Sub-Index for: Personal Improvement

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I feel that I have a hard heart. I do not feel humility before my Lord, though I am constant in my prayers and strive to perform righteous deeds. What can I do?

Answered by

Amal bint Fadl al-Jamîl, professor at al-Imâm Islamic University
It is good that you are concerned about cultivating your humility before your Creator. Achieving this goal takes a lot of personal effort and inward struggle. It requires getting control over your heart.

The followings are some of the ways that humility before Allah can be cultivated in our hearts:

1. We need to cleanse our hearts from enmity and arrogance and from looking down upon others. When negative feelings take hold of our hearts, they taint our hearts and keep us from experiencing humility.

2. We need to engage in deeper contemplation. We need to think deeply about what the Qur’ân tells us. We should also ponder Creation, and recognize the evidence therein about the greatness of the Creator. We should reflect deeply about our lives and the experiences that we have. Indeed, contemplating upon our lives endows our inner beings with a sense of awe before our Lord, and this helps us to attain humility.

3. We should strive to be truly sincere in our actions. We should be vigilant not to seek worldly praise or recognition for the things we should be doing to please Allah. Any tendency to show off to other people takes us further from humility.

4. We need to be honest. We should avoid lying, since dishonesty hardens the heart.

5. We need to avoid sin. Each time we sin, it is like a black spot upon our hearts. When these spots accumulate, the heart becomes hardened and corrupted.

6. We should give help to those who are in need, like the poor, the orphans, and the indigent. This will soften our hearts. Indeed, Allah may reward us by blessing us with humility and purity of spirit.

7. We need to beseech Allah in supplication, and seek refuge with Him from a heart that knows no humility, from eyes unable to cry, and from supplications that go unanswered.

I ask Allah to purify our hearts, and to bless us to experience the pleasure and peace of true humility before Him.