Turner of Hearts
There are many days when I feel a disconnect, a lack of closeness to Allah. There are days when I feel depressed, days when I don’t feel like I am a good person, a good Muslim. These days are days when I look deep into my heart criticizing myself for every small sin I can think off. Constantly repeating to myself how much I hate myself, how much of a loser I am, that because of these sins and flaws I will never attain Jannah.
I always thought I was alone in feeling this way. I thought maybe I am being too hard on myself, that I am burdening myself with unnecessary guilt. I now realize that this is a state that we all go through at one time or another. I started looking at it from a different perspective, realizing there is a positive reason for my feeling of guilt and self-hatred.
Allah (swt) has created our hearts and the heart is an extraordinary organ, not only the physical aspects of it but also the spiritual virtues it carries. It acts like a gage to our Islamic health. When we feel bad after sinning this is our hearts telling us to ask for forgiveness. If we stop praying our hearts will feel unhappy which will flow throughout our bodies helping us to come back to Allah. Our hearts, when close to Allah, shine bright and pump happiness throughout our beings, infusing with our souls, altering our mindset, helping us see through a lens of optimism and think with a mind at peace. When we lose this connection with Allah, or start to distance ourselves from Him, our hearts become hardened, they beat with a constant reminder of our mistakes, burden our souls and fill our minds with thoughts of self-pity and hatred of our self.
This amazing organ, the heart, and the feelings that come with it are a gift from Allah. It took time for me to understand that these feelings of negativity, this unhappiness was actually an indicator that my heart was still alive, that there was a problem in my nafs and something needed to change. Just like how physical pain of the body brings us to a halt, to sit down and make changes to our life-style, the spiritual pain of our heart is our internal indicator that something is wrong and we need to make a change.
Shaitan also plays tricks on our heart, straying us from making changes to our lives. After we sin he makes us feel as if we aren’t worth Allah’s Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness. He takes our guilt and uses it against us by making us wallow in our self-defeat. He uses our guilt against us by making us think that Allah won’t forgive our sins, making us think that we have done something so shameful how can we even stand in prayer asking our Rabb for His Mercy. Remember that this is shaitan’s goal, to deceive us, even if that means turning us against our hearts. To keep us always attached to Allah let us always make dua our Prophet would make:
Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas said, that he heard Allah’s Messenger saying, “All the hearts of the offspring of Adam are between two fingers of Allah. He turns them (in any direction) as He wills. Then Allah’s Messenger said, “O Allah! The Turner of the hearts, turn our heart towards your obedience.” [Saheeh Muslim vol.4, p.1397, no.6418]
– Omar Malik