CLEANSING, GUARDING AND STRENGTHENING THE HEART 8:9-11
إِذ تَستَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُم فَٱستَجَابَ لَم أَنِّى مُمِدُّكُم بِأَلفٍ مِّنَ ٱلمَلَـكَةِ مُردِفِينَ (٩)
وَمَا جَعَلَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشرَى وَلِتَطمَنَّ بِهِ قُلُوبُكُم وَمَا ٱلنَّصرُ إِلَّا مِن عِندِ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ (١٠)
إِذ يُغَشِّيكُمُ ٱلنُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِّنهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيكُم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً لِّيُطَهِّرَكُم بِهِ وَيُذهِبَ عَنكُم رِجزَ ٱلشَّيطَـنِ وَلِيَربِطَ عَلَى قُلُوبِم وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ ٱلأَقدَامَ (١١)
When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank on rank. (9)
Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. (10)
When He made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from him and sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby. (11)
Surah e Anfal is about War Booty. The opening ayahs are regarding the preparation, happenings and the victory of the Muslims in the Battle of Badr. Here Allah SWT outlines how Allah SWT helped the sincere Muslims.
Allah SWT help came to strengthen the minds and heart of the Muslims. The secret of how to strengthen ones heart lies in these ayahs
The lifelong battle between Shaytaan whispering to us to disobey Allah and we trying to keep him out of our hearts and mind is at the base of this tafseer
In the Battle of Badr, the muslims were few and not professional soldiers,thus the psyche was low. Rasool Allah PBUH begs (faryad) for help form Allah SWT and He (SWT) sends it only because the muslims fighting here are righteous and God fearing (Mutaqeen)
How Allah SWT helps is a a fascinating lesson for us.
If we protect our hearts we live both physically and spiritually.Our hearts are the seats of our spirituality and things enter and influence it thought the physical doors of our senses, the actions of our limbs and our private parts (Sheikh Magroubi)
Here in these three ayahs Allah SWT demonstrates in a very simple manner using the events of the Battle of Badr as an example, the cause and affect of:
1. Sincere supplication
2. The help he gives when asked by sincere muslims
3. Methods to strengthen the Heart
4. Methods to influence the Mind
TAFSEER BY FARHAT HASHMI (English Translation)
In these ayahs Allah SWTsays “when you were making supplication to your Lord asking for help, I am going to help you with row after row of thousand angels”
Allah SWT says “the sending of the angels to help the muslims was to bring them glad tidings such and that your heart would become happy and content.
(Allah SWT helps Muslims if their emaan is pure and if they are mutaqeen),
“Even though the angels came and helped you but the real help came from Allah and Allah is over every thing and wise”
HOW DID ALLAH SWT PREPARE THE MUSLIMS :
(This ayah outlines the blessings that Allah SWT sent to prepare the Muslims physically, spiritually and emotionally)
“And when you were covered with sleep, which was calming and serene for you, it (the sleep) was sent from Allah to refresh you. Allah was sending down water from the skies to provide you a means to purify you and to remove the agony of Shaytaan. (Waswasas)”
Shaytaan weakens the hearts with Waswasas . These are most rampant when one is tired, sleep deprived, disheartened, when one is under stress, or depressed, that is when Shaytaan attacks the heart of such an individual.
Thus Allah SWT by sending rain sent many blessings and as a result:
1. The weather became pleasant
2. Muslims got fresh water to drink & perform wudu
3. Thirst was quenched for man and animal
4. The sand became firm and foot movement became secure
5. The enemy was at a lower level and the water went down and created mud and slush and slowed them down.
6. The atmosphere cleared the air and the Muslims were encouraged.
“Allah SWT strengthened their hearts by the change in environs and encouragement with the outcome of what happened with the rain and by removing waswasas and the agony of Shaytaan.”
HOW WERE THEY STRENGTHENED PHYSICALLY & EMOTIONALLY
Allah SWT strengthened the steps of the Muslims by:
1. Physically solidified the earth to stabilize their steps
2. Emotionally by removal of Shaytaans waswasaas, which strengthened their hearts.
HOW WERE THE HEARTS STRENGTHENED?
The hearts were strengthened and stabilized by: Removal of waswasas of Shaytaan, which was done by taharah, which was done by water.
To accomplish a goal and win one must have:
1. Strengthening of the heart
2. Peace and stability of mind
3. Strong and stable steps
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TAHARAH AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO GUARDING & STRENGHTENING THE HEART?
Often elders and scholars have told us that we should “always stay in a state of Taharah”. I had always wondered why?
Here are some reasons elucidated by the above ayahs and elsewhere:
THE TAHARAH -HEART CONNECTION
1. In order to have a strong heart that is impregnable to the whisperings (waswasas) of Shaytaan, which result in indecisiveness, doubt, regret, depression and even anger we must take physical steps to keep Shaytaan at bay and thus prevent his whisperings from reaching us. This is most successfully done by:
• Cleansing the heart and removing the traitors of the heart (envy, greed, pride, arrogance (kibr), ostentations, (ujub) self agrandisement, self love (riya) that might sneak in and open the doors of the heart allowing Shaytaan to take hold of it and command it by whispering into it (waswasas). Thus subjecting it to emotions that further weaken the heart (depression, anger, rage, etc, which further make fertile ground for the whisperings of the Shaytaan eventually leading to the ultimate victory of Shaytaan creating doubt in our hearts about everything including our Creator and His Rasool (also called cynicism).
• Closing the doors of the heart to the traitors (noted above) after removing them (Tazkiyah Nafs) and only allowing the flow of clean and pure air and information to enter it by guarding the portals (the five senses and the limbs and private parts) against input that smacks of disobedience to Allah.
• Staying in Taharah keeps the shaytaan away
• Staying in Taharah allows one to read, recite and memorize the word of Allah no matter where we may be
• Staying in Taharah allows us to pray two nafil anywhere (even in the car) if the waswasa of Shaytaan (depression, anger, rage, disappointment, indecisiveness, doubt, cynicism) is affecting us.
• Staying in Taharah allows us to rise to the Heavens after death perfumed and makes it easy on the angels carrying us and earning the duas of the ones we meet enroute to the Heavens.
• Staying in Taharah keeps the outer portals of our heart guarded against the invasion of the senses and limbs and private parts by the acts of commission or omission when faced with the disobedience of Allah.
WHAT TO DO PRACTICALLY TO STRENGTHEN THE HEART?
• ALWAYS DO TAHARAH (Wudu) WHEN YOU BREAK WUDU WHETHER IT IS PRAYER TIME OR NOT.
• TURN AWAY FROM VISUAL DISOBEDIENCES TO ALLAH (Looking at things which are not permitted: pornography, lewd act etc)
• Turn away from AURAL disobediences: (Listening to things, which are against Allah SWT. Commandments and the teachings of our Prophet PBUH)
• Turn away from walking to or using your hands or body to participate or use those things and places that Allah SWT has forbidden to us.
DOES THIS MAKE US PIOUS AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS?
In my humble opinion this is self-defense, you are making provisions to GUARD YOUR HEART and you have a right to do so. For it brings consistent and continual happiness in this world and the next, Inshallah!