It goes without saying that gaining the pleasure of Allah is the highest goal and the noblest aim of every sincere believer. A Muslim should strive his best to gain this, for once he gains Allah’s pleasure, he will be happy despite hardships. Among the signs that the Lord is pleased with His slave is that He guides him to do good deeds and avoid prohibited things. This is confirmed by the words of Allah: “While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their piety” (Muhammad: 17) And: “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allah’s religion — Islamic Monotheism)” (Al-`Ankabut: 69). But if a person is hindered from doing good deeds and avoiding prohibited things—we seek refuge with Allah—then that is a sign that Allah is not pleased with him.
Allah has also explained in His Book that the sign of His being pleased with His slave and of His guidance is that He opens his heart to true guidance and true faith. And the sign of misguidance and being far from the Straight Path is distress and constriction in the heart. Allah says: “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not” (Al-An`am: 125)
Commenting on this verse, Ibn `Abbas said: “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide…” He opens his heart to monotheism and belief in it.
Another sign of Allah’s love for His slave and His being pleased with him is that He makes him beloved to His slaves. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When Allah loves a person, He calls out to Jibreel: ‘Allah loves so-and-so,’ so Jibreel loves him. Then Jibreel calls out to the people of heaven, ‘Allah loves so-and-so, so love him.’ So the people of heaven love him and he finds acceptance on earth.” An-Nawawi said: “And he finds acceptance on earth” means that people love him and are pleased to see him, so their hearts incline towards him. It says in another report: “and he finds love on earth.”