The Effects of Admonition upon the people-Imaam Ibn Al-Jawree

Imaam Ibnul Jawzee (rahimahullaah) said:

Indeed the listener is awaken at the time of hearing admonitions, but when he leaves a gathering (in which) Allaah was remembered he returns to a (state) of impenitence and heedlessness. So I pondered and came to know of its causes and saw that the people were in different (circumstances) in that regard. The general state of affairs is that the heart does not remain upon a distinct state of wakefulness after one hears an admonition, and this is due to two reasons:

Firstly: An admonition is like a whip and a whip does not cause harm after its use ceases.  Its pain is (felt) at the time it is used.

Secondly: Whilst listening to admonitions a person may be withdrawn from (worldly influences)—his body and thoughts are isolated from the influences of the worldly life and he pays attention with his heart; however when he returns to the (worldly) preoccupations, he is captivated by its hassels. Therefore, how can he be as he was (during the time of the admonition)?! This state of affairs encompasses all the creation, except that what maintains wakefulness differs in the manner their influences are maintained.

There are those amongst the (people) who are firm and they do not go back and forth—they proceed towards (wakefulness and righteous action) without turning away.  And had it been that they were hindered by their natural inclinations, they would not have complained just as Handhalah (radiyallaahu-anhu) complained about himself, (saying): ‘’Handhala has turned to be a hypocrite.’’ [1]

There are a people amongst the people whose natural inclinations make them incline towards heedlessness at times, and at other times they are called through admonitions to perform (righteous) actions.  They are similar to a grain of (corn) that is blown back and forth by the breeze.

There are a people who are not affected by (admonitions) except in accordance with the degree of what they heard, similar to water rolling on a smooth rock.  [Source: Saydul Khaatir: page: 14. abridged and slightly paraphrased]

[1]Hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim: Handhala (radiyallaahu-anhu) complained to Abu Bakr (radiyallaahu-anhu) that he has turned to be a hypocrite, because when he is the company of Allaah’s Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi wa sallam) he ponders over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if he was seeing them with his very eyes.  And when he leaves the company of the Messenger (sallal-laahu alayhi wa sallam) he is diverted by his wife, children etc and this makes him less attentive to what he heard from the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam).  So Abu Bakr (radiyallaahu-anhu) told him that he also experiences the same thing. So they both went to the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and handhala complained to the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) about himself (i.e. that he does not find himself in the same state when he leaves the company of the Messenger).  So the Messenger (sallal-laahu alayhi wa sallam) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my soul is, if you remained in the same state as you are when in my company, the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your pathways…. [Saheeh Muslim No. 6623]

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf