Understanding the “Disease of the Heart”

The Spirit of the Qur’an
Muslims Boycotting Each Other

Just as the physical body can be healthy or diseased, the heart too can experience health or sickness. Physical health means all organs function perfectly for their intended purposes. Conversely, physical disease occurs when organs fail to perform properly, leading to discomfort and a diminished quality of life.

Similarly, a healthy heart possesses all essential human qualities and emotions. It has absolute and correct divine recognition (Ma’arifat), is at peace with divine truths and beliefs, and is free from evil and animalistic feelings. Heart diseases manifest as refusal, doubt, jealousy, malice, miserliness, unsuitable friendships or enmity, and needless fear or hope.

Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) states, “The human body has six conditions: health or sickness, death or life, sleep or wakefulness. Similarly, the human soul also has these conditions. The life of the soul is its knowledge, and ignorance is its death. The sickness of the soul is its involvement in doubts, and its health is firm belief. The stupor of the soul is heedlessness, while wakefulness is its awareness.”

Imam Ali (a.s.) also says in Nahjul Balagha, “Beware! One of the calamities is hunger, and worse than that is physical sickness. More terrible than physical malady is the sickness of the heart. And beware! One of the bounties is wealth, and better than wealth is physical health. More preferable than physical health is the piety of the heart.” This implies that the heart must be purified from all kinds of impurities and sins.