The Effects of Evil: Darkness of the Heart

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

An exemplification of the blackening of the heart due to sin upon sin.
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Imām Ibn al-Qayyim [d. 751 AH] said: Acts of disobedience have ugly, blameworthy, and harmful side effects that extend to one’s heart, body, the worldly life and the hereafter; [the details] of which no one is fully aware of except for Allāh. From them is a palpable darkness the sinner will find in his heart. He feels it like he perceives the gloomy darkness of a jet-black night. The darkness of disobedience that has encompassed his heart becomes like a physical darkness that impedes his vision. Indeed, acts of obedience are a light, and acts of disobedience are darkness. As darkness is strengthened, so is the confusion the disobedient one finds himself in. Until he falls into acts of innovation, misguidance, and destructive matters without him even perceiving it. He is like a blind man that has taken an excursion into the blackness of night walking by himself. The darkness becomes so tangible that it appears in the eyes of this individual, then it again strengthens to where it overcomes his countenance. The blackness [of his sin] becomes displayed as part of him, seen by every onlooker.

‘Truly, goodness produces a brightness of countenance, a light in the heart, a expansion in sustenance, a strength in the body, and imparts love [for that person] in the hearts of the creation. Verily, evil causes blackness of the face, darkness of the heart, weakness of the body, deficiency in provision, and hatred in the hearts of the creation.’

ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās [may Allāh be pleased with both of them]

Source: Al-Dāʾ wa al-Dawāʾ: 134-135
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: June 1, 2022
Edited: June 6, 2022


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