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    Uboodiyyah - Obsession of the Heart

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    Author: Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

    By way of introduction it should be pointed out, both to muslims and non -muslims alike, that this treatise was originally written in arabic to an audience consisting predominantely of men. Furthermore, it was presented to a culture which did not analyse human behaviour on the basis of "sexism", or "feminism", but to an environment which was free of these modern day innovations. This is, perhaps, why the discussion is referred primarily to men. It should be pointed out that whenever the shaikh (scholar) refers to "men" that the discussion can be extended to incorporate a similar, if not the same, observation for women. Although during his life the great shaikh was taught by at least eleven female scholars of religion and would often refer specifically to women in many of his essays, perhaps, on the occasion of this dissertation, he was mainly involved in the sphere of men. Nevertheless, when one is involved in understanding Islam one should never allow anything to enter into discussion which does not have a basis within the Qur'an and the Sunnah (authentic narrations).

    Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah says:

    When a man's heart becomes attached to a woman, even though she is lawfu l for him, his heart will be her captive. She controls him and manipulates him a s she wills. In appearance he is her lord because he is her husband or her posse ssor. However, in reality, he is her captive and is possessed by her especially when she knows his need and his passion for her. Then she will control him in th e same way in which a conquering, aggressive master controls an overpowered slav e who cannot escape from his master. Even worse than this is the captivity of th e heart; this is more severe than the captivity of the body, and enslavement of the heart is much more severe than the enslavement of the body. Verily, whoever' s body is subdued, enslaved and captivated will not care so long as his heart is reassured and is serene. In this way, it is possible for him to escape.

    In the other case though, when the heart, which dominates the body; is s ubdued, enslaved and enthralled by love for other than Allah, then, this is inde ed mere humiliation and captivity. It is the humiliating Uboodiyah (enslavement ) that has subdued the heart.

    The Uboodiyah of the heart and its captivity form the basis on which go od reward or bad punishment will be incurred. If a muslim is captivated by a kaa fir or is enslaved by a profligate and given no rights, it will not harm him so long as he can fulfil his duties to Allah Azzawajal. Whoever is lawfully subdued and fulfils the rights of Allah Azzawajal and the rights of his master will be rewarded twice. Even if he is forced to pronounce Kufr (disbelief), pronouncing it with his tongue but keeping Eeman (conviction, faith) in his heart, the utter ance will not harm him. But the one whose heart is subdued and becomes an abd ( slave) for other than Allah will be harmed by that even if he is a king. Freedom is the freedom of the heart and al-Uboodiyah (enslavement) is the Uboodiyah o f the heart. Similarly, well-being is the well-being of the soul. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu-alaihi-wasallam) said :"Well being is not how much wealth y ou have; but it is the well-being of the soul."

    This, by Allah, is the case when a lawful image has enslaved one's heart . But whoever's heart is enslaved by an unlawful image will earn a torment more severe than any known torment.

    These people who are obsessed by images are of the most severely punishe d and the least rewarded. For if one is obsessed by an image and his heart remai ns attached to it and subdued by it, he will be surrounded by so many kinds of e vils and corruption that they cannot be counted but by the Lord of al-Ibaad (th e servants) even if he were safe from committing the greatest Faahisha (obscenit y i.e. az-Zina - fornication). Continuous attachment of the heart1 without commi ting al-Faahisha is more harmful for him than it is for the person who commits a sin and repents of it. Since, afer true repentance the attachment and affectio n vanishes from his heart.2 These people are likened to drunk people or the insa ne. It has been said:

    "They said you were driven insane by that which you have a passion for.I replied to them that passion causes more harm than insan ty."

    As for this passion, the one who is obsessed by it will never awake unti l the end of time. However, the insane only exhibit their madness during certain periods.

    Ibn 'Uyayna commented: The greatest favour Allaah has bestowed on His slaves is their knowledge and realisation of "There is no deity but Allaah", and that to the dwellers of Paradise it is like cool water to the people of this world. [Kalimat Al-Ikhlaas by Ibn Rajab pp.52-53]

    Ibn Rajab says in enumerating the merits of the kalima: That Paradise is its reward, that its utterance before death will cause one to be admitted to Paradise, it is a refuge from Hell, it causes forgiveness, it is the best of the good deeds; it washes away sins and vices, revives ones's faith when it has faded away and outweighs sins. It traverses all barriers in order to be accepted by Allaah the Almighty. It is the statement whose pronouncer will be accepted by Him, and it is the best proclamation ever uttered by the prophets. It is the best celebration of His praises, the best of deeds, and its multiplication into good deeds is the greatest. It is tantamount to setting slaves free. It is a protection against shaitaan. It is safety amidst the darkness of the grave and the terror of Resurection. It is the motto of the believers when they emerge out of their tombs. The eight doors of Paradise will be accessible to its pronouncer. Further, the people who pronounce it are certain to quit Hell even after they have been cast into it for falling short of observing its obligations. [Kalimat Al- Ikhlaas by Ibn Rajab pp. 54-66]

    Hope and Avidity

    Mankind differs to a great extent in Al-'Uboodiyah to Allah. Their differences are a quantative disparity in the reality of al-Eemaan. In this regard they are often two types: general, and specific. Consequently, their perception of the divinity of Ar-Rabb is also of two types: vague, and detailed.

    Thus, ash-Shirk in this Ummah is more hidden than the crawling of ants.

    The Messenger said, "May the worshipper of Ad- Dirham be wretched. May the worshipper of Ad- Deenaar be wretched. May the worshipper of velvet cloth be wretched. May the worshipper of silk cloth be wretched. May he be wretched and disappointed. When such a one is pierced with thorns they cannot be extracted. When he is granted (what he desires), he is pleased; and when he is denied, he is displeased..." [Bukhaaree & Ibn Maajah upon Abu Hurayrah (R)]

    The Messenger labelled such a person: The worshipper of ...; mentioned his curse and his condition. Neither did he attain his aim, nor did he escape the harm.

    And among them are some who accuse you (O Muhammad ) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms. If they are given part thereof, they are pleased; but if they are not given thereof, behold! They are enraged! [At-Tawbah ayah 58]

    Thus their contentment is for other than Allaah and their rage is for other than Allaah. [These are the hypocrites whom Allaah has mentioned in the rest of the verses. See Zaad Al-Maseer by Imaam Ibn Al-Jawzee, Vol. 3, p.454]

    He is therefore the 'Abd of that which he desires: leadership, certain image, or any desire of the soul. The heart is the 'Abd of whatever enslaves it and subdues it. [Al-'Uboodiyah, part 1, by Ibn Taymiyah]

    If he renounces anything he will not seek it and will not have avidity for it. His heart will not be in need of it nor will it be in need of the person who would accomplish it for him.

    'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (RA) said, "Avidity is poverty, and renunciation is richness. If one of you renounces anything he will dispense with it."

    Al-Khaleel, Ibraheem (AS) said:

    . . So seek from Allaah (Alone) your subsistence and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) will be your return. [Al-'Ankaboot ayah 17]

    Al-'Abd must have subsistence. He is in need of that. If he seeks his subsistence from Allaah, he becomes an 'Abd for Allaah, but if he seeks it from a created being, he becomes an 'Abd for that created being and in need of him. That is why begging from a created being was forbidden in principle but is allowed for under necessity.

    The Messenger said, "One of you would still be begging until he comes on the Day of Resurrection without a bit of flesh on his face." [Bukhaaree, Muslim, an-Nasaa'ee upon 'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar (R)]

    The Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Whoever begged from people while having enough, his begging will be scratches on his face." [at- Tabaraanee upon Jaabir (R)]

    The Messenger said, "Begging is forbidden except when there is a great debt, suffering injury, or abasing poverty." [Abu Daawood & al-Bayhaqee upon Anas (R)]

    Signs of Love

    Allaah has established two signs for people who love Him:

    Ittibaa' Ar-Rasool;

    Al-Jihaad fee sabeelillaah;

    This is because the reality of al-Jihaad is the striving to accomplish that which Allaah loves of imaan and the righteous deeds, and the repulsion of that which Allaah hates of al-Kufr, al-Fusooq and disobedience.

    Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, your wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwelling in which you delight are dearer to you than Allaah and His Messenger and striving hard and fighting in his cause, then wait until Allaah brings about His decision (torment), and Allaah guides not rebellious folk. [Soorah al-Tawbah ayah 24]

    The Messenger said, By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, no one among you will believe until I become more beloved to him than his children, his parents and all mankind together. [Bukhaaree & Muslim]

    'Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RA) said, "O Messenger of Allaah, you are more beloved to me than anything else except myself" Then the Messenger of Allaah said, "No, O 'Umar! Until I become more beloved to you than yourself." 'Umar (RA) then replied, "Then, by Allaah, you are more beloved to me than my own self," then the Messenger of Allaah said, "Now, O 'Umar." [Bukhaaree & Muslim]

    The reality of loving someone is never complete except by having loyalty to the beloved one, that is, to comply with him by loving what he loves and hating what he hates.

    Love motivates the will of the heart. The stronger the love, the more the heart seeks the accomplishment of the beloved things. If love is to be complete, it will require a firm will in achieving beloved things.

    The Messenger said, "Whoever calls for guidance will have a reward similar to the reward of those who follow him, without diminishing any of their reward. And whoever calls for misguidence will have a burden similar to the burdens of those who follow him, without diminshing any of their reward." [Muslim]

    The Messenger said, "Verily, in Al-Madeenah there are men who never embarked on a jouney nor passed a valley but they were with you." The Sahaabah said, "And they are still in Al-Madeenah?" He said, "Yes, and they are still in Al- Madeenah; they were prevented (from travelling with you) by their excuse." [Bukhaaree & Muslim]

    If al-'abd abandons that which he is able to do of al- Jihaad it becomes an indication of the weak love.

    Beloved goals cannot be attained except by enduring hateful consequences regardless of whether the love is righteous or corrupt.

    If those who love Allaah and His Messenger do not endure ... it shows his weak love.

    Mu'min has more love for Allaah as He Ta'aala said:

    And of mankind are some who take (for wonship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah. But those who believe love Allaah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong had but known, when they see the torment, that all power belongs to Allaah and that Allaah is severe in punishment. [Soorah Al-Baqarah ayah 165]

    The lover, because of weakness of mind and corrupt reasoning, may take a route that will not reach the desired goal. Such a route is not praised even if the love itself is righteous and praise-worthy. Then, what if the love is faulty and the route is a dead end?

    The heart is inherently in need of Allaah from two aspects

    worship; this is the purposive motive;

    seeking help & reliance; this is the effective motive;

    The heart will not be righteous, successful, contented, pleased, assured except by the worship of Allaah, love of Him and repentance to Him, because it has an inherent need for its Lord.

    This will never occur except by the help of Allaah.

    It is You we worship, and it is from You we seek help. [Soorah Al-Faatihah ayah 5]

    He will never escape the pains of this world and its distress except by making his love sincere and pure for Allaah in such a way as to make Allaah his ultimate desire and the end of his every intention.

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    Re: Uboodiyyah - Obsession of the Heart

    Asalaam alykum warahmatullahiw abarakatuh

    Barakatullahi feekums is for ur excellent post
    I see the site has been of great benefit to you aswell
    MashAllaah tabara ka alah
    Wasallam alykum warahmatullahi talaah wabarakatuh
    Uboodiyyah - Obsession of the Heart

    In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. By the time! Verily mankind is at loss – except for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, and advise one another towards the truth and advise one another towards patience.

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    Re: Uboodiyyah - Obsession of the Heart

    Wa Alaikumussalaam Wa Rahmatulaahi Wa Barakatuh.

    Yes ineed it has. Alhamdulilaah .

    Insha Allah PM of any other benefical sites known to you.

    Wa Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatulaahi Wa Barakatuh


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