Inclining Hearts

Sunday 31/10/2010
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Dear brothers and sisters in faith,

Listen with me to the supplications of Ibraaheem Al-Khaleel (the close friend of Allah The Almighty), may Allah exalt his mention, when he was entreating The Almighty saying: {Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. * Our Lord, indeed You know what we conceal and what we declare, and nothing is hidden from Allah on the earth or in the heaven.}[Quran 14:37, 38]
Have you noticed anything? He said, “make hearts”, which implies that it is a journey of the heart, not the body. It is a journey of inclining hearts and longing souls attracted to the House of the Beloved One.
Ibn Al-Jawzi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “You should know that the way leading to Allah The Almighty is not covered on foot, but by hearts.” [Sayd Al-Khaatir]
He also said,
One may perform the obligatory Hajj once, and then perform it again against the will of his parents, which is wrong. Some people may even perform Hajj while they are indebted or have oppressed others. Others may go to entertain themselves or use ill-gained money to perform Hajj. Some pilgrims like the people to receive them upon their return and call them “pilgrims”. However, the majority of such people do not observe obligatory religious duties during the Hajj journey such as prayer and purification. They finally gather around the Ka‘bah with impure hearts and filthy souls, while Satan tempts them by the mirage of the image of Hajj into forgetting the fact that Hajj is a spiritual and heart-related journey, not a physical one. Of course, this requires achievement and observance of piety and uprightness. That is because many people go to Makkah to increase the number of times they performed Hajj and pride themselves saying that they have performed Hajj twenty times or so, forgetting that many of those who stay in the Holy Mosque for their whole life have not started to clean their hearts and souls. [Naqd Al-‘Ilm wal-‘Ulamaa’]
Do you understand why we would all be considered to have performed Hajj this year by the will of Allah The Almighty? It is because the intention is to perform Hajj with our hearts not bodies. How many pilgrims were rejected and how many people received the reward due to their sincere intention even though they have not performed Hajj due to valid excuses. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “There are people whom we left behind in Al-Madeenah who accompanied us in spirit in every pass and valley we crossed. They remained behind for a valid excuse.” [Al-Bukhari]
Dear pilgrim and excused Muslim, how will your heart incline and long for the Lord?
There is no doubt that the first step is repentance that purifies the heart. So, ask frequently for forgiveness, renew your repentance, and ask Allah The Almighty to wash away your faults, guide your heart, and remove the darkness from your chest.
Feel the great reward of guidance to repentance and its acceptance, which is the highest rank in worship.
Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful.}[Quran 9:117]
Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Zaad Al-Ma‘aad,
This is one of the best evidences of the great status of repentance and its rank in the sight of Allah The Almighty, Who granted the Muhaajreen (Emigrants) and the Ansaar (Helpers) this perfect status following their last Ghazwah (battle) with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) after they had sacrificed their souls, properties and houses for the sake of Allah The Almighty. After all of this, their ultimate reward was that Allah The Almighty forgave them and accepted their repentance. That is why the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) told Ka’b ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the day of his repentance is the best day he has ever witnessed since his birth.
Contemplate the Quranic Aayahs (verses) in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Ibraaheem (Abraham) the site of the House, [Saying], "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate.} [Quran 22:26] This is a purified house and only those who are pure should enter it: {Its [true] guardians are not but the righteous, but most of them do not know.}[Quran 81:34]
Things to do:
1-   Sit alone and ask yourself, “Have I discovered my faults and mistakes since the beginning of Ramadan until now?” Write down on a piece of paper one or two of your faults and then work hard during this month to correct them in every possible way. Get rid of the chattering of the tongue, turning away from your Lord, haughtiness, ostentation, love for praise, and so on..
Be sincere in your efforts to get rid of your faults throughsupplication, asking for forgiveness and work.
2-   Ask your Lord for forgiveness more frequently during this period in order to be purified.
3-   Remember a misdeed may doom you to Hell if you meet Allah The Almighty without repenting from it sincerely. Can you remember that? Yes, yes… it is that one, which makes your heart bleed and your eyes shed tears.
Use this sin to tame your soul and renew your repentance.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Prepare yourselves, because the time has come for souls to travel to the Lord, and the journey will start by entering into a state of heart-related Ihraam (sacral state).
Contemplate on what has passed and prepare for what is to come.
Remember the things that you will prohibit your hearts from, starting this very moment.
O Allah, do not deprive us from visiting your Holy House and enable us to perform Hajj this year. However, if an excuse prevents us, then do not deprive us from the reward.


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