Salaah: Movement

Before moving on to the tranquillity one must attain when reciting the Qur’aan, it is imperative that we touch on the topic of movement during salaah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) stated that the basic ruling on moving whilst praying is that it is makrooh unless it is done for a reason. However it may be divided into five categories:

1-     Obligatory movements

2-     Forbidden movements

3-     Makrooh movements

4-     Mustahabb movements

5-     Permissible movements

The obligatory movements are those on which the validity of the prayer depends. For example if a person notices something impure on his ghutrah (head gear), he has to move to remove it and take off his ghutrah. That is because Jibreel came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was leading the people in prayer and told him that there was something dirty on his shoe. So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took it off whilst he was praying and carried on praying. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 650; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’, 284.

Or if someone tells him that he is not facing the qiblah, he should move to face the qiblah.

The forbidden movements are continuous movements done for no reason, because this kind of movement invalidates the prayer, and whatever invalidates the prayer is not permissible, because it is like mocking the signs of Allaah.

The mustahabb movements are those done in order to do things that are mustahabb in prayer, such as if a person moves to make the row straight, or if he sees a gap in the row in front, so he moves forward whilst praying, or if there is a gap in his row and he moves to fill the gap and other such movements which allow one to do a deed that is mustahabb in prayer, because that makes the prayer more perfect and complete. Hence when Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) prayed with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and stood to his left, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took hold of his head from behind and made him stand on his right. (Agreed upon).

The permissible movements are small movements done when there is a reason, or large movements done in cases of necessity. Small movements done for a reason are like what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did when he was praying and he carried Umaamah, the daughter of Zaynab the daughter of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whose maternal grandfather he was. When he stood up he picked her up, and when he prostrated he put her down. Al-Bukhaari, 5996; Muslim, 543.

Large movements in cases of necessity include praying whilst fighting. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Guard strictly (five obligatory) As‑Salawaat (the prayers) especially the middle Salaah (i.e. the best prayer ‑ ‘Asr). And stand before Allaah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salaah (prayers)].

239. And if you fear (an enemy), perform Salaah (pray) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, offer the Salaah (prayer) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before)”

[al-Baqarah 2:238-239]

If a person prays whilst walking he is undoubtedly moving a great deal, but in cases of necessity that is permitted and does not invalidate the prayer.

The makrooh movements are all movements other than those mentioned above. This is the basic principle concerning movements whilst praying. Based on this, we say to those who move whilst praying that their action is makrooh and detracts from their prayer. This is something that is seen in many cases, so you may see a person fiddling with his watch or pen or ghutrah or nose or beard and so on. All of that comes under the heading of makrooh, unless it is done a great deal and is continuous, in which case it is haraam and invalidates the prayer.

He also stated that there is no specific number of movements that invalidates the prayer, rather it is any movement that contradicts the idea of prayer in the sense that if anyone saw this man doing that it would look as if he were not praying. This is the kind of movement that invalidates the prayer. Hence the scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) defined it as something based on custom (al-‘urf) and said: If movements are many and are continuous then they invalidate the prayer, without mentioning a specific number. Some scholars defined three such movements but that requires evidence because everyone who sets a certain limit or number or manner should produce evidence, otherwise he is introducing new ideas. Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh, 13/309-311

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who moved a great deal whilst praying: did that invalidate his prayer and how could he rid himself of this habit?

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied:

The Sunnah is to focus on one’s prayer with proper humility, body and soul, whether it is an obligatory prayer or a naafil prayer, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Successful indeed are the believers.

2. Those who offer their Salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness”

[al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2]

With regard to defining the movements that contradict this ease and focus in prayer and limiting them to three movements, there is no hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to support this idea. Rather that is the suggestion of some scholars for which there is no reliable evidence.

But it is makrooh to fidget during the prayer, such as touching one’s nose, beard or clothes and being distracted by that. Fidgeting a great deal invalidates the prayer. But if it is done a little, according to what is customary, or is done a great deal but is not continuous, then the prayer is not invalidated thereby. But it is prescribed for the believer to maintain proper focus and humility, and to avoid fidgeting a little or a lot, and to strive to make his prayer perfect.

The evidence that small movements, or repeated movements that are not continuous, do not invalidate the prayer is the report which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) opened the door for ‘Aa’ishah one day whilst he was praying. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 922; al-Nasaa’i, 601; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 601.

And it was proven in the hadeeth of Abu Qataadah (may Allaah have mercy on him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led the people in prayer one day when he was carrying Umaamah the daughter of Zaynab. When he prostrated he put her down and when he stood up he picked her up.  

Fataawa ‘Ulama’ al-Balad al-Haraam, 162-164

He must pray in a tranquil and dignified manner. This is one of the most important pillars and obligations of prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to one who prayed badly and was not tranquil and dignified in his prayer: “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” And he did that three times. Then the man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, by the One Who sent you with the truth, I cannot do any better than this, teach me.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you stand up to pray, do wudoo’ well, then turn to face the qiblah and say takbeer, and recite whatever you can of Qur’aan. Then bow until you are at ease in bowing, then raise your head until you are standing up straight. Then prostrate until you are at ease in prostration, then sit up until you are sitting up straight and are at ease in sitting. Then prostrate until you are at ease in prostration, then get up until you are standing up straight. Then do that throughout your prayer.” (Agreed upon).

According to a version narrated by Abu Dawood, he said: “Then recite the Essence of the Qur’aan (al-Faatihah) and whatever Allaah wills.”

This saheeh hadeeth indicates that being at ease in the postures is a pillar or essential part of the prayer, and an important obligation, without which prayer is not valid. Whoever pecks out his prayer (by moving too rapidly), there is no prayer for him. Khushoo’ (proper focus and humility) is the essence of prayer. It is prescribed for the believer to pay attention to that and strive to achieve it.



It All Comes Down To Qadr

By Umm Jannah

The son of Adam often finds himself in a state of worry, stress, or sorrow because of pre planning, hardship or an unanswered dua. He often forgets that ultimately, Allah (SWT) has a better plan for him, and that every event to occur up to the very last hour has been written by one of the first of Allah’s creations.

In a narration by Imam Ahmad, it was reported: “Verily, the first thing which Allah (SWT), Most High, created was the pen, and He said to it: “Write;” and in that very hour all what was to occur (was written) up to the Day of Resurrection.”

A believer’s faith becomes valid once he believes in all six pillars of Eeman, including al-qadr; the good and the bad. However to refer to qadr as bad does not mean Allah does bad, rather the believer perceives the qadr as such, despite it being an affliction sent to cleanse him of his sins, test him, or provide him with something better. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) heard that some people were denying al-qadar. He said: “If I meet these people I will tell them that I have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with me. By the One by Whom ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar swore, if one of them had gold equivalent to Mount Uhud and he spent it, Allaah would not accept it from him unless he believed in al-qadar” Saheeh Muslim.

To believe in al-qadr is to accept that Allah (SWT) has written and has knowledge of all events prior to them taking place, that none can elude His qadr, and all that exists was created by Allah (SWT). In essence, the son of Adam must remember that placing oneself in a state of worry, stress, or sorrow is needless. When the answering to his dua is delayed, he must remember “…Allah is the best of planners” [Al-Anfal: 30], and everything will occur in it’s due time. When he is afflicted with hardship, he must remember that “Allaah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you” [al-Maa’idah 5:6]. He must remember that Allah will filter the believer from a hypocrite by testing the sincerity in his faith through hardship.

Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. [Al-Ankabut: 2-3]

On the other hand, when a believer’s dua is answered, he must remember to be thankful to Allah. In fact, it is the characteristic of the believer to be thankful to Allah during both the good and the bad of qadr. As mentioned in the hadith:

“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

Next time you prepare for an exam, look for a spouse, apply for a job, lose a loved one, or are confronted by hardship, relieve yourself of worry and stress and remember that whatever afflicts you would not have missed you, and whatever has missed you would never have come to you. Place your full trust in your Lord because “Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]” [Al ‘imran: 159]. Allah knows what is best for his slave, so tie your camel and trust Him.

Salaah: Standing Posture

Key to Attaining Khushu’

After entering the Prayer, the Prophet (ﷺ) would stand with his hands folded- right hand holding the left wrist or directly on the left wrist- above his navel area (some other narrations: on his chest) and then have his eye sight at the place of prostration (sujood).

As to the standing position, it denotes the servants observation of his duty towards Allah. In this instance, the discipline of the one who prays is to remind his heart of the Almighty present before him and to give up, as much as he/she can, personal desires, and to bring to the core of his/her heart Allah’s Greatness and their dependence upon Him.

Hence, after the fixation of this fact in the heart, our recitation will carry more meaning and we will be disclosed to the secrets of the salaah, such that when you look at the place of prostration-which is the ground, you will be reminded of the principle origin of man, or declining the head, implying humility to the Sovereignty of your Lord

These disciplines further remind us to consider ourselves present, standing before Allah, conveying His Greatness and preparing the heart for this private conversation with Allah, obliging it to humbleness, submission, calmness, fear, hope, humility and modesty till the end of the salaah.

We are to stipulate that our heart should be keen in observing these affairs, and not look at salaah as a burden. It is with much regret that in reality we are negligent in these areas because our hearts are distracted and filled with much of the dunya and that which doesn’t benefit it.

The most appropriate posture shown to us by the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the most befitting when praying to the most Mejestic. When we fold our arms loosely on our chest, in a somewhat relaxed manner, with our eyes lowered, as we do in prayer, that creates a mental frame of mind redirecting you towards having humility and respect with an atmosphere of awe and tremendous love with reverence and grandeur of the Almighty.

While standing in such a position of serenity, humility and love for the Lord, the Master, the Creator, we recite Quran- the Book of Allah- with fine, slightly-melodious, recitation and deeply spiritual reflection upon the meaning; absorbing the divine wisdom; feeling repentant of shortcomings; with hope and resolve for reforming.

Truly the most appropriate posture to experience the sweetness of imaan and feel the cooling of our eyes!

Salaah: Takbirat-ul-Ihraam 

Leave the worldly life, enter the prayer, i.e private conversation with The Lord of both You and I and everything around us.

  • Say “Allahuakbar”
  • Raise hands to the ear lobes or to the shoulders

Key Terms

Takbeer: To declare the greatness of someone

Al-Ihraam: To enter into a state of having prohibited materialistic things upon our self and devote the next few minutes to our private conversation with Allah which is what our prayer is

Allah: From Ilaah, i.e. The one who is worshipped with love, reverence, and feeling His supremacy, Grandeur

Akbar: The greatest, Largest

A key to Coolness of My Eyes:

Takbeer includes the meaning to enlarge something/someone or to regard it/them as large, or to declare their largeness and greatness. In essence ‘takbeer’ is to say Allahuakbar.

When we say Allahuakbar, we are saying Allah is the Greatest and the Largest. Why be anxious and worried about anyone or any fear in this worldly life since all sources of worldly fear are all so small while Allah is greater than anyone and everyone, in fact He is the Greatest. So leave the worries  of this world and all thoughts aside for the next ten minutes of prayer. Since Allah is the Greatest, why lose your concentration in prayer with anything or anyone lesser than Allah, The Greatest! 

Thus we raise both hands by their sides and up to the shoulder level or to the ear lobes and we raise them forward and up, brush aside and leave behind all thoughts, materialistic love and concerns behind and we raise our hands forward towards the qiblah and with it flows your whole attention and focus onto the beginning of the private conversation that is about to start between you and Allah, the Greatest, the Almighty, the Lord of the Worlds, the Compassionate, the All-Knowing, The one who Guides and the All-Wise. Hence, what can be more appropriate as you make this commitment than to declare that Allah is the Greatest- greater than anything worldly that we are leaving behind for the next ten minutes as we turn our hearts and minds to the One that matters above all else, our Creator and THE REAL TRUE PROVIDER!

We declare the greatness of Allah verbally, let that verbal declaration direct our mind to bring full attention and focus to what we are declaring of the Greatness of Allah. Furthermore, the physical gesture compliments and reinforces our new frame of mind directed solely at this new private conversation with the Devine!

The tongue commences this new experience, and directs the mind while our physical actions reinforce the soothing and awe-inspiring atmosphere of connection and privately conversing with the Devine, Allah!

More wisdom on Raising the Hands

قال ابن العثيمين الحكمة في رفع اليدين تعظيم الله عز وجل فيجتمع في ذلك التعظيم القولي والفعلي والتعبد الله بهما فإن قولك الله أكبر لاشك لو استحضرت معنى هذا تماماً لغابت عنك الدنيا كلها لأن الله أكبر من كل شيء وأنت الآن واقفٌ بين يدي من هو أكبر من كل شيء. ثم إن بعض العلماء علل بتعليل آخر إشارة إلى رفعٍ الحجاب بينك وبين الله والإنسانُ عادة يرفع الأشياء بيديه ويعمل بيديه. وعلل بعضهم بتعليل ثالث وهو أن ذلك من زينة الصلاة لأن الإنسان إذا وقف وكبَّر بدون أن يتحرك لم تكن لصلاة على وجه حسنٍ كاملٍ ولا مانع أن تكون كل هذه مقصودة. [شرح الممتع على زادالمستقنع للشيخ ابن عثيمين]ا

The great scholar Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Salih Uthaymeen, shed light on the wisdom of raising hands when we beginning n the prayer with Takbeer-ul-Ihraam, writing in his famous fiqh Classic, Sharh Mumtia:

“We say the wisdom in raising the two hands is a means of declaring the greatness and supremacy of Allah, the Exalted, such that all combine together: the asserting of greatness and supremacy of Allah verbally, by an action. And thereby we worship Allah verbally and by our limbs because the saying of Allahuakbar is such that if you were to comprehend its meaning fully, the whole world would disappear (all the matters of this dunya would seem meaningless and you wouldn’t concentrate on it rather you would concentrate more on the takbeer and what is to follow) because Allah is greater and larger than everything (i.e. From your mind due to the sublime effect of the meaning of Allahuakbar) and all this while you realise that you’re  standing in front of the One who is greater than everything!

Some scholars gave another reason in raising the hands with takbeer, that by doing so you lift the barrier between you and Allah because usually humans tend to do that action when lifting things. 

Other scholars gave a third reason that by raising your hands you beautify the prayer because had a person just stood there and said the takbeer without any motion, it would not be displaying the best manners.

All three may very well be the reasons for raising the hands.”

As for appreciating the meaning of Allahuakbar, Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen, explained it with three verses from the Quraan:

قال الشيخ ابن العثيمين: معناها أن الله تعالى أكبر من كل شيء في ذاته وأسمائه وصفاته، وكل ما تحتمله هذه الكلمة من معنى. ٠

قال الله عز وجل:“وما قدروا الله حق قدره والأرض جميعا قبضتُه يوم القيامة والسماوات مطْويَّات بيمينهِ سبحانَه”(الزمر ٦٧)١

وقال عز وجل: “يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السماء كطيِّ السِجِلِّ للكتبِ كما بدأنا أولَ خلقِ نعيده وعداً علينا إنَّا كنّا فاعلين” (الأنبياء)٢

  وقال تعالى: “وله الكِبرياءُ في السماوات وَالأَرْضِ وهو العزيزُ الحكيم” (الجاثية

Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen explained:

” (Allahuakbar) it’s meaning is that Allah, the Exalted, is greater than everything in respects to His Self, His Names and His Characteristics, and in all that this expression includes in its meaning. Allah said, “And they have appraised Allah with a true (befitting appraisal, while the earth entirely will be (within) His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand. Glorified, Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.” (Surah Zumar)

Allah also said, “The day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a written sheet for the records. As We began the first creation, We will repeat. That is a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.” (Surah Anbiya)

And Allah the Exalted said, “And to Him belongs all grandeur with the heavens and the earth, and He is the exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Surah Jathiyah)

How can we avert our attention away from The Creator when He is The master Who is perfect in His Mastery; the Great One Who is the perfect in His greatness; the Tolerant One Who is perfect in His toleration, the Omnipotent Who is perfect in His omnipotence; the All-Knowing who is perfect in His Knowledge, the One who is perfect in all types of Nobility and Greatness-that self is only Allah-the Most revered and the Most Powerful. 

سبحانك لانُحصي ثناء عليكَ أنتَ كما أَثْنَيتَ على نفْسِكَ

“Glorified are You, we cannot enumerate Your praise. You are exactly as You have praised Yourself.”

أَسأَلُكَ بكلِّ اسْمٍ هو لك: سميت به نفسك، أَوْ أنْزلتهُ في كتابك، أو علمته أحدًا من خلقك، أَوِ اسْتأثرت به في علم الغيب عندَكَ

I ask you through every name by which You have named Yourself or You have revealed Your name or taught someone from amongst Your creation, or kept it with You in the Knowledge of the Unseen

May Allah allow us to attain khushoo in our salaah and allow the prayer to be the coolness of our eyes Ameen.

Salaah: The Coolness of My Eyes

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ



Truly all praise is for Allah, who created everything in the best form. And may blessings and peace be upon the one whom He sent as a messenger, to remove humanity from the depths of darkness into the light with His permission, and to guide them to the upright path.

Our lives are filled with countless meetings, social or work related, but none as important, productive and beneficial as one meeting. The Prophet (ﷺ) informs us of the time and details of these meetings,

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا صَلَّى يُنَاجِي رَبَّهُ فَلاَ يَتْفِلَنَّ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ، وَلَكِنْ تَحْتَ قَدَمِهِ الْيُسْرَى ‏”‏‏

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whenever anyone of you offers his prayer he is speaking in private to his Lord. So he should not spit to his right but under his left foot.” (Sahih bukhari, number 531)

For other meetings we prepare by canceling less important meetings, resting ahead of time, being in the right mental state, reading up on the subject of the meeting, perhaps a brother may prepare further with a suit and a tie while a sister may with a certain dress and coordinated shoes and much more. 

Khushu’ & it’s wonders:

Whilst you may be wondering how you can prepare for the greatest of all meetings with Allah- a meeting you have five times a day, the great scholar, Ibn Al-Qayyim (r) highlights the importance of mental preparation during the prayer. In this one statement, he describes the one ingredient we need in our five daily prayers, which is- khushu’ i.e low, humble, submissive heart with calm, soft, minimal and gentle movements in the body.

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said, explaining the difference between the khushu of true faith and the khushu of hypocrisy, ‘The khushu of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken as it were, with fear, shyness, love and recognition of the blessings of Allah and its own sins. So no doubt the khushu of the heart is followed by khushu of the body. As for the khushu of hypocrisy, it is something that is put on with a great show, but there is no khushu in the heart.’

Imagine the sweetness of iman as you attain that level of khushu in prayer five times a day. Imagine the life you’d be living, rain or shine, basking in the warmth of iman, empowered to take on challenges to reach the highest level of success in this worldly life and the eternal blissful paradise! Surely we all want that. And equally so Allah has mad the key to attain such coolness of our eyes within easy reach of every single Muslim.

Ibn Taymiyyah (r) describes with masterful insight into how we can attain so much iman from our prayer:

“Two things help us to [develop khushoo’]: a strong desire to do what is obligatory, and weakness of distractions.With regard to the first, the strong desire to do what is obligatory: [this means that] a person strives hard to focus on what he is saying and doing, pondering on the meanings of the Qur’an recitation, dhikr and du’aa’s, and keeping in mind the fact that he is speaking to Allaah as if he sees Him, for when he is standing in prayer, he is talking to his Lord.

With regard to the second, weakness of distractions:

This means striving to push away all distractions that make you think of something other than the prayer itself, and warding off thoughts that keep your mind off the purpose of the prayer. This is something which differs from one person to another, because the extent of waswaas has to do with the extent of one’s doubts and desires and the heart’s focus and dependence on what it loves, and its efforts to avoid what it dislikes.”

In’sha’Allah these posts will be written in a way that will allow you to read over them over a couple of days, thus many non essential details have been left out. Attaining khushu’ first requires us to learn a few life skills and then to enjoy the prayer fully reflecting on the beauty and wisdom of the various recitations and postures therein. These notes do the latter, i.e describe briefly the immense beauty in the words and postures of the prayer such that you understand it and reflect on it as you pray. As for more elaborate life skill empowerment to be in the state to enjoy the recitation, we will be covering over the next couple of posts. 

We all know the sheer pleasure in worldly activities. Let us now experience the deepest sweetness of iman in prayer,  as the Prophet (ﷺ) exemplified for us so well in this authentic Hadith from Sahih Muslim, “Made beloved to me from the things of your world are the perfume and (company of) women. And the prayer has been made the Coolness of My Eyes!”

May Allah give us all such a state of mind and life Ameen !

Is My Heart Rusted?

A few weeks ago, I found myself facing an internal crisis; a guilty conscience ate away at me restlessly for days. A feeling of hopelessness overcame me as I sensed my heart being engulfed in coatings of rust and filth. I imagined it to be like a lantern upon which layers and layers of dust and dirt continued to accumulate, and today the thick tar-like coating was making it impossible to light the way any longer. I could feel the light in my heart flickering. Dimming. Diffusing.

“No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning” Surah Mutafifeen (83:14)1

Desperate and heavy, my wilting heart cried out, “My Rabb! Cleanse me of this raan that has covered me. Show me the way out. Kindle Your light and the light of the Qur’an in me, ya Nur, ya AllahSWT!”

For several months, I had felt myself losing more and more control of my tongue; it would ramble on with idle talk, arguments and would say things that I would regret the second after I said them. I knew that it was in fact my tongue which was most responsible for rusting my vulnerable heart. I needed to regain control of this tongue. I needed to restrain it. Tame it.

Truly, my Rabb is near and responsive. Truly, my Rabb is in full view of what this poor slave of His is going through. Just moments after my heart cried out, my Rabb responded. And the response to curing my spiritually suffocated heart was none other than remembering it’s Creator… Dhikr.  surgical heart inside

Ills of the Tongue

Over the months, I had found myself using my tongue in ways that I would often regret. Some of these ways included:

● Talking excessively without a purpose
● Speaking impulsively often driven by emotion
● Indulging in gossip
● Arguing
The root of each of these verbal-related ills laid in the fact that I did not think before I spoke. I did not filter or sensor my words. I just rambled on, not pausing to reflect over the consequences my speech would cause, nor on the question of whether it was even necessary for me to respond. Talking excessively got me labeled as a “chatterbox”, while speaking impulsively caused me regret. Indulging in or even sitting around gossip sowed within me seeds of ill-will towards others, while arguing only caused me to waste my breath.

The Treatment: Curing the Heart through Dhikr

When I first began treating my rusting heart, I chose Istighfar as my default Dhikr. The first hour was the most difficult, as the wiswaas of shaytan were quite strong, “that’s good enough.. isn’t your mouth tired?… how much more?”, and my tongue was still getting used to the sudden change. I knew consistency was key, so I continued throughout the rest of the evening. Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah. I pushed myself to keep it up the next day as well; from the moment I awoke to the time I lay back in bed the following night. Slowly, my tongue got into the routine.

Dhikr had begun its treatment in taming this tongue of mine, and the effects were incredible!

The Result

Within three days of persistently implementing this treatment, I felt myself finally starting to get a grip on my speech – for the first time in months! Amazingly, the tongue was not the only organ that this treatment was curing, for I had also begun to feel a sliver of light in my heart as well, walhamdulillah!

I noticed a series of changes stirring within me as my Dhikr-occupied tongue gradually learned to pause, filter, then speak.

Using less of my tongue meant using more of my ears, and thus listening to others molded my personality to be one in which others could confide.
Being pre-occupied in Dhikr, my habit3 of talking excessively faded away.
The faster my heart beat, the more Dhikr spilled onto my tongue: one tasbeeh per heartbeat; this greatly reduced my urge to speak impulsively in anger and emotion.
Being constantly reminded of the presence of the One whom I was mentioning, caused me to humble myself; I no longer cared to prove myself right and win arguments, because He SWT alone knew best about who was more correct.
Upon hearing or thinking of any negative mention of a person, my heart would urge my tongue to withhold and instead I’d find myself making du’a for that person; replacing any ill-feelings with well-wishing.
Within a few days, Dhikr had completely transformed my heart and personality! Though the occasional disagreements and arguments still inevitably occurred post-treatment, the frequency of their occurrence had greatly dwindled down walhamdulillah!

Before this experience, Dhikr was just something I would quickly mumble after saying my salams in salah, before running off. Prior to this, I had not realized how powerful the treasures of this incredible armor actually were, for it was the only thing that revived this withering heart of mine.

“Those who believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah SWT. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah SWT hearts are assured.” Surah Ra’d (13:28)

What are ways in which we can prevent our hears from getting rusted? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below. 🙂 We would love to hear what you have to say.