Sheikh Abdur Rahman ibn al-Jawzi رحمه الله has said that our external actions give testimony to what we were involved in privacy. Our Mashā’ikh were extremely fearful of the wrath of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله, they hoped for reward for their actions, they showed the utmost respect to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله in solitude and annihilated their pleasures for His sake.
Our conduct definitely has an impact on the hearts of others. It is like a person burning incense; the fragrance will spread far and wide although the people will not be able to trace its source. The effort (towards virtues) depend on the desires given up and the fragrance is linked to the effort. We notice that people will extol the praises of those who have sacrificed their desires for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله and there will be an intense respect for them in the hearts. Many are remembered long after they have passed away; this is proportionate to how they feared Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله. Once someone asked Hazrat Hassan al-Basri رحمه الله as to why he was perpetually overwhelmed with grief, he never smiled and was constantly weeping. He replied that he was consumed by the fear of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله Who is the King of Jahannum. Furthermore, he was plagued by the fear of being deceived by Shaitān and his Nafs which could result in him being punished! سبحان الله. This was the fear of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله expressed by this eminent saint; today nearly 1400 years later we discuss his life with reverence and admiration.
There are those who don’t fear Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله in solitude but fear the opinions of people. They are like those who diffuse an abhorrent odour which gives testimony to the filth of their sins. They will be remembered for their sins for a long time. There are others who have both good deeds and sins; they remain unknown. Neither are they praised or blamed.
Sheikh Abdur Rahman ibn al-Jawzi رحمه الله advised that we reflect on the consequences of our sins. The learned Sheikh رحمه الله has shared the advices of Hazrat Abu Darda رضي الله عنه who said; “When a man disobeys Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله, He causes people to dislike him without him realising it.” We should therefore ponder and understand the reality of our actions; exercising greater caution with regards our actions in solitude. We need to reform both our inner and outer actions having this conviction that we will be rewarded or punished according to our intentions.
Shafeequl Ummah Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Farooq Sahib رحمه الله has so eloquently advised:
a) Let us reform our intentions;
b) Let us intend to reform ourselves