Extracted from Ikhmaalush Shiyam- Perfection Of Morals– Translated By Majlisul Ulama
How is it possible for the heart to become celestially illuminated (munawwar) when the forms and images of aliens have become engraved on the mirror of the heart? How is it possible for such a heart to journey towards Allah Ta’laa while it is fettered in the prison of lustful desires? In fact, how can such a heart ever entertain the hope of entering the Divine Presence while it has not purified itself of the impurities of its neglect? How is it possible for this heart to entertain the hope of comprehending the subtleties of the spiritual mysteries when it refuses to abstain from its improper acts?
How can a heart become illuminated when it has been penetrated by worldly wealth, worldly reputation, offspring, property, idle thoughts and false hopes? When the darkness of the phantoms is dispelled from the heart, Noor will then settle in the heart.
The heart which night and day is fettered in the chains of nafsaani desires, thinking only of food, garments and wives, cannot advance towards Allah Ta’laa because its feet are tied with chains.
The heart which has not been cleansed of the impurities of neglect (ghaflat) and perpetually dwells in negligence, having forgotten the Akhirat, cannot enter into the lofty Divine Presence. How can such a heart be granted acceptance in such a pure Court?
Just as an impure (napaak) person is not permitted entry into a Musjid, so too is a heart which has not been purified of the impurities of ghaflat denied entry into the Divine Presence. Such a heart is not granted Divine Acceptance.
The heart which is engrossed in despicable acts, futility and baseless hope cannot entertain the desire to comprehend the mysteries and subtleties of Allah Ta’laa. When it has repented of its futility, then only will it be endowed with the ability to understand Divine Mysteries.
If His (Allah’s) justice has to be the determinant, then no sin can be described as Sagheerah (minor) and if His grace be considered then no sin will be Kabeerah (major)
Should Allah’s attribute of Adl (Justice) be manifested on earth, dealing with us strictly in terms of justice, then even the most insignificant error will not be Sagheerah, every act of sin will be Kabeerah and a punishable offence because the slightest disobedience to such a majestic and great Sustainer and Benefactor who grandeur is infinite and whose bounties are innumerable, justifies the punishment of complete destruction of the disobedient one.
On the other hand, if His grace manifested, then our greatest sins too. wane into oblivion and become insignificant and are forgiven.
When you commit some sin as a result of human nature, never allow this sin to bring about the sluightest change in your determination to remain steadfast on the Deen and do not permit it to slacken your bond with Allah Ta’laa. Do not be decieved by the thought; ‘I am unable to remain steadfast on the Deen, hence my sinning. “Do not think that firmness on the Deen is impossible on account of the sin commited. With this idea, do not become audacious in sin. This idea which you entertain is baseless because a sin is committed as a result of human nature is not in conflict with firmness on the Deen. Yes, persistance in sins, abstention from taubah and deliberate commission of sin are negatory of firmness (Istiqamat)
It is quite possible that the sin committed may be the last decreed for you and thereafter such much mercy may be directed to you, that you will commit no further sin.
For the heart not to grieve when Ta’aat (acts of obedience) and Ibaadaat (acts of worship) are lost, and not to feel remorse when indulging in sin and evil, is a sign of the death of the heart
Know that just as the life of the physical body is dependent on food, so too is the life of the (spiritual) heart dependent on Imaan and A’maal-e-Saaliha (Righteous Deeds). In the same way as the physical body would if deprived of nourishment, the heart will die if it is without Imaan. Thus, if a man is unconcerned about his neglect of obedience, e.g. Namaaz,Roza (fasting), Jam’aat Salaat, etc., and he experiences no regret and remorse for the sins he commits, it indicates that his heart is dead, devoid of the impression of Imaan.
If the heart derives pleasure from acts of obedience and worship, and grieves and feels regret when sins are committed it indicates that the Noor of Imaan is radiating.
There should not be in your mind any sin so grave that it prevents you from holding a good opinion of hope with Allah Ta’laa and causes you to despair of His mercy and grace. He who has recognised his Rabb knows that infront of his Rabb’s grace and mercy, his sins are insignificant.
One should not hold one’s sins in such a grave light that one loses hope in the grace and mercy of Allah Ta’laa. One should not think: “The gravity of my sin is so great that there is no forgiveness for it, and I have on account of this sin now reached a stage where I am unfit for His grace and mercy. “
Such despair is consequence of unawareness of the attributes of Allah Ta’laa.
One who has recognised his Creator and is aware of His attributes, will be acquainted with His attributes of Forgiveness and Grace. He will thus understand that in the presence of these infinite attributes, his sins are insignificant. He will always have hopes of being forgiven.
While this should be one’s attitude, one should not consider itself insignificant. If the gravity of sin is not in the heart, one will then not resort to taubah nor will there be regret and remorse.
Neither consider the sin in such a grave light that one despairs and loses hope in forgiveness, for this too is kufr, nor regard sin so lightly that one feels no remorse and is deprived of taubah . The hope of forgiveness be tempered with regret for having sinned, and a firm resolution should be made refrain from disobedience.