A while back I received a present, a heart stone. Which gave me an idea for the topic which I’m going to discuss, which is to do with Our Hearts.
Now in a general sense, if we think about the physical anatomy of the heart, we know that it is regarded as the most vital organ in the body. It pumps blood around our body so the rest of our organs can function properly by delivering oxygen and nutrients.
If we think about this and link it to what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Beware in the body, there is a flesh, if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt.”~Al Bukhari /Muslim
We can apply this in two senses:
Physically – if the heart is working, the rest of the body and other vital organs are functioning properly.
Spiritually- If the heart is sound religiously, the soul is at peace.
Now lets look more in depth at the spiritual sense as this is more of significance. The Prophet (peace be upon him) tells us:
“‘Verily Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces but he looks to your heart,’ and he pointed to the heart with his fingers.”~ Muslim
So what really matters is not our appearance, colour, race, shape or size but our internal state. Many of us focus on our outer appearance so much that we neglect caring for our souls. Allah reminds us that our self-worth is dependent upon our level of taqwa.
“And whoever does righteous deeds, male or female and is a true believer in the Oneness of God, such will enter paradise and not the least injustice, even the size of a speck on the back of a date stone will be done to them.” ~Qur’an 4:124
Allah judges us by our deeds and what is in our hearts. So back to the point made earlier of the spiritual sense of the heart. This is looking at our soul and we should realise that if our heart is not at ease, then our relationship with our Creator needs strengthening.
The heart in Arabic is translated to the word ‘Qalb’. And ‘Qalb’ can literally mean ‘to turn’ or ‘to flip’ and we are reminded in this hadith:
“All the hearts of the offspring of Adam are between the two fingers of Ar-Rahman. He turns it (in any direction) He wills.” ~Muslim
This is why our hearts need to be protected, as it can be easily influenced and attach to other things. And we need to be aware of what our hearts actually attach to, because if it takes us away from the worship of Allah, know that we have a problem. This is why it is necessary for us to try and make this du’a:
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ
Yaa Muqallibal Quloob Thabbit Qalbee ‘alaa Deenik.
“Oh turner of the hearts (Allah, the Most High), keep our hearts firm on your religion”
If Allah wished for us to not be on the path of guidance, he can make it easily so. So we should always be grateful and remember to continue to ask for guidance, to keep us steadfast InShaAllah.
Diseases of the Heart
The hardened heart
“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder…”
Imagine this description of comparing a heart to a stone. The hardening of hearts as hard as a rock. And this is an occurring problem we have in society as there are those who know of Allah and His miracles yet they choose to disobey. So we can see that Hardening can occur with the knowledge of Islam. And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“The person most distant from Allah is the one with the hardened heart.”
All diseases have symptoms so lets discuss a few of the symptoms of the hard heart so that we can know how to prevent it.
1) Not caring about having a relationship with Allah – this includes not making the effort to try and form a relationship. Neglecting prayer, turning away from the worship of Allah.
2) To not enjoy the actions of worshipping- Praying becomes monotamous and a routine instead of a joyful activity which you wish to do to please your Creator.
3) Not benefitting from listening to lectures or listening to advice that is beneficial.- Arrogance is a key component in this. Your arrogance prevents you from taking useful pieces of advice.
4) Sinning without guilt- This involves feeling little or no remorse for the sins you have committed and not wanting to correct your mistakes. But the sinner who repents and feels guilt there is always hope for Him.
All diseases have symptoms, but for those symptoms to arise in the first place, there must be a cause. So lets think about how could someone possibly develop a hard heart.
1) Ignoring the remembrance of Allah. This links to Dhikr. If you think about Dhikr in the same way water hydrates you, you understand that Dhikr is a key component in keeping our souls nourished and well.
2) Disobeying commands knowingly. And I say knowingly because there are people who may not know something but then realise and put it into practice after. But this disobeying of commands includes not caring about the sins committed.
3) Following your own Nafs (desires). This means indulging in practices which are haram. In this sense you are Overfeeding your body and neglecting your soul. This is even applicable to halal things also, such as If you spend more time with family and neglect your worship.
4) Wasting of Time. A lot of the things we do in our spare time are frivolous, and we could spend this time in worship to our Creator. Not only in just praying but making the intentions to do something for the sake of pleasing Him.
If we take this hadith into consideration:
“Do not laugh too much, since excessive laughter kills the heart.”
This shows that an act such as laughter we know that it is a good thing and a pleasant thing to do. It is even recommended for us to smile in Islam as a form of charity, yet TOO MUCH of it will kill the heart. And we’ve all heard of the phrase “Everything good is in moderation.” This can be applied here also.
Our hearts are such important organs, physically and spiritually and so delicate as they can be affected so easily. So lets all try a little harder to look after this organ in our body, because we know that if that is sound, then the rest of our actions are sound.