Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Human Heart

Turning on the news, we see all the manifestation of this world's pain and suffering: wars, poverty, starvation, politics of hatred, intolerance as well as the abuse of the environment and our beautiful nature. All of these problems are man-made; there is absolutely no doubt about that. Every crime committed against humanity, against nature, against other creatures... every act of malice, cruelty... all of these injustices come from MAN. The heart of man.

My writing is inspired by an article I read about purification of the heart and the fact that today is the first day of Ramadan.. so perhaps the best time to isolate oneself and seek closeness to our Creator.

In Islam, we believe that there are different types of hearts: the healthy, the sick and the dead heart and that there are poisons that aggravate our hearts. Here is the gist of the article:
- Healthy heart: is a heart that if filled with Allah's (saw) will and whose life is dedicated to following His path, lovingly and willingly. This heart has complete love for Allah and it is this love that gives it life.
- Dead heart: is a heart that does not know Allah or worship Him or his commands. This is a heart that places great importance of worldly pleasures, lusts and desires regardless if they will incur Allah's wrath. It is a heart "drunk with its own fancies and its love for hasty, fleeting pleasures".
- Sick heart: is a heart with love for Allah, faith and sincerity towards him and reliance upon Him YET it also craves lust and pleasure and yearns to experience them. One part of its heart is calling it to Islam while the other is calling it to the fleeting pleasures of this world. Basically, the sick heart is a wavering one.

The poisons of the heart include talking excessively (gossip, backstabbing, lying, quarrelling), unrestrained glances (it is believed that the shaytan enters with the glance which may result in disillusionment and forbidden actions thereby distracting the heart from more important concerns), overeating (as it promotes laziness and may inhibit a person in his/her worship to Allah), and negative companionship (befriending those with dark hearts can lead to our own destruction, regardless of how strong we are). These must be avoided at all costs to maintain virtue of being as we continue in the path to becoming better people and purifying our hearts.

In the history of Islam, the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was known as the most virtuous and pure of human hearts. Through his goodness and his virtue, he transformed the world mash Allah. If we would follow is example and teachings, maybe just maybe we could actually smile and feel pride when turning on that TV and watching the news...

Ramadan Kareem to all - I wish all Muslims across the world a wonderful Ramadan and pray that Allah accepts all of our prayers and fasts during this holy month. As we deny anything that our bodies crave, we are elevating our mind and showing that our will is stronger than our desires. So may Allah help us to clarify our thinking, purify our hearts and have a greater awareness of ourselves so we feel closer to Him. Ameen.

5 Comments:

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Highlander said...

Ameen Nura . Inshallah rabi itgabal da3atana wi ishra7 sudurna. Hope you are having a lovely first day of Ramadan :)

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger .e!manie. said...

amen. inshallah our sowm is accepted honey. i call this perfect time for inner-exfoliation.... :) inshallah we make the best of it....

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Interesting post, Nura, thank you for sharing it. I don't think there is anything about different types of "hearts" in Christianity, but the "poisons of the heart" you mention would look familiar to any Christian I think! This is our list of "seven deadly sins" -

Pride
Greed
Lust
Anger
Gluttony
Envy
Sloth

These are considered the personality traits that lead to sin. The "unrestrained glance" is not something mentioned in the Bible, but maybe it's a symbolic phrase? Or maybe it's meant literally. The term used most 0often in the Bible is "covet" which is something like "desire" - there may be something to the "unrestrained glance", though. My guess is, that's where desire starts.

I'm always interested to see where religions are similar, and where they are different. I hope I didn't offend anyone with my babbling!

Hope you have a wonderful nice Ramadan :)

 
At 5:18 AM, Blogger removedalready said...

Hey I've got a task for you to do on my blog!! So, do me a favor & attemp on doing it!

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Nura said...

Craig, I am very happy you were able to identify the similarities. I enjoy your comments and am happy to see someone read with such a critical and thoughtful eye. Islam is an evolution from Christianity and Judaism so all the basic precepts and beliefs are the same. By mentioning the seven sins, you got this point entirely - the concept of the human soul with its poisons is essentially the same. :o) Recently we hosted an event with a speaker who was a convert into Islam from the Greek Orthodox religion and he said he was proud of his Christianity as it was essential in his evolutionary path evolution into Islam.. and I agree entirely. Anyhow, thanks again for your contribution.

 

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