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Purification of the Heart

Purification of the Heart

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Hamza Yusuf



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Sandala Productions Inc.
New 2012 Print in multicolored fonts!

The suffering of the world is spoken of in terms of wars, starvation, hatred, competition, and the struggle of the survival of the fittest. Yet all the suffering of the world originates in the human heart. Every crime committed, every act of oppression, every callous cruelty, and every injustice to the self or others emanates from the hearts of men. However, for every wrong wrought by the human heart, a thousand acts of mercy have issued forth: every mother’s love, every child’s forgiveness, every teacher’s care, and every father’s concern for the well-being of his progeny–all have their source in the core of the human being, the human heart. If we are to right the world, we must first rectify our hearts, and this is why every revelation has been granted to humanity in order to make firm our hearts. The most oft-recited prayer of the blessed Prophet, peace and prayers be upon him, was “O Revolver of the hearts, make firm my heart upon the straight way.” In no equivocal terms, the Qur’an states, “On the day of Judgement, when neither wealth nor children will avail, only one who brings forth a sound heart.” A sound Heart! The soundest of hearts was the heart of the Messenger of Allah, peace and prayers be upon him, who, through his purity and singularity of intention, transformed the world. His teaching remains, and the challenge is for each of us to take it and to transform our hearts with it, thereby, transforming the very world in which we now reside. Time is of the essence. The diseases of the heart, so prevalent among men now, threaten the very biosphere we have been commissioned to protect. Before you is a text that gives practical means and methods of transformation. Learn them, and use them, and then pass them on. -Hamza Yusuf 
Purification of the Heart, as its title states, is a course on the vessel of human spirituality, character, and morality -- the heart. The suffering and problems that we confront in our lives on a personal and even global level actually come down to the condition of the heart. Muslim scholars throughout history have written extensively on this topic, as prompted by the well-known statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and verses of the Quran. In essence, Purification of the Heart is a course on the "Greater Jihad" -- as it has been called by illustrious learned men and women of Islamic civilization -- our struggle to become better human beings, luminaries of faith and morality.

This present text is based on the poem known as Matharat al-Qulub (literally, Purification of the Hearts), which offers a means by which purification can be achieved. It was written by a great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud al-Ya'qubi al-Musawi al-Muratani. As his name indicates, he was from Mauritania in West Africa. He was a brilliant scholar who mastered all of the Islamic sciences, including the inward sciences of the soul. The spiritual diseases of the heart addressed in this volume include: miserliness, wantonness, hatred, iniquity, envy, ostentation, vanity, fraud, and more. Imam Mawlud directs his attention to each of these diseases, discusses their causes, and offers cures. His teachings imply that purification is a life-long process, not something that is applied once and then forgotten. Purity of heart never survives a passive relationship. Rather, it requires constant consideration. This book hopes to introduce to readers how that is done.

The Prophet spoke about the heart in a manner that leads one to believe that its corruption means disaster for the soul and our happiness. "Purification" is not a state per se, as you will soon hear, but is a process and always so. It is called the "Greater Jihad" because the struggle never ends, so long as we live in this world. Our faith depends on winning this struggle, as does the kind of life we will meet in the Hereafter.

"If we examine the trials and tribulations all over earth, we'll find they are rooted in human hearts. Covetousness, the desire to aggress and exploit, the longing to pilfer natural resources, the inordinate love of wealth, and other maladies are manifestations of diseases found nowhere but in the heart. Every criminal, miser, abuser, scoffer, embezzler, and hateful person does what he or she does because of a diseased heart. So if you want to change our world, do not begin by rectifying the outward. Instead, change the condition of the inward. It is from the unseen world that the phenomenal world emerges, and it is from the unseen realm of our hearts that all actions spring. . . . We of the modern world are reluctant to ask ourselves-when we look at the terrible things happening-€œWhy do they occur?€ And if we ask that with sincerity, the answer will come back in no uncertain terms: all of this is from our own selves. In so many ways, we have brought this upon ourselves. This is the only empowering position that we can take."
- Excerpted from Hamza Yusuf's Introduction


Hamza Yusuf Hanson was born in Washington State and raised in Northern California. After exploring religions at an early age, he converted to Islam at 18 and set out on a journey that would take him to places of study in England, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, and finally West Africa where he spent a transformative period with Murabit al-Hajj, a master of the inner and outer sciences of Islam. After a sojourn of ten years abroad, Hamza Yusuf returned to the U.S. and took degrees in Nursing and Religious Studies. In 1998, he co-founded the Zaytuna Institute in order to teach the traditional sciences of Islam to people in the West. He is recognized today as one of the most influential voices for Islam in the West and has advised several world leaders including the President of the United States and the head of the Arab League. Yusuf resides in Northern California with his wife and children.

5 Stars
This is THE essential book of gaining a distinct level of spirituality. To move forward in your deen, this is a wonderful if not obligatory start. Absolutely wonderful. Check out his agenda to change your condition book also.
Did you find this helpful?  2 of 2 Found Helpful
Reviewed by:  from California. on 10/12/2012
5 Stars
A Must Have !
Every muslim household should have a copy . One of the must read books of our generation. It will Insha-Allah impact the way you approach people and remedy sins of the nafs.
Did you find this helpful?  2 of 2 Found Helpful
Reviewed by:  from Virginia, US. on 8/1/2012
5 Stars
EXCEPTIONAL GEM!!! A MUST for Every Single Muslim to Learn, Memorize, Fully Embed, and Transmit/Share with EVERY Single Member of his/her Family, CHILDREN, Community, but also to Friends and Acquaintances, Muslims & Non-Muslims alike. MOST SIGNIFICANT TRANSFORMATIVE Book I have EVER read!!! I am going to re-read it again, and again, and again, until its Precepts become Instinctive and Second Nature to Me. And as soon as my children are old enough to read and understand Insha Allah, I will make them Learn it as well as it is very easy to read and understand. UNBELIEVABLE Work!!! Masha Allah, EXCEPTIONAL work! Jazakum Allah Bil Khair, Dear Imam Al Mawlud for writing It, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf for translating it, and Al Rashad Books' Staff for distributing it! Jazakum Allah Bil Khair, Insha Allah, Ameen!
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Reviewed by:  from South Florida. on 2/23/2014
5 Stars
must read!!!!
This is a must read book! Full of wisdom...and cure for the diseased heart!!
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Reviewed by:  from New York. on 10/29/2013

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