الْقَلْبُ مُصْحَفُ الْبَصَرِ۔
The heart is the book of the eye.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #409)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
The heart is the book of the eye.
This impactful Hadith highlights the significance of the heart in shaping our perception and understanding of the world around us. Let us delve deeper into the meanings of the important words in this Hadith.
The word (qalb) "قَلْبُ" refers to the heart, not merely as a physical organ, but as the center of our emotions, thoughts, and spiritual connection. It is the seat of intellect and consciousness, where our beliefs, intentions, and desires reside. The heart is not limited to its physiological function but encompasses the entirety of our being.
The term (mus'haf) "مُصْحَفُ" refers to a book or a written record. It signifies that the heart is like a book, a repository of knowledge and experiences. Just as a book contains written words that convey meaning, our hearts store the impressions and lessons we learn throughout our lives. It is a metaphorical representation of the heart's capacity to absorb and retain knowledge.
The phrase (al-basar) "الْبَصَرِ" translates to the eye, which is the primary sensory organ for perceiving the physical world. It is through our eyes that we witness and comprehend the external reality. However, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us that true understanding goes beyond what the eyes can see. It is the heart that truly comprehends and interprets the world around us.
To understand the deeper meaning of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hajj (22:46),
Have they not traveled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith to understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.
This verse emphasizes that true understanding and perception come from the heart, not merely from the physical senses. Our hearts possess the ability to comprehend the signs of Allah in the world around us, to reflect upon His creation, and to recognize the deeper meaning behind what our eyes perceive.
Another verse that supports the Hadith is found in Surah Al-Hajj (22:46), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And We have certainly created man and We know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.
This verse highlights the intimate connection between Allah and His creation. Allah is aware of the innermost thoughts and inclinations of our hearts. He knows the true intentions behind our actions, even if they may be hidden from the eyes of others. It further emphasizes that the heart is not merely a physical organ but a spiritual entity that is in constant communication with its Creator.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith reminds us that our hearts play a crucial role in shaping our perception and understanding of the world. It is through the lens of the heart that we truly comprehend the reality around us. Our hearts are like books, constantly being written upon with the experiences, knowledge, and wisdom we gain throughout our lives.
This Hadith also serves as a reminder of the importance of purifying and nurturing our hearts. Just as we take care of physical books, protecting them from damage and ensuring their contents remain intact, we must safeguard our hearts from negative influences and fill them with the teachings of Islam. By cultivating a pure and enlightened heart, we can attain a deeper understanding of the world and draw closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ)
The heart is the book of the eye
highlights the significance of the heart in shaping our perception and understanding of the world. It reminds us that true understanding goes beyond what the eyes can see and that our hearts possess the capacity to comprehend the deeper meaning behind the physical reality. By nurturing our hearts and filling them with knowledge and wisdom, we can attain a higher level of consciousness and draw closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah guide us to purify our hearts and grant us the ability to perceive His signs in the world around us.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.
Your message has been successfully received, and we will respond to you soon.