Sermon will address a pure heart

Friday's sermon will address the purity of the heart.

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ABU DHABI // A pure heart is at the heart of Islam, worshippers will be told in today's sermon.

In an age of appearances and materialism, Muslims across the country will be reminded, when they gather in the mosques for today's prayers, to look inward, towards their heart, and revisit the intentions behind their actions.

The Prophet Mohammed said: "Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your hearts and your deeds."

The imams will tell worshippers "a man can promote his status, relieve himself from any worries or anxieties, and attain stability through the soundness of the heart".

Islam defines a pure heart as one that is pious, void of malice and hatred, and cleansed of enmity and envy. Today's sermon says that it all starts with the heart, "for when the heart is pure, then the body is pure and faith is strengthened and behaviour will be rectified".

The Prophet warned that whenever a sin is committed, a "black spot" forms in the heart, and unless it is cleansed by prayers and good deeds, that sin grows and corrupts the entire heart.

On the day of judgement, it is the purest of heart who will be saved, the sermon says.

Citing a verse from the Quran's Al Shu'ara chapter, the sermon says: "The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, But only he [will prosper] that brings to Allah a sound heart."

Fasting is one of the ways in which one can begin the journey of the heart, and it should begin now, in the month of Shaban, before the month of Ramadan, the sermon says.

The smaller second sermon reminds worshippers that it is particularly desirable to fast the day of mid-Shaban.

Aisha, the Prophet's wife, said: "The Prophet used to fast until we said he would never break his fast, and he used to break his fast until we said he would never fast, and I did not see the Messenger of Allah completing the fast of a month, except that of Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than that of Shaban."