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The types and states of hearts

Monday 28-11-2011

To other organs, the heart is like a king in charge of his soldiers; they are subservient to him and his desires, and are guided or misled by him, as they follow him in all that he...

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To other organs, the heart is like a king in charge of his soldiers; they are subservient to him and his desires, and are guided or misled by him, as they follow him in all that he resolves to do or avoids. That is why the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is sound, the whole body is reformed, but if it is corrupt, the whole body is spoilt. Verily, it is the heart.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 
Hence, the heart is the king of the body, which executes all that it commands and takes its lead. The limbs are unable to do anything unless this particular organ wants and intends to. Since the heart reigns supreme, and is responsible for its wards, as is every guardian, it is essential that the righteous person prioritizes paying close attention to it and making it sound and upright. Further, investigating the diseases of the heart and their cures is the first thing sincere worshippers should undertake.
 
When Satan, the enemy of Allah, realized that everything revolved around, and depended on, the heart, he began to whisper into it, expose it to temptations and adorn to it every condition and deed that strays us from the way of Allah The Almighty. He also accompanied that with incentives to follow what prevents the heart from the causes of success.
 
Furthermore, Satan set various snares such that if they do not entrap the heart, it will at least be hindered by them. Therefore, a person cannot escape his plots and traps, except by continuously seeking help from Allah The Almighty against him, acting in a manner that necessitates His Pleasure and by sincerely turning to Him at times of stillness and activity. Also essential is humiliating one’s self to Him in worship, so as to guarantee being included among those Allah The Almighty mentions, when He Says (what means): {Indeed, My servants - no authority will you have over them} [Quran 15:42].
 
Categories of hearts
 
The heart is generally described as either alive or dead, but it can be divided into three types: sound, dead and sick.
 
·        The sound heart: a person who possesses such a heart is the only one who will be saved on the Day of Resurrection, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart."} [Quran 26:88-89].
 
A sound heart is safe from any desires or temptations that contradict the commands or prohibitions of Allah The Almighty, and malicious allegations that distort His sayings. Such a heart is not a slave to any entity other than Allah The Almighty and refers all its judgments to none other than His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
 
Therefore, its servitude and worship are sincerely to Allah The Almighty, out of volition, love, trust, humbleness, and in repentance to Him, and in fear of as well as hope in Him. This kind of heart acts only for the sake of Allah The Almighty; when it loves, it does so for Him, and when it hates, it is for His sake alone; when it gives or alternately does not, it is only for Him. However, even these characteristics are not enough, for the heart must also be free from submission and referring judgment to any other than the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam; thus, a sound heart staunchly insists on following and pursuing his way alone.
 
·        The dead heart: this organ is not truly alive, so it does not acknowledge its Lord and fails to submit to His command. It does not do what He likes, but rather follows lusts and pleasures, regardless of whether that results in the wrath or satisfaction of Allah The Almighty. Such a heart is in servitude to and worships something other than Allah The Almighty; whether in terms of love, fear, hope, contentment or displeasure, glorification or humiliation. It loves, dislikes, gives or perhaps deprives on whim, giving that precedence to the pleasure of its Lord.
 
The wants of the self become the master of a person with this type of heart; his leader is his desire, he is driven by his ignorance and his vehicle is indifference. He is overwhelmed with worldly aims and deceived by the gratification of his desires and love for the worldly life. He is called from afar to Allah The Almighty and the Hereafter, but he does not respond to that adviser and follows every rebellious devil instead. This life is all that pleases or perhaps displeases people like him; lusts deafen and blind them to anything, except what is wrong. Hence, associating with them is endemic; living with them is poisonous and befriending them nothing short of destructive.
 
·        The sick heart: this heart is alive, but contains some flaws, so it is made up of two different parts, each of which is instrumental, but only the dominating one is followed. Such a heart demonstrates love for Allah The Almighty, faith in Him, sincerity to Him and reliance on Him, which constitute the essence of its life. However, it also has a love and preference for desires, and displays a keenness for them; it bears envy, haughtiness, ostentation, love of domination and corruption on Earth – all of which constitute the material of its ruin and destruction.
 
Such a heart is tested, torn between two callers: one that invites it to Allah The Almighty, His Messenger and the Hereafter, and another that calls it to this worldly life. The positive response of this kind of heart is to the most convenient and nearer of the two.
 
In conclusion, the first category of hearts is alive and humble, while the second is hard and dead. The third category, though, is sick and may equally be close to either safety or destruction.

 

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