Locks Upon the Qalb
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
“ Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur’ân, or is that there are locks upon their hearts ?” (47:24)
Allah Ta’ala has sent an immense treasure to man in the form of the Qur’ân. Allah Ta’ala wants man to earnestly seek to understand this Divine revelation and to do justice to his own capabilities which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed upon him. It is in this context that Allah Ta’ala pities those who do not seek to understand the Qur’ân. The failure to understand the Qur’ân has been attributed to the locks upon their hearts in this verse of the Qur’ân.
It is the duty of everybody to know the essence and reality of these locks? And secondly to try his level best to scrutinize the condition of his Qalb and see if it is not locked.
Qalb is capable of seeking the secrets of heavens
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: " If the Satan would not have been roaming around the hearts of men, they would have been able to see the angels (and the secrets) of heavens.” (Baihaqi Sharief)
It is this haziness caused by the Satan on the plain mirror of the Qalb that obscures it from viewing the Realities. Otherwise this mirror of Qalb, if kept clean or got cleaned, has the capability to view those things which remain hidden. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) further says: “When a person is born, an angel and a Satan are posted on his Qalb, the angel invites him towards righteousness while Satan towards evil deeds.” (Tirmidhi Sharief)
If a person follows the directions of the angel, his Satan becomes weak. On the other hand if a person follows the direction of the Satan, it becomes very strong and causes thick clouds on his Qalb. By following the Satan one commits sins. We have already quoted a hadith in which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says that sins cause dark stains on heart. Correlating the two we can infer that these are the sins which cause darkness or haziness on the Qalb. This darkness blocks the receptors of the Qalb which were to perceive the Reality. When these receptors fail to do so i.e., to perceive the Reality, we can say that these receptors of Qalb have got locked.
After knowing a little bit about these locks, now we can understand the meaning and significance of this DUA (prayer) in which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
اللهم افتح قلوبنا بذكرك
“O Allah Ta’ala! open the locks of our hearts by (the grace of) your remembrance”.
Allah Ta’ala is Nur (Divine Light), His Attributes posses Nur and His name is full of Nur. When a Mumin (True Believer) remembers Him by His name, its Nur enters his Qalb and illuminates and enlightens it. The receptors of Qalb which had been in darkness of sins and in the grip of Satan receive the Divine Light which overcomes this darkness and also forces the Satan to vacate from this enlightened Qalb. The receptors of this Qalb start functioning and thereby it gets revived. Now we can understand this Qur’ânic verse well:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
"Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala do the hearts find the satisfaction.” (13:28)