Look for your heart in three places

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Topics: Heart Values: Devotion, Love Views: 13115

The word "heart" is one of the most commonly used motifs, metaphors, and symbols in human history. It is a term whose definition is broad enough to include the fierceness of strength and courage as well as the tenderness and vulnerability of intense emotion. Traditional science, however, has downplayed the heart as merely a monotonously contracting muscle, while the brain is touted as both the center and originator of intelligence and feeling.

In spite of this, the tendency to ascribe psychological sensitivities to that constantly beating organ continues to haunt contemporary human thought. At the language level, the word "heart" remains a strong conveyer of emotion and meaning. If human beings are discouraged, they are disheartened; if stoic, heartless; if in the best state of energy and enthusiasm, hearty.

In the face of traditional science, why does the collective psyche of humanity continue to fixate upon this same intangible concept of the heart? Perhaps it is because, to this day, the stopping of the heartbeat signifies the coming of death. It might be ascribed to the way that the heart responds so readily to emotional signals, increasing or reducing pace in direct correlation to the human psychological state. Within human consciousness, the heart's meaning extends beyond that of a muscle; within Islam, the role of the heart cannot be understated.

The heart is mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an. One of the mentioned du`a' (supplications) of Prophet Ibrahim, `alayhi salam (peace be upon him), beseeches to Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (the Exalted and Glorified): "Do not forsake me on the Day of Resurrection, a day where neither money nor children will benefit except whoever meets Allah with a sound heart" (26:87-89). Allah (swt) revealed this powerful supplication about the Day of Resurrection, for the judgment on the eternal fate of each soul is decided by Allah (swt) on that day, rendering a pure heart necessary for entering Paradise.

The Arabic term for the heart, qalb, has a very specific meaning. It refers to what defines the existence of the individual: one's personal center of faith. A most illustrious and beautiful chapter of the Qur'an, Surah Yaseen, is referred to as the heart of the Qur'an. According to the Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings be upon him), the virtues of reciting this qalb, among others, include receiving benefits of the dunya (earthly life) and the removal of the dread of the akhirah (life after death).

Furthermore, worship of Allah (swt) is divided into four categories, two of which deal with the heart: its sayings and its actions. A true Mu'min (Believer) is said to possess a pure heart that is well-informed in the total belief of Allah (swt) and complete trust in Him-a heart that is true to its Maker (swt) in both its impulses and the carrying out of those impulses. The qalb was created to hold its Creator as its highest Authority, Love, and Loyalty. If the heart is dead, then spiritual (and, eventually, physical) problems would manifest themselves in the individual.

In purifying the heart, a Believer can rest assured that the best of examples is being followed: that of Prophet Muhammad (saws), the most virtuous of the creations of Allah (swt) and the most beloved to Allah (swt). Indeed, despite his perfection in the sight of Allah (swt), the Prophet's heart (saws) was not only cleansed by Angel Jibreel (Gabriel), but was also purified by his own strategies of worship.

One of the greatest interpreters of Shari`ah (Islamic law) of the fourteenth century, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, was greatly concerned with matters of the qalb. According to him, `Abdullah ibn Mas`ood, radi Allahu `anhu (may Allah be pleased with him), one of the closest companions of the Prophet (saws), once presented a diagnostic by which a Believer may determine the state of the qalb. He said:

"Look for your heart in three places: when listening to the Qur'an, when seeking knowledge (of Allah) and when in privacy. If you cannot find it in these places, then ask Allah (swt) to bless you with a heart, for indeed you have no heart."



A soul with no heart can not even begin to work on increasing its level of submission to its Lord-the very foundation of its purity. A vital conductor of faith must be found and awakened within every loyal slave of Allah (swt). The following exploration of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ood's (ra) mentioned places transcends the mind and body and deals with a site precious to all human beings.

Source: Alkalima - Heina Dadabhoy

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  12 Comments   Comment

  1. Babandi A. Gumel from U.K

    The eyes shed tears while the heart greaves but we only say what our Rubb (Allah)wants us to say (i.e at the time of grief especially after death).

  2. Fazal U. Shamsi from USA

    Shukran wa jazakumuLLAHU khair for the significant reminder of the relationship between the mind and the heart. This is also referred to as global synchronization, i.e., the consistent maintenance of harmony between the heart and the mind.Aswell as the sincere effort to keep them in a pristine state so as to efectively analyze (make tafakkur) by using the faculty of thinking and by deciding using the heart. SubahnALLAH, when this methodology is followed in all matters, one will never become greedy. Furthermore, heart is referred to as the seat of our conscience (zameer). In another place the heart is referred to as a litmus test indicating the acceptance/non-acceptance of our deeds. May Allah (swt) bless us all with the ability to cultivate habits that will initiate and establish the harmony and purity of the mind and the heart. Ameen ya Rab.

  3. Babandi A. Gumel from U.K

    In the body of human being there is a flesh when it is right the whole body becomes right similarly when it is wrong (i.e turning to evil) the whole body will be wrong and that is the heart as mentioned in Hadith to the near meaning of that Hadith. In their hearts there is a disease and Allah increases the disease due to hypocrisy. Therefore it is the intention which comes right from the bottom of the heart that counts. Allah does not look at your bodies clothes or whatever but He looks at your heart and your aamal.

  4. Jurina from Malaysia

    Subhanallah, I agreed with last 2 paragraphs. I can feel it. Syukran Jazilan for the articles. It is worth reading.

  5. sulaiman ssekitto from kampala- uganda

    Asssalam alykum i appreciate those that spend there time arranging these Articles, may the almighty bless them accordingly.However , may send us some articles on the foudation of these prominent imams e.g shafie and others. thks.

  6. Abdul-Majeed from USA

    May Allah swt Bless the contributor for such a wonderful reminder...

  7. A K M Mohiudddin from Bangladesh

    Subhanallah. Wonderful. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless the writer.

    May He also grant us the capacity to take the lesson in the article to heart.

  8. shahnaz muhammad from us

    JazakALLAH&shukran for a heartwarming&beautiful reminder

  9. Muhammad Mukhriz Raden from Brunei

    Praise to ALLAH, an excellent article, rather than fussing about politics...

  10. syed irfan hussain from India

    Alhamdulilah , very good article , hadith by Abdulla ibn masood is very true and can be felt by all of us if we are sincere.