The heart is the source of life for all human beings. The human heart is not only an organ that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body but it also plays an important role in our emotional experience. Your heart is what makes you special and unique. Your heart is the source of your determination, your desires and your feelings. Good and evil are the real results of what is inside your heart. So Islam has given the heart a special position and special care. Islam also tells us why we should have a pure heart and how to purify it. Let’s figure it out together.
What does having a pure heart mean?
The pure heart is one that is free of any desire to go against God’s commands. Also, it’s the heart that loves God sincerely more than anything. It’s the heart that has fear, love, piety and submission to His Creator; the heart that is free of arrogance, envy, vice, the love of worldly life, disbelief and hypocrisy.
What is the importance of a pure heart?
- Imagine on the day of judgment neither money nor sons would benefit you. Instead, what you really need is to meet God with a pure heart. As God said,
The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.” [Qur’an 26:88-89] (1)
- your Creator looks at your heart before your actions, so special attention to your heart. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts and accomplishments”. [Hadith] (2)
- Your body’s well-being always starts from your heart. The Prophet says:
Beware, in the body there is a piece of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt, and hearken it is the heart.” [Hadith] (3)
What are the diseases of the heart and how do they ruin one’s life?
Let’s discuss some heart diseases and see their effects on one’s life.
- Arrogance: arrogance is one of the serious diseases of the heart. God has given us in Qur’an an example of Korah who was so arrogant and saw himself better than anyone. As God had granted him fortunes and treasures but he was never thankful to his Creator. He was full of himself and thought that he deserved what he got. He thought that he got all these blessings because of his intelligence. His People used to advise him to stop behaving arrogantly but he never listened. Worst of all was that his arrogance led him to disbelieve in his Creator. So his end was so terrible. God said in the Qur’an
And We caused the earth to swallow him and his home. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor was he of those who [could] defend themselves.” [Qur’an 28:81] (4)
- Envy: imagine that you waste all your good deeds because you are looking for someone’s blessings. As the Prophet said:
Avoid envy, for envy devours good deeds just as fire devours firewood.” [Hadith] (5)
- Harshness: being harsh to people means that no one loves you, no one listens to you. People run away from you as you have no mercy towards them and you are not able to put yourself in their place nor are you kind to them. That’s why harshness is not acceptable in Islam. Islam encourages its followers to be kind and merciful, as God said to Prophet
So by mercy from Allah, [O Muḥammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” [Qur’an 3:159] (6)
What is your main task?
Your main task in this life is to do your best to clean your heart from all diseases and all whims. You should struggle against your vain desires to meet your God with a pure heart.
How to purify your heart?
Here are some steps to have a pure heart.
- Prayers: the first step to have a pure heart is to pray to your God [Who said] about righteous people in their supplication,
Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower” [Qur’an 3:8] (7)
- Remembrance of God:
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” [Qura’an 13:28] (8)
- Good company: surround yourself with good people who always remind you of God.
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His face [i.e., acceptance]. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” [Qur’an 18:28] (9)
To sum up, your heart is your compass. Before following it, purify it. Subscribe to our biweekly newsletter to know more about this topic and other related topics in Islam.