40:56

The Prideful Heart

Allah, The Exalted says in The Qur’an:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ ۙ إِن فِي صُدُورِهِمْ إِلَّا كِبْرٌ مَّا هُم بِبَالِغِيهِ ۚ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

“Indeed, those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without [any] authority having come to them – there is not within their breasts except pride, [the extent of] which they cannot reach. So seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Seeing.”

(Surah Ghafir, 40:56)

Excerpts from Tafsir Ibn Kathir about this ayah:

(Verily, those who dispute about the Ayat of Allah, without any authority having come to them,) means, they try to refute the truth with falsehood, and to refute sound evidence with dubious arguments, having no proof or evidence from Allah.

﴿إِن فِى صُدُورِهِمْ إِلاَّ كِبْرٌ مَّـا هُم بِبَـلِغِيهِ﴾

(there is nothing else in their breasts except pride. They will never have it.) means, they are too proud to follow the truth and submit to the one who has brought it. But their attempts to suppress the truth and elevate falsehood will fail; the truth will prevail and their words and aspirations will be defeated.

﴿فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ﴾

(So seek refuge in Allah. ) means, from being like these people,

﴿إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ﴾

(Verily, it is He Who is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.) or seek refuge with Him from being like these people who dispute about the Ayat of Allah without any authority having come to them.

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

The Heart: A Distinction Between Qalb, Sadr, Fu’aad, and Lubb…

Allah, The All-Knowing, sent messengers to all generations, speaking to them in their own language. He chose our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam), an Arab, and the Arabic language for His last message to mankind. The Arabic language is unique for its richness and complex grammatical structures as one statement often carries many meanings. The nuances of the Arabic language makes it very precise and that precision aids in its preservation by Allah’s Might, and Allah knows best.

There are over 180 references to the “heart” in the Qur’an using four different words which are;

  • صدر “sadr”. The “sadr” can be defined as “the breast/chest”.
  • قلب “qalb”, the proper noun for “the heart”
  • فؤاد “fu’aad” or “inner heart” and;
  • لُبّ “lubb” which references the “the subtle or higher intellect / the innermost chamber of the heart”

These four- the “sadr”, “qalb”, “fu’aad”, and lubb” are places or seats within the heart. One may think of these seats as their own individual components-being unique in its purpose, design, and function. Yet, despite their singularity, any undertaking by one requires endeavor from the other. This is what may be referenced to working in synergy. Just as our bodies cannot live with one organ alone, our heart cannot function with one seat of the heart being healthy. These acts are in fact impossible. We are made up from cells and those cells form tissue. The tissue goes on to form organs which work together to support the body. When the cellular structure in one organ starts to disintegrate (as in the case of Cancer), it is not uncommon for the dis-ease to spread through the blood or lymphatic system to other organs where they will disintegrate also.

This occurrence is known as “Metastasis“. Spiritually, a person can undergo metastasis when their natural Fitra has become corrupt and they do not seek out a cure for their dis-ease.

On the authority of an-Nu’man ibn Basheer (R.A.A.), who said:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regards to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.”

(Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)

These people have become a willing awliya, or friend,of Shaitan. They happily follow his Sunnah this includes; eating (committing excess, wasting etc.), dressing, speaking (terms of Jahilliyah), character (prideful, lewdness, mischievousness etc.), and shirk. This is why the Mu’min, the Believer, in Allah, subhan wa’ta ala, should acquire knowledge of the Sunnah Prophet Muhammad, sallalahu alaihi wasallam, to prevent him or herself from falling into the Sunnah of Shaitan and his hizb.

Narrated `Ali bin Al-Husain:

Safiya, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) told me that she went to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to visit him in the mosque while he was in I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet (ﷺ) accompanied her. When they reached the gate of the mosque, opposite the door of Um-Salama, two Ansari men were passing by and they greeted Allah’s Apostle . He told them: Do not run away! And said, “She is (my wife) Safiya bint Huyai.” Both of them said, “Subhan Allah, (How dare we think of any evil) O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)!” And they felt it. The Prophet said (to them), “Satan reaches everywhere in the human body as blood reaches in it, (everywhere in one’s body). I was afraid lest Satan might insert an evil thought in your minds.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, 2035)

We can see from this hadith many valuable lessons-one of which, the preservation of one’s thoughts upon righteousness. As Muslims we have a duty to act in a righteous manner as to guard our own hearts from corruption. Acting righteously also affects the hearts of those around us as it is a guard for their heart from the Shaytan.

The Outermost Seat of the Qalb: صدر “sadr”, the chest or breast

Everything that contains something precious must be guarded. The “sadr” can be likened to a fence around a garden. A spiritual garden that encloses the inner layer or the “qalb”, the layer just inside of that- the”fu’aad”, and the innermost seat- the “lubb”.

Just a fence around a garden is designed to–to keep away predators that wish to steal its fruits. The “sadr”, if healthy is the first line of defense against the Shaytan entering ones heart. It is here, the “sadr” that the accursed Shaytan makes his false promises and threats;

وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ ۖ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“And Shaitan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

(Surah Ibrahim, 14:22)

This is like the ayat:

مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ

الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ

“Alladhi yuwaswisu fi sudurin-nas)

مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ

“From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allah). Who whispers in the breast of mankind. Of jinn and men.”

(Surah An-Nas, 114:4-6)

Here the word صُدُورٍsudurin” (stemming from the root “sadr”) is used to convey the “chest” or “breast”.

Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, has given his slaves His Book, كتاب الله, giving Light. A means of avoiding the darkness of the Sunnah of Shaitan. In it Allah, subhana wa ta’ala says;

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْصِرُونَ

“Verily, those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious), when an evil thought comes to them from Shaitan (Satan), the remember (Allah), and (indeed) they then see (aright). But (as for) their brothers (the devils) they (i.e. the devils) plunge them deeper into error, and they never stop short.”

(Surah Al-A’raf, 7:201-202)

When Pride Enters the صدر Sadr

Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, says in The Qur’an:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ ۙ إِن فِي صُدُورِهِمْ إِلَّا كِبْرٌ مَّا هُم بِبَالِغِيهِ ۚ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

“Indeed, those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without [any] authority having come to them – there is not within their breasts except pride, [the extent of] which they cannot reach. So seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Seeing.”

(Surah Ghafir, 40:56)

Here Allah uses the word; صُدُورِ٥ِمْ, to refer to the seat of the heart which is dis-eased-the chest or outer layer. Here As-Sha’afee, has pinpointed the dis-ease which in this case is, pride.

The prideful one, the one who disputes about the signs of Allah are of many degrees. The disbelievers, those who outright reject the signs of Allah including His book, some of His Prophets. Their arguments against the truth always will be futile based on their whims and desires. They will never have the pride that comes with submitting to and following the truth. Nor will they have the true inner knowledge of spiritual realities. The Shaitan has beautified for them their way and have shared in wealth and children with some of them. These ones boast on being Awliah of Allah when in fact they are devote Awliyah of Shaitan.

Allah, subhana wa ta’ala says in The Qur’an:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ ۚ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم ۖ بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ ۚ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ

“And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.” Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins?” Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the return of all.”

(Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:18)

There are some who claim to be Muslims who are upon this unfortunate affair. They are people who have not fought themselves to overcome desires. Even after The Message of Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, has reached them, they still wish to roll about in their desires. And so, these rejectors of Faith accept part of The Message and reject the parts that do not enable their desires. These are the hypocrites, who pull from this and that and have made their own Sunnah. They think themselves safe through ignorance and when the evidences are presented to them they argue with falsehood. We seek refuge in Allah from this most unfortunate affair. Ameen.

When Shaitan came to the hearts of these people pride entered and penetrated their chest. Allah subhana wa ta’ala, says that their chests are full of pride and so the truth cannot enter as pride is a sword in the jihad against the truth. Once a heart is full of pride how might the heart be benefited?

The conditions of the heart are never unjustified as Allah, subhana wa ta’ala says in The Qur’an;

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ ۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ۖ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ۚ أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

“Allah burdens not a soul beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which you did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter, and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:286)

The the sickness of one’s heart is earned by the soul as Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, says in The Qur’an;

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

“Evil (sins and disobedience to Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon).”

(Surah Ar-Rum, 30:41)

This is also like the ayat:

وَلَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۖ وَلَدَيْنَا كِتَابٌ يَنطِقُ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

بَلْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فِي غَمْرَةٍ مِّنْ هَٰذَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْمَالٌ مِّن دُونِ ذَٰلِكَ هُمْ لَهَا عَامِلُونَ

“And We task not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, ad they will not be wronged. Nay, but their hearts are covered from (understanding) this (the Qur’an), and they have other (evil) deeds, besides, which they are doing.”

(Surah Al Mu’minun, 23:62-63)

Those with unjustified pride will never attain the status in which they seek. They will never be able to prevail in any argument against the truth and will always retreat humiliated. It is upon the Ummah to stand firm against those who wish to put out the light of Faith, to constantly purify our hearts through Tawbah and the returning to righteous conduct. We must guard our hearts and thoughts from the attacks of Shaitan through the constant remembrance of Allah, subana wa’ta ala.

Here is a beautiful advice from Shaykh Rabee (rahimullah) on accepting sincere advice:

“Accepting sincere advice and following the truth is one of the greatest obligations upon all of the Muslims, from whichever source it comes from. It is not permissible for a Muslim to belittle and disrespect the sincere adviser regardless of what his status may be.

I seek refuge with Allah that I reject an advice and defend a mistake or falsehood which emanated from me; for indeed this is from the means to evil, in fact, it is from the ways of the the people of corruption, arrogance, and arrogant stubbornness. And when he is reminded he doesn’t take the reminder, as Allah said,

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا

“And those, who reminded of the verses of their Lord, fall not deaf or blind thereat.”

(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:73)

Shaykh Rabee bin Hadi Al-Madhkhali

Chapter on Humbleness from Al-Fusool al-Mudiyyah min Seerati ash-Shaykh Rabeen ibn Hadi ‘Umayr Al Madhkhali wa Juhoodihi Al-Ilmiyyah wa ad-Da’awiyyah pg. 152.

May Allah make our hearts firm upon Tawheed and obedience to Him and and His Messenger. May he grant us Tawfeeq to stay upon the affair of Tawheed and obedience until death overtakes us. Ameen yaa Rabbi.

Published by Umm Nadia Taliah Muhammad

Striving to be a faithful servant of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ. Mother of six. Forever a student, In shaa Allah- in the areas of Qur'an, Sunnah, and Islamic Herbal Herbal Medicine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: