Today’s ayah is a wonderful parable from Allah swt pertaining to the condition of our hearts.
Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. (Al Baqarah 2:74)
This ayah is addressed to Bani Israel but is as much applicable to all of us. In this ayah, Allah swt has compared their hearts, their heedless hearts, their disobedient hearts, their fearless hearts, to stones and has said that their hearts are even worse than stones. For stones too have some humbleness to them, which they lack. Therefore their hearts became worse than even some stones in hardness.
What we should take from this amazing reminder is the fact that our hearts, our spiritual hearts, the Qalb, is susceptible to fluctuations. There are four types of heart conditions:
- Polished Heart – is the heart of the believer. This heart is as shiny as a radiating lamp, wherein the lamp is the light of the faith it has. It is a sound heart which has faith in it and which lives by this faith.
- Sealed Hearts – are the hearts of the disbelievers. These hearts are tied with a knot and around it is a seal. They are the ones who openly disbelieve.
- An Upside Down Heart – This heart, that is turned upside down is that of a pure hypocrite. The one who has knowledge, knows the right from wrong, but denies it.
- Wrapped Hearts – These are the hearts that are mixed with belief and hypocrisy. Whichever of the two has an upper hand, will dominate the heart more.
Our hearts are generally one of these four kinds. We ask Allah swt to make us among the ones with sound, polished hearts. Ameen. Having said that, our hearts can and do fluctuate between two or more of these states.
When we live by the word of Allah, worship Him swt sincerely, do what we are commanded to, and keep away from the forbidden, it is when we taste the sweetness of Imaan, are our hearts the shining polished lamps.
Many a times, when we mix our life with what is commanded and forbidden, we pray, we recite, but we are also disobedient to Allah is certain other matters, we at that time have a wrapped heart. It is mixed with belief and hypocrisy, with obedience in some matters and disobedience in others. What we are inclined towards more, will define the state of our heart at that time. So at different times our hearts are in different states.
We should always strive for our hearts to be sound and polished and this can be achieved only by living the life by the words of Allah swt and the Sunnah of our Beloved (pbuh). The hardness of the heart and matters relating to it, is a vast topic, and I am still in its learning process. It is absolutely important to know and learn about this, for a hadeeth that mentions, the importance of qalb, the spiritual heart as being the center point of our existence. As how if it is sound, everything in our life is good, and how if it becomes corrupt, we are ruined! In sha Allah, more on this, in the future. Like every other thing in our body, our spiritual heart too, is also subjected to illnesses and sickness. And until you are aware of what those can be, you will never know the condition of your own heart. Therefore, we must all learn about it. May Allah swt bless us in beneficial knowledge. Ameen.
In the ayah, Allah swt now compares our hearts to stones. He swt has send down His guidance on us, the Quran, revealed through the Messenger (pbuh), who taught us the way of life. Some take it and some don’t. Others take some of it while leaving the part that doesn’t suit their lifestyle. After all means, of making us understand the truth of life, have been exhausted, by the miraculous stories and incidents, the ayaat of the Quran and the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself, we still are heedless and fearless of Allah swt. We still fall into disobedience of Allah is matters that we can’t afford to. Therefore Allah swt says, it is so, because our hearts have turned to stones and in hardness, some of the hearts are even worse than stones. Then He swt further goes on to explain the three types of stones.
The stones which are soft enough, through which the springs of water gush forth. The second type of stones, which are hard, but they still have a little softness left in them, which crack open and a small stream of water flows out from them. The third kind of stone, which is extremely hard, without as much as of a crack showing in it, yet, these type of stones, in fear of Allah fall down from the mountain tops and shatter into pieces, in all their humbleness.
Thus stones too are humble before Allah swt. How do we humans, the highest form of creation, justify ourselves and our conditions of the heart, which sometimes are harder than even the hardest of the stones and don’t even crack open a little in fear and awe of Allah swt. How sorry should we be? Inanimate objects being more humble than living thinking us!
In the last part of this Ayah, Allah swt declares his power of Knowledge. He swt is aware of everything that we do. Nothing that there is, in the heavens and in the earth, and everything in between them, remains hidden from His knowledge. And so is with the matters and conditions of our hearts. Allah swt knows in absolute truth the nature of our heart, whether it is a polished heart, a wrapped heart, an upside down turned heart or the worse the sealed or dead heart. We may know it, which is good because then we can work on it or worse we may not even know it; we can pretend to be a believers, good ones for that, to us and to the world, but who we really are, from inside, is not hidden from Allah swt. May He swt condition our hearts to become polished shiny, faith radiating hearts. Ameen.
Ya Allah, make not our hearts like dead or sealed hearts, make not our hearts like upside down turned hearts. Ya Rabb, bring our hearts out of the wraps of hypocrisy and disobedience, Ya Rabb, break the seal on our hearts, and breathe into our dead hearts a new life of faith and guidance. Keep our hearts soft and remove all and whatsoever elements of hardness they might have. Ya Allah, soften our hardened hearts. Ya Allah soften our hardened hearts.