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Hardening of the Heart

Hardening of the Heart

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‫َّر‬ ‫ِب ۡس ي ٱ ِب ٱل ۡس َم ٰـ ِب ٱل ِب ي‬ ‫َّر ِب‬ ‫ِب‬
Bismi Allahi Alrrahmani Alrraheemi

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful

And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it . commonly quoted with reference to halal and haram. he said that "Taqwa is in the heart." [The hadith in full :.those who have accepted the message and who have chosen Paradise over Hell. The Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wa sallam. taqwa would have been placed there because iman is the most valuable thing that a human being can have. It is the distinction of those who have belief and those who have disbelief. but that favour in the sight of Allah. then it makes use of the knowledge and it avoids what is prohibited. nor is there any favour or special position of White over Black. Number 49: Narrated An-Nu'man bin Bashir: I heard Allah's Apostle saying. It is the place of iman. Had there been in the body another part that were nearer to Allah. the whole body becomes bad. which Allah has favoured over all other parts.] He said that after explaining that the halal is clear and that the haram is clear and that between them are obscure areas. what protects a person from the haram and ensures that he remains in the halal is knowledge . There is nothing more valuable. (O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. is with those who fear Him. Singapore. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. on the last pilgrimage. those who have taqwa. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips Transcript of a lecture Darul Arqam. then the knowledge is of no benefit to it and it will indulge in what is prohibited. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart. we find stress being placed on the heart . that there is no favour or no special place of the Arab over the non-Arab. . It is the determination ultimately of those who have belief in Allah .that the heart is the part of the body. Volume 1. If the heart is good. After bearing witness to that.Bukhary. it is the state of the heart. However.if it becomes good. 'Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them . about the importance of the heart. 26th November 1998 The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam informed us in a very famous tradition. not known to most people. If the heart is bad. the whole body becomes good and if it becomes bad. He said : "There is in the body a clump of flesh . informed his Companions and the nations of Muslims to come. but beyond knowledge. And indeed it is the heart." In these statements and other similar statements. Book 2.Hardening of the Heart Dr.

the wealthy person who gave from his wealth in charity and the martyr who gave his life fighting in the path of God. This is why the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam said that for ALLAH to guide by your hands a single person to Islam is worth more than anything in this world. And the martyr . You did it for as long as people appreciated it. saying what a great scholar he is and how knowledgeable he is. in an authentic narration. He taught so that people would praise him. it was not really for the sake of Allah. There was no sincerity there. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam had informed us that the first 3 people who would be cast into the Hell Fire are people who were involved in what everybody considers great acts of righteousness. what you sought in that world. . Book 2." So he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. But there will be nothing for you in the next. For you to help someone to find iman is worth more than any of the things in this world." So that individual will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. He gave and people praised his generosity. "You did it for the praise and you were praised." The place of the intention is not on the lips. Allah will inspect the hearts to determine whether they are truly acts of righteousness. It is in the heart . 'How brave this one is! How strong and courageous he was!'" People said it. [The hadith in full:. said that they would be among the first groups of people thrown into because the scholar. Volume 1. did not do so for the sake of Allah. Your generosity was conditional. "The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.are judged ultimately by the states of our hearts. But Allah will say: "You fought so people would say.the philanthropist. but he did not do it for the sake of Allah. then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry. The heart is the place by which the correctness of deeds is judged. Evil deeds are evil. but Allah will say.what we do externally . but these good deeds are in reference to those that we perceive to be a part and parcel of righteousness. so he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. They are the scholar who taught knowledge. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle. but when people did not pay you mind. you were not generous anymore.Bukhary. Number 51: Narrated 'Umar bin AlKhattab: Allah's Apostle said. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam said : " Deeds are judged according to the intention.The value of iman is more than all of the things of this world.the one whom we all assumed had died fii-sabilillah. These are good deeds. who was generous with his wealth. Allah will say to him: "You received your praise. it was not for the sake of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wa sallam."] Our deeds . they praised him. his emigration was for what he emigrated for. when he taught the knowledge that Allah gave him. Similarly the rich individual . We would think that his place in Paradise is guaranteed.

His wives said that they could not recall an incident where he hit them or scolded them harshly. being aware of the state of our heart. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam had a very soft heart. We have to make sure that this faculty is functioning as Allah wishes it to function. beginning: " I seek refuge in you. occupy great attention. along with that knowledge. that one is tough. Had you been severe and harsh hearted. Mercy is something that we cannot live without. with regard to their children. explaining to the people his status over the rest of them. The Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam said to him. Surah Ali-Imran (3:159). It is essential for those who seek knowledge. we find a home that is full of happiness and joy. So the place of the heart should. it is essential for all people. they would have fled from around you. "I have 10 other children and I have not kissed a single one of them. So there is no other faculty in the human body and existence that a believer should more concerned about. Al-Aqra Ibn Habis was visited by the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ' Alayhi Wa sallam. He was known for his gentleness. even the highest of deeds can be of no avail if the hearts are sick . then we cannot taste the beauty of that knowledge. it is essential for us. "Can I help it if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?" He went on to say. We have to spend much of our time observing. in our minds. Al-Aqra said.as it is compulsory for us to seek knowledge of the Deen . Allah said in the Quran. " Due to Allah's mercy. It is essential for parents. With regards to children.that one is not soft. The Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam lifted one of his children and placed the child on his lap. Softness of the heart is something that we cannot spend too much time on. O Allah. And Allah confirmed that this quality is an essential quality. The Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam used to make dua often. As it was essential for the Prophets. if the hearts are corrupt . As Hassan Al-Basri had said. The reality for those seeking knowledge . And if we look at a home where a father is kind and merciful with his children. " He does not surpass you by performing more prayers and fasts there are among you those who pray and fast more . He treated people gently. " If ." This was a point of pride. manhood . a soft heart. We should be greatly concerned about it. When the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam described Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.is that if there is not. you are gentle with them. from knowledge that does not benefit and from a heart which does not fear"." That was where his superiority laid.This is all telling us that ultimately . He kissed the child out of the kindness and softness of his heart towards the child. " And whoever is not merciful will not receive mercy . he said. " This was the quality of the Prophets and this is the characteristic that all those who seek to guide others to Allah must have." So it is essential that parents show mercy to their children.but by something which deeply has embedded itself in his heart… Iman in his heart .

Softness of the heart is the characteristic of true Muslims. " Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah. it will appear in his face. What seems to be an enjoyable life is empty . This is the promise of Allah. the knowledge is of no benefit to the individual. Anyone who deviates from it is destroyed . [Quran. verily for him is a life narrowed down. It is a curse to have a hardened heart and it is a blessing to have a soft heart . hands and tongue and in his humility to Allah . and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgement. but we have to believe it. Surah Al-Ra'd 13:28 : " Those who believe. nor can that individual benefit others with it. As Allah said in Surah Az-Zumar (39:22). then a person's life is filled with distress and discomfort. Those who lack hearts that are soft will lead woeful lives. Surah Ta-Ha 20:124 : "… Whosoever turns away from My Message.that nothing corrupts knowledge and da'wa more than the harshness of the heart ." [Quran. They cannot find peace of mind and of heart because their hearts are hardened to Allah … to belief in Allah. This is the promise of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam when he said. Woe to those whose eyes are reminded of the Words of Allah. "O . " I have left you on a clear white plain. " They are in obvious misguidance." Dua will soften the heart and Allah is the One who will soften the heart. That is why Allah said. Nothing softens the heart more than asking Allah to soften it and make it merciful . The First Method — Du`aa or Supplication The first method is dua or supplication.it is filled with loneliness. handed down in special sessions and gatherings." The opposite is true . and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction . to submission to Allah. As the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam said. but they do not weep in fear of Him. Woe to those who are reminded of the Warnings of Allah and they do not humble themselves to His Words. It is not something known only to a few. whose day is like its night." The way of the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam clarifies for us how to achieve a soft heart. We should strive to achieve it because everything else would be meaningless and useless if we do not have softened hearts."] What is most beneficial in this life is a soft heart. Our dua to Him will be answered. Where hearts have become hardened. even though they may have all of the trappings of this life. How do we achieve this? It is not a secret. but know at the same time that Allah will not answer the prayer of a heart which is negligent. Those with hardened hearts suffer in this life."] It is only with the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest. "Whoever turns away from my remembrance will have a wretched life . If we just raise our hands and ask. Woe to those whose hearts hear the Quran and they do not become fearful and humbled as a result of it. "Call on Allah being certain that your prayer will be answered.a man seeks knowledge. If it becomes absent.

but his anger did not allow it a chance to settle in his heart. so powerful… a courageous individual… but with the acceptance of Islam. His attitude towards the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam and Islam was so harsh that he set out one day to kill the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186 : "When my servants ask thee concerning Me. with a will. They asked what had caused that to happen to him. Changed so much that ‘Umar." And he had buried her alive. That was enough to turn him upside down.Allah. "Call on Me and I will answer you . would be so choked up with tears that people from way back in the third row could hear him crying. he had heard something from the Quran and it had touched him. He was surprised and went to his sister’s house." [Quran. On his way. That was how hard his heart was — how hard his heart had become. when he used to lead the prayers. he also sought refuge from the eyes that do not become full with tears. Let us consider ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab. soften my heart!" and not really ask from the heart. to bury his daughter alive. So we should do as the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam advised us — to go to Allah and call on him to give us softened hearts and we should seek refuge as the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam had from the heart without fear. He was fed up with the efforts of Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam to spread Islam that he felt he had to take it in his hands to finish this. "I remember that in the days of Jahiliyya. He then stopped and looked at what he had caused. He strapped on his sword and set out. But when he struck his sister and saw the blood. I used to have this idol made of dates. One day. He slapped her and her husband until blood came from her face. listen to My call and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way"] If we consider the many examples that we have from the lives of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam and his companions. . This was Umar. it is just something we said — and we could have said ANYTHING else! If we call on Allah SINCERELY. I became so hungry that I ate a piece of it. He will soften the heart. He asked what was being read before and some of the Quran was read for him. He said. What he had heard before touched his heart. a man who was so harsh. virtually tearing down the door. This was ‘Umar! On another occasion. And then. she reached up and brushed dirt from my beard. That was the practice — those who felt it was a dishonour to have a daughter killed them. But his heart changed. And he changed. I cried when I remembered digging a hole and burying my daughter. I am indeed close to them: I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me. Whilst I was putting her in. they would show us that it is Allah who can change the hearts. let them also. one after the other. And in the same dua. On his way in. he met another companion who told him to check on his own sister before seeing the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam. it stopped him for a minute. the other companions saw him laughing and then crying. eyes which never cry. his heart was turned around.

Muhammad ? He will say: I testify that he is Allah's slave and His Apostle. so that the visit may serve as a beneficial reminder. 'I do not know. The one thing that we are one hundred per cent certain of — even if we have some doubt as to whether there is really a God. they will be unable to answer! [ Volume 2. Allah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it. two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you use to say about this man."(Sahih al-Jaami' 4584) To go to the graveyard. [and I now enjoin] you to do so. When Munkar and Nakir come and ask them.e. 'Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran). and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and jinns. even if we wrongly wonder if what we are practising is really the truth when there are so many other people doing so many other things — is that we are going to die."] .The Second Way — Remember Death The second way is that we remember the Hereafter. "Who was the Prophet that was sent to you?". Number 422: Narrated Anas: The Prophet said. But our lives are such that we become so occupied with the things of this life that we forget that we are going to die. bring tears to the eyes. [At-Takathur 102: " The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things). As the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam said. things that are really ultimately not going to benefit us in the next life.' Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his two ears.' " The Prophet added. 'Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. "The dead person will see both his places. and serve as a reminder of the Hereafter. As Allah said. while visiting] . "Who is your Lord?". "When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their foot steps. until ye visit the graves."(related by Muslim and others) ] [ Al-Haakim’s version : "… for [such visits] soften the heart. [but be careful] not to speak forbidden expressions [i. the gathering of wealth has deluded them to the realities of life and they only come awake when they end up in their graves. Consequently. "What is your religion?". But now I command you to visit them because they serve to remind you of the next life. "I used to forbid you from visiting the graves in the early part of Islam. "The grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise or a hole from the holes of Hell Fire. Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam had said. ye soon shall know the reality… "] This is a fearful statement. but I used to say what the people used to say! It will be said to him. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels." There are people in the graves who are calling out for help but there is no one to help. But nay. reflecting on the state of those in the grave (not necessarily of your relatives alone). Then it will be said to him. Book 23. that we should live lives unconscious of our deaths and thereby be lost in trivialities. to remember our death." [" I [once] had forbidden you from visiting graves.

Allah describes those. So we are encouraged to visit the graves and on that basis. Their evil deeds will come before them as a horrible creature and they will suffer torments. when the things that we have in this life will be of no benefit to us. If it did not enter our hearts in this life that Allah is our Lord and that Muhammad is our Prophet and that Islam is our religion. but in the passage of time. their hearts became hard. The third way by which we can soften our hearts is the Quran itself. when we stand before Allah and answer for each and every deed that we have done. but to go from time to time as they need the reminder just as men need the reminder.This is not something we can memorise in preparation for the questions. then that knowledge will not benefit us in the next life. But for those whose hearts have hardened towards the remembrance of Allah. And what happens on the Resurrection. the process in dying itself — how the souls are taken from the bodies of believers. they were found seeking Allah’s forgiveness . due to the sensitivity of their nature. who when they reflect on the Hereafter. "like silk being drawn over thorns". in the Quran." . It will return to that body and a Garden from Paradise will be opened up to it and it will lie in that state till Resurrection. Brothers and sisters. " Has not the time come for those who believe for their hearts to fear Allah when they hear the Quran (dhikrullah here is in reference to the Quran) and what truth there is in it. so that they not be like those who received the Scripture before. this is not unique to men. when nothing escapes Allah. tearing away. but for the disbelievers. are affected. It will be thrown back into the body. " They slept little in the night and in the hours before dawn. We don’t have access to it because it never entered our hearts in this life. Hence not regular visits. but that it is the frequent visits that are prohibited. The only thing that will benefit us is to stand before Allah with a healthy heart. but that we will be incapable of answering as part of the degradation of that life. This is why some scholars argue that visiting the graves is not prohibited to women. Al-Hadid. "like water dropping from the spout of a bucket. for the benefits that come from visiting he graves is not unique to men. let us reflect on that life to come. the soul will be barred entrance into the Heavens. We know that the answer is the key for the next life. It affects them in the nights. Allah states in the Quran. as the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam said. but we cannot use the key. That soul that fears Allah is taken in the next life up into the Heavens and the angels of the Heavens will praise it. Let us reflect on the process after death. 57:16. And most of them are corrupt. These lead them to get up from their beds at a time when sleep is so sweet ." They wake up in the night with the remembrance of the life to come — the trials of the grave and the Judgement to come. A window from Hell will be open and the heat will be over them until Resurrection. because it is not a matter of not knowing.

about the jinn who heard the Quran. It really does not matter if we don’t finish the Quran in Ramadhan. we don’t find this reaction of tears coming to our eyes. goose bumps come over their skins. We hire reciters to recite the Quran at 99 miles an hour so much so that even Arabic-speaking people cannot figure out where in the Quran the reciter is! This has become the precedence — finishing the Quran in Ramadhan and if you can finish it twice. . not only leaving it until Ramadhan. Ramadhan is not complete unless we read the whole Quran in Ramadhan. we are lost! This is the Word of Allah. This is the word of God preserved. Allah said. consistent with itself." [See Quran. [Quran Az-Zumar 39:23 : Allah has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book. Today." This was the case of the ruler of Ethiopia. When Muslims sought refuge there and they recited a portion of the Quran. We should be reading it regularly. For most of the Prophet’s Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam life. then their skins and hearts do soften to the remembrance of Allah . Surah alAhqaf 46:29-32] Allah goes on to describe the righteous. Force ourselves to cry because we need to respond to the Quran in this way. We are entertained by that music. they saw his eyes fill with tears. even better! But this is not what the Quran is for. then we should make ourselves cry. It touches them and causes their heart to tremble . for it is very important for us to re-assess how we are dealing with the Quran. The Quran is for reflection. it guides us to Allah and we believe in it and we will set not partners besides Allah. Most of the companions did not finish the reading of the Quran in Ramadhan. People buy recordings of their favourite reciters for the beauty of their voice… The listening of the Quran has become more of a musical thing. The Quran should not become for us a replacement for pop songs that we used to hear before. yet repeating (its teaching in various aspects): the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble threat. so much so that when the reciter is reading. If we don’t. it has the power to soften our hearts. for us. We reflect on it… not reading it Ramadhan so we can finish the whole Book and say we finished the Quran in Ramadhan.] If when we listen to the Quran. we hear people in the background going. When we hear the Quran. "Indeed we heard an amazing Quran. you will see their eyes welling up with tears because of what they know of the truth of what has been brought. This is how we should be. " Will they not reflect on the meanings ?" The Quran is a Book of Guidance and it is in the reflection on the meaning of the Quran that we benefit.If we reflect on the Quran. he did not finish the whole Quran in Ramadhan. as Allah says of the believers who hear the Quran recited. we should reflect on the meanings. the only preserved Word of all the revelations that were given from Adam till now. "And if they (this is amongst the Christians) hear what was revealed to the Messenger. "Allah! Allah! Allah!" People making statements in the background as thought it were a pop show! This is not the Quran… Allah tells us. so that when we hear it.

there will be benefit. It is enough for us to open any part of the Quran to read about them. This is the foundation — if we cannot do what Allah has commanded us to do. While praying. pleasing God is according to ourselves — what is pleasing to us will please God. If we have not established 5 times daily prayers on time. No! Whenever Allah tells us something about the Jews. the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam explained that al-maghdoob ‘alayhim are the Jews and that ad-daalleen are the Christians. Allah is angry with the Jews because they KNOW the truth and they don’t act on it . It is useless. "Where is the benefit? Where is the change?" The point is that if we keep working at it. We should reflect on it and it should touch us. They cannot perceive themselves growing because it is something accumulating within them. we should not (merely) take it as a piece of information. Every time we read the "… ghairil maghdoobi ‘alayhim wa la-ddaalleen…"." They changed the Book. like a person growing. that the Jews are this and that the Jews are that. then how can we please Him in anything else? Then. we have the Scripture. the fast. The Christians are without knowledge. but we are not acting according to them. Righteous deeds done sincerely for Allah will soften our hearts . but we have to stick with it and believe. then it does not matter whatever else we do. It is Allah talking to us directly. they are lost. If we do not seek knowledge. we should see in it as a warning to ourselves — that we don’t become like them. The Quran speaks about the life to come and to reflect on it. maybe we can’t see how it softens our hearts. Similarly. for us. They can hardly wait till they are going to be big and they put a mark on the wall. We have to remember that the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam told us. Allah is warning us not to be like them — we have the truth. " The Hell Fire is veiled by the . "… ghairil maghdoobi ‘alayhim wa la-ddaalleen…" in Surah Al-Fatiha. They think that God is a man! This is a warning to us. Those with whom Allah is angry are the Jews and those who have gone astray are the Christians. Every time he tells us something about the Jews. This is not pleasing God. We may not see it immediately. It is linked to our second point of visiting the graves and remembering the Hereafter . In the initial stages. has demanded of us. As the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam told us. wondering when they are going to get up there. because that is what it is. that remind us of the signs of the Day of Judgement. "Call people to righteousness and you forget yourselves. etc. righteous deeds… and the first of the righteous deeds are the one that God commands. if we do not find out what it is Allah wants from us. it should touch us. When Allah said. There are so many verses throughout the Quran which remind us of the Hereafter. It is something that becomes cumulative. that the slave of Allah does not come closer to Him except by doing the deeds that He has made compulsory for him . sometimes we wonder. It is a mistake to go to the things that He did not command us to do and to put all our focus on these areas and leave the primary things that He commanded us to do.We should read the Quran believing this is Allah speaking to us . The fourth way for us to soften our hearts is by way of good deeds. In virtually every chapter of the Quran Allah addresses the next life . then we are lost . The compulsory deeds — the 5 daily prayers. Every time we recite these verses.

We like the easy way. We have accepted Islam. Allah describes those who come before him for judgement: when they see their deeds and they know that they have put themselves in Hell. [Bukhary. give us ease by giving the call to prayer. We have to keep struggling and it is in that struggle that ultimately we do taste iman. their hearts became hard. just as if nobody prayed. Volume 8. That is a mistake… Our hearts have become hard. we are awakened to Islam and we start to practise Islam. that we do taste what the salah was prescribed for. His heart is soft. We will beg Allah. Prayer is for OURSELVES . we have no chance to pray anymore. what the remembrance of Allah should mean in our lives. with the passage of time. but time has passed and our hearts have become hardened. and that they should not become like those to whom was given The Book aforetime. Allah describes the Jews: after all the signs that were given to them. He will not send us back with the knowledge that we have then. This is where prayer will benefit us. [see Surah Al-A’raf 7:53] But Allah will know that they are lying for they would do the same if sent back. The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam describes those who receive the shade of Allah’s throne on the day when there is no shade: the one who remembers Allah and cries."] Prayer is not something that is pleasurable to us. If every human being on this earth prayed. Iman increases and decreases. What will they do? Will they argue with Allah and ask why He has put them in Hell? No. When we pray. they will ask Allah for another chance to go back and do what Allah has told them to do and more.things that are pleasing to us and Paradise is veiled by the things that we do not like . but those that our own nafs does not like because they require work and effort." Prayer was considered a time of pleasure but for us it is a burden. Book 76. but we have to keep striving and recognise that this is natural. it would not decrease or affect Allah in any way. [Quran. However." "Things that we do not like" are not necessarily those things that are evil. we are not benefiting Allah. Prayer is for OUR benefit. "Bilal. but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors. We just pray that we die with hearts that are soft and fearful. So we would like not to pray and if someone were to tell us that it is not necessary to pray. For if Allah were to send us back. Our hearts have become hard. He would send us back just as we were before. we will want to pray. The heart hardens and we fight against it and it softens… it is a continual struggle until we die . we should be sad because we can only pray in this life and in the next. The sooner we finish. because in the next life. Number 486: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said Allah will give shade to seven (types of people) under His Shade (on the Day of . Surah Al-Hadid 57:16 : "Has not the time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed to them. That is why the Prophet used to say. the better so we can get on with our lives. it would not increase or benefit Allah in any way. we would say "Alhamdulillah!" This is our nature — we would be happy with that.

to reflect on the state of our hearts. our children. our hearts will begin to soften. we have to establish our zakah as it is supposed to be given. It is the promise of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam. In our next prayer tonight. we have to fast as it is supposed to be done and the hajj and umrah if we are able. they provide the foundation for the softening of the heart. Number 629: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said. So my brothers and sisters. The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam had said that greeting our brothers or sisters with a smiling face is sadaqa .e. We begin that process by turning to Allah. we turn away from them. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation). But we should begin with the things Allah has made compulsory .e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity). we only go to places that Allah wants us to go… If we turn to Allah and we call on Him He will answer our prayer. I ask you and myself to remember our hearts. Book 11. we only take what Allah wants us to take. we come closer and closer to Allah. then we need to make ourselves cry. worships Allah sincerely from childhood). We should do these things and strive to soften our hearts. (These seven persons are) a just ruler. Volume 1. We should read the Quran and do as much as we can of righteous deeds. our brothers and sisters in Islam … . This is the promise of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam.Resurrection). We only touch the things Allah wants us to touch. a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i. We should establish the salah as Allah prescribed it. So I pray and I ask Allah to give us all soft hearts. a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i. then the hearts cannot become soft.e. As we continue to do these acts and voluntary versions of these acts. We should strive to do every good deed. where we see only the things that Allah wants us to see."] So we should not shy away from good deeds for they will help to soften our hearts. if after doing them we cannot find softness in our hearts. if we are sincere. question: what state are we in? to work on our hearts until we have succeeded in softening them. Whenever we have a moment. two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only. hearts that are filled with mercy for the creating of Allah.] [Bukhary. by reading the statements of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam about the next life. let us turn back to Allah and beg him sincerely to soften our hearts and when we do so. a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i. We need to force ourselves to cry because until we can let go and let loose those feeling within ourselves. We should reflect on the next life by visiting the graves and by reading the verses addressing them. Nothing should be too small for us: no good deed is so trivial that we scorn at it. and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears . a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah. "Allah will give shade. until Allah says He becomes the eyes with which we see. (one of them will be) a person who remembers Allah and his eyes are then flooded with tears. As I said before. These fundamentals have to be established for the sake of Allah. we don’t enjoy them. by the mercy and the grace of Allah. our parents. to seven. We avoid the things that Allah does not want us to see. on the Day when there will be no shade but His.

I ask Allah to give us success to turn back to the Quran.even those towards people who are not Muslims. seeking understanding and guidance from it and I ask Allah to give us soft hearts. to read it regularly. AsSalamu Alaykum . I ask Allah to put in our hearts softness towards them in the sense that it would guide us to carry the message to them as we should.

then it makes use of the knowledge and it avoids what is prohibited. taqwa would have been placed there because iman is the most valuable thing that a human being can have. Volume 1. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. Had there been in the body another part that were nearer to Allah. If the heart is bad. Number 49: Narrated An-Nu'man bin Bashir: I heard Allah's Apostle saying. then the knowledge is of no benefit to it and it will indulge in what is prohibited. informed his Companions and the nations of Muslims to come. the whole body becomes good and if it becomes bad. There is nothing more valuable.Hardening of the Heart II Dr. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. However. but that favour in the sight of Allah. This is why the Prophet Muhammad said that for ALLAH to guide by your hands a single person to Islam is ." In these statements and other similar statements. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart. It is the distinction of those who have belief and those who have disbelief. It is the place of iman. he said that "Taqwa is in the heart. those who have taqwa. not known to most people. The Prophet . the whole body becomes bad. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips Transcript of a lecture. about the importance of the heart. which Allah has favoured over all other parts. He said: "There is in the body a clump of flesh .those who have accepted the message and who have chosen Paradise over Hell. is with those who fear Him. nor is there any favour or special position of White over Black. The value of iman is more than all of the things of this world. it is the state of the heart. And indeed it is the heart.'] He said that after explaining that the halal is clear and that the haram is clear and that between them are obscure areas. on the last pilgrimage.if it becomes good. Darul Arqam. If the heart is good.that the heart is the part of the body. but beyond knowledge. Singapore The Prophet Muhammad informed us in a very famous tradition. 'Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. that there is no favour or no special place of the Arab over the nonArab. Book 2. After bearing witness to that.Bukhary." [The hadith in full :. commonly quoted with reference to halal and haram. we find stress being placed on the heart . (O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. what protects a person from the haram and ensures that he remains in the halal is knowledge. It is the determination ultimately of those who have belief in Allah .

even the highest of deeds can be of no avail if the hearts are sick.worth more than anything in this world. it was not really for the sake of Allah. Similarly the rich individual .Bukhary. Allah will inspect the hearts to determine whether they are truly acts of righteousness. This is all telling us that ultimately." So he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. Book 2. But there will be nothing for you in the next. "The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. There was no sincerity there. The Prophet Muhammad . but Allah will say. you were not generous anymore. they praised him. who was generous with his wealth.what we do externally . For you to help someone to find iman is worth more than any of the things in this world. But Allah will say: "You fought so people would say." So that individual will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. [The hadith in full:. Evil deeds are evil.the philanthropist. 'How brave this one is! How strong and courageous he was!'" People said it. what you sought in that world. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry. did not do so for the sake of Allah.are judged ultimately by the states of our hearts. Allah will say to him: "You received your praise. You did it for as long as people appreciated it. when he taught the knowledge that Allah gave him. being aware of the state of our heart. .the one whom we all assumed had died fii-sabilillah. saying what a great scholar he is and how knowledgeable he is. his emigration was for what he emigrated for."] Our deeds . The heart is the place by which the correctness of deeds is judged. These are good deeds. So the place of the heart should. but he did not do it for the sake of Allah. but when people did not pay you mind. if the hearts are corrupt. it was not for the sake of Allah. in our minds occupy great attention. We have to spend much of our time observing. It is in the heart. We would think that his place in Paradise is guaranteed. When the Prophet Muhammad described Abu Bakr As-Siddiq . Your generosity was conditional. but these good deeds are in reference to those that we perceive to be a part and parcel of righteousness. He gave and people praised his generosity. And the martyr . The Prophet Muhammad had informed us that the first 3 people who would be cast into the Hell Fire are people who were involved in what everybody considers great acts of righteousness. said that they would be among the first groups of people thrown into because the scholar. then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle. so he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. The Prophet Muhammad said: "Deeds are judged according to the intention. They are the scholar who taught knowledge. Volume 1." The place of the intention is not on the lips. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle. Number 51: Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: Allah's Apostle said. "You did it for the praise and you were praised. He taught so that people would praise him. in an authentic narration. the wealthy person who gave fro his wealth in charity and the martyr who gave his life fighting in the path of God.

nor can that individual benefit others with it. Surah Ali-Imran (3:159). He kissed the child out of the kindness and softness o his heart towards the child. "I have 10 other children and I have not kissed a single one of them. His wives said that they could not recall an incident where he hit them or scolded them harshly. it is essential for us." This was the quality of the Prophets and this is the characteristic that all those who seek to guide others to Allah must have. it will appear in his face. And Allah confirmed that this quality is an essential quality.as it is compulsory for us to seek knowledge of the Deen . The Prophet lifted one of his children and placed the child on his lap. Had you been severe and harsh hearted. manhood . The Prophet used to make dua often. He treated people gently. we find a home that is full of happiness and joy. And if we look at a home where a father is kind and merciful with his children. Al-Aqra said. "He does not surpass you by performing more prayers and fasts ." This was a point of pride. So there is no other faculty in the human body and existence that a believer should more concerned about. Al-Aqra Ibn Habis was visited by the Prophet Muhammad . Mercy is something that we cannot live without. "If a man seeks knowledge.there are among you those who pray and fast more . It is essential for those who seek knowledge." The opposite is true . they would have fled from around you. you are gentle with them. Where hearts have become hardened. then we cannot taste the beauty of that knowledge. It is essential for parents. Softness of the heart is something that we cannot spend too much time on.is that if there is not. "Can I help it if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?" He went on to say. that one is tough." So it is essential that parents show mercy to their children. a soft heart. As it was essential for the Prophets. along with that knowledge. The Prophet said to him. beginning: "I seek refuge in you.that nothing corrupts knowledge and da'wa more than the harshness of the heart. O Allah. Allah said in the Quran. with regard to their children.but by something which deeply has embedded itself in his heart: Iman in his heart. We have to make sure that this faculty is functioning as Allah wishes it to function. he said. it is essential for all people. With regards to children. We should be greatly concerned about it. Softness of the .that one is not soft. hands an tongue and in his humility to Allah. As Hassan Al-Basri had said. The reality for those seeking knowledge . "And whoever isnot merciful will not receive mercy. the knowledge is of no benefit to the individual. from knowledge that does not benefit and from a heart which does not fear". "Due to Allah's mercy." That was where his superiority laid. The Prophet Muhammad had a very soft heart. He was known for his gentleness.explaining to the people his status over the rest of them.

Woe to those whose hearts hear the Quran and they do not become fearful and humbled as a result of it." [Quran. This is the promise of the Prophet (SAAS) when he said. If we just raise our hands and ask. "Call on Me and I will answer you. He will soften the heart. They cannot find peace of mind and of heart because their hearts are hardened to Allah to belief in Allah. "Whoever turns away from my remembrance will have a wretched life. whose day is like its night. Surah Al-Ra'd 13:28 : "Those who believe. Surah Ta-Ha 20:124 : "Whosoever turns away from My Message.it is filled with loneliness. "Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah. It is not something known only to a few. If it becomes absent. handed down in special sessions and gatherings. it is just something we said · and we could have said ANYTHING else! If we call on Allah SINCERELY. verily for him is a life narrowed down. I am indeed close to them: I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he ." [It is only with the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest. even though they may have all of the trappings of this life. It is a curse to have a hardened heart and it is a blessing to have a soft heart. but know at the same time that Allah will not answer the prayer of a heart which is negligent." [Quran." The way of the Prophet clarifies for us how to achieve a soft heart. This is the promise of Allah. Those with hardened hearts suffer in this life. How do we achieve this? It is not a secret. Those who lack hearts that are soft will lead woeful lives. but we have to believe it. What seems to be an enjoyable life is empty . That is why Allah said. and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgement. As Allah said in Surah Az-Zumar (39:22). Anyone who deviates from it is destroyed. then a person's life is filled with distress and discomfort. We should strive to achieve it because everything else would be meaningless and useless if we do not have softened hearts. Nothing softens the heart more than asking Allah to soften it and make it merciful. The First Method: Du`aa or Supplication The first method is dua or supplication. As the Prophet said." Dua will soften the heart and Allah is the One who will soften the heart.heart is the characteristic of true Muslims. "Call on Allah being certain that your prayer will be answered. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186 : "When my servants ask thee concerning Me. [Quran. to submission to Allah."] What is most beneficial in this life is a soft heart. soften my heart!" and not really ask from the heart." They are in obvious misguidance. and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. "I have left you on a clear white plain. but they do not weep in fear of Him. "O Allah. Woe to those who are reminded of the Warnings of Allah and they do not humble themselves to His Words. Woe to those whose eyes are reminded of the Words of Allah. Our dua to Him will be answered.

I used to have this idol made of dates. So we should do as the Prophet advised us to go to Allah and call on him to give us softened hearts and we should seek refuge as the Prophet had from the heart without fear. but with the acceptance of Islam. with a will. They asked what had caused that to happen to him. a man who was so harsh. He then stopped and looked at what he had caused. one after the other. eyes which never cry. his heart was turned around. Whilst I was putting her in. to bury his daughter alive. He asked what was being read before and some of the Quran was read for him. let them also." And he had buried her alive. he had heard something from the Quran and it had touched him. even if we wrongly wonder if what we are practising is really the truth when there are so many other people doing so many other things — is that we are going to die. I cried when I remembered digging a hole and burying my daughter. On his way in. And then. He was fed up with the efforts of Prophet to spread Islam that he felt he had to take it in his hands to finish this. "I remember that in the days of Jahiliyya. But his heart changed. Let us consider 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab. she reached up and brushed dirt from my beard. would be so choked up with tears that people from way back in the third row could hear him crying. Changed so much that 'Umar . That was how hard his heart was. This was 'Umar ! On another occasion. One day. so powerful. This was Umar. but his anger did not allow it a chance to settle in his heart. That was enough to turn him upside down. he also sought refuge from the eyes that do not become full with tears. they would show us that it is Allah who can change the hearts. His attitude towards the Prophet Sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and Islam was so harsh that he set out one day to kill the Prophet. The one thing that we are one hundred per cent certain of — even if we have some doubt as to whether there is really a God. But when he struck his sister and saw the blood. virtually tearing down the door. The Second Way — Remember Death The second way is that we remember the Hereafter. That was the practice those who felt it was a dishonour to have a daughter killed them. a courageous individual. . He slapped her and her husband until blood came from her face. What he had heard before touched his heart. He was surprised and went to his sister's house. On his way. And he changed. He said. How hard his heart had become. And in the same dua. the other companions saw him laughing and then crying. listen to My call and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way"] If we consider the many examples that we have from the lives of the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam and his companions.calleth on Me. it stopped him for a minute. He strapped on his sword and set out. I became so hungry that I ate a piece of it. when he used to lead the prayers. to remember our death. he met another companion who told him to check on his own sister before seeing the Prophet.

'I do not know. This is why . 'Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran). and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and jinns. We don’t have access to it because it never entered our hearts in this life. "Who was the Prophet that was sent to you?". "What is your religion?". the gathering of wealth has deluded them to the realities of life and they only come awake when they end up in their graves. Book 23. but that we will be incapable of answering as part of the degradation of that life.' Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his two ears. Muhammad ? He will say: I testify that he is Allah's slave and His Apostle.e. [At-Takathur 102: "The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things). Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam had said. that we should live lives unconscious of our deaths and thereby be lost in trivialities. "The dead person will see both his places. reflecting on the state of those in the grave (not necessarily of your relatives alone). they will be unable to answer!" [Volume 2. so that the visit may serve as a beneficial reminder. things that are really ultimately not going to benefit us in the next life. So we are encouraged to visit the graves and on that basis. As the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam said. this is not unique to men. bring tears to the eyes. then that knowledge will not benefit us in the next life. "When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their foot steps. and serve as a reminder of the Hereafter."] This is not something we can memorise in preparation for the questions." ["I [once] had forbidden you from visiting graves. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels. "I used to forbid you from visiting the graves in the early part of Islam. but we cannot use the key.' " The Prophet added. Then it will be said to him.But our lives are such that we become so occupied with the things of this life that we forget that we are going to die." (related by Muslim and others)] [Al-Haakim’s version : "… for [such visits] soften the heart. But now I command you to visit them because they serve to remind you of the next life. because it is not a matter of not knowing. If it did not enter our hearts in this life that Allah is our Lord and that Muhammad is our Prophet and that Islam is our religion. Consequently. until ye visit the graves. 'Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. but I used to say what the people used to say! It will be said to him. We know that the answer is the key for the next life. for the benefits that come from visiting he graves is not unique to men." (Sahih al-Jaami' 4584)] To go to the graveyard." There are people in the graves who are calling out for help but there is no one to help. while visiting]. As Allah said. [but be careful] not to speak forbidden expressions [i. "The grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise or a hole from the holes of Hell Fire. [and I now enjoin] you to do so. Number 422: Narrated Anas: The Prophet said. But nay. "Who is your Lord?". When Munkar and Nakir come and ask them. two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you use to say about this man. ye soon shall know the reality…"] This is a fearful statement. Allah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it.

Allah describes those. due to the sensitivity of their nature. who when they reflect on the Hereafter. they were found seeking Allah’s forgiveness. And what happens on the Resurrection. it has the power to soften our hearts. it guides us to Allah and we believe in it and we will set not partners besides Allah. Surah al-Ahqaf 46:29-32] Allah goes on to describe the righteous. That soul that fears Allah is taken in the next life up into the Heavens and the angels of the Heavens will praise it.like water dropping from the spout of a bucket. 57:16. but for the disbelievers. These lead them to get up from their beds at a time when sleep is so sweet. ." This was the case of the ruler of Ethiopia. "They slept little in the night and in the hours before dawn. It will be thrown back into the body." [See Quran.. It affects them in the nights. ". The only thing that will benefit us is to stand before Allah with a healthy heart." They wake up in the night with the remembrance of the life to come — the trials of the grave and the Judgement to come. they saw his eyes fill with tears.some scholars argue that visiting the graves is not prohibited to women. so that they not be like those who received the Scripture before. Methods of Cure: (3) the Qur'an The third way by which we can soften our hearts is the Quran itself. Let us reflect on the process after death. about the jinn who heard the Quran. tearing away. the soul will be barred entrance into the Heavens. when we stand before Allah and answer for each and every deed that we have done. It will return to that body and a Garden from Paradise will be opened up to it and it will lie in that state till Resurrection. when the things that we have in this life will be of no benefit to us. "And if they (this is amongst the Christians) hear what was revealed to the Messenger. Allah states in the Quran.". but to go from time to time as they need the reminder just as men need the reminder..". Hence not regular visits. their hearts became hard. ". are affected. let us reflect on that life to come. Brothers and sisters. but that it is the frequent visits that are prohibited. But for those whose hearts have hardened towards the remembrance of Allah. but in the passage of time. When Muslims sought refuge there and they recited a portion of the Quran. Al-Hadid. when nothing escapes Allah. the process in dying itself — how the souls are taken from the bodies of believers. "Indeed we heard an amazing Quran. Their evil deeds will come before them as a horrible creature and they will suffer torments.. in the Quran. you will see their eyes welling up with tears because of what they know of the truth of what has been brought. "Has not the time come for those who believe for their hearts to fear Allah when they hear the Quran (dhikrullah here is in reference to the Quran) and what truth there is in it. as the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam said.like silk being drawn over thorns.." If we reflect on the Quran. Allah said. And most of them are corrupt. A widow from Hell will be open and the heat will be over them until Resurrection.

It really does not matter if we don’t finish the Quran in Ramadhan. We are entertained by that music. even better! But this is not what the Quran is for. People buy recordings of their favourite reciters for the beauty of their voice… The listening of the Quran has become more of a musical thing. goose bumps come over their skins. Ramadhan is not complete unless we read the whole Quran in Ramadhan. "Will they not reflect on the meanings?" The Quran is a Book of Guidance and it is in the reflection on the meaning of the Quran that we benefit. for us. consistent with itself. "… ghairil maghdoobi ‘alayhim wa la-ddaalleen…" in Surah Al-Fatiha." They changed the Book. "Allah! Allah! Allah!" People making statements in the background as thought it were a pop show! This is not the Quran… Allah tells us. When we hear the Quran. he did not finish the whole Quran in Ramadhan. they are lost. The Christians are without knowledge.] If when we listen to the Quran. For most of the Prophet’s Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam life. We reflect on it… not reading it Ramadhan so we can finish the whole Book and say we finished the Quran in Ramadhan. Every time he tells us something about the Jews. as Allah says of the believers who hear the Quran recited. the only preserved Word of all the revelations that were given from Adam till now. "Call people to righteousness and you forget yourselves. Force ourselves to cry because we need to respond to the Quran in this way. We should be reading it regularly. then we should make ourselves cry. [Quran Az-Zumar 39:23 : Allah has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book. It touches them and causes their heart to tremble. If we don’t. not only leaving it until Ramadhan. the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam explained that al-maghdoob ‘alayhim are the Jews and that ad-daalleen are the Christians.This is how we should be. We should read the Quran believing this is Allah speaking to us. we should not (merely) take it as a piece of information. that the Jews are this and that the Jews are that. because that is what it is. we hear people in the background going. then their skins and hearts do soften to the remembrance of Allah. It is Allah talking to us directly. When Allah said. we don’t find this reaction of tears coming to our eyes. No! Whenever Allah tells us something about the Jews. so much so that when the reciter is reading. We hire reciters to recite the Quran at 99 miles an hour so much so that even Arabic-speaking people cannot figure out where in the Quran the reciter is! This has become the precedence — finishing the Quran in Ramadhan and if you can finish it twice. Most of the companions did not finish the reading of the Quran in Ramadhan. yet repeating (its teaching in various aspects): the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble threat. They think that God is a man! . Allah is angry with the Jews because they KNOW the truth and they don’t act on it. This is the word of God preserved. so that when we hear it. we should reflect on the meanings. we are lost! This is the Word of Allah. we should see in it as a warning to ourselves — that we don’t become like them. for it is very important for us to re-assess how we are dealing with the Quran. The Quran should not become for us a replacement for pop songs that we used to hear before. Those with whom Allah is angry are the Jews and those who have gone astray are the Christians. The Quran is for reflection. Today.

then how can we please Him in anything else? Then. maybe we can’t see how it softens our hearts. Similarly. we have no chance to pray anymore. We may not see it immediately. if we do not find out what it is Allah wants from us. However. we would say "Alhamdulillah!" This is our nature — we would be happy with that. Righteous deeds done sincerely for Allah will soften our hearts. If we do not seek knowledge. but those that our own nafs does not like because they require work and effort. for us. It is something that becomes cumulative. righteous deeds… and the first of the righteous deeds are the one that God commands. It is enough for us to open any part of the Quran to read about them. It is a mistake to go to the things that He did not command us to do and to put all our focus on these areas and leave the primary things that He commanded us to do. We will beg Allah. etc. So we would like not to pray and if someone were to tell us that it is not necessary to pray. We have to remember that the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam told us. has demanded of us. they will ask Allah for another chance to go back and do what Allah has told them to do and more. It is useless. They can hardly wait till they are going to be big and they put a mark on the wall. This is where prayer will benefit us. because in the next life." "Things that we do not like" are not necessarily those things that are evil. We should reflect on it and it should touch us. We like the easy way. the fast. [see Surah Al-A’raf 7:53] . Every time we recite these verses. "Where is the benefit? Where is the change?" The point is that if we keep working at it. Every time we read the "… ghairil maghdoobi ‘alayhim wa la-ddaalleen…". In the initial stages. that the slave of Allah does not come closer to Him except by doing the deeds that He has made compulsory for him. If we have not established 5 times daily prayers on time. The compulsory deeds — the 5 daily prayers. They cannot perceive themselves growing because it is something accumulating within them. wondering when they are going to get up there. it should touch us. sometimes we wonder. There are so many verses throughout the Quran which remind us of the Hereafter. that remind us of the signs of the Day of Judgement. This is the foundation — if we cannot do what Allah has commanded us to do. This is not pleasing God. we will want to pray. Allah is warning us not to be like them — we have the truth. Allah describes those who come before him for judgement: when they see their deeds and they know that they have put themselves in Hell. The Quran speaks about the life to come and to reflect on it. What will they do? Will they argue with Allah and ask why He has put them in Hell? No. but we are not acting according to them.This is a warning to us. "The Hell Fire is veiled by the things that are pleasing to us and Paradise is veiled by the things that we do not like. like a person growing. but we have to stick with it and believe. we should be sad because we can only pray in this life and in the next. It is linked to our second point of visiting the graves and remembering the Hereafter. we have the Scripture. While praying. then we are lost. there will be benefit. In virtually every chapter of the Quran Allah addresses the next life. As the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam told us. Methods of Cure: (4) Good Deeds The fourth way for us to soften our hearts is by way of good deeds. pleasing God is according to ourselves — what is pleasing to us will please God. then it does not matter whatever else we do.

[Bukhary. We just pray that we die with hearts that are soft and fearful. That is a mistake… Our hearts have become hard.e. [Quran. (one of them will be) a person who remembers Allah and his eyes are then flooded with tears. The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam describes those who receive the shade of Allah’s throne on the day when there is no shade: the one who remembers Allah and cries. The sooner we finish. Iman increases and decreases.But Allah will know that they are lying for they would do the same if sent back. a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i. we are not benefiting Allah. and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears." Prayer was considered a time of pleasure but for us it is a burden. He will not send us back with the knowledge that we have then. but we have to keep striving and recognise that this is natural. Book 11. on the Day when there will be no shade but His. a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah. Number 629: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said. "Bilal. a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i. "Allah will give shade. just as if nobody prayed. We have accepted Islam. we are awakened to Islam and we start to practise Islam.e. but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors. If every human being on this earth prayed. give us ease by giving the call to prayer."] .] [Bukhary. Number 486: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said Allah will give shade to seven (types of people) under His Shade (on the Day of Resurrection). to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation). the better so we can get on with our lives. Allah describes the Jews: after all the signs that were given to them. it would not increase or benefit Allah in any way. Volume 1. Our hearts have become hard. Prayer is for OURSELVES. His heart is soft. For if Allah were to send us back.e. their hearts became hard. it would not decrease or affect Allah in any way. worships Allah sincerely from childhood). That is why the Prophet used to say. (These seven persons are) a just ruler. and that they should not become like those to whom was given The Book aforetime. Book 76. to seven. We have to keep struggling and it is in that struggle that ultimately we do taste iman. a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i. but time has passed and our hearts have become hardened. Prayer is for OUR benefit. Volume 8. what the remembrance of Allah should mean in our lives. When we pray."] Prayer is not something that is pleasurable to us. that we do taste what the salah was prescribed for. with the passage of time. Surah Al-Hadid 57:16 : "Has not the time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed to them. The heart hardens and we fight against it and it softens… it is a continual struggle until we die. nobody knows how much he has given in charity). He would send us back just as we were before. two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only.

to reflect on the state of our hearts. we have to fast as it is supposed to be done and the hajj and umrah if we are able. they provide the foundation for the softening of the heart. I ask Allah to put in our hearts softness towards them in the sense that it would guide us to carry the message to them as we should. our brothers and sisters in Islam … even those towards people who are not Muslims. question: what state are we in? to work on our hearts until we have succeeded in softening them. As I said before. our hearts will begin to soften. by the mercy and the grace of Allah. then the hearts cannot become soft. by reading the statements of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam about the next life. In our next prayer tonight. We should read the Quran and do as much as we can of righteous deeds. It is the promise of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam. then we need to make ourselves cry. . our children. We avoid the things that Allah does not want us to see. But we should begin with the things Allah has made compulsory. to read it regularly. we only take what Allah wants us to take. we turn away from them. I ask Allah to give us success to turn back to the Quran. This is the promise of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa sallam. where we see only the things that Allah wants us to see. we have to establish our zakah as it is supposed to be given. let us turn back to Allah and beg him sincerely to soften our hearts and when we do so. As we continue to do these acts and voluntary versions of these acts. We begin that process by turning to Allah. We should establish the salah as Allah prescribed it. Nothing should be too small for us: no good deed is so trivial that we scorn at it. if after doing them we cannot find softness in our hearts. we come closer and closer to Allah. seeking understanding and guidance from it and I ask Allah to give us soft hearts. our parents. until Allah says He becomes the eyes with which we see. We only touch the things Allah wants us to touch. So I pray and I ask Allah to give us all soft hearts. So my brothers and sisters. Whenever we have a moment. The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam had said that greeting our brothers or sisters with a smiling face is sadaqa. I ask you and myself to remember our hearts. hearts that are filled with mercy for the creating of Allah. We should do these things and strive to soften our hearts. We need to force ourselves to cry because until we can let go and let loose those feeling within ourselves. These fundamentals have to be established for the sake of Allah. We should reflect on the next life by visiting the graves and by reading the verses addressing them. we only go to places that Allah wants us to go… If we turn to Allah and we call on Him He will answer our prayer. We should strive to do every good deed. we don’t enjoy them. if we are sincere.So we should not shy away from good deeds for they will help to soften our hearts.

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