This worldly life, the dunya, is just like the ocean. And our hearts are the ships. We can use the ocean for our needs and as a means to get to our final destination. But the ocean is only that: a means. It is a means for seeking food of the sea. It is a means of travel. It is a means of seeking a higher purpose. But it is something which we only pass through, yet never think to remain in. Imagine what would happen if the ocean became our end - rather than just a means.
Eventually we would drown.
As long as the ocean's water remains outside the ship, the ship will continue to float and be in control. But what happens as soon as the water creeps into the ship? What happens when the dunya is not just water outside of our hearts, when the dunya is no longer just a means? What happens when the dunya enters our heart?
That is when the boat sinks.
That is when the heart is taken hostage and becomes a slave. And that is when the dunya - which was once under our control - begins to control us. When the ocean's water enters and overtakes a ship, that ship is no longer in control. The boat then becomes at the mercy of the oceans.
The moment we let the dunya enter our hearts, we will sink. The ocean was never intended to enter the boat; it was intended only as a means that must remain outside of it. The dunya, too, was never intended to enter our heart. It is only a means that must not enter or control us. This is why Allah s.w.t repeatedly refers to the dunya in the Quran as a mata'a. The word mata'a can be translated as a "resource for transitory worldly delight". It is a resource. It is a tool. It is the path - not the destination.
RECLAIM YOUR HEART - YASMIN MOGAHED