Sufyân ibn Dinâr said: I have said to Abi Bishr, tell me of the actions of those who were before us. He said: They were doing little but rewarded greatly. I said: Why so? For the purity and soundness of their hearts, he replied.
Ibn Qayyim (rh) mentions that there’s an alienation in the heart, which doesn’t go except when sitting alone and pondering.
There’s also a sadness in the heart which doesn’t go until one knows Allah and loves Him.
There’s a fire of regret in the heart, which doesn’t go except by embracing His Decree with patience, His Commandments and His Prohibitions.
And if a person was given this entire world and everything in it, this would never fill the void.
From the signs that a heart is alive, as mentioned by ibn al Qayyim (rh):
- The heart constantly nags at the person until they return to Allah
- It flees from the dunya and to the Aakhirah
- If it falls short in something, it hurts the heart and it feels pain, whether it was missing a prayer in the Musjid and so on.
Check your heart. Is it alive or dead?
Al Nawawi (rh), quoting someone else, said that the heart needs to be cultivated for knowledge, just as the earth needs to be prepared for cultivation.
The earth is cultivated through planting, watering and being taken care of for a long period of time! So, what about the hearts!
- A hard heart
- Eyes that don’t shed tears for the sake of Allah
- Lots of hope with little action
- Eager to attain the world
If your heart isn’t penetrated when listening to the Qur’an or reciting it, do istighfar and make du’a as it’s an extremely bad sign.
Ibn Rajab (rh) mentioned, that which raised the people of the past wasn’t their outward actions only, rather the attention they paid to their heart. Sometimes it’s a feeling, sometimes it’s something which can’t be read and learned through books but the main thing is spending time on it and working out one’s heart.