For the heart is like a tree whose greenery and fruits and moisture depend upon water; if it is deprived of water then the roots wither, the branches waste away and the fruits cease. Then even if you were to do your utmost to tend to the tree it will not grow. In fact the branches will snap. At that point, the owner of the garden may well decide to cut off the tree and make it fuel for the fire. Similarly, the heart that is devoid of Allah’s oneness, love, knowledge, remembrance and invocation is afflicted by a spiritual fever and the raging fire of worldly lusts and desires. Thus, the branches are prevented from expanding and the tree is fit for nothing but the fire.
So we betide those whose hearts are hardened to the remembrance of Allah, such are in clear error. (39:22)
However, once the heart is saturated with the rain of divine mercy, the branches become soft and moist. When you bend them to Allah’s command, they will be tame and malleable. The branches will bloom and flower and you can pluck whichever of the fruits of devotion you wish from those branches. But when the heart dries up, the tree no longer produces good deeds, for the spiritual growth of the heart and its spiritual life has been terminated. For each limb bears its fruit of devotion, and each limb has its own specific devotion and required obedience for which purpose it was created.
To be continued…