When we have a look at the heart, we can see that the heart is a very important part of our body, without it we can not survive and is the central part of our soul. On the other hand, our intellect is what differentiates us as human beings. But looking at ourselves, we can see that if we do not moderate between our heart and our intellect, we will fall in trouble.
Some people take the intellect and leave the heart, and use it for evidence and don’t worry about their inner self. So the question arises, how can we moderate between our heart and our intellect?
The heart is a very important tool to guidance and to knowledge. Paying attention to inspirations that come from the heart is very important in all religions.
The Qur’an speaks in many places about the heart, and some who have a good heart and some who don’t.
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ
“Verily in this is a Message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses (the truth).” (Surah Qaf:37)
Imam Musa al-Kadhum (a.s.) says: “The heart means the intellect.”
Love and yearning is the source of many important dimensions of wayfaring to Allah ta’ala. There is nothing that can get you closer to God than Love, and we have spoken about this before through our deeds and our acts of worship etc. We do things out of love for God, which of course along with this has ma’rifah. The worst kind of worship is the worship that is based on greed and interest, or out of fear. However, the best kind of worship should only be out of love.
طوبی لمن عشق العباده فعانقها
This is in the Munajaat of the lovers;
قال رسول الله صلّى اللّه عليه و آله : افضل الناس من عشق العبادة
As for the intellect, it is the inner Hujjah, the inner prophet. According to our religious teachings, the heart is one source of guidance, and the intellect is another. There are many hadith regarding the value of our intellect and how it is related to us, for example: “The value of the human comes from the intellect”, “The value of a person is based on his intellect” and “The intellect and the heart are in need of guidance”. What kind of guidance you may ask yourself? It is the guidance from Wahi (revelation).
Choosing between good and bad is essentially a function of internal struggle, of confrontations that takes place within the person. In the mind and consciousness a person knows, or is supposed to know, what is required, what is good, what is moral. But a person's will, impulses, desires, sometimes act against him, pulling him in the other direction. The struggle essentially is between the mind and the heart, between the intellect and the emotions and desires. A person who chooses the good essentially puts intellect over emotions; make the heart subordinate to the mind.
Appetitive soul – nafs/hawa
The important thing is that one follows wisdom and does not fall into imagination, fantasies or desires. The intellect is the faculty that acquires the knowledge and manages everything and things, and the heart is the centre and vessel of these receptacles. The intellect acquires and learns knowledge and wisdom, and the heart applies these wisdoms and real knowledge.
قال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله): (طوبى لمن ترك شهوة حاضرة لموعد لم يره)، وقال الإمام علي (عليه السلام): (كم من شهوة ساعة أورثت حزناً طويلاً).
أوصى النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) أبا ذر فقال: (يا أبا ذر حاسب نفسك قبل أن تحاسب، فإنه أهون لحسابك غداً، وزن نفسك قبل أن تُوزن، وتجهز للعرض الأكبر يوم تعرض لا تخفى على الله خافية). وقال (صلى الله عليه وآله): (يا أبا ذر لا يكون الرجل من المتقين حتى يحاسب نفسه أشد من محاسبة الشريك شريكه، فيعلم من أين مطعمه، ومن أين مشربه، ومن أين ملبسه، أمِن حلال أو من حرام. يا أبا ذر من لم يُبال من أين اكتسب المال لم يبال الله من أين أدخله النار).
وقال الإمام زين العابدين (عليه السلام): (ابن آدم إنك لا تزال بخير ما كان لك واعظ من نفسك وما كانت المحاسبة من همك، ابن آدم إنك ميت، ومبعوث، وموقوف بين يدي الله فأعدَّ جواباً).