HomeDiseases Of The Heart And Their Cures › State Of Dead Heart

Chapter 1.8. The State Of The Dead Heart

The heart that is alive and enlightened hears, sees and understands due to the light that it contains, while the dead heart does not hear, see or understand.

Allah, the Exalted said,

The example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears. nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. [Surah al-Baqarah (2) : 171]

And among them are some who listen to you, but can you make the deaf hear, even though they comprehend not? And among them are
some who look at you, but can you guide the blind, even though they see not? [Surah Yunus (10) : 42-43]

And of them are some who listen to you; but We have set veils on their hearts, so they understand it not; and deafness in their ears; if they see every one of the signs they will not believe therein, to the point that when they come to argue with you, the disbelievers say: 'These are nothing but tales of the men of old.' [Surah al-Anam (6) : 25]

So He informed us that their hearts cannot understand, and their eats cannot heat, and they do not believe in what they have seen of the Fire as He informed us about them when He said,

And they say: 'Our hearts ate under coverings from that which you invite us to, and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen.' [Surah Fussilat (41) : 5]

So they mentioned the barriers upon their hearts, ears and eyes. Their bodies are alive - hearing and seeing, but this is a life of the body devoid of life in the heart - like the life of an animal for the animals possess hearing and seeing and eat and drink and marry.

This is why Allah said,

The example of those who disbelieve; is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. [Surah al-Baqarah (2) : 171]

Likening them to the cattle, at whom the shepherd shouts, and they hear nothing except the cry (not understanding what is said), as He said in other verses,

Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle ... nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. [Surah al-Furqan (25) : 44]

And indeed We have created many of the jinn and Mankind for Hell. They have hearts where with they understand not, they have eyes where with they hear not. They are like cattle - nay even more astray... [Surah al-Araf (7) : 179]

A group of the commentators, when referring to these verses and those that resembled them such as the verse,

And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he has never invoked Us for a harm that touched him!
[Surah Yunus (10) : 12]

Regarding these and other such verses that mention the faults of man and their condemnation; (the commentators) said,

These verses refer to the disbelievers, and that the meaning of 'man' here is "the disbelievers..'

So the one who hears this explanation is left thinking that one who openly manifests Islam is not included in this condemnation and threat, rather his thoughts link (these verses) to those who openly manifested shirk from amongst the Arabs, or to those he knows to have openly shown disbelief such as the Jews; the Christians and the polytheists of Turkey and India - and hence he would not benefit from these verses that Allah revealed so that His servants may be guided.

So it is said in reply that firstly: those that openly manifest Islam include amongst them the believer and hypocrite, and the hypocrites are. many in all periods of time and they are in the lowest level of the Hellfire.

Secondly: man possesses a strain of hypocrisy and disbelief even if he possesses faith along with this, as the Prophet said in the Hadith reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim,

There are four qualities which if found in a person make him a pure hypocrite, and the one who has a port.ion of them has a portion of hypocrisy until he leaves them: when he speaks he lies, when he is en trusted ., •he betrays, when he speaks, he speak a lie, when he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous, when he quarrels, he behaves in a evil and insulting manner. [Bukhari]

So he informed us that the one who has a portion  of these then he has a portion of hypocrisy, and it is established in the
Hadith of al-Bukhari that he said to Abu Dhar,

Indeed you have displayed a trait of Jahiliyyah in you. [Bukhari]

And Abu Dhar was from the most truthful of people with respect to his faith. He said in the authentic ahadith,

Four (traits) in my Ummah are from the matters of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance): boasting about noble descent, abusing the lineage, wailing [over the dead] and seeking rain from the stars. [Sahih Muslim]

You will indeed follow the ways of those that came before you, inch by inch such that if they were to enter a lizard hole, you too would do so. They asked, 'Do you mean the Jews and Christians?' He replied, 'Who else?' [Bukhari, Ahmad, Muslim]

What the early nations took to shall also be taken to by my nation, cubit by cubit and hand span by hand span. They said, 'Do you mean the Persians and the Romans.' To which he replied, 'Who else from amongst the people could it be.' [Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqim]

Ibn Abi Mulaykah said,

I met thirty of the Companions of Muhammad all of them fearing hypocrisy for themselves. [Bukhari and Muslim]

And from Ali or Hudhayfah - that he said,

The heart are of four types: the clear heart that is illuminated by a torch, this is the heart of the believer. The encased heart - this is the heart of the disbeliever, the inverted heart - this is the heart of the hypocrite, and the heart that has two attractions, a time when it is called to faith, and a time when it is called to hypocrisy - these are a people that have mixed good actions with evil ones.

So when this is understood, it becomes known that every servant benefits from what Allah mentioned concerning faith; either extolling the branches of faith or censuring the branches of disbelief.

The case mentioned above is similar to what some of them ask concerning His saying,

Guide us to the Straight Path. [Surah al-Fatihah (1): 6]

saying: 'Allah has already guided the believer, so what benefit is there in seeking guidance?' Then some of them reply by saying that the meaning is 'keep us firm upon guidance' as the Arab would say to the one who is asleep, 'sleep until I come to you.' Others from amongst them say that the meaning is, 'keep our hearts firm upon the guidance' and that the request for firmness has been omitted. Yet others from amongst them say that it means, 'increase me in guidance.'

This question really occurs due to the absence of their contemplating upon the Straight Path to which the servant seeks guidance to, for the meaning [of the verse] is [seeking guidance to] act according to what Allah ordered, and leave what He forbade in all matters.

The heart that is alive and enlightened hears, sees and understands due to the light that it contains, while the dead heart does not hear, see or understand.

Allah, the Exalted said,

The example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears. nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. [Surah al-Baqarah (2) : 171]

And among them are some who listen to you, but can you make the deaf hear, even though they comprehend not? And among them are
some who look at you, but can you guide the blind, even though they see not? [Surah Yunus (10) : 42-43]

And of them are some who listen to you; but We have set veils on their hearts, so they understand it not; and deafness in their ears; if they see every one of the signs they will not believe therein, to the point that when they come to argue with you, the disbelievers say: 'These are nothing but tales of the men of old.' [Surah al-Anam (6) : 25]

So He informed us that their hearts cannot understand, and their eats cannot heat, and they do not believe in what they have seen of the Fire as He informed us about them when He said,

And they say: 'Our hearts ate under coverings from that which you invite us to, and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen.' [Surah Fussilat (41) : 5]

So they mentioned the barriers upon their hearts, ears and eyes. Their bodies are alive - hearing and seeing, but this is a life of the body devoid of life in the heart - like the life of an animal for the animals possess hearing and seeing and eat and drink and marry.

This is why Allah said,

The example of those who disbelieve; is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. [Surah al-Baqarah (2) : 171]

Likening them to the cattle, at whom the shepherd shouts, and they hear nothing except the cry (not understanding what is said), as He said in other verses,

Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle ... nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. [Surah al-Furqan (25) : 44]

And indeed We have created many of the jinn and Mankind for Hell. They have hearts where with they understand not, they have eyes where with they hear not. They are like cattle - nay even more astray... [Surah al-Araf (7) : 179]

A group of the commentators, when referring to these verses and those that resembled them such as the verse,

And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he has never invoked Us for a harm that touched him!
[Surah Yunus (10) : 12]

Regarding these and other such verses that mention the faults of man and their condemnation; (the commentators) said,

These verses refer to the disbelievers, and that the meaning of 'man' here is "the disbelievers..'

So the one who hears this explanation is left thinking that one who openly manifests Islam is not included in this condemnation and threat, rather his thoughts link (these verses) to those who openly manifested shirk from amongst the Arabs, or to those he knows to have openly shown disbelief such as the Jews; the Christians and the polytheists of Turkey and India - and hence he would not benefit from these verses that Allah revealed so that His servants may be guided.

So it is said in reply that firstly: those that openly manifest Islam include amongst them the believer and hypocrite, and the hypocrites are. many in all periods of time and they are in the lowest level of the Hellfire.

Secondly: man possesses a strain of hypocrisy and disbelief even if he possesses faith along with this, as the Prophet said in the Hadith reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim,

There are four qualities which if found in a person make him a pure hypocrite, and the one who has a port.ion of them has a portion of hypocrisy until he leaves them: when he speaks he lies, when he is entrusted ., •he betrays, when he speaks, he speak a lie, when he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous, when he quarrels, he behaves in a evil and insulting manner. [Bukhari]

So he informed us that the one who has a portion  of these then he has a portion of hypocrisy, and it is established in the
Hadith of al-Bukhari that he said to Abu Dhar,

Indeed you have displayed a trait of Jahiliyyah in you. [Bukhari]

And Abu Dhar was from the most truthful of people with respect to his faith. He said in the authentic ahadith,

Four (traits) in my Ummah are from the matters of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance): boasting about noble descent, abusing the lineage, wailing [over the dead] and seeking rain from the stars. [Sahih Muslim]

You will indeed follow the ways of those that came before you, inch by inch such that if they were to enter a lizard hole, you too would do so. They asked, 'Do you mean the Jews and Christians?' He replied, 'Who else?' [Bukhari, Ahmad, Muslim]

What the early nations took to shall also be taken to by my nation, cubit by cubit and hand span by hand span. They said, 'Do you mean the Persians and the Romans.' To which he replied, 'Who else from amongst the people could it be.' [Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqim]

Ibn Abi Mulaykah said,

I met thirty of the Companions of Muhammad all of them fearing hypocrisy for themselves. [Bukhari and Muslim]

And from Ali or Hudhayfah - that he said,

The heart are of four types: the clear heart that is illuminated by a torch, this is the heart of the believer. The encased heart - this is the heart of the disbeliever, the inverted heart - this is the heart of the hypocrite, and the heart that has two attractions, a time when it is called to faith, and a time when it is called to hypocrisy - these are a people that have mixed good actions with evil ones.

So when this is understood, it becomes known that every servant benefits from what Allah mentioned concerning faith; either extolling the branches of faith or censuring the branches of disbelief.

The case mentioned above is similar to what some of them ask concerning His saying,

Guide us to the Straight Path. [Surah al-Fatihah (1): 6]

saying: 'Allah has already guided the believer, so what benefit is there in seeking guidance?' Then some of them reply by saying that the meaning is 'keep us firm upon guidance' as the Arab would say to the one who is asleep, 'sleep until I come to you.' Others from amongst them say that the meaning is, 'keep our hearts firm upon the guidance' and that the request for firmness has been omitted. Yet others from amongst them say that it means, 'increase me in guidance.'

This question really occurs due to the absence of their contemplating upon the Straight Path to which the servant seeks guidance to, for the meaning [of the verse] is [seeking guidance to] act according to what Allah ordered, and leave what He forbade in all matters.