How to Soften the Hardened Hearts – Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen
A young woman says that she has been practising [the religion] for about a year and she thanks Allah for that, but [she says]: My heart is in a constant state of change and alteration. Sometimes I notice strength in my Eemaan [faith] and a [strong] concern for the prayer with humility and a love for good. And sometimes this strength is diminished and I notice hardness in my heart. I do not remain in a single state, to the extent that I have started to fear for my [practice of the] religion. And I fear that I may return
to my old ways. And I notice that my Eemaan has started to gradually decrease. O noble Shaikh! Direct me [to something] that can strengthen my Eemaan and supplicate for me [to be] guided and [to be] steadfast upon the truth. May Allah reward you with good.
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen:
We ask Allah for guidance for ourselves and her and for steadfastness upon the Truth. Indeed, a person is only human and [his state] changes in accordance to what is his heart is exposed to; what his eyes look at and his ears listen to. However, it is incumbent upon the believer to always beseech Allaah [The Most High] for guidance and to act on the means that will make his Eemaan firm, such as constantly paying attention to the fact that Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] is ever watchful over you; remembering Him a lot with the heart, tongue, the limbs, recitation of the Qur’an with reflection and pondering over it; for indeed, recitation of the Qur’an in this manner softens the heart and increases its Eemaan; and also by often mixing with the good and righteous people -those who will aid [a person] when he becomes weak and remind him when he forgets.
Most importantly is that one constantly asks Allaah [The Most High] for steadfastness, such as saying: “O Allaah! Turner of the hearts, keep my heart firm upon Your religion. O Allaah! Turner of the hearts, turn my heart to Your obedience” and [other] similar supplications. You will then find good in this, if Allaah [The Most High] wills; but however, neither be negligent nor lose hope of Allaah’s Mercy. One should not look back to what has passed of [one’s] disobedience to Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – but he should look forward to the obedience, the good and the great reward [that lies ahead] for the one who obeys Allaah.