The Four Kinds of Hearts according to Huthayfah ibn Yaman
حذيفة بن اليمان : القُلوبُ أَربعةٌ : قلبٌ أَجردُ فِيهِ سراجٌ يزهِرُ فذلك قلبُ المؤمنِ وَقلبٌ أَغلفُ فذلك قلبٌ الكَاِفرِ وَقلبٌ منكوسٌ فذلك قلبٌ المنافقِ عَرَفَ ثُمَّ أَنْكَرَ وَأَبصَرَ ثُمَّ عَمِىَ وَقلبٌ تمدُّه مادَّتانِ : مادَّةُ إِيمانٍ ومادَّةُ نفاقٍ وَهُوَ لِمَا غَلَبَ عَلَيهِ منهُما
Huthayfah ibn Yaman (may Allah be pleased with him) said, There are four kinds of hearts. The first heart is one that is untainted. This pure heart has a lantern which shines. This is the heart of a believer. The second kind of heart is wrapped up. This is the heart of the disbeliever. The third kind of heart is the one that is relapsed. This is the heart of the hypocrite. He knows the truth then he denies it. He sees the truth, but he closes his eyes. The fourth type of heart is the one which is stretched out on two bodies: 1 the body of faith and 2 the body of hypocrisy. This kind of heart is with whichever body dominates it.”
Benefits for this subject:
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzi (may Allah rest him in Jannah) explained the meaning of this Athar in his book “Ighaathat -al-lahfaan “ He wrote:
“ The first heart is one that is untainted …” This means that this heart is rid of everything other than Allah and His messenger. It’s freed itself and is safe from falsehood.
“a lantern which shines…” This is the lamp of faith. Huthayfah pointed to this trait of being untainted; as it’s free from false doubts that resemble the truth and desires that lead astray. Due to the heart being in this state it has obtained a lantern that illuminates it and sends out light. This light is the radiance of knowledge and faith.
“The second kind of heart is wrapped up…” This refers to the heart of a Kafir. Reason being, the disbeliever’s heart is covered in its wrapping and cloak. Since this heart is covered tight, the light of iman and knowledge can’t reach it. This is similar to what Allah said about the Jews in the verse, “And they say, “ Our hearts are wrapped(i.e do not hear or understand Allah’s Word.)…[ Al-Baqarah 88] Allah placed this cover over their hearts. He placed it there, because they rejected the truth and arrogantly refused to accept it. Therefore, this barrier on the heart is deafness in their hearing and blindness in their sight. Moreover this casing is a veiled mask over their eyes.
Allah says, “ And when you (Muhammad) recite the Quran, We put between you and those who don’t believe in the Hereafter, an invisible veil. And We have put coverings over their hearts, lest they should understand it. And in their ear is deafness. [ Al-Isra 45,46]
Hence when Allah’s verses – The freedom of Tawheed and the freedom of following the Sunnah are mentioned, they turn on their heels fleeing.
“The third kind of heart is the one that is relapsed…” Huthayfah used the word relapse here to show the state of the hypocrites’ heart. Allah says, “Then what is the matter with you that your are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned…” [ An-Nisa’ 88] This means that Allah has caused them suffer a relapse and go back to falsehood. They were in this falsehood because of the dishonesty in their deeds.
The relapsed heart is the worst and most wicked type of heart. It believes that falsehood and lies are true. The person with this kind of heart in his chest helps his companion, and fights falsely against the truth and its people. We seek Allah’s help.
“The fourth type of heart is the one which is stretched out on two bodies: 1st the body of faith and 2nd the body of hypocrisy…” This type of heart doesn’t have iman firmly established in it. Therefore, its light doesn’t shine. It doesn’t hold the absolute truth inside it. The absolute truth is what Allah sent with his Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). On the contrary, it has some truth and some falsehood inside. Hence sometimes, disbelief is stronger than belief inside of it and vice verse. So, whichever one of these two elements is the strongest in the heart, then this is the one it turns to at that time.
Taken from “ Ighaathat -al-lahfaan by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him)
Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abudllah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle