Awaken the Pure Heart is a well-researched, persuasive, and eloquent work on spiritual growth and human potential.
In these pages, Tallal Alie Turfe offers a compelling argument for learning to understand our emotions in order to experience a more fulfilling relationship with God. As the author contends, to lead a truly good, healthy, and faithful life one must cultivate qalbun saleem, or a pure heart where clear channels of communication are open between our feelings and our thoughts. “The heart is more than the most important organ in the human body,” he writes “It is also the quintessence of our spiritual and emotional well-being.”
Drawing on psychology, biology, theology, behavioral science, and the writings of such authors as Daniel Goleman, Stephen Covey, and a number of experts on the Qu’ran, Turfe unpacks the differences between IQ and emotional intelligence, stressing that balancing our emotions allows us to be more “thoughtful, attentive, invigorated, [and] perceptive.”
These qualities are not only pleasing to God, but can help us attain success in our families and other interpersonal relationships, and in business. The key is to make the divine front and center. As the author writes, “If we work sincerely for the sake of God, God will compensate our sincerity (ikhlas) in a manner beyond our expectations.” Other topics covered include developing intuition, leadership and emotions, and the science of making snap decisions.
Awaken the Pure Heart is an eye-opening read. Turfe’s prose is warm and inviting and his use of Islamic scripture and commentary feels poetic and natural. Although there are a few redundancies in the beginning about how the brain and heart respond to outside stimuli, this is a valuable book.
While Muslim readers will find much to consider here, any person of faith can appreciate the lessons and insights about the mind-body connection and the importance of paying as much attention to what you feel as what you think.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.