A person’s quality is determined by the quality of his heart. Imam Al-Ghazali compares the heart like an obeyed king or a followed ruler. While all the other members of the body are subordinates and warriors who must submit to and obey all his commands.
If the king or ruler is good, then all his followers will be good too. Vice versa, if the king is wrong, then his people will have a behavior that is not much different. Al-Ghazali’s statement was inspired by the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH), ” Indeed in the body, there is a lump of meat which, if good, then the whole body is good. And if it is damaged, then the whole body is damaged. Know, he is the heart.”
Because of the great influence of the heart on the quality of the whole body, Allah repeatedly reminded people that He is watching over what is stored in the heart. Let us consider the warning below: “And Allah knows what is (stored) in your heart.” (Surat al-Ahzab : 51). “Truly Allah is All-Knowing of all the contents of the heart.” (Surat al-Anfal : 43).
The warnings of Allah and His Messenger clearly confirm that the heart is the most important body part to always be controlled and corrected. Because, according to Al-Ghazali, the heart becomes a battleground between two forces, good and bad, it is the source of reason and lust.
Its position is like a ruler who receives and filters whispers from various parties, such as ministers, advisers to the president, and so forth. The whispers came alternately. Depending on the policy of the ruler, whether he sided with the prompter of good or bad.
To see further the success of the heart in the battle, Allah SWT provides a very interesting illustration, ”And with good soil, plants thrive with the permission of Allah; and infertile soil, the plants only grow miserable. Thus We repeat the signs of greatness (We) for those who are grateful. ” (QS Al-A’raf : 58).
A good heart is described by the verse like a fertile land or country. Inside it grows plants and fruits that are fresh and beneficial for its inhabitants. Whereas a bad heart is like a barren land and a land that is not prosperous.
We should consider this appreciation more deeply. Has our heart given kindness to ourselves and others? In a broader context, has the heart of our leader produced policies that prosper the people? The first question can only be answered by each person. While the second is already clearly in sight.