The Somersaults of the Heart

On one occasion, Sayyidah Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the respected wife of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), was asked, “Which du‘aa would Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) make the most when he was with you (in your home)?” She replied, “The du‘aa that he would make the most was:

يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوْبِ ، ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِيْ عَلَى دِيْنِكَ

Transliteration: Ya Muqallibal Quloob! Sabbit qalbee ‘alaa deenik

Translation: O the Turner of hearts! Keep my heart firm on Your Deen!”

Sayyidah Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as to why he made this du‘aa in such abundance. He replied, “O Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha)! Every person’s heart is in the complete control of Allah Ta‘ala. Whomsoever Allah Ta‘ala wishes, He keeps steadfast, and whomsoever He wishes, He allows to go astray.” (Sunan Tirmizi #3522)

In the Arabic language, the verb ‘qalaba’ means ‘to turn around’ or ‘turn over’ (e.g. to turn something upside-down). Hence, the heart is called ‘qalb’ in Arabic as the nature of the heart is such that in a mere ‘heartbeat’, it can take a complete u-turn and have a complete turnaround. From being interested, it can suddenly lose interest. From being happy, it can suddenly become sad. From feeling motivated, it can suddenly feel lethargic and depressed. From having conviction, it can suddenly be plagued with doubts and insecurities.

From this, we understand the great importance of safeguarding the heart from elements that influence it towards evil and tempt it towards haraam and sin. For instance, just one stolen glance at a non-mahram is more dangerous and fatal to the heart than even a poisonous arrow. The poison of this glance penetrates deeply, and from loving the halaal spouse, the heart suddenly takes a u-turn and begins to pine for the haraam stranger.

Likewise, one casual conversation or interaction with a stranger, whether in person or through social media, novels, movies, etc. is sufficient to capsize the heart. A person previously had strong imaan and complete conviction in Allah Ta‘ala, but after being exposed to corrupt ideologies, his heart turns and is now besieged with doubts regarding Allah Ta‘ala and Islam. From being a strong, committed Muslim, he becomes a borderline atheist (if not an outright atheist – may Allah Ta‘ala save us and our families!) – all because he did not safeguard his heart.

Therefore, through making this du‘aa, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) taught the Ummah that together with safeguarding the heart from external influences, we should always ask Allah Ta‘ala to keep our hearts stable and firm on Deen. If our hearts remain firm on Deen throughout our lives, then insha-Allah, we will be able to remain away from sins and will pass away while being firm on Deen and imaan.

Sayyiduna Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) also reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would make this du‘aa in abundance. (Sunan Tirmizi #2140) Hence, in this era of severe imaani challenges, we should all try to make this du‘aa as often as possible, and should teach it to our children as well.

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