Spiritual Illness and Spiritual Well Being

Du'a which is recited in the Sajda that you do in Du'a as-Sabah, where we confess to Allah Subhanu Wa Ta'ala that O' Allah, hawa'i ghalibun, wa 'aqli maghlubun, that my desires have overcome me and my 'Aql, you know, the power of reasoning has been overcome by it. Keeping that, you know, just wanted to share with you one statement from Amir ul-Mu'minin about this state of heart [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad, wa aali Muhammad]. And, of course, you know, when we look at the sayings of Amir ul-Mu'minin, it is basically coming from the same Hikmat, which is there in Qur'an, the same wisdom that which is there in the Qur'an.

Basically when we talk about our own body, we are aware of our own physical, you know, strength and weaknesses, a human body is either healthy or not so healthy, and we go through different situations, we deal with our difficulties. There is Maradh [illness] and there is Saha [health]. A healthy body and a body which is sick, and when we look at it, you know, we, of course, give importance to the health of our body, how we should protect it when it comes to the nutrition, what we have to provide for it.

And even in what we can eat, we do not always eat what we like. There are many delicious things which come especially when you get older, you know, you you realize, OK, I like these things, but now these things are not going to be healthy for me. So you refrain from it. And so we are conscious and careful when it comes to the health of our body. What do we do not realize many times is that even our heart and we are not talking about the physical heart here, talking about Qalb in the meaning of the spiritual heart that also can go through this state of Maradh and Saha. The hearts can also be sick and the hearts also can be healthy.

Just as the body has both situations and Allah Subhanu Wata'ala, actually has used these words for the state of the heart. For example, if you look at the worst disease that is a spiritual heart can have Allah Subhanu Wata'ala uses the term Maradh in Qur'an for it, and that is Nifaq, hypocrisy. Because it is a hidden disease. Shirk is also a disease for the heart, Kufr also a disease, but that is a disease which is obvious.

You know, but most difficult is the one which is Nifaq because of what is inside is not what we see, and that that is where we see Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala uses the term Maradh. And so nifaq is more or less like cancer. And this is where we are to realize that when we talk about our heart, spiritual heart, you know, we should yes, we had to give importance to the preservation of our physical body and the health, but we also have to give probably even more importance to the health of our spiritual heart.

And when we look at the level of Maradh, the highest point would be Nifaq. Kufr and Shirk would be less than that, and the highest point of Seha and health for heart would be Iman, because one extreme is Nifaq the there would be Iman, and AIlah Subhana wa Ta'ala actually has used these terms not only when he talks about Nifaq, he uses the term Maradh, when He talks about the Munafiqeen, He says there is maradh in their heart.

Fazad, fazad Allahu, Allah Subhanu Wa Ta'ala increased further their illness of their heart. But on a positive side in Sura al-Hujurat, Sura number 49 of the Qur'an, Ayat Number seven and eight, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala talks about the heart in a different way. He says, "Lakinna Allah habbaba ilaykum ul-Iman"(49:7) referring to the attitude of the Muslims during the early days, He says, You have the Prophet among you. And it is not for him to listen to what you say. Rather, it is your duty to listen to what he is saying.

"Wa lakinna Allaha habbaba ilaykum ul-Iman, wa zayyanahu fi qulubikum" (49:7) Allah says, Allah Subhanu Wa Ta'ala, habbaba ilaykum, has made the Iman a matter of love for you. You know, He is more pleased that you would have Iman, "wa zayyanahu fi qulubikum", and He has made Iman the zinaat, the beauty of your hearts, so a heart which is healthy is a heart which has that zinaat known as Iman.

And the opposite of that a sick heart would be: "wa karraha ilaykum" and Allah has disliked for you and for your heart what? "Al-Kufr, wa al-Fusuqa, wa al-Isyan". Kufr on one hand, sinfulness on the other hand, and Isyan, which means disobedience on the third level. And so these are all different levels. And so Kufr or Shirk or Nifaq or Fusuq to be sinful openly, Isyan to disobey Allah Subhanu Wa Ta'ala.

These are all symptoms of the disease of the heart. Not all of them are on the level on the level of Kufr and Nifaq, but even lower levels, you know, maybe, when the heart is has a seasonal flu or something, that's where Fusuq and Isyan for example, would come in. So those are more easily curable situations. But this is what we have to realize that, you know, even the heart can go through the state of sickness. And if we have that health, which is known as Iman, this is "Fadhlan Min Allah wa na'matan" (49:8), continuing the Ayaah from Sura al-Hujurat that this is grace of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. And it's a nice na'mat and blessing from Him, "Wa Allahu A'limun Hakeem" (49:8).

Amir ul-Mu'minin, in this same context, has a statement where he says that just as your body digests things, "inna hadhi al-qulub ta'mullu, kama ta'mullu al-abdan". Your hearts also digest things the way your body digest, and not all the time, you know the body is OK. So certain things it can digest properly, certain things it cannot. Then we had to deal with the cure and treatment of that.

And this is where Amir ul-Mu'minin says: "fattahu laha tara'ifu 'l-hikam", therefore seek for your heart the wise sayings, the sayings which is based on wisdom. So the ideas which is based on Hikmah and wisdom would be the fruits and the food for the heart.

And so let us reflect on this issue that, we are very much conscious of our health, but we have to be even more conscious and careful of the health of our heart. And Iman is the peak of that healthy heart.

Let me end with this statement from some of the ashab of Rasul Allah used to say that: whenever we wanted to test the Iman, the heart of our children to see whether they are on the level of healthy or not, we used to bring them close to Ali, and see how they respond to Ali, because if they are responsive to Ali in a positive sense, we know they are OK, because Rasul Allah said very clearly to Ali, "Ya Ali la yuhibbuka illa Mu'min, wa la yibghuduka illa munafiq", Nobody would love you but a true Mu'min and nobody would hate you but a munafiq.

And so Nifaq is the disease of the heart, Iman is the health of the heart, and Hubb 'Ali becomes the test for the health or the sickness of the heart.

May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala give us the tawfiq to be vigilant about the sickness and the health of our own heart. And may He always keep the Iman as the zinaat of our Qulub and our hearts, and may He always keep us on the Path of Muhammad and Aali Muhammad, Salawat Ullah alaihim[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad, wa aali Muhammad].