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!
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.
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
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!
The quickest way to destroy the heart is to let the gaze wander. Don’t blame the opposite gender and take responsibility for your own actions.