Shaykh ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah
As for the sickness of desire and passionate love then this is the soul loving that which would harm
it coupled with this is a hatred of that which would benefit it.
Passionate love is a psychological sickness, and when it’s effects become noticeable on
the body, it becomes a sickness that afflicts the mind also. Either by afflicting the mind by the likeness of melancholy,
or afflicting the body through weakness and emancipation. But the purpose here is to discuss its effect on the heart, for
passionate love is the fundament that makes the soul covet that which would harm it, similar to the one weak of body who covets
that which harms it, and if he is not satiated by that then he is grieved, and if he is satiated then his sickness increases.
The same applies to the heart afflicted with this love, for it is harmed by its connection to the loved, either by seeing,
hearing, touching or even thinking about it. And if he were to curb the love then the heart is hurt and grieved by this, and
if he gives in to the desire then the sickness becomes stronger and becomes a means through which the grievance is increased.
In the hadeeth concerning the saying of Moosa reported by Wahb*, which is recorded by Imam Ahmad in az-Zuhd:
Allah says: Indeed I drive away My friends from the
delights of this world and its opulence and comfort just as the compassionate shepherd drives away his camel from the dangerous
grazing lands. And indeed I make them avoid its tranquility and livelihood, just as the compassionate shepherd makes his camel
to avoid the resting placers wherein it would be easy prey. This is not because I consider them to be insignificant, but so
they may complete their portion of My kindness in safety and abundance, the delights of the world will not attract him and
neither would desires overcome him.
*Wahb ibn Munabbih is a noble taabi’ee, but this hadeeth is reported from him directly to the Prophet
(saaw) and is not authentic.
Therefore the only cure for the sick lies in his removing the sickness by removing this blameworthy love
from his heart.
There are some whose hearts contain the disease of desire and whose perceptions are only skin deep. When
the object of the desire submits, the sickness is satiated, and this satiation strengthens the desire and pursuit of the object
and hence strengthens the sickness. This is in contrast to the one whose objective is not met, for this failure results in
the removing the satiation that would strengthen the sickness and thereby the desire is weakened, as is the love. This is
because the person definitely intends that there be action accompanying his desire, for otherwise all his desire would be
is just whisperings of the soul, unless there is some speech or looking accompanying this.
As for the one who sis afflicted with this passionate love but holds back and is patient, then indeed
Allah will reward him for his taqwa as occurs in the hadeeth:
That the one who passionately loves someone yet holds back, conceals this and is patient, then dies upon
this, will be a martyr.
(A da’eef hadeeth . refer to the discussion concerning its authenticity in al-Jawaab al-Kaafee
and Rawdha al-Muhibbeen of Ibn al Qayyim and Silsilah ad-Da’eefah of al-Albaanee.)
This hadeeth is known to be the report of Yahya al-Qataat from Mujaahid from Ibn Abbas from the Prophet
(saaw) but it is problematic and such a hadeeth is not to be depended upon.
But it is known from the evidences of the Shareeah that if one were to hold back from performing that
which is unlawful, be it looking, speaking or acting, and he conceals this and does not articulate it so as not to fall into
that which is prohibited and he is patient in his obedience to Allah and keeps away from disobedience to Allah, despite the
pain that his heart feels due to this passionate love (similar to the case of the one who is patient through a calamity),
then indeed this person would gain the same reward as those who have feared Allah and been patient.
Verily, he who fears Allah and is patient, then surely Allah makes not the reward of the doers
good to be lost. [Surah Yusuf: Ayah 90]
But as for him who feared the standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil
desires and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode. [Surah an-Naaziaat: Ayah 40]
When the soul loves something, it will do all it can to attain it, so the one who does this out of having
a blameworthy love or hatred then this action of his would be sinful. For example, his hating a person due to envying him
and thereby harming whosoever is linked to that person.
As one poet affected by this said:
For the sake of a Sudanese girl he
loved Sudan to the point that he loved the black dogs due to his love of her.
Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah’s al Fawaaid (p111-112)
“The slave is not afflicted with a punishment greater in severity then the hardening of the heart
and being distant from Allah. For the Fire was created to melt the hardened heart. The most distant heart from Allah is the
heart which is hardened. If the heart becomes hardened, the eye becomes dry.
If four matters are exceeded in quantity, beyond
what is necessary, the heart shall become hardened:
Food, sleep, speech and sexual intercourse. A body
afflicted by disease does not derive nourishment from food or water, similarly a heart diseased by desire does not benefit
from admonishment and exhortation.
Whosoever desires to purify his heart, then let
him prefer Allah to his desires.
The heart which is clinging to its desires is veiled
from Allah, commensurate to the degree that it is attached to them, the hearts are the vessels of Allah upon his earth, hence
the most beloved of them to him, are the ones most compassionate, pure and resistant to deviation.
They (the transgressors) preoccupied their hearts [in the pursuance] of the Dunya, would that they preoccupied them with Allah and the
hereafter, then surely they would have reflected upon the intended meaning of his poignant words and verses. Their hearts
would have returned to their masters with wisdom, marvelously curious and [in possession] of the rarest of precious gems.
If the heart is nourished with remembrance, its
thirst quenched with contemplation and cleansed from corruption, it shall witness remarkable and wondrous matters, inspiring
Not every individual who is endowed with knowledge and wisdom, and assumes its character is form amongst its people.
Rather the people of knowledge and wisdom are those who infused life into their hearts by slaying their desires. As for the
one who slays his heart and vitalized his desires, then knowledge and wisdom is naked upon his tongue.
The destruction of the heart occurs by security
[in this Dunya] and negligence, its fortification occurs by fear and remembrance. If the heart renounces the pleasures of
the Dunya, it settles upon the [pursuance of] pleasures of the Hereafter, and amongst those who call towards it.
Should the heart become content with the pleasures
of the Dunya, those pleasures [of the hereafter] cease [to continue].
Yearning for Allah and his meeting is
like the gentle breeze blowing upon the heart, extinguishing the blaze of the Dunya. Whosoever caused his heart to settle
with his Lord shall be in a state, clam and tranquil, and whosoever sent it amongst the people shall be disturbed and excessively
For the love of Allah shall not enter a heart, which
contains the love of this world, except as a camel, which passes through the eye of a needle.
Hence, the most beloved servant before Allah is
the one whom He places in His servitude, whom He selects for His love, whom He causes to purify his worship for Him, dedicates
his objectives for Him, his tongue for His remembrance, and his limbs for His service.
The heart becomes sick, as the body becomes sick,
and its remedy is al-Tawbah and protection [from transgression].
It becomes rusty as a mirror becomes rusty, and
its clarity is obtained by remembrance. It becomes naked as the body becomes naked, and its beautification is at-Taqwa. It
becomes hungry and thirsty as the body becomes hungry and thirst, and its food and drink are knowledge, love, dependence,
repentance and servitude.”