There are many things to do that can lead one to become soft hearted. These include perceiving Almighty Allah’s attributes, reading Allah’s Book with deep contemplation, remembering the Day of Judgment, and seeking to do good deeds in this world to avoid the trials of that Day.
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shanqiti,, a prominent Saudi scholar, states: “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 hearts and show complete obedience to His teachings.
Whenever they hear a verse of Almighty Allah’s Book or a hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), they hasten to abide by the teaching implied therein, uttering in deep faith Almighty Allah’s words: “We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying.” (Al-Baqarah: 285)
Things that help one attain piety and devotion:
1.Understanding Almighty Allah’s Attributes and Names
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.
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 one is in such a state, one is ever mindful of Allah Almighty, and in every moment of one’s life, whether a moment of blessing or trial, one’s faith in Allah’s greatness and bounty is asserted. He who truly knows Allah Almighty, his heart is filled with awe of Him Most High.
On the other hand, he who never cares about knowing Allah Almighty is far away from understanding His attributes Most High. He who is in such a state is hard hearted and never beholds how severe Almighty Allah’s punishment may be and how limitless His mercy and bounty are.
He who finds in himself no concern for knowing Almighty Allah deviates from the right path and is not bothered by violating Allah’s laws and teachings. The only aim he lives for is to get his worldly pleasures.
Moreover, he keeps deviating from the right path, despairing of Allah’s mercy, for he is ignorant of Allah’s boundless forgiveness that He Most High grants to whoever returns to Him in repentance.
2.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 Bo
ok (the Qur’an ): “(This is) a Scripture the revelations whereof are perfected and then expounded. (It cometh) from One Wise, Informed.” (Hud: 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 has bloomed 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. Allah Almighty says in that respect: “Allah hath (now) revealed the fairest of statements, a Scripture consistent, (wherein promises of reward are) paired (with threats of punishment), whereat doth creep the flesh of those who fear their Lord, so that their flesh and their hearts soften to Allah’s reminder. Such is Allah’s guidance, where with He guideth whom He will. And him whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide.” (Az-Zumar: 23)
The influence of the Qur’an on its attentive listeners is amazing. There are some Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings 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 and blessings 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. Allah Most High says: “And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; but is there any that remembereth?” (Al-Qamar: 22)
3.Remembering the Day of Judgment
One of the things that help one get closer to Almighty Allah and hasten to return to Him Most High in repentance is to remember 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, and that one’s abode after this world is either Paradise or Hell. When one deeply realizes that the life of this world is temporary and that its pleasures will inevitably come to an end, this, certainly, will lead one to despise this world and return to Almighty Allah in sincere repentance.
He who visits graves and reflects on the conditions of its dwellers, and how, sooner or later, he will join them, will realize the ineffectiveness of running after the worldly gains, and will, in deep awe, submit, heart and soul, to Almighty Allah’s will.”