Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let's Observe and Reflect

Excerpt from the preface of the book, ‘Reflections of Man and the Universe’ (from the writings of Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim in ‘Miftah Dar As-Sa’aadah’ ) arranged by Capt. Anas Abdul Hameed Al-Qoz.

The following are some of the techniques of thinking that Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim puts forth in his book, ‘Miftah Dar As-Sa’aadah’ (The Key to the House of Happiness);

1) Observing, with an open heart, Allah Almighty’s creations in both the universe in general and in the human sphere in particular, with a view to better appreciating Allah’s glory and comprehending His great power and wisdom.

2) Reflecting on Allah’s verses revealed to the Prophet sallallaahu’alayhi wassalam and His shari’a, to develop an awareness of this religion’s superiority and to realize the amazing correspondence between revelation, fitrah (human innate inclination to accept truth), and uncorrupted understanding.

3) Observing Allah’s commandments and abiding by His system, which is conducive to preparing the heart to have the purity and clarity of vision concerning what is good for it. Abstaining from covetous looking, for instance, is of great benefit apart from being an act of obedience; since it protects the heart from corruption, makes it exult at the closeness to Allah, strengthens it; supplies it with a light that enables a believer to have perceptive vision, firmness and courage; protects him or her from the designs of Satan, so that a believer is dedicated to considering what is best for him or her. This is so because there is a close link between the heart and the sight.

4) Guarding against the danger of sins and keeping away from them, since it distracts the mind from proper functioning; it is a fact that the heart will be corrupted if burdened with many sins and that leads in turn to the corruption of the other organs.

5) Guarding against blind imitation, since such a practice blurs thinking and dulls its activity. Instead, man is urged to focus on the teaching of the Scripture and the Prophet’s tradition and to comply with their teachings as exemplified by the upright Caliphs (i.e. the first four Caliphs).

6) Protecting the body from abuse, preserving its comfort and warding off all distracters.

The above techniques, if realized, will surely secure the attainment of the desired target. Some of the benefits of reflection are the following;

a) It is the way to acquiring faith.
b) It uncovers the truth about things and shows the distinction between right and wrong.
c) It wards off delusions and fantasies.
d) It protects one from sins.
e) It is the basis for all acts of obedience (to Allah)
f) It guides to acquainting oneself with Allah Almighty, His Oneness, His Attributes of Perfection; and directing all worship to Him alone, and
g) It is the basis of purity of heart while reciting the Qur’an.

One may add in support of the above, a saying;

تفكروا في خلق الله و لا تفكروا في الله

“Think of Allah’s creation, not of Allah” (As reported by Aby Nu’aym in his book, Al-Hilyah, on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas.)

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