Exposure of the Heart
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Beneficent
‘And whether ye hide your word or make it known, He certainly has full knowledge of the secrets of all hearts’.
(Al-Mulk: The Sovereignty)
We should be embarrassed to harbour ill thoughts or ill feelings in one’s heart or to contemplate wrongdoing, being fully aware that Allah continuously watches us!
There is nothing in this universe except that it is known to Allah, even thoughts and ideas. Whatever crosses one’s mind is known to Him; one may keep ‘secrets’ from other people, but one can never keep anything hidden from Allah. Allah knows all that takes place in the universe at once, for He is Omniscient. This attribute is part and parcel of the Islamic creed. The awareness of this attribute, that we are constantly exposed to Him, should have a positive impact on our behaviour. One should be embarrassed to harbour ill thoughts or ill feelings in one’s heart or to contemplate wrongdoing, being fully aware that Allah continuously watches one. Moving from being watched to the Watchful, Allah, one should check the action that one contemplates, if it is for His sake, then it should be carried out, but if it is for the sake of Satan, one should refrain immediately from it. And when an action is done for Allah’s sake, it should be perfected, taking into consideration all the proper proprieties associated with it.
Being conscious of the exposure of the heart leads to the modification of one’s behaviour, hastening to do what is right in the sight of Allah, and shunning what He has prohibited. The heart will then be tranquil, and the limbs will be the witnesses to this state of the heart, by partaking in its tranquillity. As Allah knows one’s best-kept secrets, including sinful deeds that are only known to him, one should ask for forgiveness, protection against ill intentions as well as against being exposed in public.
One usually makes one’s appearances good for others to see, because they can be seen, and only when one’s appearances are seen by them. The same logic applies to the heart. It is seen by Allah all the time. Therefore, one should make one’s heart good for Him, by cleansing it from all impurities and adorning it with His traits.
(Compiled From: “A Treasury of Ghazali” – Mustafa Abu Sway)