The Four Poisons of the Heart

There is always a reason to something. And there are specific things that we may be doing in our lives that may harden our hearts. It could be the way you talk to your parents, the way you treat your friends, sister, or brother, wife, husband ,the way of eating, the way of sleeping, the way you set up your daily routine. All of these factors may be due to the belief of a person. If a person takes heed of such things, then this person would have behaved differently during his daily life. The faith lies in the heart, the things that you do, effects the heart, as it is a sensitive important part of the body. Islam is our way of life, and every aspect in our lives is to do with our deen, never believe such things that some people may say; “Religion is separate from life.” If it is separate then what is religion?There are so many aspects that poison our hearts, even within your own self you may have a personality characteristic that may poison your heart like jealousy.But in this article it talks about the four poisons of the heart from the book “Purification of the soul” by Ibn Rajab / Ibn Qayyim

You should know that all acts of disobedience are poison to the heart and cause its sickness and ruin. They result in its will running off course, against that of Allâh, and so its sickness festers and increases. Ibn al-Mubârak said:

I have seen wrong actions killing hearts,And their degradation may lead totheir becoming addicted to them.Turning away from wrong actionsgives life to the hearts,And opposing your self is best for it.

Whoever is concerned with the health and life of his heart, must rid it of the effects of such poisons, and then protect it by avoiding new ones. If he takes any by mistake, then he should hasten to wipe out their effect by turning in repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allâh, as well as by doing good deeds that will wipe out his wrong actions.

By the four poisons we mean unnecessary talking, unrestrained glances, too much food and keeping bad company. Of all the poisons, these are the most widespread and have the greatest effect on a heart’s well-being.

“The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right, and his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right.”[1]

“Do not talk excessively without remembering Allâh, because such excessive talk without the mention of Allâh causes the heart to harden, and the person furthest from Allâh is a person with a hard heart.”[2]

“A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a frequent sinner.”[3]

“Shall I not tell you how to control all that?” I said, “Yes do, O Messenger of Allâh.” So he held his tongue between his fingers, and then he said:“Restrain this.” I said, “O Prophet of Allah, are we accountable for what we say?” He said, “May your mother be bereft by your loss! Is there anything more than the harvest of the tongues that throws people on their faces (or he said ‘on their noses’) into the Fire?”[4]


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