Allāh ﷻ said:
أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
“Is he whose breast Allāh has opened to Islām, so that he is in light from His Lord (like one whose heart rejects it)?” [Az-Zumar:22]
The one whom Allāh expands his breast to accept Islām, then verily Allāh has enlightened his heart; and he will worship Allāh as if he sees Him due to the intensity of his consciousness (of Allāh) and he will be graced to find solace with Allāh.
If he is affected by humanistic flaws, and this is inevitable, then he senses a feeling of loneliness and thus flees to Allāh to liberate himself from the evil of his soul and desires.
Allāh ﷻ said:
فَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
“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 it he is climbing up ot the sky. Thus Allāh puts the wrath on those who believe not”. [Al-An’ām: 125]
“So whoever Allāh wants to guide,” meaning whoever Allāh wants to guide with the two types of guidance:
1. The guidance of clarification, direction and instruction.
2. The guidance of success and inspiration.
Allāh expands his chest to (accept] Islām. So he loves Islām and is delighted with it, which is submission and surrender [to Allāh]. He finds himself loving Islam, loving religiosity and loving uprightness.
If the servant recognizes from himself these ideals, then this means that Allāh has expanded his chest to (accept] Islām and He has guided him.
This is the guidance of clarification, direction and instruction, which is followed by the guidance of success and inspiration, such that Allāh grants him success to perform righteous actions, be sincere and follow His Messenger ﷺ in these deeds.
No actions are accepted unless two prerequisites are both met:
- To sincerely perform the action for Allāh in a way where it is not corrupted by showing off, the love of fame, prestige and prominence. However, he solely seeks with this the face of Allāh alone.
- This action has to be in accordance to what the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ came with.
So Allāh grants him success to accomplish this.
Book: The Keys To Happiness
By Imām Ibn Al-Qayyim
Translated by Hassan Somali