The heart is always in movement; it cannot be still all the time. And so a person has to try to settle it.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the heart of the son of Adam is more inconsistent than boiling water.

So you can imagine the movement of the heart. The more Iman a person has in the heart, the more they’re able to settle it.

But the heart is always moving, and if you stop settling it- if you stop filling it with Iman- to keep it still, then it’s inevitable that it’s going to turn and you will not be able to control the degree to which it turns and how far it will go or where it turns to… So settling the heart is extremely important.

Important Lessons

Now, there are many lessons we take from this: The scholars mentioned that if you read about the companions, they took time to internalize the faith. They understood the inconsistency of the heart; so they took time to stabilize the faith.

So Ibn Mas’ud, for example, says:

“We used to read ten verses of the Quran, understand them, memorize them, apply them, and then we move on to the next ten.”

Think about then the Khawarij the extremists that the Prophet mentioned that “recite plenty of Quran but it does not go beyond their throats.”

There is a saying that, “extremists are blinded by the light, not guided by the light!”

What happens if water keeps on boiling it will evaporate, so there will be no iman whatsoever.

So a person should slowly, slowly, slowly stabilize the heart rather than try to take in too much because iman does not come in that fashion. Iman grows gradually, you don’t suddenly jump in and take it all in, it grows gradually. And a person has to make their heart consistence.

Two Similar Duas

So there are two supplications from the Prophet that will learn today insha’Allah that are very similar. And a person might think that they mean the exact same thing, but there’s a subtle lesson that we can take from the difference.

The first one is the most frequent supplication of the Prophet that he would always say:

O turner of hearts make my heart firm on your path.

If the Prophet made that dua more frequently than any other dua, then what then for us? Does the Prophet fear hypocrisy? Does he fear that his heart will be turned in any other direction?

What about us then? If that was the most frequent du’a of the Prophet (peace be upon him), it should also be our most frequent supplication, and we should increase it well beyond what the Prophet used to say, for our hearts are not like his heart?

Now, there is another dua that’s very similar and I want to talk a little bit about the difference because they’re both authentically narrated.

Another dua that the Prophet used to make was:

O director of hearts direct my heart to your good deeds.

So the most frequent dua is really to maintain your heart upon the path of Allah longing for Allah and away from sins, away from turning to that which is displeasing to Him.

O turner of hearts make my heart firm on your path.

The second supplication is that Allah directs your heart to good deeds.

So one is that Allah keeps your heart away from turning towards that which is displeasing to Him, the other is that Allah turns your heart towards that which is pleasing to Him.