Pay Attention to Your Heart

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.

Praising Others and Being Humble

Some people go overboard when praising others and sometimes praise them for things which they haven’t done and at times over exaggerating what they have done.

This could lead to arrogance and pride and be a means to their destruction.

This could be shown when a person stays quiet when they are praised rather than telling them to stop praising you. This also occurs when someone wants to have titles before their name and they get upset if they don’t have them. This isn’t a good sign.

Let us hide our good deeds and humble ourselves like the righteous of the past.

If you are praised by others, read this du’a:

What to say when a Muslim is praised: اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنِي بِمَا يَقُولُونَ، وَ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ [وَ اجْعَلْنِي خَيْرًا مِمَّا يَظُنُّونَ

Allaahumma laa tu’aakhithnee bimaa yaqooloona, waghfir lee maa laa ya’lamoona [waj’alnee khayram-mimmaa yadhunnoon].

O Allah, do not call me to account for what they say and forgive me for what they have no knowledge of [and make me better than they imagine].

Al-Bukhari, Al-‘Adabul-Mufrad no. 761. See Al-Albani, Sahih Al-‘Adabul-Mufrad (no. 585). The portion between brackets is from Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab Al-Iman 4/228, and comes another account

Work on Your Heart

It doesn’t matter if you pray Qiyaam ul Layl every night, finish the Qur’an every month and fast every week, it doesn’t mean that your heart will be free from hasad (envy).

When you hear someone’s name mentioned due to something and you feel something in your heart, or you see someone with something and feel something in your heart, know this is a sign of envy.

Internal problems are more problematic than external ones. This an epidemic in our times. Someone might have a beard or a thobe and a sister might have a niqaab or hijab and yet their hearts are full of envy.

When you feel this way, repent to Allah and make du’a for the person you felt envy towards!

What the Heart Needs

As mentioned by one of the scholars of the past, the heart is in need of:

  • That which will protect its strength and that is emaan and acts of obedience.
  • Protection from harm and evil and that is avoiding sins and that which will affect the heart.
  • And to be free from corruption and evil which have afflicted it and that is through tawbah and istighfaar.

What Does It Mean to Be Humble?

Abdullah al Tustari said that Shaytaan can’t come near the one whose heart is humble. Another scholar mentioned that humility is to restrain your eyes.

The scholars of the past agreed that humility is in the heart and not with a downcast appearance, lowered gaze and slumped shoulders.

It has also been said humility is a feebleness that enters one’s heart when one contemplates one’s Lord.