بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ibn Al-Qayyim – rahimahu Allah – said:

The greatest cause of alleviating the chest is tawheed. In accordance to the degree of its perfection, strength and increase does the person’s chest proportionately experience that alleviation. Allah The Most High has said:

﴿أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلإسْلامِ فَهُوَ عَلَى نُورٍ مِّنْ رَبِّه﴾ [الزمر: 22]

Can he whose chest Allah has opened up to Islam and who is thus upon a light from his Lord (be likened to one who is not like that)? [Az-Zumar: 22]

And He – The Most High – said:

﴿فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلإسْلاَمِ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَـيِّقًا حَرَجاً كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ﴾ [الأنعام: 125]

Thus, whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his chest to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, He causes his chest to become strait and constricted, as if he is being raised into the sky. [Al-An’aam: 125]

Therefore, guidance and tawheed are among the greatest of causes in alleviating the chest. Whereas polytheism and misguidance are among the greatest of causes in constraining and discomforting the chest.

Source: Ibn Al-Qayyim, Zaad Al-Ma’aad, Chapter: Concerning the causes of alleviating the chest, [of which] complete and perfect acquisition belongs to him [i.e. the Messenger] ﷺ

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