By Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed: “O Mankind! Admonition, cure for spiritual sicknesses, guidance and mercy for the Mu-mineen have come to you from your Rabb.” (Surah Younus, 57)
Here Allah Ta’ala has described four attributes of the Qur’aan Majeed, viz. admonition, cure, guidance and mercy. Admonition is speech which serves to stop evil acts. Cure is the fruits of that. In other words the result and fruits of following the admonition is that the sickness of the heart will be cured.
A rule of Tasawwuf is educed here. It is apparent that we are caught up in sin. And day and night we commit wrongs. However, in this trial there are two groups of people. One group are those who commit sin and they are impervious to it. The other group are those who are affected by the commission of sin. Although we slip up and commit sin, but Alhamdulillah, we are not spiritually-blind; unable to see the path. Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala has given us spiritual eyes, although at times through the influence and schemes of the nafs we do not utilize our spiritual eyes.
With these spiritual eyes we clearly see that when a sin is committed a sickness afflicts the heart. In regard to this sickness Allah Ta’ala states: “In fact, the effects of their actions have settled over their hearts.” (Surah Mutaffifeen, 14)
The Hadeeth Shareef furthermore explains this in this manner that when a person sins then a black spot develops over his heart. If he makes taubah then it is effaced, otherwise it expands.
In short, the peculiarity of sinning is that it causes the heart to become sick. If this is not remedied then the sickness deteriorates. Some Saalikeen have been victims to extraordinary deception here and this still occurs. Shaitaan makes them inclined to sinning. But their Quwwat (Strength) of Imaan keeps them in check. They thus refrain from sinning. However, Shaitaan is much more educated. When he sees that he has not achieved his end in this way then he cloaks the sin in the garb of Deen. In this particular case he deceives a person with the notion that if the sin is not indulged in then forever this will hurt the person, whilst a one-off commission will smother the desire and then one will be at rest. Even intelligent and understanding people are caught in this. But Allah Ta’ala has bestowed a Mu-min-e-Kaamil (a Perfect Believer) a Noor through which he sees the snares and subtle plots of Shaitaan. He thus uncovers this master-plot of Shaitaan. Hence it comes in the Hadeeth Shareef that a Faqeeh is sterner on Shaitaan than a thousand ordinary Aabids (pious worshippers).
The Errors of the Saalikeen
This is the error the Saalikeen make. The errors of the Saalikeen actually run very deep. Thus one Buzrug states: “You fear sinning whereas we fear kufr.” This path (of Tasawwuf) is delicate. Safety is in shunning one’s personal views and rather entrusting oneself to an accomplished (Muhaqqiq) Shaikh. Otherwise the harm will be like that which befell one person who in spite of the Shar’i injunction of not going near to zina, told himself: “I can only save myself from this constant urge of zina if I fulfil the desire once.” The fool was blissfully unaware that the sickness is aggravated in this manner. ‘Kissing’ and ‘Caressing’ provide no cure. These make the condition even worse. This fool thinks that by watering a tree its roots will become soft and weak and then it can be uprooted with ease. Whereas by watering the roots go further into the ground and become more secure.
By sinning this person thinks that his heart is now at ease, whereas he does not understand that previously the sin was on the outskirts of his heart and hence the perception of it. But now it has penetrated the arteries of the heart and thus imperceptible. When the occasion arises it will surface with force and violently. This person does not understand that now (whilst the desire is in its initial stages) it can be removed with ease; afterwards it will be difficult.
The Heart Cured
To summarize, sin – big or small – makes the heart sick. So Allah Ta’ala says that by carrying out the admonition of the Qur’aan Majeed sickness of the heart will be cured.