MUQALLIBAL QULUB (مقلب القلوب) Turner of the Hearts
MUSARRIFAL QULUB (مصرف القلوب) Director of the Hearts
The verb QALLABA points to constant moving upside down, turning around and about. The noun QULUB is the plural of QALB meaning the heart, which is constantly changing. MUQALLIBAL QULUB is the One who turns sincere people from unbelief to belief by placing faith in their hearts and who turns the hearts of insincere people in a way that they can never understand the truth.
MUSARRIF comes from the triliteral root ṣād rā fā (ص ر ف) which means: to divert, to explain, to avert, to diversify, to distribute, to turn away, to direct.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Unquestionably, in the body there is a lump of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound,and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart.” [Bukhari and Muslim]. Guidance belongs to Allah alone because He knows the real state of the heart. He has the power to flip the heart of anyone any time, and no one can change a heart that He has covered.
- We will overturn their hearts and sight, just as when they did not believe in it at first, and We will abandon them to wander blindly in their excessive insolence. [Al-An’am 6:110]
- Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided. [Al-Kahf 18:57]
- The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful.[An-Nur 24:51]
- “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.” [Ali Imran 3:8]
- Ummu Salamah (Radiyallahu Anha – may Allah be pleased with her), the mother of the believers, the wife of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), when she was asked: “What was the common Dua (supplication) the Prophet (ﷺ) has ever said?” She said: “Yes, the most common Dua I have ever heard the Prophet made was: “YA MUQALLIBAL QULUB, THABBIT QALBI ‘ALA DINIK” – O Turner of the hearts, make my heart steadfast upon Your Religion.” [Muslim]
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the Two Fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes.” Then he said: “ALLAHUMMA MUSARRIFAL QULUB SARRIF QULUBANA ‘ALA TA’ATIK” – O Allah, Director of the hearts, direct our hearts to Your obedience. [Muslim]
Prophetic Supplications for the Heart by Sheikh Omar Suleiman
The heart is always in movements. It cannot be still all the time and so a person has to try to settle it. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “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 he is able to settle it. But the heart is always moving, and if you stop filling it with Iman to keep it still, then it is evitable that it is 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.
The scholars mention 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 internalize 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 would move on to the next ten.” Think about the Khawarij, the extremists that the Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned that they recite a lot of the Quran but it does not go beyond their throats. You know there is a saying that the extremists are blinded by the light. They are 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 stabilize the heart rather than try to take it in too much because the Iman does not come in that fashion. Iman grows gradually. You do not suddenly jump in and take it all in. A person has to make his heart consistent.
So there are two supplications from the Prophet (ﷺ) that are very similar and a person might think that they mean the exact same thing but there is a subtle lesson that we can take in the difference. The first one is the most frequent supplication of the Prophet (ﷺ) that he would always say: “YA MUQALLIBAL QULUB THABBIT QALBI ALA DINIK” (O Turner of Hearts, make my heart firm on your path). If the Prophet (ﷺ) made that Dua more frequently than any other Dua, what then for us? Does the Prophet (ﷺ) fear hypocrisy? Does he fear that his heart will be turned in any other direction? Subhanallah! What about us then if that was the most frequent Dua of the Prophet (ﷺ)? It should also be our most frequent supplication and we should increase it well beyond what the Prophet (ﷺ) used to say for our hearts are not like his heart.
There is another Dua that is very similar and I want to talk a little about the difference because they are both authentically narrated. Another Dua that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to make was: “YA MUSSARIFAL QULUB SARRIF QALBI ALA TA’ATIK” (O Director of Hearts, direct my heart to your good deeds).
The first Dua is really to maintain your heart upon the path, longing for Allah and away from sins, so away from turning to that which displeasing to Him. The second Dua 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. So two Duas, the more important one “YA MUQALLIBAL QULUB THABBIT QALBI ALA DINIK” and then the second one “YA MUSSARIFAL QULUB SARRIF QALBI ALA TA’ATIK.” Allahumma amen. May Allah keep our hearts firm and consistent upon that which is pleasing to Allah fill our hearts with longing for Him so that we meet Him in that state. Allahumma amen.