Keeping our hearts alive
I remember years ago, in botany class we were studying the Mimosa flower.
It's Binomial name is "Mimosa Pudica" from the latin word "Pudica" which means "Shy/Bashful/Shrinking". Hence it is also called the Shy or Sensitive plant, because of its special characteristic of folding inwards or drooping when touched or shaken, (in defence of itself from harm) only to re-open few minutes later when the stimuli is gone.
While this response of the Mimosa flower is made possible through a series of biochemical events & neuronal transmissions, it is also only achievable if the flower is infact alive.
I find a similarity between this flower & ourselves; our hearts.
The word hayaa' used to describe "Modesty or Shyness" is also used to refer to life. In my perception, this shyness encompasses our ability to keep away from that which violates our souls, dents our honor, & displeases our Lord.
The Prophet SalAllahu alayhi wa sallam was reported to have said;
“Indeed haya (modesty) and Iman are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well.”
A Muslim believes that a heart is only fully alive when it has Imaan in it, firm belief in Allah, & this belief is what translates into our actions, obeying His commands & leaving that which He has instructed against.
It is as though when we have Imaan, we find ourselves feeling shy of being caught up in disobedience of Allah, in disgraceful situations, in Misdeeds. And what's more is that when we do fall into an act of disobedience or find ourselves in a situation where such is being perpetrated, we respond; like the Mimosa flower, we fold back in & try to avoid it, we droop in remorse & shrink in repentance.
We find ourselves sensitive to any stimuli that goes against our Fitrah (Natural inclination towards good), We find ourselves shy enough to not want to miss out on the good enjoined upon us & ashamed of being found engaging in the evil forbidden for us. And this only happens when our hearts are alive.
I read somewhere that "If you have a voice in your head that says 'this is halal & this is haram' then praise Allah because your heart is alive.."
The more Imaan we have in our hearts, the more shyness we have of Allah, & vice versa.
The quickest way to lose our Imaan is to continuously repeat a wrongdoing, till we no longer feel shy of doing them, till we are neither sensitive to them nor recognize them as wrong anymore, till we feel no guilt & no longer shrink in remorse and repentance.
And of what use is being alive when our hearts are dead?
Written by Sister Fatima Adam