Praise be to Allaah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allaah guides, none can lead astray, and whomever Allaah leaves astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. “O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims), with complete submission to Allaah.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:102 – interpretation of the meaning].
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife (Hawwa), and from them both he created many men and women, and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allaah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [al-Nisa’ 4:1 – interpretation of the meaning]
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e., he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [al-Ahzaab 33:70-71 – interpretation of the meaning].
The phenomenon of weak faith has become very widespread among Muslims, and many people complain about the hardness of their hearts. So 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). According to another report: “The likeness of the heart is that of a feather in an empty plot of land, being blown over and over by the wind.” (Reported by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim in Kitaab al-Sunnah. No. 227. Its isnaad is saheeh, see Zilaal al-Jannah fi Takhreej al-Sunnahby al-Albaani, 1/102).
Man’s heart changes constantly, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described: “The heart of the son of Adam changes more quickly than a pan of rapidly boiling water.” (Ibid., no. 226. Its isnaad is saheeh: Zilaal al-Jannah, 1/102), According to another report: “It changes more than a pot of rapidly boiling water.” (Reported by Ahmad, 6/4; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 5147).
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).
Allaah tells us that:
“… Allaah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e., He prevents an evil person from deciding anything)…” [al-Anfaal 8:24 – interpretation of the meaning]
no one will be saved on the Day of Resurrection “except him who brings to Allaah a clean heart [free from shirk and hypocrisy].” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:89 – interpretation of the meaning]
“those whose hearts are hardened” [al-Hajj 22:53 – interpretation of the meaning] are doomed
and the promise of Paradise is for those “who feared the Most Beneficent (Allaah) in the Unseen, (i.e., in the worldly life, before seeing and meeting Him), and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him).” [Qaaf 50:33 – interpretation of the meaning].
So the believer must check his heart, find out the nature and cause of the problem, and start treating it straight away, before it overwhelms him and destroys him. The matter is of the utmost seriousness, for Allaah has warned us against the heart that is hardened, closed, sick, blind and sealed.
There follows a discussion of the symptoms of weak faith, what causes it and how it may be treated. I ask Allaah to benefit me and my Muslim brothers through this work, and to richly reward all those who have played a part in producing this book, for He is the One Whom we ask to soften our hearts and guide us. He is our Protector, He is sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.