the heart

A False testimony of Faith [hypocrisy and the shahadah]

The likeness [of the munāfiq] is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it lighted all around him, Allāh took away their light and left them in darkness. So they could not see. They are deaf, dumb and blind, so they return not [to the Right Path]. (Quran 2:17)

Qatādah – Allāh’s mercy be upon him – said:

This is the likeness Allāh has given of the Hypocrite (munāfiq); he says lā ilāha illallāh and with it marries into the Muslims, inherits from the Muslims, fights alongside the Muslims, and protects his blood and wealth. But when death comes, [the testimony of faith] has no basis in his heart, and no reality in his actions, so the munāfiq is stripped of it at death and left in darkness and blindness wondering therein, just as he was blind about the right of Allāh and obedience to Him in his worldly life and deaf to the truth.

Al-Ṭabarī, Al-Tafsīr.

How the Salaf were (and weren’t) when hearing the Quran and Dhikr

It was said to ‘Ā`ishah – Allāh be pleased with her, “There are people who faint when they hear the Quran.” She said. “The Quran is nobler than to have people lose their minds from it. Rather, it [should be] as Allāh the Mighty and Sublime said:

Those who fear their Lord tremble with fear by it, then their skins and hearts settle to the remembrance of Allah. (Sūrah Al-Zumar: 23)

Abū ‘Ubayd Al-Qāsim b. Sallām, Faḍā`il Al-Qur`ān p214.

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. ‘Urwah b. Al-Zubayr said, “I asked my grandmother Asmā` (bint Abī Bakr) – Allāh be pleased with her, ‘How were the Companions of Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh peace and praise be upon him – when they heard the Quran?’ She replied, ‘their eyes would shed tears and they would tremble (with fear), as Allāh described them (in the Quran).’ I said, ‘There are some people here who, when they hear the Quran, fall down unconscious,’ She said, ‘I seek refuge with Allāh from the accursed Shayṭān.’”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab Al-Īmān 3:417; Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqā`iq 3:54 with a slightly variant wording.

It is also reported that Asmā` was asked, “Did any of the Salaf used to faint out of the fear of Allāh?” She replied, “No, but they used to cry.”

Al-Qāsim b. Salām, op. cit. p214.

It is reported that Ibn ʿUmar – Allāh be pleased with him – once passed by a man from Iraq who had dropped unconscious. He asked, “What is wrong with him?” [People] replied, “When the Quran is recited to him or he hears the remembrance of Allāh he falls unconscious out of his fear of Allāh.” Ibn ʿUmar said, “We fear Allāh and we do not drop unconscious!”

Ibid p214; Al-Baghawī in his Tafsīr, Sūrah Al-Zumar: 23 with a slightly variant wording.

It is reported that Anas b. Mālik was asked about people who drop unconscious when the Quran is recited to them. He said, “That is the behavior of the Khawārij.”

Al-Qāsim b. Salām, op. cit. p215.

It is reported that Muḥammad b. Sīrīn said, having been asked about a man who drops unconscious when the Quran is recited to him, “Make an appointment between us and him, we will sit on a wall, and the Quran – from beginning to end – will be recited unto him. If he falls off the wall, he is as he claims.”

Ibid., Al-Baghawī, op. cit.

The Softest Hearts

It is reported that Makḥūl – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “The people with the softest hearts are those who sin the least.”

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyah Al-Awliyā` Vol. 2 p344.

It is reported that ‘Awn b. ʿAbdillāh, the ascetic and jurist, said, “Sit with the repentant, for they have the softest hearts.”

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyah Al-Awliyā` Vol. 2 p192.

A Comfortable Life

It is reported that ʿUmar b. ʿAbd Al-‘Azīz once wrote to Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī to get a brief exhortation from him, so Al-Ḥasan wrote back , “The dunyā distracts and preoccupies the heart and body, but al-zuhd (asceticism, not giving importance to worldly things) gives rest to the heart and body. Verily, Allāh will ask us about the ḥalāl things we enjoyed, so what about the ḥarām!”

Al-Bayhaqī, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabīr, article 26.

The Call of Bilāl and the Tears of Al-Shām

It is reported that Bilāl – Allāh be pleased with him – never used to call the adhān for anyone after the death of Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s peace and blessing be upon him. He wanted to go for al-jihād but Abū Bakr didn’t want him to go. So Bilāl said, “If you freed me [when I was a slave] for Allāh’s pleasure, then let me go.” So he went to Al-Shām. When ʿUmar arrived in Al-Jābiyah [during his Caliphate], the Muslims requested him to ask Bilāl to do the adhān for them, so ʿUmar asked him. He called the adhān one day, and never were as many people heard crying as on that day, as they remembered the Prophet – Allāh’s peace and blessing be upon him.

It is said that the adhān of the people of Al-Shām was taken from this adhān.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā`, in his biography of Bilāl b. Abī Rabāḥ.