Be More Concerned about the Actions of the Heart than the Actions of the Limbs: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his tafsir of surah al-Taariq, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen wrote:

وقوله تعالى : [يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ] ، أي : تختبر  السرائر ، وهي القلوب ، فإن الحساب يوم القيامة على ما في القلوب ، والحساب في الدنيا على ما في الجوارح ، ولهذا عامل النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – المنافقون معاملة المسلمين حيث كان يُسنأذن في قتلهم فيقول : { لا يتحدث الناس أنّ محمد يقتل أصحابه } فكان لا يقتلهم ، وهو يعلم أن فلانا منافق ، و فلانا منافق ، لكن العمل في الدنيا على الظاهر ويوم القيامة على الباطن [يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ] أي : تختبر ، وهذا كقوله تعالى : [ أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ * وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ ]  <العاديات 9، 10>  ـ

Allah’s statement [describing the Day of Resurrection]:

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ

The Day when the secrets will be tested [86:9]

meaning, when when the secrets will be put through a testing, and “the secrets” is referring to the hearts. For the reckoning and judgement of the Day of Resurrection will be according to what is in one’s heart, while the reckoning and judgement in this worldly life is according to what is outwardly manifested. It was because of this that the Prophet treated the munaafiqoon (hypocrites) as Muslims when he was petitioned for permission to kill them and responded by saying, “Let the people not say that Muhammad kills his companions”, and so they were not killed even though he knew that such-and-such person was a munaafiq and that so-and-so was a munaafiq. Deeds are taken according to what is apparent in this worldly life, while deeds will be taken according to their inner dimensions on the Day of Resurrection.

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ

The Day when the secrets will be tested [86:9]

meaning: put through a testing. And this is similar to Allah’s statement:

أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ * وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ

Doesn’t he know that when the contents of the graves will be upturned * and the contents of the chests will be exposed [100:9-10]

ولهذا يجب علينا العناية بعمل القلب أكثر من العناية بعمل الجوارح ، عمل الجوارح علامة ظاهرة ، لكن عمل القلب هو الذي عليه المدار ؛ ولهذا أخبر النبي عن الخوارج يخاطب الصحابة  يقول : { يحقر أحدكم صلاته مع صلاتهم ، وصيامه مع صيامهم – يعني : أنهم يجتهدون في الأعمال الظاهرة لكن قلوبهم خالية والعياذ بالله – لا يتجاوز لاإسلام حناجرهم ، يمرقون من الإسلام ، كما يمرق السهم من الرمية } ، قال الحسن البصري رحمه الله : { والله ما سبقهم أبو بكر بصلاة ، ولا صوم ، وإنما سبقهم بما وقر في قلبه من الإيمان } والإيمان إذا وقر في القلب حمل الإنسان على العمل ، لكن العمل الظاهر قد لا يحمل الإنسان على إصلاح قلبه ، فعلينا أن نعتني بقلوبنا وأعمالها وعقائدها واتجاهاتها واصلاحها وتخليصها من شوائب الشرك والبدع والحقد والبغضاء وكراهة ما أنزل الله على رسوله وكراهة الصحابة – رضي الله عنه ، وغير ذلك مما يجب تنزيه القلب عنه . ـ

So in light of this, it is a must that we give greater attention to the actions of our hearts than the attention we pay to the actions of our limbs. The actions of our limbs are outwards signs, however the actions of the heart are what they revolve around. It is because of this that the Prophet informed his companions about the Khawaarij by saying, “Any one of you would consider his prayers or fasting as insignificant compared to their prayers and fasting” – meaning that they exerted themselves greatly in outwards forms of worship, however their hearts were empty, and we seek refuge with Allah from that – “but Islam does not go any further than their throats. They will desert Islam as an arrow exits the prey’s body.” al-Hasan al-Basri said, “By Allah, Abu Bakr did not surpass you in prayer nor in fasting; he only surpassed by means of the eemaan which had taken hold in his heart.” And when eemaan takes hold in one’s heart, then it drives a person to do good deeds, but one’s outward actions do not necessarily prompt the rectification of a person’s heart. So it is incumbent upon us to give concern to our hearts and to their actions, their beliefs, their views, their rectification, and their purification from the impurities of al-shirk, innovation, envy, malice, disliking what Allah revealed to His Messenger, disliking the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), or anything other than that which the hearts needs to be freed of.

[al-Tafseer al-Thameen li’l-‘Allaamah al-‘Uthaymeen 14/449-450]

See also: Those who come to Allah with a Pure Heart: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: The Importance of Pure Intention: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: “Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves”

See also: Three Conditions for the Acceptance of Deeds: Imam al-Shinqitee

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2 thoughts on “Be More Concerned about the Actions of the Heart than the Actions of the Limbs: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

  1. Pingback: Those who come to Allah with a Pure Heart: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves” | Tulayhah

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