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Disease of the Heart

Publishing Date : 31 July, 2018


In this day and age it is common to hear of many people suffering from heart ailments; high blood pressure, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeats and a whole host of other medical ailments connected to the heart. Many people suffer from these ailments have to regularly take medication to alleviate their symptoms. However there is another greater disease that we all ‘suffer’ from: that of a ‘poisonous’ heart – this is as a result of the lifestyle we lead and the behavior and the sins we commit that poison our hearts

Indeed, all sins poison the heart and lead to its illness and destruction. They sicken it so as to act against what The Almighty wants of us. These actions are as harmful to the heart as actual poisons are to the body. The Almighty has stated in the Quran “By no means. But on their hearts is the stain (rust) of the ill which they do.” (Quran 83: 14). This refers to all the sins that pile up until the heart is ‘corroded’ all over.

That is because the heart ‘rusts’ from sins until it is totally corroded and diseased because we overlook our sins so much so that we become immune to sinning. Eventually, the heart becomes insensitive and we become ‘thick skinned’ to any spirituality and goodness and then drown in immorality and sin.

These sins and actions render darkness in our hearts by slowly diminishing the spirituality and distancing the person from God-consciousness. These acts of disobedience and sins have a great effect on our lives. When sins accumulate they gradually seal one’s heart; their doer becomes heedless because we do not pay any attention to them like mentioned above we become ‘thick skinned’. 

As a result the enormity of sins is removed from the heart to such an extent that we become regular sinners then consider them as mere habits. A person continues to commit vices until he or she puts them down and considers them as trivial and daily occurrences of no consequence.

Another disease of the heart that we all have is that smouldering deep within us and it is called, jealousy. This may be as a result of an underlying hatred for someone because they have been ‘blessed’ with more than we have. This fire is the major cause of malice, bitterness and hatred in our lives. All our religious upbringing teaches us not to fall into the trap of envying others. But alas we are human and we all have those feelings within us at one time or the other. ‘Do not covet those things in which Allah has bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others’ (Quran 4:32)

Even the Bible says: For we were also sometimes foolish………..living in malice, and envy, hateful, and hating one another… (Titus 3:3) All our religious upbringing teaches us not to fall into the trap of envying others. But alas we are only human and we all have had those failings within us at one time or the other. ‘Do not covet those things in which Allah has bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others’ (Quran 4:32)

This world of today is not a happy place because it is filled with so much hatred and envy that there is no longer any real peace in it. As humans we all have our ‘pet hates’ and dislike for somethings. But the worst type of hate that we can have is that for our fellow humans. We all have our pet hates especially when we dislike a certain person whom we believe have done us something wrong.

You cut ties with that person and haven’t spoken to them for a while? You blame all your problems on him/ her?  You’re not the only one; almost the whole of mankind today is diseased with this to the extent that almost every person is involved in hatred in one way or the other.
Let’s be honest, whether we like to admit it or not, of course we have all made mistakes, committed sins and no doubt we have wronged others, consciously or unknowingly, we have deceived others, we have also been back biting about others and no doubt we have lied to others. So what makes us focus onto brothers’ and sisters’ errors while we remain unconscious of our own? Not to forgive is like to live in arrogance, and ignorance of our own shortcomings.

Some people may have wronged us, they may have deceived us, or we may feel that they stabbed us in the back, were backbiting about us and lied to us. We may feel that we have a reason to ‘hate’ that someone; I am not the only one, each one of us carries some burden hidden within us; sometimes we translate dislike, anger, resentment and even jealousy to hatred, but to some degree we all have that sickness within us. This hatred can ignite a fire within us that can cause us many problems if it is not extinguished soon.

Regrettably such things are like a long festering and rotting wound – if we do not attend to it, it can only spread and get worse. That simmering rage within us can make us become anti-social, unlikeable and can even turn to hatred. Hate is emotionally draining and it can drive us to do strange things like taking revenge. We have to learn to exercise self-restraint and forgiveness so that we can live in harmony with our emotions so that we create inner peace.

We should realise and identify the failings and faults of others and learn to forgive them. ‘But if you forgive and overlook and cover up their faults, verily Allah is Oft-forgiving and Most merciful. (Qur’an 64: 14) As mere mortals it is only our pride and egos that prevent us from forgiving those who may have wronged us, but if we are to be really strong in faith then we have to learn to forgive others, and in this way Allah will look kindly upon us and forgive us for our own mistakes and sins. Allah loves us to have hearts that are ready to forgive: “But indeed if any shows patience and forgives that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.” (Quran 42: 43)

Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said; “To be forgiving and to control yourself in the face of provocation, to give justice to the person who was unfair and unjust to you, to give to someone even though he did not give to you when you were in need and to keep connection with someone who may not have reciprocated your concern, will ensure you a palace in Paradise (as a symbol of reward).”

Going even further he said: “the best of people are those who are slow to anger and quick to forgive. On the other hand the worst of people are those, who get angry quickly but are slow to forgive. The characteristic that makes a person most likely to forgive is the purity of his or her heart.” Apologies must be accepted, the Prophet (PBUH) said that: “Whoever apologises to his brother and that apology is not accepted, then the person who refuses to accept the apology bears the sin of the other”.

The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) put it clearly when he said “Be warned! In the body there is a lump of flesh (an organ) which if it is in good order then the rest of the limbs (actions & deeds) will be in good order and if it is corrupt then the rest of the limbs (actions & deeds) will be corrupt! Be warned! It is the heart!”



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