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What’s the Qiblah of Your Heart?

Questioner

Adda

Reply Date

May 22, 2017

Question

Salam. About the changing of qiblah that we often heard of its story, is there a relation in regards to the change of heart or life transformation that commits yourself closer to Allah? I wonder whether the roots of today's Muslims' weakness is that their qiblah is directed toward other than the Kaabah what makes the people who love dunya and afraid of death? And if that's true, how can we not be one of those people? Thank you.

Consultant

Answer


Qiblah Heart

Salam Adda,

Thank you so much for contacting us.

Firstly, you linked the qiblah (direction) with the condition of our hearts and our pursuits in life. This is a great observation as we do direct our bodies towards the qiblah in prayer.

But what makes this experience meaningful, deep, and sincere is realizing that our hearts are faithfully and genuinely being directed towards Allah (SWT) Our Creator, that we are facing Him.

And we acknowledge and obey Him and His Messenger and we never lose sight of Him being our Destination and our purpose in life.

With regards to changing the qiblah, Allah (SWT) beautifully highlighted in the Quran:

{[…] And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. […]} (Quran 2: 143)

So, the qiblah is a test of faith, sincerity, dedication, and perseverance.

Our hearts play a major role in understanding the qiblah of our prayers, and the qiblah of our life as a whole.

Essentially, this means that we need to understand the target towards which we direct our pursuit in life, our attention and dedication.

This is a matter that we need to constantly be reminded of.

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:

{Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are [al mutaqoon] the righteous.} (Quran 2:177)

Allah shows us in this ayah (verse) that we must realize the deep meaning of directing ourselves towards Him. It is not merely a physical direction. It is about the mindset, the conscious connection, the sincere pursuit of Him, and the lifestyle that places Him at the center of all matters.

By doing so, one’s entire life changes, as you mentioned. This deep faith results in dedicating our time, wealth, and attention lovingly and generously for the sake of Allah, being patient when adversity befalls us, and establishing worship consistently under all circumstances.

Allah ended this ayah saying that those who do that are the “mutaqoon” (i.e. those who have taqwa or true “God consciousness”).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us in a hadith that “taqwa is here (and he pointed out to his chest thrice).” So righteousness/piety/God consciousness is essentially in the heart- as you rightly noted.

Of course, if one’s heart is full of desires, temptations, focus on worldly material gains while forgetting the hereafter and the destination towards which we’re heading, then the qiblah of the heart is not set properly.

In this case, even if one is physically facing the right qiblah, the heart is not fully facing the right qiblah. Worship becomes like a void, external ritual, with empty or distracted hearts.

Secondly, you mentioned that love of dunya (the worldly life) and fear of death is a source of weakness. That is essentially correct. It is a sign of weak iman as well.

We know that Allah is The Source of life and death (Quran 67:2).

So, if we remember that life and death are a test for us, we will be able to handle those realities more adequately and not give them more than they deserve.

Sometimes we fear death, but Allah is The One we should fear if we are negligent in our duties towards Him (Quran 9: 13).

Also, sometimes we get so attached to dunya, while everything in dunya shall end eventually and no one can stop that. So, it is a waste to only focus our life and efforts on that which will inevitably end (Quran 55: 26-27).

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said:

Whoever is focused only on this world, Allah will confound his affairs and make him fear poverty constantly, and he will not get anything of this world except that which has been decreed for him. Whoever is focused on the Hereafter, Allah will settle his affairs for him and make him feel content with his lost, and his provision and worldly gains will undoubtedly come to him. (Sunan Ibn Majah)

And this hadith carries the answer to your last question: “how can we not be of the people who love dunya and fear death?”

There are a number of things we can possibly do to avoid this. For example:

  • Always remember our purpose in life.
  • Remember our destination. 
  • Remember that all honor belongs to Allah (SWT). 
  • Engage in learning and studying the Quran and the seerah of the Prophet. 
  • Stay in the company of the people who remember Allah (SWT) constantly.
  • Ask Allah not to make us among “Those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.” (Quran 18: 98)
  • In a nutshell, understand and live the message of Surat Al Asr:

{By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.} (Quran 103)

So, we need to work on our belief (our iman), act upon what we believe in, call each other to the Truth, and help one another remain patient on this path.

Hope we answered your question a little bit.

Jazakum Allahu khairan for sharing your thoughts with us and initiating the discussion on this important topic.

This response is from About Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Combating Spiritual Diseases of the Heart

Heart & its Connection with God

Easy Steps for a Sound Heart




About Dina Mohamed Basiony

Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She is the Chief Editor of ProductiveMuslim.com. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.

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