Know that the heart is on a journey to Allaah, Most Great and Glorious, and to the world of the Hereafter, and [that it is able to] discover the path of truth as well as the faults of the soul and of deeds.
Its path is traversed with its light, life, strength, health, determination (‘azm), the soundness of its hearing and sight, as well as the absence of distractions and impediments from it.
These five (corrupters) extinguish its light, distort its vision, muffle its hearing, if they do not deafen it, dumbfound it, and weaken its powers/strengths altogether.
They weaken its health, slacken its drive, halt its decisions, and reverse it (sending it backwards). And if one does not sense it, his heart is dead – as wounding a corpse does not inflict pain.
For there is no pleasure, sweetness, ibtihaaj, or perfection except by knowing Allaah and loving Him, peace in remembrance of Him, happiness and ibtihaaj in being close to Him and desiring to meet Him. This is (the heart’s) early paradise.
“Indeed there is a paradise in this world, whoever doesn’t enter it will not enter the paradise of the Hereafter.” (Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah)
And these five matters cut [the person] off from this, block the heart from it, impede its journey, cause sicknesses and defects for which, if the sick person does not realize it, [destruction] is feared.
🔪The First Corrupter: Frequent Socializing
The effect of frequent socializing is that it fills the heart with the smoke of anfaas of humans until it becomes black,  causing it to be scattered, torn apart, worried, upset, and weak. It causes it to carry what it is unable to from mu’nat evil companions and waste what is beneficial for it, by becoming too preoccupied with evil companions and their matters to attend to what is beneficial.
(The heart instead is busy with) scattered thoughts in the valleys of their requests and wishes. So what remains of it for Allaah and the life to come?
How many adversities has mixing with people brought and how many blessings has it repelled? [How many] trials has it caused and opportunities disabled, raziyyah caused to fall in baliyyah. Is aafah the downfall of people caused by other than people?
Did Aboo Taalib at the time of his death have anything more harmful to himself than evil companions? They remained with him until they blocked him from the one statement that would have guaranteed him eternal pleasure.
This socializing based on love in this world, the fulfillment of desires from others, will change into enmity when the realities become manifest, and some of those who socialized will bite their hands in regret as the Almighty said: “On the Day when the sinner will bite his hands saying:
If only I had taken a way to the Messenger. Woe to me, if only I hadn’t taken so-and-so as a close friend. He misguided me from the Remembrance after it came to me.’ And Satan is forever a deserter of humans in their time of need.” (Soorah al-Furqaan, 25: 27-9)
He also said:
“Close friends on that Day will be foes of each other except the God-fearing.” (Soorah Az-Zukhruf, 43: 67)
And He said:
“Indeed what you have taken besides Allaah is only idols. Love between you is only in this world, but on the Day of Resurrection you will disown each other and curse each other and your abode will be the fire and you will have no helpers.” (Soorah al-‘Ankaboot)
That is the state of those who share goals, they love each other as long they help each other to achieve it.
But if the goal is cut off, it is followed by regret, sadness and pain, and that love will change into hatred, cursing, blame of one another, and the goals change into unhappiness and punishment, as is witnessed in this life in the states of those who share in failure, if they are caught and punished.
Each supporter of falsehood, friendly regarding it, their mutual love must eventually change into hatred and enmity.
The useful defining principle in the matter of socializing is that one should mix with people in [acts of] goodness like Jumu’ah, the ‘Eeds, Hajj, learning knowledge, Jihaad, giving advice; and avoid them in [acts of] evil, as well as unnecessary permissible things.
If necessity requires mixing with them in evil and avoiding them is not possible, then beware, beware of agreeing with them.
And be patient with their harm, for they must harm him if he does not have power or a helper. However, it is harm followed by honor and love for him, respect and praise for him from them, the believers, and from the Lord of the worlds.
Thus, patience with their harm is a better ending and a more praiseworthy conclusion.
If necessity requires mixing with them in unnecessary permissible things, he should strive to transform the gathering into one of obedience to Allaah if it is possible, he should encourage himself and strengthen his heart, and not pay attention to the satanic whisper of discouragement which will prevent him from that.
That this is Riyaa’ [showing off], a love of displaying one’s knowledge and state, etc., he should fight it and seek help from Almighty Allaah and try to affect them as positively as he can.
If destiny prevents him from that, he should remove his heart from among them the way a hair is removed from dough. Among them he should be present yet absent, close yet far and asleep yet awake.
He should look at them and not see them, hear their words but not be conscious of them, because he has removed his heart from among them and ascended with it to the uppermost hosts (Al-Mala’il-A’laa) glorifying [Allaah] around the throne along with the pure celestial spirits.
How difficult this is and trying for the souls, [yet] it is easy for whoever Allaah makes it easy.
Between a slave and [that state] is that he be truthful to Allaah – Blessed and High – continually seeking refuge in Him, and that he throw his soul on [Allaah’s] doorstep in humility.
Nothing will help him to do that besides sincere love, continual remembrance of Allaah with the heart and tongue, and avoidance of the remaining four corrupters to be mentioned.
He will achieve this except with righteous preparation and strong material from Allaah – Most Great and Glorious – and a truthful conviction, and freedom from attachment to other than Allaah, Most High. And Allaah Almighty knows best.
🔪The Second Corrupter: Riding the Sea of Wishes
It is a sea without shores. It is the sea ridden by the bankrupt of the world. It is said:
Wishes are the capital of the bankrupt, and its travel provisions are the promises of Satan, and impossible imaginations and falsehood.
The wealth of false wishes and false imaginations continue to play with one who rides them the way that dogs play with a corpse.
They are the supplies of every disgraced, humiliated, low soul, having no conviction to achieve external realities. So it turned away from them with mental wishes. And everyone has it according to his state:
From a wisher for power and authority, or travel and international travel, or wealth and valuables, or women …
The wisher imagines an image of what he desires in his mind, and he succeeds in creating it and takes pleasure in capturing it. While he is in this state he suddenly awakes to find his hand chained. (p. 446)
The one who has lofty/high conviction [himmah] his hopes pivot around knowledge and faith and deeds which will bring him closer to his Lord. These wishes are faith, light and wisdom, while the wishes of those are deception and delusion.
The Prophet (p) praised the one who wishes for good, and made his reward in some things similar to that of the one who actually does it, like the one who says:
If I had money I would do as so-and-so does who fears his Lord regarding his wealth, strengthening family ties with it, and extracts from it what is required.