“I can no longer feel it.”
It is certainly inside me, but I have not felt it for so long now. In fact, I do not know when, where or even how it happened. What I know now is that I do not feel it. I have lost it. It was inside me. I truly felt it. Nevertheless, it has died.
I remember when it was alive and energetic. I felt then that I was alive. Whenever I came to do an act of obedience, my living heart was full of joy and happiness. However, now it is completely darkened by acts of disobedience and covered with drapes that never allow light to penetrate it.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said,
The sick heart is a heart with both life and illness. The former sustains it at one moment, the latter at another, and it follows whichever of the two that manages to dominate it. It has love for Allah, belief in Him, sincerity towards Him and reliance upon Him and these are what give it life. It also has a craving for desires, preferring them and striving to experience them. It is full of envy, arrogance, self-conceit, love of superiority and tendency to cause corruption on earth which can lead to its own destruction. It is motivated by two callers: one calling it to Allah, His Prophet and the Last Day; and the other calling it to this worldly life. It responds to whichever of the two that happens to be closer. That sick heart wavers between its safety and its ruin.
Nevertheless, I did not surrender. I did not feel comfortable with my heart wavering between light and darkness. I do not know whether my self loves darkness or is fond of light. Wavering between these two can make a person feel mad. Once he reaches the highest degree of obedience and closeness to Allah. As such he feels as if everything is all right and that he will remain straight. Nevertheless, darkness soon calls him and drags him to its circle. As such one can not flee from the custody of darkness. In fact, he falls into the traps of disobedience and moves down to the deepest degrees in challenging Allah The Almighty. Then he regains consciousness after having been dumbfounded by the horrible fall and gravity of being away from Allah The Almighty. Therefore, he quickly moves to Allah The Almighty asking Him to save him from darkness.
While one wavers between this and that, he gives free hand to himself leaving it to drag him to darkness. Meanwhile, his reason calls him to stand up, to wake up before it is too late! But he does nothing to save himself. Rather, he keeps on falling and falling and falling…
When he reaches the bottom, it is as if he does not feel his heart. He killed it by his own hand. He no longer feels the pain of disobedience or the sweetness of obedience. He lost the ability to feel anything around him. He even lost the taste of life itself.
My heart died:
He shouted loudly with a cry that echoed around the place, “My heart died. It no longer feels anything. Can the dead come to life again? Can it come back? How can it, when it is lifeless? How can it, when I have killed it by my own hand?”
Ibn Al-Qayyim said,
The opposite of the healthy heart is the dead heart. It neither knows its Lord nor worships Him according to what He commands, loves and approves. It clings instead to its lusts and desires, even if these are likely to incur the displeasure of Allah and His wrath. It is enslaved to other than Allah The Almighty in terms of love, fear, hope, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, exaltation and humbleness.
He loves, hates, gives and withholds motivated by his personal desires. His personal desires are preferable and dearer to him than the satisfaction of Allah. He is led by passion, motivated by lust, driven by ignorance and carried by heedlessness. His heart is immersed in its concern with worldly objectives. His heart is drunk with its own fancies and love for this worldly life. It is called to Allah The Almighty and the Last Day from a distance but it does not respond to advice, and instead it follows any scheming, cunning devil. Life angers and pleases it, and passion makes it deaf and blind to anything except what is evil.