It is said that the shortest path to Paradise is with a healthy heart.
As Muslims, we are only too aware that the importance of having a heart that is healthy in the spiritual sense will lead us to the pleasure of Allah SWT and in turn to Paradise.
Allah SWT reminds us of this fact in the Glorious Quran in Sura Ash-Shuara in ayats 88 and 89 which are translated so say:
The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children
But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.
Dear brothers and sisters, what do we mean then when we speak of a healthy heart in this context? A healthy heart is one that believes in Allah SWT, a heart that recognizes that only Allah SWT is worthy of worship and seeking help from, a heart that is free from arrogance, anger towards others, love for this temporary life and free from the love of the trappings of this life such as power and money. It is a heart that yearns to help others, a heart that yearns to seek the pleasure of Allah SWT and a heart that seeks to keep away from any sins and is saddened when we occasionally slip in keeping free from sin.
Allah SWT, through the Glorious Quran and through his Messenger SAWS, has given us directions to attain a healthy heart.
For example, the prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: say As-Salaamu Alaikum to one another.
It was also asked of the Prophet SAWS the question of which people are best, he is reported to have replied to this question by saying:
‘Everyone who is pure of heart and sincere in speech.’ They said: ‘Sincere in speech, we know what this is, but what is pure of heart?’ He said: ‘It is (the heart) that is pious and pure, with no sin, injustice, bitterness or envy in it.’”
Dear brothers and sisters, we are in a time and a place where ties are being broken whereas people are spending more and more time creating ties in a virtual world through their phones and social media.
We need to recognize that not only Islam, but studies are showing the damage that this is having both on the individual and on society as a whole. As Muslims, we are forever the role model for others as well as teachers of what is the correct practice.
Therefore, we need to be mindful that we do not fall into the trap of cutting ties with our family and friends. We need to make the effort of keeping these ties going and to repair any ties which are broken between us.
We need to learn to forgive one another for the sake of Allah SWT, to love one another for the sake of Allah SWT as this is the correct mindset to have.
In fact, the Prophet SAWS taught us these valuable lessons in the following hadiths which are mentioned by the imam today.
In the first, the messenger of Allah SWT said:
“People’s deeds are presented before Allah on Mondays and Thursdays, and then every slave (of Allah) is granted forgiveness (of minor sins) if he does not associate anything with Allah in worship. But the person in whose heart there is rancour against his brother, will not be pardoned. With regard to them, it is said twice: ‘Hold these two until they are reconciled’.”
And secondly, the messenger of Allah SWT said:
“It is not lawful for a Muslim to forsake or disown his (Muslim) brother beyond three days; and whosoever does so for more than three days, and then dies, will certainly enter the Hell.”
This reminder therefore concludes with 3 short steps we can take to attempt reconciliation with one another.
Remind one another the importance of reconciliation and give examples from the Quran and sunnah like the ones mentioned today. Explain to the other the importance for both to reconcile for the sake of Allah SWT’s mercy.
Introduce a mediator to help reconcile. Find someone willing to play the middle person to help reconcile between you and the other person. Make the effort to make this happen as the effort alone will insh’Allah be recognized by Allah SWT.
Lower the wing of mercy for the other person. Even if the issue is one that you cannot agree on, this does not mean that the reconciliation cannot happen. Agree to disagree and choose to reconcile and avoid the topic for the sake of reconciliation. This is more important for the soul than whoever may be right in regards to the issue concerned.
Dear brothers and sisters, we can see the importance of showing mercy to one another. Not only does it benefit our own hearts but it makes for a happier society, if we show love and understanding for one another. If we are to attain the mercy of Allah SWT then surely we need to demonstrate this with one another first.