Latent Qualities of a Man's Qalb-Dr. Rafiq Ahmed
Allah Ta’ala says
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ ألَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَى شَهِدْنَا أَنْ تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا غَافِلِينَ
"When thy Lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their loins-their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves (Saying)”Am I not your lord (Who cherishes and sustains you) ? They said: Yea! We do testify (this) lest Ye should say on the Day of Judgment of this we were never mindful.” (7:172)
This verse provides an ample evidence of the fact that Allah Ta’ala has inculcated in the genes of a man the capacity necessary to recognize the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala, His supreme authority and the only Sustainer and Cherisher of the World. It is only after this highest spiritual capability given to Adam and his sons that Allah Ta’ala asked them to testify this.
There have been great men in the Islamic history like Zunun-Misri (RA) etc. who vividly recollected this day of covenant as if it had happened just that day itself. Zunun-Misri (RA), when asked if he remembered the covenant used to say:
“The scene of that Covenant is still in front of my eyes, the sound of those words is still ringing in my ears as if it has happened today itself.”
Since man, with all his excellences, is forgetful as well, so Allah Ta’ala sent His Messengers (AS) to this world to remind the mankind of this covenant which is already in its genes. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said in a hadith:
"every child is born on the nature of Islam. His parents make him Jew, Christian or worshiper of fire”. (Bukhâri & Muslim Sharief)
The latent qualities of man's Qalb in the light and darkness
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:
أَفَمَنْ شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَى نُورٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَوَيْلٌ لِلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مِنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُولَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
“Is one whose heart Allah Ta’ala has opened to Islam, so that he received light from Allah Ta’ala. (No better than one hard hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance, of Allah Ta’ala! They are manifestly wandering (in error)”. (39:22)
It is patently clear that knowledge of these things has been given to man and that he has been selected for the expression of all the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala and thus we have also come to know that man was busy in Mushahidah Haq in Aalam-i-Arwah and that he has recognised and testified that Allah Ta’ala is his Sustainer, his Cherisher and One and the Only one Lord worth worshipping. When man is born and comes to this universe, these all qualities remain latent or concealed in him. In the verses of the Qur’ân quoted above, (Is one whose heart Allah Ta’ala has opened to Islam, so that he has received light from Allah Ta’ala? Allah Ta’ala again refers to these qualities of heart (Qalb). Those who receive the Divine Light, their latent qualities of Qalb get awakened and enlightened and thus become manifested. Their Qalb starts functioning in the presence of this Divine Light and becomes Muslim i.e., they understand the Qur’ân and recognise their Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher, Allah Ta’ala the Almighty and the Exalted.
Those who do not receive this Divine Light, their latent qualities of Qalb do not get manifested, they remain in darkness and in the process their Qalb fails to function and hence neither understand the Qur’ân nor recognise their Creator, Sustainer, Cherisher, Allah Ta’ala the Almighty and the Exalted. Allah Ta’ala calls these hearts as hardened. They remain in darkness and fail to expand their spiritual understanding and to receive Allah Ta’ala's Light. They travel in opposite direction. Just as there is spiritual progress for those who seek Allah Ta’ala, on the other hand there is more and more spiritual retrogression for those who close their hearts to Allah Ta’ala. Their hearts get hardened, and they allow less and less Allah Ta’ala's Grace to penetrate within. But it is obvious that they flounder on the way and cannot walk with the firm steps of those whose hearts abound in faith.
It is, therefore, well said: Hardened hearts are the most hated things near Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala taught us this Dua in the Qur’ân:
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ
“O Lord! they say, let not our hearts deviate. Now after Thou has guided us, But grant us mercy from Thee. For Thou art the grantor of bounties without measure." (3:8)