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Purification of the Heart - Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Purification of the Heart - Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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Published by Mysticism

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Published by: Mysticism on Nov 28, 2011
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Purification of the Heart:
Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the HeartTranslation and Commentary of Imam al-Mawlud’s Matharat al-QulubBy Hamza Yusuf 
The first disease he speaks of is Miserliness
It isfirst not because it is the worst of characters butbecause of alphabetical considerations
The next disease is
which is
. In itself,hatred is not necessarily negative. It iscommendableto hate corruption, evil, disbelief, murder, lewdnessand anything else that Godhad exposed asdespicable. The Prophet never disliked thingsbecause of their essence, but because of what theymanifested.
The word is a translation of 
which is derivedfrom the Arabic word that refers to desire.In thiscontext, the problem is desiring something so eagerlyto the point of transgressing therights of others toattain it.
Love of the World
An Islamic definition attributed to Jesus. “The world isa Bridge; so pass it to the next world, butdonot try tobuild on it.
Blameworthy Modesty
In general modesty is something praised in Islam andit is considered virtuous. What is blameworthy ismodesty that prevents one from denouncing whatshould be denounced whenone sees it, a modestythat createsmeekness when one needs to beforthright.
The next disease is
or ostentation, the mostnefarious form of which a personperforms ritesofworship merely to obtain a place in the hearts ofothers.
Relying on Other Than God
Fearing or desiring anything other than God runscontrary to
, trust and reliance on God.If oneis obsessed with other mortals, His/ her reliance onGod is weak.
Seeking Reputation
is a disease of the heart closely related toostentation. It is desiring that people hear of one’sgoodness, an aural ostentation. It is seeking ourreputation and renownfor ex. A personwantingothers to hear how much money he / she gave tocharity.
False Hopes
Imam Mawlud speaks next of “quick acting poison”that createsinordinate attachment to worldlyconcerns,which is a cause of so many diseases of the heart.This poison is
tatwi al-amal 
, that is, having extendedhope, assuring oneself that death is a longway offamental environment that leads people to live theirdaysas if a long life is guaranteed.
Negative Thoughts
Imam Mawlud speaks next of something that is veryeasy to have but is harmful to brotherhoodandinjurious to one’s own spiritual growth. It is having abad opinion of others, baselessassumptionsandsuspicions (
The next disease is fraud ( ghish). It is concealingfrom people some fault or harm, either of areligious orworldly nature. Others have said that fraud is makingsomething useless or defectiveseem beneficial orperfect,or making something bad appear to be good.
Imam Mawlud says of the next disease that it is a“swelling ocean.” He refers to
, intense
, which aptly compares with a swelling mass ofemotion that is difficult to hold back once itisunleashed.
is h
, a terrible lack of attention towhat is infinitely more important in one’slife thanmaterial goods. Heedlessness is a key concept oftendiscussed in Islamic spiritualtreatises and is referredto in many passages of the Quran.
Displeasure with Blame
The next disease is
displeasure with blame
. Blame isnot something that we would naturallyembrace. Itruns against human nature to love it. But the problemis when the fear of blame iscoupled with the urgentdesire for praise and approval by others, which is oftenthe case. Beingconcerned with “creation’s opinion”places a barrier between a person and the station of 
, excellence in the worship.
Apathy Towards Death
Apathy towards death is considered a disease of theheart. It refers to strong aversion to death tothe pointthat its mere mention causes consternation. Such aperson, Imam Mawlud says, is indenial of reality:
 Every soul shall taste death
(QURAN 3:185);
Say, “thedeath from which you flea will overtake you. Thereafter you will return to the knower of the Seenand Unseen. He will then inform you of all that youhave been doing 
(QURAN 62:8)
Obliviousness to Blessings
The next disease is
obliviousness to blessings
, a lackof understanding and acknowledgement, anoxiousdisregard to
whatever blessing you have it is from God 
(QURAN 16:53). The blessingsthat come to us, nightand day are beyond numeration, as the Quranreminds.
The next disease is derision, ridiculing others, makingjest at their expense. Musa told his peoplethat Godhad commanded them to sacrifice a cow. Theyreplied,
“Are you mocking us?”
Musatold them, “
 I seekrefuge from God from being ignorant”
(QURAN, 2:67).Mocking people istherefore a form of ignorance,whether it’s lampooning, caricatures, or name calling.Humor andlevity are important in Human life. Butlevity as a way of life harms the spiritual heart.
is malady of the heart that is closely related to
rancor, extreme anger 
. It comesfrom thesame Arabic root from which the word
originates, which is used in the Quran tomean yokesaround the neck (QURAN, 36:8), as if to say thatrancor dwells in a heart bound tomalice andtreachery.
Root Causes of allDiseases ofthe Heart
The root cause of every disease to be man’s self-satisfaction.
Likewise the root cause of all good qualities is the lack of self-satisfaction, and thisconclusion is obvious.
Because being ( dissatisfied with oneself) prompts you to seek virtuous character and tovigilantly avoid what is inappropriate.

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