While the heaven and the earth are so vast that it cannot even contain the Beloved, one would certainly ponder over the mystery of an organ which is the only place that can contain Him: the faithful’s heart.
The fast-paced world today seems to hinder the heart. One is too preoccupied for his Creator. Family affairs, business matters, school activities, professional duties, and other responsibilities that need attention seem to capture and incarcerate one’s mysterious heart.
Hence, the cosmos and the insensible self always exist, and the Beloved or the Real Self is consigned to oblivion.
As the cosmos and the insensible self shroud one’s heart in the remembrance of his Real Self, the heart is deprived. And to deprive the heart of this remembrance is akin to depriving a baby of its mother’s milk. Therefore, to nurture, strengthen and keep the heart alive, it must be activated and nourished.
Here is a powerful aphorism from Prophet Muhammad (saw) to reflect on: “There is a muscle in the body that if it remains healthy, the whole body becomes healthy, and if it is diseased, the whole body becomes diseased, beware, it is the heart.”
We all know that a diseased heart can be compared to a polluted river. Neither a filthy river can capture or display images on its surface nor it can run deep and reach the deepest ocean, for it is totally a dead river. Like a clean river, if the heart is empty of trashes, the whole body remains clean and healthy but it can become dead if it is infected by the iniquity of its actions: anger, pride, grudge, envy, lust, greed, desire, vanity, and the like.
What is the heart? All emotional outbursts or dramatic sentiments come from the heart. We are all aware that it is an organ that pumps blood to the entire circulatory system of the body. It is the centre of disposition or character: love, hatred, joy, pain, courage, anxiety, anger, passion and desire.
But to a genuine lover, the heart is divine in nature although it is related with the physical heart that pumps blood into the body. This transcendental heart stimulates one’s being and serves as a conduit pipe that discloses divine qualities if it is unpolluted or pure.
Human beings vary in dispositions. Hence, their hearts differ from one another. Likened to the level of cooking steak, the heart can be well-done (a believer’s heart), rare (unbeliever’s heart), medium (hypocrite, hardened heart), or medium-well (heart consists of belief and hypocrisy). However, no matter how “rare” or “medium-well” this piece of meat may be, through His Will, it can be cooked tastily in a very “well done” level. Although a well-done steak can also be rotten if it is not well preserved.
When the heart is constantly cleanse, it can advance on its way to discover the real joy and could surely reflect the Beloved’s Light if it is unblemished. But as the dominant self conquers and chains the heart, it becomes resentful and importunate. Thus, it cannot advance to a higher stage due to the feculent bog that obscure its way.
While the heart needs to be cautioned to become faithful, it needs to be punished too, to become more faithful. Nevertheless, it is quite hard to attest to be one of His faithful servants, for the heart constantly fluctuates: sometimes it soars high like an eagle; other times it crawls down like a worm.
Since the Great Chef is the only One who can “cook” or can change hearts, He provided “ingredients” or remedies to cure a diseased heart, such as prayers, repentance and remembrance. With His Grace, the dirt that stains the heart can be sponged off.
To nurture the heart with sanctity and consciousness is a priceless quest. It demands passion, sincerity, time, strength, and enthusiasm to embark on such expedition. But it is a life-time investment. It may be the believer’s toughest warfare or a never-ending combat with the shallow psyche, but for the Sake of the Beloved, nothing is unattainable! -JoyWadi
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