Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Giving Access to Shaytaan
We are offended by dirt, bad smells, and uncleanliness. We try our best to keep ourselves and our surroundings clean. We spend a lot of money on soaps, shampoo, facial cleansers, detergent, floor cleaner, furniture cleaner . . . and the list goes on.
But when it comes to cleaning the most important part of our being, we are neglectful. We’re lazy. We don’t want to spend our precious time away from work and studies. No wonder Shaytan gets easy access to us, making our hearts dirtier still.
How Do We Know When Our Hearts Our Dirty?
How do we know when our hearts give out a bad stench? When we spread fahshah, bad habits, evil deeds, evil speech, backbiting and lies, when our salah become void of any kind of connection with Allah, and when we find it difficult to make dhikr and dua. We move further and further away from Allah, until we lose all hope of ever returning.
Let me share with you a metaphor which I find very useful.
The Precious Ornament . . .
Imagine a very precious ornament, any ornament will do. It may be a piece of jewelry, or your favorite kind of show-piece. Whatever it is, it has to be very beautiful, precious and amazing personally to you.
Link this ornament to your heart. It is your heart, and yet it is a very beautiful ornament. Take some time and get a vivid picture of the ornament in your mind. Imagine what it looks like from different angles, its intricate design, how it feels to touch. Imagine its shine, shinier than anything you have ever seen. It’s so beautiful your eyes water by looking at it.
Imagine you come back to look at it after 24 hours. You find some dirt and dust on top of it. You clean it with a piece of cloth, very softly and tenderly. Then you polish it with some velvet. Soon it regains its beauty and its sheen. You are once again happy and content, and you leave it there and go on with your life.
Now you have become very busy. You have so much work to do that you don’t have time to relax. You haven’t had a look at your precious ornament. A week passes, and finally you get some time to go and look at it. You find that it’s become dirty. Dirtier than last time. Its lost all its shine. It looks filthy. You take a piece of cloth and get down to cleaning it. This time you find it harder to clean.
It is taking more time to scrape the dirty layer and reach to its smooth surface. You persevere. Now you can see a bit of shiny surface through the dirt layer. You keep cleaning and bit by bit you get off the layer of dirt. It’s clean now. You take some velvet and polish it until it recovers its sheen completely. Your hard work has borne fruit. Now you go back once again to your work.
Now a lot of time passes, and you have become lazy. You postpone taking care of the ornament, until a month passes. Finally you go there and look! The ornament is unrecognizable, it’s so filthy. You take a brush and start cleaning. You remove layer after layer of dirt, and still you don’t reach the shiny surface of the precious ornament. After sometime, finally you succeed in cleaning it, but it took a lot of effort.
. . . is Your Heart
Now try this imagery on your heart. Imagine that that precious ornament is your heart. The more you neglect it, the more dirt it accumulates, and the harder it becomes to remove the layers and layers of dirt and finally reach the smooth shiny surface of your heart. What is the cloth that you use to remove the dirt?
The Messenger of Allah said: Verily, when the slave (of Allah) commits a sin, a block spot appears on his heart. When he refrains from it, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart is polished clean. But if he returns, it increased until it cover his entire heart. And that is the ‘Ran’ which Allah mentioned: Nay, but on their hearts is the Ran which they used to earn. [Tirmidhi]
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