Like the needle of the compass faces North when at rest, the heart of the Mu’min faces in the direction of Allah Ta’ala’s obedience and pleasure. In the obedience of Allah Ta’ala do we find our peace, contentment and happiness.
When a compass is moved or shaken, we observe how the needle is disturbed and begins to move this way and that way restlessly –as if agitated. When it is placed down, it continues to move about until finally; it finds its rest in the direction of North.
SubhanAllah! We should take a lesson from this.
When the heart of a Mu’min is shaken with sins and disobedience to Allah Ta’ala, then the heart’s Sukoon (tranquillity) is disturbed. The heart is in a state of restlessness and anxiety until the person sincerely repents. Upon sincere Taubah, the heart settles back in Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure and once again enjoys its Sukoon.
Our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alayh), would say that Sukoon is an exclusive bounty and gift for a Muslim. It only descends on the heart of a Believer, with the condition that there is obedience to Allah Ta’ala and abstinence from sins.
Not only do sins disturb and disrupt the tranquillity of the heart, but it also blemishes the heart with ugly black marks.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained:
“When a Mu’min sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers his entire heart.”
I have given the following analogy many a time: The person who is wearing a white kurta and is always conscious of his cleanliness will be very uneasy and uncomfortable if a drop of black ink falls onto his kurta or if food stains his kurta. He will haste to wash it off immediately –because the sink stain spoils his kurta’s whiteness.
This is the condition of the Mu’min who is obedient to Allah Ta’ala. His heart is like a white garment or a white sheet. The moment he falls into any sin mistakenly, he senses the dark, black spot of sin on his white heart. He is uneasy and unhappy and immediately seeks to clean his heart with sincere Taubah.
We find that those who work in garages generally wear dark overalls. This is because they handle oil and grease, and their work requires clothing which is practical. Because the clothing is dark, if more oil and grease soils and stains the overall, the person will not really be aware of it and will not be bothered because his garments are dark in colour anyway. So, any amount of oil, grease and dirt may soil his clothing, but it is not really apparent and does not worry him.
Similar is the condition of the person whose heart is already soiled and dirtied with sins for which no Taubah has been made. More sins do not affect him because the heart is already dark and black.
This does not mean that a person sits content with such a heart. It is necessary that he quickly begins a total scrub and wash of his heart with Taubah and Istighfaar.
Sincere Taubah, Zikrullah and the effort in the direction of obedience to Allah Ta’ala will most certainly remove all the blackness and dirt of sins from the heart. The heart will then be in its original state of whiteness and cleanliness, insha Allah.
Nabi (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) taught us a Dua that facilitates this washing and purification of the heart:
“O Allah, wash off my sins with the (melted) water of ice and snow, and purify my heart of sins, as white clothes are cleansed of filth.”
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used the word ‘white’ cloth because black cloth does not make the stains or marks of dirt apparent. White clothes reveal the slightest trace of dirt.
Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alayh) explained that the quality of ice is its coolness, and the outward characteristic of snow is its whiteness. Thus, the whiteness removes the darkness of sins, and the coolness eliminates the heat of sins, SubhanAllah!
Together with sincere Taubah, it is essential to dissociate oneself from bad company and environments and to seek out good and pious companions who will encourage and inspire us in the direction of obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), as well as find and keep to those environments which make easy practising on Deen.
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had related an incident of a tanner who was one day passing by some perfume shops. Since most of his time was occupied with tanning animal skins, he was used to strong bad smells. While passing the perfume shops, the pleasant fragrances did not agree with him, and he fell unconscious.
The people around him made every effort to revive him, but no one was successful. When his brother was informed, he went to where the tanner lay unconscious, and on smelling the fragrances wafting in the air, he understood the cause of his brother’s condition. He immediately went away and returned after a while, bringing in his sleeve some faeces of a dog. He held his sleeve near his brother, who was instantly revived.
All were astounded and bewildered as to what was so effective and helpful in reviving the tanner when there were so many perfume shops in the vicinity, and all sorts of fragrances were used to revive the tanner.
This is just a story but with a great lesson.
That person who spends his life in sin becomes accustomed to dirty environments and deeds. Good deeds are unfamiliar and foreign to the person. The person can even reach a stage where there is an aversion to good, and thus, he stays far away from those places and gatherings where the perfume of Allah Ta’ala’s love is distributed and shared.
Our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alayh), explained that, like the tanner, the sinner is unable to appreciate the gardens of Allah Ta’ala’s remembrance. However, if the person is sincere, makes an effort, and begins to spend time in environments of purity and virtue, a time will most certainly arrive when the person will acknowledge –with great regret, that his life was wasted in filth and evil. Now that he is accustomed to and enjoys the fragrance of Allah Ta’ala’s love in these beautiful gatherings, he does not ever want to return to a life of sin.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to make sincere Taubah and enable us to benefit from the Majaalis of Deen, enjoy the beautiful gardens of Zikrullah and maximise on this.
 Mu’min: Believer