Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said :
« Praise be to God. Praising him in the appropriate is a duty.
Know – may God guide us on the path of his guidance- that hardheartness is one of the greatest problem, and after disbelief, it is the greatest trial.
The reasons for hardheartedness are included in what I am about to tell you. If we avoid them, the heart will soften and awaken to good.
These reasons are as follows:
1. Persevering in any bad actions
2. Hoping for a long life
3. Anger for any other but God
4. Jealousy vis-a-vis other believers
5. Love for this world
6. Love of power
7. Speaking about or acting upon, even slightly, that which does not concern us
8. Excessive laughing
9. Excessive joking
10. Joy for ephemeral things
11. The worry that comes from losing them
12. Carelessness regarding the evocation of ALLAH
13. Forgetfulness regarding the thoughts concerning the difficulties of the Hereafter such as the tomb, the Day of Resurrection and its difficulties, the fire and its chastisements, the paradise and its blessings and so on and so forth.
14. The distraction preventing us from thinking about this.
15. Frequenting people who are imbued with gaming and distraction, listening to their words and keeping them company for no religious reason.
16. The company of intellectually and religiously immature idiots
17. Eating that which is unlawful and doubtful
19. Drinking too much water
20. Excessive passion
21. Excessive sleeping
22. Thinking too much within the heart about anything other than that which concerns ALLAH and the states of the Hereafter, such as the tomb and that which refers to it.
23. Insufficient Dhikr
These are the 24 reasons for hardheartedness.
He who wishes to soften his heart should abandon the above and adhere to the opposite (reasons), that is to say:
- Continuous remembrance of death with real repentance
- Not expecting a long life in this world by maintaining the thought of death omnipresent with each breath
- Feeling the presence of ALLAH at all times with heart, speech and body
- Anger should be avoided at all times except for God
- Not arousing hatred for all Muslims among friends, enemies and counsellors
- Renouncing life of this world
- Staying away from all forms of power and their causes
- Relinquish, both in word and deed, that which does not concern us
- Maintaining silence unless evoking ALLAH
- (Cultivating) lasting sadness with regards to the Hereafter
- Staying away from jokes and jokers
- Keeping away from slander and slanderers by avoiding the company of those who indulge (in it), even a little in slander
- Forsaking joy for ephemeral acquisitions
- Abandoning sadness when we are separated from transient things
- (Maintaining) a state of awareness when performing dhikrs
- Contemplating at length death, the tomb, situations on the Day of Resurrection, the different degrees of Hell and its torments, and those of Paradise and its blessings
- Withdrawing from the company of men in general, except those who help us in our religious evolution, regarding the prescriptions, the reminders, the exhortation and following the path.
- Paying no attention to the words of people and avoiding their company
- Seeking the company of virtuous people who help us to evolve on the path of the Hereafter and encourage us to bind ourselves to it. If this is not possible, it is better to remain alone.
- As far as possible, eating that which is lawful
- Enduring hunger and thirst. What is meant by hunger and thirst is the middle way between deprivation and excess.
- Abandoning all forms of passion in general and in particular, except in the case of extreme necessity
- Persevering in nocturnal vigil without any excess or insufficiency
- Abandoning all thoughts in your heart for anything else but God and the situations of the Hereafter.
- Saying abundantly zikr of ALLAH
- Considering one’s ego as an enemy and abandoning all efforts made with the aim of satisfying the ego and avoiding retaliating on its behalf.
All of these principles are cause for the softness of the heart ».
*Text extracted from the book Jama’ of Sidi Muhammad El Mechri (may ALLAH be pleased with him)