Signs of Heart Disease

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There are numerous signs of a sickness of the heart. The first of them, is finding it difficult to live by the purpose of our creation, which is to know Allaah The Almighty, love Him, yearn to meet Him, turn to Him in repentance and to prefer doing all this to any other desire. Indeed, whoever gives precedence to his or her whims, over the love of, and obedience to, his or her Lord, then his or her heart is certainly diseased. 

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{Have you seen the one who takes as god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him?} [Quran 25: 43].

Some of the righteous predecessors said that this verse refers to the person who is led by his or her base wants and whims; hence, he or she lives like an animal, with no knowledge or worship of Allaah The Almighty, in violation of His orders and prohibitions. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{but those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as grazing livestock eat, and the Fire will be a residence for them.} [Quran 47:12]

Let us not forget that as we sow, so shall we reap. Therefore, if a person not only does not live life according to what pleases Allaah The Almighty, but instead actively pursues a lifestyle of disobedience to Him through His very blessings, he or she will neither find comfort nor be relieved of pain, after death, in the Hereafter. Allaah The Almighty, Says (what means):

{He will gulp it but will hardly [be able to] swallow it. And death will come to him from everywhere, but he is not to die. And before him is a massive punishment.} [Quran 14:17]

Another sign of a diseased heart is that a person is not disturbed by insubordination to Allaah The Almighty. A poet spoke of how a dead person does not feel the pain of any wound; using that analogy, conversely, a sound heart feels great pain when a sin is committed, and, so, is quick to repent to Allaah The Almighty, as He Says (what means):

{Indeed, those who fear Allaah – when an impulse touches them from Satan, they remember [Him] and at once they have insight.} [Quran 7:201]

{And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allaah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allaah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.} [Quran 3:135]

The meaning of “remember [Allaah]” in both verses, refers to the act of bearing in mind His magnificence, His threats and His punishments, and so, they seek His forgiveness. On the other hand, the one who has a diseased heart will keep on committing sin upon sin. 

In another place in the Quran, Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning.} Commenting on this verse, Al-Hasan said that this means committing one sin after the other, to the extent that the heart becomes blind. In contrast, a person with a sound heart will follow an evil deed with a good one and make sure to repent after a wrongdoing. 

A diseased heart, moreover, manifests itself when a person does not feel any pain of being unaware of the truth, whereas, someone with an upright mind could not tolerate that when coming across any confusing matters, or having false beliefs. Verily, ignorance is a serious calamity that pains anyone with a sound heart. 

Some scholars would say: “Allaah was never disobeyed with anything worse than ignorance.” Also, Imaam Sahl was asked: “O father of Muhammad! What is worse than ignorance?” He replied: “To be oblivious of one’s obliviousness.” Indeed, such a state entirely hinders the path to knowledge, for a person is unaware of his or her need for it. It was once said that ignorance before one’s death is death itself; the bodies of the ignorant are like graves for the soul and they will have no resurrection until the Day of Resurrection. 

Another sign of having a diseased heart is deviating from what is useful to what is harmful. Many people, for instance, refrain from listening to the Quran, about which Allaah The Almighty Said (what means):

{And We Send down of the Quran that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.} [Quran 17:82].

Instead, they listen to songs that instill hypocrisy, and perhaps disbelief, in their hearts and stir their base desires. Such people sin, by preferring what Allaah and His Prophet, , hate.And that, in itself, is a consequence of having a diseased heart and only increases it in sickness. 

On the other hand, the more the heart is sound, the more it loves what Allaah The Almighty and His Messenger, , do, as He Says (what means):

{but Allaah Has endeared to you the faith and Has Made it pleasing in your hearts and Has Made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided.} [Quran 49:7]

The Prophet, said:

“He would taste the sweetness of faith, who is content with Allaah as [his] Lord, with Islam as [his] religion and with Muhammad as [his] Prophet.” [Muslim]

He, also said:

“No man from among you will have [perfect] faith, until he loves me more than his own self, children, family and all mankind.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

The last symptom of an ill heart is that a person settles in this worldly life, satisfied with it and is at peace in it, feeling no sense of alienation, such that he or she no longer looks forward to the Hereafter or works for it. Conversely, when a heart becomes sound, it yearns for the Hereafter, to the extent that it perceives the sickness of others, while they do not see its soundness. The state of a person with such a heart, in life, bears the spirit of the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, said:

“Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” [Al-Bukhaari]


4 thoughts on “Signs of Heart Disease

    irishsignora said:
    November 7, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    I’m always struck by the similarities between Islam and my Catholic faith. Thank you for these articles that educate and inspire me; it’s always uplifting to read that there are, in fact, people in the world who understand that there is such a thing as a sick heart.

    I thought you might enjoy this post from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website about what we call “examination of conscience.” Peace be with you, Hifzan. — Kelly

      hifzan shafiee responded:
      November 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Yes, it was almost similar with Islamic view, But it full with so many question. It good to reflect ourselves based on the question provided.

      Thanks for sharing it. – HIfzan

    aleafinspringtime said:
    November 7, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    I too have been reflecting on what it means to have a pure heart. This post describes it beautifully. Thank you for sharing such deep eternal truths from the Quran. I am grateful and blessed. Sharon

      hifzan shafiee responded:
      November 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      It hard to have a very pure heart, even I write in about heart, manners, ethics, etc. It doesn’t mean I can follow 100% especially with all TVs, internet, society, money that find way to distract myself.

      At least, we know the different between right and wrong, so we have a “brake pad” (knowledge) to press it when we required it. Life itself is a challenge, so we need to prepare with knowledge. – Hifzan

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