By Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shanqiti THERE are many ways through which one can become deeply devout and pious and have a soft heart. The best and most important of such ways is to have deep faith in Almighty Allah. True believers who deeply understand Almighty Allah’s attributes and names revere Allah with all their heart and show complete obedience to His commands. Whenever they hear a verse of Almighty Allah’s Book or a Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), they hasten to abide by the teaching implied therein, uttering in deep faith: “... We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (Qur’an 2:285). When believers contemplate Almighty Allah’s names and attributes and believe that only in Almighty Allah’s hand is the dominion over all things and that only He Almighty can protect them but none can protect against Him Most High, they will do their best to vie in doing good and avoiding evil. Thus, understanding Allah’s attributes is the best and most important step that fills one’s heart with reverence for Almighty Allah and draws one closer and closer to Him Most High. When you experience such a state, you will be ever mindful of Allah Almighty, and in every moment of your life, whether a moment of blessing or trial, your faith in Allah’s greatness and bounty is asserted. One who truly knows Allah Almighty has a heart filled with awe of Him Most High. On the other hand, one who never cares about knowing Allah Almighty is far away from understanding His attributes. One who is in such a state is hardhearted and never beholds how severe Almighty Allah’s punishment may be and how limitless His mercy and bounties are. One who has no concern for knowing the Almighty deviates from the right path and is not bothered by violating His laws and commands. Moreover, such a one keeps deviating from the right path, despairing of Allah’s mercy, for he or she is ignorant of Allah’s boundless forgiveness that He grants to whoever returns to Him in repentance. Contemplating Almighty Allah’s Book: It helps one become more pious and devout to contemplate Allah’s Book, whose verses guide one to the right path. Mind what Allah Most High says about His Book: (This is) a Book, the verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail from One (Allah) Who is All-Wise, Well-Acquainted (with all things). (Qur’an 11:1). When believers deeply contemplate the verses of Almighty Allah’s Book, their eyes fill with tears and their hearts turn unto Allah Most High in deep penitence. Their hearts in such a state are like a barren land that blooms after being watered with Allah’s illuminating words. They find themselves then thirsty for doing good for Allah’s sake and wholeheartedly willing to do what pleases Him Most High. A true believer who reads Almighty Allah’s Book in deep contemplation feels great awe of Him Most High. The influence of the Qur’an on its attentive listeners is amazing. There are some Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who embraced Islam immediately after listening to some of the Qur’anic verses. When they listened to these verses, they promptly believed in the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and gave up worshiping the idols, declaring faith in Almighty Allah alone. We are to bear in mind that the Qur’an is the speech that the Only Lord directs to His creatures of mankind and jinn, and thus its teachings are to guide them to His right path. Allah Almighty guides the one who is keen to comprehend its words and contemplate its meanings. Remembering The Day Of Judgment: One of the things that helps one get closer to Almighty Allah and hasten to return to Him in repentance is remembering the Day of Judgment. One must bear in mind that there is an end to every beginning, that after death there is no chance to reform one’s mistakes. When you deeply realize that the life of this world is temporary and that its pleasures will inevitably come to an end, this certainly will lead you to despise this world and return to Almighty Allah in sincere repentance. If you visit graves and reflect on the conditions of its dwellers and how, sooner or later, you will join them, you will realize the ineffectiveness of running after the worldly gains, and will, in deep awe, submit heart and soul to Almighty Allah’s will.