Types of Diseases That Attack the Heart and Their Cure
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Excerpted from Chapter 1 in "Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam"
© Darussalam, Riyadh
First Edition: November 1999
There are two types of diseases that attack the heart, one doubt and error, and the second lust and desire; both are mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah says about the disease of doubt:
"In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah has increased their disease." (2:10)
And He said:
"...and that those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) and the disbelievers may say: 'What Allah intends by this (curious) example?'" (74:31)
Allah says concerning those who refuse to make the Qur'an and Sunnah the basis of their judgments:
"And when they are called to Allah (i.e., His Words, the Qur'an) and His Messenger, to judge between them, lo! a party of them refuses (to come) and turns away. But if the truth is on their side, they come to him willingly with submission. Is there a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt or fear lest Allah and His Messenger should wrong them in judgement? Nay, it is they themselves who are the Dhalimoon (polytheists, hypocrites and wrongdoers)." (24:48-50)
This is the disease of doubt and error.
Also, Allah says about desire and lust, adultery in this case:
"O wives of the Prophet! You are not likely any other women. If
you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in
whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery)
should be moved with desire..." (33:32)
Providing proper remedies for ailments of the heart (referring to spiritual and emotional ailments) only occurs at the hands of the Prophets, alaihim as salam, and Messengers of Allah. The heart becomes well when it acquires knowledge of its Lord and Creator and in His Names, Attributes, Actions and Commandments. The heart also becomes well when it prefers acquiring Allah's Pleasure and prefers what He likes, all the while avoiding His prohibitions and what might lead to His displeasure. There is no life, health, or wellbeing for the heart except by this method, which only the Messengers can provide. It is wrong to think that one can ever attain the heart's wellbeing through any other way than through the guidance of the Messengers of Allah. These errors result from confusing the heart's true wellbeing with satisfying and strengthening its lower animal lusts and desires. By this way the heart will be far from acquiring its true wellbeing, strength and even its very existence will be in danger. Those who do not distinguish between these two paths should grieve for their heart's life and health, or in fact for the lack of it. Let such people also grieve because of their lacking the light of true guidance and because they are completely in an ocean of darkness.