Fourth: An Upright Heart
The heart is the container where knowledge is stored. If the container is firm, it will store and protect what is placed in it, and if the container is damaged, it will lose what is placed in it.
The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made the heart the foundation of everything, as he said:
“Verily, there is a morsel of flesh in the body that if it is correct, the entire body will be correct, and if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart.”
An upright heart comes about through awareness of Allaah and knowledge of His Names, Attributes and Actions. It also comes about by way of reflecting on His signs and creations, and by pondering on the Qur’aan. An upright heart also comes about due to one constantly prostrating (in prayer) and frequently observing the night prayer.
One should also avoid the things that corrupt and sicken the heart, since if these things are present in the heart, it will not be able to carry the knowledge. And even if the heart does carry it, it will not be understood, as Allaah says about the hypocrites – those with diseased hearts:
“They have heart with which they do not comprehend.” [Surah Al-Araaf: 179]
The diseases of the heart are of two types: Desires and Doubts
Desires are such as love for this worldly life and its pleasures and being preoccupied with that; love for unlawful images; listening to unlawful things such as musical voices and instruments; and looking at the forbidden.
Doubts are such as corrupt beliefs; innovated actions; and ascribing to innovated ideological movements.
Some other diseases of the heart that also serve as obstacles before knowledge are: jealousy, spite and pride.
Some other things that corrupt the heart are: excessive sleep, excessive speech and excessive eating.
Therefore, one should avoid these diseases and corruptors in order to rectify the heart and make it upright.
Posted from : Ten Guidelines for Obtaining Knowledge – Shaykh Abdullaah Adh-Dhufairee
The treatise has been introduced and praised by Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmee, one of the elder scholars in Saudi Arabia, thus indicating its importance and benefit.