Can you explain the ayah (verse) “For indeed in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”? (the Qur’an, the Thunder (ar-R’ad); 28, (13: 28)

Details of the Question
Can you explain the ayah (verse) “For indeed in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”? (the Qur’an, the Thunder (ar-R’ad); 28, (13: 28)
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

In our daily life, from time to time, we say some words such as “such and such a person’s heart is vicious” or “such and such a person had an operation on his heart“. We use the word “heart” for its two different meanings in our conversations. One of them is physical and the other one is spiritual. In other words, one of them is external and the other one is internal…  

Different explanations are made about why both of them are called the same. According to one of those, human spirit’s first connection with the body begins in the heart. According to another explanation, calling the heart so is a metaphor. “The physical heart has an important function in the body; similarly, the spiritual heart has an important task in human’s spiritual life.” And some other people use the word heart in the meaning of spirit.  

The physical heart is a wonderful machine conveying blood to every part of the body and pumping five kilograms of blood in one minute in average. That heart is in need of the whole universe. Blood has to be produced in the factory of the universe so that the heart could pump it to every part of the body. A power distilling man from the universe and transforming the foodstuffs into flesh, bones, blood and marrows in the human factory makes that heart work and dispatches that blood to every part of the body. 

Certainly, the outer appearance of the heart is in need of the whole universe. And the heart is the mirror of Allah’s name of ‘Eternally Besought One’. Through the manifestation of His name of the Eternally Besought One, Allah, who meets the need of every being that is in need and who is in need of nothing, satisfies the physical heart’s need for the universe and the things in it… The heart is not greater than a tree or a flower from that aspect. They are also in need of everything in the universe. They also become mirrors of the name the Eternally Besought One as their needs are satisfied.       

In regard to the inner heart, it is the actual mirror of the eternal besoughtedness. “The inner heart is the mirror of the Eternally Besought One.”  The ayah “For indeed in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest teaches us that fact.

Every organ of the body has a kind of satisfaction peculiar to it. Eyes get satisfaction by seeing and ears by hearing. The tongue’s satisfaction is by tastes and the stomach’s is by nutrition. And the greatest need of the heart is belief. 

Whose creature am I? Who is the owner of that universe? Whose guest am I in that universe? Where will I go after this world? What does the one hosting me want from me? As it is seen, the inner heart gets rest by the answers to such questions. As its desire is the knowledge of Allah, it is, of course, the greatest mirror of besoughtedness. The other creatures are in need of the physical universe. However, the heart is in need of knowing, believing in the possessor of that universe and obeying Him.  

As for the people who do not understand that and disregard the sustenance of their hearts, illnesses such as anxiety, boredom, dissatisfaction, fear and worry surround the heart as a quick punishment of that disregard.

The beauty of a dress or the quality of a shirt cannot gratify the hunger of a stomach; what it desires is sustenance. And none of the degrees, none of the social ranks, nobody’s attention and none of the transitory causes can satisfy the emptiness of the heart.   

The Lord of the heart states us that it can only be satisfied by dhikr (remembrance of Allah).

What is dhikr?

Its meaning is remembrance. Every event, every board, every scientific work reminding us Allah is a means of dhikr. The Heart finds rest only by knowing that this gorgeous universe, which is a factory, a palace and a guest house, can exist only through Allah’s command and will.  

If the body is the house of the spirit, then the universe is its city. The heart likes both that house and that city. It knows that both are Allah’s domains. By believing that His Divine attributes encompass all things, it lives comfortably both in the body and in the universe. And it leaves the body and the universe with peace. It knows very well that neither of them is its domain. Thus, it leaves both of them and seeks refuge in their actual owner. It asks all its desires from Him. It does not get jarred by any event; it does not get afraid of anything. It knows very well that absolute power and will belong to Allah only. Without His permission, neither an ant can take a step and winds can blow, nor blood can circulate and the sun can shine.      

As you see, the heart can find rest by that belief and knowledge.

Neither the color, nor beauty, nor smell, nor taste of a fruit we eat reaches the heart. And the heart does not find rest in any of them. However, if man is filled with admiration for that color and feels grateful for those bounties, gets fond of that taste, then, those meanings take place in the heart. If that admiration results in thankfulness, then, it means the heart has begun to take its sustenance.

The heart gets its sustenance from the essence of the universe and is interested in its meaning. Its work is not related to that universe but to the Divine names which are manifested on them. When the eye looks at an apple, the heart sees the names of Allah being manifested on them and finds rest only in such a gaze.     

Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

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