ALLAH does not change the state of people, until they change it themselves

30.12.11

Spiritual Diseases

People are very familiar with physical ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Similarly people have spiritual ailments such as hatred, greed, lust and the like that are much more dangerous than any physical disease can ever be. Allah has referred to these spiritual ills as diseases in the Holy Quran and hence tazkia is absolutely mandatory on everyone.

In their hearts is a disease (2:10)

Likewise the women of the believers were ordered to veil themselves so that the person with a disease of the heart would not be tempted and fall to lust. Hence, looking at unfamiliar women with lustful eyes is an indication of a disease within the heart because the gaze is yet impure. Tazkia is mandatory to purify our hearts of these spiritual diseases, and this is the main reason why we need to surrender ourselves to the care of a trained shaykh who can cleanse us of these.

In this world no one can say that he will read all there is to know about his disease from books and then formulate his own prescription and cure. Even the most knowledgeable doctors often take the opinion of superiors in certain situations, especially when they themselves might be ill because they acknowledge that a third opinion should always be sought. Hence where there are doctors for physical ailments there are also doctors for the spiritual diseases mentioned above.

Spiritual doctors are called mashaikh, righteous people who have spent time with their elders who were close to Allah so that they could learn and perfect their roles as guides and healers. A profession or art cannot be learnt from books and it is a foregone conclusion that one must sit in the company of a teacher to learn the specific skill effectively.

Moreover, no one can claim to become a doctor merely by studying the books of medicine even though all the necessary knowledge may be present there. Medical students are put through rigorous schedules under their teachers and, even after passing, are not allowed to prescribe until they complete their residency supervised by more experienced personnel. Only after successful completion of residency are they certified to treat patients. Hence these doctors passed through a predetermined system where they first had to learn medical knowledge under teachers, and then had to perform practically under the supervision of trained doctors already in practice before they were deemed ready to be able to treat people on their own.

The training of spiritual doctors follows the same course in which students start by learning religious knowledge of the Holy Quran and hadith from trained scholars. After this stage the student stays in the company of the mashaikh who train and test him further to determine his value and skills. The student is then endorsed after this long association with his elders just like the resident is endorsed after his long residency. Only now if his elder mashaikh deem him ready is he certified to teach dhikr and become a spiritual healer of people.

In order to heal people of these spiritual ailments the mashaikh do not prescribe rigorous treatments or impossible tasks. The Messenger of Allah said that dhikr is the cure of the heart. Hence the mashaikh teach different dhikr for different kinds of diseases and Allah cures the heart through the blessing of that particular dhikr. This is known as tazkia-e-nafs.

For effective tazkia a person needs to find a suitable shaykh in the world and sit in his company. A doctor cannot help if the patient does not reveal his disease, and likewise the person needs to be candid with the shaykh regarding his hidden diseases no matter how shameful. He then needs to use the spiritual prescription that the shaykh gives him so that all his inner evils are eventually cleansed. This is the easiest option to tazkia but there is still another option if this is not taken advantage of.
Allah has promised Paradise for the believers, but a condition is that only those can enter who have achieved tazkia and purified their hearts.

Gardens of Eternity beneath which rivers flow…such is the reward of those who purify themselves [of evil] (20:76)

If a believer dies without having achieved tazkia in this life then Allah will begin his tazkia as soon as he enters the grave to prepare him for Paradise.

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