On Giving Life to the Heart

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What is the best way to give life to the heart if its light has been extinguished?

There are many means to attain this. Among them is to take knowledge from the Qur’ān and Sunnah, to perform acts of obedience untainted by the ego and caprice, not having expectations from people and having presence with Allāh and remaining in a constant state of remembrance.

Imām al-Ḥaddād says that we should prepare ourselves for the Divine out-pouring through spiritual struggle which cuts off the roots of desire, while maintaining unceasing directedness towards Allāh in the outward forms of worship. This is expressed in one’s consistency and keenness in reading one’s regular litanies (adhkār) and praying one’s prayers and reciting the Qur’ān with presence of heart.

Another important foundation in bringing the heart to life is having a strong attachment to Allāh’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who Allāh chose to be our Prophet and who was sent to teach us and purify us and take us to Him. We must nurture our longing to meet him and accompany him and we must bestow abundant prayers upon him. May Allāh bring your heart and ours to life and the hearts of all of those connected to us and all the believing men and women seeking this goodness. May Allāh give life to our hearts by the sanctity of the one who was sent to give life to the hearts. You said to us: Answer the call of Allah and His Messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life.1

1Al-Anfāl, 8:24