How to Test the Heart

يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

They say: Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts any resentment toward those who have faith. Our Lord, you are kind and merciful. [Surat al-Hashr 59:10]

To know the state of your heart, ask of it, what opinions does it hold onto other believers? Ibn al-Qayyim stated that if you saw a Muslim whose beard was dripping with wine, know that someone had thrown wine on him. If you see a believer prostrating to an idol, know that he is visually blind and intended to face the Qibla. Muhammad al-Ghazali was once asked, what is the ruling on those who do not pray (is he or she in a state of kufr or Iman)? To which he replied: the ruling is that you take him by the hand to the Masjid. If the believer comes across a sister who has taken off her hijab or is ill-dressed and forsaken some of her own honour, he or she will react with hate but in grief as though his or her own honour had been violated.

The believer, in his or her love for the Prophet Muhammad, cannot harbour hate for the Ummah of Muhammad for he or she loves whom he loves.

The believer cannot harbour ill thoughts of another believer because he or she proceeds in this world as though no one is below him/herself but everyone is above them. The believer finds joy in knowing that those who love one another for the sake of Allah are rewarded a lofty station in the eternal abode whereas ill thoughts harm only those hearts that carry them. May Allah have mercy on the one who advised:

Ibn Rajab writes:

فأفضل الأعمال سلامة الصدر من أنواع الشحناء كلها وأفضلها السلامة من شحناء أهل الأهواء والبدع التي تقتضي الطعن على سلف الأمة وبغضهم والحقد عليهم واعتقاد تكفيرهم أو تبديعهم وتضليلهم ثم يلي ذلك سلامة القلب من الشحناء لعموم المسلمين وإرادة الخير لهم ونصيحتهم وأن يحب لهم ما يحب لنفسه

“The best of deeds is to secure the heart from every type of enmity, and the best of it is to be secure from the enmity of the people of desires and heretical innovations that challenges the righteous predecessors of the nation, their hatred and malice towards them, and their charges of infidelity, heresy, and misguidance against them. Thereafter, following that is to secure the heart from enmity against the Muslims in general, to intend good for them, to give them sincere counsel, and to love for them what he loves for himself.” – Laṭā’if al-Ma’ārif 1/139

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