Friday, 15 February 2013

Mechanics of the Heart...

“A heart has problems which mind cannot understand.”  Santosh Kalwar,

Our heart is the most vital organ in our body. We can still live without our arms, legs, eyes, ears, liver or even kidney but we can never survive without a heart. Such, is the importance of the heart.

A heart is not just an organ that pumps blood through-out our bodies but our hearts also is where our emotions and feelings are created and where love lies. To put it simply, our heart has two functions i.e. physical and spiritual. Our wonderful heart can feel fear, affection, love, hatred, sadness and happiness. It is also from the heart that we developed our instincts and send signals to our brain. Our hearts are also where our soul lies..

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured."
Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:28

The Wise Owl once told me that our hearts are like polished mirrors. We need to wipe it clean regularly of the dust that gathers on it. If our hearts are covered with dust and dirt then our heart will not shine but will seem dull and unreflective. A clean heart will reflect everything that is good to others but a dirty heart will only bring misery. No one wants to look at a dirty mirror because they will only see an ugly reflection of themselves.

The prophet (S.A.W.) says: "Truly in the body there is a lump of flesh which, if it be good, the whole body is good, and which, if it be corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Truly it is the heart."{Reported by Imam Bukhari}

The question is, how do we clean our hearts and soul? When I was very much younger, I remember reading books entitled “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. These books are basically motivational stories relating to the soul. Most of the stories are real life account of people. At first, I found the books to be enlightening but then after I felt it was missing a certain something. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it though.

When I started attending Quran Tafseer classes, I then realized the missing something was actually Quran. My first English translation of the Quran that was given to me by the Wise Old Man was by Yusuf Ali. When I started reading it, I was transfixed! MasyaAllah!!! I do not need chicken soup books to soothe my heart and soul but instead I need Quran. Quran teaches us things that we can never imagine. Quran does soothe and cleanse our heart and soul. If you don’t believe me, try listening to the recitation of the Quran Sheikh Misyari Rashid. Tell me if your heart does not flutter when you hear God’s words being read. Tell me it does not somersault or skip a beat. I f it doesn’t then, your heart could very well be dead and you need to do something to revive it before it’s too late.

“And We send down from the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe
Surah Al-Isra’ 17:82

"Surely Allāh loves those who turn to Him again and again, and He loves those who purify themselves"
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:222

Other than Quran, one of the ways to clean our soul is through charity. It does not matter if you don’t have much money to give away because you can also donate your energy to helping others. The satisfaction of being able to make a difference in someone’s life, however small, is indescribable. Try it and you will not regret it.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Every Muslim has to give in charity." The people then asked: "(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?" The Prophet replied: "He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns)." The people further asked: "If he cannot find even that?" He replied: "He should help the needy who appeal for help." Then the people asked: "If he cannot do (even) that?" The Prophet said finally: "Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds."- Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524 

“A man once said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "I have plenty of property, a large family, a great deal of money, and I am a gracious host to my guests. Tell me how to conduct my life and how to spend (my money)." The Prophet replied: "Give (regular charity) out of your property, for truly it is a purifier, and be kind to your relatives and acknowledge the rights of the poor, neighbors and (those in need who seek your help)." - Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 3 

We must also stay away from matters and things that can tarnish our hearts.

“The prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Trials are presented to the hearts like a mat, one stick at a time. If any heart accepts it, a dark spot is left in it. If any heart rejects it, a bright spot is left in it. Consequently, the hearts become two types: Bright heart like the Safa that gets no harm from any sin as long as the skies and the earth exist, and a dark heart that does not know any good deed and does not reject any evil unless it is from its whims and desires." {Reported by Imam Muslim}

“reported by Imam At-Trmizi that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "When a person commits a sin a dark dot is dotted on his heart. Then if that person leaves that evil deed, begs Allah to forgive him, and repents, then his heart is cleaned, but if he repeats the evil deed, then that covering is increased till his heart is completely covered with it,

Do not let our hearts be dead. Our heart is completely useless if it’s dead. Revive it with dhikr and recite the Quran. Perform as much sunnah prayers as possible. Increase your knowledge. Purification of the heart and soul is an on going process. We must continue doing it until we exhale our last breath. There were times when I wish that God Al Mighty would perform ‘open-heart’ surgery on my heart and wash it thoroughly with Zam Zam water like He did with our beloved Prophet’s SAW heart twice but alas, I am no one special hence I have to do my own cleaning.

Anas b. Malik (r.a) reported that Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) while he was playing with his playmates. He took hold of him and lay him prostrate on the ground and tore open his breast and took out the heart from it and then extracted a blood-clot out of it and said: That was the part of Satan in thee. And then he washed it with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to it place. The boys came running to his mother, i. e. his nurse, and said: "Verily Muhammad has been murdered." They all rushed toward him (and found him all right) His color was changed, Anas said. "I myself saw the marks of needle on his breast."(Sahih Muslim Book 001, Number 0311)

Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him), who reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “My roof was opened when I was in Makkah, and Jibreel (peace be upon him) came down and opened my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a gold basin full of wisdom and faith, poured it into my chest, and closed it up again. Then he took me by the hand and ascended with me into the first heaven.”

{Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3/429}.

Other ways to brighten your heart and make it shine is to always smile and be happy. Counts your blessings and be thankful for it. Wish for the best for others. Be good to your parents. Guard your tongue. Forgive everyone and always repent before going to sleep.

Take good care of your heart and you will have a wonderful soul….In Shaa Allah..

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