Very 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

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).

There are a number of symptoms of the sickness of weak faith, including the following:

1) Falling into sin and committing haraam deeds: there are some sinners who commit a sin and persist in it, and some who commit many kinds of sin. When a person commits many sins, sin becomes a habit which he gets used to, and then he no longer feels that it is abhorrent. He gradually reaches a stage where he commits the sin openly.

2) Due to excessiveness and squandering: This happens by giving ones soul whatever it desires of food, speech, sleep and other such matters which the soul makes its owner aspire for, what it cannot do without and what it loves.

3) Being ignorant and heedless of Allâh’s remembrance: Shaytân exhausts himself in gaining mastery over the soul so that he can prevent it from Allâh’s remembrance. The one who remembers Allâh is in a strong fortress, protected from Shaytân as long as he does not forget or become heedless. Whoever becomes heedless, he will open up a small gap for the enemy by which he can get to him and then penetrate into his soul and whisper to it. This is why there is a strong encouragement and recommendation for making the various supplications and reciting portions of the Qur’aan during every moment and in every place until they become a sanctuary and a preventive measure for the one who uses them.

4) Running away from some acts of worship: The soul runs away often from some acts of worship because they are amongst the things it does not desire. This continues due to certain causes prevent a person from desiring these acts of worship. Amongst them are laziness in performing acts of worship (such as prayer) and the love of sleep. As a result, the opportunity to perform much worship passes him by. It can also occur due to miserliness. A person will not give the obligatory charity or other things which are required of him so that they become endeared to the soul and the soul begins to aspire for them after it had been fleeing from them.


It’s cure is patience by denying our souls its need and desire in its entirety. We should not be extravagant and excessive in giving it food, sleep and other such delights and pleasures. When we shuts this door, against our own souls and against Shaytân we will acquire peace and security. We may achieve this by doing the followings:

1) FASTING: Door of fasting has been opened and we have been urged to fast. Even voluntary fasting has been strongly encouraged. Fasting puts an end to the desire and excessive eating. Thus Islam has encouraged fasting and made it beloved to its adherents.

2) TAHAJJUD PRAYER: Attachment to the night prayer prevents a person from excessive sleep. A person will strive against his soul and wage war against it in order to pray during the night and fast during the day. He will continue in this until his soul submits and humbles itself to these acts of worship.

3) SPEAK GOOD OR KEEP QUITE: It is also, from the wisdom of Islâm that urges the Muslim to be silent unless he has something beneficial to say. The Messenger of Allâh said: ‘Whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.’ Perhaps, due to his excessive speaking and shouting he will not be on his guard from the danger of falling into backbiting, lying, slandering and other such matters.

4) ADHKAR: Supplications for the evening, the morning, for entering into the house and leaving it, for sleeping and awakening and so on.

5) REMEBRANCE OF ALLAH: With the abundant remembrance of Allâh a preventive barrier is set up against every destructive lust or transgressing desire.

6) BEING PATIENT IN ALLAH’S OBEDIENCE: Turning to Allâh, making continuous du‘â (supplication) to Allâh and requesting His help in this act of obedience to Him, this matter will be made easy for us. And Allâh will lighten our burden for us until these acts (of worship) are beloved to the soul.

7) REFRAINING FROM ALLAH’S DISOBEDIENCE: This means that a person holds his soul to account in order to make himself distant from falling into disobedience.

All of this cannot occur except after fighting and struggling against the soul. We will find ourselves in many trials and intense battles along with our capability of avoiding such actions. This means that even though we are in need and capable of fasting, will not fast due to following our whims and even though we are capable we will not pray and as a result please our desires and our souls which commands the evil.

However, we find that another person fasts voluntarily, although he is not in need of fasting voluntarily (to curb his desires) and neither does his soul aspire towards fasting. Yet he still declares war upon his soul and fights against it (with fasting and prayer) so that he makes it do what he desires and not let it make him do what it commands and desires.

Therefore, patience when accompanied with performing those actions upon which the soul perseveres is considered the greatest and most perfect form of patience as Ibn Taymiyyah (rh) has explained. And Ibn al-Qayyim (rh) said: “Verily, having patience in obedience (to Allâh) occurs by performing an act of obedience, then guarding it and being persistent in (performing) it.”

May Allah make us amongst those who are patient in being continuous in performing the righteous actions and grant us the highest of positions, to the pleasure of Allâh and to everlasting happiness. Ameen.

Zakia Usmani

Adapted with slight modifications from a translation by Abû Iyâd Amjad Rafîq



Hasad is a desire that a blessing, or a cause of happiness, may depart from its possessor and become transferred to oneself. Hasad is cancerous in its effect and leads to hatred, animosity, as well as ill-feeling and often further disobedience towards Allah. It is condemned in many ahadith. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wassallam said, ‘Envy eats away good deeds like fire eats away wood.’ (Abu Daud and al-Tirmidhi).

Some of the causes of hasad are as follows:

1) Enmity and hatred: This is the one of the severest cases of envy because when a person has hatred and enmity in his heart for someone animosity begins to settle in his heart. This animosity needs to be treated and causes the person to desire revenge. If he is unable to get some sort of revenge, this animosity turns into envy: the person yearns for his enemy to lose any blessings that he has.

2) Low Self-Esteem: This type of envy originates whenever someone else is blessed with goodness the person feels inferior and this inferiority leads him to desire the blessings be removed from the other person.

3) Pride and Arrogance: This is when a person sees another succeeding beyond him and considers this person unworthy of this blessing. He is proud, thinks himself better and more deserving and wishes that the blessings be removed from his possession.

4) Astonishment: This is when people are amazed and astonished that others are distinguished from them, and the question how someone like them can receive a blessing that they do not have.

5) Fearing of losing one’s own aims: This usually in the case when a number of people seek a common goal. In that situation each party is envious of another when the other party is blessed with something that helps to achieve the common goal. If rival gains something for the common purpose, then one get jealous as they see this as compromising their own goal.

6) Love of leadership and status: The person who is very talented in his field, who is accustomed to praise, compliments and flattery will find it difficult not to envy other who is up-and-coming in his field. As such, he will be saddened to hear of him being praised or esteemed and will wish this blessing removed from him. His love of recognition and a fear of losing this is sufficient cause for envy.

7) Impurity in the soul: An impure soul rejoices at the calamities of others and regrets their blessings. This person is miserly with regards to Allah’s provisions and blessings, and his attitude is one which implies that the bounty, on others, diminishes Allah’s provision for him; he forgets that Allah favors’ whom He wills, without measure and that others cannot limit that which decreed for him already.

In reality when a person is envious of another, he is actually doubting the wisdom of Allah SWT and questioning His decision. This is because, ultimately, it is Allah who decided which favors’ to bestow on which people.

“O you who envies the blessings I have
Do you know whom you have wronged?
You have wronged Allah for His decision,
By not being pleased with the gift He has given.

May Allah SWT protect us from this severe disease.

Zakia Usamani

Ref: “Heart Therapy” by Sheikh Abu Abdissalam



Assalamu Alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

My friends when things become unbearable, turn to Allah.

Ibn al-Jawzi said: “Something was causing me a great deal of grief and distress, and I started to think long and hard about how to get out of this situation by any means, but I could not find any way out. Then I came across this verse:

“… And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out [ of every difficulty]”. Surah Talaq 65:2

I realized that taqwa (piety, fearing Allah) is the way out of every kind of grief and distress. As soon as I followed the path of taqwa, I found the way out.”

Taqwa is the way that leads to everything good, for calamity happens only as the result of sin and it can only be lifted through repentance. Sadness, grief and worry are punishments for sins that we have committed, by falling short in our prayers, or backbiting about someone, or taking sin lightly, or committing haram action. Whoever disobeys Allah has to pay the price for that shortcoming. Staying away from the guidance of Allah only brings misery and deprives one from His blessings. It will turn our knowledge, beauty, strength and intelligence into a calamity and loss.
Turning to Allah requires a person to renew himself, reorganize his life, and develop a better relationship with Allah and do better deeds and recite this dua often:

“Allahumma anta rabbi la ilaha illa anta. Khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika ma istata’tu. A’udhu bika min sharri ma sana’ta. Abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘alayya wa abu’u bi dhanbi faghfir li fa innahu la yaghfiru adh-dhunuba illa anta.”

“O Allah, You are my Lord and there is no god but You. You created me and I am Your slave. And I am trying my best to keep my oath (of faith) to You and to live in the hope of Your promise. I seek refuge in You from my greatest evil-deeds. I acknowledge Your blessings upon me and I acknowledge my sins. So forgive me, for none but You can forgive sins.”

“Thankfulness, remembrance, and patience, in them are blessings and rewards.”

With best wishes
Zakia Usmani