Quran - The Message that Bestows life

The Book sent by the Merciful Lord through His exalted Prophet contains natural and spiritual laws. It has the message of life and teachings that enliven the hearts. 

The Almighty says,

O you who believe! Answer (the call of) Allah and His Apostle when he calls you to that which gives you life.[31] And

Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?[32] 

“O living heart! You do not know who is a dead one! A corpse is one who does not remember Allah!”[33] The Holy Quran says,

Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.[34] The hearts, which are dead due to disbelief and hypocrisy, turn to belief and the real life if the solid proofs of Quran convince them. Thus it is this Quran, which is a cure for the hidden ailments.

And a healing for what is in the breasts.[35]

At another place the Quran says,

Say: It is to those who believe a guidance and a healing.[36]

And also,

And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers.[37] 

Thus the Holy Quran is the absolute cure. It cures the spiritual diseases of its followers It is a clear mercy too. It bestows its believers with well being, health and fortitude. It teaches them to acquire good morals. It commands them to live peacefully in the society and obtain its benefits.

[Refutation of a wrong notion]

Due to lack of knowledge some people say: “The sins of the heart are such that they are committed widely.” They say that it is not possible for human beings to escape them. Therefore it is not our duty to avoid them. That is, it is not necessary to avoid them under the law of Shariah. Hence there is no divine chastisement for such things. Some people also say, “These are only moral teachings and it is not certain whether they are prohibited by Shariah.”

[A wrong notion]

The sins of the heart are those improper thoughts that often occur to people. It is not possible to prevent them from occurring to us. Therefore such matters do not fall within the purview of religious obligations and they do not carry divine chastisement.

However, there is a difference between the “Sin of the heart” and “thoughts.” The sins of the heart are such that one can prevent them from entering ones heart. If they are already present in ones heart they can be removed, while thoughts cannot be prevented.

For example you see a Muslim man at a wine shop. A thought comes to you that he is an alcoholic and he is there to purchase wine. This thought has entered your heart involuntarily. Now it depends upon you to give this thought a permanent place in your heart. You begin to think bad of the person and label him a drunkard and a transgressor. Thinking bad about a Muslim is a sin of the heart.

If you desire you can at once realize that it is a satanic instigation. You can justify the circumstances of that man. You can say that ‘perhaps he has come for some other important errand’. ‘May be that he is waiting for someone’. You can rid your heart of evil thoughts by finding such justifications. 

Or for example, you see someone having possession of a new bounty. A thought strikes you immediately: Why did he get this bounty? If you at once realize that it is a satanic thought and by the light of your faith and knowledge you discard it from your mind there would be no sin on you. Involuntary thoughts are altogether among the forgiven deeds. Whenever a thought like this occurs to you, you must at once say to yourself that, ‘Allah has given him these bounties. It is according to divine wisdom. To object to a divine act is equal to disbelief. Allah is having the power to give a similar or better bounty to me also.’

However, if you give a permanent place to this thought in your heart and wish that the person loses that bounty, you become afflicted with a sin of the heart, namely, jealousy.

Or for example, you have been hurt by a word or action of another person. Now it is possible for you to ignore it, forgive him or to take a suitable revenge. But if instead of this you become inimical to him and you hurt him more than he has harmed you, you shall be involved in the sin of the heart that is known as malice.

Thinking bad of someone, jealousy and malice, as you have seen are such things that find a permanent place in your heart. And it is within your powers to allow them to settle in your heart or not. It is also upto you whether you let them remain in your heart or throw them out. A passing thought, even if it is based on disbelief, is pardonable because it was involuntary and there is no sin for it.

[To be cautious of Satanic whisperings is a sign of belief]

It is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi that in the time of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) the Satan put an evil thought in the heart of a person. He said, “Who has created you?” “Allah”, replied this man. “Who has created Allah?” asked the Satan. This person was very aggrieved and worried due to this thought. He came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and said, “I am finished!” and then he narrated the details. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “By Allah! This is pure belief (Iman).”

That is, since he feared divine retribution, it showed that he was cautious of the Satan’s whispering. Therefore it is a proof of belief and actual belief itself.

There are many traditions in Usul al-Kafi that imply that there shall be no punishment for unsuitable thoughts. These narrations state that one can avoid evil thoughts by reciting ‘Laa ihaaha illallaah’ (There is no God except Allah). Another tradition mentions a command to recite Allah’s remembrance by saying “Aamanna billahe wa rosolehi wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billaah.” (We believe in Allah and His Messengers and there is no power and might except by Allah).

Our discussion so far has shown us that the sins of the heart are the things that remain behind in the heart and we have control over them. They are not like passing thoughts. This book shall prove the illegality of each of these sins from the point of view of Islamic law.

[There is no other way]

The cure of spiritual diseases and the well being and health of the heart are not such that some person should consider them easy or ignore them. It requires a great effort. One has to fight against self. Sometimes we have to forgo pleasures. It is not that we disregard those pleasures. Rather, at that time we are sacrificing a lesser pleasure for something much higher and pleasurable. All this becomes necessary for a pure human life. In order to reach such heights we have to consider difficulty as ease and consider problems to be bounties.

Consider grief as comfort because the aim has become higher. You perceive hyena’s eye around the flock of sheep as if it is a mother of pearl.[38] 

A person with a healthy heart spends his life in peace and ease. He achieves the satisfaction of his Lord. The worldly grief is compensated by spiritual delights. When a person with a peaceful heart departs from this world he begins a life that is absolutely restful and filled with pleasures. He is offered such bounties as the eye has never seen, the ear never heard and no one has even imagined them. He achieves a real kingdom. Whatever he desires is at once presented to him.

And when you see there, you shall see blessings and a great kingdom.[39]

[An Astounding Fact]

How surprising that man goes to great lengths to assure his physical health and well being. He spends a great part of his wealth on it and even takes bitter medicines and gets himself operated. But he does nothing for the well being of his heart. He pays no heed to the cure of his spiritual diseases. The matter of spiritual health is much more important than physical health. But man makes no effort to get this cure. He ignores the advice of Allah and the Prophet regarding these internal ailments. He is completely heedless. Whatever worldly discomforts he has to suffer due to spiritual diseases, he resigns himself to them. He considers the punishment that awaits him in the Hereafter to be distant. 

He has no faith in it. The doctor says: This disease could prove fatal and he believes it at once. Till his last moments he strives to be cured. But when Allah and the Prophet say, “The spiritual diseases are indeed fatal!” It is surprising that man is not prepared to accept that he is prone to harm of spiritual illnesses. Even if there had been a slightest risk, reason would have compelled him to take precautionary measures.

Allah only tells you to abstain from wine in this life. The doctor only tells you to avoid sweets when you have jaundice.

You do not forgo a prohibited act for the sake of religion when Allah says. But for the sake of physical health you forgo a permissible thing?[40]

The curtain of heedlessness will be removed at the time of death. Man shall see himself and his diseases. But at that time he shall find no cure for them. No matter how much he entreats Allah, no matter how much he repents, it shall not be of any use.

Lest a soul should say: O woe to me! For what I fell short of my duty to Allah.[41]

[Prescription is not a cure]

Some Muslims think that it is sufficient to recite the formula of Faith. They think that it is enough that the Holy Quran is a heavenly and a religious book. They keep it on a shelf. On a high shelf. They do not read its verses with introspection. They do not act upon its exalted method of living. However, if a doctor writes a prescription one does not act in this way. That is, keep it in the pocket and feel content with it or keep it on a high shelf. One does not rest till one purchases the medicines prescribed in it and till one takes them. It would certainly be illogical to go to a doctor, get a prescription from him and just sit at home. Common sense prevents such behavior.