Hearts cannot be completely sound until Safeguarded from five affairs— by Imaam Ibnul Qayyim

Allaah (The Most High) said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيۡنَ يَدَىِ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ

”O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger.” [49:1]

Meaning: Do not say (anything in the religion) until he (sallal-laahu alayhi-wasallam) speaks and do not do (anything in the religion) until he commands you.

Some of the Salaf said: There is no (religious) deed-even if it is small-except that it raises two (questions): Why and How? Meaning: (1) Why am I doing it and (2) How do I do it?

The first affair is related to the main reason, cause and motive behind the action: Is the deed performed because of the share (i.e. goods) of worldly life received by the performer and the personal desires of this worldly life, such as love of praise from the people or fear of their rebuke; or to secure the beloved things of this temporal worldly life; or to repel those temporal hated affairs of this worldly life; or is it for the purpose of actualising servitude to Allaah, seeking after His love and a means of getting close to Him? The objective behind this question is: Is obligated on you to perform this deed for the Sake of your Protected [or Guardian (Allaah)], or do you perform it in order to receive your share of this worldly life, or out of a mere desire of yours?

The second affair is related to your adherence to the path of the Messenger in that act of worship; meaning: Is that deed from that which Allaah has legislated through the Sunnah of His Messenger or is it a deed which Allaah has neither legislated nor is He pleased with it?

Therefore, the first affair is a question about sincerity and the second affair is a question about adherence to the path of the Messenger. The heart cannot be completely sound until it is safe from five affairs: [a] Safe from Shirk which is in opposition to Tawheed; [b] Safe from bidah which is in opposition to the Sunnah; [c] Safe from lusts which in opposition to obeying commandments; [d] Safe from heedlessness which is opposition to being in a state of remembrance of Allaah; and [e] Safe from desires which is in opposition to adherence to the Sunnah and Sincerity.

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[Source: بدائع التفسير الجامع لما فسَّره الإمام ابن القيم الجوزية Abridged and slightly paraphrased. Vol 2. Page: 276-277]

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf