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.
Try to spend, at least, half an hour a day reading about the next life, the heart, and beneficial topics for the heart. Some people spend more than two hours a day doing this.
This activity is extremely beneficial for our hearts, which are full of diseases like loving worldly things too much, hardness, filthy desires and arrogance.
Have some private time with Allah. the Prophet (saw) would do this too.
When you hear a swear word come out, lewd and filthy remarks and the like, then know that this shows some deficiency in the heart. The people of Jannah are guided to the best of speech; showing their clean hearts.
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.
Ali (ra) said, whoevers exterior is given more effort than their interior, his scales will be light on the last Day and whoevers interior is given more effort than their exterior, will have heavy scales on the Last Day.
Meaning, a person needs to clean their heart as everyone has a past and remnants of it such as arrogance, pride, showing off, boasting and so on and these are from the greatest of sins!
Before you go to bed, think of all the people that have hurt you or offended you, and forgive them. It takes a lot, but this is a quick way to clean one’s heart!
Ibn Qudaamah (Rahimahullah) mentions that the highest level of fear is to fear a barrier being placed between the slave and Allah and this is the fear of those that have knowledge.
He also mentions that there is a difference between the one that fears the Hellfire and the one that fears Allah Himself, with the latter being of a higher level!
He also mentions that the greatest fear they had was that emaan would be taken away from them before their death! And they feared that they would be tested with kufr.
One of the main reasons for a person to be tested with kufr before he dies is if he was involved in innovations when he was alive!