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The impact of hatred on our Ibaadah

Shakirah Hunter

We have just passed the 15th of Sha’ban and as we all prepare for Ramadhan, we find ourselves focused on our physical ibaadah and at times minimize the impact of the spiritual preparation. On the night of Bar’aah many of us found ourselves asking people for forgiveness in case we had wronged them in any way- however often we forget that Allah Ta’ala specifically highlights that He will not look with mercy at one who has enmity or hatred within our hearts for others.

It becomes so easy to send a “please make maaf” message and most of us are genuine in our desire that people forgive us, however the primary focus must be to sit down and genuinely examine our own feelings. This is not about another person forgiving us – rather it is about our own feelings to the people around us.

We tend to easily forgive but the real enmity and feelings permeate our hearts and fester even after we claim to have ‘forgiven’. Think about a family spat between siblings, between uncles or aunts, or between first cousins. We move on because we are family- but if any small little thing goes wrong, we immediately begin to remember those moments and all of it is referenced. We see this occurring often between spouses as life moves on – yet the feelings of enmity and rancor lay deep within the heart.

Abdullah ibn Amr, RadhiAllahu Anhu, reported: It was said to the Messenger of Allah, “Which of the people is best?” The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

كُلُّ مَخْمُومِ الْقَلْبِ صَدُوقِ اللِّسَانِ

Everyone who is pure of heart and truthful in speech.

They said, “Truthful in speech we know, but what is a pure heart?” The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

هُوَ التَّقِيُّ النَّقِيُّ لَا إِثْمَ فِيهِ وَلَا بَغْيَ وَلَا غِلَّ وَلَا حَسَدَIt is a heart that fears Allah and is clean. There is no sin in it and neither aggression, malice, nor envy. Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4216,Sahih

Ibn Al-Arabi writes:لَا يَكُونُ الْقَلْبُ سَلِيمًا إذَا كَانَ حَقُودًا حَسُودًا مُعْجَبًا مُتَكَبِّرًا وَقَدْ شَرَطَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الْإِيمَانِ أَنْ يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِThe heart cannot be pure if it holds malice, envy, pride, and arrogance. The Prophet made it a requirement of faith that he love for his brother what he loves for himself.Source: Aḥkām al-Qurʼān 26:89

And Ibn Hajar writes:وَلَا يَتِمُّ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا بِتَرْكِ الْحَسَدِ وَالْغِلِّ وَالْحِقْدِ وَالْغِشFaith is not complete until a Muslim abandons envy, rancor, malice, and malevolence.Source: Fatḥ al-Bārī 1/74

In order to find true peace in our lives we must find the ability to clear our hearts without sweeping our feelings under the rug.

  • To begin the journey of removing hatred from our hearts the first step is to admit our feelings to ourselves. We sometimes disguise our feelings to ourselves, and this does not allow us to heal.
  • If possible, write down the reasons that you feel hatred or enmity. Write down what happened – small of big – don’t undermine the reason for feeling the way you do.
  • Be as honest and as specific as you can be – many times we can hate a “person” but the reality is that we actually hate a feeling or moment that we experienced because of them.
  • Now break down the way you feel and consciously challenge the way you feel. As you slowly come to terms with feeling this enmity or hatred refocus your mind – allow yourself to admit you have felt this way but now choose to feel different.
  • Choose to focus on the positive and focus on your re-shifting both of your mind and heart. To become ‘salimus sadr’ clear hearted you have to speak to Allah and speak about these feelings to Him. And as you do so repeat the dua found in the Qur’an
    “Rabbana laa taj’al fi qulubina ghilal lilazeena aamanu, innaka ra’oofur Raheem”.Oh our Rabb, do not place enmity in our hearts for those who belive. Most certainly You are Kind and Merciful.

 

 

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