Hearts of stone

Heart of stone in islam

The big question, what will save us on the day of judgement? Is it our wealth? Is it our children? Or is it the colour of my passport? No, none of the both, it is the most precious organ that Allah has placed in our bodies, an organ unlike all other organs, one that doesn’t stop beating, it is non-other than the heart. The heart is what decides what the rest of the body will do. If the heart is righteous then the body will follow and do righteous actions, if the heart is evil and corrupt then the body will also do evil and corruption, as told to us by the Prophet Muhammad:

There is a morsel of flesh in the body, if it is sound, the whole body is sound, And if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupted, and it is the heart.”[1]

Allah tells us:

The day when neither wealth not children will be of any benefit. Only those who come before Allah with a pure heart will be saved”.[2]

So, it is a pure heart that will admit a person in paradise. So, now that we know our objective, let us understand the different types of hearts, and the way to achieve this pure heart and finally how to stay away from all that which hardens the heart.

The types of heart can be seen very clearly in the Tafseer of surah Al Baqarah in verse 74, as explained in depth in our course ‘Hearts of stones’ which can be found on Islamic Courses Online. The Verse is as follows:

Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.”[3]

This verse is amazing it draws parallels making use of metaphorical language, using a simile to link the heart to a stone. Not all stones are the same and not all hearts are the same. This verse further gives us hope, we all sin, we all make mistakes, and when we do Allah is waiting to forgive us.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, when the servant commits a sin, a black mark appears upon his heart. If he abandons the sin, seeks forgiveness, and repents, then his heart will be polished. If he returns to the sin, the blackness will be increased until it overcomes his heart. It is the covering that Allah has mentioned: No, rather a covering is over their hearts from what they have earned.”[4]

[1] Bukhari & Muslim

[2] Ash-Shu’ara 26:88

[3] Al-Baqarah 2:74

There is hope for every sinner, the hardest of hearts have an opportunity to soften up. Allah ordered Mosa to go to Firawn, who had the hardest heart ever and what instruction did Allah give him:

commanding, Go to Pharaoh, for he has truly transgressed all bounds. And say, ‘would you be willing to purify yourself.”[1]

From the verse in Surah Al Baqarah we can list the types of hearts found.

The heart is the most important organ in our body, it is mentioned no less than 137 times in the Qur’an. And Allah refers over and over again to intelligent people as ulo albaab, the people of sound reasoning / hearts. The mind is the place of rational and analysis. So, when the two are together they control how the world affects us. And more importantly how the world affects our hearts. The heart is constantly wavering between good and evil, it knows good is its future and evil is its destruction yet it inclines to it. The Prophet would often recite:

Oh turner of the hearts (Allah, the Most High), keep our hearts firm on your religion.”[2]

So, the types of hearts are:

1 – The heart which gushes forth with mercy and compassion.

2- The heart which is hard but has some mercy and compassion.

3- The heart which falls into submission and prostration from the fear and reverence that it has for Allah the Almighty.

4 – Lastly, the Hard Heart which is devoid of all mercy and compassion.


From these 4 types of hearts, we see the first 3 have some aspects of mercy and compassion. The different types of hearts have different variations of mercy, the last, the fourth type of heart is completely devoid of any mercy and compassion, hence a dead heart.

This fourth type of heart is the one that commits major sins and has no care or concern for Allah and his messenger. The type of heart that is not affected by any kind of reminder be that a verse of the Quran or a prayer, nothing impacts them. Rather, you will find this heart very arrogant, boastful and ungrateful.

[4] Sunan al-Tirmidhi

[5] An-Nazi’at 79:17-18

[6] Saheeh Muslim

Have you ever wondered what causes the heart to become so hard and evil? Well, here are a few things firstly, when a person distances themselves from their creator. When a person removes themselves from the straight right path then their heart will be filled with darkness and emptiness. Secondly, sins, they place rust on ones heart until they destroy the heart completely, if one don’t repent. Thirdly, over indulging in permissible matters, sleeping, eating, talking are all permissible and good but if we over indulge in any of them excessively we will find our hearts becoming rough and hard. 

Check the condition of your heart and change now. It’s time to stop, and repent, turn back to Allah, ask him for a second chance, turn your hard heart into a sponge let it absorb the love, fear and hope of Allah. Reconnect with your creator, open the Qur’an and this time read but with your heart, contemplate and fill your heart with the awe of Allah.

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