Weakness of Iman Phenomenon

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1980

All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek his aid. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him, is His servant, and His Messenger.

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  {O you who believe! Fear Allâh (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islâm [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allâh)]} [Al-‘Imran 3:102]

  {O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwâ (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All-Watcher over you} [Al-Nisa’ 4:1]

  {O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (peace be upon him), he has indeed achieved a great achievement (ie. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise)} [Al-Ahzab 33:70-71]

The phenomenon of weakness of belief had been spread among Muslims. Many Muslims complain the hardness of their hearts and say: “I feel hardness in my heart,” “I do not feel the sweetness of performing the acts of worship,” “I feel that my belief had gotten down to the lowest level,” “I do not feel touched by the Holy Qur’an” or “I easily commit sins.” Moreover, the symptoms of this disease clearly appear on many people. Actually this disease is the origin of each disaster and the reason of all defaults and hardships.

The issue of the hearts is a very important issue. Heart in Arabic is (Qalb); it is driven from the word (Taqalub) which means ‘inconstancy.’ The Prophet (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) said:

 “ “The Qalb (heart) had been called so because its inconstancy. The heart is like a feather hanged on a tree where the wind flips it side to side” [Reported by Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

Another narration says

 “ “The heart (in its inconstancy) is like a feather in a desert where the wind turns it upside down” [Reported by Ibn Abu ‘Asem]

The heart is very inconstant as the Prophet, Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him, described it:

 “ “The heart of son of Adam is more inconstant than water in a pot when it reaches boiling point” [Authenticated by Al-Albani] (Narrated in the shades of Paradise book).

Another narration:

 “ “….is severely inconstant than water in a pot that reaches boiling point.” [Reported by Ahmad]

Allah Almighty is The One Who turns the hearts and directs them. Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) as saying:

 “ “Verily, the hearts of all the children of Adam are between two fingers of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns it the way (direction) He likes.”

Then Allah’s Messenger (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) said:

 “ “O Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience” [Narrate by Muslim]

  {And know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything)} [Al-Anfal 8:25]

  And on the Day of Judgment none will be saved {except him who brings to Allâh a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifâq (hypocrisy)]} [Ash-Shu’araa 26:89]

  And that {woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allâh!} [Az-Zumar 39:22]

  and the promise of paradise is for {who feared the Most Gracious (Allâh) in the Ghaib (Unseen) and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him and absolutely free from each and every kind of polytheism)} [Qaf 50:33]

Therefore, the true believer has to check his heart and know where its diseases are, and then starts to cure it before it is too late. This is a very crucial and dangerous issue; Allah has warned us from the hard heart, the closed heart, the sick heart, the blind heart, the swathed heart, the deteriorating heart, and the heart that had been sealed upon it.

Here we will try to know the symptoms of the weakness of faith disease and its reasons. I invoke Allah Almighty to give me, and my Muslim brothers, the benefits of this work. And I invoke Him Almighty to generously reward whoever contributes in spreading it. It is He Whom we ask to make our hearts tender and guides us, indeed He is the Most Exalted Lord, and He (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.

First: the symptoms of the weakness of belief

The symptoms of the weakness of belief are numerous. They include the following:

1- Committing sins: some sinners commit one sin but insist to repeat it. Others commit different sins. In both cases frequent committing of sins make them common habits and gradually eliminates the sense of their ignominious from the heart. Then the sinner commits his sins openly or discloses them. The Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said:

 “ “All my nation are exempted (not taken accountable of sins) except those of the Mujahirin (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

2- Feeling hardness and toughness in the heart: the person may go to the degree of feeling that his heart had become hard like a non-permeable stone, feels nothing. Allah Almighty says:loving

  {Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness} [Al-Baqarah 2:74]

Who has hard heart does not feel touched by death or funerals. He might carry the dead person and bury him by his own hands while feeling nothing. He might walk between the graves like his walking between stones.

3- Not performing the acts of worship well: this could take the form of not concentrating during performing the prayers, reciting the Holy Qur’an, invoking, or any other act of worship. It also may take the form of being inattentive during remembering Allah, and saying the Adhkar (invocations) without pondering; the person would recite them monotonously (if he said them). If he accustomed to invoke Allah by some prayer the Sunnah of the Prophet (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) guided us to say it, he would say it without contemplating.

 “ “Allah Almighty does not accept the prayer (supplication) from inattentive and heedless heart” [Reported by Al-Tirmidhi]

4- Being Lazy and not performing the acts of worship, moreover neglecting it: if he performed the acts of worship he would be lazy in performing them, and would make them with no spirit. Allah Almighty has described the hypocrites by saying:

  {And when they stand up for As-Salât (the prayer), they stand with laziness} [An-Nisa 4:142]

This includes not caring for missing the seasons of good and the times of worship, which refers to not caring for gaining the reward. He may not go for Hajj while having the ability to perform it, or do not participate in Jihad, or miss the congregational prayers till he misses Friday’s prayer. The Prophet Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him said:

 “ “There will still be people coming for the first row till Allah let them be late till they are stayed in the hellfire” [Reported by Abu-Dawud, Authenticated by Al-Albani in “Sahih At-Targheeb”]

Such a person does not feel guilt for sleeping and missing the obligatory prayer. Moreover, if he missed mandatory act of worship or daily supererogatory act of worship, he would not desire compensating it. Also, he would attentively neglect doing the supererogatory acts of worship or the acts that are not obligatory upon every individual; such as the Eid (holiday) (Some scholars carry the opinion that Al Eid prayer is obligatory) prayer, the prayer of solar eclipse or lunar eclipse, or attending the funerals and performing the funeral prayer. He is not willing to have the reward; he is the opposite of those that are described in Allah’s saying:

  {Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us} [Al- Anbiya 21:90]

Other forms of laziness in performing acts of worship, observing Al Sunan al Rawatib (supererogatory prayers associated with the daily obligatory prayers) voluntary night prayer, going early to the Masjid and the rest of supererogatory prayers, not even thinking of the forenoon prayer, two Rak’as of repentance and Istikhara prayer.

5- Suffering from bad mood and chest constriction: He would feel that there are heavy burdens over his chest; therefore, any trivial thing could make him get nervous quickly, and he would easily get nervous because of people’s behavior, and would lose tolerance. The Prophet Prayers and Peace be upon him described belief by saying:

  “Faith, is patience and tolerance”

And he (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) described the believer by saying

 “ “He gets accustomed with people and people get accustomed with him. There is no good in a person who does not get accustomed with people and people get accustomed with” [the authentic chain]

6- Does not feel touched by the Holy Quran: He would not feel touched by hearing the verses of promise, threat, order, prohibition or the verses that describe the Day of Judgment. Whoever suffers from the weakness of belief feels boredom when he hears the Holy Quran and do not afford continuing reading it; whenever he opens the Holy book he wants to close it.

7- Forgetting Allah Almighty by forgetting remembering and invoking Him: he would feel that remembering Allah is something difficult, and whenever he raises his hands to invoke Allah he gets them down quickly. Allah almighty described the hypocrites by saying:

  {and they do not remember Allâh but little} [An-Nisa 4:142]

8- Not feeling angry for violating Allah’s orders: this is because the light of ardency had faded in his heart and this consequently led to not enjoining the good, forbidding the evil or feeling angry for the sake of Allah Almighty. The Prophet Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him described such heart by saying:

 “ “Temptations will be presented to men’s hearts as reed mat is woven stick by stick and any heart which is impregnated by them i.e. entered it completely, “will have a black mark put into it” ” [Narrated by Muslim]

Until it ends up the way the Messenger of Allah, (Allah’s Prayers and peace be upon him) described in the end of the Hadith

 “ “…turbid black, with some whiteness that’s overtaken by black, like a flipped Jug inclined downwards, doesn’t recognize good nor renounce evil, except for what it socked of its vain desires.” [Reported by Muslim]

Such a person has lost loving the good and hating the evil; they became the same in his eyes. Hence, what would make him want to enjoin the good and forbid the evil?! Moreover, he might hear about the occurrence of something prohibited and be satisfied with it, hence he would gain punishment equal to the punishment of the person who attended that evil deed and approved it. The Prophet (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) said:

 “ “When the evil deed is done in the land, whoever attends its occurrence and renounces it (or disapproves it), would be like the one who did not attend it. And whoever dose not attend it but be satisfied with it, he would be like the one who attended it” [Reported by Abu Dawud, Sahih Al-Jame’]

Although the satisfaction is something in the heart, it made the punishment of the satisfied person (who did not see the evil deed) is equal to the punishment of the person who attended it.

9- Loving fame: This has many shapes and the following are some of them.

Loving having the authority and not weighing its responsibilities and danger. This is what the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) warned Muslims from it in his saying:

 “ “You people will be keen to have the authority of ruling, which will be a thing of regret for you on the Day of Resurrection. What an excellent wet nurse it is, yet what a bad weaning one it is!” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

He meant by ‘the excellent wet nurse’ its beginning, because the beginning is accompanied by the wealth, honor and luxuries. And he meant by ‘the bad weaning’ its end because the end is accompanied by murder, discharge or death and reckoning in the Day of Judgment. He (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) Also said:

 “ “If you wanted me to tell you about the reality of authority and its fact, I would say ‘its beginning is reproach, its middle is regret, and its end is torment in the Day of Judgment except for the just ruler” [Reported by Al-Albani in the abbreviated authentic chain and Sahih At-Targheeb we At-Tarheeb]

If seeking the authority was for the sake of bearing the responsibility where there is no one else to bear it better than the seeker (i.e. what has happened with prophet Yusuf peace be upon him) it would be very pleasant; however, in most cases it is just desire to take authority and overstep who has the priority to take it and seize the rights of people to control the process of decision making.

Loving having prominent position in each gathering, talking all the time, enforcing the others to listen and seizing the process of decision making. Such prominent positions are the altars that the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) warned us from in his saying:

 “ “Fear these altars” [Reported by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jame’]

Loving having people stand up for him when he is received by them to satisfy the pride of his sick self. The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him) said:

 “ “Whoever likes people to stand up for him let him prepare himself, for his house in hellfire” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Al’adab el-Mofrad]

Therefore, when Mu’awia got out to Ibn Az-Zubair and Ibn ‘Amer, Ibn ‘Amer stood up and Ibn Az-Zubair (who was the most rational of both of them) remained in his position. Hence Mu’awia said to Ibn ‘Amer:

 “ “Sit down because I heard the Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him: ‘Whoever likes people to stand up for him let him prepare himself for his seat in the hellfire’” [Narrated by Abu-Dawud & authenticated by Al-Albani]

These kind of people may get angry if the Sunnah of the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, is practiced and the attendants were transacted in order from the right to the left. When such sick person gets in a gathering, he may make someone get up from his seat in order to sit there; although the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “A man should not make another man get up from his (the latter’s) seat (in a gathering) in order to sit there” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

10- Stinginess and miserliness: Allah Almighty has praised Al-Ansar (the people of Al-Medina) in the Holy Quran by saying:

  {And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given (from the booty of Banû An-Nadîr), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own stinginess, such are they who will be the successful} [Al-Hashr 59:9]

He Almighty declared that the successful are those who are saved from their own stinginess. Surly the weakness of belief causes stinginess; the Prophet peace be upon him said:

 “ “Faith and stinginess never come together in a slave’s (servant of Allah) heart” [Narrated by An-Nisa’y and authenticated by Al-Albani]

As for the danger of stinginess and its effect on the self, it has been manifested by the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said in his saying:

 “ “Beware of stinginess, those who were before you had been perished because of stinginess. It ordered them to be stingy, so they became stingy. And it ordered them to rupture the bond of kinship, so they ruptured it. And it ordered them to lead a dissolute life, so they did” [Narrated by Abu-Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani]

The Muslim whose faith is weak rarely gives charity, even if his Muslim brothers were in urgent need to it. The most considerable saying in this subject is the saying of Allah Who says:

  {Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allâh, yet among you are some who are niggardly. And whoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his ownself. But Allâh is Rich (Free of all needs), and you (mankind) are poor. And if you turn away (from Islâm and the obedience to Allâh), He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes} [Muhammad 47:38]

11- Saying that which he does not do: Allah Almighty says:

  {O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allâh that you say that which you do not do} [As-Saff 61:2-3]

Surely, this is a kind of hypocrisy. Whoever says that which he does not do, Allah would hate him, and people would hate him too. In the Day of Judgment, the people of the hellfire will discover the reality of those who enjoin the good but do not do it, and forbid the evil but commit it.

12- Feeling joy and pleasure for Muslims’ failure, loss, calamity or loss of grace: he would feel pleasure because others lost a grace and lost the thing that made them better than him.

13- Looking at the issues from the perspective of prohibition only, and overlooking the acts that are disliked in the eyes of the Sharia: some people do not ask for the good and the best when wanting to do something; rather they say: “Is this action prohibited?” or “Is it prohibited or just detested?” such a perspective of looking at things may lead to falling in the trap of the disliked acts and the acts that scholars differed about them. This would consequently lead to falling in what is prohibited. The one who adopt this criterion does not mind doing anything as long as it is not clearly prohibited. This is what the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) talked about when he said:

 “ “Whoever commits doubtful matters (i.e. the actions that there are doubt whether it is lawful or prohibited) will fall in sins; like the shepherd who grazes beside the borders (of private property) and he is likely to enter it” [Agreed upon, the narration is for Muslim]

Moreover, there are some people who seek Fatwa about something and then say, after knowing that it is prohibited, is its prohibition grave or not?! How grave is the consequences?! Such a person does not care for avoiding the evil deeds and sins; rather he is ready to commit the minor sins and overlooking them, and underestimating the prerequisites of sins which may lead to violating the boarders that had been set by Allah and eliminating all the curtains that are between him and the sins. That is why the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “I know people of my Ummah (nation) would come on the Day of Judgment with white good deeds like the mountains of Tihamma, then Allah Almighty would make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.” Thawban said: “O Messenger of Allah, describe those people and make them clear to us lest we are among them and do not know that.”

The Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said

 “ “They are your brothers, living among you and pray at night as you do; however, when they are alone with prohibited acts (where no one can see them except Allah) they commit them.” [Reported by Ibn Majah and by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jame’]

Such a person commits what is prohibited without any hesitation; he is worse than the one who commits the prohibited act after hesitation. Although they both are in danger, the first one is worse than the second. Such a person takes the sins easy, because of the weakness of his faith, and do not think that he did a detested thing. That is why Ibn Mas’ud describes the believer and the hypocrite by saying:

  “The believer looks at his sins as if it were a mountain he is sitting beside it and he is afraid lest it may fall over him; however, the sinful sees his sins as fly passed by his nose and he pushed it away” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

14- Despising the good deeds and not caring for the simple merits: the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) taught us not to be like this. Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated on the authority of Abu Jary Al-Hujaimy that he came to the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) and said to him:

 “ “O Messenger of Allah, we are Bedouin people, so teach us something may Allah Almighty give us benefits because of it.”

So, the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said:

 “ “Never despise a good deed even if it were just pouring some water from your bucket in the bucket of the person who wants water or talking to your brother with a smiley face” [Reported by Ahmad and in the authentic chain by Al-Albani]

Hence, if someone came to take water from a well after you had taken water from it, and you gave him water from your bucket, you should not degrade such deed although it looks simple. The same is applied to meeting your Muslim brother with a smiling face and removing the filth and garbage from the Masjid even if it was just a straw. Such a deed could be reason for forgiving the sins and Allah rewards His servant for these deeds by forgiving his sins. Did you not know that the Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said:

 “ “A person while walking along the path saw a branch of a tree lying there. He said: By Allah, I shall remove this it does not harm the Muslims, and he was admitted to Paradise” [Reported by Muslim]

The self that despise the simple good deeds suffers from some defect. It is sufficient to know that the punishment of despising the simple good deeds is to be prohibited from great advantage the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, talked about it in his saying:

 “ “Whoever removes anything troublesome from the path of the Muslims, a good deed will be recorded for him, and whoever his deed is accepted will be admitted to paradise” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

Mu’ath (may Allah be pleased with him) was walking in the street with a man, and then Mu’ath removed a stone from the path. The man inquiring “What is that?”. He replied, “I heard the Messenger of Allah Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him say:

 “ “Whoever removes a stone from the road a good deed will be recorded for him, and whoever his deed is accepted will be admitted to paradise” Mu’ath replied.” [Reported by At-Tabarany]

15- Not caring for the Muslim affairs or interacting with them by invocation, support or charity: he is cold towards the oppression and the calamities that face his Muslim brothers round the world by their oppressing enemies and natural disasters. He is sufficient with his own well-being, which is a result in weakness of faith. However, the true believer is not like that. The Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said:

 “ “The believer to the believers is like the head to the body, He feels pain for the believers like the pain felt by the body for the head.” [Reported Ahmad]

16- Cutting the brother hood bonds between brothers in faith: the Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said:

 “ “No two persons have Mutual love for the sake of Allah Almighty (or for the sake of Islam) would be parted from each other except for an evil deed (in other narration “Only the sin that has parted them”) one of them commits.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Ahmad]

This is an evidence for the misfortune of the evil deed; it would endanger the bonds of brotherhood and cutting it. The loneliness that the person may feel toward his brothers is because of the weakness of faith resulted from committing sins. Allah Almighty degrades the sinner in the hearts of His servants; so, he lives between them the worst life with no grace or dignity. Moreover, he misses the company of the believers and Allah’s protection; Truly, Allah defends those who believe.

17- Not feeling the responsibility of working for this religion: he does not work for propagating it or serving it. He is the contrary of the companions of the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, who felt responsibility just after accepting Islam. This is Al-Tufail Ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him); how much time was between his acceptance to Islam and his going to his people to call them for Allah Almighty?! He promptly went to call his people. Once he accepted Islam; he felt that he should go back to his people. Therefore, he returned to his people as a caller to Allah Almighty. Nowadays, many people take a long time between their adhering with religion and reaching the level of calling to Allah Almighty.

The companions of the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, used to observe the consequences of accepting Islam. When Thumama Ibn Athal (the chief of the people of Al-Yamama) had been captured and tied up in the Masjid and the Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him offered him to accept Islam; Allah has thrown the light in his heart. Hence, he accepted Islam and went to perform ‘Umra (lesser pilgrimage). When he arrived to Mecca, he said to the infidels of Quraish:

  “No single seed of wheat would come to you from Al-Yamama before having permission from the messenger of Allah Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

Once he accepted Islam; he promptly cut relations with the infidels, imposed economical siege over them and provided all the available facilities for calling for Allah, because his true belief made such actions necessary.

18- Feeling panic and fear when facing a calamity or disaster: you would see him trembled, confused and disconcerted. A confused individual he is, when he faces a calamity or an ordeal, seeing all the paths closed and overwhelmed with worries, thus cannot face reality with a rational mind nor a strong heart. This is a result of the weakness of his faith. If he had a strong faith, he would be firm and face the gravest calamities and worst catastrophes with firmness and steadiness.

19- Dispute and argue that hardens the heart: the Prophet Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said:

 “ “No people had gone astray after being guided but because of arguing” [Reported by Ahmad and Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

Arguing with no sound proof or intention leads to going astray from the straight path. How many people dispute today without knowledge or guidance, or a Book giving light (from Allah)! A sufficient reason for deserting this evil habit to know that the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said:

 “ “I am the chief of a house in the middle of paradise for whoever deserts the arguing even if he is right” [Narrated by Abu-Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani]

20- Loving the worldly life, adhering to it and feeling attached to it: a person’s heart would feel attached to this worldly life to the degree of feeling pain for missing some of its benefits such as money, authority, power and accommodation. He would think that he is overwhelmed and does not have luck for not having what others have. He would feel more pain and constriction in the chest if he saw his Muslim brother gained what he did not gain of this worldly benefits; moreover, he might envy him and hope for the diminishing of this grace from his Muslim brother. This is contrary to the true belief; the Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said:

 “ “(Two things) do not come combine in the heart of a servant; (true) belief and envy” [Narrated by An-Nisa’y and Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

21- His speech and manners will take the intellectual way of thinking, lacking the fiducial character: Therefore you might not find in his speech any imprint of a text from the Holy Quran or Sunna or the sayings of the righteous forefathers, may Allah mercy them.

22- Giving great attention to self-care: he would exaggerate in caring for his food, drinking, clothing, housing, and riding. He would give great attention to luxury; do his best to make his clothes neat, spending time and money in decorating the house, although they are not necessary and many of his Muslim brothers are in urgent need to this money. He would do all of these things to get drown in the detested luxury. It is narrated on the authority of Mu’ath Ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) that when the prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) sent him to Yemen and recommended him, he said:

 “ “Beware of leading a life of ease and comfort because the slaves of Allah are not such people” [Reported by Abu-Nu’aym, Al-Albani and Ahmad]

Second: The reasons of the weakness of faith

There are many reasons for the weakness of faith. Some of these reasons are same as the symptoms (i.e. committing sins, loving the worldly life and adhering to it). The following are some reasons in addition to the above mentioned:

1- Neglecting the fiducial atmosphere for long time: This is a major reason for the weakness of faith. Allah Almighty 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, lest they become as those who received the Scripture [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, the disobedient to Allâh)} [Al-Hadid 57:16]

This verse demonstrates the state of being away from the fiducial atmosphere which is a reason for the weakness of faith in the heart (i.e. the person who departs from his Muslim brothers for long time, because of travel or having a job or the like, would miss the atmosphere of faith that he used to live in and obtain from it the strength of his heart). The true believer has little power alone and has greater power when he is in the company of his brothers. Al-Hassan Al-Basry (may Allah almighty mercy him) said:

  “Our brothers are dearer to us than our family, because our families remind us with this worldly life while our brothers remind us with the hereafter.”

If the period of being away of the fiducially atmosphere extends, leads to loneliness of the heart that later turns to repulsion from this atmosphere, all this results in the darkness and hardness of the heart fading out the light in it. This explains the reason of some people’s relapse in the holidays that they travel during them, or after their change of residence for the purpose of work or study.

2- Turning away from the good example: Whoever takes knowledge from righteous person, that combines the beneficial knowledge with the good work, strong belief and provides his fellows with his knowledge, manners and virtues, would feel hardness in the heart if he deserted the righteous person for a period of time. When the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) died and was buried, the companions said:

  “We censured our hearts,”

and they felt loneliness because of the death of the teacher and the good example (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him). In some narrations they described themselves as,

  “The sheep cattle in the winter rainy night”.

However he (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) left behind him peaks every one of them has the ability to bear the caliphate, and they became good examples for each other. On the other hand, the Muslim of today needs a good example close to him.

3- Neglecting studying Sharia knowledge, going back to the books of the righteous forefathers and the books that revive the heart: There are books the reader feels that it vitalizes the faith in his heart. The Book of Allah is the first of these books then the books of the Hadeeth, then the books of the heart-milting (riqaq) which were written by pioneer scholars know how to present the creed in a way that revitalizes the heart (i.e. the books of Ibn Al-Qayim, Ibn Rajab and others). Neglecting these books along with reading the intellectual books only, or the books of the pure rules, or the books of the language and the fundamentals, may lead to the hardness of the heart. This is not dispraise to such books; rather it is warning for whoever deserts reading the books of Tafsir (exegesis) and Hadeeth. You may find such person does not read in them although they are the books that connect the heart with Allah Almighty. For example, when you read in the two Saheehs, you feel that you live in the era of the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) with the companions and expose one’s self to the breezes of faith from their biographies, examples and the events that occurred in their era. The People of Hadeeth are the folks of the Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, while they didn’t accompany him, but they accompanied his words.

The effects of this reason (Neglecting books that nourishes faith) is clear on those who study topic that have no relation with the Islam; such as philosophy, sociology and other branches of knowledge that had been compiled away from Islam. The same can be observed on whoever likes to read science fiction and love stories along with those who like to follow up the unbeneficial news in the papers, magazines and autobiographies.

4- Living in a bad atmosphere where the sins are everywhere: In such atmosphere, you would find someone boasts of a sin he had committed, second one intonates a song, third one smokes a cigarette, fourth one leafs a rakish magazine, fifth one curses and reviles … etc. as for the backbiting and matches news they are very widespread.

Some surroundings remind only with this worldly life. This is like many settings and offices where the priority is for talking about trade, job, money, investment, work problems, bonuses, promotions, deputations … etc.

As for the houses, there is much to say that could be scripted. There are a lot of the atrocious acts that make the Muslim feels shame and break his heart. There you may find rakish songs, vile movies and prohibited free mixing between men and women. Such environments surly make the hearts sick and hard without doubt.

5- Hyperbole in the worldly affairs till the heart becomes its slave: The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says:

 “ “Misery to the slave of Dinar, Misery to the slave of Dirham (money)” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

And he (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says:

 “ “It is sufficient for any one of you to take from this worldly life what the traveler takes for his journey” [Reported by At-Tabarany in “Al-Kabeer”, and Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

This Hadeeth means that one should take the little that is enough for achieving the goal. This phenomenon is widespread in these days where greed is common; nowadays people run behind trade, industry and partnerships. This is confirmation to the saying of the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him):

 “ “Allah Almighty has said: ‘We have revealed money for performing prayers and giving the Zakat (obligatory charity). If the son of Adam had a valley of money, he would desire having a second one. And if he had two valleys, he would desire having a third one. Nothing would fill the heart of the son of Adam but dust, then Allah would accept the repentance of whoever had repented’” [Narrated by Ahmad and Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

6- Being busy with money, wife and children: Allah almighty says:

  {And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial} [Al-Anfal 8:28]

And He almighty says:

  {Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allâh has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers) with Him} [Al-Imran 3:14]

This verse means that if loving such things (which women and children are its forepart) has priority over loving Allah and his messenger, it would be detested and such person is dispraised. On the other hand, if this love was in the frame of Sharia and facilitates worshipping Allah, he would be praised. The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “The most beloved things it me from this world are women and scent, and praying is the comfort of my eyes” [Reported by Ahmad]

Many people get driven behind wives and commit what is prohibited, and get driven behind the children and be preoccupied to the degree that takes them away from worshipping Allah Almighty. The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “The child is a reason for sadness, cowardice, ignorance and stinginess” [Narrated by At-Tabarany in “Al-Kabeer”, and Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

He meant by its being a reason for stinginess that whenever the father wants to spend for the cause of Allah, Satan would remind him with his children; so, he would say:

  “My children has the priority. I will save this money for them lest they need it after my death”

and does not become willing to spend for the cause of Allah. And he meant by his saying that it’s a reason for cowardice that whenever he wants to fight for the cause of Allah Satan will come and say to him:

  “You may be killed and the children become orphans and get lost”

So, he does not get out for Jihad. And he meant by its being a reason for ignorance hat it makes the father busy and does not have time to seek the knowledge of the Sharia. And he meant by its being a reason for sadness that he would feel sad whenever his child is sick or asks for something he cannot provide. And if he is grown up as a disobedient child, this would be the lasting and consistent solicitude.

This does not mean to desert marriage, bearing children or raising them; rather it means to beware of being busy with them the prohibited busyness.

As for the temptation of money; the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says:

 “ “There is a Fitna (temptation) for every Umma and the Fitna of my Umma is money” [Reported by At-Tirmizi and authenticated by Al-Albani]

Being occupied by gathering money could ruin the religion more than the ruin that a wolf could do in a pinfold of sheep. This is what the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) meant by his saying:

 “ “No two hungry wolves, had been sent to sheep, cause damages than a person’s care for (two things) gaining wealth and honor to his religion” [Reported by At-Tirmizi and Al-Albani in “Sahih Al-Jame’”]

That is why the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) ordered Muslims to take what is sufficient and neglect taking anything more that could occupy the person from remembering Allah. The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “It is sufficient as property (wealth owned) to have a servant and a mount (something to ride) in the cause of Allah. [Reported by Ahmad and Al-Albani]

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) warned whoever gathers money except those who gather it to spend charity. He (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “Woe to the gainers (of money), except who spends it there, there and there- pointed at the four directions -; his right, left, front and behind him” [Reported by Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani]

It means spending it in the causes of good and giving it as charity in all directions.

7- False hope of living long: Allah almighty says:

  {Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!} [Al-Hijr 15:3]

Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

  “What I fear most for you is; following the whims and the false hope of living long. As for following the whims; it repels him away from the right path. And the false hope of living long makes you forget the hereafter”(Fath Al-Bary).

Also, it is said:

  “Four are signs of unhappiness; not shedding tears, the hardness of the heart, the false hope of living long and caring much for this worldly life.”

The false hope of living long produces laziness in worship, delaying, loving this worldly life, forgetting the hereafter and heart hardness. The tenderness of the heart is a result to remembering death, grave, reward, punishment and the events of the Day of Resurrection. Allah Almighty says:

  {and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened} [Al-Hadid 57:16]

Moreover, it is said:

  “Whoever his hopes are little, his solicitudes will be so, and his heart will be lighted; because if he remembered death, he would perform more acts of worship.” (Fath Al-Bari 11/137)

8- Immoderation in eating, sleeping, awaking, talking and intimacy: the excessive eating causes dullness and laziness concerning worship and feeds the paths of Satan in the human body. It is said:

  “Whoever eats much, would drink much then sleeps much and losses great rewards.”

Talking much hardens the heart, and the excessive gatherings makes a barrier between the person and reckoning his self and taking care of what benefits it in the hereafter. Laughing much destroys the life of the heart. The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

 “ “Do not laugh much because excessive laughing kills (hardens it) the heart” [Narrated by Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani]

Also, the time that is not occupied by worshipping Allah Almighty produces a hard heart that is not affected by the deterrents of the Holy Quran or the preachment of faith.

The reasons of the weakness of belief are numerous cannot be counted easily. However, the rest of these reasons could be deduced from what have been mentioned. This is very clear to every sane person. May Allah purify our hearts and save us from the wickedness of our selves.

Footnote

Adapted from islamqa.info/en

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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