Feel Ramadan – 15) Let Us Introspect

There is a beautiful story by Khalil Gibran.
One oyster said to a neighbouring oyster, “I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress.”

And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, “Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without.”

At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, “Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbour bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty.”

There is nothing but precious pearls inside an oyster. Likewise, there are numerous, much precious virtues within each of us. Besides, there are infinite poisonous thoughts within us which are dangerous. Our duty is to identify and nurture the virtues and exterminate all evil thoughts within. If mind is beyond our control, there will be dangers throughout our life. To prevent it from going astray we must exert due attention and care. Today, as we move through many different phases of changes in day to day life, the chances for our minds to slip into the abyss of evil ways are very high.

With the fast paced journey of life, if we fail to pay attention to our mind, it may get tarnished with unremovable stains. Our minds are the abodes of whims and emotions. We all know that if both of these are not controlled wisely and properly, they will sprinkle the seeds of destruction inside.

Prophet (PBUH) taught, ‘The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.’ Sahih Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 56

In another Hadith, Prophet (PBUH) says: Truly, Allah has vessels from amongst the people of the earth, and the vessels of your Lord are the hearts of his righteous slaves, and the most beloved of them to Him are the softest and most tender ones” [Al- Tabarani]

Qur’an reminds us that: “He has succeeded who purifies it [souls], And he has failed who instills it [with corruption]“. [91: 9-10]. Qur’an also talks about hearts those are harder than stones. “Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah . And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [2:74]

The higher priority is for his heart for a believer. If his heart is filled with devoutness and embellished with beautiful thoughts, his life will flourish with good deeds.

Ibn-ul-Qayyim says:
“The heart gets sick as the body does and its cure is in asking for forgiveness and protection. It also becomes rusty like a mirror does and it is polished by remembering Allah.
The heart can also be naked like the body and can lose its dress and decoration, which is piety, and it can feel hunger and thirst like the body does, and its nourishment is knowledge, love, trust, and offering service to Allah.”

If mind is good, everything else will be good. Allah doesn’t look at what we display outside, rather He looks at our hearts. Below verse should make us vigilant and pious:But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination,Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. [Qur'an 79/40-41]

We must carry out careful rectifications within our hearts, always. Prophet has taught a dua, to help us get control on our hearts: ‘Ya muqallibal-qulub, thabbit qalbi ‘ala dinika (O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion).” “‏يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك‏‏” (Tirmidhi – Riyadussaliheen: Book 17, Hadith 1489)

In this Ramadan, let’s take some moments and analyze our hearts in seclusion. May Allah help us to continuously evaluate our hearts, rectify our shortcomings and thus spread the light of righteousness inside.

English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud!

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