Strengthening our Heart-Vision in the Face of COVID-19
Written by Dr. Marwa Assar, PsyD
With the Coronavirus pandemic, and all the struggles we are facing in the world today, what we need more than ever, is to strengthen and connect more to our heart's vision and insight over our physical vision and sight.
In the Qur'an, the word for eye sight, vision, and the ability to see, is called "basar". But that is different than what God mentions as "baseerah", a form of the word basar, used to describe a type of sight that is inward, and is often translated to "insight," "wisdom," or "clear proof."
God tells us in the Qur'an: "And among them, there are those who look at you. Would you, then, guide the blind even when they have no insight (baseerah)?" (10:43)
There is a difference between our eye sight, our physical vision (basar), and our inner heart-sight, our spiritual vision (baseerah). Our physical eye looks outside of us and sees realities in the world around us. The heart's eye looks within and sees greater realities beyond what the physical eye sees. In the verse mentioned above, God is describing a people who are looking at the truth with their physical eye, but are still blinded, because they lack the most valuable form of sight, their spiritual vision (their baseerah). The eye of their heart cannot witness the truth that their physical eye is looking at. This relationship in the Qur'an between inner heart-vision and guidance is emphasized more than once, to teach us that true guidance has little to do with what the physical eye sees, and more to do with what our inner vision and the eye of our heart sees.
God says: "So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not the eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts." (Qur'an, 22:46)
This emphasis between the heart's ability to see the truth directs us to then prioritize the care and purification of our heart, the part within us that can receive, witness, and see God's truth and guidance with its vision. For there is nothing greater than guidance. Guidance is the truth and light that our souls need throughout this journey back to God. It is what we need to thrive and overcome our struggles and tests in this world. And it is what we need more than anything to get through this Coronavirus pandemic!
Therefore, we need to start strengthening our inner, heart-vision, for when we go through hardships and struggles such as our current pandemic, our ability to receive guidance, and derive the truth, peace, meaning, and wisdom we need, depends on cultivating and strengthening our spiritual vision.
The physical eye may see the hardships of the Coronavirus as great, but it is the spiritual eye, the eye of our heart, that sees God as greater.
The physical eye might see all the disasters happening in front of it, but it is the spiritual eye that searches for God's wisdom, beauty, mercy, guidance, and plan through it all.
The physical eye might be overwhelmed by the statistics and by all the reports given by experts, but it is the spiritual eye that still sees God's judgement, decree, and plan superior to all else.
The physical eye might have the ability to see, but it is the spiritual eye that remembers the limitations of its vision, and directs itself to the One who is the ALL-SEEING, Al-Baseer, who has perfect awareness and knowledge over everything.
"And Allah (God) judges with truth, while those they invoke besides Him judge not with anything. Indeed, Allah - He is the Hearing, the Seeing (Al-Baseer)."
It is the spiritual eye that sees God as the GREATER authority and expert over all our affairs and matters in our world, regardless of how absolute the judgement of humans appear.
It is the eye of our heart that sees God as the Destination, not the virus, the pandemic, and not the hardships!
The Coronavirus pandemic is not our destination. It is not where we will be forever. And even if we can't see the end right now, if we can't see the light, the solution, the cure, or the answers we are seeking, know that they all still exist with God, even if they are not visible to our physical eye.
They exist. But we have to look with our spiritual eye! We have to strengthen our heart's vision by taking what our physical eye sees to the One who is the All-Seeing (Al-Baseer)!
Our way out, our healing, our solution, our renewal, all exist with Him. It is just a matter of when He chooses to unveil us from what we are seeking and waiting for.
Remember, just because the clouds cover the sunset doesn't mean the sun isn't setting. So know that just because we are veiled from from the cure and solution to this pandemic right now, does not mean it doesn't exist, nor does it mean that God's plans for us are not in motion.
He is doing things that are serving us and our world in ways we can't begin to imagine. He is molding us individually and collectively, even if right now, we can't feel it. And He is preparing us for something greater in this world and the next, even if right now, we are veiled from witnessing it.
But it is up to us to keep the eye of our heart on God, so that He strengthens its vision (baseerah). The outcomes and plans are in His hands, but the efforts are in ours.
Through every test, God gives us the opportunity to walk towards Him, and utilize the test as the means to our growth, and the purification of this heart within us that is designed to see what the physical eye cannot. The more we do the inner work ,seek knowledge, improve our acts of worship, cultivate a stronger relationship with God, the more we will be able to derive peace, truth, wisdom, and growth from what we go through in this world. Most importantly, the experience we go through will be a means to our elevation in this world and in the next, when we stand before our Creator!
So let us keep the eye of our heart on God. Let us make Him the destination of this struggle. And let us keep the hope in our heart alive.
Soon and God willingly, He will remove the struggle we are going through, that was only there as the means for us to seek Him and taste the sweetness of connecting to Him.
It was never meant to be the destination. He is, was, and always will be the Ultimate Destination. And only through seeking Him through all our experiences, only through walking towards Him through all our conditions, can we truly access what we need and derive the truth we need to learn from our experiences!
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About the Author:
Dr. Marwa Assar is a psychologist, educator, writer, and founder of The H.O.M.E Institute. She is dedicated to providing psycho-spiritual education and empowerment through an Islamic psychological lens. Click here to learn more about Dr. Marwa and her work!