What if we made a resolution to Allah that this Ramadan is the beginning of the new me? As others make their resolutions for New Year, Ramadan would be a starting point as a new resolution for Muslims. What if we approached Ramadan as a whole month to practice this new resolution and work mainly on changing one organ in the body, the heart, and then striving to continue this life-style throughout the year?
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that there is one organ in the body and if that organ is in good condition, the whole body is in good condition. If that organ is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. And that organ is the heart. The heart is the center of man's body and spirit. If the heart does not pump blood to one of the billions of cells, that single cell dies away very quickly. For the continuation of one's life, the heart occupies a unique place among the limbs of the body. This is also proved by the fact that most deaths nowadays happen due to heart attacks and failures. So no one can ignore the significance of the heart in man's biological and physical life.
Now, if we return to the spiritual and Islamic perspective, the same is true. The heart is the center of a good ritual life, which leads one to Paradise. It is our heart that emotionally drives limbs to move towards the good. The brain that is the center of man's intellectual capacity works according to the feelings and emotions of the heart. The Holy Quran elevates the status of the heart in the spiritual realm to a very high degree. The most important act of religious life, belief (iman), is actualized by man's heart before the uttering of the tongue. A good heart is defined very clearly in the Quran:
"Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned." (Quran 24:37)
On the Day of Resurrection, only those who come to Allah with a healthy heart will be saved. Allah says:
"The day on which neither wealth nor sons will be of any use, except for whoever brings to Allah a sound heart." (Quran 26:88-89)
In defining the healthy heart, it is a heart cleansed from all things that challenge what Allah commands, or disputes what He forbids. The hearts which fulfill the purpose of their creation always remember Allah and feel His presence. Such hearts are the centers of love for God and all His Prophets (May peace and blessings be upon them all). They do not allow any room for worldly concerns and lusts. Such hearts are classified as sound hearts and are free from evil. These hearts will benefit their owners on the Day of Resurrection, where there will be no helpers, intimate friends, supporters, family, wealth, or riches.
A Muslim with a healthy heart must dedicate it to its journey's end and not base his actions and speech on those of any other person except Allah's Messenger (S). The Holy Prophet (S) said: "Allah does not judge according to your bodies and appearances, but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds." (Muslim)
Today's life is a speedy world with fast food, instant photos, on-line banking, and a lot more. It is natural that we may get stressed out. Since a healthy heart leads to a healthy life, we should take care to maintain our heart in good health. We should first identify the factors that affect our heart and the factors we need to improve our mental health. To the best of our knowledge, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the first person ever to have talked about the importance of a healthy heart. He (SAW) also gave some very good suggestions to maintain a healthy heart. Let us be aware of the way stress affects our heart and in turn affects our body. May Allah give us the knowledge to control stress, before stress controls us. We must remember that Prophet Muhammad (S) said: "The man who is merciful and kind hearted to every relative and to every Muslim will be an inhabitant of Paradise."
The Islamic Bulletin
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