‘It is He who sent down Sakeenah (Tranquility and calmness) into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in faith along with their [present] faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise.’ [Surah Al Fath, verse 4]
‘Peace of heart’; What does it mean to have a peace of heart?
I’ve been thinking, and reading, and looking around and observing life around me. It saddens me to see a lot of things…We live in a time where we are constantly living in a virtual world. Our minds are chained to a different reality, that isn’t really reality. We are so confident of our outer images, and yet have actually forgotten our souls, our hearts. It is hard, I agree, in these times of social media and what not, to want to be heard, to want to be appreciated, to want to speak and speak and speak. Yet that is not it. I’m so afraid that we’d indulge in these temporary pleasures of the mind, and forget the real purpose of our lives.
A real peace of heart is when we log out, and look at ourselves, being brutally honest to our mirrors. To sit in the prayer mat, alone, for hours, and seek His forgiveness and blessings. To spend time contemplating on the Qur’an and asking Allah SWT to teach us every time we open it. And then to find sweetness not in taking a picture of it and immediately posting it online, but indulging in the sweetness of coming closer to Him, of being blessed to feel a ray of light in knowing Him and His deen. To learn more and more of His blessed religion, in order to follow it correctly and find pleasure in doing so. To strive to attain sincerity in doing so, and to try to cut off anything that hinders that sincerity. To thrive to let go of the deeds that take us away from Him, and hold fast to those that ensure us His love and rewards.
To go back and start from scratch. To focus on the self, so much, that the change grows from within. The change that then enlightens the family and those around. The family then grows with this change and enlightens the community around. Such is the way you start a revolution. And you leave a legacy. We have to focus on our selves and the most important Amanah that we possess- OUR hearts. For we aren’t responsible for anyone else’s hearts, are we?
What state is our heart in, today?
To achieve a peaceful heart, one needs to detach it from the desires of this Dunya and attach it to its true love- Its Creator. The true home of the heart lies in the Akhirah right?As our dear Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a passer-by.”
Ibn Al Qayyim in his book ‘Purification of the soul’, says, ‘The More diseased the heart is, the more it desires this world; it dwells in it until it becomes like one of its people. For the heart to be healthy it should depart from this life and arrive in the next, and then settle there as if it were one of its people; it only came to this life as a passer-by, taking whatever provisions it needed and then returning home.’
How then can this heart be at peace? Won’t it trouble us until we return to Allah SWT? Isn’t it supposed to suffer when it misses its share of reciting the Qur’an or invocation to Allah SWT or even, obligatory acts like Salah?
aha! THIS must be our litmus test! – To know what state our heart is in, look at what is it that disturbs the peace of our heart today. Is it the worldly matters of our lives, or is it the fear of success in the akhirah?
Actually, THIS is the state our hearts need to achieve: That when WE forget, our hearts remind us. Yes, it’s a constant lifelong toil and our heart cannot be in one state at all times. It fluctuates, and so does our effort to give it its place.
And so, perhaps, to achieve a ‘peace of heart’, we need to teach our heart, the true definition of ‘peace’. Yes, it is to have a heavy heart filled with awe of Allah’s immense blessings on us, and fear of being of those in Allah’s wrath and punishment. Yes this peaceful heart is a heavy heart; so soft, it cries so easily pondering about His mercy.
Yet this peaceful heart finds serenity in the dilemmas and shackles of the worldly matters and tests. This same peaceful heart that cries to its Lord, stands strong and faces the tests of this world with strength. Because this same heart realizes the priority of its success in the hereafter, over the worldly matters that test it.
In dealing with the matters of the world, it is at peace in connecting with its Rabb at all times. And in dealing with the matters of the Akhirah, it is in constant worry of whether it is going the right way.
So perhaps to deal with dilemmas in life is to learn to prioritize between ‘what is it that I am going to be held accountable for’ and differentiate it from other challenges. Such is the way one can attain peace of heart.
Indeed, ‘The most beneficial sustenance for the heart is faith and the best medicine is the Qur’an.’ [Ibn Al Qayyim]
There is a different sort of happiness in worshiping in secrecy. When was the last time you felt your heart truly jump with joy of worshiping its Lord? :’)
‘يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ‘
O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves.