Spiritual Maladies

Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Imaan wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah Ta’ala to renew the Imaan in your hearts” (Mustadrak al-Haakim). 

 Hazrat Abu Huraira (R.A) narrates, that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said,” Keep on renewing your Imaan, “O Messenger of Allah, how should we renew our Imaan?” enquired the Sahabah, recite لاَ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ very often,” was the reply.

Our Iman is not always as strong as we want it to be as it often fluctuates according to life circumstances.

There are several causes for weakening Iman such as deficiencies in our Aamaal or the whispers and temptations from the Shaytaan. Regardless of the cause, it is of great importance for all of us to keep a check on our Imaan and if we feel it is faltering in any way then we should take measures to restore it. It is our responsibility to know which things decrease our Iman and how to avoid them and those that increase our Iman and how to embrace them. It is something that can only be fixed and improved by our own self and not by someone else, so we need to understand and make full effort to cure this problem. Remember in the hereafter we our self would be responsible for our mistakes and no one else to be blamed. We need to strive hard for our afterlife and increasing our Imaan.

Here are a few signs of weak Imaan:

  • Committing sins and not feeling any guilt. 
  • Having a hard heart and no desire to read the Quran. 
  • Feeling too lazy to do good deeds, e.g. Salaah 
  • Neglecting the Sunnah. 
  • Not feeling anything when hearing verses from the Quran, for example when Allah Ta’ala warns us of punishments and His promise of glad tidings. 
  • Finding difficulty in remembering Allah Ta’ala and making Zikr. 
  • Not feeling bad when things are done against the Shariah. 
  • Desiring status and wealth. 
  • Being mean and miserly, i.e. not wanting to part with wealth. 
  • Ordering others to do good deeds when not practising them ourselves. 
  • Feeling pleased when things are not progressing for others. 
  • Being concerned with whether something is haram or halal only; and not avoiding makrooh (not recommended) things. 
  • Making fun of people who do simple good deeds. 
  • Not feeling concerned about the situation of Muslims. 
  • Not feeling the responsibility to do something to promote Islam. 
  • Being unable to deal with calamities, for instance crying and yelling in funerals.
  • Liking to argue just for the sake of arguing without any proof. 
  • Becoming engrossed and very involved with dunya, worldly things, i.e. feeling bad only when losing something in terms of material wealth.
  • Becoming interested about ourselves. 

Hadhrat Maulana Shah Abrarul Haq Hardoi Sahib نوراللہ مرقدہ said,

“When a doctor gives a Prince an injection, he doesn’t consider himself superior to the Prince. In the same way the one speaking about Deen should not consider himself superior to the listeners. Regarding the expert of a field as perfect [Akmal] is permissible, but to regard as superior is Haram. Because the criteria of virtue/superiority is based on acceptance by Allah Ta’ala [Qubuliyat inda’Allah], which can not be found out about in the Dunya.

The dignity of every believer should be in the heart. It’s not permissible for any ‘Alim or Shaykh-e-Kamil even to consider a sinful Muslim despising. If a small child urinates on the father, the clothes of the father would be considered impure but there won’t be any decrease in the dignity of the father. Hadhrat Thanvi نوراللہ مرقدہ used to say, ‘Whenever I take care of someone[‘s affairs], I consider him superior to myself.’

Similarly, I consider my mother & sisters and you people superior to myself too, but am [at the same time] telling the commands of Allah Ta’ala.”

Gheebat is both the father as well as the son of animosity. Sometimes gheebat is the result of animosity, and sometimes animosity is the result of gheebat. This is indeed an abominable lineage.

We have all seen that when one person is bent on harming another, he becomes oblivious to Deen. He does not abstain from harming the other person or from lies and deception. His objective is only to cause harm to his enemy, regardless of the destruction he causes to himself.

I think the subject of arrogance is fitting for this book considering its importance; among the sins it is the most dangerous disease not only in my opinion, but also according to the Quran and Sunnah. It is absolutely destructive in the path of tariqat.

Imam Ghazali dedicated an entire chapter in his book Ihya-ul-Uloom, in which he delineated the importance of this subject. He writes: Allah has stated the dangers of arrogance in many ayaat of the Quran. He says, I shall turn from My ayaat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right…Only he who is truly great has the right to think he is great, and that is no one but Allah. (Bayan ul Quran)

In another ayah he says, “Thus, does Allah seal up the heart of every arrogant, tyrant.” In another he says, ‘Truly, He likes not the proud169.’ In another ayah he says, And your Lord said, ‘Invoke Me, I will respond to your invocation. Verily! Those who scorn My worship, they will enter Hell in humiliation!

And the evil of arrogance has been mentioned repeatedly in the Quran; and the Blessed Prophet Salallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said in the hadith, ‘He will not enter Jannah who has a grain of arrogance in his heart.’

Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates the Blessed Prophet Salallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said, ‘Allah says, - Greatness is my shawl and magnificence is my izaar (lower garment). I will throw in Jahannum anyone who tries to snatch anyone of these from me and will not care for the consequences.’

Read more: The most dangerous disease

A few ill-informed Saalikeen have this great misconception: They believe that, when their hearts are inclined towards a certain sin, they should commit this sin so that their hearts may find contentment and be at ease.

They believe that this will cause the desire for this sin to cease. They believe that, subsequently, their desires will decrease and they will then be able to leave the sin completely and repent (make taubah). They then become greatly involved in this calamity.

This is a very serious misconception and a deception of Shaytaan, because the more you commits a sin, the more your desire for that sin increases and the greater its demands upon your Nafs becomes. The only remedy for sin is not to commit the sin at all. [Anwarus Siraj, pg. 19]

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