The Dead Heart

This is the heart that contains no life. It does not know its Lord and it does not worship Him by complying to His command and doing that which He loves and is pleased with. Instead it is a slave to its carnal desires, temptations, and pleasures; oblivious of, and indifferent to, whether they lead to the displeasure of its Lord and His anger or not. Therefore it worships other than Allah; it directs hope, pleasure, displeasure, glorification, and submission to other than Him. If it loves, it loves for the sake of its base desires; if it hates, it hates for the sake of its base desires; if it withholds, it withholds for the sake of its base desires. It gives preference to its base desires and these are more beloved to it than the pleasure of its Master.

Base desires are its leader, carnal desires are its commander, ignorance is its driving force, and negligence is the vessel upon which it embarks. It is completely engrossed in pursuing its world desires. It is driven wild by the intoxication of its base desires and love of temporal things. It hears the call to Allah and the Abode of the Hereafter from a distant place and does not respond to the sincere advisor. It follows every cunning devil and the world is the cause of its anger and the cause of its pleasure. Base desires have deafened it and blinded it to anything other than falsehood. In this world it is like that which is said concerning Layla,

An enemy to whosoever she displays enmity

and at peace with those she likes

Whosoever she draws close to,

he loves and draws close to.

Mixing with the person who has this heart is sickness, interacting with him is poison, and sitting with him is ruin.

Taken from Ighathatu’l l-Lahfan fi Masayid al-Shaytan, Vol 1, pp11-19 by Imam ibn al-Qayyim