This heart is a searching heart. A longing heart. A believing heart. A fearing heart…
Designed by the magnificent designer Allah. Filled by the one who is full of bounty, Allah.
But what exactly is this heart and what is a heart?
Is it a piece if flesh with a pulse? Is it a pumping mechanism which pumps fresh blood every second of your life? Is it a lump filled with chambers or is it more?
The heart is a beautiful thing. A changing thing. Sometimes it is a deceiving thing and sometimes it is a guide. But still this does not answer what is a heart???
The heart is the home of your soul lit by the noor of eemaan. If the soul has eemaan the heart becomes bright and luminous but if the soul has no eeman, no belief in Allah then the heart is a dark and empty home.
And why is it that this heart is so important and so much mention is made of it?
It is only the heart which can save you. It is the heart which holds the transcript to your soul. It is the contents of the heart which favor you in the sight of Allah and it is the heart which is most valuable and most precious to a believer.
After Aadam AS was created, he layed in the heavens before Allah entered into him his rooh, his soul… The Angels were completely taken aback by this new creation, intrigued by him. They asked Allah about his eyes, the use of his nose, the purpose of his mouth. They looked at him from top to bottom even from inside out. Upon discovering the hollow cavity within the chest they asked; ” Oh Allah, and what is this going to be used for?” To which Allah replied; “This is where I will live”…. SubhanAllah….
What a home is the heart in which Allah resides, Alhamdulillah…
This is what the heart is…. A home for the soul and a companion of Allah SWT. Like the rest of his body, this heart is imperfect. Its known in the arabic context as ‘Qalb’ which means to turn around or something that changes easily. The heart is such, a changing thing, a turning thing.
We already know who created the heart, Allah. We already know why Allah created the heart, to house his eemaan. We know that the heart is a changing and turning thing as created by Allah as such. But what do we do with this heart of ours? How do we nurture it? How do we feed it?
By reminding it constantly of Allah! With Dhikr, with quraan, with salah, with silent conversations. By reflecting over what we allowed to let enter our hearts, what emotions, feelings and what actions?
Beware for this heart is your most worthwhile possession as it holds the key to your soul. Shaytaan lurks everywhere showering waswaas and contamination like spittle. Envy, jealousy, hatred, lies, sins, greed, lust, pride, these are all tactics that he uses to cloud the heart. These are not the true characteristics of one’s heart.
The heart is pure and a place of peace. Sometimes one may get confused as to which feed is he receiving, does it come from the heart or from the mind? The heart is the root of your entire being so therefore the mind is a secondary component. When you feel the need to lie, to steal or when you feel jealous or proud these came not from your heart but from your mind, from shaytaans waswaas.
When you entertain these thoughts they travel to your heart and find a space to occupy. Constantly reminding you of their presence there. Constantly reminding you to hate, to be jealous, to be proud or reminding you to lie! We ask Allah to purify our hearts from everything but Him!
The heart is a feeling, it has a voice, it is the state of your soul. And what is the state of your soul?
What does your heart tell you? To believe to disbelieve, to understand, to comprehend,to have tranquility, to feel confused, to have tawakkul, to have khushoo, these are all functions of your heart..
Sit in silence and speak to your heart. Find out what is it attached to. Who is it attached to! What makes it beat faster? What makes it happy and what makes it sad?
Is your heart attached to a house, to a car, to the television? Is this what makes your heart smile?
Or is your heart attached to quraan, to Allah, to the beloved of Allah (SAW)?
Allah says in the Quran ;” the only one who will be saved is the one who comes forth before Allah with a heart devoted to Him” Quran -26.89…
Notice how Allah did not say the one who will be saved will be rich or pious or intelligent. He did not mention how much ibaadat would save the one being saved. He mentioned the heart for only He is aware of the truth, of the heart. He was with this heart from the beginning and He will be with it till the end….
Test your heart. Find out what drives that heart. What fills that heart. Reflect on the contents of that heart. Enter that heart.
Here are some thoughts to ponder over and to help you distinguish whether your heart is pure and devoted:
A devoted heart….
• continues to push its companion until he turns to Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa and repents.
• doesn’t grow tired of the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa or His worship.
•If (a devoted heart) it misses out on an act of obedience it feels a pain that is more severe than the pain felt when losing money.
•It finds sweetness and delight in worship greater than any delight from food and drink.
•If it enters salah, its worries and troubles from this worldly life leave it.
•It is stingier with its time being wasted than a miser’s stinginess with his money.
•It is more concerned with a good deed being performed correctly and accepted than the actual deed itself.
Allah is the Greatest and the most Merciful. Every day is a lesson, a reminder and a chance. No person is perfect or has perfection of heart or faith. Reminders come daily, they come from Allah, to help us, to change us. Let’s look to the above points every few weeks to help us achieve Tazkiya (Purification of the soul). If you think that you’ve achieved all of the above and that your heart is not ill then your heart is in fact gravely ill!
Listen to your heart. Cleanse it daily with supplication and with istighfaar. If it is lost remind it daily of where it began and where it will end, “La illaha illallah”.
Oh guider of hearts, let this heart reside at your side. Let its illness be remedied by your memory. Let it not die while still being alive by forgetting you, by feeling no regret in disobeying you. If you ask me for a reason that I should be gifted Jannah, let the love for you within my heart be reason enough, aameen….
Say, “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower. [Quran, 3:8]”
This article appeared in the Muslim woman magazine November 2014 edition…