In times old and new, human heart has attracted the attention of both experts and common man. While those in the medical domain were interested in its anatomical niceties, the philosophers were pondering about its relationship with the soul and mind. The poets were engrossed in singing about its restlessness in search of peace. The spiritual reformers took up the more serious task of purifying it from the satanic sediments accumulated on its shore.

The heart is undoubtedly the seat of all emotions, however silly or serious it maybe. Whether positive or negative, heart is what dampens the eye or broadens the smile. It is the minefield of our desires and the source of our motivation. Our confidence flows from its fountain. We lose hope when its waters run dry.

There are 2 interpretations of heart that is widespread among us. Firstly as a biological organ that pumps blood and beats in its own fashionable rhythm. Secondly as the HQ of all emotions. And this is what all ‘hearty’ artists, including singers, musicians, lovers, celebrities, aim at. They play their strings waiting for a receptive echo from the listener or viewer or dear one.

However, there is yet another description of heart which beautifully blends these two aspects. Such a definition was developed by the Unlettered One who was sent to purify the heart of humanity, irrespective of their creed or race.

As Jaihoon sees it, this definition is fascinating in the way that it addresses heart as the sum total of our personality. The heart is the core: if it is corrupt- be it physiologically or psychologically , the entire personality of the person falls into chaos.

Besides the psychological reference, this definition also terms the heart as a ‘piece of flesh’ recognizing its biological function in the body of maintaining the harmony within the human body. In this way, the definition is very much modern. The good health of the heart is the good health of the body. There is no need to elaborate further on this in an era when everyone is running behind experts’ advice for preventing cardiac disorders.

Although framed in a language belonging to the desert culture, the definition does not fall below the standards of other definitions. It establishes cause and effect relationship between the heart’s action and personality’s reaction.

The definition begins with a suspense and ends with the revelation of the secret. The middle part is the important part that establishes the relationship between the heart and the personality.

… seated at the Professionals Club while discussing the topic ‘Self Matters’, I was only eager to share this definition with my fellow members. The definition is as follows:

“There is a piece of flesh in man. If it becomes good, the entire body becomes good. If it becomes bad, the entire body becomes bad. Know, that is the heart”.

There was only one thing thing left to say. And the team joined with me to recite it silently…

sallallahu alaihi wa sallam….

sallallahu alaihi wa sallam…

sallallahu alaihi wa sallam!

Strange indeed is this
Thing called love
With no regards to the cup’s size
The wine exceeds the brim’s flow!

Feb 26th 2003.