Right of the Heart

What is the right of the heart according to Ibn Taymiyyah in his ‘Essay on the Heart’?

Ibn Taymiyyah says: “It then becomes clear that the heart was only created for the remembrance of Allah”. In the very beginning he said: “it is the right of the heart to know the truth and Allah is the ultimate truth.” So if it is that right to know Allah, we are talking about the remembrance of Allah that we should be conscious of Allah; that Allah should be in our hearts. And the importance of the remembrance of Allah, that knowledge can be found in a hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah and is authentic in which The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Indeed this world and its contents are cursed, except the remembrance of Allah and what helps to remember Allah.”[1]

This is how important the remembrance of Allah is. The Prophet (ﷺ) also said:

“Shall I inform you of the best of your deeds? The one that raises you most in rank, most purifying in the sight of Allah which is better for you than giving gold and silver and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks and them striking your necks. They said certainly tell us. He said: It is the remembrance of Allah, the exalted. It is the remembrance of Allah the exalted.”[2]

The Prophet (ﷺ) puts the remembrance of Allah before everything, above everything that we know. Among the greatest of deeds is jihad, zakaah, giving of our wealth. Of course Allah stressed that saying:

“...It is only with the remembrance of Allah that the hearts find rest.”[3]

So obviously that is something everybody seeks. Everybody seeks what we call peace of mind. Every human being strives for it in one way or another, whether he strives for it in the pleasures of this world thinking that in attaining them he will get satisfaction, satisfaction being peace of mind. If not as the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“If the child of Adam were given one valley of gold, he would desire another.”[4]

This is the nature of human beings and they say the grass is always greener on the other side. We are never satisfied. The more you have, the more you want. So there is no satisfaction and peace of mind except ultimately in the remembrance of Allah.

References:

[1] [ At-Tirmidhi (2322). Sheikh Albani said hadeeth hasan in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi (2322).]

[2] [At-Tirmidhi (3377). Sheikh Albani said saheeh in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi (3377).]

[3] [Qur’an 13:28]

[4] [Al Bukhari (6075) on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik.]

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