Wonders of the Heart-Imam Al-Ghazali

I have been reading this book ever since last semester but still, I haven’t managed to finish it. Anyway, it isn’t a matter of finishing the book; I prefer comprehending the words and internally digesting the contents to finally reaching the last page of the book. I used to be like that- to complete my reading of a book so that I could move on to the next one. I guess I’m older now (though I wouldn’t say that I’m getting any wiser) so I am experiencing a slight change of preference.


Alright, I am going to cite a few things that I got from the book. The notes below are the ones that truly hit my head and heart. I am easily affected by my moods and irrational thoughts particularly at the times like this, where I’m not occupied with that much of intellectual work. Although it was only a few pages, these words make sense to me.


Read them:


The doors of irrational souls:

  1. Anger and appetence -when one’s heart isn’t at ease, one gets angry easily I believe.
  2. Envy and greedhumans are never satisfied with what they already have.
  3. Overeating-this is happening to me. I’ve gained 3 kgs already!
  4. Love of adornment-fashion is overpowering the society nowadays. Many have died just to create an idealised look.
  5. Striving to gain the favour of men-i’m not very sure of what this means. I think humans are seeking for power/control over their own kinds.
  6. Haste-people who are always in a rush, I figure. so, we’ve got to take our time. slow down our pace of life.
  7. Love of money-Materialistic.
  8. Stinginess-Again, money matters.
  9. Sectarianism-not sure. I think Semangat Assabiyah kot. (Berpuak2)
  10. The study of theology by the common people-(can’t really elaborate on this. i’m unsure of what it truly means)
  11. Thinking evil of Muslimsi assume this should be understood by many


As I go further reading it, I also found this:


When man habitually yields to the demands of his lower intellect becomes the slave of his passions, and is entirely occupied with schemes to attain the ends of his lower desires. The master has become enslaved, and the soul is overcome by confusion, immorality and sin.


The excerpt above has kept me thinking:  Have I become the slave of my passion? People nowadays are always saying to go for one’s passion. I am doing this and that because of my passion. Maybe, up to a certain extent, passion is needed to motivate yourself to excel at doing things. However, what differentiates a man and an animal is the existence of intellect. Humans are given the intellects to rationalise their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. In the case of mine, I’d play the piano for hours and I didn’t even realise that I’ve hurt my brother’s feelings for example, when he calls for attention. I’d just brush him off because he’s such a nuisance and is always disturbing me. Sorry if I have been using ME as reference for a number of times. It’s better that way rather than to hurt other people’s feelings Okay, maybe I can give you another example that isn’t ME. Let’s use SMEAGOL/GOLLUM in the Lord of The Rings. I’ve just watched the trilogy recently and I have learnt many philosophical things in it. Smeagol is attracted to the Ring (the Ring symbolises the passion for POWER). Smeagol even calls the ring “MY PRECIOUS“. He loves it so much that he neglects himself and his surrounding. Just take a good look at Smeagol. He is bony, ugly and he eats RAW fish! He was once a HOBBIT, a happy and healthy hobbit! Because of his love and passion for the Ring, he becomes the slave of his passion. Honestly, it is torturous to be feeling such a way. I can imagine that. Then there’s another example taken from the LOTR again. The remaining nine rings belonged to Nine Kings which are called the Nasguls. They are neither humans nor ghosts. They are living in the middle. This situation is hypothetical in a way that humans who long for things in the most extreme way are always chasing what they long for. One is too absorbed in one’s own little world and one forgets to live in the present. The person is like a living corpse. The body is there but the soul has gone somewhere else.


These are all what I’ve understood. I maybe wrong (please correct me if I do so). My intention is purely to share what I understand about life and this laptop listens to me well. hehe..


And one more quote before I end this post:

Satan’s food is man’s appetence or desire. It therefore becomes man’s duty to empty his heart of all desire for worldly things, and thus remove that upon which Satan feeds.


Yes. Our desires are his food. Just imagine that our desires are food to Satan like McDonald’s to us? I am ashamed of myself because my heart loves all the Worldly stuff. I could still remember Yana’s quote  “Manusia ni cintakan dunia”. Yes, it is true I believe that we resist to change for the better because we love Dunia so much.


Let us all be strong to resist the temptations that could lead us astray. Amin.

5 thoughts on “Wonders of the Heart-Imam Al-Ghazali

  1. An excellent read. Love the part where LOTR is used as an example.

    I do believe that most of us are slaves to our passions mainly because of our intentions are not truly made in the name of Allah Taala. I feel that we strive very hard to please ourselves and others that we forget to first please Allah.

    I think everyone wants to change for the better if even subconsciously. We all want success and happiness. But it’s the reasons that make the difference. Unless we do it in the name of Allah, then we should not do it at all. It’s imperative that we maintain our Niat before we do something, while we are doing it and even after it is done.

    Thanks for sharing Nad!

    • Thnx farzen. yes, that’s the obvious example that I can think of. we are indeed being blinded by the Worldly things. i hope that we’ll always be on the Right Path. Amin.

  2. I have had this question for such a long time, what is it to do things for the sake of ALLAH most gracious, and what does it mean to please THEE. Throughout my past years of teenage-hood, which I refer to as the seeking period of Human being, I haven’t saved an effort to avoid attributing humanized traits to his EXCELLENCY especially at the subconscious level. And until now, I couldn’t manage to concretely analyse the concept of doing things for the sake of ALLAH or the concept of pleasing ALLAH. How would you go about drawing a thick line between deeds committed for pure personal satisfaction and ones “for the sake of ALLAH” especially for us, teenagers, who are striving consciously or subconsciously to draw attraction and earn appreciation. I wish we could be more detail-oriented and define what we are targeting in an objective way that has the least amount of egoistic tendencies.

    • Salam moataz. First of all, let me make myself clear that I, like all Muslims, am always in the process of learning about Islam, therefore, I am not an expert in this matter. As to draw a clear line between performing deeds for the sake of Allah and pleasing HIM, I’m also quite unsure about this. Perhaps, I can ask people around to answer this question. But I can give my opinion regarding this matter though. I think that doing things for the sake of HIM is also pleasing HIM. And as to respond to your saying that “teenagers, who are striving consciously or subconsciously to draw attraction and earn appreciation”, I believe that what we constantly seek is HIS approval, HIS recognition, not the society’s. As human beings, we do want to be appreciated and to be recognised for what we have accomplished. But we will not feel pressured or neglected or even slighted when people don’t appreciate our efforts and our abilities because we don’t seek theirs. We seek HIS instead. I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you an objective answer at the moment. Perhaps, there isn’t any objective answer. I don’t know. I’ll post another response in the future once I get some answers from my friends who are more learned in this field.

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