How can the mirror of the heart shine if material images cover it?

A friend shared a screenshot of a book on social media, and I found it very interesting. Here it goes..

Ibn Ata asks, how can the mirror of the heart shine if material images cover it?

Sufis have an expression for anything other than God, which is al-aghyar (Arabic: the others).

When the “others,” such as material things, earthly objects, or even people, are imprinted on the heart, they act like pictures that are imprinted on a mirror.

This is a wonder simile that illustrates that it is impossible for a heart full of “others” to shine with light while it is in that state.”

I have my own interpretation on this. Let’s say we are taking a really good care of our heart. We pray on time, we pray tahajjud, we recite the Quran every day, we don’t backbite or talk about useless things.

But on the same time we watch a musical show (I refuse to put any example here as there are a lot of them going on in our country lately). We admire the artists, follow them on Instagram, watch their Youtube videos. Then, it will be hard for our heart to shine.

If you have any other interpretation, feel free to share it. Since this is not Quran or Hadith, I believe we can give our own interpretation – what do we think about it.

​I end my discussion with a note on curing heedlessness, taken from Hamza YusufPurification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart

“The fourth cure for heedlessness is the recitation of the Qur’an. Reciting it with tadabbur (reflection) awakens the heart. However, plain recitation is beneficial as well. Learned Muslims have recommended that a person recite one–thirtieth of the Qur’an (juz) every day. If this is difficult, then reciting Sura Yāsīn (36) after the dawn prayer, Sura al-Wāqiʿah (56) after the sunset prayer, and Sura al-Mulk (68) after the evening prayer greatly benefit the soul. (New Muslims should strive with their utmost to learn how to read the original Arabic text of the Qur’an. Meanwhile, one is advised to listen to the well-known Qur’an reciters on audio devices or read a good English translation until one is able to read the Arabic. It is important for one to be regularly engaged with the Book of God.) 

The actual sounds of the language of the Qur’an—the breathtaking rhythms and words—are a medicine. From the perspective of energy dynamics, every substance has a resonance at a specific wavelength. A medicine resonates in order to cure the disease. So, too, do the sounds of recitation of the Qur’an: “O humankind, there has come to you from your Lord counsel and healing for what is in the breasts, and a guidance and a mercy to the believers” (QUR’AN , 10:57).

When one recites the Qur’an, one moves his or her tongue pronouncing revealed words of the Lord of the heavens and the earth. And these words have a powerful and unique sound. People are often amazed at the sound of the Qur’an when they hear it for the first time. The beauty of the Qur’an is in its meanings as well as the sound of its recitation. These are the four cures that Imam Mawlūd offers for heedlessness. God warns the Prophet from conforming to those whose hearts are in the state of heedlessness (QUR’AN , 18:28). God increases the heedlessness of people who turn away from the truth.” 


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