the heart

They All Feared Hypocrisy

Ibn Abī Mulaykah – Allah have mercy on him – said:

I met thirty of the Prophet’s Companions – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and every one of them feared falling into nifāq (hypocrisy); not one of them claimed he had the level of faith of Jibrīl or Mīkā`īl.

Quoted by Al-Bukhārī, Al-Sahīh, Chapter on the believer fearing that his deeds will be nullified without him realizing.

In this chapter and narration there is a refutation of the Murji`ah sect who claimed that īmān (faith) consists of belief in the heart and nothing else i.e. a person’s deeds are not part of his faith and do not affect it.

This narration indicates that a person may perform deeds in which his intention may not be totally pure and sincere and because of which he falls into a type of practical hypocrisy.

The fact that they feared hypocrisy does not mean they actually fell into it. Rather this was by way of them being very careful not to fall into it, and it is part of their taqwā – Allah be pleased with them.

This narration also indicates that the Companions believed that people can have different levels of faith, contrary to the Murji`ah who claimed that the īmān of the most pious true believers is the same as everyone else.

Nothing contrary to any of this has been related from the Companions, so it is as if there is a consensus (ijmā’) amongst them on this.

The following are some of the illustrious Companions Ibn Abī Mulaykah met:

· ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib

· Sa’d b. Abī Waqqās

· Mother of the Believers ‘Ā`ishah

· Her sister Asmā`

· Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah

· ʿAbdullah b. Mas’ūd

· ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar

· ʿAbdullah b. ‘Abbās

· ʿAbdullah b. Al-Zubayr

· Abū Hurayrah

· ‘Uqbah b. Al-Hārith

· Miswar b. Mikhramah

Allah be pleased with them all.

These notes have been summarized from Fath Al-Bārī.

Children of the Hereafter

It is reported from ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib –Allah be pleased with him – that he said:

The thing I fear for you most is following desires and having extensive hopes (about this worldly life). Following one’s desires blocks you from the truth, and having extensive hopes makes you forget the hereafter. Verily, this worldly life is departing and the hereafter is approaching and each of them has its children. So be children of the hereafter, not children of this world, for today there are (opportunities to do) deeds and there is no reckoning, but tomorrow there will be reckoning and no deeds.

Quoted by Al-Bukhārī, Al-Sahīh, The Book of Raqā`iq without the first sentence. Reported in its entirety by Abū Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyā` Vol.1 p40, and others.

Al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajr states in Fath Al-Bārī:

Extensive hopes (about this worldly life) give rise to lethargy when it comes to acts of obedience, procrastinating with repentance, desire for worldly things, forgetfulness of the hereafter and hardness of the heart; because the softness of the heart and its purity only comes about by remembering death, the grave, reward and punishment, and the horrors of the hereafter…for if one remembers death, he strives to do acts of obedience, his worries decrease and he is satisfied with less.

Until the Heart is sealed

Explanation of the verse:

Nay, but their hearts were covered over by what (sins) they earned. [Al-Mutaffifīn: 14]

Al-Hasan (Al-Basrī) said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, until the heart becomes blind and dies.”

Qatādah also said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, one sin after another, until the heart dies and becomes black.”

Ibn Zayd said, “Their sins overcome their hearts until no good can get through to them.”

Mujāhid explained, “They used to consider the heart like a hand: when a person sins, his heart starts to scrunch up,” and he folded his little finger, “and when he does another sin,” he folded the next finger and continued until he had his fist clenched. “Then a seal is placed over it, and they used to say that this is the ‘covering’.”

Al-Tabarī in his Tafsīr, Sūrah Al-Mutaffifīn.