Secret of the heart

By Abdulrazaq O Hamzat


The heart is said to be called Qalb in Arabic language because it changes so quickly and frequently. Qalb (heart) is derived from the word Taqallub, which means alteration, variation, ups and downs.

By this, it can be understood that heart desires are not always static. Actually, it can never be static. The heart can love today and hate tomorrow. It can be happy now and sad the next moment. It may be optimistic some days and dejected in others. That is the nature of the
heart. It keeps varying.

However, the heart is not foolish; it doesn’t just alternate or go up and down for no reason. Something has to trigger it to act the way it does. It could be something seen, heard, felt or thought.

The heart doesn’t just love; something must propel it to love. It also doesn’t just hate, something has to instigate it to hate. To keep a lovely relationship lovely, you must keep supplying the heart with the lovely content that makes it feel lovely.

Anything to the contrary will equally produce a contrary outcome. The love heart feels today, no matter how strong, will vanish, should it be starved of those content that keeps it alive.

The heart is like a plant, you must water it. Love is a product from that plant. The heart is like the stomach. It might have been fed yesterday, but any attempt to deprive it of food content today will result into revolt. Yesterday’s food cannot quench today’s hunger and
yesterday’s water cannot satisfy today’s tastiness.

Here is the secret of the heart. Something said or not said could make the heart love and hate within seconds. Something seen or not seen could make the heart sad or happy. The heart could love today with so much passion, it could hate tomorrow with so much determination.

When the heart loves, it could do and undo for the sake of love. When it hates, it could also go extra miles to injure. That is the ways of the heart.

‘’I will take you as my husband/wife, for richer and for poorer, for better and for worse’’, that’s a common vow for intending couples at their wedding ceremonies. However, evidences have shown that, not many couples, who made such vow, stick to it when it mattered most. The
rate of divorce says a lot in this regard.

Available statistics shows that, about 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. Equally in the UK, an estimated 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce.

However, the story is slightly different in Africa. According to data released by Statistics SA, a South African agency in charge of data analysis, South Africa’s divorce rate is currently at its highest, stating that the divorce rate has increased by five percent since 2012, and while the number of marriages have decreased. For Nigeria, official statistics suggest that divorce is exceedingly uncommon in Nigeria. According to National Bureau of Statistics, just about 0.2%
of men and 0.3% of women have legally untied the knot. And well under 1% of couples admit to being separated.

However, a civil right advocate Emeka Ngwounye had stated that, 90% of married women in Nigeria will go for divorce if the laws are right. He explained that, through his work on family law, he has come to realize that 90% of married women will divorce their husbands if the
circumstances are right, adding that in 90% of cases, the top reason why women will divorce is because of domestic violence, economic oppression and infidelity.

The lawyer explained further that, if the divorce will not have an economic hardship on women, if she will keep custody of her children and if she does not bear significantly worse social stigma than the man for being divorced, 90% of women will prefer divorce.

Beyond the legally married couples; there are several others who truly love each other at some point during their relationships, to an extent that they think they can’t live without each other. Only to realize few months later, that those two lovebirds have transformed into opponents and attempting to injure or murder each other for the most silly reasons. All the sweet things said to each other are no more.

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said in a hadith that: “The heart [Qalb] takes its name from its constant changes [Taqallub]. The likeness of the heart is that of a feather at the root of a tree, being turned over and over by the wind.”

The prophet went further to say that, “The heart of the son of Adam changes more quickly than a pan of rapidly boiling water’’, adding that, “It changes more than a pot of rapidly boiling water.”

It is therefore important for all men and women to invest time to understand their partner and their relationship. They need to know what attracted their partner to them in the first instance and what has kept him or her in the union. Understanding all these would go along way in helping them maintain those traits that serve as the foundation of their relationships. It would also help them sustain the relationship in the loveliest way.

Abdulrazaq O Hamzat is a Human Rights Ambassador and the Executive
Director of Foundation for Peace Professionals. He can be reached at


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