*This list not compiled by me. What I do a lot of times is when I listen to lectures, I write it all out so it’s easier for me to remember and for me to share with others, so they can benefit and share with others. So this is from a lecture by Sheikh Adnan Abdul Qadir in Arabic and translated by Muhammad Tim Humble.
If we know what causes hardness of the heart then what are the things that causes softness of the heart?
1. Tawheed Of Allah SWT
You have your heart attached to Allah SWT alone. That you love Allah SWT with the most complete and perfect form of love and you love Him more than any of His creation. You lower yourself before Him completely. Allah SWT says: “Whoever Allah wishes to guide, He opens his chest to Islam and the one who He wishes to misguide he makes his chest constricted and compressed.” And Allah SWT says: “As for the one who Allah SWT expanded his chest to accept Islam He is upon a light from His lord.” So woe to those who are hard hearted from the lack of remembrance of Allah. Therefore the first thing is, you worship Allah SWT alone. That you have complete love for Him and complete humility and submission to Him.
2. Frequently Read The Quran
You read and listen to the Quran and especially you listen to the Quran with a beautiful voice. Allah SWT says: “And whoever turns away from my remembrance, indeed he will have a hard life.” and Allah SWT says: “Allah sent down the best speech and a book which is similar to others.” The skin of those people who listen to it, tingles from the remembrance of Allah. You ask Allah SWT to make the Quran the spring of your heart and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) used to make this du’aa (supplication). “O, Allah, I am your slave. The son of your slave. The son of your female slave. My forelock is in your hands. Your decree must apply to it. Your decree to me is just. I ask you by every name that is yours, that you have named yourself or sent down in one of your books or taught to one of your slaves or kept in the knowledge of the unseen with you, that you make the Quran the spring of my heart and the light of my chest and the thing that causes my sadness to go away. The cause of my sadness and worry to go away.” The difference between sadness is what has already passed and worries is of the future, of yet to come. For this reason, you ask Allah SWT to fill your heart with the Quran. Listen to the Quran being recited with a beautiful voice. Pray behind an imam who has a nice voice. At night before you goto sleep, listen to the Quran in a beautiful voice. When you are driving, listen to the Quran with a beautiful voice.
3. Doing A Lot Of Repentance
Repent to Allah SWT for your sins because this has to cleanse your heart and do a lot of istigfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness). As Noah (Peace Be Upon Him) said to his people: “Seek the repentance of your Lord, indeed He is oft forgiving. He will send down rain upon the sky time after time and He will make for you gardens. And He will make for you rivers.” What is the matter with you, that you don’t come back and repent to Allah? So by doing a lot of seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT, your heart will become soft again. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) in a single sitting would seek Allah’s forgiveness 70 times. This doesn’t take up any of your time. Say, O Allah, accept my repentance, O Allah, accept my repentance. If you say it 70 times it doesn’t even take you a minute. Say Allah Humma Firli 100 times, you will feel the sweetness of this in your heart.
4. Your Attachment Of Allah SWT
Look for the things that will make you love and make you attached to Allah SWT. Think about the attributes and names of Allah, until you love Him. Come to know who Allah is, so you love Him. Think about the blessings and bounties of Allah SWT, until you come to love Him so there is no doubt, that the more that you do so, the softer your heart will become.
5. A Great Deal Of Remembrance Of Allah
Allah SWT says: “Whoever turns away from my remembrance, he will have a very restricted life.” So try do your azkhar after the prayer, try to do them in the morning and evening. Try to do your zkhir before you goto sleep. Try to do your zkhir when you wake up from your sleep. You will find the sweetness of this in your heart.
6. Being Good To Others
Exactly of the opposite of how your heart becomes hard. Give a lot of charity to people, especially to those in need, the orphan person. Allah SWT mentions in Surah Al-Hadid: “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?” Then Allah SWT says: “And who is that will loan Allah a goodly loan?” So you feel like you’ve taken a difficulty away from your brother. For this reason the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) says in the hadith of Bukhari & Muslim. “The example of a stingy person who gives in charity, is like the example of two men. They are both wearing armour made out of metal. Every time the person who intends to give charity, this armour becomes a little wider until it becomes big and goes all over his clothes. Until it gets to a point, where he will be dragging his clothes on the floor. Every time the stingy person intends to give charity, there is no leeway in it, everything stays in its place and it stays constricted. It doesn’t open up for him.”
7. Seek Knowledge
Come close to Allah SWT by learning the Shariah (laws of Allah) and Allah SWT will come close to you. Allah SWT says in hadith Al-Qudsi: “Whoever remembers me to himself, I remember him to myself. And whoever remembers me in a gathering, I remember him in a gathering that is better than that. And whoever comes closer to me by a hand span, I come closer to him by a forearm. And whoever comes closer to me by a forearm, I come closer to him by a full hands length. And whoever comes to me walking, I come to him running.”
8. Doing A Lot Of Good Deeds
Do a lot of optional prayers. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) whenever he was upset with something, he would rush to the prayer. Do a lot of Qiyam Al Layl, prayer at night. Trying to make sure you always pray witr. Try to wake up before salatul fajr, 10 mins before, you can pray 2 rakat or even the witr prayer. Try to fast Mondays and Thursdays or even 1 day in the month if your not used to fasting all the time. Do a lot good deeds and obedience towards Allah SWT and Allah SWT will turn to you.
9. Read The Seerah (Biography) Of The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him), The Companions & The Ta’bein
Read about how they used to be and how their hearts were softened so you can see an example ahead of you and achieve it yourself. When you read about it, you’ll do it yourself because whoever reads about them, it’ll be like you are living amongst them.
10. Read About The Bounties & Pleasures Of Paradise & Punishment Of The Hell Fire
You can remind yourself and be attached to paradise and have a fear of the hell fire so yout heart can become soft, insha’Allah.
11. Take Negative Attributes Out Of Your Heart
Get away from having hatred towards people, being jealous, thinking evil of people. Get rid of this idea of wanting bad things happening to people or trying to cause people to trip up. Try to clean your heart to the best degree you can.
12. Abandon Speaking Unnecessarily
Don’t say things you don’t need to say. Abandon listening things that there is no benefit. Leave the extra sleep you don’t need.
So by this you will have abandoned the things that have made your heart hard and put into practice that makes your heart soft. And all praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.