Open for me my heart!

By Jamal Rahman

O my Sustainer! Open up my heart to your Light.” (20:25)

“Open the window of your heart; the Moon will kiss you through the window.” (Rumi)

Ever since we humans arrived on earth, our heart has felt a mysterious void. No matter how many of our earthly needs are fulfilled, it still feels an inexplicable ache. Spiritual teachers explain that we have been separated from God and that is the root of our throbbing. Our heart yearns for the joy it felt when it was united with God. It longs for the kiss of Presence.

How can we on earth open our heart to the Light of Presence?

The Qur’an says, “Truly in the remembrance of God do hearts find peace.” (13:28) We have to find ways to remember God as often as possible. There is a myriad of ways to keep our remembering intact and fresh. Maybe we can chant a sacred verse repeatedly. Or, offer prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving regularly. The Prophet Muhammad once advised a Bedouin, “Keep your tongue forever moistened with the name of Allah.”

Our souls also enjoy remembrance of God when we serve creation. Our righteous deeds bring to our heart joy and comfort. We feel graced by Presence.

Most importantly, by purifying our being, we experience Presence in our heart. “Render your innermost hearts pure of all dross,” (3:154) says the Qur’an. When we polish our heart clean of what the Qur’an calls the rust of wrongdoing, the metaphorical window of the heart opens up. The Light of God enters us and makes its home in the innermost chambers of the heart.

An astonishing revelation descended on the Prophet Muhammad in a dream: “My earth cannot contain me, neither my heaven, but the tender and humble heart of my servant can contain me.”

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