Islamic Perspectives

Virtuous life

The holy Quran syas: "Prosperous is who has cleansed himself" (S.87A,14) "Truly he succeeds that purifies it; and he fails that corrupts it" (S.91-10). The aforesaid verses of the Quran are thought provoking. They vividly point out that if one wants to prosper, one will have to purify oneself. Accordingly purging heart from all kind of filthy and smutty things is the first step of those who want to get success and attain enlightenment.

No one achieve happiness in life and attain pleasure of Allah sans purification of heart from all sorts of obnoxious and nauseous acts and disgusting performance. In this regard Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) says: "Truly in the body there is a piece of flesh: if it is healthy, the whole body is healthy and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupted. Truly it is the heart" (Bukhari). He further says: "He has succeeded whose heart Allah has purified for Iman and made his heart righteous and submissive" (Ahmad)

For cleansing of heart, We should take into consideration the seven admonitions of holy Prophet.: (1) Fear of Allah; (2)Obligatoriness of the recitation of the Quran and talking of Allah; (3) Long silence or stability of silence; (4) Avoiding excessive laughter; (5) Telling the truth at every cost; (6) Giving expression to religion  without fear of condemnation and (7) Always turning the search-light within.

It should be noted that out of seven commands of the Prophet, fear of Allah assumes great significance. Today criminality is on the rise. Murder, loot, sexual offences, kidnapping and even cyber crimes are a galore. What is the main reason behind these inhuman acts? Lack of fear of Allah, we see these menaces around us. Fear of Allah is the best remedy to avoid all kind of unholy acts and it may make our lives happy, comfortable and cheerful. In his book, Morals and Manners in Islam, M. Sadiq Sialkoti said: "Man can protect himself from innumerable moral vices if he has fear of Allah in his heart. Only fear of Allah can keep off from deception, fraud, falsehood, breaking promises, defection, theft, cruelty, bribery, backbiting, slandering, using invectives, cursing and condemnation, taunting, usurpation, nepotism, animus and malice etc. It is only the fear that one will have to account for one's deeds on the Day of Judgement before Allah which can adorn character and temperament." In this context the following Ahadith are quite relevant.

The Prophet (PBUH) sent Mu’adh ibn Jabal to Yemen giving some parting advice he accompanied him up to some distance on almost finishing his advice, the Prophet said to him, 'Mu’adh! It is possible that you may not be able to see me after this and when you come back to Medina, instead of finding me, you find my grave. Hearing this shocking sentence Mu’adh started trembling and fearing separation from the Prophet forever, began to weep. Seeing him crying, the Prophet said, Mu’adh! Do not be sad, We will meet after this world also (Remember) those will be nearest with me who act in this world for fear of Allah. Whoever they are and wherever they live." (Masnad Ahmad)

Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib says that one day he was sitting with the Prophet under a tree. Suddenly a powerful tornado came and all dry leaves of the tree fell down and only green ones remained. Seeing this the Prophet said: "To what can this tree be likened? The Sahabi replied. "Allah and His messenger know it well. The Prophet thereupon said. "This tree can be likened to that state of a faithful when his hairs bristle up for fear of Allah and all his sins fall off and only his virtues remain."

The other important thing through which we can keep our hearts pure and candid is remembrance of Allah. It is such an asset which can keep us aloof from anti-social activities and can lead us to the path of salvation. Besides it is a main source to attain peace of mind and achieve spiritual wisdom and enlightenment. That is why this method i.e. remembrance of Allah is found in every religion is some way or the other. Moreover it brings us close to Allah. All Prophets, Messengers and religious leaders attained inspiration, revelation, wisdom and enlightenment by cultivating this way.

Noted Islamic scholar S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi writes: "A Bedouin said to the Prophet. "O Apostle of Allah detailed instructions concerning Islam have grown enough to be comprehended by an illiterate like me. Tell me something in brief so that I may cling to it. The Prophet paid full attention to the request of the Bedouin. He neither admonished him nor took his request as a pretext to shirk the responsibility of learning as much about his religion as possible. The reply holy Prophet gave to the Bedouin was: "Keep your tongue busy with the recollection of Allah" (A Guide Book for Muslims)

The holy Quran says: "Those who believe, and those hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction (S.13.A.28). And celebrate the praises of Allah often (and without stint) that you may prosper "(S.62A.10).

In a hadith-e-qudsi related by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said: "Allah Almighty says: "I am as My servant expects Me to be. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand's span, I draw near to him an arm's length; and if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (Bukhari and Muslim). Almighty Allah warns us saying: "O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any act thus, surely they are the losers". (S.63A9)

To sum up, we can purify our hearts by adopting the above mentioned ways and devices. Apart from it we can strengthen our relationship with God and win the approbation of Him either. In conclusion it would be apt to quote this saying of the Prophet. "O Lord! Who changes the hearts, keep my heart firm on Your Deen (religion)".

Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Nadwa College, Lucknow

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2009 on page no. 29

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