[Extract from Shaykh Muhammad Salih al Munajjid's book, Weakness of Iman Its Signs of Weakness, Causes and Cures.]
All Praise is due to Allaah. We praise Him, seek his help, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evil of our souls, and the adverse consequences of our deeds. Whoever Allaah guides, there is none that can misguide, and whoever He allows to be misguided, then none can guide him.
I bear witness and testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except for Allaah; He is alone, having no partners. I bear witness and testify that Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, is His slave and worshipper.
The phenomenon of weak faith has become very widespread among Muslims, and many people complain about the hardness of their hearts. So often we hear the words, “I feel hardness in my heart,” “I do not find any joy in worship,” “I feel that my faith has hit rock bottom,” “Reading Qur’aan does not move me,” “I fall into sin so easily.” The effects of this affliction can be seen in many people, and this problem is the cause of every disaster and adversity.
The issue of people’s hearts is an important and sensitive issue. The heart is called qalb in Arabic because it changes so quickly and frequently (taqallub – alteration, variation, ups and downs). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The heart (qalb) takes its name from its constant changes (taqallub). The likeness of the heart is that of a feather at the root of a tree, being turned over and over by the wind.” (Reported by Ahmad, 4/408; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2364).
According to another report:
“The likeness of the heart is that of a feather in an empty plot of land, being blown over and over by the wind.” (Reported by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim in Kitaab al-Sunnah. No. 227. Its isnaad is saheeh, see Zilaal al-Jannah fi Takhreej al-Sunnah by al-Albaani, 1/102).
Man’s heart changes constantly, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described:
“The heart of the son of Adam changes more quickly than a pan of rapidly boiling water.” (Ibid., no. 226. Its isnaad is saheeh: Zilaal al-Jannah, 1/102), According to another report: “It changes more than a pot of rapidly boiling water.” (Reported by Ahmad, 6/4; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 5147).
Allaah is the One Who turns hearts around and controls them. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas reported that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say:
“The hearts of the children of Adam are as one between the fingers of the Most Merciful, and He turns them in whatever way He wills.” Then he said: “O Allaah, Controller of the hearts, direct our hearts to obey You.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2654).
Allaah tells us that:
“… Allaah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e., He prevents an evil person from deciding anything)…” [al-Anfaal 8:24 – interpretation of the meaning]
No one will be saved on the Day of Resurrection
“except him who brings to Allaah a clean heart [free from shirk and hypocrisy].” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:89 – interpretation of the meaning]
“those whose hearts are hardened” [al-Hajj 22:53 – interpretation of the meaning]
The promise of Paradise is for those
“who feared the Most Beneficent (Allaah) in the Unseen, (i.e., in the worldly life, before seeing and meeting Him), and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him).” [Qaaf 50:33 – interpretation of the meaning].
So the believer must check his heart, find out the nature and cause of the problem, and start treating it straight away, before it overwhelms him and destroys him. The matter is of the utmost seriousness, for Allaah has warned us against the heart that is hardened, closed, sick, blind and sealed.
Over the course of the month articles will be released dealing with the symptoms of weak faith, what causes it and how it may be treated. We ask Allaah to soften our hearts and guide us. He is our Protector, He is sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.