firm, so they are not harmed. However, there are other people who are like the trees that are moved -by the wind – to the right and the left until they finally fall. And there are others who are like feathers and the Henna leaves- flying along with the Fitan when little Fitna occurs, such as when a mild wind [blows] the fragile leaves to a far off place. We ask Allaah to keep us firm.
The second type of heart: It is described as ‘’Black and dusty like a worn-out vessel, neither recognizing good nor rejecting evil, but rather immersed in its desires.” This is the state of the one whose heart is immersed in Fitnah. He agrees with it and does not reject it, so the Fitnah enters him gradually until his heart is worn-out and thus becomes black like a worn-out vessel – a vessel whose mouth is turned upside down, so regardless the amount of water, butter fat and other things one attempts to pour into it, it will not accept anything. Indeed, we have often experienced the affair of this category of people – whose hearts are worn-out – and regardless the [number] of proofs and evidences- from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – presented to nullify their falsehood, they do not accept that from you. This has to be the case because indeed Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] described such a person as one with a heart that is similar to a worn-out vessel- a heart that neither recognises truth nor rejects evil; rather it is immersed in its desires. Whatever agrees with his desires, he accepts it- not because it is the truth, rather only because it agrees with his desires. This [behaviour] is similar to that of the Yahood [i.e. those Yahood who rejected the clear message of the final Messenger], for they know the truth, but wage war against it – accepting what agrees with their desires and rejecting what opposes their desires and wage war against it. This is something rife in this era amongst those whose hearts are worn-out and thus they reach this state that has been described by Allaah’s Messenger. It is as if we are witnessing this affair whilst Allaah’s Messenger describes these people -in our presence- and we can see their deeds and dishonourable stances. (1)
The Shaikh also stated: Many trials have occurred, amongst them trial of the khawaarij, the Rawaafid and killing. Deviation and misguidance have occurred – either fighting and trials (related) to politics, creed, methodology and what is similar to them. Many people who were to be destroyed were destroyed and the one whom Allaah protected was saved and (enabled) to adhere to the true methodology. Therefore, during every trial, they (the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah) must openly proclaim the truth and clarify it for the people. They should distinguish – for them – between guidance and misguidance, between truth and falsehood, the manner in which the people will be safeguarded from these trials, the path through which they will be saved from entering into trials and other affairs (by way of which) Allaah guides this (victorious) group when (they) face every trial. (2)
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah protect him] said: “A man will be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening, or he will be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning”– Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan said, “Meaning, he wakes up in the morning as a believer with Iman, then he deviates by the by the end of evening he becomes a disbeliever vice versa. What is the cause (or reason)? “Sells his religion (of Islam) for some things of the worldly life”. This is proof (to show that) the worldly life is one of the trials- the Zahratud Dunyaa (adornments of the worldly life) and Zinaatud Dunya (things of the worldly life such as food, drinks, transportation, mansions, castles, status etc)- and thus a person abandons his religion (of Islam). A person might be captured by desire and love of the worldly things and thus he abandons his religion of (Islam) due to it. Allaah warned us against the worldly life, its adornment and being deceived by it, rather we take from the worldly life that which is sufficient in obedience to Allaah. As for just going along (or being preoccupied with it) and being forgetful of the Afterlife, this is destruction itself. (3)
Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi also stated: “Yes, a man may be upon truth and then you do not see him thereafter except that he has become a disbeliever or a misguided innovator! This is nothing else but humiliation! He used to claim that he is upon good, a possessor of knowledge and upon the truth, but then he falls into disbelief-either Kufr Akbar or kufr Asghar. This is ignominy and Allaah’s Protection is sought. How many people have been humiliated and exposed by a trial! [Suddenly] you come to know of them and their false claims are unveiled, and their reality is clarified for you”. (4)
The Shaikh also stated: A believer always fears that his situation will change. It has been reported from Aa’isha and Anas [may Allaah pleased with them] that the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] often (supplicated), “يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ – O turner of the hearts (Allaah)! Keep my heart firm upon your religion”. I [i.e. Aa’isha or Anas] asked, “O Allaah’s Messenger! We believe in you and what has been revealed to you, so do you fear for us?” He said, “Yes, indeed the hearts are between two fingers among the fingers of Allaah and He turns them how He pleases”. By Allaah! This is (true) understanding – that a person does not feel safe about himself, for indeed Satan flows through the human being like blood. (a) Therefore, a person should guard his heart, intellect and deeds ardently more than the (manner in which) he guards his wealth and honour. Whoever is given authority to look after his own affairs, it is obligated on him to guard his heart before everything else.
[رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ – Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower]. [ Surah Aal Imraan’ Aayah 8] (5)
The Shaikh also stated: I warn my brothers against the Fitan (trials, temptations) and that they turn to Allaah (for help) to keep them steadfast upon the Religion. They should supplicate a lot (just as Allaah taught the believers that they say),[رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ – Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower]. [Surah Aal Imraan’ Aayah 8]
They should make this tremendous supplication often and the supplication which Allaah’s Messenger used to make often. Anas said that Allaah’s Messenger used to say a lot, “O Turner of the hearts, keep my heart firm upon your religion”. So the companions said, “O Allaah’s Messenger! Do you fear for us?” He said, “Yes, indeed the hearts are between two fingers from the fingers of Allaah, and He turns them however He wills”. (6)
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 206-208. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from ‘Adh-Dharee’ah Ilaa Bayaan Maqaasid Kitaab Ash-Sharee’ah – 1/200-202]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from Sharh Kitaab Al-Fitan Wal-Hawaadith Lil-Imaam Muhammad Bin Abdillaah Wahhaab. pages 11-12]
[Ref 4: An Excerpt from ‘Adh-Dharee’ah Ilaa Bayaan Maqaasid Kitaab Ash-Sharee’ah – 1/200-202]
[Ref 5: An Excerpt from Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 75-76]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm. Pages 204-205]