Inner Dimensions Series Part 3 | Salah and the Heart


“So devote yourself to the religion of monotheism—the natural instinct God has instilled in mankind. There is no altering God’s creation. This is the true religion, but most people do not know.”

[Surat Ar-Rum:30]

Comparing the Heart to the Earth. 

Looking at the analogy that Ibn al Qayyim رحم الله draws here of the heart, comparing it to a priceless harvest, it can be derived that the heart of a person that knows Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ and turns to Him, enjoys His closeness, stands in prayer out of love for Him with complete humility and focus, such a person has fulfilled the rights of Allah by being in perfect servitude inside-out. 

There is immense importance laid upon the heart in our Deen. Our hearts are deficient and prone to falling into barrenness, just like the parched earth that becomes infertile without rain, the heart too can become purposeless and inadequate in its function.

Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ says:

And among His signs is that you see the earth devoid of life, but as soon as We send down rain upon it, it begins to stir to life and swell. Indeed, the One Who revives it can easily revive the dead. He is certainly Most Capable of everything.

[Surat Al Fussilat:39]

Restlessness of the Heart. 

How often do we experience discontentment, anguish, and restlessness in our hearts? How often are we dissatisfied and frustrated with our affairs? 

We are living amidst innumerable distractions that lead to the wastefulness of our time and resources. It has come to a point where these distractions prevent us from getting even the basics done, we then carry a heavy burden on our hearts which lies in our blindspot, hidden from us, struggling to find the missing piece, wondering how we got ourselves to a place that appears as being ‘stuck’ in a place of hopelessness. 

When the heart isn’t connected to its purpose, it tends to fall into the misunderstanding of suffering, while wallowing in this illusionary misery. This misery is a consequence of neglecting the very thing that brings contentment and satisfaction to our hearts-the Salah.

Salah is a feast for the starving person. If we can recall the feeling of getting that first sip of water when we break our fast. Salah gives to the heart what a sip of water gives to a fasting person. It quenches the thirst of the heart and provides nourishment to the soul. 

Similar to when the body is nourished with the food, allowing for the limbs to function efficiently, so we can go about our day doing the physical work that needs to be done, when the hearts are content with the nourishment that they need, the limbs follow through in submission, towards the acts of worship and obedience Subhan Allah. 

Call to Success Five Times a Day

Why do we need to pray five times a day?

Ibn al Qayyim رحم الله, says that the connection through Salah is not a one-off thing. The hearts need this connection five times a day to remain healthy and sound.

As we saw above, our hearts are always on a slippery slope, easily diverted and pulled towards impermissible desires. The call to disobedience from our nafs has to be replaced by the invitation to obedience through worship five times a day. This is incumbent upon the hearts sustenance, so that it does not dry out from the lack of the rains of Mercy from Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ

When the rain showers down on the earth, the vegetation grows, that’s the Mercy of Allah. When the heart accepts the invitation of the call to prayer every day, five times a day,  Eeman and Ihsan grow in the form of two trees within the heart, and this too is the Mercy of Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ upon His believing slaves Alhamdulillah. 

Deficiency of the Heart

What causes the deficiency of the heart?

The main factor that causes the heart to be deficient is heedlessness (ghaflah). Choosing to turn away the Mercy of Allah out of heedlessness is what causes our hearts to turn into these dried parched pieces of land. 

The discomfort we face in our thoughts and the emotional unrest we experience in our hearts is a consequence of the choices we make in being neglectful of our fundamental duties. 

Going back to the comparison of the heart to the earth, how can we make our hearts fertile and suitable for vegetation again? It’s simply by choosing to accept the invitation of the rains of Mercy that calls to us five times a day, every day, and by keeping our hearts and soul firmly attached to our Rabb and His obedience In Shaa Allah.

What are you taking away from here? 

Let me know in the comments below In Shaa Allah. 

If you are benefiting from this series, do share it with your friends and family. 

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Until Next time. 

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