The word Qalb means heart in both a physical and spiritual sense.
As we have seen in the video, Qalb is the name of the heart in the Arabic language. Its literal meaning is ‘to turn’. The heart is the home for all of our emotions, rationale, and obedience or disobedience to Allah. Because the heart is always turning and changing, it is necessary to protect it and keep it safe from arrogance and diseases similar to it.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said,
“Indeed Allah will not look at your shape or your body. But will look at your heart and actions.” Sahih Bukhari
The heart is the controller of the entire body. If the heart is good, everything is good. But if it is not, everything will be bad; as mentioned by the Prophet in the hadeeth.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) narrated:
“There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.”[Sahih Bukhari]
Types of Hearts
There are 3 different types of heart:
The first type of heart is called Qalbun Saleem = قَلْبٌ سَلِيمٌ
This is a heart that is sound and dedicated to the worship of Allah.
It is the heart that knows and believes in its Lord and prevents itself from vain desires.
The heart that is characterized as being saleem (sound) is because it has established that it constantly and consistently adheres to good. This is the guided heart and the one found in the believer. Allah says:
وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ
And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. [64:11]
This heart after believing in Allah still keeps remembering Him and is upright and good. Then Allah compensates it with tranquility and assurance in this world and the Hereafter. Allah says:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” [13:28]
This heart is what is required for salvation from the hellfire on the Day of Resurrection. Allah says,
إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [26:89]
What is in the heart can save you from the hellfire. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever says, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’ and has good in his heart equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell.”
And whoever says, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has good in his heart equal to the weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell.”
And whoever said, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell.” [Sahih Bukhari]
So everyone should ask Allah for this type of heart, the same way as the Prophet Muhammad, (ﷺ) and his Companions used to do. Allah says regarding them,
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
“Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.[3:8]
Our messenger (ﷺ) would often make this dua:
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
“O Turner of the Hearts, keep my heart firm on Your religion”
Conjugations found here: قُلُوب the plural of قَلْب and مُقَلِّبَ (the One Who turns).
The second type of heart is called Qalbun Saqeem’ = قَلْبٌ سَقِيمٌ
This is the heart that is spiritually sick or diseased. It has been affected by doubts and desires. Its owner hesitates to worship Allah because of these.
This person loves Allah and His commands but he also loves the things of this world and its desires. He is constantly wavering between the two.
وَارْتَابَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي رَيْبِهِمْ يَتَرَدَّدُونَ
And whose hearts have doubted, and they, in their doubt, are hesitating. [9:45]
Among the diseases this heart is affected with are miserliness, envy, jealousy, arrogance and others. If this heart is cleansed and returns back to Allah, it becomes saleem (sound) but if it still remains upon the search for its desires, it becomes the heart of a hypocrite and further from Allah. He says,
فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ
In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie. [2:10]
Then this heart neither belongs to this nor that, neither saleem (sound) nor mayyit (dead) and this heart becomes saqeem never conforming with the other even if they think so.
تَحْسَبُهُمْ جَمِيعًا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ شَتَّىٰ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَعْقِلُونَ…
You think they are together, but their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people who do not reason. [59:14]
This heart does not have a firm stance in anything, for it is unsure and destroyed, neither belonging to these nor those. Allah sealed it with its hypocrisy until the Day of Judgment. He says,
فَأَعْقَبَهُمْ نِفَاقًا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يَلْقَوْنَهُ بِمَا أَخْلَفُوا اللَّهَ مَا وَعَدُوهُ وَبِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ
So He punished them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they will meet Him – because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they used to lie. [9:77]
The third type of heart is Qalbun Mayyit = قَلْبٌ مَيِّتٌ.
This heart contains no life. It is caught in its base desires. It does not know its Lord nor worship Him and is always arrogant to the truth.
فَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مُّنكِرَةٌ وَهُم مُّسْتَكْبِرُونَ
But those who do not believe in the Hereafter – their hearts are disapproving, and they are arrogant. [16:22]
It has been covered, sealed and screened from the truth. It can’t see the truth as the truth not to mention following it. And it cannot see falsehood as falsehood, not to mention leaving it. Allah says,
خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment. [2:7]
Even with this heart, it has a chance to hear the truth. But it won’t follow it. And it turns the truth into mockery; take it as a joke, or to play. They fool themselves and those like them. However, they can never fool Allah or the believers.
وَإِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمُ انقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ
And when they returned to their people, they would return jesting. [83:31]
وَقَالُوا قُلُوبُنَا فِي أَكِنَّةٍ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَا إِلَيْهِ وَفِي آذَانِنَا وَقْرٌ وَمِن بَيْنِنَا وَبَيْنِكَ حِجَابٌ فَاعْمَلْ إِنَّنَا عَامِلُونَ
And they say, “Our hearts are within coverings from that to which you invite us, and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a partition, so work; indeed, we are working.” [41:5]
وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَارَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَنَذَرُهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ
And We will turn away their hearts and their eyes just as they refused to believe in it the first time. And We will leave them in their transgression, wandering blindly.[6:10]
May Allah protect us, guide us, and soften our hearts so that we may stand before Him with a sound heart. Ameen