https://www.khutbah.info/hardness-of-the-heart/ Indeed, within humans is a small lump of flesh, that is the most wondrous of matters within them, and the most hopeful for reviving them. It is a foundation for their character, but a small part of their body. It has elements of wisdom and the opposites of that. Through its refinement and purity, Allah distinguishes the evil from the good. The body’s righteousness depends upon its rectification and its corruption upon its degradation. Indeed, it is the heart. The hearts of human beings, like other living beings, are essential for life and development. The wise all agree that human hearts may rust as iron rusts, or dry out as udders dry up. Therefore, they need polishing, moistening, and refining, which remove dryness and rust from them, and then the heart becomes soft and tender.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – آل عمران:102
Al Imran 102 : O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
Indeed, within humans is a small lump of flesh, that is the most wondrous of matters within them, and the most hopeful for reviving them. It is a foundation for their character, but a small part of their body. It has elements of wisdom and the opposites of that. Through its refinement and purity, Allah distinguishes the evil from the good. The body’s righteousness depends upon its rectification and its corruption upon its degradation. Indeed, it is the heart.
The hearts of human beings, like other living beings, are essential for life and development. The wise all agree that human hearts may rust as iron rusts, or dry out as udders dry up. Therefore, they need polishing, moistening, and refining, which remove dryness and rust from them, and then the heart becomes soft and tender.
Know that the hardness and harshness of the heart against following the truth is a characteristic of the previous communities and the polytheists. Allah Almighty condemned them for it. Allah Almighty said:
ثُمَّ قَسَتۡ قُلُوبُكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَٱلۡحِجَارَةِ أَوۡ أَشَدُّ قَسۡوَةٗۚ
Al-Baqarah (2) 74: Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder.
And Allah Almighty said:
فَبِمَا نَقۡضِهِم مِّيثَٰقَهُمۡ لَعَنَّٰهُمۡ وَجَعَلۡنَا قُلُوبَهُمۡ قَٰسِيَةٗۖ
Al-Ma’idah (5) 13: So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard.
And Allah Almighty said:
فَوَيۡلٞ لِّلۡقَٰسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِۚ
Az-Zumar (39) 22: So woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah.
As for gentleness and tenderness, they are perfection in a person’s nature, an excellence that elevates them and makes them alive, pulsating with love and compassion.
On the other hand, a hard-hearted person is one who is enslaved by overwhelming deficiency and dominating harshness, and their actions, opinions, and outlooks are controlled by rotten hardness. It suppresses their achievement and throws them off balance. Thus, they drag the troubles of this world and the hereafter with them. For indeed, only the one admiring themselves and their nature is cruel to people.
And no one has been seen being cruel to those below them, except that Allah afflicts them with humiliation from those above them. Not to mention that one of the greatest consequences is that the punished person does not feel the punishment. And even worse is to find joy in what is actually a punishment, like being happy with the hardness of the heart and the ability to commit sins. Malik ibn Dinar, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
No one is afflicted with a punishment greater than hardness of the heart, and Allah does not become angry with a people but He removes mercy from their hearts.
Harshness, does not go away, and what good can it do? Rather, it has nothing but what Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with them, said:
I am not harsh towards those I control and have power over, and I am not harsh towards those I do not control and cannot impact. There is no wealth like gentleness, and no poverty like harshness. And it is not concealed from us that poverty may lead to disbelief (through hopelessness and despair ).
So, I wonder, what drives a person to harden their heart?
Is it an innate nature that the harsh one claims to be their disposition? Certainly not, for Allah Almighty says:
وَإِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ كُلَّهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمْ أَتَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ
Indeed I created My servants with the natural disposition to worship Allah alone without any partners, but the devils led them astray. [Muslim 2865a]
Or is it a shortcoming that one finds within themselves, and then covers it up with harshness and cruelty to deceive themselves?
Or is it envy and spite and vanity? Or is it intoxication like the intoxication of wine? By which it overcomes its drinker until they become intoxicated, and when they become intoxicated, they continue until they becomes addicted?
Whichever it may be, harshness is a despicable trait and a detestable characteristic. It drives the minds of those having it to commit actions that detract from decency. Until the concepts of life turn upside down for those afflicted by it and they say things like, “if you are not a wolf, the wolves will eat you”, and “if you do not act ignorantly, people will act ignorantly towards you”, and “eat others before you are eaten”.
Indeed, the heart becomes hard and harsh in societies filled with clamor, disfunction, and constant levity, overabundance and dazzling blessings, and the abundance of gossip. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
فَإِنَّ كَثْرَةَ الْكَلاَمِ بِغَيْرِ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ قَسْوَةٌ لِلْقَلْبِ
Indeed excessive talk without remembrance of Allah hardens the heart. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2411, Grade: Hasan]
In this manner, the heart becomes indifferent to the pains of the masses, and rejects calls for rectification from living hearts. People, in reality, are only endowed with a soft heart when they experience different situations in life. Then they feel the loneliness of the orphan, feel compassion for the wronged, feel the loss of the bereaved, and feel the hardship of the afflicted. A man complained to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about the hardness of his heart, and he ﷺ said:
امسحْ رأسَ اليتيمِ، وأَطْعِمِ المسكينَ
Wipe the head of an orphan and feed the poor. [Albani (Hidayat alruwa) 4930, Grade: Sahih]
Some people have followed the path of hardness of the heart, thus neglecting the Book of Allah Almighty. Their hearts do not tremble when it is recited, as if their hearts were made of solid rock, and they turned away. And people are between going forward and backwards. Lessons are recited, and examples are heard and recited. However, it enters one ear and exits the other, except for those whom Allah has mercy upon. To the point that the hearts have died while alive, and lived as if they were not worth mentioning. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, said:
Allah expected patience from the hearts of the believers, and then reproached them after thirteen years from the revelation of the Quran with His words:
أَلَمۡ يَأۡنِ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَن تَخۡشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمۡ لِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُواْ كَٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ مِن قَبۡلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡأَمَدُ فَقَسَتۡ قُلُوبُهُمۡۖ وَكَثِيرٞ مِّنۡهُمۡ فَٰسِقُونَ
Al-Hadid (57) 16: Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient.
What are thirteen years since the revelation of the Quran compared to fifteen centuries of time? Indeed, the gap is vast, and the hardness is more severe.
Thus, people shall be conscious of their Lord, and not allow hardness to find a place in their heart, for tenderness comes with being gentle, and kindness with being kind. And the period of inattentiveness does not matter for the one who has awakened if their intention is sincere and their resolve is firm. In the past it was said, that water, even if it is heated for a long time, still extinguishes a fire if it is poured on it. May Allah have mercy on a person with a praiseworthy path, a pure inner self, who has erased the mark of hardness and has been relieved of it, and spared from the suffering of its pain. There is no clearer or more wonderful example than someone who experienced both states, in ignorance and in Islam. Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
Know that this sternness has multiplied, but it is only towards those who wrong and transgress against Muslims. As for the people of peace, faith, and moderation, I am softer to them than some of them are to each other. I will not allow anyone to wrong or transgress against another until I put his cheek on the ground and place my foot on their other cheek, until he submits to the truth. And after my sternness, I would put my cheek on the ground for the people of modesty and austerity.
Allah Almighty said:
مُّحَمَّدٞ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُۥٓ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى ٱلۡكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيۡنَهُمۡ-الفتح 29
Al-Fath (48) 29: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.
أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin. So seek forgives from Him, Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ , وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَاْ إِلَهَ إِلَّاْ اَللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَاْشَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
There is nothing more comforting for a believer, more dispelling of their worries, or more pleasing to their eyes than living with a tender heart, not a hard one, cleared from the stains of malice and the chaos of harshness. For the hardness of the heart is a tiring disease, and at the same time, it is a fair disease, afflicting the hard-hearted to the extent that they harshly treat others. How quickly faith seeps away from the hard heart, as liquid seeps from a cracked vessel. Abdullah ibn Amr, may Allah be pleased with them, reported: It was asked, O Messenger of Allah, who are the best people? He ﷺ replied:
كُلُّ مَخْمُومِ الْقَلْبِ صَدُوقِ اللِّسَانِ ” . قَالُوا صَدُوقُ اللِّسَانِ نَعْرِفُهُ فَمَا مَخْمُومُ الْقَلْبِ قَالَ ” هُوَ التَّقِيُّ النَّقِيُّ لاَ إِثْمَ فِيهِ وَلاَ بَغْىَ وَلاَ غِلَّ وَلاَ حَسَدَ.
Everyone who is pure of heart and sincere in speech. They said: Sincere in speech, we know, but what is pure of heart? He said: It is (the heart) that is pious and pure, with no sin, injustice, rancor or envy in it. [Sunan Ibn Majah 4216, Grade: Sahih]
Indeed, one whose heart is tender is authentic in opinion, high in resolve, lofty in purpose, instilling in themselves the spirit of dignity, the refusal of injustice, and love for both the near and the far. And whoever has a hard heart is ill-natured, low in aspiration, gloomy, narrow-minded, greedy, leading others to the depths of disgrace, and their eyes are veiled with ignorance and foolishness, and the result is overwhelming wretchedness and despair that destroys the heart. And the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
وَإِنَّ أَبْعَدَ النَّاسِ مِنَ اللَّهِ الْقَلْبُ الْقَاسِي
And indeed the furthest of people from Allah is the hard-hearted. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2411, Grade: Hasan]
O Allah, we seek refuge in You from a heart that does not humble itself, from a supplication that is not heard, from a soul that is not satisfied, and from knowledge that does not benefit. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.
هَذَا وَصَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى نَبِيِّكُم كَمَا أَمَرَكُمْ بِذلِكَ رَبُّكُمْ , فَقَالَ
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Al Ahzaab (33) 56: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لَنا خَيْرًا
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
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