The Sickness of the Heart and its Cure, and the Three Types of Heart

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Sickness of the Heart and its Cure, and the Three Types of Heart

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation, may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly until the establishment of the Hour.

All praise is for Allah who created man in the best of stature and has given him virtues and bounties beyond other parts of His creation. He bestowed upon man intellect that distinguishes him from the rest of the animals, and with which he can know His Lord and comprehend what is good for him. So, if he performs righteous deeds in this life, then his will be honoured and ennobled in this life and the Hereafter:

وَلَلْـَٔاخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَـٰتٍۢ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا ٢١

And verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.” (Al-Isrā: 21)

However, if one spoils his deeds and wastes his God-given intellect, he will return to Allah lowly and in disgrace:

وَمَن كَانَ فِى هَـٰذِهِۦٓ أَعْمَىٰ فَهُوَ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ أَعْمَىٰ وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا ٧٢

And whoever is blind in this world (i.e., refuses Allah’s Signs and does not believe), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more astray from the correct path.” (Al-Isrā: 72)

So, we praise Allah for His bounties that cannot be enumerated, we are grateful to Him and always pray that He guides us to His obedience and keeps our hearts firm upon His religion. The Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) would often supplicate:

يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ

“O Turner of the hearts! Firmly establish my heart on your religion.” (At-Tirmidhi, no. 2140, saheeh)

O Muslims! Have taqwā of Allah, be dutiful to Him and fear Him as He deserves to be feared. He is the One who created you and fashioned you in the best of forms:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ ٱلْكَرِيمِ ٦
ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّىٰكَ فَعَدَلَكَ ٧
فِىٓ أَىِّ صُورَةٍۢ مَّا شَآءَ رَكَّبَكَ ٨

“O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Most Generous?
Who created you, fashioned you perfectly, and gave you due proportion.
In whatever form He willed, He put you together.”
(Al-Infitār: 6-8)

O servant of Allah! You are composed of limbs, and each of your limbs has a particular purpose and function—and if that limb becomes sick or is broken, then it loses its strength. So, if your eye is afflicted or hurt, then your sight is impaired or may even be lost. Likewise, if the heart is afflicted with the disease of sin, then the purpose and function for which it was created is impaired or lost. So, the purpose of the heart is that it is the place of knowledge, wisdom, acquaintance, the love of Allah, His fear and His worship.

So, the disease of the heart is a severe illness, and it is hidden, so much so that the one who has it may not even know he is sick due to his carelessness and lack of concern. And even if he knows that his heart is sick, he finds it hard to be patient with the cure because the cure requires taking medicine that opposes his desires [which caused the sickness in the first place!].

Indeed, the heart is the king over the limbs—it is the source of their happiness or their misery, the source of their rectification or their corruption. Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said:

أَلاَ وَإِنَّ فِي الْجَسَدِ مُضْغَةً إِذَا صَلَحَتْ صَلَحَ الْجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ وَإِذَا فَسَدَتْ فَسَدَ الْجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ‏.‏ أَلاَ وَهِيَ الْقَلْبُ

“Surely, there is a morsel of flesh in the body if it is rectified the whole body is rectified, but if it gets corrupted the whole body gets corrupted—verily, it is the heart.” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 52)

So, in this hadeeth is clear proof that the soundness of a person’s actions are in accordance to the soundness of his heart—and that the corruption of limbs and their evil actions exposes the corruption that is in the heart. So, the pious heart is the sound heart besides which nothing will avail the servant in front of Allah, neither children nor riches! Allah, the Most High, said:

يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ ٨٨
إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى ٱللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍۢ سَلِيمٍۢ ٨٩

“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allāh a sound heart.” (Ash-Shuʿarā: 88-89)

The scholars have explained that the hearts are of three types:

Firstly, al-Qalb as-Saleem (the sound heart): this is the heart that is safe from all evil, despicable, and hated affairs. It is filled with nothing but love for Allah, fear of Him, and fear of anything that will distance it from Him.

The second is al-Qalb al-Mayyit (the dead heart): this is the heart devoid of life, it is a heart that does not know its Lord nor worships Him. It follows its own desires, seeking to satisfy them even if that entails Allah’s anger and displeasure—this heart does not respond to advice or admonition—rather it is a follower and disciple of every devil that calls to it.

The third is al-qalb al-mareeḍ (the sick heart): this is a heart that has life, but it also carries disease.

So, the first heart is alive, conscious, alert, soft and malleable to the commands of Allah and His Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam). It answers the calls to worship Allah, and to all the paths of goodness such as the prayer, the zakāt, fasting, hajj, the dhikr of Allah, studying the religion of Allah, reciting His Book and understanding it, feeding the poor, kindness to parents, and so on.

The second heart is hard and dead, it turns away from every call to guidance and salvation—its concern is for itself and fulfilling its desires. The possessor of this heart earns the anger of Allah, His displeasure and His punishment!

The third heart is sick, so its sickness is either closer to soundness and goodness or closer to death and ruination. The possessor of this heart should fear Allah and fear for himself that he is not the cause of his own destruction—he should strive to come closer and closer to Allah with beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds.

So, each of us must strive to give life to our hearts and make them sound with acts of piety and righteousness—with love of Allah, fear of Him, hoping for His reward and fearing His punishment, and be aware that Allah is watching us at all times.

From the greatest of means that give life to the hearts is the dhikr of Allah by constantly (daily) reciting the Book of Allah, understanding it and acting upon it. Allah (the Most High) stated:

ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ ٱلْقُلُوبُ ٢٨

“Those who believed, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Raʿd: 13) And He, the Most High, said:

إِنَّمَا ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ ٱللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتُهُۥ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـٰنًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ٢

“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His verses are recited unto them, they increase them in Imām, and they put their trust in their Lord.” (Al-Anfāl: 2)

Also, from the means of giving life to the heart is to sit with the righteous, with the people of knowledge, and to benefit from them—and to follow what they narrate from Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radiyallāhu ʿanhum). O Muslim brother and sister! Mix with the people of Sunnah who are pious in speech and action, avoid the gatherings where Allah and His Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) are disobeyed—do not sit in gatherings where Allah’s verses and signs are mocked and belittled, where His worship is neglected, and His Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) is disobeyed. Those are evil gatherings, where people do not get up to Pray when it is time, instead they engage in vain, sinful and worthless speech that only adds to the sickness of the hearts.

May Allah make this brief advice a means of guidance for the Muslims who have lost their way. Ameen.

والحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين.

سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت، أستغفرك وأتوب إليك

By Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wāhid.
Copyright 2024.


Discover more from Abu Khadeejah : أبو خديجة

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.