Advising the one who says “Taqwa is here” and he continues to Sin
A Doubt and its Rebuttle
Question 15: What lead to this question is that nowadays there is a group of people when they are called to worship Allaah they say: “Allaah is the Rabb of the hearts.” We would like also that you comment on this response?
The Answer: We say that Allaah is indeed the Rabb of the hearts as well as the tongues. He is not the Rabb of the hearts only; and if the hearts become good then the limbs become good, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم says:
Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good [reformed], the whole of the body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart. 
This Hadeeth renders the futile and false the claim by some, who when you advise him in regard to certain things with which he disobeys Allaah, he says: “at-Taqwaa  is right here,” and he points towards his chest.
His is a word of truth intended to imply something futile. In fact a word may be true in its general sense, but the speaker intends to imply by it a futile meaning. Indeed think of the Saying of Allaah, The Most High, concerning the Mushriks:
The Mushriks will say: “If Allaah had willed, we would have not committed Shirk, nor would our fathers, and we would not have forbidden anything [against His Will]! [Qur’aan, soorat al-An’aam (6): 148].
So, they said: “If Allaah had willed, we would have not committed Shirk,” and they were truthful in that which they said. Because if Allaah had willed, they would have not committed Shirk. They, however, did not intend the truth by using this word. Rather, they wanted to justify their staying on their Shirk and the lifting of punishment from upon them. This is why Allaah, The Most High, Said:
Likewise belied those who were before them, [they argued falsely with Allaah’s Messengers], till they tasted of Our Wrath. [Qur’aan, soorat al-An’aam (6): 148].
So, of no avail to them was the use of al-Qadar  [Allaah’s Pre-decree] as a plea when they intended it to be a justification for continuing on their Shirk, and an excuse for lifting the blame and punishment from upon themselves. 
The actual fact, however, is exactly as they have put it: “If Allaah had not willed, they would not have committed Shirk,” as Allaah, The Most High, said to His Messenger:
Follow what has been inspired to you [O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم] from your Rabb, Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huwa [none has the right to be worshipped but He] and turn aside from the Mushriks. Had Allaah willed, they would have not committed Shirk. [Qur’aan, soorat al-An’aam (6): 106-107].
There is, however, a difference between the two cases. In the latter case, Allaah Said to His Prophet (what means): “Had Allaah willed, they would have not committed Shirk,” in order to clarify that their Shirk occurs by His Will, and that He, The One free of all imperfections, The Most High, has a Wisdom as to the committing of Shirk by them; and in order to comfort His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that this action of theirs (Shirk) takes place by His, The Exalted and Most High’s, Will.
Therefore, the important thing is that the person who says when you give him advice: “at-Taqwaa is here [i.e. in his heart],” has said a true word indeed. However, he intended by it something futile and false, because the one who said: “at- Taqwaa is here…” is the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, the same one who also said:
“Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good [reformed], the whole of the body becomes good…”
If there is Taqwaa in the heart, then it is imperative that there is Taqwaa in the limbs, and the outward actions are a sign of the inward actions of the heart.
 An agreed upon hadeeth. See Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, vol.1, no. 49.
 The true meaning of at-Taqwaa is fearing Allaah and hoping for His Mercy by executing His Commands and staying away from all that He has forbidden.
 The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in the authentic hadeeth reported by Muslim said: “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The Taqwaa is here [and while saying so] he pointed towards his chest thrice.” See Saheeh Muslim, vol. 4, no.6219.
 Al-Qadar: Allaah’s Pre-ordainment of the creation in accordance with His Foreknowledge, and in accordance with His Wisdom.
 In his book Sharh al-Usool ath-Thalaathah, Shaykh Muhammd Bin ‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah’s Mercy be upon him, said: “If there had been any excuse for them in al-Qadar then Allaah would not have sent down His Punishment upon them.” See Sharh al-Usool ath-Thalaathah [English Translation by brother Daawood Burbank], p.186, Daar al- Hidaayah Publishing, Birmingham, U.K.
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