Blog Archives

Rollin McCraty: Science of the Heart (Video)

info-pictogram1 Recent discoveries have shown that the heart generates a mysterious and powerful electromagnetic field. In this video, Rollin McCraty, Ph.D, Executive VP and Director of Research for the Institute of HeartMath, explores the scientific basis for understanding the ways in which we are deeply connected with each other.

Steps in achieving tranquility of the heart


By: Jinan Bastaki


Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our faith, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.”

The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my nation… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is: “Why me?”

We have all heard that we should never despair of God’s mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, but the Devil has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of God’s mercy. We do not always accept that God can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; God isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.

This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive, or take ourselves to account when we do mess up. The key is to develop our relationship with God during that trouble. If we know God, no situation is too hopeless. No sadness is ever permanent. We perceive trials as they are meant to be perceived – as tests of our trust in God, forcing us to put our knowledge into practice and bringing us closer to Him. These trials could potentially be a punishment too, that is if we let it affect us negatively by completely turning away from Him because of our sadness. But our awareness of our own state and our understanding of God’s mercy allows us to turn the punishment into something positive that is manifested through repentance to God, alongside increasing in good deeds in order to erase the bad ones.

The first exercise is for us to consciously realize that God knows. Whatever grief we go through, whatever hardship we endure, we must understand that we are never alone. Even if we feel abandoned by the world and those closest to us, God is there. He reminds us in the Quran: {Fear not. Indeed, I am with you [both]; I hear and I see.} (Ta-Ha 20: 46)

As long as we begin by recognizing that God is with us and He is close to us, there remains a solution to our inner worries. There are things we need to know in order to develop our relationship with God. Then there are things we need to do in order to maintain that closeness to God. And finally, there are things we need to aspire for to achieve the ideal relationship with our Lord. We pray that by the end of the series, we will all have developed a stronger relationship with God.

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Yasmin Mogahed: Take Your Heart Back! (Video)


info-pictogram1 877-Why-Islam presents a talk by Yasmin Mogahed. Celebrities, influential people and the fantasies that they create have always shaped the world views of civilizations. However, idols of the present time tend to be more influential due to their visibility compared to those of the past. Idols of the present time will be compared to those of the past in an effort to critically evaluate their influence to capture the hearts of society and hence their true worthiness of the status of “idol”.

The heart is a space

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh) said, “In order for a place to contain something, it must be free from whatever contradicts it. The heart is a space, and the more you put into the heart what is not Allāh, the less the capacity will be to love Allāh.

The heart knows what the mind cannot see, an open heart resonates with & understands all of life.

gb copy The heart knows what the mind cannot see, an open heart resonates with & understands all of life.
es copy El corazón sabe lo que la mente no puede ver, el corazón abierto resuena con y entiende toda la vida.
nl copy Het hart weet wat het verstand niet kan zien, een open hart resoneert met en begrijpt alles van het leven.
fr copy Le coeur sait ce que l’esprit ne peut pas voir, un cœur ouvert résonne avec et comprend toute la vie.
de copy Das Herz weiß, was der Geist nicht sehen können, ein offenes Herz schwingt mit und versteht das ganze Leben.
CN67867 De xīnzàng zhīdào tóunǎo bùnéng kàn dào shénme, yǐ kāifàng de xīnzàng gòngmíng hé lǐjiě suǒyǒu de shēngmìng.
Sweden Hjärtat vet vad sinnet inte kan se, ett öppet hjärta genljuder med och förstår allt liv.
rus7897 Serdtse znayet, chto um ne mozhet videt’ , otkrytoye serdtse rezoniruyet s i ponimayet vsyu zhizn’.
4523turkey Kalp, akıl göremiyorum biliyor bir açık kalp ile rezonansa ve hayatın tüm anlar.
images Il cuore sa quello che la mente non può vedere, un cuore aperto risuona con e comprende tutta la vita.
indonesiaID Jantung tahu apa pikiran tidak dapat melihat, hati yang terbuka bergema dengan & memahami semua kehidupan.

A real man is the one who fears the death of his heart, not his body. (IMAGE)


Purifying the Heart

[Better Habit-Making - Part 1] Purifying the Heart | Productive Muslim

Are you having a hard time sticking to your new year resolutions? Perhaps you’ve been frustrated and disappointed over and over again seeing your grand plans of change fall apart?

Don’t worry, I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

Let’s try again. This time, with the proper understanding and knowledge of habit-making.

Why I Got Interested in Habits

I remember coming out of the conference hall, all excited and motivated to be a better Muslimah. Listening to humbling reminders from an all-star shuyukh lineup and having conversations with numerous inspiring Muslimahs (or Muslims, if you’re a brother) tends to have that impact on people, especially me.

I went home and drew up a master plan of what my days would look like:

Tahajjud at 4 A.M., followed by an hour of the Qur’an, followed by some revisions for school before praying Fajr. Then I would burn the track before getting ready for school. I would then be on time for all my classes, come home, spend another hour with the Qur’an and listen to more lectures online. In between, I would pray all my prayers on time, including all the sunnah prayers, both before and after.

Things went great on the first day. I was roaring with enthusiasm. By the third day I was exhausted, but I pushed myself. By the fifth day, I had significantly reduced my sunnah prayers and my running shoes stood dejected by the door. By the seventh, I had suffered a total burnout.

I got depressed, demotivated and soon returned to my old ways. The cycle then repeats when a new conference comes into town. Instead of changing small habits over time, I tried to change my whole being in one shot.

And I know many of us are stuck in the same cycle too. A great tool that you can use to keep track of your progress achieved toward building (or destroying) a habit is ProductiveMuslim’s Habitator.

“In order for us to realize our God-given potential within our lifetimes, we must break the cycles of stagnation that prevent us from doing so by abandoning methods that have proven ineffective in fulfilling our responsibilities as people committed to Islam. We can accomplish this only by changing our current condition — this requires courage, commitment and above all, critical introspection.” — Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (Agenda to Change our Condition)

[Better Habit-Making - Part 1] Purifying the Heart | Productive Muslim

The Heart, The Brain, and Habits

In my quest to learn more about habits and how we can change them, I decided to look at both Islamic and Western literature to compare them and, In sha Allah, get an understanding from both perspectives. Surprisingly,many of the actions recommended and concepts spoken about in both literatures are somewhat the same. The crucial differentiating factor, however, is that Western literature tends to focus on the brain as the main cause of actions and habits, while Islamic literature brings them back to the heart.

In this two-part series, we will explore how we can inculcate better habits in our lives. The first part will explore habit-making through purifying the heart, while the second part of the series will touch on habit-making from the perspective of cognitive science.

At the end of each part, I will share some small actionable steps that we can take to better ourselves, one habit at a time, In sha Allah!

Habits and the Heart

[Better Habit-Making - Part 1] Purifying the Heart | Productive Muslim

Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

As Muslims, we should be clear that in Islamic thought, the center of consciousness and conscience is actually the heart and not the brain as Western science tells us. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said in recent times scientists have discovered that there are more than 40,000 neurons in the heart that communicate with the brain, meaning that not only does the brain send messages to the heart, but the heart does the same to the brain as well.

In a study conducted in the 1970s, for instance, two physiologists discovered that when the brain sent messages to the heart, “the heart did not automatically obey the messages. Sometimes the heart sped up, while other times it slowed down, indicating that the heart itself has its own type of intelligence”. [1]

That said, the study of the brain is a relatively new science, while our knowledge of the heart and soul will always be limited as the Qur’an has mentioned:

“And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 85].

In a hadith found in the book “Purification of the Heart” by Imam Al-Mawlud, it is written that no one fully believes until his desires [and thus, actions] are in accordance with what the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had brought [Imam Nawawi, #41]. Due to this, Imam al-Mawlud explained that there is thus no salvation “like the heart’s salvation, given that all the limbs [and organs] respond to its desires”.

The basic rule then, according to Imam al-Mawlud, is to ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for assistance, and then work to consistently purify the state of our hearts.

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Words will go in one ear & out the other, unless you speak to the heart, then what you say will be remembered forever.

gb copy Words will go in one ear & out the other, unless you speak to the heart, then what you say will be remembered forever.
es copy Palabras irán por un oído y sale por el otro, a menos que usted hable con el corazón, entonces lo que diga será recordado para siempre.
nl copy Woorden gaat het ene oor in en het andere uit, tenzij u naar het hart spreken, dan wat je zegt zal voor altijd herinnerd worden.
fr copy Mots vont dans une oreille et sort par l’autre, à moins que vous parlez à cœur, alors ce que vous dites on se souviendra toujours.
de copy Worte werden in einem Ohr zum anderen wieder und gehen, es sei denn, Sie sprechen mit dem Herz, dann, was Sie sagen, wird für immer in Erinnerung bleiben.
CN67867 Dehuà huì qù de yī zhī ěrduo hé chū qítā de, chúfēi nǐ shuōhuà de xīnzàng, nàme nǐ shuō dehuà huì bèi yǒngyuǎn míngjì.
Sweden Ord kommer att gå in genom ena örat och ut genom det andra, om du inte talar till hjärtat, vad du säger kommer att bli ihågkommen för alltid.
rus7897 Slova poydet v odno ukho i vykhodyat iz drugogo , yesli vy ne govorite k serdtsu , to , chto vy govorite budut pomnit’ vsegda.
4523turkey Eğer kalp konuşmak sürece Kelimeler sonsuza kadar hatırlanacak söylediklerini, daha sonra, bir kulak ve diğer dışarı gidecek.
images Parole andranno in un orecchio e escono dall’altro, a meno che non si parla al cuore, allora quello che dici sarà ricordato per sempre.
indonesiaID Kata-kata akan pergi dalam satu telinga & keluar yang lain, kecuali jika Anda berbicara dengan hati, maka apa yang Anda katakan akan diingat selamanya.

Those that give from the heart become beautiful, whereas those that just take & take become ugly through selfish greed.

gb copy Those that give from the heart become beautiful, whereas those that just take & take become ugly through selfish greed.
es copy Aquellos que dan desde el corazón convertido en hermosa, mientras que las que acaba de tomar y tomar convierta feo través de la codicia egoísta.
nl copy Degenen die geven vanuit het hart mooi geworden, terwijl die dat gewoon en neem geworden lelijk door egoïstische hebzucht.
fr copy Ceux qui donnent du coeur devenir belle, alors que ceux qui tout simplement prendre et prendre devenir laid par la cupidité égoïste.
de copy Diejenigen, die aus dem Herzen schön geworden geben, wohingegen diejenigen, die nur nehmen und nehmen werden durch selbstsüchtige Gier hässlich.
CN67867 Nàxiē cóng xīnzàng biàn piàoliang gěi chū, ér nàxiē zhǐ qǔ&cǎiqǔ tōngguò zìsī tānlán biàn de chǒulòu.
Sweden De som ger från hjärtat blir vackra, medan de som bara tar och tar bli ful genom själviska girighet.
rus7897 Te, kotoryye dayut ot serdtsa stat’ krasivoy , togda kak te , chto prosto vzyat’ i prinyat’ stanovyatsya urodlivymi cherez egoistichnoy zhadnosti.
4523turkey Güzel olmak kalpten vermek olanlar, sadece almak ve bencil hırs sayesinde çirkin haline aldığını oysa o.
images Quelli che danno il cuore diventare bella, mentre quelli che basta prendere e prendere diventa brutto con avidità egoista.
indonesiaID Mereka yang memberi dari hati menjadi indah, sedangkan orang-orang yang hanya mengambil & mengambil menjadi jelek melalui keserakahan egois.