Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
ALLAH TA’ALA STATES IN THE QUR`AAN SHARIEF:
“AND DO NOT BE AMONG THE HEEDLESS.”
[Surah Al-A'raaf 7:205]
Living in this world, it is not proper for any person to be unmindful and negligent of the objective and purpose of his existence. Allah Ta’ala informs us:
“AND I CREATED NOT THE JINN AND MANKIND EXCEPT THAT THEY SHOULD WORSHIP ME.”
[Surah Az-Zaariyaat 51 : 56]
And Allah Ta’ala reminds us:
“DID YOU THINK THAT WE CREATED YOU FOR NOTHING, AND THAT YOU WILL NOT BE BROUGHT BACK TO US?”
[Surah Al-Mu`minoon 23 : 115]
Ghaflat is heedlessness … negligence … being unaware. It is diversion. It is thinking or doing something when one should have been thinking or doing something else. Being distracted in any work is ghaflat, and ghaflat is extremely dangerous.
I usually give the example, that if a family is receiving special guests, then normally, the ladies of the house are busy in their preparations. If the ladies decide to serve hot, hot samoosas, they keep the frying pan on the stove, with the hot oil in it, ready for frying. When they hear the visitors arrive, the exchange of Salaam, etc. and are about to put the samoosas into the hot oil, a two year old child, playing nearby, pulls down the handle of the frying pan and all that boiling hot oil falls onto the child. May Allah Ta’ala protect all.
What was the cause of that terrible accident? …It was a little unmindfulness; a moment of Ghaflat; a moment of distraction. The ghaflat of not being watchful over the child and leaving the handle easy for reach, leads to such a frightening situation and such extensive harm! A person is driving and talking on his cell-phone. He is distracted. This is Ghaflat, which can result in a serious accident.
In worldly matters, we find that negligence and inattentiveness have resulted in tremendous loss, harm, damage and regret. However, the unmindfulness of Dien is worse than the unmindfulness of Dunya. Ghaflat of Dien has worse consequences by far. Unfortunately this is widespread and it is a grave weakness and failing, which we need to remedy.
We pass our lives, spending days and nights, unmindful and heedless of Allah Ta’ala, of Allah Ta’ala’s Commands, of our purpose in this world, of death, of Aakhirah and of accountability. This results in futility and sins. …Many wander through life, aimlessly. Although Allah Ta’ala’s signs are everywhere, no effort is made to find out why we are here.
“… AND VERILY, MANY AMONG MANKIND ARE HEEDLESS OF OUR SIGNS.”
[Surah Yunus 10 : 92]
The repercussions of heedlessness are most severe and grave. When a person is ghaafil, he makes no effort for his Aakhirah. No effort is made to accumulate the provisions for the journey ahead – the journey to the Hereafter. …Ghaflat makes us forget Allah Ta’ala. And Allah Ta’ala says in regard to those who forget Him:
“AND BE NOT LIKE THOSE WHO FORGOT ALLAH; AND HE MADE THEM FORGET THEIR OWN SOULS; SUCH ARE THE TRANSGRESSORS.”
[Surah Al-Hashr 59 : 19]
Heedlessness leads us far away from Dien and practising on Dien; far away from Allah Ta’ala’s Pleasure and far away from Jannah, with all its never-ending bounties. A heedless heart falls into sin. Shaytaan becomes the companion of one who is ghaafil, and shaytaan invites to all those actions which satisfy the nafs and which leads us to the doorstep of Jahannum.
Allah Ta’ala mentions those who have sound knowledge and skill when it comes to the affairs of the world, business, trade, etc. but they do not consider beyond this temporary world. Despite their worldly acumen and expertise, they are heedless in preparing for the life to come. Let us not be counted as one of them.
“THEY KNOW WHAT IS APPARENT OF THE WORLDLY LIFE; AND OF THE HEREAFTER, THEY ARE GHAFILOON (HEEDLESS).”
[Surah Ar-Rum 30 : 7]
Ghaflat is also found in our Ibaadah. While engaged in Salaah, we are pre-occupied with everything besides Salaah. We are careless, inattentive and read just for the sake of reading. We fulfil the postures of Salaah without thought that we are standing in the Court of Allah Ta’ala, before Allah Ta’ala, and that we are communicating with Allah Ta’ala. We give no attention to the required etiquettes. There is no concentration and no humility. Allah Ta’ala describes this kind of Salaah as the Salaah of the Munafiqeen (hypocrites).
“SO WOE TO THOSE PERFORMERS OF SALAAH, WHO ARE HEEDLESS OF THEIR SALAAH…”
[Surah Al-Ma`oon 107 : 4 / 5]
…Very, very sadly, the Ummah, at large, has fallen deep into this misfortune and catastrophe of Ghaflat, and the consequences are seen today, throughout the world – in the form of oppression, suppression and destruction of the Ummah.
From amongst the remedies for the sickness of heedlessness, is keeping before us, our death – our return to Allah Ta’ala, as well as consciously remembering Allah Ta’ala. Unfortunately, we are so consumed in our worldly matters, we forget that we are going to die, and we pass our days care-free; or worse, in the disobedience of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala says:
“THE RECKONING OF THE PEOPLE HAS DRAWN NEAR TO THEM, WHILE THEY ARE IN NEGLIGENCE, TURNING AWAY.”
[Surah Al-Ambiyaa 21:1]
Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Frequently remember the destroyer of life’s pleasures; death.” …If death is brought into the equation, the chain of thoughts, which will come to mind, whenever nafs and shaytaan encourage and tempt us towards Haraam, will be: What if I have to die in this action? What will happen in my grave? What will happen on the Day of Qiyamah? …This chain of thoughts will protect us from committing sin. This train of thoughts will encourage us towards righteousness.
How long is the enjoyment of this world? A few days and it is all over; yet, we are so immersed and involved in Dunya that we rarely think about our Maut (death) and Aakhirah.
“Whoever comes into this world, death says to him:
‘I am following you closely!’”
We are distracted and side-tracked by the toys of the world – whether in the forms of our homes, businesses, cars, cell-phones, etc. – all of which we will have to leave behind very soon.
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziya رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ had encapsulated these spiritual weaknesses and their remedies, saying: “The heart is tarnished by two things: heedlessness and sin. It is polished by two things: remembrance and asking forgiveness.”
Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Everything has a cleaner, and the cleaner of the hearts is the remembrance of Allah.”
In various Aayaat of the Qur’aan Shareef and in many Ahadith as well, we are enjoined to remember Allah Ta’ala. Very fortunate are those who constantly do so. …Allah Ta’ala praises those who remember Him in all situations, in all conditions; at all times:
“…THOSE WHO REMEMBER ALLAH STANDING, SITTING AND LYING DOWN ON THEIR SIDES…”
[Surah Aal-Imraan 3 : 190/1]
As mentioned, the heart is also polished by seeking forgiveness. Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam explained: “When a Mu’min (believer) sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart.”
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding and the concern. May Allah Ta’ala cure us of all our spiritual ailments, awaken our sleeping hearts and grant us the Taufeeq of spending our lives, constructively occupied in noble deeds, which will earn us His Pleasure and Najaat (salvation).
 Shu'abul Iman (This has also been recorded as the statement of Hazrat Abu Darda رَضِىَ الله عَنْه)