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8 Different Types of the Heart


Dead Hearts

{Verily in this is a Message for any that has a heart, or who gives ear, and earnestly witnesses (the truth).} (Quran 50: 37)

The verse above states that if a person “has a heart”, listens closely, and becomes a witness, only then can he/she grasp the message of the Quran. This indicates that not everyone ‘has’ a heart, meaning that the person’s ‘spiritual heart’ is non-existent or dead. Because we know for sure that every living human being does possess a physical, beating heart, this verse can thus, only be alluding to the ‘spiritual’ heart.

It is true that many people attend talks and gatherings in which the Quran is taught, discussed and explained. However, not everyone changes as a result of attending gatherings of knowledge.

Only those listeners can take away beneficial reminders and corrective spiritual guidance from such talks, who listen attentively; with a thriving, open heart, their ears keenly tuned into the words of God, and their whole being – body and soul – focused on the verses of the Quran, as if they were coming alive in front of them – just as a witness of an engrossing event watches it, enthralled by it and completely engaged.

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Darkened Hearts

As we just discussed, the hearts of people who do not remember God or the reckoning of the Hereafter, are considered spiritually ‘dead’ in the eyes of God.

As the above verse emphasizes, a heart that was initially dead, can ‘come alive’ with the light of the Quran, by the will of God, and walk around among people with this ‘light’ – which means that someone who is truly guided by the Quran, becomes a source of guidance for others as well.

8 Types of the HeartHowever, the wretched ones, whose hearts remain plunged in the ‘darknesses’ of misguidance and disbelief, are the furthest from the light of guidance. This spiritual ‘darkness’ causes these people much anxiety, depression, fears, doubts and anguish. This is because the tranquility of any heart is directly related to the extent to which it remembers God.

Hardened Hearts

Just as the remembrance of God brings tranquility and peace to a heart, when a heart is devoid of remembrance of God – believing in Him, thinking of Him often and with love, brimming with thankfulness towards Him for the innumerable blessings that He has provided, and fearing His anger, wrath, and punishment – it gradually becomes hardened.

The chests that harbor such hearts become constricted and straitened. The result of such a spiritually wasted condition is distress, anguish, fears, doubts, and ingratitude.

Blackened Hearts

The state of the belief in one’s heart is affected by the actions one does, particularly those actions that are habitual.

Ibn Mas’ud said:

“…The slave continues to lie and a black spot grows in his heart until all his heart becomes black. Then he is written, in Allah’s sight, among the liars.” (Al-Albani)

Sinning in abundance, especially by indulging in major sins without repentance, causes a “black spot” to appear upon the heart. If these sins are frequent and intentional, and are not followed by sincere and immediate repentance, this black spot grows until it gradually covers the whole heart.

These black spots upon the heart cannot be wiped out unless the person turns back to God in sincere repentance.

The darker, harder and blackened the heart, the more difficult it is for the one whose chest it resides in to submit to God’s commands, and open his or her chest to the light of the Quran.

Sealed Hearts

When we purchase liquids, purees or other pastes for our kitchen pantry, we come across ‘seals’ under the caps of the bottles, jars and cans. These seals carry labels describing the contents of the container, and also provide details such as nutrition facts and dates of expiry.

A ‘seal’ is basically a ‘stamp’ used to authenticate the value or worth of an object.

{Thus does Allah stamp the hearts of those who understand not.} (Ar-Rum 30: 59)

In two other verses, God uses the same word “taba’a” (meaning, to stamp) to mention how He ‘seals’ the hearts of the disbelievers (7: 101) and those who transgress (10: 74).

A sealed heart is one that has been ‘labeled’ by God; which has been ‘tagged’ as belonging to a non-believer or transgressor. This stamp serves as a serious warning for those who continue to disobey God.

Locked Hearts

{Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Quran, or are their hearts locked?} (Muhammad 47: 24)

This verse in the Quran presents a thought-provoking and deep question asked by God. It infers that the hearts of those who do not ponder upon and understand the meanings of the Quran are in fact ‘locked’.


A person whose heart is locked will feel averse to reading, reciting, understanding, seeking the knowledge of, or reflecting upon the Quran.

Blind Hearts

In another verse in the Quran, God mentions how hearts become “blind”. Once again, He mentions this after first asking us a question to reflect upon:

{Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts may thus learn wisdom, and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their chests.} (Al-Hajj 22: 46)

In light of the question put forth by God in this verse, we can conclude that the spiritual heart has an ‘eye’ that ‘sees’, an ‘eye’ that allows a believer to use his intellect (aql) to recognize and learn from the obvious and clear signs of God that are there in every day events, happenings and situations that occur across the world.  And, according to this verse, it is this “seeing” heart that allows someone to listen to admonition with their ears and benefit from it.

Thus, when a believer travels through the land, his heart helps him ‘see’ things in the proper perspective in order to gain wisdom, and it also lets his ears listen to stories and reminders in the Quran (via recitation and religious talks) in order to gain benefit from them for the betterment of his own actions.

Sound Hearts

A heart might be sound and complete, or it may be spiritually contaminated as God says in the following verse of the Quran:

{…except he who comes before Allah with a sound heart.} (Ash-Shu’ara’ 26: 89)

As we can see, the verses of the Quran that describe the states of hearts, of both believers as well as non-believers, grant us a deep insight into the complexities and spiritual depths of the human soul.

The Quran exhorts the importance of constantly keeping a check on our hearts to ensure that they remain pure, free of vice, open and receptive to admonition, tranquil due to the remembrance of God, and free from diseases and the entrapping whispers of Satan.

Perhaps then, we can hope to die in a state in which our hearts will also be ‘sound’ – free and untouched by any vice, evil, disease or moral corruption.

Abu Hurairah reported Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as saying:

“Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth, but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.” (Muslim)