In Sufism, the spiritual heart is at the centre of one’s entire being. Zikr, that is remembrance of God, is recommended for polishing the heart so that it reflects Divine knowledge.
The Prophet David is said to have once asked ; ‘Oh God! All the emperors possess treasure then where is Your treasure? God-Almighty replied: ‘I possess a treasure which is greater than the sky; vaster than the Heaven’s firmaments; smells better than the perfumes of Paradise, and is beautiful than the Celestial Kingdom.
Its earth is enlightenment; its sky is belief, its sun is enthusiasm; its moon is love, its stars are inspiration and attention towards Me; its clouds are reason, its rain is blessing, its fruits are obedience; and its yield is wisdom. My Treasure has four doors, the first one is the door of knowledge, the second one is the door of reason, the third one is the door of patience, and the fourth one is the door of contentment. Know that My Treasure is the heart of a believer’.
Reiterating the importance of the heart, Prophet Muhammad said, ‘’ Surely in the breasts of humanity there is a lump of flesh, if sound then the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart’. He spoke of the heart as repository of knowledge and a vessel sensitive to the needs of the body. He explained that it perceives wrongful action and is agitated by it. Just as one works to keep a healthy physical heart, a sound spiritual heart requires constant God consciousness to protect it from falling to lower passions of the self.
The Prophet also said, ‘ the difference between one who remembers God and one who does not is like the difference between the living and the dead’. When the heart becomes pure, serene and sound, it is able to hear the call of God, the call of the Prophets, Sufis and sages. A sound heart is tender, compassionate, detached from worldly pursuit and acts in accordance with the will of God.