Extract from the book:
Diseases Of The Hearts & Their Cures
By Sheikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah
The hearts are of three types:
1) The correct heart that is secure from all desires that oppose the command of Allaah and His prohibitions, and it is secure from all doubts that contradict what He informs. Just as it is secure from worshipping anything else besides Allaah and from seeking judgement from any person other than His Messenger.
2) The dead heart, this being the opposite of the correct heart containing no life, neither knowing its Lord nor worshipping Him.
3) The heart that has some life but also has defect. So it contains love of Allaah, faith in Him, sincerity and trust towards Him from those things that are essential to it remaining alive. It also contains the love of vain desires and preferences for them, despicable morals and manners from those things that cause its death, and it is constantly wavering between these two conditions.
So the first type of heart is the living humble, soft and gentle heart.
The second type is dry, harsh and dead heart.
The third is the heart which is diseased, it can either be made secure or have its destruction sealed. All of the diseases of the heart are founded upon desires and doubts.The life of the heart and its illumination is the cause of all good to be found in it and its death and darkness is the cause of all evil to be found in it.
The heart can never be alive and correct except through cognisance of the truth and loving and preferring it to everything else.There can never be any happiness or joy or correction for it unless it makes its sole object of worship and desire Allaah alone. This can never be perfected except through purification of the heart, repentance, and its relinquishing itself from all types of false loves and despicable manners. This can never be attained except through striving hard against one’s soul that incites towards evil, and bringing it to account, and combating the satans from amongst men and jinn: from the human satans by turning away from them and combating their evil with good; from the satans from amongst jinn by holding oneself from them through rememberance of Allaah the Exalted, and seeking refuge with Him from them.
The heart becoming defective and weak revolves around two basic matters: the curruption of knowledge and the corruption of intent, and these in turn lead to two destructive illnesses-anger and misguidance. Misguidance being the end result of corruption of knowledge and anger being the end result of the corruption of intent. So these two diseases are the lords of all the ailments that afflict the heart. Its cure lies in guidance based on knowledge. Guidance based on knowledge is to know the Truth and to follow it. The whole of the Qur’aan is a cure for these two diseases and others and it contains perfect guidance.
Allaah, the Most High, said: “There has come unto you an exhortation from your Lord, a healing for that which is in your breasts, a guidance and mercy for the believers.” [Surah Yoonus (10):57].
“O you who believe! Answer the call of Allaah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life, and know that Allaah comes in between a person and his heart. And verily to Him you shall be gathered.” [Surah al-Anfaal (8):24].
“He brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living.” [Surah ar-Room (30):19].
Allaah, the Most High, informs us:
“Those who reject our signs are deaf, dumb and in darkness.” [Surah al-An’aam (6):39].