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Targheeb and Tarheeb
  Ibn al-Qayyim on Dawah, Guidance and the Condition of the Heart
Author: Ibn al-Qayyim
Source: A Path to Guidance (forthcoming SP release; trans Abu Iyaad)
Article ID : TZK050009  

In the Name of Allaah, Full of Mercy, Ever-Merciful to His (Believing) Servants

1. This is a book which the Shaikh, the Imaam, the Allaamah, the Shaikh of Islaam and the Muftee of the Muslims, Abu Abdullaah Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, better known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah - may Allaah the Exalted have mercy upon him - sent to one of his brothers. He said:

[The Blessing Lies in Giving Advice and Teaching]

2. Allaah is the One I ask and Whose reply I hope in: that He is benevolent to the brother in this life and the hereafter, that He brings about benefit by him and makes him blessed wherever he may be - for verily the blessing of a man lies in his teaching of goodness wherever he may be and his giving of advice to everyone he meets. Allaah, the Exalted said, informing about al-Maseeh (i.e. Eesaa) - upon him be peace -:

And He made me blessed wherever I may be [Maryam 19:31]

Meaning: ‘A teacher of goodness, a caller to Allaah, one who reminds (others) of Him and who exhorts them to His obedience’. So this is from the blessing of a man.

3. And whoever is devoid of these (characteristics) is devoid of blessing and so the blessing of meeting such a person and spending time with him is removed. In fact, the blessing of the one who meets him and spends time with him will also be removed because he will waste time in (merely) talking about occurrences and events and thus corrupt the heart.

4. And every harm that enters upon a servant, its cause is the heart’s corruption. The corruption of the heart in turn brings about the removal of the heart’s right upon Allaah, the Exalted, and a dimunition of its degree and rank in the sight of Allaah. For this reason, some of the shaikhs advised with their saying: "Be cautious of [the] mixing with a person which will cause wastage of time and corruption of the heart, for verily, when time is wasted and the heart is corrupted, all of the affairs of the servant will be become ruined, and he will be of those about whom Allaah, the Exalted, said:

And obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost and wasted. [Kahf 18:28]

[The Punishment for Heedlessness]

5. Whoever reflects upon the nature and the state of creation will find that - excepting a very small number - all of them are of those whose hearts are unmindful of the remembrance of Allaah the Exalted, who have followed their desires and whose affairs and well-being have become a ruin. Meaning, they have neglected what will benefit them and bring to them their well-being. They occupy themselves with what does not benefit them - rather, with what brings upon them harm in this life and the next.

6. It is concerning such people that Allaah - free from all imperfection - ordered His Messenger not to obey. Obedience to the Messenger cannot be perfected except with the absence of obedience to such people, because they only call to that which causes them difficulties and hardships such as following desires and being heedless of Allaah’s remembrance. When unmindfulness of Allaah’s remembrance and the home of the hereafter unites with following of desires, there is born between them both (as a result of this), every evil and much of that which connects one of them to the other, and never separates from it.

7. And whoever contemplates over the corruption of the world, the general and the specific, will find that it emanates from these two principles.

8. Heedlessness comes between a servant and his conceiving the truth, becoming acquainted with it and having knowledge of it - therefore, due to this he becomes of the astray (daalleen).

9. And following of desires prevents him from seeking the truth, desiring it and following it and therefore he becomes of those with whom Allaah is angry (maghdoob alaihim)

10. As for those who have been favoured (by Allaah) , they are the ones whom Allaah has been bountiful to by granting them the realisation of the truth, in terms of knowledge and in complying with it and preferring it as a mode of conduct - over what is besides it. These are the ones who are upon the Path of safety and those besides them are upon the path of destruction.

11. For this reason Allaah - free from all imperfection - has ordered us that we say numerous times, in the day and night:

Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians). [Faatihah 1:6-7]

12. The servant is in the greatest of needs of being knowledgeable of what will benefit him in this life and the hereafter and that he prefers and chooses what benefits him, avoiding what harms him. By both of these things he is guided to the Straight Way.

13. If the knowledge of this passes him by he will be treading the path of those who are astray. And if his desiring it (i.e. the truth) and following it is lost, he will be treading the path of those upon whom is (Allaah’s) anger.

14. By this (explanation) you will realise the extent and scope of this mighty supplication, the intense need for it and the dependence of the happiness of this life and the hereafter upon it.

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