Burnishing The Heart
Burnishing the Heart offers a flavor of the Qur’an’s indispensable message, in English. Human beings are the main focus of the Qur’an. And the Qur’an is the best reader of human beings, revealing the motives both transparent and hidden that drive us, the various ways both straight and crooked that we follow, and the outcomes that we face – here and ‘in the end’. It sets out what true success and happiness is, and also what is real humiliation and pain. Human beings everywhere need the Qur’an, just as we need food and drink. The selections presented here are intended to convey a flavor of its indispensable message. It is hoped that they will inspire or confirm an enduring engagement with the Book that describes itself as ‘guidance for the God-conscious’ and a source of ‘healing and grace’ for all who come to believe in it. Human beings are endowed by their Creator with faculties of mind and heart to respond to this essential guidance. What is the human heart as the term is used in the Qur’an, why is there the need to burnish it, and how do we burnish it? These selections, with brief notes where appropriate and a reflection on our state as human beings, are intended to provide some pointers. They offer both challenge and hope. To be read by individuals in quiet solitude, in the morning, at noon or eventide, in bed or on journeys or by groups, at home, in school assemblies and meeting places, by all people Muslims, potential Muslims and others. The 'Reflection' piece in 'Burnishing the Heart' focuses on the human being’s original pure state, the process of keeping this state pure and making it grow, the process by which it can also become so corrupted and overlaid with dross that it becomes hard and dark. And then the processes by which even this hardened and darkened state can again be cleansed and burnished to such a degree that it is shot through with light and becomes translucent and so exquisitely beautiful. It is only through the Qur’an that this can be achieved. The Qur’an provides valid, realistic and satisfying goals for people to strive for. It challenges people to use their minds to ask questions, probe, reflect, re-focus, and to return to all that is good and pure. 'The one who has no mind has no true religion - man laa 'aqla lahu, laa diina lahu,' said the noble Prophet Muhammad. 'Burnishing the Heart' argues that Qur’an is the only authentic guide for a life that is in tune with human nature and needs.