Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: `La ilaha ill Allah’ (there is no true god except Allah), while the least of them is the removal of a harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.” [Sahih Bukhari & Muslim]
Previously we tried to understand what salah is, its descriptions, and the effects of heedlessness on the quality of our prayer.
Let us now the examples Ibn Al Qayyim رحم الله brings forth to further expand on this understanding.
Today we shall see the examples of three types of people:
- The mindful
- The treacherous
- The Heedless
So let’s dive right into it In Shaa Allah.
I want to share the examples of these people by telling you a story. There were three brothers who were farmers. Each brother was given a piece of spacious land along with the education and the skills needed in agriculture and farming, they were also given all the tools and equipment necessary to cultivate this piece of land.
The first brother was doing all the work, plowing, seeding, watering the crops, keeping them safe from insects and animals, he puts up a fence around his land for protection, he regularly checks the crops for any spoils, removes them, and cleans out the weeds, doing everything in his capacity to make sure that there is no damage done to his crops and when he sells his crops, he spends the profits in the maintenance of his land.
With regards to the work he does, we can see that he uses his limbs in a way that’s most beneficial to maintaining the land as well as reaping the benefits of the produce.
This is the example of how a believer uses his limbs for the purpose of their creation, which is being in servitude to Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ. He understands his goal to be in obedience, so he may profit from the best of rewards that await him.
He realizes the grace of Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ upon him and is in a constant state of reflection and gratitude for the favors bestowed upon him. Being in this realization makes it easy for him to dedicate his limbs towards the worship of Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ, just as he safeguards and protects his land and crops from harm, he safeguards his limbs from the actions that are displeasing to Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ.
When we look at the way Salah is designed for us, our entire body is used in this particular act of worship. The qiyam, the ruku, the sujood, the tashahhud-the entire process of Salah involves actions of the limbs for it to be complete.
It is a holistic act of worship that’s not limited to the actions of the limbs but goes beyond that. The actions of the limbs are irrelevant when the heart is not moist and connected to Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ within this process, when the heart is connected, each limb individually follows through, establishing their submission, fulfilling their purpose and responsibility of their creation Subhaan Allah.
Coming to the second brother in our story, he uses his land as a dumping ground for filth and corruption, he invites the wild beasts, the sinful and evil-doers into his home. He does not care what gets dumped into his land and ruins the possibility of benefit he could have acquired from this gift he had been given, throwing away the resources into damage and destruction.
He uses his limbs in a way that are unaligned with the purpose of their creation, creating a rebellion, being committed to using them in disobedience and disregard for Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ’s commands or prohibitions.
He lives in an illusion of misunderstanding that he is enjoying his life, doing whatever pleases him, but in reality, he is living a life of deception, like an animal without a sense of balance of good and evil.
He is treacherous and untrustworthy, who deliberately chooses to walk away and block the goodness of Allah’s pleasure and reward, walking towards His destruction, inviting Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ’s punishment and wrath into his life.
The third brother has all these resources but does nothing with them, he does not cultivate anything, he does not recognize the blessings of the gift that he has been given, out of his negligence and heedlessness.
He is wasteful of his resources, passing each day as if he were purposeless and created in vain. His limbs are devoid of any use or productive activities, they are incapacitated due to laziness. His heart is a slave to idleness and lethargy, having so sense of purpose with regard to his deen, Dunya, or akhirah.
In the end, he is left with nothing but regret for everything he could have done with what he had but chose not to benefit from it, he is the worst of the lot, who is despised and condemned by Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ.
In the example of the first brother, we saw someone who is mindful of Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ.
In the example of the second brother, we saw someone who is treacherous and untrustworthy.
And in the example of the third brother we saw someone who is heedless and negligent.
Those who are mindful of Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ, their lives revolve around reflection and gratitude, in acknowledging the purpose of their creation, having good intentions and actions that reap the pleasure of Allah.
They are constantly indulged in the remembrance of Allah in their wakefulness and their sleep, in their silences and their speech, accumulating the rewards of righteous deeds that are constantly drawing them closer to their Rabb.
Whereas the people of treachery and heedlessness their deeds are recorded against them, leading them into loss in both worlds and the worse loss being distanced farther and farther away from Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ.
The wisdom in why Salah has been prescribed to us, as we have been learning so far, is that it is a mercy from Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ upon His slaves.
Through the actions performed within the Salah, each action, every utterance, and movement made for the sake of gaining nearness to Allah, a believer gains peace, tranquility, comfort, and an abundance of reward from his Master In Shaa Allah.
Did you learn something new today?
Share in the comments below In Shaa Allah.
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You can read part 4 here:
Inner Dimensions Series | Part 4 | Heedlessness of the Heart
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Until next time.