Deeds of the Hearts

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allâh and be dutiful to Him. Be always conscious of Him and be grateful to Him. Obey Allâh for you cannot live without His blessings and humble yourselves before Him for you cannot find a way out of His authority. Allâh says,

“And know that Allâh knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.” (Al-Baqarah 2:235)

Dear Muslims! Allâh favours His slaves with seasons of blessings in which the reward of good deeds are multiplied and in which sins are erased. They are seasons in which people compete to do good deeds. He who purifies his soul in these seasons will succeed and he whose end goal is this earth and prefers the pleasure of this worldly life will lose.

Dear brethren! This month of yours is the best of all months. It is the month in which the Qur’ân was revealed. In this month, gates of Paradise are open and gates of Hell are closed. Fasting of a Muslim in this month will intercede on his behalf on the Day of Resurrection and mouth odour of the fasting Muslim is more pleasant to Allâh than the aroma of musk.

This month of yours is that of the Qur’ân, alms giving, generosity, Tarâwîh and night prayers. Your Lord describes the month as countable days, indicating by that the speed with which it ends and alluring to its importance in the eyes of righteous and diligent worshippers. You are now approaching its last ten days, which are the best days of the month. Have you reviewed your deeds? Advance forward, O seeker of good, and refrain from misdeeds O seeker of evil. For there are ones that Allâh will liberate from Hell in this month.

Brethren in faith! Among things that help in self-examination is looking into the deeds of the heart, the situation of the heart in relation to the Qur’ân and its concentration during remembrance of Allâh. He whose aim is the Hereafter, Allâh will bless him with concentration in all that he does.

Dear brethren! Deeds of the heart are acts that sincere and serious worshippers aim at achieving, for they are the foundation of all deeds. Deeds of the limbs are dependent on them. Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah said,

“Deeds of the hearts, like loving Allâh and His Messenger, reliance on Allâh, worshipping Him with sincerity, thanking Him for His favours, bearing His decisions with patience, fearing Him and hoping for what is with Him are all part of the foundations and pillars of the religion.”

He also said,

“People are of different categories as far as deeds of the hearts are concerned: there are some who wrong their own souls, there are those who do moderate good deeds and there are those who are in the forefront in righteous deeds by the permission of Allâh.”

Fellow Muslims! Deeds of the acts are some of the most important and best acts of worship. They are obligatory acts at all times and upon every Muslim. They are the most emphatic parts of faith. For soundness of the body is dependent on the soundness of the heart as reported in an authentic hadîth. The Prophet said,

“Indeed, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it is sound the entire body is sound and if it is contaminated the entire body is contaminated: it is the heart.”

Certainly, acts of worship done with the heart are greater and more consistent than the ones done with the body, and soundness of body movements depends on the soundness of heart movements. If the heart is sound and flourishing with love of Allâh, love of what Allâh loves, fear of Allâh and fear of what Allâh detests, movements of the body will also be sound.

Dear brethren! While you are now in the noble month seeking nearness to Allâh with your righteous deeds, you should take two great things into consideration for they are strongly related to deeds of the heart and serious self-evaluation. These two things are: sincerity in acts of worship and being conscious of Allâh.

As for sincerity in acts of worship, it is the essence of faith. Sincerity in acts of worship encompasses all acts of righteousness and their degrees. Sincerity encompasses all branches of faith and deeds of the heart. This is so because the Messenger of Allâh said, “Al-Ihsân (sincerity in acts of worship) is to worship Allâh as if you are seeing Him.” Hold fast unto sincerity, for Allâh loves sincere good-doers. Exert efforts to attain it for Allâh loves the sincere good-doers. And the reward of sincerity in good deeds is nothing more than good.

Sincerity demands that man perfects his actions with sure knowledge that Allâh is seeing him and his deeds.

As for the quality of being conscious of Allâh, it is the heart’s knowledge that Allâh is nearest to him. Whoever is conscious of Allâh in his secret, Allâh will protect him in the public.

Fellow Muslims! You are now in the last ten days of Ramadân, which are the best and the most blessed days of the month. Whoever endeavours to attain the Laylatul-Qadr and prays in that night with faith and a hope to achieve the reward from Allâh, all his past sins will be forgiven. Also, it is an opportunity for self-examination.

Dear brethren! Examine deeds of your hearts for that is a habit of the sincere worshippers of Allâh and a manifestation of absolute humility to Allâh. Allâh says,

“Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh- Islâmic Monotheism) to be affected by Allâh’s Reminder (this Qur’ân), and that which has been revealed of the truth.” (Al-Hadîd 57:16)

Humiliation for Allâh in acts of worship makes one revere Allâh, love Him and show one’s helplessness before Him. The more the heart is concentrating in its reverence for Allâh, the humbler it becomes. The hearts only goes astray if it forgets Allâh’s watchfulness over it.

Concentration in acts of worship means standing of the heart before Allâh in absolute humility and helplessness. Concentration is tenderness of the heart and if the heart is concentrating, the limbs follow. The Messenger of Allâh used to say in his bowing,

[Khashiya laka sam‘î wabasarî, wamukhkhî wa‘azmî]“O Allâh, I humble for you my ear and my eye and my brain and my bone and whatever my feet stand on.”

Concentration of the heart is its freedom from filthy thoughts and intentions that emanate from following the desires. For whenever the heart humbles itself, all manifestations of haughtiness, arrogance and self-importance will disappear.

Fellow Muslims! Degrees of concentration of the hearts vary according to their knowledge about their Lord and according to their understanding of the Attributes of Allâh. So anyone who knows how close his Lord is to him and realises His knowledge of his secrets and conscience and His watchfulness of all his movements, will feel a real sense of shame in front of his Lord. If one’s heart perceives the greatness of Allâh and His perfection, his love for Him and his yearning to Him will increase. If one realizes the power of Allâh, His punishment and His sense of honour as regarding the things that He forbids, one will fear Him and become helpless before Him. Some predecessors said describing some righteous worshippers of Allâh, “Their hearts are humbled for Him so they lower their gazes.”

The best act of humbleness and concentration in acts of worship is the one demonstrated by our Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him. When he would stand up for prayer, he would lower his head as a sign of respect for Allâh and would not look here and there and would not talk. He would even be heard crying silently.

Fellow Muslims! Review your deeds and endeavour to have of the blessings of your Lord. Emulate the righteous servants of Allâh who are sincere and worship their Lord in prostration and bowing. Their eyes flow in tears and their hearts and skins become tender at remembrance of Allâh. Whenever Allâh is mentioned the hearts become fearful and when His verses are recited to them they increase them in faith and their hearts finds peace with remembrance of Allâh. In these blessed days, show Allâh the good that is in you. Allâh says,

“Those were they unto whom Allâh bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nûh (Noah), and of the offspring of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allâh) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.” (Maryam 19:58)

Brethren in Islâm! The righteous deed is any deed that the heart performs and with which it feels peace, fear of Allâh, submission to Him and with which it feels helpless before Him. Some righteous predecessors said, “He whose heart submits to Allâh in humility, Satan will not come near to him.”

Fellow Muslims! If the preacher is reminding the Muslims of good deeds and to be conscious of Allâh in this blessed month, where then is the piety of the religious ones who are believers, hope for the blessings of Allâh, fear His punishment, love what Allâh loves and hate what He hates? Where is then their piety as regards harming male and female believers and spreading fear and shedding the innocent blood? Or do they want to make themselves a fuel for a directionless crisis? What is the purpose of this evil crime in which women and children were killed in the sacred month of Islâm and in the capital city of a Muslim state? These individuals have killed innocent souls and destroyed properties. In what way can this crime be justified? What is that ideology that snatched these young men from the houses of their fathers and mothers that are Islâmic homes and turned them into perverted individuals that perpetrated these heinous crimes and killed innocent an armless souls in their homes?

The keen observer will find a similarity between the men, women and children who are murdered in Palestine and have their homes and properties demolished and between men, women and children who were killed in Riyadh and had their homes and properties demolished. The terrorist Israel perpetrates mischief in Palestine and these individuals perpetrated mischief in Riyadh. The terrorist Israel hates the Muslims in Palestine and it kills them, confines them and expels them. Now what do these murderers wants by the crime they committed in Riyadh? Do they share the same goal with the terrorist Israel whose main goal is to kill as many Arabs and Muslims as possible and create a violent and unstable atmosphere? Is there any coordination between both killers? Even if any coordination is ruled out, can we rule out penetration and brainwashing? Or is it only a new crisis that is already revealing its ugly head? May Allâh forbid.

The entire society should raise its voice and unite to protect this land and its residents from killings and destruction. For the resultant harm and perdition will not leave out anyone.

The responsibility lies on all and not on security agents alone. War against this perverted ideology should be open in all aspects of this Ummah, though the mass media has a special role to play. The citizens should also play their roles as real partners. The mass media should show the citizens realities of events in their true forms and not in the form it wants them to see it. The matter should be dealt with seriously and all impediments should be removed so that the country will be able to employ all its energies and that of its citizens properly. These acts are criminal and they should be confronted by all. Though it is undisputable that the criminal should be made to face the consequences of his crime, the very ideology that leads him to that crimes should also be confronted with a counter ideology, for word is use to confront a word.

Fellow Muslims! Fasting is protection. So perform it that you may be pious. Fasting guards its performer against idle talk, obscene utterances and false statements. If the fasting Muslim is prohibited from behaving in an undesirable manner, shouting or insulting anyone, how can he then kill or cause mischief?

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