The other synonym mentioned in the Holy Quran and which makes me worried is “deviation”. It was mentioned in Surah Al Imran “Our Lord, do not deviate our hearts after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You, for You are the Giver” (Al Imran verse 8). It means not to let our hearts deviate from the path of right to falsehood. The Quran transmits in this verse the supplication of God’s servants. God almighty says in Surah Al Saff regarding bani Israel (the children of Israel):” When Moses said to his people, “O my people! Why do you hurt me when you already know I am God’s messenger to you?” So when they ?persistently? deviated, God caused their hearts to deviate” (Surah Al Saff verse 5) as if in this case there is a double action, emotion and deed where one of its parties is the man’s hand itself. But regarding its results and consequences, it is in the hand of God almighty. “When they persistently deviated”, which means when they took a deviated step that let them fall in the slope of deviation, at that time “God caused their hearts to deviate” which means that he caused him to deviate from the path of rightness. You don’t know what this divine deviation means! It means the deprivation of God’s favor.
This is what was mentioned about bani Israel, but it is not limited to them because despite that they lived in Pharaoh time, knew the justice of Moses, saw by their naked eye how God almighty made this great movement on the hands of his servant Moses bin Omran (pbuh) and saw the sea, Pharaoh army, and witnessed that amazing incidents, they were a victim of their desires and heedlessness (which is forgetfulness that the hadith already talked about). They fall (deviated) in this slope. In this verse, Moses says to them “Why do you hurt me?!”. In surah Al Ahzab, God almighty says :” O believers! Be not like those who hurted Moses, but God cleared him of the (calumnies) they had uttered: and he was honorable in God’s sight” (Al Ahzab verse 29). Do not be like bani Israel who hurted Moses, and this lecture is also guided for me and you since the deviation that they fall in it is represented by surrendering to whims and desires, and being attracted towards materialistic issues, gathering wealth, sexual desires and other issues that are cosidered as the reason for our misfortunes. This is confronted by God by depriving us of his mercy and fortunes that he used to bestow us with.
Any wrong action that we do, away from rightness and justice, and any behavior that originates from personal desires, push us a forward step towards the disturbance of corruption, and a step backward away from God almighty (God caused their hearts to deviate). This deviation happened in steps, and here lies its danger.
The Consequence of Deviation, Hypocrisy
At the beginning, the consequence of deviation is the weakening of a man’s work. After that, his morals and spontaneousness start shaking and changing. He will be gradually changed from an honest and loyal man who held responsibilities, into a hesitant, unfulfilled and irresponsible man. His morals will be affected also. In the second level, his beliefs will also change. This corruption that we used to despise, will gradually start changing our identity and damage our morals. God almighty says in one of his Holy Quran verses:” He has caused hypocrisy to be in their hearts till the Day they meet Him, because they have changed what they promised God”, (Surah AL Tawba, verse 77). This verse means that God almighty afflicted a group of people by hypocrisy because of the promises that they dismissed.
This is the equation that God Almighty adopts in his dealings with a man. This equation, in fact, is dependent on our actions and is related to them. Through our deeds, we deprive ourselves from divine mercy. Then if we are denied divine mercy, we are getting closer and closer to corruption and misguidance. We read in supplications, “Oh God, I ask you for the motives to get your mercy.” A man asks God for the reasons to get his mercy, and it is natural that divine mercy does not descend upon us if these obligations are not shown in our actions, and this is the deviation.
Straightness and Insight, An excerpt from the words of His Eminence the Leader, Sayyid Ali AL Khaminai (may God protect himg) about insight and straightness