Try to spend at least ten minutes (at first) a day reading about the next life, the heart, and other beneficial topics for the heart. Doing this is extremely valuable for our hearts which are full of diseases; loving worldly things too much, hardness of the heart, filthy desires and arrogance.
Start today and have some private time with Allah. The Prophet (saw) would also do this.
How many of us put emphasise on our exterior whilst totally neglecting the interior! Our hearts are full of jealousy, envy, arrogance and self amazement! The heart is a Science just like studying Fiqh, Usool, Hadith and others. Yet, how few of us study the heart in our times!
Some scholars have said that studying the heart is a lost science! Few teach it and from them, even fewer know it themselves.
“It is a grave mistake for a person to gain knowledge, and not increase in worship. Ibn Kathir (rh) said, ‘I do not know of anybody in this day and age who would worship Allah more than Ibn al-Qayyim. For this reason, his knowledge remained.
Shaykhul Islam ibn Tayymiyah (rh) would sit after Fajr doing dhikr until the sun had risen high, approximately four hours.
Every student who wants his name (legacy) to remain after his demise, should worship Allah. Through your attachment and worship of Allah, He will bless your knowledge after your death accordingly. Otherwise, your knowledge will end in the grave.”
It was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Whoever would like to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim, let him regularly perform these prayers when the call for them is given, for they are among the ways of guidance. Allah has prescribed for your Prophet ways of guidance, and if you pray in your homes, as the one who stays away from the prayers prays in his home, then you will have abandoned the way of your Prophet, and if you abandon the way of your Prophet you will go astray.
There is no man who purifies himself and does it well, then he goes to one of these mosques, but for every step he takes Allah will record for him one hasanah (good deed) and will raise him thereby one degree in status and will erase for him one sayi’ah (bad deed). I saw us (at the time of the Prophet (saw)) and no one stayed behind from these prayers except a hypocrite who was known for his hypocrisy. A man would come supported by two others so that he could stand in the row.
If someone has more focus in their optional prayers than in their obligatory prayers.
The hypocrites built a masaajid in the time of the Prophet (saw), yet they were exposed. Don’t be someone who lives one life at home with music, movies, bad language, a gangster type attitude and other sins, yet in front of the people in public shows a pious face. Allah will expose such a person and these sins will slip out.
One of the greatest deficiencies of the self is to be pleased with oneself and content with oneself. One of the righteous of the past said, someone who doesn’t accuse himself at all times, and doesn’t go against his desires, has been misled.
The one who looks at himself and his actions and is pleased and sees no room for improvement, then he has destroyed himself.