All praise is due to Allah SWT. Peace and blessings upon His Messenger, his family and his companions.
This week’s reminder is third in a series about diseases of the heart.
The imam referenced ayat 37 from Sura Qaaf of the Glorious Quran in which it said:
Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind].
Dear brothers and sisters, this passage follows ayats that talk of having a good heart, fixed of its diseases. We spoke of these diseases in two previous reminders in this series. In the first we were reminded of seeking forgiveness and in the second reminder we were told about charity as a form of healing the heart.
In today’s reminder, we speak of another method of mending the heart and that is seeking knowledge of our religion.
The imam mentioned the following hadeeth in reference to today’s reminder. It says:
Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to recognize that Islamic knowledge is one of the greatest ways of fixing and purifying our hearts, this is because:
Firstly, the heart is the place of the intentions and so the intentions have to be right. How does one intend to do something? Whether it’s the food we choose for breakfast to the mode of transport to work today, our intention is based on the knowledge we have. In the case of breakfast, our knowledge tells us what’s in the fridge or in the case of commute, we know if there’s a bus or train that can take us there. The same applies to our moral and ethical intentions. If we don’t have the knowledge to help us make that informed decision, then we run the risk of making the wrong choice.
Secondly, the heart gets diseased by desires and confusion, both of these can be fixed by knowledge. The life we live in is all about information. It is said we live in the Information Age as most of us possess devices that have access to a lifetimes worth of knowledge. However, we need to be able to filter the time-wasting knowledge acquisition that occurs now courtesy of social media from the stuff that is going to benefit us in this life and the next.
What concludes then are 4 practical steps that we can all take to acquire knowledge as well as saving ourselves from falling into the traps of our time and place.
- We ought to make it a habit that we ask Allah SWT in our supplications and conversations with Him that he makes it easy for us to acquire benficial knowledge.
The imam referenced a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS would recite a dua after the morning prayer. It is translated to say:
O Allah, I ask You for beneficial knowledge, goodly provision and acceptable deeds
Lets remind ourselves that none of this will be possible or beneficial without the help of Allah SWT and so keep requesting this of Him in our supplications to Him.
- Time Management – Look to your weekly schedule to dedicate some time to acquiring knowledge on Islam. If one says they will fit it in as and when, then that time will seldom come because worldly distractions will take time away from this responsibility. Rememeber that the Prophet SAWS employed time management as he had time for his family, his companions, spreading Islam, etc without neglecting any of these areas.
- Invest in an electronic device. Most of us have smart phones or tablets. Those who don’t can pick up an mp3 player for this purpose. Use these devices to benefit your heart by downloading free lectures and apps to increase your knowledge of Islam. Whether it’s a biography of the Prophet SAWS, a translation of the Quran or on a particular topic, this allows you to have that knowledge on standby whenever the time permits.
- Pick a small area to focus on. This is especially true for those beginning in this method. It can be overwhelming sometimes with the vastness of knowledge available and so start small and remind yourself that Allah SWT like consistency and so small but often is better than a one off effort that is soon forgotten about.
Dear brothers and sisters, alongside seeking forgiveness and giving charity, we now have a third remedy for our hearts. By seeking knowledge, we can counter the effects of the time and place we live in. By acquiring good knowledge, we can perfect our intentions and be of the people as mentioned by Allah SWT in the glorious Quran in Ayats 57 to 61 of Sura Muminun which says:
Indeed, they who are apprehensive from fear of their Lord. And they who believe in the signs of their Lord. And they who do not associate anything with their Lord. And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord – It is those who hasten to good deeds, and they outstrip [others] therein.