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Warning to ourselves -first and foremost – as Self-amazement, Self-importance, Self-entitlement, and Heedlessness Increases

In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Allah [The Most High] said:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ هُم مِّنۡ خَشۡيَةِ رَبِّہِم مُّشۡفِقُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُم بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ يُؤۡمِنُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُم بِرَبِّہِمۡ لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡتُونَ مَآ ءَاتَواْ وَّقُلُوبُہُمۡ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّہُمۡ إِلَىٰ رَبِّہِمۡ رَٲجِعُونَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ يُسَـٰرِعُونَ فِى ٱلۡخَيۡرَٲتِ وَهُمۡ لَهَا سَـٰبِقُونَ
وَلَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۖ وَلَدَيۡنَا كِتَـٰبٌ۬ يَنطِقُ بِٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ

Verily! Those who live in awe for fear of their Lord; and those who believe in the Ayat (proofs, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord; And those who join not anyone (in worship) as partners with their Lord; And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear (whether their alms and charities, etc., have been accepted or not) because they are sure to return to their Lord (for reckoning). It is these who race for the good deeds, and they are foremost in them [e.g. offering the compulsory Salat (prayers) in their (early) stated, fixed times and so on]. And We tax not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged. [Surah Al-Muminoon Aayaat 57-62] Article on this link:

Those Who Live In Awe Due To Fear of Allaah, Even Though They Are Foremost In Knowledge And Piety

Aa’isha [may Allah be pleased with her] said: I ask the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] about this Ayah: [وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوْا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ – And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear]: are they those who drink alcohol and commit theft? He said, “O daughter of Siddeeq! Rather they are those who observe fasting, perform prayer, and give charity, whilst fearing that their deeds will not be accepted from them. [Reported by Imaam Tirmidee Number: 3175]

Ka’b Al-Ahbaar [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “Beware of self-amazement because infeed it is slaughter and destruction (of the heart)”. [(1)]

Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim [may Allah have mercy upon him] stated about the state of one who is afflicted with self-amazement: “Ignorant regarding the reality of his soul, its characteristics, its dangers, and the defects of its deeds; ignorant about his Lord, the rights of his Lord and how to behave in the presence of his Lord – (whose absence) would have resulted in attaining the Pleasure of his Lord and obedience to Him and having a good suspicion of his Lord- and thus leads to self-amazement, arrogance and the dangerous outcomes that are greater than the apparent major sins such as fornication, alcohol consumption, running away from the battlefield [Footnote a] and what is similar”. [(2)]

Ibn Hazm [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: “Whoever is put to trial with self-amazement, then let him reflect on his faults. If he is amazed by his virtues, then let him search (by way of scrutiny) for his despicable manners. If his faults are completely hidden from him until he thinks that there is no fault in him, then he should know that his calamity will abide forever and that he is the most imperfect among people, one with the greatest of faults, and the weakest in discernment. The first thing is that he is weak-minded and ignorant, and there is no defect more severe than these two because the sensible person is the one who recognizes his own faults and then overcomes them, and strives to restrain them, but the idiot is the one who is ignorant of the faults of his own soul. Whoever’s own faults are hidden from him is in a bad state, and has become from those in a state of ridicule, lowliness, evil, ignominy, weakness of discernment and common sense, and lack of understanding (and consequently) no evil will be isolated from him and no level of baseness will be beneath him. Therefore, let him take precautions against himself by searching for his own faults, and preoccupying himself with them (to rectify himself) rather than being amazed by them (i.e. due to being deceived), or looking for the faults of others that will not harm him in this life and Hereafter”. [(3)]

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: “Glorified be Allah and free is He from all imperfections! How many hearts are overturned while the person with such a heart does not realise it?! How many people are put to trial by people’s praise of him, deceived by Allah’s concealment of his faults, and gradually led to destruction through the blessings that are bestowed on him while he is unaware? All of these are punishments and humiliation, while the ignorant person thinks that they are a sign of nobility”. [(4)]

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allah have mercy upon him] said:

Disobedience is the cause of being in Shaytaan’s captivity and a prisoner of lowly desires. A disobedient person is always in the captivity of his devil, the prison of his lusts and leadership of his desires. He is a captive and a shackled prisoner. There is neither a captive whose state of affairs is more evil than that of a captive whose captor is his worst enemy, nor is there a prison more restricted than the prison of desires, and shackles that are more restrictive than the shackles of lust; so how can a heart that is a captive and a shackled prisoner follow the path to Allaah and the home of the afterlife? How can he follow a single path when the heart is shackled and stricken with harm from every angle as a result of the [severity] of its shackles? The likeness of the heart is that of a bird; it distances from harm whenever it flies high and is surrounded by harm whenever it lands. It is reported in a hadeeth: ‘’Shaytaan is a wolf to a human being.’’ And just as an unprotected sheep in the midst of wolves is quickly destroyed, likewise if there is no protection from Allaah for the slave, it is inevitable that his wolf will prey on him.

He is protected by Allaah through Taqwaah. Taqwaah is a shield and shelter from Allaah between the person and his wolf; just as it is a shield against punishment in this life and the afterlife. Whenever the sheep is closer to its shepherd, it is safer from the wolf and whenever it is distanced from the shepherd, it comes closer to being destroyed. So the sheep is more protected when it is closer to the shepherd, for the wolf only takes away the [sheep, cattle] that are distanced and far away from the shepherd.

The basis of this affair is that whenever the heart is distanced from Allaah, then harm upon it is quicker, and whenever it comes closer to Allaah, it is distanced from harm. Being distanced from Allaah is of various levels and some are more severe than others. Being distanced from [Allaah] through disobedience is greater than being distanced from [Allaah] through thoughtlessness; being distanced from [Allaah] through bidah is greater than being distanced from [Allaah] through disobedience, and being distanced from [Allaah] through hypocrisy and shirk is greater than all of that. [(5)]

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 fulfill them, neither will you be harmed 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 Yawm Al-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.” [(6)]

We ask Allah: [اللهم كما حَسَّنْت خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي – O Allah! Just as You made my external form beautiful, make my character beautiful as well]. [(7)]

[1] Why do we need to be more cautious of the soul than an avowed enemy

[2] Why do we need to be more cautious of the soul than an avowed enemy

[Footnote a]: Salafi Shaikh Fawzaan on Jihad in our times and the guidelines of Jihad according to Islam:

[(1)]: Hilyah al-Awliyaa 5/376

[(2)]: Madaarij As-Saalikeen 1/192

[(3)]: Al-Akhlaaq Was-Siyar. page 29 onwards

[(4)]: Al-Jawaab Al-Kaafee. 277

[(5)]: An Excerpt from ‘Ad-Daa’u Wad-Dawaa’u’ page 119-120’. slightly paraphrased.

[(6)] At-Tawwabeen. page 168


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