“In the body is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. This part of the body is the heart.”
We now come to the last part of this hadith concerning doubtful matters, which you can find posted in full here. At the end of this hadith the Prophet Muhammad (s) reminded us about the importance of the state of our hearts. Our heart is so important that if it contains a disease, it will affect our whole being. We should realise that it is not cardiovascular fitness that is being referred to here, rather it is the spiritual state of the heart.
In many ways, our heart is the commander of our limbs. If our heart is inclined towards doing good then the limbs will do good also. But if our heart is inclined towards doubtful or forbidden things, then it will become hardened, less inclined to remember Allah (swt) and more likely to commit evil deeds. The state of our heart is therefore our defining characteristic, and Allah (swt) distinguishes the human being from the rest of creation due to the heart and the intellect. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Have they not travelled in the land, and have they hearts wherewith to feel and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.” (Surah al-Hajj:46)
SubhanAllah. How many of us are blind in the heart? How many hearts are so shrouded in darkness they are unable to see the light? Know that the heart cannot be pure and sound until it remembers Allah (swt), glorifies Him, loves Him, fears Him, has hope in Him and trusts Him. This is the true realisation of ‘There is no God except Allah’.
The only heart that will aid a person in Allah’s sight is the sound, wholesome, submitting heart. As Allah says,
“The day when wealth and sons avail not (any man) save him who brings unto Allah a sound heart.” (Surah al-Shuaraa 88-89)
What are the signs of a sound heart?
They have been outlined by ibn al-Qayyim as follows:
1) A person considers themselves to be belonging to the next world and not this one. They feel a stranger in this world and cannot wait to reach the Hereafter.
2) A person continues to be upset with themselves anytime they commit a sin until they repent to Allah.
3) If a person misses their daily recitation of Qur’an or dhikr, they are more upset than if they lost their wealth.
4) The person finds more pleasure in worshipping Allah than in eating or drinking.
5) When they begin their prayer, their worries and concerns about the world leave them.
6) Their only concern and worry is about Allah and acting for His sake.
7) They are careful to use all their spare time in worshipping Allah.
8 The person is more concerned with the correctness of the deed than with the performance of the deed itself.
You only need to read these points and you will instantly know what you need to work on to improve the state of your own heart.
May Allah purify our hearts and intentions. Ameen.