View Full Version : Your Heart is the pillar of your worship

09-03-2012, 01:54 PM

Your Heart is the Pillar ofYour Worship

by 'Abdullah 'Azzam (may Allah have Mercy upon him)

"...the heart is themachine that drives all acts of worship. It is what moves the entire body! Aslong as the heart is alive, then the limbs will be alive, and the soul willopen itself up to worship. However, if the heart becomes diseased, then worshipwill become too heavy on the soul, leading to it eventually disliking andhating - and we seek refuge with Allah from this - worship. Because of this,Allah - the Glorified and Exalted - said, regarding the prayer:
{"...and truly, it is extremely heavy andhard except on those who are submissive..."} [al-Baqarah;45]
The prayer is heavy, because one's legs and hands are not what get up for theprayer. What gets up for the prayer are the heart and the soul.
{"Verily,the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And whenthey stand up for the prayer, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men,and they do not remember Allah but little."} [an-Nisa';142]
Because of this, it is theheart that stands up for worship. The limbs are simply slaves of this heart,carrying out what it commands them. If the heart is alive, then the soul willbe alive, and worship will become beloved and sweetened to the hearts and thesouls, and they will open up for it.

However, if the heart becomes diseased, then worship becomes too heavy on it.The heart is like the digestive system: right now, the most beloved thing toyou is meat. However, if you develop an ulcer somewhere in your digestivesystem, then the meat - along with its fat and oil - becomes the most hatedthing to it, since it is diseased. Sweets are also something that are belovedto the soul. For example, if you were fasting right now and were to break yourfast on some desserts, then your soul would become satisfied with that, right?However, if one were to be stricken with diabetes, then he would not be able tohandle these sugary foods, even if they were beloved to him.

The heart is like this: it must be strong so that it can handle worship that isstrong. The stronger your heart becomes, then throw as much worship upon it asyou wish. You would get up to pray at night, and you would cherish this prayerand consider sleep to be your enemy:
{"Theirsides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope..."}[as-Sajdah; 16]
He begins toforsake it because an enmity develops between him and his bed. He prays behindthe imam, and he says to himself: "If only he would make the prayerlonger," so that he would increase in his opening up to this worship, andhis tasting of its sweetness.

At times, I would pray a normal prayer with the people behind me, so I wouldelongate the prayer. The youth would then come to me and say (the hadith):"Whoever leads the people in prayer should go easy on them," -the youth! And there was an old man behind me who was between 90 and 100 yearsof age - his face filled with light - and he would say to me: "Keep makingthe prayer long and do not answer them." A man of 90 years gettingpleasure out of a long prayer, and a youth of 20, who probably practices karateand judo, cannot handle the same prayer.


If he went to the soccer field and spent two hours playing there withoutbecoming bored, then why would he become bored from hearing the Qur'an for fiveminutes? The difference between a short prayer and a long prayer is simply fiveminutes, so why does he become bored from these five minutes of Qur'an, yet hedoes not become bored from two hours of soccer? Why does he not get bored fromstanding for two hours staring at an inflated piece of leather, his heartattached to it?

Because, what stands up to pray is the heart
, and what stands up for sportsare simply the body and muscles."

[From a lecture given by 'Abdullah 'Azzam on June 15, 1988 entitled 'The TruePreparation,' found in the collection 'at-Tarbiyyah al-Jihadiyyah wal-Bina'';1/220


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