Polishing the hearts
Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Al-Bayhaqee relates from Ibn 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu that Allaah's Messenger
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance)
of Allaah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allaah than the dhikr of Allaah." It
was said: Not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah. So he replied: "Not even if you were to continue striking with your sword
until it breaks."5
There is no doubt that hearts becomes rusty just as copper and silver coins become
rusty. The polish for [this rust] is the dhikr of Allaah. This is because [dhikr] is like a polish [which polishes the heart]
like a shiny mirror. When dhikr is left, the rust returns. But when dhikr resumes, then the heart is [again] polished. And
hearts become rusty due to two things:- [i] neglecting remembering Allaah, and [ii] committing sins. The polish for these
two things is:- [i] seeking Allaah's forgiveness and [ii] dhikr.
[CONFUSING TRUTH WITH FALSEHOOD] Whoever neglects [remembering
Allaah] most of the time, then his heart will become rusty in accordance with how neglectful the person is. And when this
[filthy] rust accumulates on the heart, then it no longer recognises things as they really are. Thus, it views falsehood as
if it is the truth, and truth as if it is falsehood. This is because this rust darkens and confuses the heart's perception,
and so it is unable to truly recognise things for what they really are. So as the rust accumulates, the heart gets blackened,
and as this happens the heart becomes stained with this filthy rust, and when this occurs it corrupts the heart's perception
and recognition of things. The heart [then] does not accept the truth nor does it reject falsehood, and this is the greatest
calamity that can strike the heart. Being neglectful [of dhikr] and following of whims and desires is a direct consequence
of such a heart, which [further] extinguish the heart's light and blinds its vision. Allaah - the Most High - said:
"And do not obey him whose heart We have made to be neglectful
of Our remembrance, one who follows his own whims and desires and whose affairs are furat [have gone beyond bounds and whose
deeds have been lost]." [Soorah al-Kahf 18:28].
Allaah - the Most High - said:
"O you who believe! Remember Allaah and remember Him alot."
[Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:41].
"Those men and women who remember Allaah alot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab
"So when you have finished the rights of your Pilgrimage, then
remember Allaah as you remember your fore-father, or with more intense remembrance." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:200].
These verses contain a command to remember Allaah intensely and abundantly, since
the worshipper is in dire need of [remembering Allaah] and cannot do without it even for a twinkling of an eye. This is because
every moment that a person does not spend in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah will not be of any benefit to him. Rather,
the harm entailed in being neglectful of the dhikr of Allaah is far greater than any benefits that can be gained. One of the
'aarifeen (those who are knowledgeable about Allaah) said: "lf a person were to spend such and such number of years engaged
[in the dhikr of Allaah], then he turns away from it for just a moment, what he will lose is far greater than whatever he
has already gained."
Al-Bayhaqee relates from 'Aaishah radiallaahu 'anhaa that the Prophet sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam said: "There is no time in which the son of Aadam does not remember Allaah in it, except that it will
be a source of regret for him on the Day of Judgement."2
Mu'aadh ibn Jabal radiallaahu 'anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam said: "The people of Paradise will not have any regrets except for those moments in which they were not engaged
in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah."3
Mu'aadh ibn Jabal also relates that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam was asked: What action is the most beloved to Allaah? So he replied: "That you continue to keep your tongue moist
with the dhikr of Allaah, until you die."4
[POLISHING THE HEART]
Abu Dardaa radiallaahu 'anhu said:
"For everything there is a polish and the polish for the heart is the dhikr of Allaah."